Thursday, May 30, 2013

Time out

Heading out to western NC for some cool mountain air. I'll be sitting here for awhile, back soon...........

Monday, May 27, 2013

Commissions only

 I finished up the commission for the Principal of Woods Charter School. I'm pleased with how it turned out, and mostly pleased that it didn't kill itself. The best part though, was the collaboration with Wesley on this one.
I'm only making these barns now from commissions. I see no point in making any more just to make them and I don't really want to make anymore just to fill up shelves.  I want them to mean more than that, so I have to find something else to put on the shelves. No idea what that is right now. I'm sort of lost in clay world. I'm sort of lost in the world in general right now. I am wandering aimlessly, looking at the way the sun shines on the fern on my porch, wondering at the silly wren building a nest at my front door where my cat can jump up and eat the babies, loving the cool air on my skin, amazed by the blue of the sky in Chapel Hill. But not much going on in the creative part of my brain. It's empty, yet I feel very full, except in the pockets where money should be. Those are not so full...... sigh.......
I went into an Anthropologie store while I was at the beach and their shelves are full of pottery, some made by bloggers some of us read. It was disturbing for me to turn one piece over, I know who I thought made it, but it had a Made in China sticker on it. As an artist trying to succeed in this clay world, I found that just took the wind out of my sails quite a bit. The part of me that worked for large successful brand driven companies knows how to get to that place, but the part of me that wants to curl in a ball just can't get my head around jumping into that fire. All I seem to want to do these days is find a small farm where I can have chickens and sheep and walk around in the grass. I'm hopeless..........

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Not your typical beach trip

 Wesley and I spent this past week at my mom's house in Myrtle Beach. A visit to MB for most people is all about sitting on the beach all day, eating good seafood and going out to a local bar at night.
Oh no, not me. We did manage to get to the beach one day, but mostly we sat around at the house, on the screened porch or by the pool, slept, read and talked. It was nice.
Except for the drone of motorcycles. Memorial Day week is Black Biker Week at Myrtle Beach. Thousands of bikers come to town for the bike rally and it is a sight to see. It's pretty insane, but sort of interesting to be in the middle of it. Wes and I rode up to North Myrtle one day and cruised by Hooters to check out all the bikes, what a party!
We needed a bit of an escape from the noise so we went to one of my favorite nearby places, Huntington Beach. Atalaya is there. I used to play amongst the ruins of Atalaya as a kid and I have some very fond memories of this place. Thank goodness there are people with the presence of mind working to preserve this historic home. You can read more about it here at Atalaya wiki

 This was the indoor/outdoor studio space for sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington. Can you imagine working in a studio like this? Outside behind the left wall are stables where she kept animals she was sculpting, for reference. She also kept monkeys and macaws there. Nice.....

 It was mostly a peaceful week. I love my mom's pool. I could get very used to a life where you get up, go sit by the pool and read all day.....
 I got my mom one of these cute knitting looms for her birthday and taught her how to use it while we were there. Guess who ended up doing most of the work? I was obsessed with it. I will be going to get one for myself next week. It will be fun to have for travel.
Yesterday I was at the Farmers Market in Saxapahaw, pretty good crowd, not great sales.
 Gerry is shooting the Memorial Day Nascar races in Charlotte and I have a bisque to unload. The barn for Woods School survived, now to stain it and get it ready for it's new home, yippee!
Have a great week!

Monday, May 20, 2013

An Important companion

 Our kitchen/dining table is probably the most used piece of furniture in our house. I bought this antique English pine farm table before Wesley was born, knowing that it would see us through many years of family meals and it has. It looked so pretty tonight as we were getting ready to sit down and have supper, I took a photo for you.
As Wesley was setting the table she got out our cups. Each of us has a yunomi that Hollis Engley made. Wesley picked out hers when we stayed with them at Cape Cod, it had a tiny place that was unglazed and it leaked, even though it was a beautiful thing, and Hollis sent another one. That one she took to school. She took one bowl, one spoon, one fork, one cup, that cup (the one behind the bunny in the photo above).

Tonight as she was holding it, she said to me, "this cup was an important companion to me this past year." Sigh........... could a potter hear words any sweeter to their ears?

She continued to say that she drank everything from that cup, water in the morning, hot tea, warming hot chocolate, comfort to her on those cold dark lonely nights in her dorm. She had some very lonely times, but she found comfort with this cup. I think that speaks volumes to those of you that make functional pottery. So here is to all of you that make beautiful work that brings a smile, a moment of joy or comfort, or laughter, or a memory long forgotten. Thank goodness artists are not easily defeated!

