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Sunday, March 31, 2013

There was fire, and then the Gods smiled....

Happy Easter Everyone!
The Easter Bunny blessed out raku yesterday with warm weather, blue skies, no wind, great friends, good food and a very successful firing! Thank you Easter Bunny :)
My pal Barbara even brought me some moss! This is my newest table runner, woven with more thrift store finds. A really ugly pink and orange silk blouse and two very ugly skirts, look what they became! This one is my best yet, not one mistake, yay!
We all had success, but I think Laura probably won the blue ribbon. And a good thing too. I used Laura as a guinea pig when I first got my kiln, it was the first raku firing with her and my friend Susan, and not only did it pour rain all day, I don't think Laura had one piece survive. Yesterday her good Karma came back with lots of amazing work!


 Barbara and I had very few pieces to fire, but what we fired came out quite nice. These are her pear tiles and some tiny barns of mine on rusty nail stilts.

Rick's Turquoise is a very cool glaze, it did something different on every piece. It is not for those with expectations however.

 This was my favorite thing from the day, the photo barely shows how surreal this hand really is.
The body parts are for a larger sculpture piece Laura is preparing for her May show.
 The elephant head on fire was the most fun thing we did. We just set it on an old kiln shelf, sprinkled on sawdust then misted it with water. Really great result, but my camera battery died. Check out our denim aprons we made from old jeans, two pretty cute 50 year old chicks, I think anyway!
I am very blessed to have such great friends. We had such a good day, and Gerry was even off and with us some of the time. He got some veggie seeds in the ground so we will actually have a small garden this year. Life is good.
Happy coming back to life day, Jesus :)


Friday, March 29, 2013

Raku Weekend

 Getting ready for a raku firing on Saturday. The weather is promising to be nice, me amigas are coming over to fire and it should be a great day. Stay tuned....
 Laura brought over a bunch of dismembered body parts today to glaze, her work is always so fun to have around

 We're testing some colored frits she got at the glass shop in these little boat/leaf thingys.

testing some new glazes and then I need to fire a bunch of bisque and do it all over again.
Happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Yeah..... So?


an·ti·so·cial  
/ˌantēˈsōSHəl/
Adjective
  1. Contrary to the laws and customs of society; devoid of or antagonistic to sociable instincts or practices.
 I have been spending A LOT of time alone. I like it that way. Don't get me wrong.... I love my family, love my good friends, but I also really like being alone. I am an only child, and I have spent a lot of time alone my whole life. My mom used to worry because I didn't have many friends, but I was fine with that. Left me more time to day dream and make houses for Barbie.
I have been shopping for props this week for the play I'm working on, and wandering aimlessly through antique stores and thrift stores, driving down country roads. Nothing I love more.......
Today I met a really nice woman, we could be friends, probably good friends. She even invited herself to go along with me on a two hour drive to an antique place I love.... hmmmm.... that would mean taking time to work on a new friendship..... there is weaving and clay and kiln firing and child and husband and food to cook and a garden we have to get started soon and my other friends and my ALONE time..... how could I possibly fit another person into all this right now? As it is, I don't see my good friends I have now enough, I miss them some days, but they are busy like me, being artists. And Gerry, well he travels sooo much that when he is here, I want to be with him, and I want to be with Wesley as much as possible since she is away at school.
You, my blogger friends are so low maintenance, I like that. You pop in and say a quick hello, I go over and visit your blog, say hello and we are all good to go.
I really like the play I am working on, a musical about Walt Whitman, the props are awesome. Oh yeah, that's what those saws are in the first photo. There is a scene with carpenters. I got such a deal on these, $2 a piece! I LOVE shopping for props, I was born for it.  I also love weaving, clay I am sort of ok with right now, but bored with it and don't know what I want to do with it. So, I'm just making pendants, not bored with those, they are fun. Raku is fun. I am all about fun right now, last year was hard and not fun. I have been buying up more thrift store clothes. Working on a red, white and blue table runner that is looking mighty good.
A crow is cawing outside the window as I write this. Three were in the driveway when I came home yesterday. Ahhhh, the crows..... still on my mind.......

