Monday, August 29, 2011

Roughing It

Yesterday was a full day in a housefull of children without electricity.

My son and his wife have three beautiful girls who are addicted to electronic media...and there was lots of expectation for entertainment.  But the screens were all blank!

We sat around, talked, read (I did anyway by sitting close to a window that had good light) worked puzzles, and played at least one game of backgammon.  But it was a challenge.

Fortunately there were only a few hours like this, then we were able to get outside and walk around the neighborhood.  The storm had obviously passed over.  We had other neighbors out cleaning up downed limbs, but not many really big ones. 

By dinner time (eating cold snacks for lunch had been like a picnic) we were really wanting something cooked, but had no resources to do so.  So after a few calls (ah, cells phones were so precious by then) we found a Dunkin Donuts was open just a few miles away.  We all piled in the car and went to see what flooding in the community was like.  Roads were all open, and the Farmington River gushed right under the bridge we went across...a surface that was dry, but looked as if a few inches might have made the difference.

We watched to see where people had electricity.  Ah, many didn't, and some had generators.  Fortunately only one of the signal lights we passed was not working, so the towns seemed pretty orderly.  But no food establishments were open.  However, a couple of towns away and we were provided with bagel sandwiches (toasted) and hot coffee.  Our needs were met!

I have to get on the road today, so now it's time to sign off.  I'll be returning home soon.  I've missed my friends, and kitty, but have been immersed in the warmth of my son's loving family.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tonglen and poetry

Thanks for posting this, HecateDemeter, and I'm reposting it because it reminds me how we each help each other through the rough spots.

John  O’Donohue’s Blessing For Love in a Time of Conflict:
When the gentleness between you hardens
And you fall out of your belonging with each other,
May the depths you have reached hold you still.
When no true word can be said, or heard,
And you mirror each other in the script of hurt,
When even the silence becomes raw and torn,
May you hear again an echo of your first music.
When the weave of affection starts to unravel
And anger begins to sear the ground between you,
Before this weather of grief invites
The black seed of bitterness to find root,
May your souls come to kiss.
Now is the time for one of you to be gracious,
To allow a kindness beyond thought and hurt,
Reach out with sure hands
To take the chalice of your love,
And carry it carefully through this echoless waste
Until this winter pilgrimage leads you
Towards the gateway of Spring

Anoher thing I want to save here is from Pema Chodron, and it is to remind me not to shield myself from the pain others are experiencing, but to open myself up to heal both them and myself.  This is the second thing I needed to learn (relearn?) today.

The Practice of Tonglen

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tea Ceremony

Thanks to Chad for being the Tea Mistress last weekend at our lovely Tea Ceremony.
 I met some new friends, and was honored to be part of a ritual that is centuries old.

Here I am in my tea party best hat...being given Macha tea in a beautiful tea bowl...

 Hostess Ramya and new friend Ramya enjoys the taste of her tea.
I also took this off Face Book, as well as the other pictures above.  Just a few things to remind me...keep doing this!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Double Espresso anyone?

 Same glaze, just bigger cups...for us espresso lovers.  These are for double size drinks...though not quite as big as a "coffee mug".  So there are still saucers.

 A vase that has various alterations...

The pottery just before being set out at the tailgate market this morning...
One of the Mudbuddies took a picture of the vase as it sold to become a present, complete with fresh flowers.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Summer Plates

This plate has been "refired" by just going through another glaze kiln load, with no changes in the glaze.  I'm still trying to get the bumps, pimples, pin holes, whatever they're called, out of Mexico where it's heaviest.  But I don't know if it's possible.  Now I've ground them down with a Dremyl tool, and may try filling them with a bit of glaze and re-firing it again.  Generally, adding more glaze hasn't worked on pinholes most of my attempts.  Advise welcome!

2 plates, with a yellow patch on the rim, and a blue streak in the middle.  Short blue streak plate, we can call waterfall plate.

Waterfall plate seen from the side.  These plates are kind of alike, color-wise, and they have deep rims, which is a new style for me.
This is the long blue streak it mountain plate.

