It is hard to believe that the steamy Demi Moore – Patrick Swayze potter’s wheel scene in the movie Ghost is over 20 years old. It isn’t so difficult to believe that fans of that movie can still tell you what the reference to Ditto means. So, imagine that I am cruising the art and craft galleries in Anchorage one day and discover a lovely display of pottery at Arctic Rose Gallery & Art Center. I pick up an interesting looking mug, flip it upside down, and carved into clay is the single word, Ditto. If that just gave you Ghost cold chills stay with me. If it didn’t, simply believe that I was in that gallery to keep the single degree temperature outside from chilling me!As it turns out (no potter’s wheel pun intended…ok, well maybe), “Ditto” is the signature of Anchorage clay artist and entrepreneur Jenny Ditto. My discovery of her work began with a Google search of clay studios that I might find within walking distance of the Westmark Hotel in downtown Anchorage. Midnight Potter Studios comes up in the search but it is several miles from the hotel. I called the studio anyway, convincing myself that a cab-ride adventure might do me good. Jenny let me know of an upcoming, weekend open-house in her expanded studio space and let me know that I was welcome. I am so glad that I ventured out…but not so sure that walking back to the hotel in 12F temperatures was all that smart (but that is another story).
To me, Jenny the artist-entrepreneur is where the world of clay arts is headed. Talk to most clay artists and they will tell you that being consistently productive and adaptable to market trends is hard work and not always as profitable as they would like. Bills, on the other hand, are relentless. Passion to keep the fires going drives an entrepreneurial spirit that leads clay artists to expand into teaching wheel-throwing classes, collaborative projects with other artists, partnering to share space/expenses, and being extremely creative/frugal with the resources available. Jenny Ditto is about all of those things. Jenny’s vision includes a cooperative studio space downtown where multiple artists produce, teach, display, and generally expand the arts community. I love that! Note to any angel-investors reading this: Funds provided to Jenny Ditto’s project will be fruitful, I’d bet Demi Moore’s potter’s wheel on it! *grin*. I definitely vote for downtown, if nothing but selfishness to avoid defrosting my toes again. Jenny would welcome your help, even if it is something as simple a donating a Gleco trap for a sink.
Be sure to visit Jenny’s web site: Midnight Potter Studios
Allow me one last, goofy, Ghost movie reference. If you’re ever in Anchorage and tell Jenny, “I love clay”…she can honestly reply, “Ditto”. Yes, I did go a long way to say that…so shoot me 🙂