Thursday, January 22, 2009

What a glorious morning!

After the MLK holiday, 2 snow days and a 2 hour delay this morning, my children are back in school! Just enough time to ensure that the week is not a total bust!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How the weather changes history

This piece was one of 5 larger sculptures I made in my senior year of college. The clay body is a self-glazing white stoneware fired to cone 10 with Lansmen Fake Ash glaze. I broke it last year when we moved and the broken pots go into the garden.

It's been cold and snowy here the past few days. The kids have been out of school all week, Monday for MLK and then 2 snow days. At least I avoided the showdown with Allison's teacher who, as of last Friday, had not yet decided whether or not her class would be watching the Inauguration. Jay rolled his eyes when I told him I would keep her out of school for the day AND take it up with the School Board. I can get a little big for my britches and also get into some trouble when it comes to advocating for my kids.

Anyway, I couldn't see the keyboard for tears of joy yesterday. Those tears have been saved from 2001 when it should have been Al Gore. The kids didn't know what to think. Maybe by the time they are in HS History class they'll get the aha moment and understand why Mom was crying.

I'm dying to get back to work, but this week doesn't look promising. I need 2-3 days in a row to complete one batch of bowls. I run into problems when I am unable to get back to the pieces I have thrown within a day. If they dry too much, altering is out so it merely makes more clay to reclaim. Not my favorite task.

So, I have shelved my plans of firing a cone 6 reduction kiln by the end of January. I do have another Clay Clubber interested in helping me fill the kiln for a cone 6 later this spring. For now, the heart bowls I've made for Etsy for Valentine's will be electric fired. Since that's the case, I have plenty to fill the electric kiln.

So, since I haven't been potting and the kids only want/need me half of the time, I've been spending way too much time on facebook. I have been catching up with folks from high school who I only see at reunions. It really does make the world smaller. Will you be my fb friend?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How did this happen to me?

Here I am in my early 40's with a Facebook page? I have no idea what I am doing. Thanks Jan for keeping me current.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Snow Days

I vividly remember, as a kid the gleeful feeling of a snow day. However, I do not remember having the slightest idea how my mother felt about them. Either we were old enough to take care of ourselves, ie. getting our own plastic baggies to wear inside our shoes, or I have blocked out the frustration she must have felt. This is our first winter here in the mountains and even though there really has not been much snow to speak of, the kids have had 5 snow days. I have found myself woefully unprepared.

Don't get me wrong. I have plenty of hot cocoa and extra mittens. It's the studio work that suffers. I can do most of my work with my family around except for throwing. Not only do I need all of my concentration, throwing is very in the moment for me. It's almost like a form of meditation. So the bowls I threw on Monday were ready to start their transformation into heart bowls on Tuesday. I "lost" 6 bowls out of 24 last week. Once I start cutting and seaming my bowls they need a fair amount of attention. If they start drying too fast, the seams crack and into the slurry bucket they go.

With that in mind, the weather forecast is calling for snow tomorrow. I wedged a bunch of clay today, but rather than set myself up for trouble tomorrow, I declined to throw anything. Now I can plan on playing in the snow with the kids. Either that or through Murphy's Law, I have guaranteed that no snow will fall.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Even while the Clay Club is pondering topics such as "What are your plans for the next year", I have been thinking about how far I have come since last year.

Now that we're here, going on 8 months, I am quite proud of my accomplishments. It really isn't all that hard to get back on the horse. In 6 weeks I had made enough work to fill my behemoth kiln. My throwing skills suffered during the 10 months that my studio was packed up, especially since I am not much of a disciplined thrower anyway, but I did manage a couple of larger pieces.

I've begun to network and meet other potters and locals. A few years back, I joined a pottery group in Charlotte but it never felt right, so I quit when my year's membership was up. The Clay Club here, as well as the local folks I met during the Studio Tour, have made me feel right at home. I'm a firm believer in following the flow of the Universe, and although this road was long and bumpy, I truly feel that we are in the right place.

Of course there are two significant challenges we face. One being that the downer economy has put Jay's self-employment plans on the slow track. The other is the education system in this county. Although I briefly considered home-schooling, we've decided that it is just not something that would work for us. I am going to have to settle for working within the system. Thankfully, both kids are old enough to have a good foundation and as long as we can keep them motivated through elementary school, they'll do just fine.

Besides the move, 2008 included Jay's motorcycle trip, me getting tattooed, Allison's first time at sleepover camp, the kids and I driving to Montana and back, Jay and I installing a leach field, inadvertently beginning the basement demo in search of the sourse of the horrible smell (which turned out to be a dead rabbit outside in the window well), and me learning to blog. Give me some time and I'll get better at this.

So as the new year begins, our house is still somewhat of a ruin: the basement needs gutting, the downstairs bathroom is a fright, and we still don't seem to have a place for everything, unless you count on top of everything else. It is frustrating at times, but those are the times I gaze out my front window to see only the glorious mountains (today covered in snow!), or search for my kids only to find them playing in the woods, or stand in my studio and with my arms outstretched unable to touch a wall or knock anything over.
Life is so good and so real and I am so grateful for all of it.