Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fiddleheads, Friends, and Film

Dandelion Greens and Fiddleheads: fresh picked and prepared for lunch.

Natasha Mayers with some of her recent paintings.

Mary K. and Jeff Spencer in their pottery studio, 
surrounded by their creations!

I just dropped off a pottery order at the Center for Maine Craft, 
located inside the West Gardiner Service Plaza off I95.
A gorgeous gallery!
(if in the area and looking for my work...they have my sake sets, 
mugs, tea bowls, berry mugs, mini vases, and a few other items)

April has been an on-the-go kinda month. As it comes to a close, I am breathing a a sigh of relief that we can park the car for a few days and get some things done here in the Lubec studio. That being said, what an amazing month it has been! There have been all kinds of art and poetry happenings and lots of laughter and camaraderie. Given the distance we have to drive when going to central Maine, I tend to pack a lot in to make the travel expense efficient. And of course, as always happens, unexpected things pop up that knock us a bit off the intended course. We ended up staying an extra night, and as it turned out, was well worth it!

Last Thursday afternoon we hit the road for Hallowell where we planned to show the Lubec Arts Alive film at the Harlow Gallery. We made it to town with only minutes to spare before the event and luckily all went off without a hitch. Nancy, who oversees programming at the gallery, had already set-up the seating and projector. I don't think I will ever get tired of seeing the film and it always gets me a bit teary-eyed at the end.

Friday I rose early and headed to Portland Pottery to grab 300 lbs. of clay and some other supplies. I scooted right back to West Gardiner where I dropped off a pottery order at the Center for Maine Craft. If you are traveling the interstate or turnpike through Maine - this place is definitely worth a stop. It is your basic visitor center/rest stop as far as the eateries, bathrooms, and gas, but, it has this one super cool component that no other rest stop in Maine has: a gorgeous huge gallery of Maine made high-end fine crafts. The pottery selection is phenomenal and I am so pleased to be on board  with them.

I got back to my parents' house with a few coveted minutes for rest before heading over to visit Mary K. Spencer, a potter whose studio I had been wanting to tour for quite some time. I was blown away by all the production work she had, every piece made with love of course! She has been incredibly helpful and encouraging, and for that I am very grateful. She is a huge inspiration!

That same evening my family gathered at Lucky Gardens for the best Chinese food in central Maine. It was my sister's birthday celebration and when my family gets together there always seems to be a lot of laughter. I got my fix of my favorite shrimp dish and then we continued the celebration at Kristin's house with mom's homemade chocolate cake.

We had planned to return to Lubec on Saturday, but we ran into a friend at the film viewing who convinced us to stay an extra day. I hemmed and hawed a bit about the orders I needed to fill and all my other tasks that needed to be done....but gave in and am so glad that things turned out as they did. We spent the first part of Saturday at our friend Natasha Mayers house. She is a real mover and shaker in community arts and activism and is always interesting to spend time with. It's hard to get me to take extra down-time when there are things that need to be done in the studio, but when she suggested that we pick fiddleheads along the Sheepscot River, well, that got me. I remembered Nana always talking about picking fiddleheads while growing up in Bingham. So, for the first time ever, I got to try my hand at it. What fun! Digging in the earth, I felt right at home. It was a super relaxing time, listening to the wind in the trees and the river flowing swift.

Heading back up the trail to Natasha's house, we picked dandelion greens. Back at home base, she cooked the gathered items in olive oil and garlic and along with her homemade soup from mostly last season's harvest, we had a feast, followed by a viewing of Natasha's latest paintings. What an an amazing and prolific artist she is.

In the afternoon I spent more time with my sister and mom exploring Hallowell and the evening was filled with mom's good cooking. We headed to bed early and left in the morning for one more adventure. Natasha had asked Chris to read some of his poetry for possible voice-overs in a film that is being made about the Occupy movement here in Maine. After, we were on the road with a pottery drop-off for Ironbound Gallery in Camden (they plan to open mid May!) and some grocery shopping.

And now, here we are, home sweet home. The cats happy for our return and normal work schedules resuming. Tomorrow I hit the studio early to work on orders and load the kiln. A rigorous firing schedule begins and pottery will be packed to head to three more shops early May. MFA end-of-semester work is in the final push. School is in high gear as I try to get student art ready for a couple different venues and think about what the final art projects will be for the year. It's all exciting!

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