Friday, August 9, 2013

Hello everyone... anyone?

Yes, it would not surprise me a bit to learn that this blog has been tossed into the dust bin of eternity.  Especially for those who may have shown an interest in it at one time or another.  It has been a long, long time, and I am sorry for that; but like so many other bloggers these days, I had simply decided to take a break.  My post from March 6th, Slow Blur, pretty much tells the tale of my vacation from this journal.  I still check it on a regular basis, and I still enjoy reading the blogs of others; but I have noticed that many of the long-time bloggers I have enjoyed over the years have also slowed down.  I think we are all suffering from a bit of communication overload.
I have been very busy this past year, but you wouldn't know it from looking at my blog. In the past twelve months or so, I think I've added something (text or a picture) about once a month.  I'm pretty sure that that's not called active blogging (ha).  Life zips by in a slow blur.  But I am starting to feel like opening up again. I am waking up and looking around... maybe this blog will wake up too.  Hope springs eternal. Peace.

Oh, and by the way... I've been making some pottery.  How 'bout that.  More to come.      

Friday, May 3, 2013

and the crazy weather continues...

I'm sitting at my desk here at work right now looking out the window at light snow falling.  It would be an understatement to say that that is an unusual event around these parts, considering we are a few days into May.  Two days ago our afternoon high was 80 degrees.  We've had good rainfall this spring, and the last days of April were beautiful and sunny and just the way you want Springtime to be.  Despite some early warnings of a cold snap headed our way, I was sure that it was finally time to get our garden in.  It couldn't be that bad, right?  And yet, yesterday the temperatures were falling all day, and a cold rain was moving in. We were catching just a small portion of a much larger system that has brought cold temperatures and tons of heavy, wet snow to an area that stretches across most of the northern half of the U.S.  When my alarm clock went off this morning the temperature outside was one degree above freezing, and a half inch of sleet had fallen, with scattered reports of fender-benders and slide-offs in and around Springfield. That is no fun.  The projected high for today is 39 according to the National Weather Service.  It could certainly be a lot worse.  Fortunately I covered my plants last night, so I'm sure they will be fine, but we really should be past all of this by now.   Oh well, there's not much you can do about it.  The weekend is pretty much a washout... wet and cold.  Our band is playing tonight at an Irish pub on the south side, but with weather like this we are kinda expecting a thin crowd.  Hopefully it will be above freezing when it's time to pack up our gear and head home after the gig.  And thankfully we are supposed to have a fairly quick turn-around with this; by the middle of next week they are calling for highs in the 70s again.  That will be nice.  In the mean time... let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.... ha.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Slow blur...

I have a good life.  That's an understatement.  And I have plenty of things going on in my life that keep me occupied... keep me moving; if not forward, at least moving.  I don't feel like my life is hectic, it's just full.  But unfortunately many of the things I do every day are simply little more than consumers of time; and those tend to move in slow motion and more often than not, simply keep me from getting to the things that I would much rather be doing.  I doubt I am very unique when it comes to that. There are people out there that lead much busier lives than I ever will, and yet it seems that most of the things I experience on any given day, the things that actually deserve to be held and turned over and caressed, and allowed to soak in; instead sweep past me in a blur, before I can even take the time to process what has happened.  Not quite sure why that is, or how to fix it.  And blogging about any of that?... well, obviously that won't happen very often.  By the time I've thought about most things I would want to share with you all, it's 50 miles behind me.  The little voices whisper... simplify your life.  They tell me that I need to treasure the love that comes my way, every day. And give it back in full measure.  That's a given.  Clear away the clutter and realize what is important and what feeds your soul.  That's what they say.  I need to get back into the habit of getting out and exploring the world around me.   Reignite my curiosity and wonder.  Walk in the woods... pick up neat looking rocks and moss and bones, get my feet wet... and let those things have a happy reunion with my 200,000 year old self.  Yes, that's what they say... and then 
Dang! look at the time; I've got to get back to work.  My lunch break is over already.  Sigh.  Peace to you all. ;)
I will be home in a few hours, and enjoy the evening with Pam.  And maybe later I'll go down to my studio and make something out of clay.  It's almost like a walk in the woods.  Almost.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

