Posts Tagged ‘Decorating Pottery’

NAKED LADIES BLOOMED, RABBITS MUNCHED, SQUIRRELS FROLICKED AND GOLDENROD TICKLED OUR NOSES

November 2, 2014

Naked Lady, Bunny & Fairy Vase 039 (1024x675) (2)

October was a golden month…

aglow with wildflowers, butterflies,

cool sweet mornings,

and the most glorious of autumn-blue skies.

The light was magical

and Southerners weary of humid heat

were re-energized.

In the earlier days of the month

rabbits munched every evening

on the dregs of summer grass.

Naked Ladies caught the last rays

of the sinking sun.

The whole month long…

squirrels raced one another,

foraging madly for winter nourishment…

preparing their nests.

My decorating during this month was playful…

lighthearted before the fall.

Squirrel & Goldenrod Plate 072 (1024x678) (2)

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VISIT FROM MY ANGEL

October 12, 2014

Visit From My Angel (East Beach) 080 (1024x991) (2)

Since losing my little dog, Star,

my attempts to depict

her dear and funny figure on a pot

have been futile.

Finally facing a particularly challenging bowl

in a particularly challenging time,

she came to help.

She came as she had always done,

as comforter

and gentle prodder when her human needed prodding.

Visit From An Angel Bowl 047 (1024x656) (2)Visit From My Angel bowl (detail) 037 (1024x683) (2)As in the days of her bright living,

her sweet presence came.

I only needed

to wake up and live…

to let the spirit move

on earth as it does in heaven.

Visit From My Angel 090 East Beach (1024x694) (2)I carried on with faith that carrying on

would get me somewhere.

Whatever gift or capability I had

would see me through the task

however arduous it proved to be.

My little angel’s plumey tail wagged happily

when I thought “beach” and drew a spiraling sun.

Pelicans and drifting clouds were fine.

Small waves and several “stars” were also good.

Star’s sensitive nose tipped upward in approval

at salt-scented air.

Visit From My Angel Bowl with Pearl 041 (1024x683) (2)

Pearl thought she smelled a dog

when I brought the finished pot home

and placed it on the floor for her approval.

My own approval…

or acceptance…

was slow to come:

The glazes were not bright enough, etcetera.

But apparently, my little dog angel

was still whispering possibilities,

and what I heard

as clear as clear can be

was “BEACH”.

Take Music to the beach…

and take that blessed bowl.

Take that infernal camera, too.

Have “FUN”!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We did have fun,

Music doing doggy things,

and me with my little camera

playing with my beach bowl on the beach.

My mind grew quiet.

My heart was softened by salt-scented air.

And back at home,

I brushed the sand off of the beautiful pot…

and placed her in the showroom….

Visit From My Angel (exterior) 078 (1024x644) (2)

…where on that very morning

a woman recently bereft of her dog

purchased “Visit From My Angel” as a memorial

to take back home to Michigan.

Sigh…

   

FAITH IN THE FLOW

September 22, 2014

Clay Sculpture 1 (renewal) 027 (1024x615) (2)

I believe in flow.

Flow has been at the heart of my life as a dancer.

If dance has been like a river flowing

throughout my life,

changing times and an aging body

has caused the river to branch into tributaries

of poetry, clay sculpture, drawing and music.

Singing has had its turn

and painting, too,

to flow around obstacles created by doubt.

Doubt has often loomed heavily,

obscuring the way,

and times of despair have caused drought.

My progress has stalled…

bogged down in the muck;

my heart feels dry and my world

appears colorless for a while.

Clay Sculpture 1 (renewal) 023 (1024x646) (2)

Recently, decorating pottery in the Shearwater annex

has brought flow and color back to my life.

I have found renewal in the clay:

the feel, look, smell of this earthy substance

has grounded my body…

revived my heart.

My right arm –

stalled by extensive and painful surgery –

has grown strong and brave,

and has carried out my purpose

of resuming the flow.

The river of dance –

still present in my seventy-year-old being –

has formed yet another tributary.

Praise heaven and all the angels:

I am able to bring color to my world!

Clay Sculpture 1 (renewal),Green Heron, Ohr 028 (1024x615)

As my confidence has grown in the present flow, I have pondered sculptural shapes: free-form vessels formed by my hands, conducive to my particular style of decorating. Not instead of my work at the annex with my dear women companions, but a possible means of growth…a chance to explore. So clay was purchased – and a small expensive kiln. The latter with considerable fear and trembling. At my age you do not take on such things as blithely as when younger. I approached the clay before the kiln was delivered, as tentatively as someone who had never created clay sculptures before. I wedged the clay, slamming it down repeatedly to soften it…bring it to yielding. I felt my shoulder object, and I wondered what I was doing. I felt old and scared: doubt did its damnedest to stop the meager flow that was trickling forth. My hands kept moving: pushing, pulling, stretching and stroking despite the doubt…despite the twinges of pain. I didn’t last long that first session. I wasn’t encouraged by this beginning. I covered her quickly, a bit embarrassed by my efforts. It took a while to return. When I did, I reminded myself that judgment at this point was foolish; completion was so far off, and decorating and firing were more than half of it. I had begun!

