Archive for April, 2010

Almost Out Of The Woods…

April 27, 2010

Well, just a quick post… my Mom arrives tomorrow and Sofia and I are about done being sick and the worst of it for Mom was yesterday so we should all be better by the time my Mom gets here (1st and 3rd Mom is my Mom and 2nd Mom is Sofia’s Mom). Where did April go? Mamma mia! So “the book” arrived in the mail yesterday and it’s a certifiable fact that I have a 2 page spread on 80-81…

Of course the picture of the bowl on page 81 is also on this very blog… here. It’s a curious book with “over 120” different clay people from all over the world. I pored through the contents looking for someone that I recognize from the blogging clay world and didn’t notice any (that doesn’t mean there isn’t though). Quite a bit of ceramic sculpture. Anyway trying to get a couple things on Etsy before my Mom gets here. Here’s another ergonomic beer glass like the one I uploaded the other day except this one has a drippy glaze application…

And in the continuing series of pictures of pieces at the show up at Terra Incognito, here’s a green one…

No Bees Yet But Definitely Bugs…

April 26, 2010

It’s sad to say that it’s now almost May and the peonies are ready to pop and I have not seen one honeybee yet. My bees didn’t survive the winter but I didn’t think that the bees I saw in previous years were all mine. Anyway, the visitors extravaganza is continuing. My sister Sue and boyfriend Vince came in from Florida last Tuesday and it had the makings of a wonderful week… the weather was beautiful. The day before they arrived we ate al fresco with Andy and Coco, here’s Coco and the bug drawing…

Anyway, things started out fine and I don’t have any pics of my sister yet because I didn’t take any and they were taking tons so maybe they’ll send me some. It was Mom’s birthday on thursday and we went out to lunch and then the bug (not Sofia) I mentioned showed up. I thought after I ate a bunch of guacamole on the porch that my reflux was acting up and after an agonizing couple of hours on the couch, hit the hay. I hadn’t had anything remotely this bad since I was in college. After writhing around and hoping the reaper might show up and end it all, I twice ejected guacamole and salsa up through my sinus cavities. Even though my sister was still visiting I never got out of bed the entire next day and wasn’t sure I would be able to drive her to the airport on saturday morn. I was at least not woozy that morning and was able to give Sue a ride to the airport but I felt bad about being out of commission for part of her visit. That evening Sofia started complaining of stomach aches and I was hoping she hadn’t caught it but she threw up all night and none of us got any sleep. The bug’s on the mend but the other bug has moved on to Mom who is now experiencing what Sofia and I did in the previous days. Here’s the bug while I got sick and before she got sick…

So Susie, if you’re reading this, I hope you didn’t catch it before you left. And on wednesday my Mom will arrive from Florida and complete the whirlwind of April visitors. It’s a blustery 54 out as I type this and the spring weather this year is somewhat askew. I’m amazed by the wisdom of some plants, particularly one walnut in the back yard. I have 3 black walnuts in the back yard and the largest of the 3 always lags a by a week or so when putting out leaves. This year saw a temperature spike of more than a couple days in the low 90s and although most of the plants have fallen for this my walnut and to a lesser degree the hickory on the side of the house remained dormant. At one point, I actually thought that the big walnut had died because the other plants were so far along and the other day while I was sick, the buds popped out. Obviously these are the native trees that survive best. Based on purely anecdotal evidence, I believe that one of the trees to fall victim of the odd weather is the Japanese Maple. My neighbor has one that has all but died and I’ve noticed others around town that are not doing well. Anyway, after my Mom visits and after the KY Derby, which I will attempt to ignore (another pseudo-holiday), I’m thinking I will make a trip to Chicago for the closing of Jeff’s and my show. I received my Ceramics Monthly last week and Jeff was featured as one of the emerging artists… congratulations Jeff! Here’s one of my beer glasses that’s in our show at Terra Incognito

And along those same lines, here’s an ergonomic beer glass that I posted to etsy this morning…

Hippity Hop(scotch)in’ Hippity Hop(scotch)in’…

April 19, 2010

Easter’s not on it’s way… it’s long gone, au revoir! Thought I’d get one more post in before my otra hermana (other sister) arrives tomorrow from the land down under… down under Georgia. You know land of orange groves, encroaching sea water, viagra laden retirement communities, and according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s new census… 51 hate groups. Anyway, I’ll probably be only a bit online or even off the grid for the next couple days. The rash of visitors is welcome but the lack of studio time is killing me. The bug and I had a wonderful weekend with perfect weather that’s supposed to hold all week… of course, Floridians consider 70 and sunny to be a bit chilly. But I’ll be lovin’ it. So lately it’s all about hopscotch. I used to play it constantly when I was very young before I got into matchbox cars and Sofia’s discovered it lately, of course I’m not sure she doesn’t just likes to draw the pattern on sidewalk and make the numbers with colored chalk. I’m just a sucker for action shots and here’s my favorite…

