Dreaming in Clay on the Coast of Mississippi: Love and Art at Shearwater

Overview

Almost a century ago, Annette McConnell Anderson, a New Orleans society woman, vowed that her three sons would become artists. Turning her back on bourgeois life and abetted by her skeptical husband-a grain merchant-she bought twenty-eight acres of woodland on the Mississippi Sound. Beside a sleepy bayou, in the shade of towering pines and magnolias, she opened an art colony, one of the first of its kind in the South.

Backed by his mother's passion for art, her oldest son Peter ...

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Overview

Almost a century ago, Annette McConnell Anderson, a New Orleans society woman, vowed that her three sons would become artists. Turning her back on bourgeois life and abetted by her skeptical husband-a grain merchant-she bought twenty-eight acres of woodland on the Mississippi Sound. Beside a sleepy bayou, in the shade of towering pines and magnolias, she opened an art colony, one of the first of its kind in the South.

Backed by his mother's passion for art, her oldest son Peter Anderson founded Shearwater Pottery. Yearning "to make Shearwater synonymous with perfection," he drew the entire family into his adventure. His brothers, "Mac" and Walter, made strange, wonderful pieces, though Walter Anderson eventually left the pottery studio to search for his own artistic path.

Drawn by the exquisite work of Shearwater Pottery, the authors discover that painting, poetry, and storytelling-much of it by strong, unforgettable women-are still an essential part of the family's daily life. Intimate diaries, letters, and poems lead the reader into a stormy, passionate, sometimes heartbreaking past.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385490634
  • Publisher: Doubleday Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/14/2000
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 357
  • Product dimensions: 6.51 (w) x 8.31 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Maurer, professor of Spanish and chair of Romance Studies at Boston University, is the author of eight books, including the award-winning Fortune's Favorite Child: The Uneasy Life of Walter Anderson.

Maria Estrella Iglesias has taught at Harvard University and the University of Illinois-Chicago. Her collection of American art pottery was featured on Home and Garden TV and her jewelry on Sundays with Liz Walker (Boston CBS4) and Chronicle.

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Table of Contents

Note to New Edition vii

Acknowledgments ix

The Magic Union 1

Blueprints 38

Midlife Journey 52

Art and Industry 62

Growing Weather 78

Love and Glazes 94

Mud and Paint 112

Making Widgets 131

Moths and Bees 151

"Trembling, on the Edge of Light..." 166

Homecoming 186

Oldfields 215

Tender Miracles 238

Fortune's Favorite Child 254

"Goodbye, Old Lady" 273

Traces 283

List of Illustrations 301

Bibliography 305

Notes 309

Shearwater Marks and Dates 341

Index 347

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2000

    From the book jacket:

    An intimate family memoir about the power of love in the face of adversity: the passionate pursuit of art-- and the brave art of living simply--- by four generations of a fiercely independent Southern family. Almost a century ago, a New Orleans society woman vowed that her three sons would become artists. Turning her back on bourgeois life and abetted by her skeptical husband --a grain merchant-- she bought 28 acres of woodland on the Mississippi Sound. Beside a sleepy bayou, in the shade of towering pines and magnolias, she opened an art colony, one of the first of its kind in the South. Her passion for art pulled the family through the hard times of the Depression and endured into the present. Her oldest son, Peter Anderson, founded Shearwater Pottery and, yearning 'to make Shearwater synonymous with perfection,' drew the entire family into his adventure. His brothers, 'Mac' and Walter, made strange, wonderful pieces, though Walter Anderson eventually left his wife and children to search for his own Nirvana and to capture, in writing and in watercolors, the wildlife of the Mississippi Coast. Drawn by the exquisite work of Shearwater Pottery, the authors discover that painting, poetry, and storytelling--much of it by strong, unforgettable women-- are still an essential part of the family's daily life. Intimate diaries, letters, and poems lead the reader into a stormy, passionate, sometimes heart-breaking past. Meticulously researched and compassionately written, DREAMING IN CLAY gathers one family's legacy of wisdom and beauty: the healing powers of art, the consolations of writing and of memory, and the spiritual treasures give to us -- if we care to receive them-- by the natural world.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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