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and i own the priceless steinway

updated fri 7 oct 05


marianne kuiper milks on thu 6 oct 05

What's in a buck?
I own a $200 Steinway Grand.
Fresh out of Holland with a music degree in my pocket,
I didn't know what to do without a piano.
A wonderful lady on (East?) Ann street in Ann Arbor
had moved and was selling the instrument. I knew I
couldn't afford it so I simply played my heart out as
long as I could.
"I want you to have this piano", she said, and named
the price. I was shocked at such a sum and played
faster, more beautiful to capture the moment.
"How much can you afford?" and I truthfully told her
that we had $200 in savings (med school and all that).
"What more can I ask than all you have? The Steinway
is yours." Our full savings went to her. It was a
pricelss gift and one I have been forever thankful
To me the price is never of the essence. If I can
honor the maker/owner of what is to me a great piece
of art, it is always worth whatever I can give.


--- Vince Pitelka wrote:

> Tony's comment about his $600 Bruce Cochrane teapot
> inspired me to write
> about a wonderful bargain I got the other day. It
> was a $400 pitcher, and
> yes, in this case I did indeed pay $400 for a
> utilitarian pitcher. My
> friend David McBeth invited Jack Troy to do a
> workshop and exhibition at UT
> Martin, where Dave teaches. As you all know, Jack
> is both a superb writer
> and a wonderful potter. The workshop was actually a
> writing workshop, and
> things were too busy for me to attend. But Dave
> emailed me images of the
> pieces in the show. Among the works were several
> pitchers, including one
> titled "Family Reunion Pitcher." It holds about
> three gallons, and it came
> out of Jack's big anagama. I love the tortured
> surfaces and heavy ash
> encrustations of Iga ware, but this is the kind of
> wood-fired surface I
> aspire towards when we woodfire functional pots here
> at the Craft Center -
> no heavy rough deposits of unfluxed ash, or
> cascading flows of gray-green
> snot - just fine variegations of flashing and light
> ash deposition over the
> surface of the pot. From the items in the show, I
> decided to purchase the
> big pitcher, along with a more modest-size pitcher
> (I love pitchers) and a
> large jug.
> I don't know if Jack markets his pots in any of the
> big craft galleries. He
> is certainly one of America's finest woodfire
> potters, and has a superb
> sense of form. His relationship with his wood kiln
> could be called a very
> successful collaboration, in the degree to which the
> woodfired surfaces
> complement the forms of his wares. So what would
> this pitcher sell for in a
> major craft gallery or big-city exhibition? I don't
> really want to
> speculate on that, but I know that when David put
> that pot in my hands
> several weeks ago after dropping Jack off at the
> Nashville airport, and I
> held it for the first time, I felt a surge of energy
> and excitement, a real
> thrill, and among the thoughts that occured to me
> was "Boy, did I get a
> bargain!"
> - Vince
> Vince Pitelka
> Appalachian Center for Craft, Tennessee
> Technological University
> Smithville TN 37166, 615/597-6801 x111
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