Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett passed away.

If you know who he was, this is not news; his death was several days ago. But he was my favourite author and I couldn’t not mention it. I just had to take some time before writing about it. I’m in the middle of putting together a gallery show about telling stories, and my favourite storyteller has died. He had a history of cardiovascular problems and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago, so it’s not exactly unexpected, but I am still very sad.

I can’t say he made me love reading, because I have loved reading since before I could read to myself. I can’t say he introduced me to scifi or fantasy, because I was already reading scifi and fantasy to the near-exclusion of all else when I first picked up one of his books.

But there was something about his writing that makes him feel like a first. Experiencing his particular combination of humour, esoteric references, footnotes, and occasional incandescent anger was a formative thing, in ways I may never entirely articulate. I’m re-reading his work now[1] (this will take some time, stupendously prolific workaholic that he was), and found a line that made me tear up. There’s a passage in Soul Music, about the library at Unseen University, where wizards go to study. They have books of magic, of course, but they also have “perfectly ordinary books, printed on commonplace paper in mundane ink. It would be a mistake to think that they weren’t also dangerous, just because reading them didn’t make fireworks go off in the sky. Reading them sometimes did the more dangerous trick of making fireworks go off in the privacy of the reader’s brain.”

He made fireworks go off in my brain. And I will miss him dearly.

[1] Not in order, of course. I’m starting with the Death books.

Scoops and Spoons

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These have actually been out of the kiln for a few weeks, but I hadn’t posted them. So here’s a look. I’ve been getting them out, trying to get a feel for them. Learning lots about hand-feel and leverage and handle angles…

Hopefully I’ll have all my ideas about utensils sorted out and organized in time to make a bunch for spring craft fairs.

Ichtharus, or, Be Prepared

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My next solo gallery show is going to be this fall. It’s based around the concept of an anthology: a collection of short stories. I want to make a bunch of sets that each tell/illustrate some sort of narrative. These are some of the sketches for a set of eight plates, starring a previously under-explored character of mine, Raincoat Girl.

Raincoat Girl lives in a very damp, foggy, place. The sun never shines. Kraken abound. Flying fish are part of the background, like songbirds are for us.

Raincoat Girl is ambitious, and dreams of flight. She is about to have an adventure.

Spoons!

It’s hard to get back to work after Christmas. The long, hard slog of craft fair production, which pretty well consumes my life from August to December, is over. And I have several weeks of genuine, wonderful, recharging time off. At some point, though, I go from luxuriating in my break to whining listlessly around the house. That is the time to start filling my days again.

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I’ve had it in my head to make spoons and scoops. I made chubby-handled teapot lids for the Christmas Craft Fair this year, and I’ve had a nagging urge to make more chubby-handled things. Spoons, and by extension, scoops, seemed like a good place to start. So here are some experiments.

Second Last Day

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It’s the second last day of the One of a Kind Show! So far, so interesting. I’ve met a lot of new people, have had great booth neighbors, and learned a lot about the technical behind a the-scenes stuff of traveling to shows. (I’ll have to do a proper write up when I get home.)

Set Up

Yesterday, I braved the labyrinth of IKEA in search of shelves. Having never been to IKEA before, I did not realize you have to wander through a maze of miniature rooms before getting anywhere you could actually buy stuff, or that half the stuff off want would be hidden away. Think I’ll order online in future and save myself the hassle.

After a few hours of frustration, we got done shelves and set them up at the convention center:

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Booth W11 is my home for the next two weeks. Today is for installing lights, putting pots on shelves, and making my rental spot a little more homey. Also, figuring out signage.

And tomorrow, my first stint at the One of a Kind Show starts.

Shipping

I sent some mugs to the Jonathon Bancroft-Snell gallery today for their annual mug show.

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This is how one carless potter gets her wares to the post office.

One of these days, I’ll get a proper dolly. Until then, my trusty wee grocery cart will have to do.