Friday, November 30, 2012

Happy 14974.930th Day

Even after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth,
"You owe me."
Look what happens with
A love like that.
It lights the whole sky.

 ~ Hafiz of Persia

sunset at Westport Union Landing State Park (located just before the Lost Coast of  California)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks and Driftwood Wing

The Way In

Sometimes the way to milk and honey is through the body.
Sometimes the way in is a song.
But there are three ways in the world: dangerous, wounding,
and beauty.
To enter stone, be water.
To rise through hard earth, be plant
desiring sunlight, believing in water.
To enter fire, be dry.
To enter life, be food.

by poet and writer Linda Hogan, from Rounding the Human Corners, 2008

Driftwood Wing
20" x 17" x 3"
ceramic with terra sigillata, glazes
found objects and twine

Sometimes it takes a while before I finish up a piece.  I do sketches and make plans.  There is momentum and in the wee hours, maybe, inspiration.  Mostly it is just trying different things. 

Over the year I have found things left or washed up on the beaches here.  Mainly I find things in the most ordinary of places, in the gutters, on the cracked sidewalks or even forgotten corners of my house.  I rarely go to flea markets or garage sales although I know they can be treasure-filled.  I am not a seeker of those objects displayed.  Bits and pieces find me. These are little inconsequential gifts from flotsam gods, who whisper in a language of coincidences and wonder.

trail out to Pacific Ocean near Mendocino. California

Today,  I have to find my inspiration in making sweet potato pie.  There's also a roast turkey to consider.  I saw its wild cousins just the other day taking a stroll through the industrial park near the bay shoreline.  Imagine, wild turkeys in an urban area!  They caused a little ruckus as they scattered across the street, dodging trucks and startled commuters heading west towards the bridge.  I had to laugh and give thanks. 

once the  land of the Tuibun Ohlone---now Don Edwards San Francisco Bay Area Wildlife Refuge

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lino Block Clay Tile and Honking Geese

The fruits are all done and off to the various markets, I was at a lost.  It's all that hurry up and get it done.  Pack and ship. What is the deadline date?  Get it there before first, second, third Friday (or Saturday) art walk.  Inventory lists and contracts in order. Checking that every piece is perfect, polished and tagged. Carefully wrapping and boxing.  Delivering.  All done now. Finished for the year.
last of this season's persimmons on porcelain tile
postcard size lino block and old, trusty cutter
some freehand penciling and then carve deep
stamped porcelain slab--takes a bit of muscle and a mallet
add some washy orange and green---cover with satin transparent

add one persimmon
sign back of tile
I sat  in my very messy studio with a few rejected and blemished ceramic pieces wondering what to do next. Outside I heard geese flying over head, squawking and honking, heading towards the verdant lawns of Chabot College. It made me laugh. Every day they fly by.  I've been so busy that I had not noticed.  I had not heard.  So I listened and knew what to do next.  I said, "Thank you."

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  ~Thorton Wilder 


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Beauty of Numbers and a Seven Year Old's Mind

one, two, three, four, five
six is on line of seven
autumn day haiku

Other people buy flowers.  I buy branches.  Branches with green acorns. Chestnut with their spiky puff balls.  Even nightshade when I can find it.  Occasionally, I get pomegranates hanging onto long, thin branches with their tiny leaves. Naturally, the most exciting for me is a big branch of persimmons.

I hung the branch over my pantry door.  This is a favorite hang out.  All love to draw on this door.  Some leave their opinions of menu selection (the big people.)  Others sketch their vision of the future (middle-aged child space traveler.)  Lists get erased by little hands (Tough Little Girl.)  Drawn over with wild circles, toothy dinosaurs, smiling robots and big autographs (Confident Cousins Three.)  PoPo has long since learned to leave his memos at the very top of the door.  Out of the reach of children and MoMo.
the beauty of numbers by Noah, age 7

"If numbers aren't beautiful, I don't know what is."   
mathematician Paul Erdos

 Numbers aside---opened the kiln and surprised
to find my jade green and crackle oribe plates
were not the color envisioned

I forgot to put in copper carbonate! And I forgot to put in the rutile!  Oh my, the kiln gods still came though and these are nice in spite of me.  The yellow is a luscious quince color with rusty flecks.  Perfect for little purple and green figs.
I am very tempted to keep these, but they are promised.

Now on their way to Pence Gallery in Davis.  Time to go back to the chalkboard.  I think I am going back to figures....

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Glazed slab plates and Rabbit Bird

October's journal consists of slab plates pages.
Written in copper carbonate angst and rutile blues.
A testament of process
in its trial and error ways

Base glaze GA 23 with 2% rutile all over
Chun with .25% cobalt carbonate thinly brush in center
GA 23 with 3% copper carbonate small dot in very center

GA 23 with 3% copper carbonate over wash of RIO 
 GA 23 with 2% rutile one half, other half metallic black glaze (shimmers gold specks) 
 Below: Lazertran decal I made with my HP laser printer and baked onto a hanging bowl
October just flew by and I can not believe it is November. 
It will probably fly by, too!
on November's work table

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