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Deep in the Art of Gubbio



Our stop at C.A.F.F. in Gubbio was all kinds of fun.

I had knee surgery back in the summer of 2004. ACL reconstruction. The bad kind that usually only burly football players need. And the kind that requires a huge surgery, with a huge bill, and a heck of a lot of physical therapy afterwards to recover from.

In order to make sure I wasn’t forking out $20k for such a huge procedure, I needed to maintain my full-time student status to be covered by my father’s medical insurance. At the time, I was but a few credits away from graduating, so I managed to take my final University of Illinois required courses online (not enough to be full-time), and then sign up for a full 12 hours at the local community college courses on top of those for the fall semester.

With those I had fun. Art, art, and more art was on the agenda, and I had a blast being creative every day of the week. One of my favorite classes was pottery.

Yes, we all put on our best Demi Moore impressions for that.

So, when our TBU post-conference blog trip dropped my group off at a Gubbio ceramics studio — C.A.F.F. — and said we would have the chance to try out the wheel, I was floored. It had been years since I last got to work pottery magic, and honestly… I just wanted to show off a bit to the Italian professionals.

But first, we had a presentation from the Master himself.

Old Master

Old Master black and color

Yeah, yeah, not bad, old man. I could tell this was not his first rodeo.

Finally, it was my turn to hit the wheel.

Brooke rocking pottery

Yeah, yeah, I got this.

I prepared myself for the applause and approval of my watching audience. Surely I was just as good as I was 8 years ago when I crafted a vase, a bowl, a mug, and a giraffe ashtray. Surely.

OK, definitely not…

But still that doesn’t call for the Master interfering with what I could get done. I mean, he was all up in my art. He does know I once made a freaking awesome giraffe ashtray, right?

Old Master interfering

It was a giraffe ashtray with a smiling giraffe head that had a hole in the mouth to hold your burning cigarette.

Psh. Whatever. Now this, it’s not even mine…

P1050335 copy

Seriously, dude…
P1050336 copy

Well, I guess I’ll just wash my hands since we’re clearly done here.
P1050337 copy

Or, you can get preoccupied by an interesting pottery app on the iPad…
P1050347 copy

While I turn this work into a little something with a Brooke touch…
rebeling against old master

Oh yeah. I once made a giraffe ashtray. I rock at ceramics… clearly.
P1050353 copy

After I left this creation on the wheel, Master took the time to splice it off, hold it in his hand as if inspecting for a minute — is this good or not… — before smashing it down on the table right in front of my face into a ball of clay. Ouch, haha.


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6 Responses to Deep in the Art of Gubbio

  1. Golap Mohi Uddin July 6, 2012 at 1:14 am #

    You are really an amazing creator. What an enrich site you developed!!
    Your vase is also nice!!

    • Brooke July 14, 2012 at 1:29 am #

      Haha, thank you 🙂 I think the vase was lopsided and not very good.

  2. Randy July 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    hahaha!!! That is such a funny story Brooke. 🙂 Oh the little travel moments we remember…

    • Brooke July 14, 2012 at 1:30 am #

      You should have seen the way the dude smashed down my lopsided vase at the end. It was so harsh! haha

  3. Larissa from Changes In Longitude July 14, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    Hi Brooke,

    At least yours came out a lot better than mine. The one I did looked like he smashed it before he did actually smash it.




  1. Saturday Snap: Artist at Work in Gubbio | Brooke vs. the World - July 7, 2012

    […] Snap: Artist at Work in Gubbio At the same place where I hopped on the pottery wheel, an Italian artist painted a masterpiece on a ceramic plate in about 2 minutes flat. Amazing! That […]

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