Friday, March 30, 2012

Home at last........

And not a moment to spare before the tax rebellion starts.......   
But! before I dive into the pile of receipts and mug of sharpened pencils thought it would be fun to do a recap! 

3:20 am Wednesday, March 21st, on our way to Spring Craft Boston.  The end of the gauntlet called March.  The sun was coming up somewhere around Rochester, NY.

My able bodied assistant........ well,  hope she is resting up for the day ahead.

Staying behind...... a man and his dog celebrating his birthday and dreaming about putting that boat in the water.

By 4:30 p.m. knee deep in set up.  Where is my wand? 

Grazing stations set up for the gala opening on Thursday night.  

A small rant here...... I LOVE Boston for it's food!  It is a town of foodies and did I mention you can get fresh seafood just about anywhere?  You can get organic, fresh, home brewed, home grown, home cultured anything in Boston.  Makes me dizzy.  We found a little place in Winthrop; The High Tide.  Although known for their huge breakfasts we opted for dinner.  The kid from Ohio went for mac and cheese with ham and peas...... no comment.  (she loved it!) Just looking at it made my arteries hurt.

I chose the Mediterranean Delight.  Broiled salmon, feta cheese, mussels, shrimp; all tossed in olive oil, capers and fresh lemon juice!  YUM!  After working all day this was wonderful! and can I say the price is $12.95!  We ate here almost everyday and best of all they are right down the street from our AirBnB stay.

This was my first stay.  OK all  you backpackers, artists and folks who do not want to spend a gazillion dollars for a bed you are just going to sleep in.   I contacted Gerta, the homeowner and made arrangements, she had one room left for $50 a night.  

This is our room and it looks out over the ocean in a very nice neighborhood with restaurants we could walk too.  Many artists opted to stay in the Seaport Hotel but alas the rooms were $225 a night.  You have to do your homework but I will using the service again! 

Our stay from the outside!  That's our room, third dormer on the left. 

By Sunday morning we bid goodbye to Winthrop and Gerta and worked the last day of Craft Boston.  Packed up and pulled the trailer out of the convention center by 7:45 p.m.  I drove through the night pulling in the driveway at 6:30 a.m.  The coffee pot was on and sheets were fresh.  Abby slept during the drive home because she had class at 10 am Monday morning.  She hopped in Butch's car and off they went.  Before I hit the sheets I kissed the dog..... on the lips..... so happy to be home!

Monday, March 19, 2012

March marches on.......

March has been just plain nuts and I am admittedly a bit squirrelly.  Spring fever or burnout?  Not sure.
After Saturday with the Cincinnati Clay Alliance I know talking about pots will never get old.

Spent Sunday unpacking the car and putting all my workshop tools away.  I cannot tell a lie...... I always pack too much!  Again the Hungarian motto comes back to me..... "Why Do When You Can Over Do?"  Maybe it's time to let my Scottish side come out but then I look awful in plaid and kilts!

The Cincinnati Clay Alliance folks rocked!  A huge thank you to Pam Duncan, Sue Cline and Marcia Cochran.  The only thing I would have changed about the workshop is the addition of a slideshow.  Trying to convey so much through words and gestures is sometimes just to talky.  And talk, wow have not talked that much or heard myself talk that much in very long time.  Started loosing my voice about an hour into the workshop, could have been the pollen or my kitty allergy or just plain talking.  Perhaps the dog would like to have more dialog between his naps.  

Today there are several pots to ship out.......... my favorite thing (she typed sarcastically!)  Frame a few wall pieces (really make more sawdust), pick daughter #2 for Spring Break (really pick up free help for Boston), start the packing for Boston (really just rearrange the trailer), and try to get a glaze fire done but at this point I know those teapots and stacked pieces are not going to Boston (really leave me my illusions!).

And as I put my list together I gaze out the window to weather in the 70's and a yard that needs a major clean up!  Things need cut back and gardens turned.  Hoping I didn't miss the window to get my peas in or for that matter all cold weather crops.  Can I please have a couple radishes this year before they bolt from hot weather?!   Too late, 80 tomorrow.........  hot weather just makes me cranky!   I am ready to go dirt diving now but it must wait until I get home.

