I love all four seasons...and it's a good thing too...cuz it looks like I'm going to experience all of them at home this year. Okay, maybe I have favorite seasons...but I'm trying to be positive and upbeat...
...okay, I tried...
One of the worst seasons? Well of course all seasons have their plus and minus qualities...but summer is a bummer. So many things to do in the summertime and just a few months to fit them all in.
Then there is that "heat" aspect. I'm not a fan of hot weather...I've been thinking that perhaps we should ban thermometers so it wouldn't be so hot...think about it...if we didn't have thermometers the temperature would not be so high...anything above 80 should be stored and used in January, February and March...
It's so hot (and dry) that making pottery is a real challenge. The pots dry too fast. Some warpage occurs as one side of the pot dries faster than the other...so turning the work during the day has to be one of the tasks...the rims dry before the bottoms...so you get to trim a wet, soft bottom because to get the pot to be the same consistency is near impossible.
Remember to be kind to your delivery folks. If you're being a good citizen and sheltering in place whenever possible, you need them and you need them to be both safe as well as sane. Mask Up and let them know you care about them. I used to tell them to drive carefully (or in the case of the newbies..."don't get lost")...Now I always shout from the doorway, "Thank you...stay safe."
Crazy times...never thought that I'd be looking at my computer and the delivery groups as lifelines...also never thought I'd be experiencing all four seasons in their entirety from the comfort of my home.
Now we find that many states are go back to earlier restrictions and including mandatory mask attire. Not just because the states "opened up too fast"...or too early...or too aggressively...but because citizens were irresponsible and didn't want to distance or mask up. California tightened up restrictions stateside today...I don't drink, but just when I thought I might need one...ALL bars are to cease ALL operations.
Bottom line...wear a mask, wash your hands...stay at home as much as possible and NONE of this mask stuff is political...it's science...just simple basic science from people who study and develop facts.
I generally post to the blog on Monday...and once again this post will be about Amon and his frolics...mostly.
But...today is Memorial Day. Thank you for all the men and women who have served our country and are now resting for our freedoms. Thank you also for all the Mothers, Fathers, Brothers and Sisters who supported our brave for freedom.
More about Amon...geeeze does he have energy. We sat down at the piano on Tuesday thinking that maybe we could start on some basics...hahaha...he's no where in that ballpark yet...loves the music but the attention span is just not prepared...yet.
His big thing this week has been going out to look at the slugs...oh and the funder (corrected by G&G to THunder...slugs...well that's easy entertainment. He couldn't see a slug from the day before so he informed us that the slug must be "on a holiday."
When his older brother was 4 yo, he and I made tiles with a colorful hand print on the top...his Grandma's got them...his aunties and of course, his Mom. So Amon and I set out to do one with his hand. Mission accomplished! We did this in the studio (his favorite building).
He and I worked on his new dough project in the workshop (his favorite building). I thought it would be good to start to learn about measurements...see piano fail from above. But we had fun.
He helped gather pine cones for the winter fires. he marveled at the size of the silk moTH (see funder above)...he found cool rocks on the far side of the property with Grammie...and had fun racing his cars and trucks down the driveway.
Hot dogs are his favorite. Pizza is his favorite. Spaghetti is his favorite. Ice cream sandwiches are his favorite and while he used to be just fine with vanilla ones...but along came Neapolitan...and they are his favorites. Neapolitan is my favorite one to hear him say...can't really unwrap the thing but he can say it (and eat it) just fine.
Over the past few months I've been polishing out a new Irish tune (a polka) I wrote it for Amon. We talked about calling it The Big Slug. It's a fun tune and plays right into a set of polkas I like to play. The Big Slug...I now have an idea where the crazy tune names for Irish music come from.
He went home on Saturday. I miss him already. I play The Big Slug to remind me of the fun we have.
Well we're in the deep end of the Grandson visit...Amon is four and has the attention span of...well let's just say it keeps me hopping.
Last night (night #2) he informed us that he was thinking of going home...how soon? ...he talked about minutes...I didn't catch how many. We'll see. It's almost lunch time on day 3 and he's heavy into "Stinky and Dirty."
After lunch we'll go back out to the workshop...he says the workshop is his favorite. Can he leave the video for the workshop...we'll see about that too.