Taking my girl to the beach this week for some head clearing. She went with her dad to cover the Nascar race in Charlotte this past weekend, and I think her head is about to come undone from the shear intensity of this southern unexplainable sport.....  Gerry has covered Nascar for almost thirty years now. Last night Wesley said, "I just don't see how he does what he does." I don't either, but he does it well.

Peace to those of you in Oklahoma, prayers for all

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Great Shakori Video

video courtesy of Gerry Broome

So.... remember Gerry was shooting a video at Shakori? Wesley helped with audio and it turned out fantastic. I didn't think I would be able to post it because he was making it for AP video. It took Gerry three days to shoot the thing, three days to edit, then it went to the video peeps and they took awhile to get to it, then got back to him saying it was a week old and they couldn't use it...... what?
So lucky for me, I got it for my blog. YAY for me, too bad for AP!  Susan and TIm are so talented, this deserves to be seen!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday night fun, no wait, Thursday night!

 Congrats to my friend Laura for an awesome first night of her show!!! Lots of folks came out to support her and it was a fun night for all. There were even red sold dots on some pieces. That's the way you want to open a show!! This cloud piece wants to be mine, but some more art needs to get sold around here so I can afford it :(
 Laura has some great friends. I'm not sure I even know as many people as she had come for the opening. I really should rethink this reclusive lifestyle, but it would be impossible for me I fear. I like my aloneness :-)
 Another favorite piece, love her sweet smile....
 What a surprise! Wesley's old band mate, Matt Phillips, from Cole Park was there with his new band, playing on the front porch. It was so great to see him, brought back the old days of all those rehearsals in my house. My loom now sits where drums and amps and keyboards and guitars used to sit.....
notice the byob mug from Mark Heywood, it makes the perfect traveling companion!
The Korean barbeque food truck was really good. Let me just say this: Duck Fat Tots, OMG!!!! so good!
All my art pals were there last night and it was so great to see all of them. I am surrounded by talented friends, it's just amazing.
Laura hates it when I post pics of her on my blog, this seemed like a good solution, haha!
Thanks Barbara for the email to say that TODAY is Friday, I have no concept of time.....

Thursday, May 16, 2013


 If you are around Durham this evening, stop by Outsiders Art Gallery! My pal Laura Farrow has an opening tonight and it is going to be a good one! Check out Laura's blog for more pics of her work here
at Tossing Ashes
Robert Bullock is the other featured artist and the show is called Anthro/Morpho.
See more at Outsiders website here

Outsiders is a great gallery, if you haven't been and love folk and outsider art, you really should check it out sometime. Tonight will be fun. Pam, the owner of the gallery is a fantastic hostess, Koyku Korean Barbeque food truck will be there and Wesley's old band mate Matt Phillips will be there with his new band.

This is my favorite piece, I can so relate to having my head in the clouds most all the time....
I hope lots of folks show up tonight to support some great art!!! See ya there!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New work

 I'm finishing up the commission for Woods Charter School principal. Fingers crossed. You know how it is, if a piece hears that it is designated for someone, it will kill itself every time. So, shhhhhh..... don't tell it. I like how it turned out, now to survive the fire.
 I also got this piece finished. It has been in my head for awhile.
 I went to see a performance by the Alvin Ailey dancers and the dance Revelations was breathtaking. There is one scene when the dancers all raise their hands together and all I saw was hands coming out of the roof of a barn. I envision lots of hands coming out at some point, but I'm going to start with three and see if they survive. I want to raku this piece, it's scary to think about, but it might work, no harm trying, this one doesn't have a destination yet. Since I am left handed I sort of like the three left hands, I could get all metaphorical if I did that sort of thing :)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Ignore the weather

 I hope all of you had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend. Mine was lovely, did a bunch of roaming around for a few days, but it was fun.
Like many of you, I had an outdoor event on Saturday. I was driving down to Saxapahaw and the clouds got darker and darker and finally right before I got there, the rain came. Of course.... Wesley was with me and we just pretended we didn't see the large drops of water hitting my car. I refuse to be defeated by the weather this year, I am mostly going to ignore it if at all possible!
It let up just a bit when I got there and then found out they had moved the market over to the Haw River Ballroom, which is a fantastic space, an old converted mill that is now a music venue.
The band got to play on the stage indoors, great for them, the sound system is fantastic. I had a choice to be inside or under the porch and I figured it would be better outside, so I set up right at the front door. I could see and hear the band and I had a lot of traffic. Did pretty well considering the weather.

