Editor's note: Studio S Pottery & Galleries will officially close on Dec. 31, owner Lewis Snyder told the Daily News Journal. Call 615-692-2080 to schedule an appointment. The address is 1426 Avon Road in Murfreesboro.
It’s just a bowl.
A lovely little bowl that holds my favorite candy and never fails to elicit a smile.
It spent a few years in protective exile from a feisty rescue kitten, but recently found its way back to my coffee table and its place in my heart.
Lewis Snyder made my bowl. With his own talented hands.
He placed it for sale in his iconic Studio S Pottery & Galleries where I discovered it several years ago on a Murfreesboro/Rutherford County Art Studio tour with my daughter, Beth. During this annual mother/daughter art adventure, we reveled in the vast creativity in our midst. Studio S became our favorite stop.
Studio S is closing its doors after 50 years. The 2021 Art Studio Tour in late November was its last.
I walked through one more time and purchased a couple of Christmas gifts. Beth couldn’t make it in from Mobile, Alabama, but she walked beside me nevertheless. And I personally thanked Lewis Snyder for their body of work and how much it has meant to me over many, many years.
My eyes became misty.
I first shed tears in Studio S the day I spotted the little bowl. Beth and I admired and discussed several pieces on the gallery’s first floor when I looked up, across the room. I saw the bowl, on a shelf, dwarfed by vases, candlesticks, canisters, mugs. Tiny and unassuming. Beckoning me.
I moved to it and cupped the bowl in one hand. It is that small. The glaze beautiful, classic Studio S. The size and shape unique. I held it up, turned it in my hand, in awe of its effect on me. Beth joined me and agreed with its beauty. I cuddled it in both hands against my body, my eyes still moist. We both knew the bowl had found its home.
When I paid Mr. Snyder and told him how much I loved it, he confirmed its difference from many of their bowls. That, in fact, he started it as a goblet and then chose to forego the stem. He liked it as a bowl, too. The artist’s gift linked to the recipient’s needs.
I often use the anecdote of my little bowl when faced with someone’s doubts about art’s necessity in our lives. To explain the unexplainable. How we create art. How we receive art. It goes beyond our senses, our cognition, our reason, I tell them. Art in all its forms comes from and reaches a place deep within each of us. A place that connects us on this journey. A tiny, pottery bowl validated that connection by making me cry.
I own many pieces of Studio S pottery – cookie jar, creamer and sugar, water pitcher, candlesticks, mugs, goblets, trivets – each with distinctive designs/glazes. Most are gifts from Beth, who knows no matchy, matchy for me. I love and admire each work of art for its individual beauty.
And, of course, there’s my little bowl. It’s so much more than just a bowl.
Debbie McClanahan, a former staff writer for The Tennessean, recently retired from an 18-year technical writing career. She’s glad to be back in the newspaper world and would love to hear from you. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Murfreesboro Daily News Journal: Studio S Pottery and Galleries in Murfreesboro, Tennessee