Yesterday he told me stories about Santa, The Grinch and Buddy (a character in a Christmas video he likes). His imagination is just crazy vivid. He refers to the dark blue in one of his games as "Indigo" and the lighter one is "Sky Blue." I asked him why it was sky blue and he told me because it was lighter. Oh to be four.
I suppose if I live long enough people will treat me like I'm four again. I'm okay with that...
I could do fine in a land of "Dirty and Stinky"...learning to eat cherries...finding silk moths...favorite foods like hot dogs, muffins, bananas, girl scout cookies and ice cream sandwiches...where wearing socks inside out was just fine and wearing a onesy all day was cool and where I carry enough bathtub toys to fill my backpack.
Absolutely bonkers around here the past few days. Crazyville.
I'm polishing out a new product for introduction during the IndieMe virtual trade show coming up June 3-9...and of course getting new pictures ready for that event.
Then Brenda had to tape her video address to the Cottey College graduating class of 2020...SILENCE on the set...and ACTION. I just stayed in the studio.
Finishing up the first firing from the last virtual pottery work...second firing should go down this week...hopefully...if all the pots arrive.
The other "maybe" is Brenda is heading down the hill to scoop up grandson Amon for a week or so at the camp (our house)...it will be an exciting week as it's his first solo away from home for any length of time.
This morning Brenda was in a virtual workshop with Tanis Gray...Fair Isle Knitting...and we did a giveaway...a BRAND NEW piece from a concept line...the pieces shown today are on line...and pictured in this post.
We have a couple of new virtual classes up on our website (https://www.lickinflames.com/the-pinch-pot.html )...the project management aspect of the classes had me ordering more "bits" that will be shipped to the students. And of course, while working on the details, ideas for new classes popped into my head.
Just when you think you have crazy under control the brain starts to churn and the cycle continues. COVID may have us staying at home, but it fertilized crazy.
Ooops...I forgot to load the blog post yesterday. The weather...it was the weather that made me do it (or not do it in this case).
Seems a weather change does have an effect on operations around the studio. It's wet this week and the forecast is wet for the week with one sunny day. Not lots of rain, just misty stuff (folks in OR and WA will understand the greyness). My Mom used to called it "Oregon Mist." But damp means pots don't dry the same...
Student pots from last week's workshops are here (mostly) and this week I will fire them and then return them to their makers. Some really nice pots came out. It will be fun to see this batch finished.
We have several workshops scheduled over the next couple weeks...all virtual of course. The signups are underway. Couple of twists have been added as these are public workshops so the value proposition is a bit enhanced.
What have I learned from doing these workshops? I shouldn't have let my hair and makeup team go. Bad decision...makeup was easy. When she made the comment about not enough plaster in the world to fill in my wrinkles...she had to do. But hair? Make note of the first picture in this post...and to be honest...everyday is a bad hair day in the studio. I have a comb...perhaps I should use it.
Doing a workshop in a virtual setting really forces me to think through process in a whole new way and at a whole different level of scrutiny...details...little tiny details.
The flip side of that level of minutia is that when I turn around and look at the "big picture" of pottery and look at my own work, that detailed thinking comes into play and improves my studio process and my work.
It's funny how it works like that.
Hey...back to the workshops coming up...if you're interested let me know. If the times don't suit you, let me know and I'll keep that in mind for the future dates. If you would like to put a group of friends together for a virtual reunion...we can do that...families that craft together...well we do family gigs too...multi-generational family groups spread across the country...no problem...do the workshop with a friend and do a gift exchange.
Have a great week...stay safe...it's not over yet.
I had a different blog ready to post for this week and deleted it...on purpose this time...a choice. I had something better to share.
This past week I did two virtual pottery workshops with folks from Stitch Fix...the personal clothing styling company in San Francisco. Of course the employees are not at the company building...they're all working from home...and I am located here...not there.
The workshop was to give the teams some outlet to other people in their groups in a different sort of way...so clay was the medium to help bring them together. You can see from the pile of boxes that we had a number of people in the workshops. I went through 2 rolls of tape so far.
It was interesting watching the faces of attendees as they concentrated on their projects. Fun to watch the creativity.
As always, I find myself perhaps learning more through a workshop than I give.
It became even more apparent to me that creation and art is limited only by access, access to material and tools. Everyone has creativity in them...but the material and tools are not always available.,
We gave them access. They responded by creating. What a great experience.