I’ve been missing from here for a couple months. I hope some of you noticed, but I’ll forgive you if you haven’t! The beginning of a new year is a funny time of year for me; part catch up and part forward planning. I find I’m not “in the moment” much. Now though, as spring arrives here in Southern California, I’m beginning to find myself reaching out more.
Return to the familiar. I find myself, once again, the poster child for this, my favorite concept I learned in a beginning sociology class I took many years ago. Return to the familiar is why it’s so difficult to break the cycle of violence, or welfare, or any other generational condition you’re addressing. We all go back to what is familiar. For me it’s production work. Not in a factory sort of way, although sometimes my life feels like that Lucy show where she’s working in a chocolate factory! I tend to be comfortable in a “if I can make one, I can make many” sort of way. If I make soup, I make enough for a soup kitchen to feed an entire town. When I was actively making my Gourdfolk, I made and shipped them all over the country.
A couple of years ago I was fortunate to be asked by a really lovely woman, May Lindstrom, if I’d be interested in making bowls for her line of skin care potions, May Lindstrom Skin. At the time she was just developing her line, and I thought it sounded interesting. Little did I know that she would become a phenom in the handcrafted, organic, luxury world of skin care. Words fail to adequately convey the refined yet earthy qualities of her line. May has a sense of responsibility about her creations. She sources only the highest quality ingredients; organic when possible, http://maylindstrom.com/ingredients.php. The bottles and jars she uses are dark violet miron glass to protect the volatile oils and potent powders she crafts her products from. I’m very pleased that May enlisted me to make the bowls for her Problem Solver Correcting Masque. I throw each one on my vintage wheel, glaze them with my gunmetal black, which of course is food safe, and finish them in a third firing with May’s beautiful dandelion logo which we had made in 24 carat gold. They’re quite yummy.
So, What are people giving this year to those on their list that have everything? Hand made, one of a kind, personalized, custom hand sculpted ceramic dogs, of course.
I’ve been busy in the garagio sculpting dogs for folks to give as gifts to the hard to buy for pet-loving people on their Holiday gift giving list. I’ve been sculpting chihuahuas, labs, Bracco Italianos, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling retrievers, Shit tsus, Portuguese Water Dogs, and mutts of course.
I love hearing stories about the different dogs I’m asked to sculpt. Although all the stories are different, there is always a common thread. Love. Some of these dogs were purchased or rescued from places far away, some show up uninvited and become a part of a family. Some live on farms, some in suburban yards, and one even lives on a yacht. Some are puppies and have their whole lives ahead of them and sadly, some have passed on. But they are all truly loved.
Thank you for asking me to do this. It really is my pleasure.
Because of you I can go to work in my jammies and bare feet. That makes me so happy – all year long – not just on Small Business Saturday.
To show my appreciation, I am going to have my first ever sale in my Etsy shop, cedarpocket.etsy.com, this Saturday, November 24, 2012. All my ready to ship inventory will be 20% off! LittleDog and I have rolled out the welcome mat for you!
Saturday is also officially Small Business Saturday. Even if you decide not to shop with me, consider giving some of your holiday shopping to a small or local business this year?
One thing I can count on is that I’m easily distracted during the change of seasons. My creative juices get stirred when the weather changes. I’m no longer complacent. If it’s brisk in the morning all the better. It’s like all my senses become heightened, like my cells are saying “hey wake up! Something’s different here and it’s worth slowing down and taking a look”. I become inspired.
Yesterday in the garagio, I had my to do list, a couple of urns, more than a few dogs, and finishing some other pieces. I also had about a dozen mugs I’d thrown that were under plastic awaiting a critter or embellishment of some sort. As I sat at my desk finishing my cuppa before I started, my gaze fell upon a set of antique letterpress type I had left out the night before. My eyes landed on one of those green ware mugs…then the type…then the mug…type…mug…okay I’m sure you know where I’m going here. That dozen mugs? While they’re not all branded with my inspiring words of the day…most are. I think I’m going to love these. I hope you do too.
On any given day, you can find me out in my garage studio (hereafter referred to as the garagio) in my pajamas and barefoot. I don’t see any sense in getting all clean and dressed when I know within a matter of minutes I’ll be covered in clay. I’ve never liked shoes. Growing up in Southern California, I seldom needed them for warmth and I have oddly wide, hard to fit feet. TMI? Anyway, all my life, I’ve kicked off confining irritating shoes as soon as I could. I cheered when it became trendy to run barefoot, not that I run, I just love hearing it’s healthy. I feel like it doesn’t make my barefoot tendency quite as odd. As much as I’m an advocate for barefeet, I did think it was disconcerting when that hobbit movie director started showing up at all the award shows barefoot. I love that he championed the barefoot cause, but I must admit, ever since the 70′s ended I do don shoes for most public events. Maybe it’s a girl thing.
Anyway, I digress. Last Saturday was no different than most days. I went out to the garagio, trimmed some mugs I have in the works, and decided to tidy up a bit since it was the end of the week. I pulled my lovely, but ever so heavy, circa 1970′s Shimpo pottery wheel towards me to sweep under it and I just kept going – right over my big toe. It took my big toenail with it. I won’t go into the details but suffice it to say…that moment is something that’s going to stay with me a long time! I flapped the nail down, put on a pressure wrap, then went in and put on street clothes and a shoe on the undamaged foot and waited for my darling husband Steve to come home. We wound up in the UCLA emergency room for the rest of the day. There I learned the magical properties of morphine and nerve blocks and I was counciled on the wisdom of wearing shoes when working around heavy equipment.
The ironic punchline? I wont be wearing a shoe on my right foot for a long, long time.
I’m off to the garagio now…barefoot!
ps: my toe is feeling much better now, a few days later.