On this sunny morning of April 7 of the twenty-first century, I was chosen to be picked from a collection of Native American artifacts. I had for a long time laid amongst other Mohawk pieces much more impressive than I am. I wonder why my owner Skip chose me to slip over his thumb. Actually, I am just a roughly shaped piece of hand clay. It is not my beauty that awoke the special interest of my owner. I could awaken a remarkable imagination that lurked within him. An imagination that carried him to a Mohawk Indian village located in his hometown of Palatine. I come from a place known as the Wagner’s Hollow Indian site. I’ll not try to remember the name of my village site because there is much confusion over that after so many years. I was picked from the soil there by a Canajoharie collector named Edward Brown many years ago. He penciled a WH on me to forever remember where I came from. From the same site come shards of beautifully decorated pottery.

I can yet remember the potter in that far-off day being surrounded by the children of the village. This would be a way to learn the ancient craft. Can you remember that day when one child asked the potter to make a pot for him or her? The potter took a small piece of pliable clay and thrust a thumb into it. I was very crude but did receive some scratched marks on me to remind the young folks that had I been large, fancy incising would have been added. Probably I was formed in the 1600s but what does an old piece of hard clay know of centuries? A child cherished me after I was made. I was dropped and lay for centuries in the soil from which I came. I’m glad I’m still treasured by someone and able to impart my story.

Skip Barshied

Stone Arabia

April 7, 2012

A Miniature Bowl’s Story