Emmys Awarded to Producers of Vermont Public Television’s ‘Headline Vermont’
Vermont Public Television (VPT), Vermont’s statewide public television network, has added another golden statuette to its awards case. The producers of “Headline Vermont” won Emmys at the 34th annual Boston/New England awards held May 14 in Boston. The film chronicled Vermonters’ passion for newspapers from the frontier era into the 20th century.
The Emmy for Historical/Cultural Program/Special went to Daniel Lyons, producer; Enzo Di Maio, executive producer; and Nate Huffman, videographer/editor. “Headline Vermont” premiered on VPT last December. It is available on DVD and as video on demand at http://www.vpt.org/learn/vpt-productions 
“Headline Vermont” was funded by Vermont Public Television, Vermont Humanities Council and the Windham Foundation.
Artist creates pottery with emotion
Ceramicist Allison Petroski remembers the first urn she created three or four years ago.
It was a funerary container containing the ashes of Pudge, the family Lhasa Apso.
“My mother was devastated when he died and people were cremating their pets and carrying those memories with them. I told her I’d make her a horsehair urn, and she still has it up on a shelf with his collar around the top,” Petroski said.
In her Shringar Pottery studio in Saratoga Springs, the ceramicist has blended her exploration of Eastern culture and spirituality with her clay vessels. While her creations were originally intended for holding precious memories, Petroski said she is expanding their purpose to be used for whatever people want.
A vessel might just add a decorative accent on a bookcase or it could become a devotion pot in which someone can write down secret wishes on a slip of paper and put it in a meditation room.
“I leave that up to them, but I’m putting a loving energy into the pot for the entire process. Clay is one of the only art forms that uses all five elements throughout the whole process. The transformation that the clay goes through from nothing on the wheel to a vessel through a fire to a harder state, I try and keep that energy in my own heart as I create the pot,” Petroski said.
The ceramicist found the word “shringar” in a book she was researching and liked that it honored the beauty of a woman’s creativity. She opened Shringar Pottery after finishing her education at Burlington College in Vermont three years ago.
She said she was never drawn to making dishes but rather wanted to create decorative pieces. She liked making pieces that could be used to honor loved ones who had passed.
Petroski makes pen and ink mehndi designs, similar to what Indian women draw on their hands with the henna plant, or carves Sanskrit mantras onto the pots if people want to use them for spiritual practice. She also does raku and saggar firings.
Her works run from $50 to $1,000.
Her horsehair raku urns are especially popular.
“You take the pot out of the kiln at 1800 degrees and you just lay hair or any organic material on this scalding hot surface and it leaves a carbon imprint with these black lines,” she said.
Petroski often listens to mantras while she is making her black-and-white pots, seldom incorporating colors into her designs because
they just don’t “flow” with her.
“There’s some symbolism behind it — if I wanted to look that deeply into it. Everything comes down to that duality, that black and white of life, the negative and positive. The designs speak for themselves. They’re powerful enough without added color,” she said.
For as much focused positive energy she pours into
her art, Petroski said she purposely doesn’t form a connection with her creations. She periodically
takes pots from her practice runs and sells them at a discount.
“Clay is an amazing lesson in non-attachment,” she said. “You can’t keep them all. I get rid of what doesn’t serve me anymore.”