Pottery Tour-1st Weekend in October, Every Year
A funny thing happened on the way to Enzo’s. We discovered a whole new side of Omaha and ditched our previously made weekend plans. It was our first time dining in historic Florence Omaha since relocating 15 months ago. We were eager to experience both the community and the food. Neither disappointed. The restaurant was brimming with people, conversation and aromas, reminding me of Sunday afternoons in the homes of Italian friends. The tiramisu alone will draw us back, often.
Exit 13 off 680 in Northeast Omaha is familiar to us; we take it every time we fly out of Eppley Airfield. But like many, in our hurriedness, we never paid attention to the exit surroundings. That is, until Friday night. Pottery Tour yard signs were well posted. Some were placed near a historical looking brown building right under the Morman Bridge one crosses to enter Nebraska from Iowa.
Saturday morning we headed north off Exit 13 on John Pershing Drive. Surprise! We drove past a Coast Guard station. The Coast Guard was familiar in our former home, Charleston, South Carolina, but a bit of a surprise here. We drove through N.P. Dodge Memorial Park and explored Hummel Park . Wow! Omaha has done a great job of preserving and using green space.
We headed back to that brown building: Florence Mill– to discover it’s on the National Register of Historic Places. The first Saturday in October it’s a stop on the Omaha North Hills Pottery Tour. Visitors were purchasing pumpkins, having lunch and viewing the work of five artists including, Susan McGilvrey. Susan explained not only the building’s history but also the pottery tour to us. (Thank you, Susan!) We were hooked. Having visited Seagrove, North Carolina’s 365-day pottery show multiple times, there was no way we’d miss this self-guided tour of four stops and 19 clay artists. Off we went.
Dennison Pottery was our second stop on the Tour. The road there was new to us, but clearly not to others. Vehicles lined both sides of the gravel path. Walking up to the shop, one heard jazz sounds by Dan Livingston and the buzz of conversation. Five artists displayed their wares while guests lingered over complimentary soup, wine, and baked goods. Benches and a fire pit invited all to stay, mingle and connect. It was clear many there frequent often. We’d have stayed longer, but there were two more stops on the tour. It was just that welcoming.
Too Far North Wine
Too Far North Wine in Fort Calhoun, NE was our next stop. One couldn’t miss the location with the well-placed signs and the overflowing crowd loitering outside the store’s entrance. Inside was stuffed with patrons at the wine bar, making the space tight and warm. Travis Hinton and Eric Knoche were busily explaining and selling their wares, but not too busy to engage in meaningful conversation with patrons, including us.
As an aside, we curiously entered Cure Cooking next door to the wine shop. What a fascinating find! Chad was giving demonstrations and answering questions about upcoming classes. This business is another great example of people pursuing their passion and building a business around it. We wish he and his business much success!
Big Table Studios
The tour ended near Herman, NE at Big Table Studios in the rolling hills above the Missouri River Valley. The farmstead was packed with guests enjoying complimentary pizza, sweets and beverages while visiting and shopping on a cloudy October afternoon. Seven artists displayed their varied outstanding work. Liz Vercruysse‘s seed pod pieces hanging from trees captured our immediate attention. I wish I’d have met her, or any of the other artists on site.
On the journey back we marveled at how letting go of previously made weekend plans turned the first weekend in October into one of our favorite since relocating. Yes, we will do this pottery tour again. And, we’ve already invited others to join us on the journey. Will we meet you on the tour?
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©Copyright. October 2016. Linda Leier Thomason
All Rights Reserved.