Saturday, November 24, 2012

Heading into the Holidays

Website updated to include online shopping!
I'm excited to announce that my website at now has online shopping! You'll find a selection of my most popular functional pottery items as well as pieces from my new Herring Collectors Series that celebrates the lost sardine and smokehouse industry of Lubec, Maine.
Click here to check it out!
 Herring Sake Set with Tray from the Herring Collectors Series.
Handcarved by Shanna Wheelock
Available for purchase at
click here to go directly to item.

Save these upcoming dates:

Shanna Wheelock Woven Works
One College Drive, Calais ME
Artist Reception
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Friday, December 7th, 5-8pm
1 Elm St., Machias, ME
I'll be there with a selection of pottery. I have never been to one of Machias' First Friday Artwalks...but I hear that they are totally hip and fun!
Thank you to the Beehive Collective for providing space for this event!

 Some of my functional stoneware pottery:
wine chiller, stemless wine tumbler, and flared rim bowl.

It was no small task transferring a fully stuffed 22 1/2 pound turkey from roasting pan to platter. The effort had us all in stitches. Note the deep concentration on Chris' face as he narrowly averts a slip-slide-plop Thanksgiving fowl disaster. I had camera ready just in case things went awry.
Thanks, Aunt June, For a delicious spread and a cozy space to share with family.
Bouli relaxing with a good book. 
We are in the thick of it now: Halloween three weeks ago, Thanksgiving two days ago, and Yule fast approaching. Driving back from Bangor last night houses were lit to the hilt with thousands of mini colored LED lights while inflatable Frosties and Santas bobbed and swayed, waving us on toward a month of decorating trees, feasting on sugary delights, and  gatherings that involve jolly eggnog-guzzling friends and family.
It seems the only thing missing right now is the snow. Lubec still sports a barren landscape with the occasional sea smoke rising from the bay as temps begin to plummet. The last two days of mild-for-the-season weather leave us wondering if winter will show her white face before the reindeer take flight, but not to worry, as the recent forecast inches toward the allusion that icy white flakes may fall tomorrow.
Today is small business Saturday and though much of Lubec's tiny population may still feel the gravitational pull toward big city box stores two and four hours away, I will get the shop heated and open for those who choose to keep it local. Lubec is tiny, but even so, it has much to offer in the way of gift giving, from artsy downeast boutiques to Peruvian chocolates, and of course, pottery. If I wasn't already living here, I would be begging for a Lubec themed holiday from my sweetie....a gift certificate ensemble for quaint lodging, gourmet dining, local shopping, concerts, Tea with Eleanor on Campobello Island, whale watching, and hiking. Better yet, would think to plan that awesome getaway around one of Lubec's 2013 events: The Bay of Fundy Marathon, Fourth of July, Harvest Howl, Summer Keys, Lubec Arts Alive....
Ok...I am starting to sound like an online commercial. Guess I'm just a wee bit proud of this tiny fishing village sitting out here at the easternmost the tip of the country, and feeling very blessed to be able to live here. Just having spent a couple days in one of Maine's largest cities, I am reminded how special Lubec is, with the emphasis on nature and small town community. There are no traffic lights and honking car horns in jams than wind around malls and big box stores where most everything is made in a foreign country, swaying our senses with perfectly-aimed advertising that numbs us to the harsh realities of sweatshop economies. Like I said, Lubec is a breath of fresh air. Literally.
The days are speeding by and I realized this morning that it has been almost three weeks since I sat down at the keyboard to post a blog entry. My annual holiday sale was fun as usual, allowing me the chance to visit with a lot of local friends. I feel very blessed to know so many wonderful people and sincerely appreciate their support over the years. My sister trekked here from Hallowell which made the weekend extra wonderful and the time together gave us a chance to plot holiday festivities and revel in a few good belly laughs.
After the annual holiday sale, I jumped into sculpture mode and have put most of my focus on my MFA work. There was a sprinkling of stray events that deviated me from studio time here and there: a poetry reading at UMM, Lubec Arts Alive meeting, and of course, Thanksgiving with family.
Perhaps the most interesting component of my MFA work the past couple weeks was my visits with a 95 year old woman who has lived in Lubec all her life and began working in the sardine factories at the age of fourteen. She is somewhat of a local legend. Her stories are historical tidbits providing me with information and inspiration for some of my current work. As it goes with the creative process, it can be long and tiring trying to get to the final product. I am the type of person who gets hung up in mapping out the outcome. This probably comes from years of teaching where we always had to define our end goal and plan out the steps to get to that point. I am working on reclaiming the artist in me who knows to trust the intuitive process. It can be a battle.
I am looking at the clock and realizing that if I am to open shop in an hour, I best get showered and ready for the day. Here, at this moment, all is quiet and peaceful. Feeling appreciative that I am not sitting in the big city maze of cars or standing in long lines of overflowing plastic shopping carts.

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