Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fa la la la la

 Downeast and looking for something to do this coming weekend?
Check out these two holiday events.....
I'll be vending at both and hope to see you there!

Small Footed  Herring Bowl from the Herring Collectors Series
by Shanna Wheelock
First Friday Art Walk at the Machias Grange
December 7th, 5:00-8:00 p.m.
1 Elm Street, Machias, Maine
Thank you to the Beehive Collective for supplying this awesome venue!
I understand that the Beehive will be displaying for the first time ever a new mural project that has been in the works for nine years!
Winter Holiday Art Market
December 8th, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Eastport Arts Center

36 Washington St., Eastport, ME
"Craftspeople, artists, farmers, and purveyors of other delights will offer shoppers the opportunity to treat their loved ones to the finest handmade gifts including stained glass, ornaments, honey, artisan cheeses, jewelry, pottery, mobiles, banners, bags, childrens' toys, herbal balms, hand spun fiber garments, and more! Cookies and hot cider to bring cheer, and local musicians will keep your stockings rocking while you shop. Support your community, enjoy a friendly shopping experience, and buy locally this holiday season." excerpt from the website. 

and next week....
Grass for Sarah
Woven wool and copper, by Shanna Wheelock
photo by Leslie Bowman

Shanna Wheelock Woven Works
 on display at
Washington County Community College Library
One College Drive, Calais , Maine
Through December 18th
Public Reception: Tuesday. December 4, 2012
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
More "Column Vessels" in progress.
by Shanna Wheelock

Last year we didn't have a yule tree. Bouli was too young and feisty so we forewent the traditon imagining the worst: a kitten sprinting up the shaft bringing down balsam scented fir with a crashing and clinking of long-adored ornaments. Never mind the possible tinsel fiasco.
This year we have thrown caution to the wind. Despite the chilling temps, Chris and I ventured over to the the Hayward's and picked out a modest seven foot beauty. Every year there is a bit of distress knowing that our ancient tree base is a real hassle to get aligned just perfectly with the trunk. Somehow this year, however, it went smooth as butter. The tree was up in no time, the tip reaching ceiling with a half inch to spare. Bouli was curious but not destructive, and to our surprise, the tree stands straight. Certainly, we were through the worst of it and all we had left to do now was add the lights and ornaments.
So down I plunked myself onto the floor with five or six severely tangled strands of colored and white LED Christmas lights. Again, I surprised myself at the smoothness of it all. Yes, tangled, but somehow I managed to detangle in good fashion. I excitedly climbed upon a stool and began to string the colorful little bulbs top to bottom. As Chris walked in the room, I noticed that he was clearly impressed by my efficiency. In the past, this task was such a a long, drawn out chore. But then it occurred to me....
Shouldn't I have plugged the lights in before hanging to be sure that they worked?
Wait. Don't answer that. We all know the answer. I know the answer. Still, I didn't do the workability test.
So, I reached down to plug the two strands in to the outlet strand was out. Oh poop.
No worries. We had backup strands of clear. So, I untangled more lights and tested them. Thumbs up. Here we go. Lights strung on tree. Looking good. Then.... I got this idea to plug the one strand of color lights to the clear and add a bit of pizazz. As soon as I did, the top strand of clear went out. And so it went, each variation producing yet another disappointment.
The lights were old. Many years old. They have been in a box in the top of the barn unused for two seasons and had graced our trees many seasons previous, perhaps even as far back as our time in Tennessee.
Fortunately, the market down the road had lights in stock. We cleaned them out of all five sets and returned home. Chris was waning by this point, but I assured him that fresh out of the box they would not be tangled thus all would go smooth and quick. I tested each set before joining strands then strung the tree with amazing speed. Phew! Now, all we had to do was plug them in.
That would have been simple if I had strung the lights so that the plug was at the bottom of the tree near the outlet. But no. I had strung them, essentially, upside down. Yes, it can be done. And it was.  All the lights were, once more, removed from the tree.
I'm happy to report that as I sit here writing this blog entry that I am enjoying the sweet colorful glow of multicolored lights on a beautiful tree. Albeit, no decorations. After all the drama of trying to get the tree lit, we were both a little too frustrated to finish the task. Instead, we each went to our respective spaces to do a little writing.
The tree was a nice break from the past week of intense studio time. I have been working on more column vessels inspired by the long gone Lubec factories. I am playing with multitudes of textures and thinking about possibilities once the works are fired. In all I have created nineteen new columns. I have my favorites and am anxious for them to dry so that they may be fired and finished. This grouping of work is inspired by the brick remnants from the original American Can factory in North Lubec. I have enjoyed my time with one of the town's elders who is filling me in on some local history and appreciate that the new land owners of the former factory site have graciously allowed me to forage for factory remnants, all in the name of art. How cool!
It was wonderful to have a week with only three short appointments so that I could focus on my own projects. This coming week will be a busy one with a reception at WCCC where my fiber works are hanging, and two art/craft events that I will be vending. I've posted the info for those three engagements at the top of this post. I am looking forward to spending time with other artists. I especially enjoy vending where there is live music. The First Friday Art Walk in Machias will be extra meaningful since we will all be privileged to view the newest artwork by Beehive Collective, on display for this one night only before heading off to print and tour. So, if you are in Machias on the 7th, be sure to check this out - it's an amazing opportunity. And, if in the Eastport area on the 8th, stop by the arts center and enjoy some treats, art, and live music!
I cleaned my "cave" this morning. It was a task that involved both Chris and I, face masks, and a wheelbarrow. It was not a pretty sight as my clay studio can get quite messy. I finished off with a floor mop to get the mounds of dust cleared out. It won't last long, but it sure feels nice to have a clean space for a spell. Tomorrow I glaze all day to get a firing through on Monday. I'm hoping for new work to take to the two fairs next weekend and the extra heat from the kiln will help to push along the drying of the new column vessels.
Things seem to be moving along smoothly.
Love this time of year and feel so very blessed and grateful.


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