October 27, 2009
It is an eerie sensation to walk into the studio when the kiln is ablaze. I can’t resist conjuring up imagery from Dante’s inferno. I know that if I lift the lid, all sorts of demons will pop out. This is my Pandora’s Box, but mostly good things come out of it.
As I’m writing this, the kiln is at 2150° Fahrenheit and still climbing. It is truly a mysterious process, difficult to fathom. I put in ceramic pieces coated with various drab looking liquids that have dried on the surface, and out they come with beautiful and vibrant glassy surfaces. It’s a true metamorphosis.
October 15, 2009
It’s apple picking season here in New York and once again, we took the girls to our favorite apple orchard. The farm management got savvier this year and made the apple buckets a wee bit bigger and adjusted the price accordingly. But that’s ok, I’ll just make 16 pies. And strudel, and cider, and baked apples, and apple sauce, and apple fritters, and apple turnovers, and…
We had to walk quite a distance from the entrance to find some trees with apples still on the branches (rather than rotten or half eaten and lying on the ground).
|Apple Girls 2008||Apple Girls 2009|
Some people do the age progression photo album assembled from school pictures. We do the hatchback-pose-with-the-apple-bucket age progression album instead.
We’re so clever.
October 10, 2009
Perhaps you have come across Vered Skolnik’s exquisite Etsy shop, veroque. All of her work involves intricate woven bead creations that are as much a marvel in design as they are a delight to behold. My daughter and I can spend forever just clicking through her entire shop. And she recently launched a second shop, ByTheBelt, which is no less impressive.
A few weeks ago, I was tickled positively pink to get an email from Vered asking me to make her a ceramic dish that she could use to hold beads as she works. She said she was flexible in the design and left it to me to come up with something, as long as it had a few sections to keep the different colored beads separate from each other. She gave me full creative liberty, what a bunny!
Here’s what I’ve come up with so far. Of course, the glazing can bubble up during firing, another piece can fall on it in the kiln and smash it into tiny, tiny pieces, I could accidentally drop it on the floor taking it out of the kiln…anything can happen. But so far, right now, today...it's the cat's MEOW!!
October 06, 2009
This past weekend, my daughter stumbled upon my kindergarten report card. I had Dr. Maas for a teacher (my parents were convinced that she went for the doctorate only because without it, we’d all have to call her “Miss Maas” which was just too much to ask of a class of kindergarteners).
I remember only certain (and mostly questionable) things about being in her class. By today’s pedagogical standards, her discipline tactics would force a gasp to leap off your lips quite involuntarily. Judging from her comments on my report card, though, it seems she had her finger on my pulse quite accurately.
“As you know, Jill is doing superior work. She sets extremely high standards for herself and may become distressed if she feels she is anything less than perfect. Jill responds well to praise and encouragement, however, so her own successes seem to have built a bulwark against the tension you were concerned about earlier. Jill is highly individualistic, and I suspect she will derive much satisfaction from grades 3 and 4 upward when she will be both ready and eager to plunge into sustained individual projects.
“I feel sure Jill will be able to forge ahead in first grade and achieve a superior level of success if she is not permitted to lapse into disproportionate negative emotions over small events. Your attitude was most helpful this year in this regard. Your continued cooperation will be beneficial.”
Funny how key character elements can be manifested at such a young age, and how apparent that can be to the observer.