Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Working towards the Show

I am throwing a fresh run of pots that should be ready for my Solo Show on November 27/28. It is the first year I am having the show for two days, the last four years I have rented the Clements Centre for the saturday and then Dave, Sarah Hall, Amy Grue and Sean Reid have come out to help me put up the signs and unpack all of the pots and set them up on nice tablecloths in a way that makes sense. I thought about all the work that Dave and everyone had to do for the show when I was in Edmonton with Dad, and realized that it was time to have the sale for two days. Some shows like to have that sense of urgency, in that if you aren't there on the right day and time you will miss out but other people have suggested that a lot of people now work on saturdays. This will be an experiment and I will learn a lot from it either way.

I have to decide whether I am going to do the Providence Farm Christmas Show or go back up to Courtenay for the weekend show where I stay at the Riding Fool Hostel in Cumberland (I actually slept 13 hours straight there last year!! and was almost late for the show) I have been having a good year at the Duncan Farmer's Market and will be back there for the last few Saturdays in December for those late night local shopper people! Well, I must get back to work downstairs as the sun has come out and it is 22degrees so the pots are drying quickly making more room in the damp cupboard and more room to put fresh work. I also have to make a small batch of the raspberry glaze that I have complained about for the last few years for a special order of tiny cups that I threw a few weeks ago, this person wants the new batch of cups to be EXACTLY the same as the batch three years ago. Enough said, pottery evolves even more that I do.

The new post it note memo on the wedging wall of my studio (that I look at all day) says "CLAY LIKE A CHAMPION TODAY!!" which I saw on the door of a pottery workshop on some one's blog, it made me laugh. Thank for reading again.

PS check out the huge up-side-down dog in the top of the photo below, very cute.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wine and Culinary Festival Tour @ Hilary's Cheese Sept. 18 & 19, 2010

I hauled my tent and tables and one tub of pottery out to Hilary and Patty's Farm to set up for the tour this weekend and had a good time finding all the hills. I left one of the tubs empty as that saved me about 50 pounds so the trailer only weighed around 175lbs. I hadn't ridden that far "under load" and was a bit afraid of the hill that plows skyward just before you turn off to the farm (after 'golf course hill' and 'that section on Koksilah' that anyone on a bike will remember well).
I met a very nice cyclist on Koksilah (coke-sigh-la) which has a very long slow hill, he chatted with me all the way up the hill and made it go by a lot faster. He had ridden all over Duncan from Cherry Point and was on his way back to his boat to motor back over to Salt Spring Island. We chatted and laughed until I had to turn right and he turned left, it is so funny that cyclists tend to be lovely people who will share a little, I could go to the gym and jog on the treadmill beside someone for an hour and never make eye contact let alone talk about life and our greatest accomplishments.
Just after we parted company I turned up the hill to find out that it was brutal and had me flopping the handlebars around like a frantic fish! I got to the top and was soaked with sweat and that was only with 175lbs good thing I hadn't brought the whole set up at once. I cycled/hauled out another tub full and some odds and ends for the sale, Saturday morning and was again soaked but I had a change of clothes and have learned to take some time at the end of the ride to cool down before I change into dry clothes as they soak up the sweat well too. I changed in the beautiful farm house and set up the display of pottery for the day in plenty of time before the show started at 10am.
Hilary (Mr.) came over later in the day and let me know that I was welcome to use the farm shower at the side of the house tomorrow if I liked and that I should take a look to see if there is a bar of soap. I was floored at the generosity and hospitality of the owner who was swamped by customers, vendors and cheese demonstrations, that he would take time to think that I might be uncomfortable and that I might like a shower!
What consideration and on a completely different topic he makes really amazing cheeses and the whole family has great taste in pottery!! I used a french butter dish making lunch there last year and seeing how well it worked was the reason I started to make them in my own studio. Thanks for everything Patty, Hilary and Bronwyn. check out the site for more info ((I am listed under "some of the finest crafters in the valley" ;0)

Friday, September 10, 2010


Photo is approximately half of a dinner set for a wonderful family that was well received and took 6 months to finish, with a few spares just in case.
The trip to Pencticton for Ironman and Calgary, was highlighted for me by going to the Highland Games in Canmore with my sister who was there volounteering to flip pancakes at 5am. We went much later in the day and walked through to see the groups of pipers interact and march together which was truly amazing, the 5 groups of pipers followed one leader and looked seamless. Behind us was a little line of tents set up with all sorts of items that fit in with the celebrations like kilt stores and special cookies.

My family simultaneously pointed out a potter who had a display of lovely dark pots with cut away sections that made Celtic knots out of the negative spaces! They were amazing. The potter had one eye fixed on me once I picked up the first pot, they were REALLY light and well thrown and balanced, she had been doing this for a long time!! I asked her about how long she had been potting and it turned out 40 years would about cover it. She was warm and friendly and we instantly started to chat and compare notes, she had worked an outside job for the first twenty five years or so before her husband quit to stay home with the kids so she could go 'pro'.

She was everything that I had found in the first few potters I had met up in Bonnyville, Alberta back in 1996, warm and full of fun stories about pots and life 'building our own boxes' instead of thinking inside them. My family was over watching the event and Dave turned to check on me just as I was saying goodbye with a long, firm hug which he must have found surprising as he looked puzzled... didn't I just meet this woman??

It was such a warm meeting and welcome from another potter who would actually understand what my days are comprised of. I told her that I attend the weekly Market and she was appalled by the amount of work that packing and hauling and setting up and taking down and laughed out loud when I told her that I haul everything on a bike trailer, very well packed of course!! She told me all about the country-side tour group that she was part of that encouraged all those city folk in Edmonton to get out and see what the countryside had to offer. She offered to help out with starting an art tour of my area and I smiled thinking of all the tours we have here for food, wine, art and culture. If you want to meet her too click on and visit her studio next time you are in Alberta.

I have arrived back at the studio to find that I have no where near the pottery I need to have to be ready for the fall season and the generous display case at the Clements Center is going to be used for a community living display soon so I need to take the display down today. I have to change out the mugs at Coffee on the Moon and Black Coffee at Whippletree Junction and then get to work for the next 6 weeks. I also have to decide whether I should rent the Centre for just Saturday as I have done the last 4 years or rent it for both Sat and Sunday, I also need to decide whether it would be a good idea to invite another artist to join me in the show, who would I invite and what would I charge them.

I have an interview of sorts at the Chemainus Theatre Gallery and Gift Shop to see if they would like to have my pottery in there on Wednesday at 1030 and have to have a plan for the presentation. I also need to make up the pamphlets to hand out so that people will attend my show, I need new business cards from a new printer, and I need to harvest a few hundred pounds of fruit and veggies from all over to fill the freezer so we can eat all winter. It looks like the next blog update will just have a photo of a blurr or activity or maybe a photo of me sleeping on the floor of the studio (or maybe of sleeping in my own bed on a drop cloth covered in clay bits taken by an always supportive husband laughing as he gets home from work late).

I will send some updates soon and thank you for reading me.