March has logged too many hours on the road, not enough creative time and have reveled in the shear satisfaction of crossing things off my list.  There is a mountain of paperwork to do when I get back and I would so love to see the surface of my desk again, bet I find a packet of seeds at the bottom of the pile.

Be strong and carry on.............

Thursday, March 15, 2012

what is going on?

The planets are out of align ........... again!

One of those days when I am steam rolling from one calamity to next.  Maybe it was the lightening storm we work up to at 4:30 am, maybe it was the dog banging his head on the bedroom door, maybe it was taking the car to the mechanic at 7 a.m. and being told we would need more than an oil change.  No worries we have time for breakfast......... the toaster went ca-flooie.  It wouldn't stay down so I held it until black smoke curled out and I announced;  It's done!  I went for oatmeal.

Car picked up by 9:30 a.m. and off to the studio.  Thought I would start the framed pieces.  I spent a few years working in a frame shop.  Yesterday I traveled across town to the moulding wholesale store and the hardware store to get this production rolling.  I wrestled the air compressor off the porch, found the brad nailer and even found the wood glue.  Happy dance!  Plug in the miter saw and rummage around for scrap lumber to practice on before I ruined $150.00 worth of moulding.  Two eight foot pieces of scrap firing strips ruined and I was on my way.  Cutting angles for someone who does not know right from left ....... well it's a challenge.  I started out making an 18 x 25"   firing frame.  By the time I got the miter cuts down I was down to a 4 x 6 " frame that will fit in my wallet.

The dog laid under the table and by lunch was covered in sawdust, I had reduced 16 feet of lumber to a pile of sawdust. I rock at this!
Finally feeling confident enough to cut the expensive stuff I put it on the miter saw and let er' rip....... that lovely fine paint which is over plaster and then wood looked like a herd of beavers had their way with the moulding.  Run to hardware store and buy a proper saw blade.  Back home, cut moulding, success!  Get out the new fangled 4 corner vise which I was told would be so much easier than the old corner bench vise I was used to, was NOT!

Tom the hardware guy said it's so simple just use the four thumb screws and it will tighten all 4 four corners together perfectly.  I screwed and screwed for 20 minutes....... until my thumbs were screaming.  On my way back to the hardware store to get a corner vise that screws to the table and have a little chat with Tom to see if he sells extra thumbs!  Finally home and ready for glue and brad nailer I tripped over the 50 ft. orange extension cord and told myself to get hold of yourself!  I didn't nail my hand to the frame, yippee!
Flip the frame over and one piece had been cut upside down......... kill me.  I could not endure another round, off to the house.

In the house I thought I'd replace a burned out track light over the sink.  Pull out the chair, jump on the granite counter top and cannot figure out how to get the bulb out of the sleek modular track head.  I started unscrewing screws much to the delight of my aching thumbs.  One more turn to the left and the light bulb dropped out, all by itself, crashing to the counter taking the edge of a very nice chip carved plate and bouncing into the sink.  Why yes I tried to catch the heavy light bulb hurling itself toward my plate and granite counter top, promptly loosing my balance and failing off the counter.  I will be applying to Cirque du Soleil after I get my knee out of my forehead.  The dog guarded the fridge and raised an eyebrow.  Checked for blood and broken bones, nope.  Limp upstairs to find my sticky bottom rock climbing shoes and not my cotton socks waxed with pledge and jump back on the counter.
It's just like riding a horse, get back on!   An hour later the angels sang and we had light in the kitchen again.

High beam on the coffee pot and thought YES!  That is just what I need a good cup of coffee!  I cleaned out the coffee grinder and the coffee pot and readied myself for a much needed jolt.  Well I got the jolt because I forgot to put the lid on the coffee grinder and I stood there looking like a chia pet!
Finally I made coffee and felt so superior as I sank into the couch......... what a day.

Headed back to the studio to make teapots and pack for my morning trek to Cincinnati.........
I swear I need a pedestrian air bag........

