Friday, April 30, 2010
Well, this week sort of kicked my tail. It's the last week of the semester so classes are working on final projects and I am running around trying to get my crap together. Some nice stuff had been in the works, and we were in the middle of an Anagama firing at the Syracuse University kiln plus raku mania during class wednesday. All in all pretty eventful. I even managed to get the floor framed up for the chicken coop so the chickens will be able to move into their new house and I will be able to have the studio to myself again. I thought clay was dusty, those chickens take the cake there. This post will be a photo post so enjoy!
Evan, a great student who isn't even an art major.
Raku firing with my ceramics class.
Chicken Coop floor getting leveled up.
All framed up and ready for plywood and some walls.
Even had a little to try to fly a kite. Not enough wind but some great time spent with Aurora.
Friday, April 23, 2010
This was found on the happy homesteader blog from mother earth news. Aren't we an interesting group of animals. Funny stuff.
People often ask me how to handle difficult roosters. They tell me, “I went out to the chicken yard to collect eggs, and the rooster attacked me. Of course, I had to show him who’s boss, so we had a fight and I won!”
And I assure them, “Sure, I can show you how to fix this, and it’s worth it. Imagine how much more pleasant your life will be when you never have to worry about a rooster again. But first, I want more detail. So you’re out in the chicken yard, and there he is. He acts in a threatening manner. You act in a threatening manner back. He acts even more threatening, and before you know it, the two of you are fighting, right?”
Then I ask, “But did I just describe what happened from the rooster’s point of view, or from yours?”
Maybe you’ve heard that a stage hypnotist can make you think you’re a chicken. That’s nothing! Even a chicken can make you think you’re a chicken! In these barnyard fight scenes, the rooster is in charge from start to finish. First, he decides what’s going to happen: a fight, right here, right now. Then he gets you to join the fight. How does this happen? And how do you make it stop?
But let’s not give too much credit to the rooster. The issue isn’t that the rooster is powerful, but that the human automatically accepts whatever role is thrust on him, and that means that even a chicken can redefine who you are! … at least for a minute or two.
Of course, everyone makes mistakes, and the first time a rooster attacks you it’s a big surprise. You can’t expect to do your best decision-making when startled, so the first time doesn’t count as far as I’m concerned. We’ve all been there. But what’s the long-term solution?
Don’t forget, a rooster who thinks that you’re a fellow rooster is mistaken! And by fighting him, you are not only participating in his delusion, you’re reinforcing it. First he was convincing you, and now you’re convincing him.
Suppose you win. What’s the payoff? The glory of vanquishing an eight-pound bird? Sort of a foregone conclusion, wasn’t it? And what is all this fighting going to look like to the neighbors? Are you sure you can explain it to your kids … or the cops?
Thursday, April 22, 2010
I think that the human people on some level, be it genetic/physiological, social, cultural or whatever, need stuff...and it's funny that that idea bothers me, because I am adding to the stuff. It's amazing how over the course of our lives we accumulate so much stuff. It's like the remnants of life's existences swept into the corners of our memories, all attached to some tangible thing. I am a month out from having to move a life's worth of stuff with my mother, all of which is so connected with her life, or more importantly her life with my Dad. These things are the embodiment of close to twenty four years of living in a house. But I guess the thing that I find so interesting is how the memory overpowers the object. They become one.
Hopefully I will be able to purge the unnecessary, hold on to the important, and find the things that need to remain on a lot of levels both mental and physical. I will never stop making and I embrace that. I am a crafts person, and the only way to be good at something is to do it, repeatedly, until it is right. And even then when it's perfect, I'll do it again. Happy Earth Day and hopefully everyone can find a way to simplify.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
So it seems as though I have been taking a bit of a hiatus from the blogging thing lately, and it's funny that I feel a little bad about it. Can't say as I haven't had a lack of things going on, but it is amazing how little spare time there is in the day right now. It is the end of the semester and that takes a bit of time to prep and get organized for, but I think my schedule is not conducive to spare time this semester. Teaching until nine four days out of the week seems to take a bit of energy out of the equation. Even more frustrating than not being able to keep on the virtual world is not being able to find much studio time. I have some things I really need to get done, not to mention some of the things I would like to develop and work on. Two weeks left in the semester and time will be on my side once again...I hope. This weekend was good in some respects and strange in others. I feel like this has been more of a fishing blog lately, which isn't a problem at all, but I have been able to fit in some of these things in between naps and bed times and early mornings.
I have had this old bamboo rod that I picked up in an antique shop somewhere, and it was in pretty rough shape, put had a feeling that it would make a pretty nice small stream rod. Well I finally started reconditioning and altering it a bit from it's earlier form, and I am really exited about how it is turning out. I made a simple cork ring clamp to clamp up the grip on saturday and got the rings all reamed out and glued up. The alterations on this rod mainly is the fact that I am only using the top two sections of the rod, taking it from a nine foot three piece to a six foot two piece, and from feeling it before stripping it down it had the feel and spring of a stiff 3/4 weight or a soft 4/5 weight.
Two summers ago on a trip to fish the Battenkill river and others around the Manchester Vermont area, we also coincided with the American Museum of Flyfishing summer festival. We came across a guy that I think was making rods called "Yoshida Rods". He was making Bamboo rods out of Japanese bamboo, or Madake, instead of the standard Tonkin cane and they were phenomenal. They were small, light, beautifully made and cast farther than any graphite rod of the same line weight that I had cast before. So in putting this rod together I decided to take a couple of ques from a couple of my favorite rods. The first was the reel seat from my Orvis one weight with the cork and double ring slide bands. Nice and simple. I also came across this one on one of those small bamboo rods and thought it would fit. Simplicity but class and the color of the bamboo wouldn't compete with or be competed with by an exotic insert in the reel set. And the little flash of nickel silver wasn't too bad either.
I then shaped the grip to a simple fat cigar shape, that is about five or so inches long, which was a new experience for me and am really pleased with how it came out and by how it feels when held. I can't wait to see how it handles a couple of casts. I'll post more pictures and words on the project as it develops, and would love to hear from anyone who might have any comments.
Thursday, April 8, 2010