Monday, May 15, 2017

One cup at a time


I am working with Frost Porcelain that fires white at cone 5. It continues to entice me with its translucence charm and white porcelain smile.   It is a shameless, taunting clay.  Prone to s-cracks, it likes to try out any other letters in the alphabet to keep things frustrating and unique.   It needs   s  l  o  w  and careful drying.  Timing is everything.  Even firing needs careful attention. In a sense, it is an adventure for me.  Filled with danger and daring.  To use such a clay with so many negatives and yet...when it comes out the kiln, shiny bright with no charms all over again...and makes me ready for another adventure...

looking out the studio window

Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, 
the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.  
Maya Angelou

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Ceramic forget-me-not

Beauty surrounds me.  Seeds that sat in the dry and parched earth had their long drink and now cover the trails with a profusion of pinks, blues, reds, purples, yellow and white flowers.  From tiny to large, from native to escapees, invasive or not, the coastal hills are verdant green with willful grasses and tenacious flowers. It is hard to do any clay work.  My eyes just want to take it all in and keep it in my heart, this truth before me. 

The first three photos are wall hangings---wheel-thrown bases and then free-handed painting using terra sigillata and clay ink.  Inspired by the enchanting forget-me-nots that are everywhere here, I decided to do these quickly and simply.  Forget-me-nots are not native, but rascally run-aways and considered only mildly invasive.  Their hairy seeds catch rides on anything that brushes against them and travel to new locations. Once they settle in it takes two years before they bloom. They like dapple sunlight found in the redwood forest here, mixed in with the ferns and wild geraniums they make the trails look as if tended by a master gardener.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Returning to clay

spoons and mugs

Kind of fuzzy photo...but I am coming back into focus soon :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Working in an Imaginary Studio

quails running down the road towards my house

It took only 30 days from open house to final closing and handing over the keys.  The house even went through a short bidding war.  The buyers were so happy and eager to move in.  We donated some furniture to the botanical gardens pack rat sale and my first Skutt 818 kiln to a newbie potter.  I then wrapped up my vegetable container garden consisting of one "Better Boy" tomato plant and headed north.  We made it safely here, my kilns, my pottery wheel and ceramics.  My buddy "Better" now sits out on the picnic table next to my temporary outdoor studio.

black-tailed deer hanging out by future studio

Building the indoor studio got delayed because the one acre lot next to us came up for sale and we bought it. My thoughts ran into building a tiny home-studio on wheels (no property tax increase.)   Then I realized I really need a proper studio with a solid floor and a sink.  A small wood stove in the corner for those 300 days per year of cool mornings.  The south wall...a garage door with glass so I can roll it up on sunny days or more likely, foggy days.  When it's down the natural light will stream in.

Shirley Poppies glorious in the morning fog

I don't know if I would get any work done.  Maybe it will turn out too perfect.  I won't want to mess it up with clay bits and glaze making. Perhaps working in my imaginary studio is more fun on paper and in the mind.  When all is said and done, all I need is a little space, a work table, a bag of clay and a small kiln.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Walk in Wild Beauty

Walk in Beauty
20" x 17" x 5"
Earthenware and porcelain, terra sigillata, engobes, glazes

Half of me is filled with bursting words and half of me is painfully shy.  I crave solitude yet also crave people.  I want to pour life and love into everything yet also nurture my self-care and go gently.  I want to live within the rush of primal, intuitive decision, yet also wish to sit and contemplate.  This is the messiness of life---that we all carry multitudes, so must sit with the shifts.  We are complicated creatures, and ultimately, the balance comes from this understanding.  Be Water.  Flowing, flexible and soft.  Subtly powerful and open.  Wild and serene.  Able to accept all changes, yet still led by the pull of steady tides.  It is enough.                
~Victoria Erickson (writer of Edge of Wonder: Notes from the Wildness of Being)

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