My iris bloomed for Mother's Day, aren't they pretty?
 I sold another weaving. I really need to make more, it's fun to see people buying them.... my quick and easy set up is so hippy dippy, but I don't really care. It takes me no time to set up, the market only lasts for 3 hours, so I'm not really into a big ordeal. I still made money so it's all good. I'm bringing mostly pendants and a few inexpensive items, then just a few barns, which people pick up, oohh and ahhh over and then buy an $8 dish or $15 dollar necklace. It is what it is.....
 Mipso was the band, really good, I bought one of their CD's and we listened to it on the way home.
 View of the Haw River from my table, not bad, this river smells so good, takes me back to our paddling days when I smell that smell of a river.
 I sold one of the little houses on stilts, but mostly I sold pendants...... women will adorn themselves when they can't buy food, I am convinced of that!

We also went down towards Charlotte this weekend to visit Gerry's family, his sister came along with us and there was lots of laughter and catching up. Family is a funny thing. You can go for months and not see each other, then get together and pick up right where you left off. We love each other in spite of all the craziness that comes along with being a family, we share the good and the bad with each other without shame or embarrassment.

 Wesley and Gerry gave me a beautiful orchid. They also gave me a hand crafted cedar planter box from a gentleman at the Carrboro Farmer's Market. I have been looking at them for a year or more wanting to get one. I need to go out today and pick up some herbs to plant in it. I also need to get back to work in the studio this week. Finishing up the haiku barn, it's coming along very nicely!

Happy week, all

Friday, May 10, 2013

There are messengers

There are Messengers
Who come forth from old trees
Bless us like sunlight

                                                     .........Wesley Broome

I have started working on the barn commission for the principal at Wesley's old school. He is a charming man, loves art, plays the piano, loves nature. He wrote a blog post about sitting in a Japanese garden and after I read it I was inspired to stamp a haiku on the barn for him. I asked Wesley to write it for me and this is what she gave me this morning. I got a little teary reading it. I knew she would deliver, she has a love for words like no one I have ever met. When she was at this school, she wrote many many haikus and she was inspired musically so many times by this principal. I remember once she came home and told me about walking in on him, alone at the piano, playing Colors of the Wind, her favorite childhood song. It was such a special moment that she will always have a memory of. 

I'm excited about this piece, it will be very special. I like commission work for these barns most of all, and that may be where I leave them. I can't see me making lots of them for sale anymore, but who knows.... right now, it's all about the small inexpensive work for the summer. And just getting back to enjoying the process.

Walt opens tonight, love opening night at the theater! I am still gathering props, jeez! with just 10 hours before we open, pretty typical. This used to make me nuts, now I just go with the flow.....

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Lambsy Diveys

 Here is the yarn I bought at Rising Meadow Farm on Sunday. It feels so amazing. There is something about hand spun yarn that just rocks my world.
I got an email yesterday from Wesley's old high school. The principal is leaving and they have asked if I could make a barn for him and personalize it. I am so flattered and touched that they would ask me, but with all the barns I have on the shelves I am truly less than motivated to make another one and this wet weather is killing me. How can I get slabs to stiffen up in this weather?! and my head is one big throbbing sinus project these days. Not to mention my current preoccupation, thinking about sheep, haha! I need some inspiration, I would like to make one for him, he is a great man and definitely influenced Wesley's life.
 We have been munching on fig and honey goat cheese from the goat farm we visited after the sheep farm. This is some really good stuff!
 At the goat farm there was a pottery demo. I didn't know the potter and forgot the name, sorry. Also didn't make any photos of the pottery, not sure how she would have felt about it and she was too busy to ask.
 I did, however, make a picture of the greatest water can ever! Only in Randolph County :)
I walked up to Richard Petty at the Charlotte Motor Speedway years ago when I was there helping Gerry run film. I asked him if we could have our picture made together. He put his arm around me and said, "let's do it".  What a legend........
Alrighty, that's it for the farm photos. It was fun. Back to reality. Got to go shop for a tea tray for Hattie today. Did I say back to reality?! HA! Wesley begins day two of unpacking. My house looks like a bomb went off inside. I wonder what a life with a routine would be like?
I might last a week with one....

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Whispers from the Universe

 You know how sometimes the Universe just screams at you and then there are times when it whispers and you have to pay attention?
Today it whispered to me and Wesley, it was a weird day..............