Aaah, youth. Here’s a couple more…

And of course in the background you can see what the bug refers to as “dad’s poor car” in the same way she refers to the flattened dead squirrel that got run over by a car as “poor squirrel”. So I’m off to retake some of the pics from the other day and try to get rid of a slight blue cast on some. Here’s another piece from the Terra Incognito show. I like to call it the fishnet bowl… like the stockings. It was a total bear to do this one…

And like the supertramp lyrics go… “creamer, silly little creamer, can you put your hands on your head, oh no”. Well, something like that, just posted this silly drippy little creamer on etsy this morning…

Idyllic Day…

April 18, 2010

Yesterday was an absolute perfect day. It was a dad and Sofia day and it was high of about 65, sunny and breezy. First stop was a trip to Tommy’s for some… you know what. Tommy let Sofia borrow a copy of “Ferdinand The Bull”, a kid’s book about a bull in Spain that only wanted to smell the flowers. Then it was a quick trip to pick out a birthday card for Mom that we will have to customize the interior of today. Back home to walk the Dingus amongus. Lunch on the porch and off for a picnic. We found a nice maple in the park and spread a blanket out underneath. We brought another blanket because it was just a touch chilly in the shade. We also had Sofia’s coloring books and drawing pad, my crossword puzzle book and a pint of strawberries. We hung out there for about 4 hours and the bug ate the entire pint of strawberries (here, with some still stuck to her teeth)…

We watched the runners and the bikers snuggled under our blanket and I had my whole setup ready to go…

Of course, even though Sofia has a huge bag filled with markers and colored pencils, she likes my Sharpie finepoint the best and that meant that there needed to be a family of ghosts on my crossword page…

We went for a little walk by the creek…

After the picnic we went home and decided that because of “thunder over louisville”, that no one would be in the otherwise crowded taverns because 700,000 people were all crowded along the riverfront. “Thunder” is an all day airshow followed in the evening by one of the largest fireworks displays in the country. The actual fireworks last about 1/2 hour and there are several bargeloads of fireworks as well as the bridge that spans the Ohio river is set off too. It’s ok but when it’s over then you have to get home so we went to Molly Malone’s because Sofia likes their mashed potatoes. The highlight of that visit was that right before we arrived an SUV coming down the road on the opposite side of the street from Molly Malone’s went out of control knocking over a decorative cast iron streetlamp, swerved, jumped the median and ran directly into the brick building in which MM’s resides. There were fire trucks, tow trucks and police trying to get the wrecked vehicle out of the way and Sofia was rapt. We made periodic trips out to survey the progress. No one that I talked to had any details about what actually happened. On the way home we made our way down a street where I knew some paulownia trees were growing because Sofia had been given a tulip on our walk that morning and she had been talking about bouquets for part of day… so I thought she’d get a kick out of nice paulownia bloom…

And then it was bedtime and concluded an idyllic bug day. Here’s another piece from the Terra Incognito show

And last but not least, here’s a bowl that I just posted to etsy…

Show’s Up And Online…

April 17, 2010

Well, the show at Terra Incognito has been up in the physical gallery since April 3rd but the pieces weren’t listed on the gallery’s website til yesterday. So anyway, I can point to the pieces that I didn’t have time to photograph before they left home…

So if you have a hankerin’ you can check out my pots here and Jeff Campana’s pots here. And while I’m on the subject, I added this year’s AKAR yunomis to the “Cups” page in the right column…

Actually there are still 3 unsold yunomis at AKAR right now here and there are a few more on my artist page on the AKAR site here. Finally got some pictures taken and the studio cleaned up a bit. The clay is calling me and I won’t be able to get at it for another week probably. It’s Dad and Sofia day today and tomorrow and another one of my sisters is arriving on Tuesday. The photo session did allow me to get some picture processing done and I uploaded this bowl to my Etsy store yesterday afternoon…

Lookee What I Got…

April 15, 2010

My friend Elfriede from way back in college sent me her husband, Kevin Burke’s latest CD in the mail the other day. It’s called “Suite” and it’s both Kevin and Cal Scott. Cal plays guitar and Kevin plays the fiddle or violin if you prefer. I have been listening to Kevin Burke for right around 30 years now and who’d a thunk way back in college that one of us would end up married to him. I do not hesitate to say that Kevin Burke is the best Irish fiddler there is. I’ve always felt this way and every new CD exemplifies this even further. On the CD, Kevin and Cal explore their idea of combining traditional and classical music and have included 10 traditional tunes arranged in four movements for string quartet. I’ve only had a chance to listen to this 3 times because I had visitors up until Monday and I have yet to listen as intently as I would like but it already has it’s hooks in me. So if you like or think you’d like some excellent Irish fiddling, Kevin is the man…

