Saturday, March 28, 2020

The Best Laid Plans....

Due to Covid-19, Crow Town Gallery is Closed to the public until further notice.
Please visit my website to shop the Collectors Series.

Something I have avoided like the plague, and now the "Plague" has forced my hand. I spent the last few days of self-isolation updating my website. I have listed a few pottery items from the gallery collection and will continue to update as items sell, for as long as the gallery is closed to public. (Per state mandate, all "non-essential" businesses are to be closed.) For those who are ready for some retail therapy (or need a gift for a loved one) I will happily ship AND provide curbside pickup for those who would like that. All monetary transactions can be done through my secure online payment site in advance and packages left outdoors on the front stoop. ALSO, for those who live in Lubec or Trescott area, I will deliver to your front door. If you have been to the gallery before, you know that I have far more stock than you see online. Just shoot me a message about what you are looking for and I will send photos.

Today is the day that I WOULD HAVE BEEN hopping on a plane to return home from a month-long residency at The International School of Beijing. Planning began over a year ago. What a strange twist of events this has been. My visa arrived on January 17th and within four days, news broke of the new coronavirus in China. By mid-February my flight had been canceled and the school I was to visit had closed with no re-opening date. If I had made my way there, gotten through a quarantine, the US likely would not have allowed me back in by this point in time. Ironically, as the virus began to quiet in China, it reached the U.S. as well as other countries, and is now ramping up. I don't think  that I have ever washed my hands so much!

Another casualty of Covid-19 is the Bay of Fundy International Marathon. For the past eight years, I have designed and made the main awards and age-category awards. This year's design was to be the sand dollar...but now you will have to wait until 2021 to win one!!! With the Canadian border now closed and so many things unsure about the near future and travel and possible infection, it made sense to cancel now, hard as that decision must have been for the organizers. It's a huge loss for the community and the runners as it is one of the most uplifting events of the year. See you all in 2021!!!

I had created about forty small urchin vessels to take with me to China for gifting. I am enjoying the process of slip trailing and working tiny. I love how these little pots nestle so sweetly in my hand. They have become a bit addictive to make! (Note: there is one listed on my website for sale.)

I count my blessings every day, but now more than ever, that I ended up in this off-the-beaten-path little fishing village nineteen years ago. While others are finding themselves in cities and quarantined, unable to leave their apartments or homes, I am grateful that I have trails and beaches nearby to visit. The sunshine, fresh air, sound of water and soothes the soul. And right now, souls need soothing.

The view out my back window NEVER gets old, and is ALWAYS changing.
Again...counting my blessings...every day.

A new item that is now stocked at the gallery are these coppery-glazed noodle bowls with chopsticks. I made them originally to donate to an Empty Bowls project. I liked them so much I decided to keep them as a regular item. (As much as I make anything regularly...which means...for NOW I am making them! Haha!!!)

The beach behind the gallery....Love me some stones!

Two years running Crow Town Gallery has hosted CRAFTED: Holiday Artisan Market. It was another huge success! It takes a few days of shifting and moving and storing pottery to make room for the guest vendors...but it is worth it! We have a blast!

And here is the crew from the 2019 CRAFTED: Holiday Artisan Market at Crow Town Gallery.
Mona Ingrid Love Designs:  Jewelry  / Lisa Marquis-Bradbury: Mosaics  / Kathi Denman: Lubec Lavender  / Jolene Doran: Down East Fiber Gypsy / Heidi Herzberger: Pondview Studios  / Shanna Wheelock: Cobscook Pottery

Fred Pierce of Cobscook Bay Music produced a great summer 2019 concert line-up at Crow Town  Gallery. We started the season off with a sold out show by Slaid Cleaves (Americana), followed up by Scott Ainslee (blues), and Jack Williams (folk). Jazz favorite, The Mike Levine Trio,  returned with power vocalist Wendy Pedersen. (Check out the clip below). Universe willing, celtic music by North Sea Gas is slated for June 2020 and is set to be another fantastic show. Keep posted. Due to Covid-19 (getting tired of saying that!) things are unknown at this time. The band is to travel from Scotland, and travel by plane is a big unknown, as well as whether or not the gallery will be yet open to the public. Crossing fingers!

04/03/20 UPDATE: Due to Covid-19, North Sea Gas has canceled their US tour, thus will not be playing Crow Town Gallery in June 2020.

Click here to see a clip from Mike Levine Trio LIVE at Crow Town Gallery, Featuring Wendy Pedersen singing "The Take Out Queen."

This little doodle graces me with her company once in a while. I was able to sneak Daisy off to the beach on a beautiful autumn day. She's learning to be a better leash walker! (She already has the smooches and food-stealing down!)

