Wednesday, February 24, 2010

day fifty four

fifty four
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
of 2010. I'm taking a photo every day. Some days I rush to get my camera as the sun's last rays leave the house. Some days I take so many. I like this project; it helps me to see more of what's around me.

Thank you for your kind, kind comments. This winter has been hard. I am very ready for spring and renewal. Your kindness makes me feel supported. Thank you.

I've been working like a little bee up in the studio this week- on a commission project for a late spring wedding- the work will be imprinted with this my favorite fern- commonly called a Japanese Climbing Fern. I had to drive around to hunt some down yesterday as mine was cut down by the freezes. I found some that was dried- I can still use it since the leaves aren't all curled. I have a large bag of big ferns in my refrigerator, pressed between paper towels and stored in the crisper drawer, for use, but the bride wanted this lovely tendril-y vining fern.

Today I threw almost twenty pieces and trimmed another 6 in two hours. In the morning I'll trim what I threw today. Most of today's pieces are destined to be berry bowls. I'd hoped to have some ready to list by the first of March, but I'm having a little surgery on Friday (it is very minor, no big health scare, just something that I've needed to take care of for a while and am finally doing) and won't be up to firing for another week or so after that. Maybe after St. Pat's. But I will definitely have berry bowls and the hope pieces by April 1.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I love

I love: 1
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
Last week was rough. The weekend was fine, but ended with a vomity boy. I didn't spend time in the studio until Friday. There was no disaster, but life is hard, it isn't fair, things are out of my control. Things I felt secure in fell through. The high points of the week seemed to be magically erased by "what if" scenarios, dread, disappointment, and frankly, too much navel-gazing. This week I'm going to try to focus on things that are going right, things that I love. Over at flickr I'm going to take a photo a day of the things that bring me joy, peace, happiness. And hope. Because things could be a lot worse, no matter how difficult I might think any given situation is.

So. My late mother in law's pair of pierced porcelain lamps are in my list of things I love. I adore how they cast shadows around the dining room after we've turned out the lights. She and my father in law married in 1954. He spent time in Korea during and after the war. Almost immediately after their marriage they moved to Germany. Shortly after they adopted Gary, they moved to Turkey. Her house, and now ours, is filled with things from their time overseas.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

hope project

hope project
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
A few Sundays ago I had a little flash of inspiration in the middle of the Sunday sermon. It was a very thoughtful sermon by our vocational deacon whose emphasis is social justice and outreach. He cares, in a very tangible way, for the "least of these" among us. The poor, homeless, mentally ill, and handicapped. The people of Haiti have been on this list for much, much longer than these same people have been in our national conscience. My parish has been a part of the Haiti Partnership for some time- sending food, medical missionaries, and money to Haiti, and in particular, St. Vincent's school and hospital in Port-au-Prince. This school primarily cares for the poor handicapped children of Haiti, many of them orphaned or abandoned. They provide food, shelter, education, and prosthetics for over 300 children.

I'm sure that a lot of people are beginning to have a bit of Haiti fatigue. They've given a little or a lot. You all have helped me give more than I thought I would be able to. But I don't want to forget. I have a home, food, clothing, savings, insurance, working limbs, and as much clean water as I could ever want. My concerns are minor. I am blessed. I have hope. I want these children to have hope.

In that sermon, the word HOPE kept flashing in my mind. I made a small sketch and that afternoon made a few test pieces. Three of five made me happy. I plan to make more of these, and I plan to keep making them. As with my last project, 60% of the sales of these HOPE pieces will go to Hatit, through the Haiti Partnership . I don't mean to be sanctimonious. But I don't want to forget about those who can't help themselves.

2/16- I should mention that I haven't listed these yet because the plate needs a little glaze touch up and these three are all I have. I'll let you know when they're ready for the shop! thanks for your enthusiasm!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

mostly just procrastinating

I am not really a procrastinator. I like to get it done and move on to the next thing. Ahem. Except when it comes to glazing. I've got a small pile of work in front of me that I need to glaze and fire tonight, because unless we're getting another snow or ice blanket, I'll be at St. Jude on Friday for their semi-monthly vendor fair. I hadn't planned to make new ware after the last event was rescheduled, but I had a request for one of my butter crocks and had none in stock.
So. This morning I've cleaned up the kitchen, weeded through plastic food storage (we're weaning ourselves off of those convenient endocrine-disrupting items), done some laundry, taken pictures, and sat down at the table with my computer. Time's up. Time to glaze.

There are a few small pieces in this load that I'm very excited to tell you about. Hopefully on Friday.

Have a good week!

Friday, February 5, 2010

time just flies by

I can't believe how quickly a week passes. On Monday there was still snow on the ground. After several days of rain, it has all washed away, but biting wet cold remains. I am incredibly grateful that we got cold and rain rather than the snow that's hitting the upper midwest and eastern seaboard, but this is not a normal winter for Memphis. I think we'll all be ready for the first glimpses of spring that usually come at the end of February.

This week has been a busy one- I'm working on settling my business taxes and getting all of our documents in order for the accountant. I have a Valentines Day self-imposed deadline for turning it all in. We've gotten a serious decluttering and home-improvement bug at our house and have been hacking away at things we don't love or use often enough to keep. Organizing what we're keeping- from toys to books to food (a full freezer inventory was Tuesday's accomplishment) to clothes.

This week I also spent some time at a new space that is going to be one of the best new spots in Memphis! If you know me on Facebook, you may have seen something about a new retail location for me this spring. Or you may have heard me mention Trolley Stop Market. My good friends Keith and Jill Forrester are opening a new restaurant/deli/grocery/market in April. It will be all local produce, meat, honey, coffee, baked goods (including my friend Uele's awesome granola), skin care, and pottery! It opens in April, M-F, and you can read more about it here. I can't tell you how excited I am about this shop- both as a producer and a local-product enthusiast.

My excitement about the Trolley Stop has carried over into the studio. I've been making lots of vases- both bud vases like the ones I showed you on Monday- and larger versions. Jill grows gorgeous flowers- which will be a major component of the market. I also pulled out my box of two porcelain clays I ordered last year. One brick is hard and well, brick-like. The other is still soft enough to throw with. I haven't used porcelain in over 5 years. I couldn't tell the difference between my usual smooth stoneware and the trickier porcelain after the pieces were finished, so I abandoned porcelain in favor of the more-reliable, easy to use "porcelaneous stoneware" clay.

Fast-forward to 2009 and my problems with the berry bowl cracks. I was desperate to solve the problem and bought two porcelains to try and I bought a new hole puncher to try with a new hole formation. The latter two ended the majority of my production issues and the porcelain sat, forgotten. Today, I am both low on my standard clay and thinking about teacups. I opened the softer bag of porcelain and threw some with it today. I'd forgotten how much I love this. It has the consistency of cream cheese and the color of buttercream icing (for reference, the back bowl is my regular clay and the porcelain is in front). It is harder to throw- the eggs that I tried weren't successful, but the teacups were. I envision a set of lovely thin teacups made out of this clay. I even have a special (also abandoned) glaze in mind for them.

My. I seem to have had a lot to say.
Have a lovely weekend. Stay safe, and stay warm. I'll see you again next week.

Monday, February 1, 2010

good monday

The sky is bright, the ice is melting, I've finished my monday paperwork and am headed up to the studio for a good hour of cleaning and another two hours of working. I was particularly happy with some of the things I took out of the kiln late Friday.

Some of these will be at the vendor marketplace at St. Jude this Friday, right outside the Kay Kafe. Have a lovely week