Bruce Wright—or ‘Bishop,’ as many people in the Plant City area also know him, because he worked for 15 years as the senior chaplain for Florida Hospital Tampa in Tampa—has a passion for scripture and pottery.
“I am an Anglican bishop and the nickname kind of stuck,” Bruce said.
He has been married to his wife, Elaine Wright, for more than 44 years.
“I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2007,” Bruce said. “Upon retirement, actually disability, from the hospital in 2015, I found myself bored silly. Of course, I was still active in our church, I still hung around with friends at the cigar stores, but the extra free time I used, although unintentionally, [was] driving my wife crazy. A retired art teacher, she suggested I look into pottery.”
The couple started Pottery with Parkinson’s as a way for Bruce to help with his condition and to raise money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
“We started Pottery with Parkinson’s primarily for me for therapy on my cramping hands, arms, etc. after I was first diagnosed in 2007,” Bruce said. “We began offering it for sale to generate a few bucks and also to clear out our rapidly growing inventory. We donate a percentage of everything we sell to the Michael J. Fox Foundation to help find a cure for Parkinson’s.”
Bruce finds inspiration for his pieces from YouTube and Pinterest, but he loves the whole process of making one of them.
“From start of a piece to finally pulling it from the kiln, I love the entire process,” Bruce said. “It forces me to concentrate on the task at hand, which gets my mind off of my myriad aches and pains.”
Scripture influences his pieces as well.
“As I sit at the wheel, I am reminded of the Scripture in Isaiah 64:8, ‘But now, Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you our potter, and all of us are the work of your hand,’” Bruce said. “If given the choice, I would not have chosen to have Parkinson’s disease, but I am encouraged by the fact that God is in charge and He has a plan. He directs the events of my life. As I encounter difficulties, learning to trust in His potters’ hands is tremendously encouraging and reassuring.”
To learn more about Pottery with Parkinson’s or to buy a piece of Bruce’s pottery, visit www.potterywithparkinsons.com or call him at 493-0856.