Open Studio Update

Time’s wheel runs back or stops: Potter and clay endure. — Robert Browning, Dramatis Personae, “Rabbi Ben Ezra”

Clay: The gap becomes a gaping hole as the week progresses…when I miss Open Studio. (Bend like the reed when life gets in the way.) Instead, I worked at home and the kitchen table is covered with tiles wrapped in plastic, bags of clay, jars of slip and cornstarch. It only slightly gets in the way of eating and any discomfort is tempered by how good it feels to work on clay at home. I like it when I get into the rhythm of the work, but I find that a set amount of time needs to be allocated at the same time each day and a commitment made, otherwise minutes, then hours are frittered away. It is work and I am a person in need of a schedule, as I’m too easily distracted.

If you don’t know anything about computers, just remember that they are machines that do exactly what you tell them but often surprise you in the result. — Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker 

Computer: On another note, the computer decision has been made, thanks to a telephone conference with an assisstive technology expert: A new iMac and wireless peripherals is on the way! (I’ll also be using Dragon Dictate, a headset and a digital recorder.) Because I live in a small cottage, space is at a premium. The Mac I’m writing this post on sits on the bar between the kitchen and living room. Change is afoot here, too. Though it will be tight, I am going to drag my computer desk out of the office and set it against the picture window in the kitchen. It means moving the table to make space, but it will be an ergonomic set-up, which I need. Besides, it’s a lovely wooden desk and it will go well with the other warm colors in our main living area.

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. — Dr. Seuss

Blog: I am not sure where the ideas come from, but they keep on coming and that’s all that counts. When I begin using my digital recorder, I’ll be able to begin writing feature stories again. The next one features Otto, an artisan with whom I work. He was a boy when Child Rheumatoid Arthritis changed his life forever. He is an amazing sculptor and his work tells his story. Next up, is Joan, a Canadian immigrant from Britain who has a wealth of knowledge and abundant talent. She is a highly productive artisan and is always on the go with new work. Till I get to the point where I can cover them, I’ll do a few other things. Over the next couple of days, I will be researching a story on japanning ceramics and one on Pueblo pottery. I recommended japanning as a form of treatment on a giraffe Gary made that he won’t be glaze firing. The technique had a different name, originally, as it came from India, where shellac is from. In addtion,  I’ve been thinking of writing more about First Nations pottery and want to start with attitudes toward clay. Pueblo potters have a very definite approach that is tied with the land and spirituality. This will be a lead-in to related coverage: I am going to ask a medicine woman questions about clay to find out more about how elders in the northwest. Stay tuned…

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