Yesterday we had a surprise phone call from some very dear friends from down unda'. A couple, whose lives seem to mirror ours in the most intriguing way. Zak Chalmers is a potter living and operating a home based studio just north of Wilson's Promontory in the southeast corner of Victoria, Australia. He and his wife Tanya run a pottery and growing family on their gorgeous property called Valley Plains Pottery.
Robin first met Zak over 10 years ago while he was traveling and researching kilns in Australia. In 2003 we made a return trip to visit Zak and Tanya at their home and spent a month together firing Zak's anagama and drinking coffee on the deck overlooking their pond - dreaming about the future. Our futures turned out to follow very similar paths, with building homes and kilns and little people popping up into the mixture.
The 'Gumnuts' as we refer to them as, made a trip across the world to visit us in 2004, just as we were breaking ground on our strawbale home and studio project. We hope they'll come back and visit us one day again and bring their three wee gumnuts with them.
If you happen to be touring outside Melbourne, Valley Plains Pottery is must see and worth the trip, especially if you are lucky to see the sunset from their kilnpad. And if you make it there, have a look around, there might even be a few Robin pots around in the grass.