colorful characters

I did a bisque firing this past Wednesday evening (the 30th) and everything came out great!  I was glad to see that these guys survived.  They are a bit of a departure from my usual effigy pieces.  I made a similar, but smaller, version of these tall vases (or bottles) back in early January, and noted at the time that that form presented a lot of possibilities.  I wanted to try adding some color, for one thing, and see how that played out; plus at around 13" tall, they are pretty much the largest pieces I have ever hand built.  So far I am fairly happy with the results. I spent a good part of the day today glazing this load.  If all goes as planned, I will do the glaze firing tomorrow afternoon.   

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Friday, January 4, 2013

A giant among men...

As you can see, I'm kicking off the new year with something a little different.  Despite what the title might suggest, this piece really isn't that  big... (it's maybe 10 inches tall) but it is quite a bit larger than the effigy pieces I normally make.  I've still got some tweaking to do, but I like the overall look of it, and the elongated form.  I'm sure I will be making more of these; there seems to be quite a bit of room for exploration there.  It was enjoyable to make.  I started it Wednesday evening with the lower torso (the legs and hips) and let that rest overnight to firm up a bit, and then last night I finished it.  Most of it was built from the ground up, using slab coiling.  I could see going even bigger with these... 12 inches tall or more.  Heck, I'm thinking that maybe a 6 foot Moai like that would look pretty cool standing in our front yard!  I'm almost sure Pam would go for it.  Right?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

North Shore Goodies...

I'm pretty sure that this stuff is made by angels, wearing Hula skirts. 
And now, sad to say, it's all gone.  I may have to order more.  The stuff  I'm talking about is called Liliko'i Butter, made by the North Shore Goodies Company in Oahu, Hawaii.  From what I've read about it, the Liliko'i vine is closely related to the purple passion fruit plant that grows here on the mainland.  The Liliko'i Butter is made of Liliko'i fruit, honey, eggs and butter... it's tart and sweet and creamy smooth, and every spoonful reminds me of Hawaii.  I've never tasted anything else quite like it.  It's particularly good on Pam's home made bread.  We first discovered North Shore Goodies when we were vacationing in Hawaii a few years ago.  They had a booth set up at a farmer's market in downtown Honolulu, and we tried samples of several of their products, including their coconut peanutbutter (which is also very good) and brought some home with us.
This Christmas, Pam & I both got the sneaky idea that we would order some goodies from North Shore Goodies as a nice surprise.  It was pretty funny once we realized what we had done. So now we have plenty of coconut peanut butter, but unfortunately my little jar of Liliko'i Butter didn't last very long.  I guess we'll just have to go back to Hawaii and get more.  Sigh.... That sounds like a pretty good idea.  Let's see, right about now the sun is setting over the islands; and it's 73 degrees F with partly cloudy skies in Hilo, Hawaii.  And here in southwest Missouri? Well, it's dark out, and 22 degrees (not too awfully cold) with an expected overnight low of 19 and a clear sky.  Which means I do have to put on my shoes and go out and pull the cars into the garage so we won't have to scrape the windows tomorrow morning.  Hmmmm.  We have such a tough life, don't we.  ;)     

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

More to come in this new year...

Here are a few of the new pieces I've made recently.  These are all red earthenware, except the feller with the hole in his head. That one is made of white earthenware, with a generous coating of red earthenware terra sigillata, applied when the piece was bone dry.  That one is an experiment... I'm mainly just looking for a different finished surface.  I gave it a slight sheen by rubbing it with the tip of my finger.  I added some terra sig to the surface of the red earthenware bowl in the top photo, also, just to smooth it out a bit.  Can't wait to have a kiln load... I'm getting anxious to fire again!