Wednesday, November 30, 2011

6th Annual Solo Pottery Show Summary

The show was so amazing this year and i wanted to say thank you to those of you who travelled from far away to come and join us!! A couple from Nanaimo drove down and bought a few pots and then ordered a long tray for serving fish (amongst other things) and i will be working on that in the new year.

A friend who works in Parksville with clay distribution drove down to see the show and to tell me how 'bold' it is to have a one woman show!! She also found my last wine goblet and highlighted the need for me to start making them again.....January.

One of my most dedicated customers drove up from Sidney to have a look and find some lovely gifts for friends and family, and yes i am still working on her order of mugs and funky deep dish plates (soon). ;~)

A whole crowd of local collectors came out to see what i've been up to for the last year or so and a lot of the flawed work went. It is such a great match to let go of those flawed pots making room in the gallery while sending people home with a pot that makes them smile.

A local person who has a lot of my work was able to adopt one of my baby peace lilies as well as find a nice mug for a friend. There were also quite a few people who just stopped by for a look because of the signs that handy dave helped put up again this year.

My cycling friends, Dave and Sandra Beggs came by and found the perfect clay flower pot for her christmas amaryllis and potted it the same day so we could see it that night when we all went over for a potluck.

Franziska came by and kept us company and exercised our dogs for us then ended up staying for a bit and helping pack up the first run of pots!

It was so nice to see everyone and say good-bye to lots of pots and i was happy to listen to all the comments about how people have become fond of the clay work that they have purchased from me or have been given by a loved one.

I will definitely be having the 7th Annual Solo Show next year!

The Studio will be open a lot more this year during December as i have made some "open studio" signs and will be home working. See you all soon.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cycle Therapy Helps with Pottery Show

At this time of year, there is a but of a lump in my throat as i am packing up ALL of my pots and will ask for help (gulp!) and then set up and display hundreds of pots in one place. Every pot i have, no reserves at a gallery, no ugly 'seconds' sitting dusty on the bottom shelf of my gallery, everything out there for everyone to see. It's nerve-racking.
the photo is of the naked teapots that are now finished and will be at the show this weekend, notice the new lid/handle design on two of them

However, i just realized that for most people there isn't a final show, or a room full of shiny work, there is just a week or two of vacation and another year of payments made. It can be a beautiful moment to breathe in the sight of one's hard the feeling that comes over me when i go out and lift the glass pane off the soil bed (that i have been building for the last 6 years) and find that the corn actually germinated and little corn grasses are pushing through.

My amazing friend, Sandra Beggs, is coming over tomorrow to help with another car and several hours of unpacking pots and when we fall down with exhaustion, i will try to retain my usual smile and recognise the amazing opportunity to look over a year's worth of creations.

I am so lucky to be able to make pots full time and to have friends offer to help, some are bringing cookies, some will help take down and handy dave will be there to wrap up purchases for the entire weekend!

Thank you everyone for helping me pull this weekend together!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

6th Annual Solo Pottery Show

It's time for my 6th Annual Solo Pottery Show. This weekend, November 26th and 27th, from 10am until 5pm, both days. It is at the Clements Centre on Clements Street in Duncan, just one block west of the Library off James Street.

All the pots will be there, somewhere in the neighbourhood of 400 and there will be a few "seconds" on a table there too. Seconds are odd pots that i don't like, pots that are flawed or pots that i no longer make and just want to be free of. Seconds are only a few dollars or sometimes free with another purchase.

If you would like a 10% off coupon, they are in the mugs at both Coffee on the Moon and Black Coffee or you can just let me know that you read my blog and saw that there were coupons out there but didn't find one!

Look for the huge signs out on Saturday and Sunday and posters around town. See you all there!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Rant: What Exactly i Believe In

A very thoughtful friend of mine held my chalkboard sign in support of my running for North Cowichan Council and then asked me if i would take a few moments to write down just exactly i was standing for. It was a good thing to chew on while i cycled home in the late morning soft sunlight.

