bees

Good evening.  It's been another crazy week at my house.  Lots of time at the hospital helping to care for my sweet (to me, with very grouchy appearances) old man, who happily, is leaving the hospital tomorrow.  I am ever so grateful for his recovery.  Some fluish virus hit my little boy- he missed 3 days of school- egads! I also cought the virus, but its duration was much shorter for me.  Lots of packages (22 in one week could be a record, but I may have surpassed that in berry bowls) going out.  My postman was not amused by the pile of boxes sitting on the porch every day.  The weather was very warm and the magnolias and cherry trees have begun blooming.  Gary took this picture at a neighbor's house on Saturday- there are three of them- and I've rendered them into drawings to use on pots in the future.  Because of the illness that hit my house, I missed my surface design class in Atlanta, and I missed seeing friends from College and the pottery world.  I have been given a tremendous gift of another online pottery class that begins this week, and I am very much looking forward to dedicating an hour or so every day to exploring new techniques and enriching my work.
We had a 5 hour marathon pinewood derby tonight. It was long and late and even some of the Webelos ended up in tears of disappointment and exhaustion.  I had to go home halfway through the races.  Sitting under florescent lights for hours on end, even with my knitting, takes more dedication than I have.  An hour's respite in my quiet house was lovely.

I hope to have a normal work week this week, filling wholesale orders and making a batch of tall tumblers for some friends who have been waiting patiently for me to get to their requests.

Happy Sunday night, friends.

friday

Happy weekend!

Today is my wedding anniversary.  11 years.  I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Today I also had the nicest chat with my mentor. It was good to touch base and talk pots and life. Whatever path you take, it is so so helpful to have a mentor. Someone who has experience in your field, and in life, to help guide you. I feel very lucky that mine was kind and answered  my questions about beginning a pottery business and moving it online. I think it takes a special kind of person to be a mentor, and I hope that someday I can be a good one.


I drew on some mugs, like the bee mug in the previous post, this morning, and on some platters that my friend Natalie helped me impress with honeycomb foundation. I got the foundation (plastic pieces with raised honeycomb pattern to help guide the bees in langstroth hives) in making their combs from my friends Rita and Richard Underhill at Peace Bee Farm.  Last night they were on ABC news!  You can watch the segment here (although the video doesn't seem to be up yet, you can read the transcript.  I'm really excited for them.  They are good stewards of their bees and I have (and will continue to, as I prepare to begin my own urban bee journey) learned so much from them.

But about the pots! I'm really excited about using the foundation to create texture. I can't wait to see what the pieces look like once they're glazed. I've been throwing and glazing and making pots like crazy for my sale on the 15th and 16th. This next week will be my last week to throw before the sale, and I'll continue glazing and firing through Weds the 13th. Nothing like working until the last minute, hmm?

This week my camera died.  I was very sad.  Its replacement, a Nikon d80 (a step down from the d90 or other upper numbers, because I don't want or need video- heck, I'd really rather use film, still, most of the time), should arrive today.  I'm excited to have my camera back in hand.  I knew I relied on it, but I didn't realize how bereft I'd feel without it.  And I'm so glad to have lots of work to do to pay for it.  I wasn't really planning on this purchase. . .

Monday we're partaking in my own family's 4th of July tradition.  My mother and I (and my son, plus anyone else we can wrangle) get up as early as possible, drive to a tiny farm in MS, and pick blueberries.  I ran out of blueberry butter back in February and I only have one jar of blueberry-raspberry jam left.  I'm not big on using the berries in muffins or pancakes, but I usually dry a gallon to add to our family granola. The berries came early this year- I hope to pick 3 gallons.

Ok.  Enough rambling.  Happy 4th, everyone. Be safe this long weekend.

a debate: gettin' grabby?

I took my camera outside with me this morning for a fast photo of my girls.  Merigold wouldn't cooperate for the photo (No surprise.  She is not a cooperative chicken).  Pearl (L) and Edna (R) are happy to cozy up for a little more feed.  They make me feel a just a little Laura-Ingalls-Wilder-in-the-City-ish.  Especially now that I have a woodstove to heat the back of the house with, and our rain barrels capture almost as much water as we need for the garden.  I'm watching seeds come up under cold frames and poking around for the first purple asparagus.

So have you heard about the new Urban Homestead debate*?  I'd like to think that I was on my way to having one, slowly (ahem.  very slowly) moving there with a more productive garden and chickens, making my own pots- to sell and to trade for other goods and services.  For instance, a neighbor is painting my studio in exchange for pottery and some eggs.  I've also traded pottery for electrical work, and dried figs for specialty jams from other parts of the country.  My 3-5 year plan includes both solar cells on the studio to offset my kiln usage, and bees.  This way of living and working seems- well, cooperative (unlike Merigold).  Helping one another to live better lives without having to necessarily exchange cash.  Being less dependent on cash and "work" and more dependent on skills and each other.

But this?  It just seems grabby to me.  The term is far older than I am.  I am all for protecting one's intellectual property- there has been more than one occasion that I've found the words I struggled to craft attributed to someone else- and in print, no less.  But to try to exclude an entire body of people- authors, free-lance writers, bloggers, libraries, teachers, activists, and just plain old folks- around the world who are trying to make a better life for them selves and their communities by trademarking the best all-purpose term that you (the trademarker) didn't even coin?  Well, that's just selfish.  And boastful, in the most misplaced egocentric way possible.  It would be as if I were to trademark the term coffee cup.  Or berry bowl.  Really?  Why?  Because in the end, it doesn't protect my sales of coffee cups or berry bowls.  It would only serve to make me look sad and misguided and desperate- or else the recipient of some very, very bad advice.  

I think we're all going to keep gardening, bringing chickens into the city, and doing our best, no matter what we are (or aren't) calling it.  Oh, and if anyone has goats in Memphis, I'd love to trade some pottery (or eggs or figs) for it!
Have a good week, y'all.

*there is an awesome how-to book by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen of this same now-copyrighted name.  They are facing a lawsuit because of this issue.  Two ways to support them and this little take-it-back movement.  1) go buy the book.  You won't regret it.  Even if you just plant strawberries and basil in your front yard, it's something.  2) make a small donation to EFF, the advocacy group representing Knutzen and Coyne.  There's even a paypal link!  Go plant something!

color

I don't know about you, but every time I look at this yellow it gets brighter. Last week (and all this weekend) the skies seemed dark and dreary- the yellow was bright and cheery. I think by midweek it will be blue again, but that particular shade called CAROLINA BLUE in preparation for the final four. GO HEELS!