I’ve known Colleen and Jamie Zane Smith for a number of years. Jamie is a ceramic artist and Colleen is a naturalist. Colleen has written several stories for 573 Magazine and when they sent over an invitation to an outdoor art opening — well, we were there.
Colleen and Jamie and their kids live outside Steelville. Jamie is an artist, father, husband and naturalist, Colleen is an herbalist, homeschooling mother, wife, writer, self-proclaimed steward of the earth, and an artist as well.
...to truly be human.
They are a true enigma in 2021, in a way somehow they have managed to live most simply, yet still being a part of today's society. They grow and make wild kraft foods, they make their own medicines and they are building their own all-natural home in the woods — taking the time to understand what it means to truly be human.
...a Wyandot Potter.
While Colleen is busy promoting wild food and medicines of The Ozarks, Jamie is busy making the most wonderful pottery. Jamie is what is called a Wyandot Potter. He’s a descendent of the Wyandot Indians, a creative Native American tribe that still exists today. Wyandot-style pottery is made of small hand-rolled natural clay which Jamie and his uncle Richard Zane Smith quarry themselves and fire the traditional ways. They stack coils of clay the same way their ancestors did in prehistoric times and then paint and fire the pots in an open fire — a long, slow all day and night event. Some of the pots are so detailed take on an appearance of woven baskets or worked leather until you look more closely and realize you are holding a clay pot.
Watching Richard work the fire while Jamie talked with guests and Colleen talked of Ozark herbs and medicines, made for an amazing art opening, the likes of which I had never experienced. It was bright, open and filled with the smells of flowers, foods and of course the potters' fire.
a time and place where there is no dualism between people and nature.
The most important thing about their work is retaining a sense of form inspired by ancients, yet the pieces speak to today’s world. It was an all-inspiring day for me. Was it just an illusion or can there really be a time and place where there is no dualism between people and nature.