Chuck Watson said a move to Lawrence made sense as his 40-year career as a high school art teacher was nearing its end.
“I’ve always liked Lawrence,” he said. “When I was teaching in Kansas City, Kan., I lived in Basehor. I spent most of my time in Lawrence, so I decided I might as well live here. There are so many artists here to watch and learn from.”
On Saturday, Watson was focused on his pottery wheel with a space heater providing heat on a cool, blustery day. But he also was looking ahead to Sunday, when he expects to bring some blown glass and pottery to the fourth-annual Holiday Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Community Building, 115 W. 11th St.
“It will be my first one,” he said of the show. “I’m excited to see what kind of crowd there is.”
Watson will be one of 106 vendors at the Holiday Bazaar, said Duane Peterson, Lawrence Parks and Recreation special events facilities and operations supervisor.
“We’re completely full,” he said. “We’ll use the entire building — the main floor and the basement.”
All the vendors will be selling items they created, Peterson said. Those attending will find lots of jewelry, pottery and seasonal crafts, as well as homemade pies, fudge and other treats, he said. Sandbar Subs will offer breakfast in the morning and sandwiches later in the day, he said.
“It’s one of the first holiday shows,” Peterson said. “It’s a great show for families to come out to do some early Christmas shopping.”
The local art scene has kept Watson’s creativity stirring since he moved six years ago to Lawrence. For years, he has created functional porcelain tableware pieces, and he's recently started working with the Japanese style of glazing known as raku.
“If all you do is make the same thing all day, every day, it wouldn’t be fun,” he said.
Watson is about to make an annual seasonal shift in his creative output.
“When it gets too cold, I move inside and start painting combat airplanes,” he said. “I’ve got about four sketches I’m working up for people.”