Waterfall plate in the foreground, mountain plate standing behind.

Side by side, you can see that mountain plate is actually the smaller of the two.

They actually nest within each other, as if they wish to remain a pair.  But I plan to sell them separately.  Straw underglaze is the yellow tone, with Black Mountain Blue for the streaks, and Eggshell glaze for the rest of the plates.  Clay is Speckled Brownstone.

I enjoyed making another 5 plates, and a small casserole today.  It will be quite a while before they are finished.

Friday, August 12, 2011

New bowls

 Mexico on the outside, wiped to show the lovely orange of Speckled Brownstone clay.  Eggshell on the insides.

Yep, I made another set of stacking bowls...having sold the first set within a couple of hours of setting them out.  So now, how much should I charge for this similar set?  I know they aren't perfect, being only my second attempt to do this.  Suggestions welcome!

 A couple of yarn bowls...for the knitter/crochet-er in your life.

The Celadon glazed one has already been sold. 
 These are tiny condiment dishes, about 2.5 inches across.
I'm really into stackables, aren't I?  Raspberry and Celadon, on white clay here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Creativity means??

OK, I've had white squirrels in my posts now 2 days in a row, wonder what that means?

What does anything mean, really?  My topic of creativity, for instance, is a place I feel pretty comfortable.

It's part of our sermon topic coming up this Sun, but will be more the writer's realm than mine, the visual realm.

I will hopefully have a friend who does performance art, who will be there as well, to make comments that tie all forms of creativity together.

When looking for pictures to post about creativity and it's meaning to me, I kept wanting to put my grandchildren's pictures here.

The most satisfying creativity of my life...not just in the lives of wonderful people that my sons and their families exemplify, but the creative urge that brings forth life.  We all have it.  It is a reminder of how we are all connected through sex...that it is a beautiful sharing between people, which is how our species continues. 

Of course like all crones, I don't have many thoughts about the procreation portion of sex anymore.  But let's get back to the topic. 

Creativity is available endlessly deep well inside us all, the source.  I think of tapping into it, bringing a cup, or perhaps just a drop of it up to taste, whenever I need some inspiration.

But I drink of creativity's abundance whenever I look at nature's flowers and trees and the earth just the way it flows and folds.

And don't forget the creativity of just breathing in and out!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Retail or just creative?

Sold to some wonderful customer last year.  I'm feeling less and less interested in the retail portion of being creative.  Of course having the green energy to buy groceries that I love is something that I should also think about.

What the clay studio won't be doing during Sourwood Art Festival this year.

I'm feeling like making more hand built things, sculptures of something or another...

August is not the greatest time to be outside trying to sell pots in Black Mountain, which is one of the reasons BMCA will not have their booth out this year.  However, the Sourwood Festival is lots of fun, so I'll probably go through and see what's there.  I'm just relieved to not have to sit on that concrete and hope for sales.

I haven't brought this sugar creamer set out yet this year.  Of course it might be because I love it too much to sell it. 

Making a scoop for sugar (or splenda) was harder than I thought it would it got a "sweet" name on it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Think cool

This was my "older self" when I didn't color my hair, and mostly was white haired.  I still wonder if it is worth it sometimes, but then I say no, and spend the time becoming a "differently colored hair" person every month which makes me feel like I'm mainly saying yes, give me the respect for my age, and if you don't, I have a brother (uncle? aunt? son?) who will make sure you do!  Other than that, I like playing with my visual impression.  Just never have gone as far as other women and done colors on my toenails....though who knows, maybe soon!
In case you don't recognize this's called Dry Falls.  Supposedly because you can pass under it without getting wet.  Not exactly.

Lovely river in the spring, between Franklin and Highlands, NC. 

In Brevard, NC, a sweet little store in honor of the real white squirrels they have in that area...a rare little breed, much fun to watch and take pictures of.  Nearby is the DuPont Forest, which has more wonderful waterfalls!