Life’s a Little Sweeter… with Honey

Honey Burrell is Clayful and Playful!!!

Dear Reader:

When I went to check the mail late yesterday afternoon… I had already had a “full” day myself. Lunch and fun with Gin-g -then I went to Home Depot and bumped into Beth Brewer, who had already let me know ( in a blog comment) that she collected rocks too whenever she left the Lowcountry… when her grandchildren were younger all her little rocks were ” novelty” toys for them… children who rarely see a rock outside a museum! ( Sounds like a line from The Flintstones… ” Go play with your rocks!”

So by the time I checked the mail I was ” plumb plopped out” in my recliner… until I opened a large manila envelope and saw a magazine inside… it looked so interesting from the cover… and I idly wondered where it was published.

As I began leafing through it… suddenly I was staring at a full page with my awesome friend, Honey, on it! Immediately my mind gates opened up and I remembered Honey telling me about this magazine publisher who wanted to do an interview with her on her unique pottery-especially her face jugs-an old Appalachian art form of creating fun to eccentric faces on jugs … initially for a ” refreshment ” reason.

The history teacher in me loved the explanation that followed -These fun, whimsical face jugs, purposely, had startling faces because the jugs contained moonshine and hopefully curious children would be put off or scared off from the facial expressions!

I love learning interesting new tidbits about history from all kinds of sources. Since I have several diversified pieces of Honey’s ceramics… I have seen Honey evolve from structured everyday clay items to the imaginative and whimsical! In the article Honey says…” I stepped out of my comfort zone to create my face jugs… I have to just let go and let the clay itself guide my hands to form the face.”

EXCEPT… for one face. She wanted to do a clay bust of her deceased beloved father… it wasn’t easy… because it was her father, a brick maker who worked a huge kiln at his brickyard (and where she occasionally watched in fascination) that planted the pottery seed.

After several ” mis-trials” and heartbreaks Honey did it… I have no doubt her daddy knew she could all along. Splendid legacy!

Honey didn’t even pick up a piece of clay until …after 30 years as an award-winning special needs teacher. ( She was a leader in creating many innovative programs for her students) when she and husband, Mike headed to the mountains for a seemingly second retirement home retreat …only to discover they, both, had fallen in love with the community and the art culture in the North Carolina mountains. *** Mike is a master wood craftsman.

Honey slowly began to realize… Clay was in her DNA!)

Honey also has created fun-filled female face jugs that she calls ” Girls Just Want to Have Fun!” ( In fact when you take Vickie’s gorgeous camellia off -along with the decorated egg-look what is underneath?

So until tomorrow…

I picked up a trellis today at Home Depot for my trumpet lavender vines ( the wooden trellis kept falling over and crushing the plant)

Susan is with her family at the beach this spring break -she sent me this picture of the rising sun yesterday-made even more special by sharing it with her granddaughter Ady! A lasting memory…

Today is my favorite day… Winnie the Pooh

Honey’s contact information…

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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