So thanks Elfriede for the CD’s. Included with the “Suite” CD was some pirate music for Sofia… which she loves. We have the first one playing in the car and it’s called “Pegleg Tango” by Captain Bogg and Salty. This is not your average silly manufactured kid’s music… these are silly shanties sung by buccaneers and they’re catchy as well as hilarious.

Charvon And Kernkern…

April 14, 2010

I thought that 3 year old conversations were the best until Sofia turned 4 and then those ones were pretty entertaining too. I figured that at 5, they would start to taper off but every now and then I’m surprised. Yesterday, while I was working on my taxes (taxes schmaxes!), I had all my papers out in front of me and the bug says, what are you doing dad? I say, taxes. She says why and I try to explain. Then she leaves and later when it’s time for her and mom to go pick up her cousins from school she comes up and says, dad, you’re gonna have to stop your taxis when I leave so I can give you a hug. I say, I’ll be glad to stop but what did you call them? Taxis, she says. No wonder my explanation didn’t make sense. So this morning she’s waking me up too early and she says she wants to have a farm in our back yard. I tell her that there’s not enough sunshine to grow stuff in the back yard and she says, no, a farm with animals… like cows. I say, how many cows do you think we can fit in the back yard (1/8 of an acre, maybe)? She says, well, we could get a lot of them if they’re small ones. I ask how big she’s talking about and she puts her hands apart about 15 inches. I say, what about fish? This leads her to asking if she can have a fish for her birthday. I say the typical father things (can hardly believe they come out of my mouth) like, you have to take care of it all by yourself, I’m not taking care of a fish. Sofia says, I’ll feed it every day. I tell her she has to change the water too and she says she can do that. Then I say, you’ll have to name it. She says, that’ll be easy. Then she starts rattling off names without much thought or any hesitation. I could name it Aristhia. Then, I could name it Charvon. I say, Charvon, that’s a good name… what if it’s a boy? Kernkern. Of course. Then comes Mevey, Ritha and Erfa. Finally, she says how about Shitta? I say, Shitta? She shakes her head as though she heard it first when I said it and says, no, not Shitta. Anyway, my taxis are done and it’s clean the studio day and set up the photo tent. Here’s some pics of the front yard flowers. This azalea will be out in all it’s glory today…

The hydrangea I planted a couple years back is starting to kick some butt…

And here’s one of the bottlebrushes from the bottlebrush buckeye…

I went for a bike ride yesterday and the yellow buckeyes in the park are all blooming… a beautiful sight.

April Visitors/Spring Splendor…

April 13, 2010

April is gonna be the month for visitors. My sister Donna and her beau Andy came last Thursday and left yesterday evening. While they were here, my sister Sue called and said she was going to come this month and my Mom is coming at the end of the month. I’m jonesing to get back in the studio already and although I’d like to jump right in today… I have to do my taxes (I hate doing taxes!) as I’ve procrastinated til the 13th of April. Anyway we had a good time while my sis was in town. I have several pictures but none of my sister Donna… she was born with a rare condition where her hand is permanently fused to her forehead and covers her face. Well, maybe it’s just fused there when I point a camera at her… nevertheless, I didn’t even attempt to get a picture of her. And Mom got mad at me for posting the last picture I posted of her and she was working all day Saturday and Sunday and I’m the one with the camera, so leaves Sofia and Andy. First the airport, the bug couldn’t wait to get on the moving sidewalk and was disappointed yesterday when we dropped them off at the airport that we weren’t going to get out and get on it and the escalator…

It was cool that day when we picked them up and then the weather was dreamy the entire rest of the visit. When we left the airport we went to the Vietnam Kitchen which is down by the airport. I got my fave soup and sugar got a mango shake…

I’ve been trying to ride my bicycle for exercise because of my feet and I’ve been riding the bike that my friend Vern loaned me. It turns out that Andy rides a lot and so I got my old road bike spiffed up enough to use and dug out the clip-on shoes that were in the basement that the mice made their home in during my studio renovation project. So Andy road Vern’s mountain bike and I rode the road bike for the first time in years. I was amazed at how much less resistance the road bike gives because of those skinny 110psi tires and the fact that the gears offer a wider range of… gears. On Saturday, we went to Tommy’s, of course, for pomme frites, coffee and tea. Andy has and endless amount of patience with kids and he spent a good amount of time with Sofia drawing whilst me and sis chatted…

