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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wow, an actual vacation

Unbelieveably I am actually on vacation. These photos are the view that I had waking up this morning at 5:45 am with the resident family of swans passing by the house...I suppose that a vacation with kids tends to change the time structure of a standard vacation and 5:45 is just another day. The only hitch was that Aurora had a fever of 103.6 so that was a bit stressful. Thank god for Motrin, although the fever spiked again this evening hopefully it will break over night sometime. The day was good and started with low tide and me oystering before the time tide came back in. Sarah's grandmother lives on the Long Island sound and you can walk across the back yard and over the sea wall and end up in the water. One of my favorite things is to go out and collect a bunch of oysters and then suck them down for lunch. There really isn't much like eating an oyster literally right after coming out of the water. Some don't eat them in the summer months, or those months that don't have an "R" in them, but I couldn't taste the difference. I ended up with about two dozen oysters and a fat clam, which was a great pregame lunch to the BBQ that was scheduled for the evening. Hopefully Aurora will be feeling better in the morning, as we are planning on taking the ferry across from Port Jefferson to Bridgeport CT and thought she would love it. She has been watching the boats pass off the back patio and getting a huge kick out of it.
The studio has been popping lately, and I finished up some new cup forms before leaving. They are these flattened slab forms that have Nichrome wire rims...we'll see. I'll take a fresh look at them when I return and see how they sit with me. I do that with new forms sometimes just to try to get a new look at an idea that has usually been tainted by rattling around in my head for a while. It seems like everything has been happening at the same time lately and I have about six deadlines all coming due mid July. I can't believe it's July already, but the kiln overhaul maintenance is almost complete and I'll post some pictures of the new work soon. I always say that, but sometime shooting the work in process makes it a bit too solid. I enjoy looking at other pictures of work in process, but it makes it a bit too real for me when it's my own.

We head home tomorrow, and I'll get into the studio a bit in the next couple of days. Somewhere here I need to start scraping the house to get it ready for paint. We have anew baby sitter starting soon that will come and hang out with the kids for the day while I am getting work done in the studio. I can't work in short bursts so this may make it a tad easier to get some volume done. It will also help Sarah as she has had an even tougher time of getting things made. Word...I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Back again

Well, I feel as though I am finally able to sit down again and write a bit here, even if it is 11:00 at night. I have turned a corner in my schedule and it feels great. The past month has been a huge stress, and it's not over, but it has settled a bit. I have spent the past month moving my mother out of the house that she had been in for close to 3o years and that I had grown up in. Its a shame that it is no longer going to be a place to spend time. So many good memories as well as some that we not so great but still integral to the person I have become. All of the thoughts of elementary school friends, sneaking out in High school, getting into alot of trouble, spending time with the greatest fishing buddy ever(my Father), learning to cast a fly rod in the back yard, family dinners, and unfortunately Hospice with my father, were there as I cleaned out rooms and boxed up stuff. My Father passed away two years ago, and the house was just too much for my mother to take care of, and too big for one person to rattle around in. Soo on the market it goes with numerous mixed emotions all around.

The house is in Syracuse NY and is a Carpenter Gothic farmhouse built in 1849 for a MR. Nathaniel Burt Searl. He owned a good hundred plus acres in the valley of Syracuse at the time given from a civil war land bond. My folks were both artists and lovers of American primitive antiques, so there was a lot of stuff to go through. It makes me evaluate the amount of stuff that has accumulated in our house after five years, much less than my folks 25 years there. It's scary to say the least. It is interesting to see how that is undoubtedly how I have found my love of the "old" and the beauty that can be found in the patina of age found on antique objects. So many hands and so many lives have added to the bones of these objects and to the House its self. How a structure can become an entity baffles me, but this house is indeed an entity. Two summers ago I spent the summer fixing the exterior of the house so that it could go on the market. Sweat and a few drops of blood for sure are now in that house from me and I have an even greater appreciation of it now. I really did it the way that it needed to be done, and I poured just as much attention to detail that I put into my pots, into that house. The thing that scares me more than letting it go is driving by in a few years and seeing that the new owners have let it go to shit. No control over that though.

Now that the house is empty and Mom has moved in with a friend, the studio has been calling. It is clean, chicken dirt has been vacuumed up, and I spent the last couple of days pulling slabs and wedging reclaimed clay. I love this point in making pots when there is so much latent energy out there, all of this raw material just ready to explode...its exiting. I have new glaze tests to continue testing and some temp explorations to get into and the light at the end of the tunnel has opened up, and the grass is greener for sure. Stay tuned for images of new work, pictures of new fish, and the smell of the creative process.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gundowringa Sheep from Maria Fernanda Cardoso on Vimeo.

I came across this while doing research for some course work I am prepping for the fall. Pretty great project, and a really interesting way to look at a dying method of yet another traditional industry. Agribuisness and synthetics have almost pushed wool out of the picture and this is a pretty poetic response.