Al and I met when I waas 17 and he was 19, two weeks after I graduated from St Peter's High School for Girls in Staten Island, New York. Al was going into his junior year at Wagner College. Our first date was a 5 cent Ferry ride on the Staten Island Ferry, but things did improve after that.
We were married in 1970, when I was 19 and Al 21, just after his college graduation and two weeks before he entered Army Intelligence. While Al was stationed at the Pentagon, I worked at a local art store and found a potter, Elizabeth Northern, to apprentice with. Al had studied pottery at Wagner College.
In 1973, we moved to the Pocono Mountains so Al could get his Masters in Environmental Science at East Stroudsburg University. We became caretakers of a 300 acre farm, with two barns, a lake and stream, and proceeded to fill the barns Noah style with animals of every description, fur and feather. We opened or pottery studio in 1973.
The origin of our studio name came about when we were sitting by the stream on the farm trying to come up with an original name...all the good ones were taken. Suddenly, a baby groundhog fell into the stream, thrashing and flailing...so Al rescued the little guy, pumped its little chest, and it curled around his feet to rest. As soon as we knew it was ok, Al put it in the field, where the ungrateful groundhog invited all his friends and relatives to come live on the farm and eat our garden, flowers, and herbs. That's how we got Groundhog Blues.
Working together for 35 years has allowed us to produce both a functional line of dinnerware, with our trademark carving of mountains and trees being our most popular design. Throwing each piece by hand allows us to do custom orders.
Loving animals, Helen has deeloped a unique sculptural technique starting with the potters wheel, and does custom sculptures and covered jars from pictures.
|Allen & Helen Weichman | Groundhog Blue Pottery, Sculpture | Mountain Spring Drive | 570 629-0208|