Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Church

 I had a text from Wesley this morning when I got up that she had gone to church. Her campus is a few blocks away from Old Salem and they have a beautiful Moravian church there. This time of year I feel the pull of Old Salem and I'm so envious that Wesley can just walk over there every day if she wants to. I'm so proud of her that instead of waking up with a hangover from too much Saturday night partying, she got up early and went to church. When I was growing up, there was no question that on Sunday morning you got up and went to church. Same with Gerry since his dad is a Baptist minister. But we didn't raise Wes that way. When she was very small I bought a book called What is God? and I explained to her that there were many different beliefs about religion in the world and many different ways to worship whatever you believed to be "God". I felt like she should make her own choices, rather than being told what she would believe because of our beliefs. She has always been free to explore whatever beliefs she chose to have. Her grandparents have not been so thrilled that we don't go to church, but I tried. It's just not for me.

 My church is a walk in the woods, a day with my family, a good meal. I can find so many ways to feed my soul and I am grateful that my child is finding ways to feed her soul as well. My church today was in my studio listening to great music and finishing up the last of my pieces and loading the kiln. The birds were having a feeding frenzy at the bird feeder, my dog was on the floor snoring and my cat was walking around on him, and the sun was golden coming through the window. Rooster crowing next door.... bliss..... peace. Feeding my soul.....

My tools are now all clean, kiln is loaded, there's a pot of soup on the stove, and it's 5 o'clock somewhere, cheers!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tobacco barns

 I have been holding on to these little tobacco tins for quite awhile waiting for the right thing to come along and inspire me. I also have been hanging on to them because I really like them and don't want to part with them. But I keep buying stuff for my work and if I keep everything I buy that inspires me I am going to turn into a massive hoarder, so off they must go to another home.
 Gerry wandered into my studio this week and plopped one of my little houses on one of the the tins and said it looked like a tobacco barn and now it was on a tobacco tin. I didn't even realize these tins were for tobacco. So, there ya go, thanks Gerry! I like the idea of them being tobacco barns since I live in NC where there are so many of them. I'm not a big fan of tobacco since my dad died from lung cancer and was a massive smoker, but I do love the tobacco fields, the barns and the traditions of the farmer. Too bad that the tobacco crop couldn't cure cancer instead.....
 Now to decide whether I glue the barns on the tins or just use them for display and let the new owner decide if they want them glued on......
 I had a really productive week. I made a list on Monday and just knocked it out.  I have found that if I make a list, it really helps me get more accomplished than if I just work aimlessly on whatever pops in my head. Today is terra sig day, lots of pieces to work on and it's a rainy Saturday, so it will be nice working out in my studio. Gerry has to shoot a Carolina football game, so I will have lots of time alone to finish up. No loading the kiln today in the rain though.....

Friday, September 28, 2012

I almost cried

 Yesterday was one of those days in my studio that I wish I could have every day. The music was good, the clay was perfect, the light was beautiful and my head was in a really good place. I finished this piece above, sat back and nearly cried I was so happy!
 I was able to finish six tiny barns and two larger ones in one day, I think that might be a record. My efficiency with the tiny ones has gotten better and I can make five in about an hour and a half, where as last week when I started them I made two in an hour. Much better!

 I was less fussy with them yesterday and left lots of marks that ordinarily I would clean up more, but I liked the spontaneity of the work and I liked the marks I was leaving.

These two pieces just make me smile. I used old rusty nails, that I got from that barn I helped tear down awhile back, for the posts. These pieces remind me of an old western store with a wooden indian standing out front (don't mean this in a politically incorrect way). I'll have a hard time giving them up. I think I will keep them here until the Carolina Designer Craftsmen show. They will be good company and I can get to know them before I pass them on.
Three more to finish up today, then terra sig and a kiln firing early next week. I am just about right on time for Festifall next weekend without the panic mode kicking in.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bury me like this

My blogger pal Jody sent me an email about these grave houses in Louisiana and I have been reading everything I can find on them. I had never heard of these before, but I want to be buried like this now! I would love to go see these one day.... it would be interesting to make cremation urns like this, hmmmm...
Thanks Jody for the photos!!

