This is Harrison. Last night I visited Junkyard Brewing Company and struck up a conversation with a random. He was a potter. As in, he is a ceramics expert, and crafts pots, mugs, plates, and even hip flasks - out of clay.
He was on his way back from an apprenticeship interview in Wisconsin. I told him he should come to 20below the following morning, since he was from Seattle, and would probably enjoy their coffee (which he did). We chatted more, mostly about pottery and ceramics. He explained the entire process and how unique it is to fire clay in an actual wood kiln vs. a standard electric kiln. He was an absolute hippie. He had long hair and an eccentric, yet enjoyable music taste. He pitched a tent wherever he went, and occasionally slept in his car. He told me he wasn't a musician, but played some jams on my acoustic that sounded pretty nice.
He was extremely committed to his art. I took some portrait shots of him in the studio, and traded those for one of his amazing mugs, in which I'll drink coffee by morning, and beer by night. His vehicle was jam-packed with all sorts of pottery - like he was going to set up shop and sell them on the street.
He recently got back from India where he traveled around to various pottery households, as he called them. These people just make pots because it's what their family has always done, but not because of any artistic desire.
When he was packing up to leave, he held out a bag and jokingly told me to 'pick your destiny'. I reached in and grabbed a small clay piece. It had a hole in one end, and was for a necklace. He told me he gives those to people that he makes real connections with. He pulled out a ball of twine, tied a knot on the piece of clay, handed it to me, and drove away. I love the unique people you can meet, especially in this area. I'm going to keep going with the whole, "That guy looks intriguing, I'm gonna go talk to him." thing. Freaking hippies, man.
See his work at http://harrylevensteinpottery.com