The last event for a while, I suspect, that I will be enjoying out in public. We are lucky to have such wonderful musicians downeast. A post-Valentine's concert at the Lubec Brewing Company with the Fremont Street String Band. Check them out live if you can!

It's an annual ritual! Mom, Sis, and I spend the week celebrating mom's birthday at the Samoset.
My parents bought a timeshare there when I was 13 years old...and since then we visit the same week every year. I've only missed two or three years in the last 37 years!!!

Stairs!!! To the loft!!! I finally have a meditation and thinking nook!!! Thanks, Scott, for helping bring this to fruition!!! In my former studio I had a tiny nook that I would use for sketching out ideas. I have been missing that. I'm a quirky artist (most all artists are, right?) and it's a thing for me that I need to be out of my normal work space and in a space dedicated to just thinking in order to get the really juicy creative ideas.

This place is for the birds! Seriously! This is only the second time I have seen a Sandhill Crane. Both times, I heard the bird before I saw it. I saw one a few years ago and have looked every spring for its return. Spring of 2019....I heard that distinct call...and there she was!

Another interesting bird that showed up last summer was this Northern Shoveler. Just gorgeous!!! This one had the serious birders visiting to sneak a peak!

Also making an appearance...the Snowy Egret and the Great Blue Heron.

Now here are some serious birders! John and Sharon flew in from Maryland for the birds, and here they are with Fred checking out the sights in the marsh.  (Yes! We have a - tiny- little airport. Or is that an air strip? It's basically a bunch of grass in an open space that small planes occasionally land in.)

A sweet day in St. John, New Brunswick. It's the first time I have had a bird land on me. I know I know...there are countless pigeons there and they are all looking for a nugget of food, was a super cool feeling to have birds land on my arm. I was later admiring an exotic bird in a pet shop thinking...a bird would love these rafters in the gallery! Then I heard the price of said birds. I'll be sticking with the cat.

Not sure when I will finish this urchin installation now. It requires another day of raku firing with assistants, and well, assistants are sort of off limits until Covid-19 shoves off. Please, Covid-19...Shove off!

In case you were wondering...Bouli is still kicking and enjoying her new digs here at the gallery. She is a very athletic cat and there are two options for her to choose from to make her way to the loft. Until the stairs were built, I was not able to get up there to visit her. She loves having company when she is up there! (I wasn't so sure she would.) She has become a very loving cat, more so than usual, the past year or so. It's getting hard to have any personal space on the bed!

Just me. In a car. Alone. Germ free. Still smiling.

This was a new design for me, and I only made one of its kind. 

Yes...always...follow your bliss. It's a little hard to follow every blissful whim while much of the world is in quarantine, but this time offers us (likely) some quiet reflection about how we have been living our lives and what we may choose to do the same or differently. I am happy to report that I am ….following my bliss. (Well...within legal limits, anyway!!!)

     What a surreal moment in time this is. As much as I am an introvert, I have to say that I am missing human contact, and especially hugs. At the very start of March, I told my mom and sister that I would be spending the month pretty much in my own world, meditating, creating, building stock, and sticking close to the gallery. I have done this several times in the past for a week or two where I forewarn family and friends that I will be out of touch, no phone or email, no human visits, just me and the cats, work, and my own mind. Time to focus.

     I was to be in China this month doing what I do; creating and teaching. Since the residency trip was canceled, I figured I should use that time to create something new. I had been sitting on some sculpture ideas for the past year but had not been able to bring them to fruition for lack of time. I did not expect, though, that a virus would first cancel my trip to China, and secondly, that I would be basically forced into isolation at home here in the U.S. It's a whole different thing when HAVING to stay home versus CHOOSING to. And while I am here in self-isolation mode, it has been anything but removed from others. The emails, phone calls, texts, messages...have all ramped up ten fold. At least. For this, I am grateful. I am grateful that I have so many wonderful people in my life to connect with during a time when we are asked to connect less in the physical.

    We often hear people say that technology is separating us socially from each other - that instead of actual human contact - we have dived into this virtual world where our heads rarely raise from the computer or phone screen. But now, since we are needing and required to physically distance from others,  technology is what is holding us together.

    March has turned into a busier month than I could have ever planned. I have not yet gotten to the sculpture and instead have been either glued to the screen for news, researching loans and relief packages, working on website updates,  or I have been plotting pottery to prepare for summer, not really knowing when the gallery will be open again. I still have to prepare regardless of there or not I have sales not knowing what is coming.On top of all that, as most know, the prep for a long-term at-home quarantine is quite time-consuming, too. 

I suspect that at some point things will slow a bit and I will segue into working on those sculptures that I have been thinking about for the past few months. Or maybe I will draw....or paint....

I miss it all.....

And the muse has been knocking at my door for a while now.

Please keep yourself healthy and safe.