The crow is a spirit animal associated with life mysteries and magic.  The power of this bird as totem and spirit guide is provide insight and means of supporting intentions. Sign of luck, it is also associated with the archetype of the trickster; be aware of deceiving appearances.  If the crow has chosen you as your spirit or totem animal, it supports you in developing the power of sight, transformation, and connection with life’s magic.

http://www.spiritanimal.info/crow-spirit-animal/

Monday, March 25, 2013

....and another week begins

 Sunday was cold and rainy all day ( I sound like a broken record!) so I spent some time catching up on things I never get around to like cleaning out my desk drawers, editing magazines, throwing away stuff I pile up everywhere, and filing clips I tear out of magazines. Gerry was shooting the women's ACC so I had a quiet day alone.... my kitchen table is my favorite place in the house to work. In case you are wondering, (I know you are, potters) Brandon Phillips on the left, Alex Matisse by way of Mark Hewitt on the right. I eat out of that bowl morning, noon and night :)
 I'm working on putting together a look book, color and pattern ideas for weaving, for when I get good enough to think that far ahead and actually plan a weaving project. I was going to spend some time weaving, but I couldn't get into a creative head, so I did this.
 More about my package on Friday. I jumped on the tote offer at Old Grey Mare's blog and got two new totes in the mail, I love getting packages in the mail! Especially when they come wrapped as beautifully as this one!

They are so pretty and so roomy. I headed out to the grocery store as soon as I got them so I could fill them up! Check out Suzan's blog post for more photos of her totes here. They are such a bargain!
Things have settled down a bit around here, Gerry shoots his last basketball game tomorrow night, thank God, and as soon as the hockey season ends, life will be back to sort of normal.... wait, we don't do normal around here, never mind......
This week is filled with shopping for props, weaving, and getting ready for a weekend raku firing, lots to do!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Rough week, better weekend.....

 It's been a rough week around here, guys! Gerry and Wesley were shooting the ACC Tournament in Greensboro last week, I had a nice quiet house for five days.... got a lot done. But then Ger came home and all hell broke loose!
Some AssWipe security cop for hire at the Greensboro Coliseum assaulted Gerry as he was shooting Miami cutting the net, and Wesley was with him. He was pushed off of his position, verbally assaulted, threatened with bodily harm "outside", and removed from the arena. I have known Gerry since I was 19 years old, and he  does not take crap off of anyone, but when he is working and representing the Associated Press, he restrains his temper and he presents himself in a professional manner, so he took this abuse from this mofo, and he has spent this past week traumatized by the whole thing. Like I said I have known him a LONG time and I have never seen him react to any of the bullshit he has to deal with to get a picture like this.
I am sick to death of these militant attitude security people and cops that think they can abuse people's civil rights and treat people with so little disregard. That fucker went off on my child's father in front of her, she was helpless to do anything, and so was Gerry, or risk arrest. What gives someone the right to treat others this way. Gerry has been a professional photojournalist for 30 years, he knows the law when it comes to journalists rights and he knows how to stay out of trouble, But this is beyond acceptable to me. I have had to deal with the aftermath of this event all week, and it has not been fun. I want to just shake this asshole!
 So..... anyway..... we needed a diversion. We went to the Nasher Museum in Durham today to see an amazing photography exhibit, Light Sensitive. Diane Arbus, Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Andy Warhol, and many many other wonderful pioneers of photography are on exhibit and if you live anywhere nearby, it is certainly worth a trip to see it!
 We had a nice lunch, saw some great art, including the Wangechi Mutu installation, crazy imaginative collage work, and came home without a thought of the creep that thinks he owns the world.

 And I had a package when I got home from blogger Susan, at Old Gray Mare. More about this later!

Tomorrow we are supposed to have more rain, more cold and Gerry has the Women's ACC at Duke, so I am staying in warm and snug and I am going to weave. I had a lot on my mind about this crow that has been coming to visit, possibly a new spirit guide/totem to think about and I woke up with all sorts of thoughts about my work, but for some reason I needed to purge this week's mess here at my therapy session blog-o-rama.  Maybe after tomorrow's quiet and rain and weaving I will have thought clarity and I can tell the world about it. I forget how many people are out there reading this, because I am basically just sitting here talking to myself and typing away when I post on my blog. It's just when I get the random raku questions in my email that I remember that people find this blog and read it, yikes!

