Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Promised Land

I don’t know how many in the US looked at me in disbelief when I told them I live on the same latitude as Northern California. When y’all go to Portland for NCECA you will be northwest  of me in terms of latitude. It almost appears that 1/3 of the US is north of where I live. Yes, Detroit is north of Windsor, Ontario.
I live on Lake Erie which is that little bitty pink finger sticking down at the bottom of the map. We live in a Carolinian forest area that has many of the same trees as the Carolinas. No, I don’t live in an igloo nor is there any snow on the ground nor is my mail being delivered by dog sled. I have never seen a polar bear or sled pulled by dogs. We actually drive cars and the cell phone was introduced to us early this year (har, har)  and the neighbours all crowded around when my parents got their first colour TV . I think that was in !964.  
Travelling to other countries is an amazing thing to do. I highly recommend it!

Canada has been rated as the 6th best country in the world to live in. Who ever came up with that has every right to be wrong. Canada is the best country in the world to live in.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sagger Makers Bottom Knocker

This is the occupation I would like to list on my CV. As y’all know (I picked that up in the South) a saggar was used to protect the pots from flame impingement, ash and all that nasty stuff that I covet. The saggar can also be used to create interesting surfaces by filling it with different combustibles like charcoal. The saggar had to be made with precision by a skilled craftsman. The bottom knocker ( a young boy) made the base of the saggar from a lump of fireclay which he knocked into a metal ring using a wooden maul.
The occupation saggar makers bottom knocker sounds like something exciting I did with a southern bell in Alabama. Sorry to disappoint y’all!
As I drove home from Louisville ( Low eh vale) Kentucky in the fog I couldn’t see the gas stations, signs or rest stops. One of my techniques for driving long distances is to drink water and chew gum but not to eat. I pulled over at a Lion’s Den Adult Superstore to buy some gum. I paid a lot of money for that gum and it tasted a lot like rubber. It did however keep me awake.

Today I did man’s work- groceries, laundry, banking, phone calls, emails,  watered the plants and started a bisque firing of pots that have been waiting. A man’s work is never done.  We good ones  are so unappreciated.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Come on funny feeling

As much as I love my friends south of 49 it is like a breath of fresh air to cross over that bridge and have the Canada Customs man at the border say “Welcome home!
Yes, this is home! Jack had been hitting the Knob Creek pretty hard while I was away and by the looks of his glassy eyes he had smoked his fair share of pot.  We both sat in silence and stared down the barrel of the choices we have made.

The funny feeling knows the way the whole thing comes and goes.
Makes you stop and smell the roses if you’re smart.
The funny feeling never lies. It’s there to open up your eyes
Makes you stop and realize you’re blessed.
Come on funny feeling. – Rodney Crowell

If you were to ask me what is the happiest time in my life I would answer now. At this very moment, at this very place, on this very day. I should answer at the birth of my kids, at a wedding or some other time but this is the moment.  I came home having made so many new friends. I know I did a good job. I just feel so content right now! I am blessed that my passion has become a life long career.
The Cactus Lounge never looked better. I missed my art, my books, my music, my cooking and of course Jack. We need each other to keep one another in line. Tomorrow we get back to exercise and clean living. Good night, Jack! I love you!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Potters Beauty Pageant

After a month in The Deep South I have just left the Heart of Dixie (Birmingham, Alabama) and I’m headed home to The Promised Land. I left Birmingham this aft at 24C. I expect I’ll be welcomed home to temperatures in the single digits and hopefully some snow. I actually miss it!
I was center stage at The Alabama Clay Conference with Cheryl Tall a figurative sculptor from California and Ken Baskins of Louisiana a maker of large mechanical inspired sculpture. They said I was center stage because I was the senior member. I prefer to think I was the cutest.
I really have left my heart in Dixie as I do love the people so much. I wish I could train Canadians to say “ YES SIR!”.
Here is an image of the t-shirt that they had printed for the conference. Nice to have one of my drawngs on the Tee.
I made a large 3 piece bacon bowl and had made some clay biscuits in a cast iron biscuit mold that I applied. I didn’t want to be just an old crock or old crock maker. I too wanted to be an artist. I filled the bowl with six cups so there was coffee, biscuits and bacon. The thick slip on the cups would qualify as grits.  A true southern feast. I suggested that we auction it off to be fired in a local anagama “Fat Bastard”. The pot sold for $350 and proceeds went to send a student to next years conference. I support students in any way I can.

I’m posing in front of the bacon bowl with my Alabama buddy Stanley Hurst the tool man. I gave him a copy of my book and he said he almost cried reading it. I said you got to be kidding.!  He said “ No, I ain’t kidding,

I got a tender heart!’ Bless your heart, Stanley.