making hay

Yesterday I made my way over to my friend Naomi's house. She had kindly offered some of her fiddleheads, still coming up in her fern beds, for my pottery. She has huge stands of sensitive ferns, hay-scented ferns, Japanese climbing fern, and cinnamon ferns along the north side of her house. All of my ferns (they are few, because where there is fern-friendly habitat at my house, there is also bare packed ground caused by large dogs running and trampling) are already up and very slow to put up new growth. We're already into early summer here in Memphis- spring is easing its way out and the heat is upon us. I picked a half-dozen or so fiddleheads to use in platters, on mugs, and on bowls.

I also got some large fronds to use for platters- then stashed all of the goods in a vase to use as I get to them. Here's the thing about ferns, though- they're ephemeral, transitory. I used two fiddleheads and stuck them back in the vase. This morning they're shriveled. The clay dried them out. Most of the large fronds, as yet untouched, aren't happy either. The one pictured is still okay, but it needs to be used today. Happily, most of the ferns and fiddleheads can be pressed in a book and reused, and slightly wilty ones will uncurl in a basin of water, but TODAY is the day to work with them. I had a meeting scheduled for late this morning- I think I'll have to postpone and make Tuesday a pottery day, instead. This is little boy's last week of school, and time's flying by. I'm making hay while the sun shines.

The large platter the ferns are resting on (it is so large you can't even tell that it's a platter. The mold is a catering tray- 28" long, 14" deep)is a gift for a friend who is moving away in July. She has one of my celadon cake plates already, so this platter is made to match it.