One Small Voice
by Laura McGaffey
Articles originally published in "The Voice in the Desert"

Red Hot Chili Peppers
October 2004

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As Grace Carini alluded to in her "Ceramics CAN Be FUN" column last month, achieving a clean, pure red glaze on a ceramic piece can be quite challenging. But, I've met a trio of ladies who regularly produce luscious red ceramic chili peppers, as well as yellow, green and orange ceramic chili peppers - all by the bushel.

Carol Goodman and her sister, Donna Jean Bridgewater, and Carol's daughter, Brenda Wittaker, have operated their Chili Pepper Outpost for a year now. After years of enjoyment and practise they've perfected their ceramic techniques and now take their wares on the road to sell in gift around the western states. They also sell their ceramic chili pepper ristras, handrolled ceramic wind chimes, and other southwestern items via their website

Chili Pepper Outpost is run out of Carol's hacienda in Sunizona, across from Ash Creek Elementary School, where I visited with the ladies recently. Even the directions to their property included the instruction to look for the RED painted gate.

One thing immediately clear is that Carol, Donna and Brenda are very well organized and very close to one another. They are also very good at "recycling" - their creative use of an old I.V. pole has actually generated a near feud over who gets to use it, for what and when. They've decided to call a truce and find another one. In one of the production areas they use an old cast iron bathtub in which to cast the slip into the chili pepper molds.

They've discovered that their individual interests, skills and talents mesh perfectly. Each takes pleasure in certain specific tasks that one or both of the others would prefer to avoid. In some serendipitous way, all tasks are completed by the most competent and nobody gets bored or irritated by their work.

I love their creations. I have one of their handrolled windchimes hanging outside my patio door and it sounds wonderful on these breezy days.

They enjoy visitors so drop by anytime. Just remember to look for the red painted gate across from Ash Creek Elementary School. Their phone number is 520-824-3286.