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Workshop bound.......

And away we go! 

Packing up, making lists, finalizing handouts and looking forward to the drive south Friday morning.  My workshop outline is growing and not sure how I will fit everything in to a one day workshop.  Hoping the workshop will be spontaneous and folks feel free to ask questions.  I also know I can talk about clay and glazes until the cows come home;  if no one asks a question I know there won't be dead silence at any given time.  Very excited to be in a room with other potters talking about clay!!!  

Heard a rumor glaze partner Dolita is making the trek from Louisville.  It has finally happened, we have taken our act on the road....... The Thelma and Louise of the clay world.  

I am so happy the Clay Alliance of Cincinnati and the Louisville Clay Guild will come together in one room.  Great for potters separated by the Ohio River! 

And while away both kilns will be firing for Craft Boston ...... which starts on Wednesday next week.  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Back from West Palm Beach .......

And never so happy to plant my feet on the ground and kiss the dog!  (He had a wonderful time at Camp Abby in Kent and Abby learned a dog is too much responsibility at this time in her life...... lessons for everyone this trip.)

Speaking of lessons and the learning curve of life, I have hit yet another speed bump on my way.  I had a gut feeling the week prior to leaving and even announced to the fam and a few friends, I wasn't going.  The show expenses were huge and at the stroke of midnight I just couldn't eat the expenses.  I loaded the  truck and trailer,  off we went...... 30 hours away.  We made check in time by 1:30 pm on Thursday and proceeded to sit in line for 45 minutes in 90 degree heat....... and we are off to the races. 

After walking around I quickly realized the difference between the age old question of "ART vs. CRAFT.  The answer......... price!  Finally set up and pretty happy with the booth one of the show promoters stopped by, looked around and I was told, again:  "OMG mark your prices up!"  Just put a 1 in front of all your prices or the collectors will never take you seriously.  And so it began....... 

Friday, the crowds flocked to the jewelers, purse makers and clothing artists.  There were a few collectors walking the floor and they did find their favorite artists and spent money.  Friday night I was kicking myself for not trusting my gut and staying home.  Saturday night more of the same and realizing Florida is not my market. 
The flashy glass artist next to me mentioned I was not glitzy enough for the Florida crowd; I might want to run out and buy a be-dazzler tonight.  He pointed out I had an "earthy look". 
 It's pottery, I retorted. 

The other thing I was surprised at........ interior designers are abundant in Florida and most want a price break.  New to this venue I was a bit daunted by this but for the most part stood firm.  What is your best price?.......... pretty sure that is my best price, have you walked around the show?

There were of course highlights at this show and I had a ball talking to several new collectors and most of all, clay artists from the area.  Gotta say clay people are just happy to talk about clay and techniques. Especially loved talking to the school teachers teaching art in the public schools, bless them! 

set up the first day.......

playing with wall pieces.  As a person who walks the woods and paths I pick up little gifts left for me to discover...... yeah I know, it is all about me :)  On wash day I empty my pockets and loving place these found objects in a shoe box next to the washer.  I have many shoe boxes and wondered what I would ever do with the contents of those shoe boxes.  Shadow box assemblage seems a natural progression to the collection.  The back of the framed piece has the story of the contents.  I am loving the process. 
Also think they compliment the pedestal work.

All in all looking back it was a haul.  I hit the studio the second week of January and never left.  Walking and other activities like blogging ceased.  If my fingers were busy they were weaving and not typing.
It was not a balanced life, sure I got my bread baked and the vacuum run but so much of life stopped to get ready.  
One needs time to day dream, walk and visit with friends.

I also believe this will be my last show with a promoter in lieu of contacting collectors.  I don't care for the arena and frankly would rather show work through the SAC in Boston or the MAG in Rochester.  
Support for organizations educating the collectors and general public to fine craft is where I would like to throw my support.  I might add they treat us very well too.

All in all I am so happy to be back in the studio working on teapots, getting ready for a workshop with the Clay Alliance in Cincinnati and Craft Boston the end of the month.  
March, so far has been a whirlwind!