 This Sunday morning started out cold and cloudy, a tiny drizzle trying to happen. But I was hellbound to go to the fiber day at Rising Meadow Farm in Liberty NC.
Our blogger pal Meredith Heywood invited me to go in March and it snowed that day so we gave up. But today I was determined to get there and Meredith agreed. Wesley's first morning home from college and I drag her out on this cold morning with promises of stopping at the Waffle House for breakfast. We sat at the counter and met the most interesting people working there, it's like you get a show with the meal every time you stop at one of these restaurants. I love it and I just see Wesley's writer mind absorbing everything.
 We were a little early to the farm, so we rode around in the country for awhile. I saw these horses in a field of buttercups with a silo behind them and came to a screeching halt. We got out and who knew? they were friendly! They all came over to say hello.
 This one has secrets to tell. He has one blue eye and one brown eye and seemed like a spirit from another world. We are best friends now........
while we were shooting pictures this crazy little dog came out of nowhere, jumped in our car and grabbed a treasured item of Wesley's and ran off with it. Wesley saw him and took off running down the road, chasing him and yelling come back here you little fucker (she gets that from me, ugh!) he didn't come back and I am telling you I have never seen my child so pissed off in her life. She said the f word a few more times, jeez. Wesley never swears, she has a huge vocabulary, but sometimes there just isn't another word to fit when you are really mad.

It was time to say goodbye to her sacred object and somehow this horse told her it was ok. This horse told us a lot today......... he gave me hope for the future and gave me peace and a sense of how I want to spend the rest of my life. He gave Wesley peace too I think. He spoke to us in very different ways, but there is no doubt in my mind, he was talking to us!

 Eventually we left the horses and drove back to Rising Meadow Farm, or as it should be named, Paradise.
Llamas and churro sheep said hello

 Meredith brought along Seagrove potter Laura and we had a nice visit on the porch overlooking the pasture
 I bought yarn, I'll show you later, and then we went to The Goat Lady farm and bought goat cheese, and we saw goats. It was like a dang National Geographic outing. It was cold! Look at that pasture full of sheep, wanting to be my pasture one day.... sigh.....
We went back over to the buttercup pasture at the end of the day and said goodbye to our new friend.
I want a farm worse than ever now, and I would really love a sheep or two, or twenty.
I'll show you more later, don't want you yawning all through my post now do we?!
It's so nice to have my girl child, now twenty years old, back home with us.  A good week is ahead, I can feel it!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Bonafide and all is well

 I sold my first piece of pottery about nine years ago right around this same time of year. We had a sale at the Artscenter where I was teaching kid's classes and I sold a vase to a girl for a Mother's Day gift.
It was $40. I came home floating on a cloud. I went in to Wesley's room, she was all tucked in bed, and I told her I sold my first piece of pottery. She said, "now you are bonafide". If you have seen the movie Oh Brother Where Art Thou, you will understand where this phrase came from, we used to say it all the time about everything.

Today, I sold my first weaving, and then I sold another one. Guess that makes my weaving bonafide too! Hope so, it sure felt good to sell it. I loved the way the two women that bought the runners looked at them, held them, talked about where they were going to put them..... oh yeah..... why we do this!
I sold a few pendants, of course, and a couple of small dishes. It was a slower festival than last time I did it. The weather wasn't the greatest although the sun did choose to show up for a couple of hours. But then it got really cold, started to sprinkle and then it was time to go home. It was a great day though. Affirming in so many ways. I talked to some of the nicest people, everyone was happy, enjoying the day, the music, the wine from a local vineyard, the good food the farmers brought, and the ice cream. They even stopped at the craft booths..... this is where I want to be right now. Outside at festivals, having fun. It's so funny, I was saying exactly the opposite two years ago, but the indoor shows are worse than battling the weather, so me and the weather have come to terms and I am just going to deal with it. At least the light will be from sunshine and not bad indoor convention lights.
 This is my spot for the summer, up on the porch, next to the gallery, I don't even need a tent, yay!
There are even flowers :)
 This was my supper, and probably will be for every Saturday until August. Shitake mushroom and spinach quiche, it was beyond amazing!

 I loved this booth, the displays were so inviting and so were the pastries

Nice Fracking booth, whoop!

and then the big parade with Paperhand Puppets. All is well, I have a few dollars in my pocket and a smile on my face, and when I got home my child had moved back in, her shite everywhere,
life is good!