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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Winter up north

Aurora and me in front of the Green Lake Ice House and 'Prince" the draft hourse

It has been nice lately to be able to get out a bit and spend some time in a bit of actual winter lately. Last weekend the family went over to see the annual Tully Ice Harvest that happens here each winter. Tully has a number of these kettle lakes that were formed when the glaciers receded and left potholes in the landscape and the lakes are fairly deep and are spring fed, keeping them colder in the summer. The Ice Harvest is a practice that has happened since I think the late 1700's/ early 1800's and was a way that ice houses and "refrigerators" were stocked with ice to keep food cold. The ice was cut from Green Lake, loaded onto horse drawn sleds, and carted to an ice house that would stockpile the ice. That ice was then transported across New York to various towns and people.

Ice Being Loaded onto the horse drown sleds, after being cut from the lake.

Being and enthusiast of all things old, I really enjoyed the fact that they were using all period original tools, saws, and ways of getting the ice out. Never thought I would end up living in the country, but I am more and more glad that I do. These are things that hopefully will never be forgotten.

Today was a snow day for me. They're calling for a foot plus of snow and some freezing rain mixed in and my back-roads 20 mile commute wasn't going to be the easiest going in those conditions. I've already totaled one car on that commute and really wasn't looking forward to doing it again. So I will be spending my time on Job packets and studio research which will probably consist of trying to finish putting epoxy on the guides of a fiberglass fly-rod that I have been working on for the past eight months. I never seem to have enough time to finish these things from start to finish. April first is the opening of trout season and this little number will be perfect for around here. We'll see, but nap time is coming up shortly and may afford me a couple of hours. I'll add some photos of the glass rod as I get some finish on it. I really enjoy the process and hope to start another one soon.

My studio tasks have been leading me to work towards developing some new surfaces for my work. I have found a slip recipe for a mid range vitrified slip which I hope will give me a bit more sheen than my terra sig gives me at low temp, but want to find some mid range sculpture glazes that are dry and textured. If anyone out there has some recipes tested or not please post them and I'll let you know what I come up with. I've been fighting for a while now about the issues that low fired surfaces bring to functional objects. I am really drawn to the dryish textured surfaces that allude to age and weathering, yet those surfaces don't really provide a surface that speaks "use me". Maybe this can provide something new to the work as well. Bring on the test kiln!

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