 Here's a trailer for a movie made about these houses, enjoy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A different rhythm

 Yesterday had a different rhythm to it. I felt it all day. There was a chill in the air in the morning, so I took a pot of hot tea with me down to my studio, lit some incense and a candle, put on some music and slowly crawled to work. Does your ipod do this? Mine seems to sense the mood of the day and the shuffle songs fit accordingly. I have a lot of very different types of music and yesterday Hank Williams and Ralph Stanley kept coming up in the mix with a little bit of Santana, then when things were getting a little too mellow, some Black Eyed Peas or some Pearl Jam would come on. It kept me in an interesting work rhythm and I got four houses made before I had to leave for my weaving class. Quite a productive day. Last night in class,  I "drew" my heddles.
It took me three hours last week to do the warp board thing and sley my reed, three hours last night to draw my heddle. This is definitely a different rhythm! Six hours of work and I haven't even started to weave! I forgot to bring my camera, but just picture a lot of threads going through tiny holes. I have four harnesses and my pattern was 1-2, 1-4, 2-3, 1-2, and I did this 14 times. Large woman behind me talked the entire time and I found it very hard to concentrate. Normally I would be hating this person by now, but she is actually a very sweet person and I sat there smiling most of the time at some of the crazy shit she was saying, but I am definitely going to have to bring my ipod to drown out the constant chatter. Once again a lesson in not judging people. I imagined what she might be weaving would not be quite my taste, but I took a break and went back to see what she was doing, when she announced to the class that we should see her scarf, it was very pretty, haha! so how could one resist getting up to take a look:)  and you know, she was right, it WAS very pretty, Who knew.....
Today I am making little houses for these guys. They are so funny. I almost want to do roofs to match their outfits but that would require major effort with underglaze or mason stain figuring out and I'm just not into it, so I will stick with what I got for now. I am almost out of all the little treasures I picked up all summer. I'm going to have to go out searching again soon. Off to work now, I'm loving these cooler mornings, happy day everyone!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Helpful comments

 When I wrote the post last week about these little houses so many of you left the most helpful comments and gave me lots to think about. Thanks for all of the great ideas and thoughts, most helpful!
One blogger commented that maybe I shouldn't think about them as Christmas ornaments, because that limited the audience and the price and this is something I never really thought about. So true! So why not make them year round, a few at a time, when I have some tiny objects that might work with them, like this tiny frozen charlotte or the tiny perfume bottle. Great idea! I also liked all of the pricing comments and the idea of them being limited editions and making a different one each year to make them more of a collectible. Maybe I will start numbering them or something like that. Someone also emailed me and mentioned the idea of using old ribbons and lace for the hanger, love that! Lots of potential for new ideas, so thank you all for your wonderful thoughts on that topic. Here is where it took me...... and then I made six more and didn't make them with a resentful, what the hell am I spending so much time on these for. I approached making them with a whole new point of view, thanks to all you bloggers!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What not to do

 I took down a post I wrote yesterday because I was home alone having my usual pity party the day before my birthday as usual. What is it about the day before my birthday that just about pushes me over the edge every year? I wrote a snarky post and at least had the good sense to take it down before I regretted it. What not to do? Write a post when you are crying! Thankfully, I talked to my very wise daughter and she straightened my head out. I should have just joined Peter here in the weeds with the pipe, haha! My pal Laura gave me this awesome sketch book today. She made it from an old record album and some beautiful handmade papers.
 I was feeling all sorry for myself because Wes was telling me that she couldn't come home from school and Gerry was telling me that he would just take me shopping, that he didn't get me anything for my birthday, (They were trying to surprise me with Wes coming home, but I don't like that, don't surprise me like that again!). I was home all alone and could feel that dark place I can slip into so easily coming closer and closer. I cried a bunch and then Wesley called and I told her all this and she quickly reminded me that it's not about the material things and how right and wise she is.
It's about this: The two people that are the most important in my life and getting to be with them.
 And it's about this, having friends that make me laugh and that listen to my whining and tell me to shut the fuck up, that I'm ok.
 It's about having a great meal or a beer with really good people, or a cup of turkish coffee then pouring the grounds into the saucer and reading your fortune. Wesley saw a pig with antenna, Laura saw a bunny and a flaming heart, I just looked at what they saw!
 And it's about having a daughter that is the most special person I have ever met that makes me beautiful cards.  Read this and tell me if you cried like I did:

