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Exploring the Unforgettable Stories of the Highway Store: A Look Into Its Impact on me as an artist!

When you enter the highway store there are little notes from people who have been to the store and left their mark. It started out with a napkin as I didn't have paper in the store for people to leave notes. Then I would leave a note pad and over the years that has morphed into organic pieces of the brown paper that can wrap the pottery to telling a little something something about the guests. Over 10 years, some notes are faded in the sun, but many still surround the entrance to the little rustic pottery store.

highway pottery store
Highway store entrance with all the notes

There area no guidelines for how to run an honour store on the side of a highway in your yard, so really this store has just morphed over time. I still have the same tin for cash that I put out there, the building is still the same since we made it over ten years ago, and it is still rustic. I put a book in the store so that people could write down their purchase and how they are paying and I ask them to leave a little note on the wall. I consider the messages on the wall and in the book to be love notes to my creativity.

As an artist, I put a lot of love, energy and care into the pieces I make and sell to the general public. I hope that when someone decides on a piece to take home or to gift to someone they feel the energy the piece carries as I made it from a piece of clay and turned it into a beautiful functional piece. The store has become a destination for travelers in Saskatchewan on highway 16. I still get asked, "does it really work?" and yes it does, because as I have always said "people are good". People return and pass on the message that this little store exists and I am thankful each time a new note is left on either the entrance bulletin board or in the book on the desk.

I don't have good tracking of who has stopped or where they are from, so I will be adding another aspect to the highway store. I will be putting up a map of Saskatchewan and Canada and maybe the world so that people can mark on the map where they come from. I am all about the stories and I think a visual representation of the visitors will add to the experience. Did you know I have had people stop from Harvard University, Bronx New York, Alaska, Saskatoon, Victoria, BC, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Australia, Italy and so many places in-between. So time to get that documented on a map. I love to travel, so this is my way to travel the world without leaving my yard. So be ready to stop in next time you are by to let me know where you come from.

Also after reading this blog could you please comment on this blog about your experience at the highway storeor your wish of stopping in someday.

Great news for my Elemental Claycation; April is now booked up and so is June. If you have been looking at dates and trying to decide to commit, let me tell you this spring I have 5 spots for March Claycation and 6 spots for the May Claycation. If you are one of those think ahead type people, know that the dates for the fall have been being looked at and I suspect should be booking up soon. I have set it up now online that you place a $500.00 deposit for your date and then I will invoice you 10 days prior to the experience where you pay the outstanding balance. My inventory is limited since I am only offering a Claycation once a month for 2024 so this way people can put the deposit down for dates far off in the calendar. Each Claycation I do just proves to me that people need to connect to their inner creative again.

Marea Olafson

Freba Pottery


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