Donaldson Super Trout, ARanch, and the Rocky Mountains

I just got back from my brother Jeremy's wedding. Most of my family made the trip to Loveland, CO were we took a Comfort Inn hostage for the weekend. One of the culinary highlights of the weekend was the Cherry, Apple, and Marion Berry pies that took the place of the wedding cake. Man they were good. They were made by the Estes Park Pie Shop and Bakery.

For my brother's batchelor party we went to Sylvandale Ranch to do some fly fishing. My brother used to guide for them so it was his home turf. We fished two man made lakes that were stocked with Trout. I caught a 21inch Donaldson Steel Head (As it turns out it is a genetically engineered fish. Highly interesting) . Actually I didnt do much. One of my brothers friends spotted the fish and cast for it. The fish jumped all over this nymph fly that was hanging below a Chernoble Ant. He handed me the rod and said "have fun". It was tag team fishing. After a day I felt like I was getting the hang of casting. It takes way more grace than I thought. It reminds me of throwing. Repetition, patience, and reward. I will definately go again when I can.

Being back in the Rockies brought me back to my time at Anderson Ranch in Snowmass Co. I have been thinking about that place a lot lately. I think I might have even written about it in the blog already. I was there in 2006 for the winter. Over the six months that I was there I changed from soda fired porcelain to earthenware, I skied my first( and probably last) double black diamond, and finally learned how to make a teapot that works.

I occasionally still have dreams that I am there working in the studio. I had a funny, and memorable, one about a year ago. In the dream Doug Casebeer(the director of ceramics) came into my studio to talk to me about my work. I had just thrown a few pitchers that were lined up on the table. He walked around them looking at the proportions and such. Suddenly he picks one up and throws it on the ground. It promptly flattened like a pancake on a griddle. He looks at me and says "Ben, you need to work harder". I took that as a sign that I needed to buckle down in grad school and I've been working harder and harder ever since. I am still being motivated by the history and the relationships I formed at ARAC three years later. Thats the sign of a good residency.

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