 I did get some material goods, going on my fourth Timbuk 2 bag here, I love this new one. And I got a keyboard for my ipad, because I cannot type on the thing.
But mostly I had a wonderful day with Gerry and Wesley and my two good friends Bob and Laura. We had an amazing turkish meal at Tallulahs in Chapel Hill. I borrowed this photo from Laura's blog because my camera overexposed most of the ones I took.
I had thought about inviting a bunch of people to get together, but I find that the older I get the harder it is for me to concentrate when there are a lot of people around and it exhausts me trying to talk with everyone. I also find that if I plan things too far in advance I back out of doing them. So I much prefer spur of the moment planning and spending time with just a few folks, and I have a month full of things coming up to do with different friends.
I am very blessed to have such great friends, a very talented and interesting husband that I never cease to be amazed by, and this daughter that is growing into such a beautiful young woman. Why on Earth would I ever need to go to the mall to get something for my birthday when I have all of this?! and why do I continue to have this unreasonable expectation for September 23, when every year turns out so great, we always end up having a good time, but the day before just totally fucks me up. I'll tell you one of my suspicions is that I never had a real birthday party as a kid, my mom always got a neighbor to bake a cake, and lots of other stupid things happened on my birthday that I still don't deal with very well in my subconscious. But my poor family pays the price every year. Sorry, ya'll.... sigh......
But, one last thing, I do have friends that make great art and great pottery, so there are those gifts to be had in case anyone wonders, hint hint...
Thanks Gerry, Wesley, Bob and Laura for a really special birthday number 52, I had a GREAT day!!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sink Drain Day

Thought this was worth a post, a typical day at my sink......
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My days are almost never dull

 Last night I downloaded the photos I shot yesterday and had to laugh at how full my day was without me even realizing it. My Wednesday went something like this. Gerry got up and made coffee and headed out the door to spend the day traveling with Michele Obama, I love her, wish I could have gone along! Then Alison came by to pick up her pocket watch piece, brought her friend Michele and we had a great time visiting with each other.  I had an email from Lark and Key that this egg nest barn has a new home and I got two checks in the mail from The Bascom. So the day started off nicely. I packed up my pieces for the Politically Charged show at Cedar Creek Gallery and headed up north to Creedmoor, about an hour from my house. Beautiful day, beautiful drive, BEAUTIFUL gallery. I spent a couple of hours there looking around and talking with some of the resident artists and the gallery manager. You would have a hard time finding nicer people on this planet. That place is filled with a joy for life and art like no other. I always love going up there. I took a few pottery pics, and will sort them out and post them later.

 The gardens were in full bloom and everything you look at there is eye candy.
 I love the way Cedar Creek goes out and finds really great work and supports artists from all over as well as local folks. They have all of the work labeled nicely with the artist so you get to know the person that made the work. Really, they put a lot of extra effort in selling art there. I am very honored to have been asked to be in this show.
 On the way home, I took an exit to get something to eat, and somehow took a wrong turn heading home and ended up north in Roxboro! WHA..... if you look on a map, you will know that I was a very long way from home. I pulled off the road to check out my paper map, yes I know, I am the only person alive right now without a GPS,my mom even has one! I looked up and realized I had pulled into the United Church of the Metaphysical. Well of course I did?!

 I would be very curious about these services, might be another interesting adventure! I like the sound of the spirit messages, hmmmmm..... and I love the names here of the ministers, you would just have to be a great person with names like those! So, anyway, when Gerry finished up with Michele, (that's what we call her, because she comes here a lot and Gerry is getting to spend a lot of time with her, haha! ) he called and said a friend of his from college days was playing in Asheboro and would I like to go. Sure Whynot, and that question prompted me to call my pals in Whynot, who live near Asheboro and like beer as much as I do.

We also had a friend from college that just happened to be farm sitting in Siler City, which was on the way to Asheboro, so we stopped and picked up Wade and off we went to the big doings in town. Mark and Meredith were there waiting on us, we grabbed a table and had a really nice evening with our old and our new friends. Life doesn't get much better than this! My photos from outside suck, it was so dark and I wasn't about to start using a flash :)

