Friday, March 26, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Turkis Smurkis

Within the first few months of dating my sweetheart Paul, he gave me a little red and white box, circa 1960's, that originally housed a piece of Leica camera equipment. The box itself was one of his favorite objects and when I opened it and saw what was inside, I knew he was getting serious. A tiny perfect Brekina toy Volkswagon Bus. In Paul's favorite VW color, Turkis. He was basically asking me to go steady. I said yes, of course and it now hangs over our head in my "favorite things" mobile. That seafoam green I hated so much in my crayon box, had finally won my heart. To see all the gorgeous VW classic colors you can go here.

A Few More Beauties From Local Pottery

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lisa Howard's Lickable Pottery

I know, such an odd impulse to have with pottery, but the first time I held one of Lisa's Local Pottery bowls in my hand that's what I wanted to do. Maybe it's their frosted cookie-ness. But they are delicious looking and each one totally hand built, painted blimpy dab at a time and pure joy to hold. She stopped by the other day with armfuls of tea bowls and tiny serving pieces to show me the new green she's fallen in love with. Her face is still a little brown from her month camping on St. John and her blue green eyes sparkled as she described the color of the water that inspired this new line. A deeper shade of seafoam, higher up on the Pantone page, this green got me too. She is a (mostly self-taught) potter working out of studio and gallery, Local Pottery, that she opened in Pembroke, MA in 1996.  She makes pots, teaches classes and represents the work of 20 or so other fine craftspeople.  Lisa lives in the pretty little seaside town of Scituate, MA where she can garden fanatically and try to ride her mountain bike without crashing. 

Can you tell me about your latest body of work?
I make functional pottery.  Every piece is different.  I don't measure for consistent sizing or make multiples.  Making pots has to feel like exploring.  I like seeing all the different sizes and patterns piled together.  It feels abundant-like looking at all the goodies in a French bakery.  Right now, I'm really into this new green that I'm using and also some fairly dense patterning.
What inspires you the most lately?
Where I live is so beautiful, it would be hard not to be inspired.  Mornings, I watch the sunrise over the harbor.  The color and feel of any given morning can be familiar but never exactly the same as another.  I look at the marsh, plants, birds, boats, trees.  I think about the way things grow and change and then make patterns that are visual metaphors or reminders. 

What was your first memory?
Growing up, we had this big old orange long-haired cat named Brandy.  I loved that cat. 

Can you describe the best thing you saw on your last walk?
That Spring is here!  The trees are budding and from a distance look covered in reddish frizz.  The lichen looks electric against it.  It's my favorite time of year. 

What are five things that would happen in the perfect day of work for you?
It all starts with getting up early enough to watch the sun come up and read for an hour or so while I drink my coffee.  It gets me in the right place-relaxed but fully awake and not rushed.  Then once I am at the shop, I switch around public radio and music while I trim pots and start decorating.  I especially love the wet parts of ceramic process.  All my color is applied to surfaces that are what American potters call leather hard.  (The Brits call it "cheese-hard" which I actually think is a better description).  A really good, flowy work day has a lot of decorating in it.  It's pretty rhythmic and I can bounce between a number of pieces.   Sometimes I bring things outside to work on. I can tend my plants when I need to stand up and stretch.   Most days, customers and friends are around, too.  It would be no fun potting in a vacuum

Can you describe the best pair of shoes you've ever owned?

I'm wearing them!  Black cherry leather  Troentorp closed-back clogs.  The leather is hand-nailed to the wooden part your foot is on.  The very bottom is rubber-they sound great when I walk. 

What are you doing this weekend? (March 28, 29)
March 27-29:  My shop is open on Saturday, so my weekend is Sunday-Monday.  I'll plant the rest of my pansies (Delta Blue with Blotch, mostly), take out the mountain bike.  I have a lunch date with an old friend and my dad will be 79 on on Tuesday, so I'm sure we'll celebrate that, too. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Seafoam Green Beauties Built to Make Your Heart Flutter

Sweet lil' buggie from Pay No Mind on Flickr.
Be still my heart Vespa hottie here.
Volkswagon Bus from rbishoptalk.

3.23.10 Color Swatch

P A N T O N E  N O. 5 6 3
Dear Crayola Seafoam Green,
I am writing to apologize and ask your forgiveness for treating you badly for so many years. I never muttered a word of my disdain aloud, but being the sensitive crayon you are, you most likely sensed my dislike of you. It's taken me years to come to the realization this was unfair of me. It was really not very nice that I allowed you maybe one or two strokes on a page before retiring you to the top left hand corner of my annual Christmas box of Crayolas. For reasons I am just recently mature enough to own up to, I thought you lacking in depth, a little too flighty and often smelling of moth balls. I never saw your beauty, your intelligence, or that cute loopy smile of yours. But I am happy to report after some serious soul searching and years of hue therapy, I have finally stumbled upon the root of my disdain. It wasn't you, dear SFG, it was my mother's 1950's electrolux vacuum cleaner, AKA the pig as my sisters and I tagged "it" Yes, the loud, Saturday cartoon interuptus beast. The mothballs you ask? Mother would often toss a few into it's stomach to cover the earthy dog hair smell our pets left behind. So you see, dear one, it wasn't you at all. I believe I am on the road to recovery by making amends with you in a more formal way. Amends by writing this public apology but also by befriending you on Facebook. YES! I stumbled upon your happy band of friends, here and am joining in the joy of celebrating your beauty. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you can find it in your sweet waxy heart to forgive me. I am proud to say there isn't a color in the universe I don't embrace. Well... to be completely transparent, I am working on my relationship with mauve. Superficial is what always come to mind when it asserts itself on me at the thrift store.  It may have something to do with Ronald Reagan and the mid '80's, I'm not too sure. I will work on it. I promise.
With respect and great affection,
Image the Electrolux Sales Award Ashtray

Monday, March 22, 2010

Poem for Monday

An Excerpt from 
Strangers on the Shore
And so I have to learn
to swim inside my dreams
in case the sea should come
and visit me in my sleep.
And if that happens, all will be well,
and when tomorrow stirs
on the wet stones, the sand
and the greatest resounding sway of sea 
will know who I am and why I return,
will accept me into their school.

And I can be content again
in the solitude of the sand,
graduated by the wind
and respected by the sea-world.

I've never been to Chile but 
love it dearly just by reading
Pablo Neruda's poems.
Here are some links for relief
donations for Chile-
Red Cross