Here’s the bug explaining something very important…

My sister was very happy about being able to see an early spring by visiting and then being able to go home and experience it all over again as the spring in central NY is delayed a bit when compared to KY. The splendor of the spring plants is everywhere and things are popping out all over so we decided to take a trip to Cave Hill Cemetery. This is a very large cemetery in Louisville and is known for, amongst other things, the wide variety of trees, many of which are marked with little green tags to tell the species (common names). There are some relatively famous people buried there but they’re dead so we went straight to the large pond adjacent to the main building where geese, ducks, swans and peacocks roam. The peacocks were not out on this day but the pond was buzzing with fowl… many that were nesting. On our way in a man came up to us with his two daughters and gave us two loaves of whole wheat bread to feed the ducks because it was on sale for a dollar a loaf so he bought enough to feed all the geese in North America… such is Kentucky. Sofia was very happy about an endless supply of duck chow. Unfortunately, these birds have been constantly stuffed by visitors since the weather turned so they weren’t nearly as enthusiastic as was expected. Here’s various action shots of the bug doing her duty, notice the goose poop stains on the knees of her pants…

My favorite part of Cave Hill is the enormous ginkgo tree there. I’ve read somewhere that the cemetery claims it’s the largest one in N. America but after referring to it that way before and weathering the ensuing storm of controversy, I add the caveat that I have no idea really and am not sure how such a thing would be substantiated. Someone interrupted me once when talking about the tree to point out that it couldn’t be over 230 or so years because we’ve only been a country for that long… well, can’t argue with that and we all know that trees wouldn’t grow before we became a nation. Anyway, the cemetery is large and there is quite a labyrinth of small roads to access every part and although I had been to the tree many times before, we drove all over the damn place and couldn’t find it. Finally, I asked a groundskeeper in a golf cart and he led us to it like the pied piper. So here’s the ginkgo biloba in all it’s splendor with leaves starting to burst forth…

I’ve been told that the tree is so big that certain branches have the opposite gender of the main part of the tree but again, I’m only suggesting this is true as I’m not sure and have no idea how such things are substantiated and besides we’ve only been a country since 1776. Of course, if there were ever a tree that called out to be climbed, it’s this beauty with low horizontal branches. I’m sure the cemetery doesn’t want people climbing on it (or the grave markers for that matter) but I did take the liberty of setting Sofia up in the crotch of some low branches…

And here’s Andy and the bug for a bit of scale…

All in all, it was a very enjoyable visit. Plenty of conversation, Sofia loved having Andy to play with, we played a lot of UNO, drank beer and wine and ate some good food… now, if I can just get these damned taxes filled out, pshaw!

Yunomi Show Opens Today…

April 9, 2010

It’s a beautiful day here. My sister is visiting from New York and I’m off the grid for the time being but just wanted to do a quick post as a reminder that the Yunomi Show at AKAR starts today. Get ’em while they’re hot!

“Ceramics Today” Book…

April 6, 2010

Last year I ran into a post over at Carole Epp’s Musing About Mud about a guy named Jeffrey Snyder who was putting together a book titled “Ceramics Today”. I sent some pictures in and received word later that I had gotten into the book. It’s been quite some time and I had honestly forgotten about it because it was almost exactly a year ago. Anyway, I received an email yesterday that the book has been published and here’s what the cover looks like…

I didn’t receive a copy and I guess I have to purchase one in order to see which photo they chose and what the book looks like overall. On other fronts, easter has passed… hallelujah! What a royal pain in the ass extravaganza of nonsense… have I mentioned how much I detest holidays? This one has a particular place of derision in my heart. The up side is that Sofia had a good time hunting for eggs and getting amp-ed up on candy. It was a beautiful day weather-wise… to bad we had to participate in “organized fun”. OK, here’s the plan, next week on… let’s say Tuesday, at around 4:00, we’re all gonna have fun, OK? Is everyone up for fun at that time? Didn’t take the camera that day and I don’t regret it, the only picture I regret not getting was the day before when we were at Tommy’s having pomme frites and 5 or 6 people were walking up the street with huge collections of balloons in their hands for the easter parade and they were getting lashed by a sudden rainstorm… all of a sudden the phrase “rain on my parade” was more palpable. Here’s the bug’s new favorite place to hang out, on top of my car…

She wants to sit up there and eat up there and play up there but it won’t be long before she’ll have to refrain because it’s getting hotter and the roof is gonna be like a frying pan soon. As you can tell, the plants are popping out all over. My sister is coming to visit on Thursday and the cleaning has begun… better get going.

