So, here’s one of the projects that have consumed my life this month.
Myself and my friend Jordan, inspired by Anderson Travel’s spectacular PR fiasco of a map, have collaborated to produce a limited edition collection of mugs, t-shirts, and prints. Well be selling them at the Rockhouse tonight as part of a music/art/craft/video game tourney, and later on via Etsy and word of mouth.
Hauled out the old strawberry bed yesterday. (The berries are moving elsewhere, and this bed’s being rotated over to legumes and brassicas for this summer.) Discovered some industrious jay or crow or rat or something had stashed away dozens of peanuts for the winter. They’re a bit mushy now, and in the compost bin.
I’ve had a very chill winter. Garden planning and some clay puttering, but all the deadlines we soooooo far away, and there was no sense of urgency, so not much actually got done.
And then I went to Mexico for my cousin’s wedding, and so did a bunch of other family members, and there was much swimming and snorkeling and Mayan ruins and caves and sea turtles and reefs…
Also, warm. There was quite a lot of warm.
Now I’m home, and it’s cold, but seeds are sprouting, and wee crocuses are poking out of the ground, and the rhubarb just made an appearance. And I’ve got ideas I want to try out in the studio. Springtime!
LOOK AT THIS THING! It’s a LIVING green thing!
There’s a two-inch wide strip of flower bed where the snow has melted, and this beauty has poked its head up, along with two spindlier things I presume to be either crocuses or glory of the snow.
All we need are two days of rain to get rid of the snow and I just know there will be more of these things ready to spring up…
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 (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.
 Not in order, of course. I’m starting with the Death books.
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.
New things in the Etsy shop!
Mugs and whiskey cups for now. I’ll be adding more over the next little while.
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.
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.
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.
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.)