Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October Hikes, Potlucks, and Pots


Cobscook Pottery vending wares at Lubec's Harvest Howl. Kudos to the Wags and Wool and the rest of the Howl committee and volunteers for a job well done!
Assembling slabs for a column vessel. These buggahs were heavy!!!
Column vessel with cedar shingle imprint assembled and waiting for the next step in the process.
Jean and Pete Deveber (aka Haiku Pete) standing in front of their various boat paintings. These two are a dynamite team! Sixties beatnik hippies with a love of art, jazz, politics, good food and friends.
These two will be celebrating their 50 year wedding anniversary in a few months. Amazing love! 
"Have a boat!" said Chris Crittenden, at the infamous LAA Art Auction.
October hike at the West Quoddy Headlight trail in Lubec.
 While on our hike at West Quoddy we were greeted by a black-backed woodpecker that flew all around us from tree to tree. We had front row (standing room only) seats to one of nature's most amazing shows! Chris and I were both in awe at close this bird kept in our presence. No binoculars necessary! At times, we were maybe five or six feet away at eye level.
 The West Quoddy trail really is one of the most amazingly, breathtakingly, beautiful hikes that I have ever been on. It never gets old. There are powerful rock faces, gushing waters, bogs with interesting plants and trees, and wide open ocean views.
View of Grand Manan from West Quoddy State Park hiking trail.
It's been a couple weeks of frenzied pottery production peppered with vending, social engagements, MFA projects, and time in nature. The candle has been burned at both ends and I am looking at a short respite from the wheel while glaze loads are fired and packing begins for on-the-road events. I am finding it a challenge to sit down and blog as my former weekly postings consumed about three hours a pop. I just haven't had three extra hours the past couple weeks. This morning I am taking advantage of the warmth in this one room by plunking myself down long enough to post what's been going on. The rest of the house is chilly and when looking out the windows at 6:00 a.m. I was greeted by dark stormish skies and what appears to be a hard frost covering the car and barn roof. Brrrrr! I'm happy to be bundled-up warm with keyboard at hand.
The main theme the past couple weeks has been POTTERY POTTERY POTTERY. Preparation for the Maine Crafts Guild show in Augusta has me hopping. The following weekend I host an open studio here in Lubec so must have enough wares to cover both as well as requests from shops. This morning I will sit at the wheel for a few short hours to complete this run of work and won't be back to throwing for about a week or more. And even then, the production will take a back seat to glazing, firing, packing, and sculpture. Even though the work is lining the shelves of my cave, I know that there are never enough mugs or bowls. The drying wares are spilling out of my studio space and into communal and Chris-space. It seems that now the firings are in progress that I can pile things a bit more efficiently. Better (and more!) shelving is on the roster for next year!!!
I vended my wares downtown at the annual Harvest Howl festival. I had front row seats, so to say, to bubble gum and seed spitting contests. A lot of my former students were out and about and it was fun to connect with them. I would have preferred a bit less wind, fearing that my tent would blow away. Water Street seems to be a tunnel for the wind and even with buckets of rocks and blocks, my sturdy-appearing tent was rocking. Outdoor vending always carries that extra bit of anxiety for me because of the unpredictability of the weather. The rain did hold off, but still, my fingers were numb from the cold which made it quite difficult to use a pen or Visa knucklebuster.
This past weekend we were privileged to partake of two fantastic meals with others. Saturday we joined friends at their lakeside home for warm soup and bread and lots of conversation about art. Jean and Pete are one of the coolest couples you could ever meet. I remember the first time we met them at a poetry reading here in Lubec in a small eclectic shop called Beachniks. Poetry enthusiasts took turns reading while dressed in costume of various writers. I was then introduced to the beatnik way of showing approval by snapping fingers. There was lots of finger-snapping happening that day. Poetry was discussed this past Saturday, but without formal reading or snapping. instead, we talked politics, art, and geography with a creative and lively but intimately small group of artists while warming our tummies with hearty stew and homemade bread and jazz music playing in the background.
Sunday I jammed as much studio time as I could before heading off to a celebration potluck for participants and organizers of this past summer's Lubec Market. I love potlucks. Each dish carries the personality of the maker and the variety is always interesting. Most brought food fresh from their gardens, per request, however, our garden kinda tanked a few weeks ago after the last of the tomatoes ripened and the basil was harvested. I broke rule and joined potluck forces with a plate of mini whoopie pies crafted from Nana's family recipe. The whoopie pies paled in comparison to the other colorful dishes but didn't lack for taste or Maine tradition.
The Lubec Market folks are some of the finest. Their hearts are huge and ideas progressive. As so many things in this town, the Lubec market is run by volunteers. Because they did such a fantastic job of organizing, people like me were able to just show up on Saturdays to vend our goods while listening to live musical performances. Patrons to the market were never disappointed, toting their goods in fabric shopping bags while smiling and socializing with new friends and the local regulars. This outlet provided opportunities for gardeners and farmers who certainly have a talent for growing and raising plants and animals. I loved being a part of this group each Saturday and look forward to watching it grow. This area boasts many farms, some of them going back many generations. We have a lot to learn from these folks. So, kudos to the steering committee who put int he long hours and research to make this work!!! Dick, Lisa, Heidi, Steve, Chris, Melissa, Kathy, David, and Claire...THANK YOU!
Time for me to get get into my grungies (my throwing clothes!) and finish the remainder of this run.

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