NOW OPEN FOR THE 2022 SEASON
During Covid some people took up cooking, some people got a puppy, and some people created magic – like the Island Folk Pottery Sculpture Trail in Chilmark. Local artist Heather Geoff and potter Bill O’Callaghan worked together to create an experience unlike any other on Martha’s Vineyard.
Getting to Island Folk Pottery is a mini adventure in and of itself. Off of Middle Line Road, you feel as though you are going someplace special, someplace not known by many, a hidden adventure. When you arrive, you are immediately met by colorful and whimsical works of pottery.
Heather creates beautiful folk-inspired pottery and tiles. She also is the writer, creating the stories for the sculpture trail and the story circle, at Island Folk Pottery. Bill, from Cork Ireland, grew up surrounded by ancient Celtic tales of fairies, woodland sprites and the power of nature.
Island Folk Pottery Sculpture Trail
The Island Folk Pottery Sculpture Trail is not far from the pottery shop and studio. Over Covid, Heather and Bill cleared a circular collection of trails on her Chilmark property. Simply follow the signs and walk through the gate to a world far removed from the everyday.
All along the trail, there are so many things to discover. From watching trees, to woodland sprites to dragons (my favorite) to musicians to incredible creatures made from driftwood from local beaches. Oh and don’t forget to look up!
As I slowly walked the trail, I tried to admire each piece of art I found. Some creatures were so charming and others felt a little dark to me. However, I enjoyed how connected to nature they all were. I stopped to read the descriptions and when asked to do something, like sing or direct energy, I did. The trail is such an escape, harkening back to simpler times. To a time when there was a strong connection to nature. You can see the Celtic lore from Bill’s childhood captured in his sculpted pieces.
You feel worlds away at this Chilmark experience. I would imagine that you can discover new things about the trail each time you visit – all the surprise elements in the trees or along the ground or nestled in ancient stone walls.
When Heather and Bill created the sculpture trail, they did not know just how much joy they would bring to people. It was something for people and families to do during COVID, something that brought joy to so many. The most fun thing about this trail for Heather and Bill is when they hear children and adults singing songs and reading the stories, and of course everyone’s laughter. They have created a gift to the community, one that lets one’s imagination run wild.
The Island Folk Sculpture Trail is open from the beginning of May until the weekend after Thanksgiving. Don’t forget to visit the Island Folk Pottery Shop while there. Chances are you will run into either Heather or Bill there, and most likely their Irish Wolfhound puppy. To learn more about Island Folk Pottery and for directions to the trail, click here.
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