Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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Birds of a feather flock together at Sturgeon Bay Pottery

Kristi Kates - April 28th, 2005
With a beautiful view, plenty of new merchandise coming in, and a fully-equipped pottery studio upstairs, Sturgeon River Pottery is just about ready for summer 2005.
Tucked back beneath somes trees just off Charlevoix Avenue between Petoskey and Bay Harbor, Sturgeon River Pottery was founded in 1980 by Karen and Steve Andrews, but began its life about 25 miles east of its current location in Karen’s first pottery studio on the banks of the Sturgeon River. Their first building was actually a gas station that the duo converted into their workshop/gallery.
Karen and Steve’s pottery quickly became popular; they rapidly outgrew their first location, and moved to Bay Shore. Little did they know that they’d get such a large following and would have to move their business yet again. In 1985, the Andrews moved to their current location, revisiting the conversion theme of their first studio by renovating a farm, including a tractor stall that became the gallery. Just a few years later, the store was expanded even more to make room for the wild bird supplies that Karen and Steve also like so much.

BIRD SANCTUARY
One really doesn’t know where to look first upon arriving at Sturgeon River Pottery, and this is a good thing. The rustic main building and outer front courtyard are chock-full of colorful items, some still and sturdy and some moving with the slightest breeze, including some live “items” that aren’t for sale - a whole host of chirping birds that appear to be regular patrons of the Andrews’ business, taking full advantage of the birdfeeders hung generously on the property.
“This is a good time of year to prepare for a lot of the seasonal birds that are coming back,” manager Lisa Russell says, “we’ve already had people spotting bluebirds and Baltimore orioles, and the hummingbirds will be back soon, as well.”
Several new birding items are expected for this year’s birding season, to join Sturgeon River’s already extensive inventory - they’ve got birdfeeders and birdbaths, bird books and bird guides, and, of course, bird houses.
“This is the time of year when courtship happens for birds,” Russell chuckles, “which also makes it the perfect time of year to put birdhouses out!” And Sturgeon River can help birding enthusiasts, from the beginner to the expert, with their price range for birdfeeders running from $5 to almost $200. “We’ve got pretty much everything a backyard birder could ever need,” Russell says.
To further enhance your outdoor areas, there are all kinds of garden items, from Amish-crafted furniture to gazing balls, wind chimes, garden sculptures, stepping stones, bright outdoor banners, copper sculptures, fountains, outdoor clocks and thermometers, gardening books, birdfeeder stands, and so much more - they’ve even got squirrel baffles “to keep ‘em off” the birdfeeders, and squirrel feeders, “to feed ‘em on purpose!” Indoors, you’ll find an even more eclectic mix of things displayed throughout the rambling building, much of it hand-made by the Andrews themselves.

POTTERY STUDIO
“The Andrews’ pottery studio is located right upstairs,” Russell points out, “and we often invite our customers to come on up and watch pottery being thrown.” There’s a beautiful view of Lake Michigan from the upstairs studio, which must help inspire the Andrews’ equally beautiful work, which is on display all over the store. One of Karen Andrews’ most popular items is a pretty blue and green glaze - the two artisans often introduce new colors and patterns to their pottery lines - and it’s easy to see why their work is collected all over Northern Michigan and beyond. They also offer the work of many fellow potters, including standout Ayers Pottery from Missouri, with their green-blue-red pattern that melts to an earthy brown - over a dozen additional artisans are represented in all - and that’s just the pottery.
“We’re a big gift destination,” Russell explains, “as we have a lot of unusual items from many different artists, and they all make unique and wonderful gifts.” In addition to the wild bird supplies, the garden items, the furniture, and the pottery, they also offer a funky line of quirky Petoskey Stone jewelry, a great homage to Michigan’s State Stone as crafted by Anne Thrush. There are nifty calendars from See-North (one of Northern Michigan’s great environmental organizations). Intriguing “Tree of Life” sculptures, made of copper and steamed and bent wood, are scattered throughout the display areas. And there’s even more - jewelry, metal art, notecards, polished Petoskey Stones (“one of the largest selections in Northern Michigan!”), candles and candle holders, wood carvings, stained glass - we could go on and on, but the best way for you to find out even more about Sturgeon River Pottery and Wild Bird Supply is to simply stop by and discover it all for yourself.


Sturgeon River Pottery and Wild Bird Supply is located at 3031 Charlevoix Avenue, halfway between Petoskey and Bay Harbor. Telephone 231-347-0590, or visit their extensive website online at www.sturgeonriver.com
 
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