Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New pots from the June firing

The photo today is a new plate from the June firing.  This is a big platter measuring 15 inches across.  This is one of  my most involved designs that requires many layers of slips and glazes before being fired in the wood kiln and glazed with salt added at the end of the firing.  

This is pretty much what today looked like in the woods around the green swamp.  Gardening and yard work has kept us busy this summer, and I am so happy with my front yard flower and herb garden.  Paul filled the two chamber kiln by himself and firing was a family deal in June.   The kiln is at our neighbors, and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to fire in it while we continue to build our own.  One chamber is for salt glaze and the other , the first chamber is just stoneware. In order to fill it faster , Paul made some large planters to fill the stoneware chamber.  I acquired a couple with small cracks and have been cruising the green house end of season sales to fill them.

I have mixed more colors into the front garden this year,  because I fell in love with these petunias.
Every flower is a different combination of  a limey yellow and a rich magenta. I have added some more yellow and red to my usual purple pallette.    There is much satisfaction when I gaze at my flowers or weed out my veggies.  Summer is so fleeting in Minnesota, and  we have to savor every minute of it!

Friday, June 18, 2010

A new cycle begins

Well another month has passed, and my poor blog lies neglected.  So, today, I decided to do this first before I went and got distracted with other things.    We have received more rain in the past few days than I can remember falling in the last three years!!    My well pump in the back is crapping out, and watering the garden when I planted it was a slow and tedious project.  The army worm caterpillar invasion is nearly over. Squadrons of the big black flies that will lay a parasitic egg on the fuzzy worms,  and consume them before they hatch ,  have been arriving.   I expect  mosquitoes will be showing up here, as I have seen some big invasions at other locations.  To put a positive spin on the legendary northern mosquito,  I will soon be seeing all different kinds and colors of dragonflies,  and little birds and bats that consume them.   When I walk back from the shop after dark, the sounds of rustling toads in the leaves of the forest floor accompany  me.     There are three types of tree frogs that I know of, and Lily has spotted some adult blue spotted salamanders.

My garden in the gravel pit here in the front is growing. The irises that I inherited from my Mother in laws' husband were not thriving back in the old garden, the grass and raspberries have choked half of them out.  The ones I put in my rock garden are thriving!  The one in the picture reminds me of fancy underwear!

The cycle of summer, for us, is involving more public sales, and I have not gotten my farmer's market act together yet.  Besides the garden, and  getting a chicken coop built,  I have acquired a slab roller, and am getting more involved in the studio than  I have in a long time.  I have dismantled my winter studio up here at the house and am working on the larger sculptures that are possible in my summer work area.  Cleaning and organizing is an ongoing project. I have cleaned out the merchandise in my Morris Pottery shop in Etsy.   
and will be listing new things daily  there.

Paul will be at the  studio of Bill Gossman, at the Willmar Area Studio Hop this weekend.  I am  taking a break from fiddle lessons for the month of June, and am attending fiddle camp this coming week for four days of music rejuvenation.   Brian Wicklunds books are the ones that captivate my students, I am so looking forward to this, not only for my personal goals, but to see how they motivate the kids, of which will be the majority of the campers.   I have rented myself a nice room at a historic inn in Stillwater, and will be so enjoying this personal retreat!