The Spinning Wheel and Outback Pottery

Notes from Alexis:

Mom and I started a gallery on Main St, Klamath Falls, OR in March of 1981. It was called the “Outback Pottery and the Spinning Wheel.”  I am a potter and Mom was promoting her spinning and weavings. Later she went on to include handmade quilts. The gallery lasted about two years and was a true labor of love on both our parts, as sales never carried us.  I worked two waitressing jobs, as well as did my pottery and ran the store two days a week. She ran the store four days a week, and we had a showcase that gave us a lovely outlet for our creative endeavors.


Dearest Lex,

Today must be the first day of spring. At least it is the first nice day we have had since I can’t remember when. Robins are sunning around and the porch thermometer says 52° which is 10° higher than the pump house, so which should I believe? You got it. Boy this has been a hard month. It has been “January” thru the middle of February, and it has hung on tenaciously. I have spent most of the time in hibernation (that is reading on couch).

I sent off pictures and book to Joanne Mattera and bam! Got them right back. It seems JM has left Fiberarts because she missed the ‘big city’, words which no doubt translates to, fired or quit in a snit.

I was really let down for 10 or 15 minutes but then what really has changed? “Frameworks” rely on no one but me and I am still enthused so…..

A much harder decision has been plaguing me and since I have decided to never make decisions in January I have decided to wait and see, but the thought has been bothering me and it is this: should I close down “Spinning Wheel” and go out of business?

That is a hard one for me to swallow. On the face of it, there should be no problem. It certainly has not made any money and I can’t see any coming in soon, so from any reasonable standpoint there should be an easy answer —close up shop.

But as we both know I am not reasonable, and I am so attached to the Spinning Wheel and I don’t know why. Of course nothing terribly dramatic has to happen. I can just let it lie fallow but even that disturbs me. I will either have to get churning or forget it. I’m not a middle-of-the-fence type. Fish, cut bait, or get out of the boat is my method.

Of course, I can’t discuss this with Dad for he has never been emotionally attached to the Spinning Wheel, and since there has been no profit, he considers it all foolishness anyway. I think I will need some expert help to be able to understand why I’m so attached, but what difference would that make? I doubt would change my mind, and frankly I don’t care why I care, all I want is to figure out what to do and I feel I have to make a decision soon.

The answer would be easy if I knew what I wanted but I don’t.

I may, however, have come up with number 22 for Frameworks. I know what it is all about and the name but the picture is not clear, but I fell I’m on the right track, What a relief I always knew I would get all of them but still I worried.

A couple of days ago I tried to stop using cream in my coffee, feeling I guess that I should make some effort at losing weight, which didn’t last long. If I ever decide to stop drinking coffee I will just stop using cream, and in no time at all I will have stopped. Dad says I don’t like coffee; I just like cream with coffee flavoring. I also went out and bought some marmalade. I tell you I can live without chocolate, in fact I like carob a whole lot better, but I miss jam. Boy, I miss jam! I have a lot of good flavors that I have made, but not the ones I really like the best, like marmalade and plum. I love plum! So I have decided to limit myself to just a taste now and then.

Yesterday for lunch I had cottage cheese with my celery flavored brewer’s, and just loved it. I thought popcorn for lunch was just a little too decadent. You can feel righteous about cottage cheese but not about popcorn.

Well if you hadn’t gotten this letter you wouldn’t have missed a thing, but the way I look at it why should you only get the good and not the bad?

All our love,