Charles Todd Wagoner
Excerpt from Peeler Pottery: A Retrospective (2009)
It was exciting to go to the Peelers, even if you helped mix clay when you got there. That was hard work. When I graduated from college I started helping the Peelers mix the many clay bodies they used; Goblet Clay – goblets were one of Marj’s specialties – Bell Clay, Raku Clay, Cone 10-11 “Peeler Mix” Stoneware, and other custom bodies including some Salt Glaze Clay that I would use. While mixing clay was tough in the hot summer or cold fall, that was when I spent the most time talking with Richard. I heard stories about his visits to Japan and the making of the Peeler Ceramic Art Film series, about how the two of them would edit and splice the films right in their rammed earth house. He often complimented Marj on her choice of music for the films, which doesn’t seem dated forty years later.
In Early 1982 the manager of Billie Creek Village in Rockville, Indiana, where I now am a potter, visited the Peeler Studio. She asked if they would recommend any potters to fill a vacancy in their pottery shop. The Peelers recommended my wife and me for the position and we have been there ever since. How lucky we were to have the Peelers to help get us started. My wife and I always felt we needed to stop by and see Richard and Marj ever so often to “recharge” our artistic juices. How many other fledgling artists left after visiting the Peeler Studio ready to “tackle the world”? How lucky we are today and grateful for all the times they opened their home and studio to us. It was always worth the trip, even when we did get lost on the way.