An intimate family memoir about the power of love in the face of adversity: the passionate pursuit of art-and the brave art of living simply-by four generations of a fiercely independent Southern family.
Almost a century ago, a New Orleans society woman vowed that her three sons would become artists. Turning her back on bourgeois life and abetted by her skeptical husband-a grain merchant-she bought twenty-eight acres of woodland on the Mississippi Sound. Beside a sleepy bayou, in the shade of towering pines and magnolias, she opened an art colony, one of the first of its kind in the South.
Her passion for art pulled the family through the hard times of the Depression and endured into the present. Her oldest son, Peter Anderson, founded Shearwater Pottery and, yearning "to make Shearwater synonymous with perfection," drew the entire family into his adventure. His brothers, "Mac" and Walter, made strange, wonderful pieces, though Walter Anderson eventually left his wife, his children, and the pottery to search for his own Nirvana and to capture, in writing and in watercolors, the wildlife of the Mississippi Coast.
Drawn by the exquisite work of Shearwater Pottery, the authors discover that painting, poetry, and storytelling-much of it by strong, unforgettable women-are still an essential part of the family's daily life. Intimate diaries, letters, and poems lead the reader into a stormy, passionate, sometimes heartbreaking past. Meticulously researched and compassionately written, Dreaming in Clay gathers one family's eternal legacy of wisdom and beauty: the healing power of art, the consolations of writing and of memory, and the spiritual treasures given to us-if we care to receive them-by the natural world. [via]