Jeff Brown and Gerry were in a band together in college. Jeff is just about one of the most talented guitar players you will ever meet. There are lots of reasons he is not touring with a really famous band, but he should be! It's always such a pleasure to get together with him and his partner John. We had such a nice visit with them.
The Lumina Wine And Beer bar is in downtown Asheboro. This might not seem like a big deal but it is. When we were in school in Asheboro, it was a dry town, which meant we had to drive to another town miles away to buy beer and wine. None of the restaurants served alcohol. But now they do and there are little bars popping up everywhere. Apparently the townsfolk are taking advantage of it, I saw two people fall down last night, haha! It was a pretty wasted crowd, and Gerry even mentioned some of the people there he recognized from when his band used to play at private clubs in town.
So, Wednesday was a pretty happening day and we got home around 11pm. It's so fun to spend time with people that make you laugh and make you think and seem interested in your life. I am very blessed to have so many interesting people to spend time with. Gerry and I seem to have collected quite a menagerie of friends along our journey. They are all very different and some have crazy ways, but we love them and their crazy ways, it makes the journey all the more fun! and yes, Corky, if you are reading this, we missed having you with us last night! It would have been perfect if you had been there with us, xo

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My first weaving class

 I started my weaving class last night at the Art's Incubator in Siler CIty. It's about a 45 minute drive for me and last night I drove it in a torrential downpour both there and back. But it was so worth it. I like this weaving thing, I think I might see a loom in my future! The teacher is amazing, very smart, very easy to be with and very well known around these parts, as they say. Her name is Jean Vollrath and I am going to learn a lot from her. The class is full, there are ten of us, and I'm not sure how she kept from screaming last night. Everyone had questions and everyone is at a different skill level, I am on the bottom of the rung, since I only know what a loom actually is, I do know what weft and warp and thread are as well, but that's about it. There is one rather large woman with a very large voice that she seems quite fond of using and that is going to require earplugs and a good playlist on my ipod. She confirmed that I am probably a sociopath and prefer to be alone most of the time :) It is a room full of chatty women which got on my very last nerve. However they are all very nice women and I kept reminding myself of that. I was the last one to leave last night. As one elderly lady passed by me on her way out the door, she patted me on the shoulder and said "good luck to you dear", in a very kind way. I had not even seen her in the class. That was just the best!
 I learned to wrap a warp board. What a meditative and calming experience that was. I wrapped my warp around these pegs 73 times and there was math involved, which I let the teacher do. I will have to learn math and I don't do that!

 Then I learned to thread a reed. Another calming and meditative state of mind. I like all these knot tying things and threading things and just touching fiber things.
 I was emailed a worksheet so I brought it on my ipad for reference. It sort of looked like Chinese calligraphy to me, and there was more math, ick! I will be making a 4 huck scarf with 5/2 cotton on a four harness loom. I have no idea what this means, but it sounds like I know what I'm talking about doesn't it? haha! Next week I will thread my heddles and get busy....
 The loom on the left by the lady in the orange shirt is mine. It's so cute, and not very intimidating, like some of the bigger ones in the class. I like it:) I'm not sure why I took such a crappy photo of it though..
 The studio is in a very old building which I love. Around the perimeter of the space, there are several artists with painting studios set up and some really nice work in progress in each of them.
 Of course I loved this encaustic piece. I would like to own this one.

and I want to make this one day. Last night I kept thinking back to my first clay class. I remember walking through Clayworks in Charlotte with my teacher, Fran Brown and wondering what the hell she was talking about. "This is where you put your cone 6 work, these are the bisque shelves, this is for cone 10, wedge your clay here", wha..... it all started sounding like Charlie Brown's mother, wha wha wha wha.....  and I started to wonder what I was getting myself into. I'm surprised I stuck with it. It was a very long and difficult road to get where I am right now with clay. But this weaving class was a different experience. I knew what to expect. I knew that I was clueless and that I wouldn't be by the end of the eight weeks. I am in the hands of a very good teacher and she will guide me and I will soon be able to make something beautiful. It's the learning that I love. So many new terms and techniques and ways to use my hands. Time to just sit and let my mind flow with the thread. If only everyone would just be quiet. Why do women have to chit chat so much!
Last night I had a bunch of weird dreams, so much rambling around in my head. The last one was just before I woke up. I dreamed I was taking care of Gayle King's baby (Oprahs' friend that is on the CBS morning show) and it had six toes on one foot and it cried all the time and she only fed it iced tea. Hmmm.... where did that come from?!
Good day all. I am passing on the pocket watch piece to it's owner today and heading out to Cedar Creek Gallery to drop off the Politically Charged pieces which are hardly charged at all, but maybe just a little bit. I suppose there will be people that come up with metaphors for them as usual. I just make them, the metaphors are on their own!
peace ya'll