Before I can tell you all about myself I must first tell you about a man. This man, in particular, was a man who had a certain kind of passion that few could maintain and even fewer could match. This man was my Master, my mentor, and most of all, my friend. His name was Xavier Gonzalez and he had many nicknames, each that was significant to the people whom he loved and who loved him, but to me he was simply “Boss”. The Boss-man Xavier had a passion and commitment for ceramics that surpassed many of the potters that passed through his life. He was bold, he was different and he was very loving. He never stopped throwing, even in the end. I tell you about this man because he meant the world to me and without his guidance and mastery of his craft I would not be the potter, or the man, I am today.
Xavier Gonzalez passed away quietly in mid January of 2016 after suffering from a massive stroke that hit him 2 weeks prior. His health in the 2 years prior to his passing was significantly declining and he pushed me harder and harder to perfect his technique and my skills as his apprentice. I was not only his right hand man, I was his hands. He never stopped throwing because I never stopped throwing for him. He would sit and watch as I created his pottery with his new younger hands and always made sure I was progressing. “If you aren’t progressing then what the hell are you doing here every day?” He would say as he watched me make his pots. I did progress, and under his watchful eye he had taught me not only how to throw with impeccable consistency but every aspect of his business. He saw in me a younger version of himself, I think, and he was always on me to be better, faster, and more consistent. He was not just “Boss” as I called him, he was my Master, a father figure to me, and I loved him dearly. The world was left with a tangible hole in it the day X had a stroke, and an even bigger hole when he passed. He saw in me what no one else saw and for that, “I thank you Boss.” For that I am keeping his dream alive. For that I won’t ever let the wheels stop spinning, because to Xavier Gonzalez there was nothing in this world more important than making Pottery. Thank You X-Man, You will always be remembered and in that memory I will always keep throwing.
Xavier throwing empty bowls in Hawaii
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