STILLWATER, Minn. -- Warren MacKenzie may be a world renown potter, but you won't find much of his own artwork in his home.
"It's much more fun to have other people's pots in the house," he says.
And, he has just one small piece to remind him of his good friend Joan Mondale.
"She'd finish a pot and come out of the kiln and say, 'Oh, this would be good for so and so,"' and she'd give it to them as a Christmas present or birthday or something like that," says MacKenzie.
Warren and his artist wife, Nancy, became good friends with the Mondales while they were still in Washington. He says Joan used her position to promote public art in any way she could.
"She even persuaded the Carters to have a dinner at the White House in which all the serving pieces were hand-crafted ceramics, textiles, etc.," he says.
That passion for public art followed Joan to Japan where her husband, Walter, served as Ambassador. Warren and Nancy followed too.
"She finally found a gallery that really linked what I did and that got me my first show in Japan," MacKenzie says.
In these later years, Joan would drive out to the MacKenzie's with her dog, once a week, make pottery and eat lunch. It got to the point where someone would need to drive her, but she'd still come. And, now, she's gone.
"She had a long enough life to make a really good contribution," says Nancy.
The professional potter and the passionate art lover, it's easy to see how the two fit so impeccably. And what's left behind is not sadness, but rather, a long list of accomplishments and an even longer list of memories.
"She left a lot to celebrate, that's what I'll say."