Monday, September 19, 2011

Glaze Tests, Studio Tours, and Phishing

New set of short Tumblers in a Mossy Forest glaze.

Bouli-quake strikes Lubec....
I rarely am able to set-up the factory piece in my studio since Bouli assumes that everything in her sight is a toy for her. I only left the sculpture unattended for less than a minute - returned to find the paper dolls all a muss.

Chris spooning blanched green beans into pint-size canning jars.

Green beans placed in the canning pot.

What a week. First off, according to a phishing scam email, I was stranded in Spain after having my purse stolen and needed friends to send me money. My email address contact list was hacked-into and "stolen" rendering me unable to email everyone to let them know that this just was not so. I am hoping that everyone who received the email knows that such letters written in a stilted voice asking for money to be wired to far off places is bogus. Chris and I fielded well over a hundred emails and more than a dozen phone calls from friends and family. We appreciated the concern and hope that it never happens again. This is a lesson that even those who think they are wise to such schemes that it can happen to anyone. The internet opens doors for all kinds of trickery.

The Spain scam was a blip in an otherwise tightly orchestrated schedule. In preparation for this past weekend's art studio tour, several kiln firings were planned, as well as cleaning, arranging, tagging and deliveries. The Two Countries One Bay Art Studio Tour is always a joy for me. More-than-usual folks saunter through my space. On a typical day when the shop is open, visitors rarely get to peek at my private studio space. On tour day, however, sculptures are set-out and the space is a bit more "organized". This was an especially fun tour year, having met some incredibly unique and fun people: hippie potters, Harley bikers, cat enthusiasts, cross-country travelers, and weavers. Perhaps the most interesting "act" was the young couple who are circus performers. It isn't often that you ask someone about their job and they reply "trapeze artist". Anyway - I appreciate all the people who took the time to visit my little space in this far-off nook at the edge of the country. It truly was a joy!

I felt like a milestone had been reached this past week, too. After a couple months of kiln woes, two glaze test fires were completed and all seems to be back on the right track again. (knock on wood!) Colors are more gorgeous than ever and hopefully consistency will be the norm. I tried out new glaze motifs and after a bit of experimentation I found some keepers. The shop has been re-stocked and now the pottery goal has been set to prepare for the next event which is vending a big craft show November 11-12 at the Augusta Civic Center, followed the next weekend by my annual holiday pottery sale here in Lubec. I am really looking forward to the Augusta showing and seeing some familiar faces from my old stomping grounds. There is lots of work to be done before then and it is crucial that I keep focused on the goals since I am juggling not only my newly enhanced role as potter but also my teaching and my MFA coursework.

With the start of the new semester in the Heartwood College of Art MFA program, I began a new sculpture last week, and after this blog post, will return to working on it. The idea is full of complexities and I keep reminding myself to narrow down the visuals to only what is essential. The thinking time on this piece has far outweighed the physical work thus far, but it seems now that the "goal" is more solid that the actual studio time will be more efficient. This piece has become additionally interesting for me since I made the realization that the symbolisms I chose are a reflection of something much more personal and close-to-home than the original surface idea. The creative process is an interesting one - especially when the subconscious or intuitive self starts to take over. I will post pics of the piece on this blog as the work progresses and expect completion of this first phase of the project to be in December.

We have been enjoying the garden's bounty. It is an unruly patch of vegetation but seems to be producing some things in quantity enough to elicit canning. Last weekend we canned fresh pasta sauce, and yesterday we canned the green beans. Today I hope to find time to begin a batch of salsa, and late this week Chris will make the last huge batch of pesto for freezing. Apple sauce prep begins next week, too. With recent frost warnings, I have plucked as many goodies as possible from the garden. I think here on the coast we have skirted what other parts of Maine have endured in the way of extreme cold night temps. With only a couple days until Mabon, summer is saying her goodbyes. I am still hoping for gorgeous warm days as we head toward Autumn, but secretly (or not so anymore!) look forward to the first snow and early dark.

It is time to tend to the cats' morning feed and to get the studio prepped for a day's work. I will open the shop soon but expect much less fanfare than the last two days previous. The quiet will be good for thinking time.

I hope everyone enjoys a beautiful first-days-of-autumn week!


Jean said...

Always enjoy your posts. It was a good weekend. We had some repeat customers from last year and some new ones. We sold more last year but it was successful even tho. I think the general consensus is the economy has hit the art community. So we had a great time outside visiting, selling, painting and generally enjoying the beautiful two days. Seems like it went well also for you. Jean


Hi Jean - I had about the same number of visitors as last year. I always enjoy the event - and am so glad that you, Pete, and Kim were on board again this year for the tour! I wonder what other local Lubec artists we can wrangle into the tour next year????