Manhattan, New York City
Three hundred and seventy three miles away from home, wandering about the trendy SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan; amidst the buildings that are higher, streets that are wider, and steaks that are thicker; amidst all this commotion; a young man discovers his passion for creation; his passion for pottery.
Hertel Avenue, Buffalo
Sixteen years later, it is in this Little Italy of ours, in a newly expanded space, flanked by beautiful red and black awnings, adorned by art from over sixty different fine craft artists; that I meet Greg Link, Ceramic Artist and Owner of Cone Five Pottery.
When asked about his formal training, his answer is “almost none”. A six week class was enough to tell him that he was a natural at pottery. But being natural was not enough for this perfectionist artist, so he shut himself in his studio on Rhode Island St. for almost three years, his only companions being several books on the subject and a potter’s wheel. In his own words “I would end up smashing pretty much everything I made”. The laborious efforts paid off, and soon Greg saw himself moving from his old studio to a work studio-cum-gallery space on Allen followed by Elmwood, and eventually finding its current home on Hertel.
His attention to detail and finesse is demonstrated as soon as he brings out a ceramic cone to explain the meaning of his gallery’s name (the temperature of the kiln is determined by these ceramic cones. When the fourth cone is completely bent and the fifth cone starts to slump, the temperature of the kiln has reached 2120 degrees F, perfect temperature the kiln is fired to).
While being a business owner, creating and selling your art might be enough for most, Greg did not stop here. After establishing himself as a master craftsman, he decided it was time to give back to his community. So he went out of his way to support as many local artists as he could, by providing a home to their art, be it ceramics, glass, wood, metal or jewelry, in his gallery. Another aspect of his work is the embodiment of Frank Llyod Wright’s mantra of “Form Follows Function”. This artist wants people to incorporate his art, his pottery in their daily life activities. Enter very clean and tastefully done bowls, vases, sconces, platters and what not.
So here it is, another gem in our lovely neighborhood. And if pottery does not happen to be your thing, how does the idea of owning something that is one-of-a-kind, lovingly, thoughtfully, painstakingly and proudly made in Buffalo sound to you?
Worth a shot, isn’t it?