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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

There were happenings this weekend.

First among them, I came down with a nasty stomach bug. One of those 24-hour varieties, but ugly nonetheless. Sleeping it off was my solution. As much as possible. But UGH! Well, I shouldn't complain too much - our friend Katie was up from Tucson to visit for the weekend (You remember Katie? She pops up around here every-so-often) and she seems to have come down with the same bug, except that were I got to curl up in my bed and sleep all day, she had to travel home whilst being ill. No fun. So, Katie: I hope you are feeling better, or at least soon.

So that was the low point of the last 96 or 120 hours or so. I'll finish on the high point and deal out some pots in the middle. So, pots:
These big bowls are now trimmed, decorated, and drying. And I'm not a photographer.
The other big bowl.
This is a large platter.
This is another large platter, trimmed and drying upside down. The platters will hopefully turn out all right. Each is battling potential issues, but I should know before they bisque whether or not they remain issues post-drying.
Krystal has allowed my pots to take over even the finished portion of the basement to maintain a visual sense of inventory in preparation for my fall show.
Hey look, a tea set!
I'm sure you're wondering why you haven't seen pictures of that tea set in progress? Because I had to keep it a secret! It's that simple! Gosh! This was a special order from a friend of mine (Joan) for a friend of mine (Jon) on their (shared) first wedding anniversary. And he, apparently, supposedly, keeps up with this blog. And I probably could have kept my purposes on the sly, but I preferred absolute secrecy. Here's a situation of glazes going awry - which is painful for me, especially on special orders, where the end result must be judged by someone other than me. But you see the cream-colored portions in there? Supposed to be sandstone. I.e., not milky-white. But I shipped it, and they were pleased. Or so they say. Speak now or forever hold your peace! Ah, the angsts of being an artist. But how about that blue? Beautiful! So there you have it - in case there were any doubts - I will make teapots. But they'll cost you. Just saying.

While I'm at it I'll mention that Jon keeps a couple of blogs on food & foodie-ness and biking & fittie-ness, respectively. And while he's a great friend, and a decent blogger when he blogs, he's actually fairly horrible about doing any of the latter. But you can check out the stuff he used to write and mourn with me.

My other realization this week (sort of a low point) is that I totally bought 200 pounds of the "not right" clay while I was in Minnesota last week. I say "not right" because, as it's now the clay I have, it may turn out to be a very fine clay, and as such, certainly not wrong. But for the time being, and until I see positive results, it's the not-right clay. And that's totally my fault for not keeping my vernacular, loose-tongued naming of the company produced clay straight with it's ACTUAL names.  See, even though I would describe my clay as a buff-colored stoneware, to Continental Clay it is actually a "Mid-Range Oxidation Body." Because the name "Buff Stoneware" was already taken. By this other clay that I happened to buy instead. So we'll see what happens. It will fire in the same range, but it does have a different color and consistency and will take me a bit to figure out. But, bottom line: 200 pounds of clay purchased 600 miles away = not going to be returning that anytime soon, so I might as well throw it.

Moving on up, I did also buy 200 pounds of the correct white "B-Clay." So expect more white pots on the horizon.

Finally the highlight of the weekend came when we got to go to the annual Crow Creek Hunkpati Oyate Wacipi (powwow). Krystal's work kept her pretty busy with an affiliated event for the weekend, so that left plenty of time for Katie and I to take in the dancing and, in Krystal's words, "eat indian tacos* 'til you throw up!"** This was not my first powwow, nor is it the biggest (By any means. Whatsoever. Even a little.) in the area, but it was the best weather, food, and dancing that I've seen at one recently. The dancing was wonderful, and powerful, and the traditional dance costumes and regalia were beautiful. Stunning. And I happened to have a camera. So I'll leave you with a few pictures.
Mostly I'm awed by the tenacity of any people's spirit of cultural traditions. Which is not something I'm going to try to get into here, as it's a deep and complicated issue and I'd hate for the meaning of my words to be lost or misconstrued. But the celebration of deep, rich, cultural traditions is a beautiful thing and I'm glad to have the opportunity to witness and participate in even the tiniest way. 

*Fry bread + taco fixin's = awesome.
**Little did she know...

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