Uke Ant Bee Serious…

T minus two days and counting… and all the hullabaloo will cease for a lovely forty two day stretch ending with another consumer-run-amok holiday where we will all be reminded that we really don’t know how to express our love for others and desperately need the help of a greeting card company, some blood diamonds and maybe some unfair trade chocolate. Wow, did that come out as stridently as it seems? See what this month and a half of nonsense does. On to more important matters, 2 be or not 2 be?…

The bug made a doll and I finally got it fired. Here she is in her Hamlet soliloquy pose…

She made another doll and I fired it but the arm broke off before we even bisqued it. She gave it to her grandfather for xmas and while he was unwrapping it, she warned him repeatedly to be careful because the gift was fragile. After he opened it, he joked with her and asked… where’s its arm? She immediately fired back… I told you it was fragile.

It seems that now that I’m 53 and am slowly (the key word being slowly) shedding some of the vanity associated with my appearance, I opted at the end of the summer to cut my hair off. I’m fine with it if I don’t see my reflection in a window or mirror accidentally and I have to admit that I’m loving the, not only low maintenance, but complete lack of maintenance involved in… well, maintaining it. Anyway, Mom loves it, Sofia loves to touch it (although she’s adamant about not liking the look of it) and I’ve gotten compliments about it but if I do look in the mirror, I see a grayer version of the little crewcut boy I was up until the 3rd grade… the one that desperately wanted long hair like one of the Beatles or any number of longhairs of the era. And just for the sake of context…

You may be wondering why I mention this. Well, after 45 years of having my hair in various stages of “long” and now having it very short I came upon this. It seems now that maybe I owe my past survival (and who knows?, maybe my catlike reflexes too) to my uncut locks and facial hair. So now all you Movember moustache growers have some scientific backup to nurturing that autumn chevron. So, a dilemma emerges… should I grow the mop back or should I flaunt the buzz cut and flirt with the disaster of going camping and being caught unawares while I sleep by a prowling bobcat, puma, or hell, what about a ninja? It seems extremely irresponsible to expose myself and family (if they’re camping with me) to this level of vulnerability. Next up, months back I got an email from a Mr. Sidney Swidler, who I confess, I hadn’t heard of at that time. If you are unfamiliar, Mr. Swidler collected POTS from the 80’s til the present and over the past years has spent much time arranging to bequeath his collection to a museum. The museum he chose is the Crocker Museum in Sacramento, CA. Apparently Mr. Swidler had collected over 1200 pieces and the Crocker got over 800 of them for the Swidler collection at their museum. Anyway, Mr. Swidler expressed interest in one of my bowls and I am now in Mr. Swidler’s personal collection. I was very happy to have been approached by Sidney and spend some good amount of time listening to his pottery collecting stories on the phone and am also very happy to be part of his collection. Here’s some pictures of the collection at the Crocker…

Also, if you’re on FB and a “friend” of J. Shiloh Gastello, he has many more picture from a trip he made to the Crocker here. If you’re really interested and not Mr. Gastello’s “friend”, maybe he’ll accept a friendship request from you. OK, xmas. The bug made me this box that I will hang in my studio. She was so excited to give it too me and spent about a week or so hiding it from me…

And no young girl should be without a pink ukulele…

And in the rock tradition of smashing instruments, here’s the bug feigning destruction…

It’s been awhile so here’s some bug drawings. A nice winter scene that hasn’t happened yet (it was 58 degrees today)…

And lest we think that the poop fascination stage is over, it’s more like it’s entered the hyper-poop phase…

I have to admit I love the expressions on their faces. Last but not least, I’ve been doing my excruciating physical therapy exercises and have increased my mobility although still have much pain during the exercises. That being said, I’ve been throwing lots of small things…

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11 Responses to “Uke Ant Bee Serious…”

  1. cynthia Says:

    Okay – I haven’t visited your blog recently – only because I’m in my own time warp continuum as I finish my crazy school fantasy. But…I have extra time on my hands right now and have been catching up & shared your daughter’s hyper-poop masterpiece with my husband and daughter and both laughed – truly – LOL’ed in acknowledgment. As a former kids art instructor – I love kid’s art work. I also so miss my daughter’s spontaneity from that age – she’s now 14 now and way too cool to just let it all fly. 😀

  2. meredith@whynot Says:

    Last time I read your blog I bought one of your pots…. we heart it!
    Happy New Year- ring it in and then enjoy your holiday free time.
    Go ahead and shed the heaviness of it all and embrace the fact that it is all here- really there are worse things going on in life and one of them would be not to be here.
    So Happy 2012 to you and yours!

  3. Melanie Sherman Says:

    I’ve always loved long hair on men, BUT sometimes it is a little “80s” to say the least… Always reminds me of the guys from Tears for Fears, for some reason… SO, I’d say keep the low-maintenance haircut for a while. I wish I could do just that… but giving up luscious red locks for a buzz cut might be a little drastic 😉
    To you and your family, a happy and healthy 2012! Hope your ailments are few and you’ll keep us updated! Cheers!!

  4. Judy Shreve Says:

    Happy New Year! Now you can’t not like a holiday that encourages happiness . . . you’re such a curmudgeon! But you really can’t be – if you bought a pink ukelele! lol
    And as far as long hair goes – there was a time when you ‘knew’ you shared a comraderie with a fellow long hair – now you can’t be so sure. So I say go with what’s easy!
    Love Sofia’s art work – the winter scene is really well done.

  5. kyle Says:

    The poop stuff gets me every time…I’m a perpetual 7th grader.

    Happy New Year to you and yours and theirs …

  6. Michael Giles Says:

    The Swidler Collection photos are amazing! It’s always frustrating seeing pots displayed behind glass. I want to run my fingers over surfaces, hold the pot to feel the weight and balance, turn it over to see how (or if) the potter signed the work…And when it’s photos of pots behind glass the frustration is multiplied. Nevertheless, these are pots I may never see, and to see these photos is a great pleasure. Thanks, Jim, and thanks Mr. Swidler and Mr. Gastello for the eye candy. Pottery porn, my wife calls it as she watches me drool over digital images of pots.

  7. Christine Says:

    My husband had a frozen shoulder too for about 6 months, underwent surgery and physiotherapy for 3 months before full recovery of shoulder movement. But we have also heard of people who have endured frozen shoulder for about 2 years and waited for it to return to full movement on its own without surgery or physiotherapy. All the best with your treatment. We feel for you. We love using your mugs and look forward to seeing your new work. Wish you and your family a healthy and prosperous New Year!

  8. Natalie Thiele Says:

    Love that pink uke.
    Congratulations! I’m going to run right over to the Crocker and check out the collection. There is also a 50 year retrospective of Clayton Bailey’s work on until the 15th. Unbelievable!

  9. artistatexit0 Says:

    Hi James…congrats on getting into a cool collection. Have you posted a picture of the lucky pot?

    • jim Says:

      hey al,
      thanks, i need to do that. i’m sure there’s a pic of it if i went back far enough but i should have posted it on this post

  10. Randy Walbridge Says:

    Herr James,
    I must disagree and think in fact that Adolph missed the boat by not sporting specs.
    It was so enjoyable talking to you today. Your pots and web sites are wonderful. Looking forward to seeing you at the Olivet show.
    Liz and I would love to have you to the house on Sunday the 30th if that works for you. If you run across any of the old gang feel free to give them my email.

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