To all the aggressive out of control rage-aholics out there, you should think about how you treat people, your actions affect not only the person you attack, but their friends and family as well sometimes! How would you like your loved one to be abused and assaulted by Mr. Macho?!  People have simply lost their moral compass, they forgot the golden rule, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you....  I even forget this sometimes, but I mostly try to live this way, like my mama taught me, like we learn in the South when we learn our manners and stuff :)
Peace ya'll
xo

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spice in my life

 Cloves, fennel seed, tumeric, cardamon seeds and ground cumin in wood fired bowls. The beginnings of a great lunch today.
 I bought this cookbook at the local thrift store the other day when I got the pink fabric. I have never cooked Indian food because I live with a preacher's kid who was raised on meat and potatoes. It took me forever to get him to try Chinese and Mexican cuisine! After he started traveling all over the world, he got a little more brave, but he still turns his nose up to mushy stuff and white creamy things. Until recently that included Indian food. But he has come around, so I thought I would give it a try. We mostly eat Asian, Mediterranean, and Mexican influenced meals, all vegetarian, some pasta, but mostly vegetables cooked in a thousand different ways. But I love Indian food, so I am happy to have some new recipes to try. I went to Whole Foods yesterday and stocked up on spices; cardamon, fennel, cloves, fenugreek, cumin seeds, cinnamon, tumeric.So beautiful.....
 Wesley, this photo is for you.
My child loves food more than anyone I know. She photographs most of the meals we eat, so I shot this one for her :)
Joseph Sand bowl in the foreground, Barbara McKenzie bowl on the right that I bought at Cedar Creek gallery, and on the left a shino reject someone threw out at Claymakers years ago. We had a donation jar on a shelf with rejects and you could put in a dollar and take a piece. I took this one and I use it all the time.
 Cauliflower, red bell pepper, purple and yukon potatoes cooked in tumeric, cumin seed, cinnamon, ginger and cilantro and cumin/cinnamon basmati rice with raisins, Naan and papaya drizzled with honey and blueberries and Tea Masala.
Not bad for my first try. I felt like I had walked into my favorite Indian restaurant!
Yesterday was a sort of productive day in the studio, it was a beautiful day, nice to have the door and windows open. I started a few pieces that I want to raku fire, forgot to take photos, will do that today for you. 
Here is the one piece I like from firing on Saturday. This is Rick's Turquoise, the black won't come off, but I really like this one. Rick's turquoise is a crazy glaze, but if you put in the time with it, you can get some great results. I want to play with this glaze more and see what I can get. You can google the recipe, it's out there, that's how I got it, but don't email me if you want this same look, you just have to experiment. different kilns and atmospheres and pulling time and reduction time will give you a hundred different looks, if you want this, you probably won't get it, this was an accident.....

It's been slow going today,Gerry made me some oatmeal for breakfast, then I spent the morning cooking, eating and drinking tea. Time to get out and get some work finished up!
See ya

xo

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pink

 I am not a huge fan of pink normally, never did buy into that idea of dressing Wesley in pink because she was a little girl, in fact I avoided it. I hate going into an outdoor store looking for something to wear for hiking or camping. I have to shop in the men's dept. most of the time, because I don't want to wear lavender or pink or mint green in the woods. I will never understand who the designers are making these clothes for. But all of a sudden I seem drawn to this color, especially when combined with orange and red. I found several skirts at the thrift store last week that looked great together and were $2 a piece, way cheaper than yarn.

 So I cut them up and plan to weave more mats with them. So fitting for the first day of spring, don't you think?
 I sewed buttons and pearls on this mat that I made with the rust dyed strips, love this!

 The women that I took a weaving class with have formed a weaver's support group and are meeting once a month. Last week we met at our instructor's studio, had dinner together and many brought work in progress for critique and show and tell. Isn't this a fabulous studio, and it was so clean, haha!
 She did a short demo for us. Just like many of the pottery teachers I have had, Jean is so giving of her time and weaving knowledge and she is very talented.
I love crafts people. They surround themselves with beauty and calmness and they are, for the most part, happy to share what they have learned with their fellow artisans. Craftspeople tend to form guilds or groups for support and sharing. I like to be able to get together with fellow artists, have a good meal and talk with people who share my interests. I spend so much time alone, it's good to get out there in the world every now and then and see what others are doing.
Gerry is back from covering the ACC tournament. He had Wesley there there helping him, which was fun for both of them, I'm sure. He has been gone since last Wednesday, so I got a lot done around here. My studio got a huge cleaning, much needed, I have a bunch of slabs waiting to become boxes and tiles for Raku, and I have new warp to put on my loom. I did a quick raku fire on Saturday to test some glazes, all failures. I just can't win right now with glazing. I do know why these glazes failed though, because unlike ^6, I understand raku!
Lots to do this week, but the weather has turned cold and gloomy again, I'm less than motivated to do anything in this weather. I have really had enough of this rain, and I know those of  you up north have certainly had enough snow. Some first week of spring this is turning out to be!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Have you seen this one....



