A Woman Defined

Art & Culture by Mahvash Mossaed

My Afternoon Having Tea with the Great Potter, Beatrice Wood

October 17, 2011

I knew David because at one time he was representing my art. That was during the time when David was living with and taking care of Beatrice Wood, the great potter, in her home in Ojai Valley. Well, those were good old times in the beginning of the ’90s.

I liked David very much and he also liked me. He was charming, and one Sunday, he was kind enough to invite me to come to Ojai Valley. I was to meet with him and Beatrice Wood and spend a relaxing afternoon having tea with them.

I remember the magnetic, beautiful, ageless Beatrice Wood, sitting comfortably on the sofa of her living room, leaning against the many colorful cushions. She was adorned by jewelry – bangles and necklaces – and dressed in many fabrics – layers and layers of lace and satin, all wrapped around her like an Indian sari. It was as if she were onstage in a production of her own life and we are all part of it.

Her presence was captivating, entertaining and energetic. She was a story teller, telling many stories of different times and different places. Beatrice told her stories meticulously and seriously, and she took her audiences seriously too. Her eyes were alert, beautiful and clear. Her voice was strong and young, and she could easily discuss with you the latest events as well as any other topics, such as politics, travel, religion and spirituality –  all in one sitting and in one go.

Beatrice took me to her studio outside of her house just a few yards away. It was a very large room,  neat, with everything in good order and put away. She showed me different pieces that she was working on as well the other pieces that were already completed. These pieces were standing on the shelves. As we examined her works, she explained, with patience and enjoyment, the process that it would take to make each of them from beginning to end,  as well as the story behind each piece.

I thought then that it was very obvious that she absolutely loved David and enjoyed his company very much. She would jokingly say that her weakness is young men and chocolate, and then she would laugh at what she had just said. Oh, how  ironic it was that when I was visiting and viewing her current exhibition in the Santa Monica Museum of Art just a few days ago, I saw one of her works under that title, “Young Men and Chocolate.” Upon seeing that piece, I remembered that Sunday afternoon, having tea with Beatrice Wood, and I smiled.

The exhibition, “Beatrice Wood: Career Woman – Drawings, Paintings, Vessels, and Objects,” is currently at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Bergamot Station – 2525 Michigan Ave., Bldg. G1, Santa Monica, CA. For more information, please visit the website: http://www.smmoa.org/index.php/exhibitions/details/242

Posted in Art Reviews, Reviews |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box