Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Discovering Comfort~~Mata Ortiz Pottery and More

Discovering COMFORT~~ A Photo Essay
On the Road to Comfort


Comfort Crockery~~Fine & Useful Original Arts,
402 Seventh St., Comfort, Texas

Gallery Hours in December 2011~~Tues. -- Sat. 10 to 5, Sun.-- 1 to 5

Welcome from Owner~~Roci Brawner

Landscape Paintings by Cindy Morawski at the Crockery

Beautiful Display on Exhibit now at the Comfort Crockery
Mata Ortiz Pottery
from the collecion of Mary Frances
December 7 - 23, 2011

"Their imagery evokes Op Art, M.C. Escher and computer chips in combination with plumed serpents and macaws."
~~William Gilbert

The village of Juan Mata Ortiz is located in the northern part of Chihuahua, Mexico, less than 100 miles from the Mexico-U.S. border. In this small village of approximately 2000 people, a truly remarkable artistic tradition has developed in the last 30 years. 

The potters of Mata Ortiz combine both intellectual and aesthetic elements.  They have re-created their ancestral symbols as well as shown a refined creation of original and creative contemporary art. 

The Mata Ortiz Collection of Mary Frances presently on display at the Comfort Crockery shows an impressive number of pieces.  There are 10 in the front of the store and 67 pieces of pottery in a special exhibit in the back of the gallery.  They are not only on view for the public, but they can be purchased as well.   If you'd like more information, call 830.995.5299 or e-mail Roci at



  •      SEASONS LANDSCAPE PAINTINGS by Cindy Morawski~~New Art Work

  • THE PHOTOGRAPHY of  GHOST RANCH, NEW MEXICO by Cindy Morawski~~ October 2011

**The price of each calendar is $15.00, which includes tax.  Please email or call me if you're interested.  They make original gifts for the Holidays! 


~~ Studio Phone:  210.522.0706




Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wilkome to a Glimpse into the Past~~Photos and Narrative of Castroville, Texas

Medina River from the Bridge in Castroville

Glenn Nuyttens, Landmark Inn's Tour Guide, explaining about the Founding of Castroville
Allie, the Rickshaw Man, setting a World Record and stopping for a Chat

The Steinbach House, Museum at 100 Karm Street
DayTrippers, group photo at the Landmark Inn~~Say~~Alsatian!
Feline Wilkome, along with assistant Maria, to the Albro's Garden Shop on Fiorella Street
Medina River's December Reflections along Hwy 90

Historic Moye Center and Retreat

Picket Fence Leading to an Historic Home

Facing Houston Square, a Glimpse into the Past
Cheri Hoog, Castroville Resident, embracing Alsatian History
Travels to Castroville, Past and Present
by Cindy Morawski

Where can you find Texas History, natural beauty, fine dining, and more?  Hint:  It's only a day away by horse and wagon or by car it's only about a half an hour from San Antonio.  The historic town of Castroville, founded in 1844 by Frenchman Henri Castro, is a worthwhile stop for travelers and visitors alike. 

Traveling by present-day car, I joined my BSW DayTripper friends and headed to Castroville on December 1, 2011.  Our first stop landed us at the Landmark Inn, a state Historic Site, where we learned about the commercial side of this once-bustling city from tour guide Glenn Nuyttens.  Castroville's growing influence in early Texas started with having roots in mills of various types~~a cotton gin, a lumber mill, and a grist mill, all located on the Medina River.  Attracting commerce and colonists, this made it one of the largest towns in Texas in the 1800's. 

Surprises galore!  While making discoveries about Castroville's past, we presently came upon an ex-Marine named Allie and his loyal dog Roxy.  Allie's Rickshaw Trek, starting in California, will set a new Guiness World Record.  He's bound for Miami and then onto Washington, DC, to be met by the president.  He has a dream, and he's proving that America is still a great country.  He told us that he has met gracious and generous people along the way in his travels.  We had the pleasure of hearing some of his stories along the Medina River last Thursday.  If you want to learn more about his adventures, check out his website:  Best of Luck to you, Allie and Roxy!

While continuing our walking tour with Castroville resident, Cheri Hoog, we enjoyed more colorful stops along the way.  Across the bridge from the Landmark Inn, we found the Steinbach House.  This present-day museum was originally built in Wahlbach, France, between 1618 and 1648.  It was relocated to Castroville in 1998.  Now it's open for tours Monday through Friday from 9 to 5. 

Another noteworthy stop included the St. Louis Catholic Church, at 610 Madrid Street.  Built between 1868 and 1870 under the organization of Father Peter Richard, it looks out on Houston Square.  Its chapel near the Moye Retreat Center has even an earlier building date of 1844.  If you get a chance to go inside the St. Louis Church, you won't be disappointed.  Beautiful stained glass windows and statues await you!

Moving along to some of the shops of the city, our touring group came upon Albro's House and Garden on Fiorella Street.  Owned by Ward and Tot Albro, it originally was an old saloon, relocated to its present-day site.  From 1920 until 1994, it had been a blacksmith shop.  The outhouse in the back, surrounded by lavendar, also has an historic note.  It was built by the WPA in 1930.  Look for Manchita, Spanish for Little Patches, the calico cat in the shop.  Maria and Tot will also be glad to help you find what you're looking for. 

All that walking gave us an appetite.  We were happy to dine at the Castroville Cafe at high noon.  This 1884 Victorian house is located on September Square which is the original location of the Henri Castro Homestead.  Serving delicious sandwiches, soups, salads, and more, you can enjoy your meal while surrounded by fine art in this lovely restaurant.   It's open from 11 to 2, and it's located at 309 Lafayette with both an outdoor porch and an inviting garden patio for lunch seating as well. 

All in all, a day out in Castroville, gave me a chance to connect to both past and present.  What a beautiful place to visit!  And, only a short drive from San Antonio . . . hope you'll make your own discoveries!


PS:   If you're looking for a unique gift this Christmas, consider a calendar.  I have two to choose from:  Seasons~~ 2012 Art Calendar, New Landscape Paintings, and Photography of Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, another Art Calendar for 2012.  Just email or call me for more details.  I can mail it, deliver it in person, or you can come by my studio to pick it up.   or  studio:  210.522.0706.