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.
It’s said nothing is quick in ceramics. It is indeed a lesson in patience. I’ve learned to grow, stretch myself.
How can I describe the feeling of seeing something in my head, have it manifest physically through various techniques that have been so generously shared with me, dry, make it through the bisque fire, choosing the best glazes to achieve the affect I want, and then fire it to over 2100 degrees Fahrenheit, well past literal red hot. The moment when a potter opens the kiln and sees the physical manifestation of a design, a daydream, the fleeting kernel of an idea is beyond description. It’s what keeps so many of us going back for more.
Patience was always one of the ingredients lacking in my life. I always wanted everything now. That need for immediacy helped me hone many skills. For instance, I can whip up a pretty decent meal very quickly…I was even an oyster bar chef…pouring drinks and serving up seafood delicacies in front of a packed bar. My husband and I did art shows for many years selling my GourdFolk. Setting up a show is another exercise in speediness. You often need to drive to a new city, find your booth, set up a welcoming attractive storefront in just a few hours, then calmly meet and greet customers, and after it’s over break it all down as quickly as you can to get home to your waiting bed. Anyway, as usual, I’m beginning to ramble.
Working with ceramics has taught me so much. Like a good meal, life needs a balance of salty and sweet. The patience ceramics has taught me is my sweet.
Good morning. So… our Lab Penny had to have surgery on Wednesday. She had several tumors taken off, three on her poor little ear another on her back. She’s doing fine…my husband Steve and I? …ehhh.
Ever see a hyperactive American Field Lab with a cone on her head try to navigate a ceramic studio? How about a drugged lab with a cone on her head chase raccoons with a yapping little mutt heading the charge – at 3 in the morning? Or maybe a lab with a cone on her head being persistent enough that you finally throw the ball to her? It’s a lot like playing a carnival game…ring toss anyone?
Do I sound tired? Yep, a little bit. But don’t worry. Penny is resting comfortably!
Update: Penny’s tumors were all benign! Now just have to deal with the cone head for the next two weeks!