Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's a Potter's Life for Me

Senator Susan Collins checking out my
at Northern Tides Art Gallery and Gift Shop.
(Yes, she did buy one of my bowls!)
Photo by Debbie Ayala Kasunic

Been busy with production in the pottery cave.
Mugs, tankards, pitcher, tea bowls, noodle bowls, cereal bowls, sake bottles, and creamers.
If you don't make it to my Lubec shop,
you can catch my wares at the Machias Wild Blueberry Festival
August 20-21

Bouli at 14 weeks...twice her weight than when we adopted her in June!

This past week has been sort of refreshing - to be back at the routine of throwing pots and tending shop. No bee swarms, no sculptures to get to a show, and no major community project. I have been pretty much nose to the grindstone in the pottery cave, throwing and trimming and thinking up a "plan".

I have to chuckle to myself when I think back to one of my early blog posts when I said that I would never be a production potter. That is still true in the sense that I don't plan to work full time solely as a potter. I love my weaving and sculpting and also enjoy teaching. That being said, I am fortunate to have developed a skill that I also enjoy very much. My favorite is still making the bowl that feels "just right" in the hand. Chris and I eat out of bowls for almost every meal, so the perfect fit is important. It isn't just the aesthetic appeal of the glaze or shape when choosing the bowl, but also the weight and the feel.

As much as I grumble about mugs and handles (and yes, I have blogged about that too!) I do make my own version, a tankard or mead mug if you will. I have come to accept that mugs, in some form, will be part of my repertoire, and probably for a long time. Even though the process of pulling and attaching handles is long and tedious, I love how the mug looks when completed, and I enjoy the feel of it in my hand. Having what I consider to be large hands (or shall we say, sturdy hands, yes, that's more attractive sounding!) a larger mug with an ample handle suits me well. I don't like getting my digits squeezed between mug body and handle when enjoying my morning cup of cocoa.

The shop has been busy this summer with cars pulling-in from all over the US and Canada. I have met some super interesting people and enjoy the conversations. This week I learned about lake formation from a geologist, got some good kayaking tips, and received excellent marketing advice. I'm always impressed when people find me since we are off the beaten path, and I am grateful for all the patronage that I receive!

Despite the long days in the studio, I did find time for extracurricular activities. Wednesday evening, Chris and I enjoyed a peaceful kayak excursion on Gardner's Lake in East Machias. It's an expansive lake and we only toured a fraction of it. I suspect we'll return later this summer.

Summer Keys is one of the best features of Living in Lubec. It's a music camp of sorts, but for adults. Renown musicians travel from all over to spend a week mentoring cello, violin, fiddle, piano, guitar, etc. Every Wednesday evening during the summer, Summer Keys faculty perform for the Mary Potterton Memorial Concert series at the beautiful Congregational Christian Church. This past week was a bonus with a Thursday evening performance as well: "Music for Mandolin - Marilynn Mair and Friends". I have always loved mandolin and this concert was a real delight. From Irish songs, to classical compositions, to Brazilian waltzes, the music had the audience entranced. At one point, there were eleven mandolin players on stage! Anyway, Summer Keys is just one of those gems tucked away here downeast. If you visit in the summer, be sure to stay over on a Wednesday so you can enjoy the music. (See video below with Marilynn Mair on mandolin).

I know that blog readers are waiting with bated breath for a Bouli update. She is feisty as ever, growing stronger, bigger, and has now added "curtain climbing and master of window screen destruction" to her list of athletic abilities. She devours twice as much food as her elder Bello. In fact, she eats a few bits from her plate, rushes to Bello's dish, pushing him out of the way to eat HIS food, then returns to her own plate to gobble the remains. Despite her craziness, she continues to win the hearts of many.

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