Sunday, September 16, 2012

Busy Autumn for Cobscook Pottery

Save these dates!
Cobscook Pottery mugs by Shanna Wheelock from the Herring Collectors' Series
Cobscook Pottery will be showing at:
16th Annual Crafts at the Museum Maine Crafts Guild Show 2012
at the Maine State Museum Cultural Building
230 State St., Augusta, Maine
Saturday, November 3 and Sunday, November 4
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
FREE Admission
"Come meet 30 of Maine's finest craftspeople and begin your holiday shopping at this beautiful light-filled show of heirloom-quality work that will enrich any one's home, body, and soul."
Stoneware mugs by Shanna Wheelock of Cobscook Pottery
Fifth Annual Cobscook Pottery Holiday Open House
At Cobscook Pottery and Fiber Arts
Lubec, Maine
Friday, November 9 - Sunday, November 11
Friday 3:00-7:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
This year keep your holiday shopping local with finely crafted Maine made gifts. Join us for holiday cheer, yummy treats, great handmade gift ideas, superb packaging, and a chance to win a Cobscook Pottery gift certificate! Start your holiday shopping early while supporting a local business.
(Online shopping coming soon!)
"Grass for Sarah" by Shanna Wheelock
woven copper and wool, 2011
Shanna Wheelock: Woven Works
at Washington County Community College
Date TBA
(A few details to work out, but the work is on-site and ready to hang. Check back for offical dates)
Visit Cobscook Pottery at the
Harvest Howl
downtown Lubec
September 29, 2012
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
(rain date September 30th)

 Cold weather food is on the menu lately.
 We were surprised to still find wild chanterelle mushrooms in September!
 Bouli has developed unusual white markings on her dark brown ears that resemble the vein structure of a leaf.  At first we thought that she was losing her ear fur, but upon closer inspection we found that the fur has actually turned white!
 Ms. Porcupine has been making herself right at home in our backyard. Given that a porcupine's life span can be fifteen years or more, it is possible that this is the same porcupine that has been sleeping in the spruce behind our house since we first moved here ten years ago.
 Pots-a-plenty have been thrown and are now trimmed and drying in preparation for their first firing. The drying has been extremely slow this summer. Pottery sort of operates by its own schedule.
 Jonathan and Linda from "Slice of Heaven Bakery" in Saratoga Springs sent this picture of their freshly baked New York bagels in one of my bowls. Yum!
 This season's last weekend for the Lubec Market was still hopping! The line is always long when pastries are involved.
 Sarah enjoyed the morning spinning wool at the Lubec Market.
She knits beautiful shawls, sweaters, scarves and hats.
According to the calendar it is still summer, but the cool nights and falling leaves seem to signal an early change on the horizon. Lubec benefited from an unusually warm and sunny season with less fog than forecasted so I won't complain. The birch trees are already shedding their green to golden appendages and windows are sealed tight once dark ascends. Barefoot much of the past three months, those plush, colorfully striped, fuzzy warm socks have made a reappearance.
Autumn has always been my favorite time of year, signaling a change of routines and the onset of a what most refer to as "the holiday season". Labor Day sent kids and teachers back to school, leaf-peeping season soon begins, and before we know it, pumpkins will be carved, turkeys baked, and trees decorated. Anyone who has been in New England in late September to early October marvels at the bursting orange, red, and yellow atop trees. The scent of burning leaves wafts through the air, and front yards begin to display an array of creatively carved jack-o-lanterns. Crunchy leaves underfoot offer their own music and warm breath exhaled into the open air punctuates the crispness of the falling temps. What's not to love?
Even though not returning to teach this fall,  my internal clock still recognizes the change. The pottery business has begun to shift from primarily stocking the shop and visiting with guests to planning for upcoming activities. This squirrel is storing  her nuts, so to say. I am making lists of what needs to be accomplished to prepare for the upcoming addition of a shopping component to my website and vending schedules are being set. The next few months through December will be rigorous but I am up for the challenge and look forward to each new experience.
New for me this year is that I will be vending my functional pottery, along with the Herring Collectors' Series, at the Maine Crafts Guild show at the Maine State Museum in November. I am pleased to be accepted into this juried show and to be able to exhibit my wares in my hometown area. Preparing for this venue is at a different level than shows that I have vended in the past. The preparations are grand and require very specific booth items such as professional drape and lighting systems. I have spent a bulk of this past week researching the backdrops and since it is a hefty investment I want to be sure to make the best decisions the first time around. And to add another dimension to the complexity of diving into the world of juried fine craft shows, the booth space is tiny - only 6'x10'. I will not only have to create an aesthetically pleasing booth, but I will need to stock the wares in an extremely efficient manner. I consider this first showing with the Guild my trial. While at the show my booth and work will be juried a second time. The hope is that I will become eligible for full guild membership for 2013. Wish me luck!
Keeping up with showing my wares in five shops and galleries throughout Maine as well as in my own shop has been a challenge. Like I said above, pottery has its own schedule and summer is short. Pre-planning is a must since it takes weeks for a piece to be made from the first step of wedging to the final step of the second kiln firing. I experimented with a few new items this season and when certain pieces have turned out to be good sellers it still takes a few weeks to get a second run of the work complete. This winter I will have the advantage of building stock when the sales begin to slow. (Again, that squirrel storing her nuts!). I also see the winter months as a time for experimentation.
The pottery will share the stage with continued MFA studies at Heartwood College of Art. I am just beginning my sixth semester in the program, officially squeaking past the halfway mark. The reading assignment is a bit heavy and will spur some writing soon enough as well as the sculptural works. The physical component is at a slower pace to start in large part due to lack of clay. Two thousand pounds of the moist, earthy concoction (yes, a ton!) is scheduled to be freighted way downeast end of next week. Word of the wise (or not so wise) to potters....don't wait to order your clay when the school year is just beginning and every school in the state just about has put in their clay order as well. I forgot about this little detail and have been twiddling my thumbs and rationing the remainder of my clay to create only what is necessary to get by in the short term. It's slim pickings down there in the cave!
Speaking of the cave, it needs a good cleaning, or rather, neatening. Well, yes, it should be cleaned as well, but that is a far more daunting task. For today, I will get the last pile of trimmings picked-up and the space ready for sculpture. I am crossing fingers for some good drying weather so that I can get a bisque load fired this week and hopefully do some glazing by next weekend. Life is never dull around here!

Kudos to Jean Bookman and Sue Reilly of Lubec who spent the past year collecting trash from the Lubec shoreline to create a HUGE labyrinth at Flatiron Corner. They incorporated the spiritual ritual of walking a labyrinth with an educational component to bring awareness to the man-made pollution that plagues our seas. Wing Lum was on site to film the event and John Rule photographed for the Quoddy Tides...but guess who forgot to snap a few pictures? Yep. I guess I was too caught up in the moment to remember a photo for the blog. If someone emails me a digital pic, I will do my best to get it posted here. Pretty nifty!!!

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