Desert Messenger

June 18, 2014

Desert Messenger is your local connection for news, events, and entertainment!

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 11 of 23

12 June 18, 2014 Desert Messenger ONLINE Trying to come up with fun activities that the children and adults of Quartzsite could do for fun has been mulled about since Quartzsite was known as Tyson's Well and probably even before that. Recently I came across the April 23, 1953 issue of the "Yuma Daily Sun" that reminded me of one of those great ideas. In the fall of 1952, Madeline Young, Virginia Underwood, Isabel Buse, and I had signed up for a ceramics class at Palo Verde Junior College over in Blythe. At our fi rst class meeting we were surprised to run into Clifford Brown, one of Quartzsite's young people who had also signed up for the class, perhaps because Millie Osborn, one of his Blythe High School classmates, was also a student. Anyway, after several weeks of driving to and from class, the four of us (Clifford somehow man- aged to get to class on his own) remarked how fun it would be to invite all of Quartzsite's children to learn about the art of ceram- ics. At the end of the semester, by far and away it was obvious that Isabel Buse, who was also Quartzsite's schoolteacher, was the most accomplished potter in the class. Clifford Brown was a little embarrassed by all the fuss his teacher and classmates made over his handmade bowl. I struggled to make my little handmade box and lid square, smoothly layer-on a green undercoat, top the box with a little pre-molded caterpillar on which I painted a happy grin and then surround it with several handmade roses. After the teacher graded my box, I next started working on a set of luncheon plates and cups made from a greenware mold. The four Quartzsite mothers agreed that the class was lots of fun as we made use- ful household things and Isabel Buse announced that ceramics would meet her desire to incorporate art into the classroom at the Quartzsite School. And so everywhere we went around Quartzsite the four of us promoted the idea of forming a Potters Guild to the other mothers and any townsfolk who we thought might be interested. We set Mon- day evening, April 20, 1953 to open the idea to discussion at a meet- ing to be held at the schoolhouse. I agreed to host the meeting and make the refreshments. Clifford Brown was invited to display the bowl he had made in our PVJC class along with the blue ribbon he had won at the Yuma County Fair. Isabel Buse agreed to display her beautiful bowl and the red ribbon she had won in her category at the Fair. At that April 20th meeting; Madeline, Virginia, Mrs. Buse and I proposed the idea of forming a potters guild in Quartzsite for those who were interested in the making of ceramics. The west end of the schoolhouse was fi lled to capacity and by evenings-end the group had elected Madeline Young as presi- dent, Virginia Underwood as vice president, Millie Scott as secretary, and Mildred Cowell as treasurer of Quartzsite's Potters Guild. With the assistance of Mrs. Lo- gan, our PVJC instructor, we had already scouted out the cost for a kiln that could be installed within the month and stored in one of the large closets at the new school- house so it could be used by both the schoolchildren and the Potters Guild. It was proposed that a por- tion of the cost for the kiln be ap- propriated from the fund left to the school by the late Paul Schneider. William G. Scott, clerk of the school board, agreed to arrange for the purchase and delivery of the kiln. It was also decided that members of the Guild would pay the sum of 50-cents per month as dues. Suggestions were also made for other ways to raise money for the purchase of clay, paint, glaze, and other supplies that would be used by the children. It was decided that the fi rst fundraiser / entertain- ment would be a Box Supper held at the schoolhouse on Monday, April 27th. Imagine that! Only one week after its formation, the Quartzsite Potters Guild held one of the most successful Box Suppers in Quartzsite history, fi lling the schoolhouse to overfl owing. Isabel Buse agreed to be the teacher for the schoolchildren with Clifford Brown and myself as her as- sistants. Madeline Young, Mildred Cowell, Virginia Underwood, Angie Scott, Elsie Kuehn, and Mrs. Sypian agreed to be assistant teachers for the adult classes. The Quartzsite Potters Guild met every Monday evening from 7 to 9pm, alternating a ceramics class one week with a fundraiser / entertainment the next. Isabel Buse continued to teach ceramics to the children until she retired from Quartzsite School in 1962. Like many mothers of that era, I still have some of the early cre- ations that my children made under the tutelage of Mrs. Isabel C. Buse and the Quartzsite Potters Guild. Quartzsite's Potters Guild Excerpts from "In the Shadow of Saguaros" by Rosalee Oldham Wheeler "In the Shadow of Saguaros" Vol. I & II are now available exclusively at the Tyson's Well Museum and Reader's Oasis Book Store Voices from The Past in Quartzsite, AZ What happens in Q UARTZSITE goes around THE WORLD!

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Desert Messenger - June 18, 2014