Friday, February 10, 2012

Bruce Michael Winn 1959-2012

Holding an object in your hands often makes an abstract idea real. I lost a dear friend recently and it wasn't a reality till I held the bookmark for his memorial service in my hand today.
Bruce Winn had the biggest and strongest hands I've ever seen. Which made perfect sense because he was a ceramics artist. He worked in clay with a textile designers sensibility. Lush, intricate patterns rippled over his thick, sexy slabbed clay. His love for asian color balance and William Morris pattern was evident in all his fine art and production work. 
Bruce and his husband Mike, were clients first and friends immediately after meeting. Talented in so many ways, one of Bruce's best art forms was picking friends. Interns from over 25 years ago are still part of the family of artists he's nurtured with Mike. The choices he made in friends showed the most in his last year of life. When hearing the news of his cancer a steady stream of peeps made their way to his sunny bedroom in Tiverton to help, hang out, quilt, read, eat, and paint. While holding court a floor away from his kitchen, Bruce knew it's inventory and took care of guests as he always had. "I think there's a few more slices of banana bread left" or my favorite "I think Grey's ice cream doesn't close for an hour. Chocolate would be nice with the orange zest cupcakes"
My times with him in the last few year were underscored with his gratitude. Whether we were reading, drawing, or watching Glee he often turned to me and said "Thank you so much. This is so wonderful to be together. I love you"  He taught me many things but maybe the most cherished, is artists have to create to feel alive. Even when they are knocked off their feet. And creating things for friends to see, hold, taste and enjoy may be the best reality we have. 
His memorial celebration will be held February 12 at 1:00 on the first floor gallery space at 1 West Street, Fall River where Bruce, Mike and many of us share studio space.

Bruce, Mike and a few pals were patient models for us at shoot in the church, just after Bruce was diagnosed. So happy we have these to share.


  1. So sorry you lost your friend :( :(
    Beautiful photos of someone who looks so very, very kind and sweet.

  2. Beautiful words and pictures!

    <3 Darrien

  3. Sorry for your loss of a great friend...


  4. I was coming to see if there was a birth announcement and instead, sadly, there was this sorry to hear -- I'd only popped into their shop in Tiverton once or twice and adored the simple elegance of their work. He looks like he was a special man and friend, charming and dear.