Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Talk about resourceful: my grandpa wore the same pair of shoes for like 30 years!
What a big inspiration my grandfather was (and is) to me. He taught us all, by example, to do what we love, do it with gusto, and don't slow down. He shaped the lives of hundreds (if not thousands) of people. His enthusiasm was contagious, resourcefulness inspiring, and his love for all that he did and the people around him was heartwarming.
He has always been very generous and helpful. In high school he helped me win a new camera, the grand-prize of a city-wide photography competition, just by sitting in his chair in the living room and reading the newspaper!
My first year of college I signed up for a ceramics course. It was all I could think talk about the entire spring break before the class started. I couldn't wait to spend long hours in the studio, with fresh air and the smell of wet clay (and now my new ceramics friends will understand better when I brag about my grandparents). The class didn't let me down, It wasn't dark in the ceramics studio like it was in the darkroom, I was working with my hands, and I loved the friendly community atmosphere of the studio. it didn't take long before I changed my focus from photography to ceramics (and now, I thought, maybe I can be my grandparents' favorite!).
From the quick tips he gave me when I visited I could tell my grandpa was an amazing teacher. I remember visiting them not long after I started my first wheel throwing class. I was telling my grandpa that I was having trouble learning how to center the clay. I could pull the clay up and it felt centered, but when pushed the cone back down it would end up off center. He simply told me rather than pushing the clay straight down, to push it a little forward and down into my left hand. I tried it out back in the studio; WOW, what quick and easy suggestion which made a huge difference.
I could not be more proud to have Ray and Jere Grimm as grandparents. As a ceramic artist especially, I can not put into words how incredibly lucky I am to have such supportive and inspiring grandparents. I feel an incredible sadness and loss after he has passed away, but even more so I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I am so so grateful to have had such an amazing grandfather.
Thank you for fighting in WWII, thank you for taking advantage of the GI bill, thank you for becoming such an amazing artist, thank you for falling in love with my grandmother, thank you for being so adventurous, thank you for being such enthusiastic father, thank you for being an inspiring teacher, thank you for your persistence, thank you for your honesty, I know you hated to do it, but thank you for letting grandma give me those tools you got for her in Italy I use them everyday! thank you for being a great grandpa. I could go on forever. Thank you.
And I am working on my handles :)