Friday, September 29, 2017

Renaissance Man

Yesterday Steve and I drove to Ojai to visit a young man we haven't seen since he went off to college 30 years ago.

We parked beneath a giant oak tree and entered a property alive with creativity.

Scott began taking pottery classes when he was an engineering student at the University of California San Diego.

He worked as a mechanical engineer for 7 years, but this Renaissance Man needed to be working with his hands.

For the last 20 years Scott has been honing his craft.

Seven years ago Scott moved to Ojai, California and bought a piece of property 

that is a work in process.

An old barn sits at the back of the property

and I hope he never touches this chippy goodness.

I am curious what plans he has for the outhouse.

The potter's wheel is in the main house, but there is so much more going on outside.

This is the wall of one of the work spaces - the vines that appear decorative are actually hops he grows for making beer.

Two different varieties of his three world class home brews were tasted.

I remember Scott as a teenager interested in space camp and surfing so I was totally surprised to get a glimpse of Scott's varied interests.

He recently finished building this kiln using his engineering skills.

He is refurbishing a guest house on the property by himself,

but it's taking a lot of time

because Scott is making every single tile for the kitchen himself.

He made this beautiful hollow, wooden stand up paddle board in the style of Tom Blake.

He raises chickens and grows veggies -

of course I love the color palette of his crops.

The gardener in me fell in love with his flowers -

 how about these sunflowers!

Before we left, we strolled through this building to pick something out and I was torn between white or colors.

We settled on this beautiful two toned jug.

It was so fun to reconnect with someone who was just 18 years old when we last chatted.

And, we hope he invites us back for homemade pizza from the outdoor pizza oven he built.

 You can check out Scott Chatenever's work at Village Potter.


  1. Good morning Carol! What a lovely place, and what a lovely idea to discover that someone can STILL be a Renaissance person in this day and age, and still have a roof over their head. The arts I fear, always has been and always will be a difficult area to make enough money to live on, but this gentleman seems to be making a go at it. GOOD. We need more immersion into the art of finding what makes us happy and going with that. LOVELY POTTERY!!!!

  2. WOW! What a talented guy!! So much going on there, but what really surprised me was that he is making the tiles for his floor. What a cool place to live and work!

  3. What a busy guy!!! Love the pottery and those tiles - wow! Super cool that you were able to spend time together again. Have a wonderful weekend!!!

  4. Wow, Carol, how does he have enough hours in his days?! What a talented man, so many interests. Very disciplined to his craft, too. You picked out what surely was the most beautiful piece - great job ;)


  5. I love this post because we buy lots of pottery since I don't work with clay. I enjoyed seeing Scott's property, too. The kitchen tiles are so pretty, btw....

    I wonder how he manages all the clay dust with his studio in his home. (?)

    Thanks for sharing, and I Love the piece y'all chose. So pretty! I'm linking to his site right now.


  6. That sounds like a visit I would remember for a long time, and you have a beautiful piece of pottery to remember it. What an amazing talent of art and his engineering skills!

  7. Such a fascinating post! I enjoyed visiting this wonderful place with you and seeing so much amazing creativity going on. Beautiful pottery...the jug you chose is lovely. Xox

  8. Love that old chippy barn and out house!

  9. It looks like a wonderful place to escape to and just enjoy the earth and let your talents grow! I love pottery and I'm always looking at it everywhere I go.

  10. Carol I absolutely adore and admire people like this. I loved reading your definition of Renaissance Man too, there is something slow, deliberate, and old world about your photos of his world, I think you really captured this man's artistic spirit. What a wonderful visit you had.

  11. What a lovely place he's built -- and what a lovely job you did introducing us to it!

  12. WOW. I love all the pottery and you are lucky to have visited. Love the post.

  13. Thanks for the visit Carol. Wonderful to catch up with you guys! For the most current updates on my work, you can follow me on Instagram @chateneverceramics

  14. Wow !! The young boy has grown into an awesome artist. You picked the right title for him , "renaissance man" . I know it had to be so very interesting. I love the jug you chose. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

  15. He really is a man with a plan and the skills to match. Thanks for giving us a look at what can be accomplished with imagination and skills.

  16. He does beautiful work - WOW. Love his property especially his chippy barn. So glad that he is following his dreams.

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

  17. How fun Carol! I love the story behind it all. My engineer hubby is sitting here by my side and I had to share it with him. I love his potters sign. He is definitely a multi talented man! Love the piece you brought home. We visited a potter Co. in Colorado once and I brought home a sunflower trivet. I still have it.

  18. Oh Carol how fun to reconnect with someone from the past. Plus to see how much his creative soul has grown through the years. I love the jug you picked it is perfect. Some white and some color. I am heading over to check out his pottery. Happy Weekend.

  19. Carol,
    I love the kitchen tile floor he is making. How wonderful that he is talented in both science and art.


  20. What a wonderfully talented man he is. Those tiles for his kitchen floor are amazing! I love the jug you chose. I visited his website and his creations are stunning.

    Thanks for sharing ~ FlowerLady

  21. carol this is a wonderful post . . . i enjoy every photo and while looking at his work I was mostly admiring the jugs. I love the one you picked and I can see it on your dining table with a large sunflower in it. How wonderful that he can live this way surrounded by the things he loves :)

  22. He is definitely a man of MANY talents! wonderful that he is focusing on his dream and his passion... and his little farm is just wonderful and vintage and quaint.. and you captured it so well. He must use up all of his quota of daily hours to do all of the things he is accomplishing.. and those floor tiles.. awesome! Marilyn

  23. It must have been fantastic to meet up with Scott again. As everyone else mentions he is so talented. His home and garden and pottery looks lovely. I love those floor tiles in his kitchen. Sarah x

  24. What a lovely meeting! Love all the beautiful pottery too...
    Have a happy sunday :)

  25. Wow, now this in an impressive, talented guy! Absolutely love his pottery. And that handmade tile...*swoon*.

  26. Carol what a lovely day you and Steve enjoyed. Love the home built kiln, I was a potter in my early years ... but because of city fire codes in Philly, no kiln allowed. His style reminds me of Southern pottery, like that in Tennessee (I lived there after college) - I wonder where his inspiration was sparked. I am sure you purchased or was gifted a piece and I look forward to seeing it.

  27. What a talented young man. That must have been a great visit for the three of you. Love his place and all the character outdoors. His pottery looks beautiful. And beer too.