Tag Archives: seasonal change

Holiday and festival time!

No matter who you are or what hemisphere you live in, almost everyone has something to celebrate at this time of year. The world over, the change of seasons signal major shifts celebrated many ways. May your festival and holiday season bring you the warmth of community and the joy of belonging.

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays, by Marcus Quigmire via Wikimedia Commons; uploaded by Princess Mérida

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Umbrellas, autumn, and indoor projects

A new record was set during August and September in Vancouver, B.C., according to  Environment Canada. We had more dry weather in these two months than we have had for a century! People reveled in the sunshine, too. I think hardware stores probably made more money this year than they had in decades because the weather held and people not only finished lingering projects but started new ones. It was heavenly…. Regional beaches and parks were packed. I was able to grow a perfect tomato! We were all very primed, having had a seemingly endless spring. Several times this summer, I caught myself thinking, “Where can I live that would have weather like this all the time?” My answer was invariably “San Diego.” It has temperate weather year-round and sunny, blue skies. California is on hard times, though, and this U.S. election cycle is enough to scare anyone away. Besides, I’ve learned from hard experience that the grass is rarely greener on the other side. Still, residents in southwest B.C. knew the rain had to fall at some point, but we weren’t holding our collective breath.

Looks like the fateful day has arrived, though. When I got up today, our front walk was wet. At 8:30 a.m., I went out for coffee with a friend and it was gently misting. Now, it’s full-on rain. I looked up the Environment Canada forecast for this week, shown above, and it drove the point home. So, what better time than now to think about bumbershoots? When Indian Summer has wound down and we’re in for the long haul. Whether an umbrella is big, black, and utilitarian or light-weight and trendy, it is the accessory of choice around here in the fall, along with a good anorak.  Umbrellas make a good subject for sculptures, too, no matter the medium, and a great many of them can be seen at this site: Amazing Umbrella  Art.

Wachtende mensen. Abri

“Waiting People,” sculpture, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. By Polleket via Wikimedia Commons

For me, the rainy season makes me turn inward and become more reflective, as there is less external stimulation. The nesting instinct kicks in and I think of sitting by the fireplace with a hot cup of tea and a good book or snuggling down into fluffy blankets for cat naps. Gardening is done for the year, flowers and plants are spent, and all that is left is fall cleanup and winterizing. Autumn also makes me think of indoor projects, domestic and artistic. Recently, I moved my ‘mobile ceramics studio’ from an area of the kitchen to the laundry room. It was too messy for the main area of the house…. It still looks messy, but there are more possibilities. I’ll fill small tubs with tools and materials and place them on a shelf high above the worktable. This means I will have to use a step stool to get things down, but that will be better than having everything strewn about, taking up work space. Since, it is colder in this area of the house, I will have to get another oil radiator. Can’t abide the chill, especially if I’m working with cold clay. There are many windows in this area and while it might not be sunny, it will be nice to look outside as I work. Several years ago, I planted a red twig dogwood bush in a flower bed facing the front door. By winter, the branches will have turned bright red. I like to walk over to the front door just so I can look at it when the weather dips. And now I can look out the window when I’m working with clay. When I go outside, I’ll just have to remember to bring my umbrella….

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Open Studio Update: 8/30

Wow, is it time for my weekly update already? Pages are just flyin’ off the calendar, I tell you. Yesterday, I noticed a leaf on the windshield. Peering at it, I tried to discern whether it was a sign of fall or a diseased leaf. While my body seems to be hungering for fall, my mind still wants sun. Vancouver broke all records this spring: 90 straight days of rain. If I hadn’t experienced the sun in Montana’s Big Sky Country, I mightn’t have had any summer, really. (She says as she downs the Vitamin D. I take 1000 IU twice a day. One must here…) I arrived late at the studio today, thinking we were already back to the fall schedule, but we weren’t, so I lost an hour. What I did do was this:

Action: Glazed 10 workshop tiles, three pot risers, three chanterelles sculptures. Moved greenware to bisque area – – toadstools, “Sunrise” mold, escutcheon mold and it has already been loaded into the kiln. Plate/low bowl was glazed but it broke; I kept the pieces because the color combo worked so well, I want to work with it again and will study the piece further: white, green and blue. Bought a bag of paper clay and a new Open Studio punch ticket for $75.oo. (The ticket is good for five punches.) More experimenting on “Trees” tile ‘snow.’ Returned to my original method for snow effect: glaze left to dry, then wiped off flush. Enough glaze remains in the tiny indentations; the matte white contrasts well with the terra cotta.

Plans: Rolling out slabs of paper clay for my obelisk project. (Was just too darned tired today…at 2:30 pm, I checked out, went home and took a nap.) Underglaze toadstools, with clear glaze over. Purchase white clay. Prep the three “Trees” tiles for glaze firing. Fingers crossed that molds bisque fire without a hitch, so I can begin to make some escutcheon and sunrise tiles.

I can’t tell you how happy I am that I have finally gotten to the point where I will be able to embark on my ‘escutcheon project.’ I have big plans for experimenting with it: want to make sweet, cottagey-feeling ones, raw, rakued pieces, and rustic, terra cotta ones that would look good in a cabin. Porcelain would do very nicely, too. If I like how it works out, I want to create an escutcheon series, using antique ones as inspiration. Everything is wrapping up nicely during the change of seasons. Interesting timing…. All my molds will be done before summer’s end! This means I can spend the fall playing and perfecting. What a lovely point to have reached! It’s been a long time coming. Tomorrow, I will initiate the next stage toward acquiring a computer. Life is right on track and I’m happy with what is happening.

Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower. — Albert Camus

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