Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 2009 photos

Christmas Karma

The land of chun

Jenika and Justin

Rick trying to decide whether or not to keep his Yankee Swap gift

Rick chillin and playing on FB Christmas Eve

Jenika and Jared

January 1st snowstorm

Kayaks looking longingly towards the now frozen lake

Wolfie tree under full moon

Full blue moon December 2009

Flowers from my Sweetheart 12-29-09

Rice blowl I made for Jared

Pottery stock from which each guest choose one piece

Newly made pie dish

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I’m gifting a good portion of my pottery stock this Christmas. It’s hard to do because each piece is a unique creation, often the first time I’ve mastered or at least attained a reasonable level of skill at a particular technique. The two pieces I gave to the family from Head Start were stained with the same pattern (royal blue on the bottom and emeraud on the top. I indented the sides of one and flared the top which gave it a very pleasing shape.)

The covered bowl I gave to Sara from my office is the best covered dish I’ve ever made. The top fit perfectly which was interesting because it was the first time I’d thrown a top before throwing the bottom. I found it easier to fit the bottom to a particular size opening than I had been able to do with the tops in the past. And I gave the top a rather deep gasket and finished it with some rope coils. The glaze was royal blue with pippin over the coils to create a nice green over blue combination.

I gave Robert that nice tall mug that had the chun over the royal blue, giving it kind of a glossy black over the green part of the chun. Actually it must be the opposite - royal blue over chun. I like it though and want to try it again on some other pieces.

I gave Kerri a small embellished pedestal bowl glazed with chun – one of those that was fired in a particularly hot kiln and turned the normally predominantly rust colored glaze a more mucus green color. The green is usually the less dominant color and works much better as such in my opinion. But I got used to the green and rather liked it after being with it for a few days.

I haven’t decided which piece to use for the Yankee Swap tonight. I think with what’s left I will put it out on a table and just let people pick a piece if they’d like. Maybe they want a cup, or prefer a covered trinket dish over a serving bowl or a vase. Or maybe they don’t want anything. Too much “stuff” already.

There are some nice pieces – a bowl that I squared off at the top and embellished with a strip of stamped clay and some leaves; a blue pedestal bowl with stamped handles; a tall stamped vase that I hand built,(Linda ended up choosing that as her Yankee Swap gift) as well as a fairly tall vase I threw that has roped handles with a matching coil on the bottom. That was done in the royal blue with chun over the top. I left a good four inches with just the blue on the bottom but the chun ran right down to the coil – and over in one place. Malley had warned me that it ran but I didn’t realize how much. Yikes.

I’ve also got a blue stamped rectangular tray, (I think Jenika chose that piece) a nice plant pot and some small bowls all done in chun. A serving bowl with leaf stamps and handles and a matching set of two bowls done with the blue on the bottom with pippin over the top making that pretty green. And a couple of small covered containers. I’ll set them up on a table and invite everyone to choose one, if they wish. 

Friday, December 18, 2009


A piece I'll read tonight at the poetry reading in Gardiner.

   by Crystal Bond

There’s a hunger for connection

Deep down in one’s soul,
Under all the layers,
That moment when you cut through all the bullshit that surrounds every relationship
And connect.

There are no ex wives, old boyfriends, or needy children
The stress from work is immaterial
The unsold house, the bills, the mistrust
It’s not separating us in this instant
There’s only the two of us
And the ping rate is miniscule

It’s there,
and then it’s gone,
back to daily life

One suffers the hum drum of routine in memory of that moment
As the power of two dance before them, drawing them in
And usually spitting them out, but for the rare moment
When defenses drop, and we’re given another glimpse
Of what’s behind the great wall of ego and thought.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Three Stalks

Three stalks of purple bell flowers
sit gracefully on her antique lady's desk

simple, elegant, beautiful
they demand your attention
and imagination.
                       in whispers

Was it her husband
stopping by the florist
on his way home from work
thinking of her smile
and the delight in her eyes
as he presents them to her
                     as if throwing down his coat over a puddle in the road.

Or was it the woman of the house
strolling through her garden
choosing a stem here and there
picturing them sitting on her desk
and inhaling their sweet aroma
as she writes longingly to her lover

the flowers bring her back to him
his broad chest,
strong hands,
his smile
              the simplest of which dazzles even the most cynical

she closes her eyes, feels his presence
and turns slowly

discovering her husband standing there
             with flowers
                         his smile dazzles

Catch Up

Last time I wrote was from my hospital bed at Maine General where I ended up the night before Thanksgiving.  I stayed until after my stress test on Friday which turned out to show that my heart was perfectly healthy.  I later went through an upper GI series which showed that I have some irritation on my lower esophagus which I have to assume is what's been causing my problems.  Maybe two Prilosec a day . . . 
We celebrated Rick's birthday this past Friday at The Depot with Robert, Keri, Woody, Annie, Rose, and a rather obnoxious Leo.  His poor ego is killing him. 

I gave Rick a new Citizens Eco-Drive diver's watch (old one broke), new Petzl headlamp (old piece of crap one he had for only about a year broke), 1955 first edition of Lawrence Ferlinghetti's poetry book Pictures of the Gone World, and . . . something that will remain unnamed. 

I brought home several new pieces of pottery today.  It was the first fire with a new element in the kiln and got too hot so that all the chun glaze turned a mucus like green.  I was really counting on some of them as gifts and now I'm not so sure I want to impose them on anyone.  I've got a nice small covered bowl for Sara whose name I picked at our office draw along with a two tone serving bowl for the Head Start family we're giving gifts to.  I'll pick up a nice Lowe's gift certificate as well. 

We went to The Depot's open house on Saturday for about 15 minutes.  Way too crowded.  Left and went over to the new Italian restaurant, Pastaz, on Water Street.  We also got our Christmas tree on Saturday and decorated it this morning.  Looks nice. 

Justin called me yesterday to say that Jared had another seizure of some kind - like the one he had at our Fourth of July picnic at Linda's in 2008.  He says it was the first one he's had since that one but I'm not sure I completely believe him or believe that he'd know if he had others when no one else was around.  He's going to make some doctor appointments and get checked out. 

Snowy night.  Wanted to go to Eddie's art opening at Slate's but a 40 minute drive each way in that mess just couldn't be justified.  Instead, we're about to watch the season finale of Dexter.  Glad we didn't go out.