Blog Of The Month!…

April 5, 2010

Been a bit off the grid the last couple days and I just happened to check twitter a while ago and was happily surprised to see a tweet from John Shirley, master translucent porcelain and soluble salts potter from Johannesburg, South Africa. I have greatly admired John’s work ever since I first discovered it. I would love to adventure into those soluble salts some day but ruled it out early when I realized the toxicity issues would be dangerous with a young child around and besides I may not have enough years left in my life to get anywhere near John’s level of expertise. So anyway, John has featured my blog as his Blog Of The Month for April (click to go to John’s blog)…

Thank you very much John, I’m honored. Here are some shots of John’s work with a couple closeups of those beautiful brushstrokes…

April Fools Day, Schmapril Fools Day…

April 2, 2010

Well, the best laid plans of mice and men. It was 86 degrees yesterday on April 1st and that’s not an april fool’s prank and since I can no longer run or walk without pain and I haven’t exercised since last year when I decided to ride a bike instead and then gave it up after a week or so, I was gonna go for a bike ride. My bike helmet is decrepit because when Sofia was two she kept tearing the little spongy strips out of the inside. I got replacement spongy things and she tore those out too. So off to the bike shop. Their helmets were nice but expensive and then I thought maybe target has helmets for less. So I drove over and they had them for 1/2 the price. I quickly picked one, left the store and the damn car wouldn’t start. Not surprising really but the battery’s new and it just wouldn’t turn over. Mom and Sofia were off and my friend Andy lives nearby so I called him but he was across town. He decided to drive over and get me. We drove to his house ’cause he had to meet the countertop guy and be in front of a computer for a conference call. He meets the guy and calls into the conference call, then since he no longer needs to be in front of the computer, stays on the call but mutes himself and proceeds to drive me home listening to both me and the conference call people simultaneously. On the way, he points out that I got a “youth” helmet instead of an “ad*lt” helmet. At home I call a towing service who says he will meet me in the parking lot and since Mom just arrived home, I take the van to target. Whilst I’m waiting I think, I’ll just try it one more time… and it starts up. I don’t have a cel and I’m afraid it might stall out again so I drive home leaving the van at target. I get home and call the towing guy and he’s not too happy that I don’t need his services anymore. I apologize and call my neighbor and he takes me over to get the van I left in the parking lot and while I’m there, I exchange the helmets. When I arrive home, dinner is ready and there is no bike ride. The misadventures of an april fool! My friend sent me pics of the the haircutting expedition because I forgot my camera so here’s the pictures to go with yesterday’s post…

Here’s the bug on my friend Ray’s BMW…

I dug up these old pictures from 2006 when Ray came over one day with his Vespa, Sofia was 1 1/2 years old at the time…

Well, Spring Was Short This Year…

April 1, 2010

Actually it’s beautiful outside and has been for days but the temperature is supposed to reach 82 today. The plants are starting to bust out all over the place. It’s such a hopeful occurrence each year but I was reminded yesterday of something a little less than hopeful… my bees died again. I was optimistic this year because they were alive as of January 16th as you may remember if you happened to see this post. It’s probably too late to order more bees for this year and I guess I wouldn’t anyway because I simply don’t have enough time. Maybe next year, we’ll get back on the horse. We went over to some friends’ house last night and I got my haircut al fresco. It was sunny, 70 degrees with a slight breeze. Occasionally the cut hairs would fly in my face but if I had my druthers, I’d get my haircut outdoors whenever the weather was nice. They gave us a bouquet of flowering quince branches that Mom put in a vase when we arrived home. It was dark in the kitchen so I had to use the flash…

The bottlebrush buckeye is also coming out…

Here’s a closeup of the wee bottlebrush already formed in miniature…

The peonies and astilbe are popping through too and of course the pear trees all over town. I know that they are very common but for a week or so when they all bloom it becomes evident why they’re planted everywhere. Here’s my neighbor’s pear tree days away from all it’s glory, which kinda makes a good case for burying our power lines some day although I’m sure that a trying to get a project that huge done would probably lead us down the road to nazism and white slavery but one can hope…

Not sure if anyone remembers this post but it has a video of a Bulgarian woman singing “Without You” in what she thinks is english and instead of “can’t live, if living is without you”, she sings “ken lee, tilibu dibu douchoo”. Well Sofia loves this video and is constantly singing this refrain in both english and bulgarian english and sometimes a bit of both together. This morning she announced that she was gonna be a dog until it was time for school and added a third version… “can’t woof, if woofing is without you”. That’s all I got… gonna go get some coffee and do a crossword puzzle.