The trick is that i am running "as myself" and what i mean by that is that i am running as a cyclist who (however naively) believes that riding my bike is actually going to help re-freeze the polar ice caps:

~i am running as a person who loves the forest, for walking, retaining and building soil, for housing a wide variety of creatures, cleaning the air, mountain biking and for groups of little school kids to walk in to find the perfect Big Leaf Maple leaves for their art project:

~i believe in asking people to explain complex systems to me so that i may have a working understanding of topics like the situation that is facing our water wells, some folks have spent their entire adult life studying these highly specific topics and we should be sourcing them instead of lobbyists who have a development agenda:

~i believe in fresh water, to jump in at the Quarry, to drink, and that we need to build and support our marsh land so it can continue to clean and slow down the water so our towns and homes don't flood:

~i believe in small businesses, like my own, contributing more than just a pay cheque to a few people but that you know the person who owns the store because they come in to work everyday and talk with the customers and have a friendship with their employees, the quality of life is better for everyone:

~i believe in the arts, not a vague idea that paintings, pottery and music exist but in spending money on a theatre program where i can go watch an actor pour out their heart and communicate things that make the audience cry and laugh, art that helps to heal the artist and the consumer! art that brightens up a room and pays the mortgage! a tiny volounteer run art gallery where all sorts of artists can rotate through and announcements of shows and performances can be posted free of charge:

~i believe that our garbage should be reduced until all we take away in those trucks is recycled and re-used and composted which actually creates jobs here and topsoil or mulch instead of sending our junk to other places to sit on the land until it seeps into every corner of our ecosystem with awful consequences for our land and water creatures that end up ingesting our waste:

~i believe that if someone is going to cut down a forest to build houses, all the regulatory hoops simply must be jumped through, if this occurred here we would have had the money needed to replant the giant gash on Mount Tzouhalem which has been a blatant example of poor outcomes without proper regulation for the last several years:

~i believe that responsible government doesn't spend thousands (48K) of tax payers dollars to tell everyone about decisions, that appear to have already been made, are "good " for us:

~i believe that meetings were invented to seek out compromises that give and take so that all involved are listened to and respected, and in the end everyone can understand why decisions were made:

~i believe that more work needs to be done (like the active transportation plan currently being studied) to get people out of their cars and walking and cycling, simple things like having the trails and sidewalks meet up and 'go places' that people want to go, a walk or ride everyday can help with other seemingly unrelated things like the duration of hospital stays and Seasonal Affective Disorder, it can teach children that they can be empowered to transport themselves with their feet instead of being endlessly driven around strapped to a vehicle:

~i believe in open dialogue which is made up of mostly listening (again with the two ears and one mouth! thing) both at official meetings and on the street corner or over a coffee, actually listening to people and trying hard to understand what the local government can do to help, some of the time (as a market vendor told me Saturday) the government just needs to get out of the way!!

~i believe that if we had a cat licencing bylaw, while possibly unpopular, it would slowly fix the problem of hundreds of cats becoming feral, why are we having a discussion at Council about HOW to kill the cats (one method over another) and how to PAY to kill the cats, we should be talking about how to STOP having more kittens and Calgary's example is working beautifully and it breaks even financially between the licence fees and the spay neuter program:

~i believe that other towns and municipalities have already done the trial and error work and we can read and implement solutions that are already proven effective instead of reinventing the wheel that every time we'd like to make a change or go in a new direction:
~i believe that we should grow our food here in the valley, this is gut busting work for sure and the best part is that you don't have to do it!! there are a lot of small produce farms here that grow piles of food already, those folks are at your Duncan Farmers' Market every Saturday, waiting for you to bring your cloth shopping bag and a couple of dollars, the flow of money spent at Markets was studied by the BC Association of Farmers' Markets and found that every dollar spent at the Farmers' Market is spent SEVEN more times in the local economy, few other purchases can boast that sort of ripple effect:

~i believe in community gardens! potluck lunches made of food you grew, eating meals together and seeking out solutions that haven't even been dreamed yet, gleaning fruit from the old trees that are long since abandoned:

~i believe that we should have been putting money away to rebuild our Hospital since the 1950's when it was built, we would have no problem building a new hospital if we had been tucking away a fund with a reasonable level of interest, why not start now for the aged bridges that need to be replaced according to the engineers that do the inspections:

~i believe that democracy should be free!! it should not matter if someone has a huge budget for signs and paper handouts, i am not accepting money from anyone and i am not producing any garbage (paper/plastic) and am not consuming ANY gasoline in my effort to get elected:
~i believe in street sweepers regularly cleaning the bike lanes to pick up all that glass that gets in my eyes when i ride into town for work and makes me VERY late for meetings when i get a flat tire, imagine if there was an obstruction in the vehicle lane that flattened the tires of cars and how quickly that would be fixed at any cost!!:

~i believe that if you hire me to read the documents, listen to people that email and call, and attend the meetings: that is exactly what i will do but this is not up to me alone, i am only one vote and we need to hire 6 councillors who will attend the meetings:

~i believe that change toward a future with a healthy economy, clean water, affordable housing, healthy urban density, and breathable air is possible and there are some new people with a lot of hard work and great ideas like the ones i have typed and posted here, but it starts with you. It also ends with you: in a tiny booth with a piece of paper and a lot of names. It's your turn: Choose!