If you want to get your week off to a fun start, watch this one, have you seen it?
I have never laughed so hard!
Happy Week Ya'll

Friday, March 15, 2013

Blue

 My blogger pal, friend, and good customer Maureen had a great suggestion on my last blog post. Why not coordinate weaving with my raku? Well, how brilliant is that!? She suggested placemats and raku napkin rings and this triggered all sorts of journeys in my mind. Then I picked up a Country Living magazine at the grocery yesterday, I love that magazine! and there were some blues and greens that I loved all through the pages.
 I dug out more magazines and started ripping out pages, and before I knew it, I was gluing pages of color into a journal that has yet to be used. It's the perfect color inspiration book and I spent the afternoon thinking about color, pottery, and fiber. Having a book full of images with beautiful color is so helpful and I get a little interior design fix, something I haven't had in way too long. Maybe this is what has been missing from my work....  It's all coming together.... slowly, but with more clarity.... if I can get these glaze tests from last month to behave, I might have something quite nice. I love the idea of combining weaving and clay and they are beginning to fit together. This morning I measured out more warp for my loom, this evening I am going to glaze some raku pieces, and tomorrow fire a test of some new raku glazes. I keep hearing your voices in my head, to not give up on these glazes and to keep trying....

We had a gigantic rotten tree and one smaller tree cut down this week. These guys were pros. Theo even came by this morning to ask if we were satisfied with everything. I used $$ that people gave me for my pottery to give to this man, who showed up on time, took down two trees in record time, cleaned up the mess, hauled it all off, and did all this with a smile and a professional manner. I love that I was given money for making something I loved, sold it to someone who loved it and then gave that money to this man, who is working hard, earning an honest living and doing his work with pride. Why can't the whole country just BE this way?!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rags........

 I have spent four pretty solid days at my loom, weaving, not thinking, just wandering around in the past. I love old things. I love my old spoons, my old tools, my grandmother's old furniture that I have, my old worn clothes that can't go out in public any longer. The patina of age cannot be manufactured, it only comes with time. I want my weaving to feel like that. Like an old rug found in an abandoned house. I just made a table runner that comes pretty close.
 I made it with these old rags I found in an antique store, old denim shirts, old cotton thread Hollis sent me from his mom's things, and a very old, very soft sheet that finally ripped.
 It makes me so happy. I took it off the loom today and it took my breath. I'm very proud of this one.
 This is the piece I made with the linen strips I dyed. It looks so beautiful with my Joseph Sand jar. This was one of the first pieces Joseph fired in his kiln. I went out and helped him clean up pots for his kiln opening, got home and couldn't stop thinking about this jar. I sent him an email and asked him to hold it for me. I love it even more on this mat. The colors are perfect together. I have discovered that my weaving style is much like my clay style, I don't really want to make sets of things. One of this, one of that, and then I'm ready to move on. Placemats are probably not going to be my thing, but table runners are nice. I think I will want to make rugs one day, but baby steps....
 I bought these really ugly napkins in the thrift store. I liked the red and mustard yellow, but the construction was terrible, you can't make double layer napkins, they hold air and look weird. But cut up into strips, they looked great.

 I love all the little bumpies, looks hand made or something :) So pretty in the afternoon light. The bumpies are a bit exaggerated in this photo with the light, they aren't quite so extreme as they look here.
How will I ever sell any weaving I make? I love them all. If I saw these in a store, I would be buying every one of them. So now I have a bunch of textiles, something I have never really bought for myself before, because I usually can't afford what I like. So now, I can just make it myself. Me and the clay world are still not on the best of terms, but fiber seems like it has been a part of me for a very long time. Sandy asked in my previous post if weaving came easier, I think it does. It feels so intuitive and I'm not fighting with it..... much. With clay I always feel like I joined a marathon with olympic runners, but I started about thirty minutes after everyone else, and quite frankly, I'm getting tired of the race. It's a race I can't possibly win and I'm not sure I even want to be in it anymore.... it's not like that with weaving, it's more gentle to my spirit and I feel much more creative and more myself. Why does it always take me so long to get where I'm going.........