The "Mama of Dada"
I had known of Beatrice Wood's work for years, and being an admirer, I decided to take the time to drive to her studio over a July 4th weekend. I left San Francisco in the morning and arrived in Ojai just after noon. I hadn't called but just thought if I show up at least I might meet her, even if she wouldn't allow me to make photographs. When I knocked on the door "Beato" answered and even though I told her I could come back and had planned to stay in Los Angeles for the weekend, she said that since I was there, why not make the photographs then. I spent three hours wandering through her home and studio, and "Beato" even threw a large bowl for me to photograph. At one point she led me to a small room that had a Macintosh computer set-up on a table, and I was stunned. They were new, I had never seen one before, and when I asked what "a potter" was doing with a computer, she took great enjoyment in showing me the beginnings of her autobiography "I Shock Myself". In the years after this meeting I received notes occaisionally to let me know of a gallery or magazine that would be showing her work, with the contact information. This image was published on the cover of the Oakland Art Museum magazine in an issue devoted to a retrospective exhibition of art and ceramics by Beatrice Wood in 1989. Beato was an amazing, generous and wonderful individual.