A few days later the kiln was delivered from Dogwood Ceramics via movers I had hired. It rode in the back of a truck thoroughly crated in wood. I was daunted, but the movers dealt with it vehemently. Finally the kiln stood on my screen porch where the old non-functioning one had stood for years. But it did not look right. The box on the front: the computer and electrical unit was pulled out, metal bent, screws pulled loose. There was obvious damage. The kiln, expected to contribute to the flow, is itself an obstacle.  A terrible question looms: Who is responsible? Another: Can I keep faith that the river of dance that is my life will maintain its flow. Of course I can… But I might need a boat.

LOVE AMONG THE HERONS

September 7, 2014

Great Blue Heron (Inner Harbor) 002 (2)

Great Blue Herons

are a very familiar shore bird

where I live.

They perch on fishing piers

and fish in the marshes.

They wade along shorelines

and nest in tall pine trees.

They fly overhead

with a startling, raucous cry.

They are as beautiful and strange

as they are familiar.

Great Blue 030 (1024x680) (3)

In recent weeks

I have found myself beguiled

by a particularly dashing bird.

Coy and seductive,

ready to pose for as long as I aim my camera…

Of course I am entranced.

In the morning –

turning just so in the bright-lit water –

he casts a shadow

on his handsome feathered back.

In the evening

he leads me among the pier posts,

shows me his mirrored image.

He fills my mind

and causes my heart to linger

in heron-land.

No wonder I danced with him

on the surface of my most recent pot.

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No wonder I shamelessly lounged

in the marshes he frequents…

Heron Pot on Art Table 057 (1024x683) (2)

kicking my legs in the air

and  basking in his presence.

Heron Pot on Art Table 055 (1024x683) (2)

No wonder I celebrate my love

for the constant bird

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by bringing my heart to my art.

OUTPOURING OF ANGELS

August 30, 2014

Angel Pitcher 047 (1000x1024) (2)

Sometimes Angels

wing their way into my mind,

reminding me

of my need to stay in the presence

of divine reality.

When times of physical frailty weigh my body

and vulnerability opens my sensibilities

to all manner of input,

thank Heaven the Angels come too.

They may come in the tender touch

of a gentle-eyed nurse

in the hospital where I am undergoing procedures,

or in the trustful lingering of a heron

as I gaze through my camera.

And in the Shearwater annex –

where I work among kind companions –

They can weave their way through the women’s laughter,

or waft their way onto a pitcher I have chosen to decorate.

Angel Pitcher 048 (732x1024) (2)

This angel appears to be of the mothering sort…

for two plump cupids frolic

in response to her dance.

One hovers close to her mother’s watchful gaze…

reaching frequently for reassurance,

while the other is set free by love…

cavorting fearlessly beyond maternal influence.

Angel Pitcher 041 (1017x1024) (2)

As I hold

the pleasing weight of the pitcher

in my hands,

and accept the manifestation of angels

in my life,

I also accept my human vulnerability…

and my courage.

I know that the mothering angel is always near,

and I am free to go.

HEAVEN AND EARTH

August 19, 2014

Dragonfly (Patient Model) 140 (1024x574) (2)

So many inspirations

in the world I inhabit…

Daily I come upon magical gifts;

they open themselves before my eyes,

and my soul is amazed at the wonder revealed.

A dragonfly – as elusive as air –

is suddenly still…

five feet from my trembling heart.

For a timeless rapturous moment she stays,

as I press the shutter again and again:

Heaven has offered itself to me…

and I am receptive.

Turtle Eating Banana from My Hand 113 (1024x684) (2)

Earth comes in the form of a ravenous turtle:

weighty, substantial, and trusting enough

to eat from my hand.

This particular earth-form comes when I call.

“Hello Baby…”

has him climbing a tree

in his quest for banana and me.

Our morning encounters are grounding

to the airborne Gemini that I am.

Turtle & Dragonfly Vase (Heaven & Earth)  024 (703x1024) (2)

Perhaps this explains why the turtle came first

on my most recently decorated pot.

His round weighted contours

settled  sweetly onto

the dear little vase

as my own earthy weight

settled sweetly into

the process of bringing him forth.

Turtle & Dragonfly Vase (Heaven & Earth)  021 (712x1024) (2)

The dragonfly hovered and flirted,

teasing my mind with unattainable beauty…

before it flew into my hand

and out of my pencil.

Turtle & Dragonfly Vase (Heaven & Earth)  003 (665x1024) (2)

Days later,

I held the vase in my hands,

 turning it slowly.

It was then I realized the balance

I had unconsciously brought into being.

I saw the air descending

in response to the earth’s ascent,

And I saw the earth ascending

in response to the air’s descent.

Turtle & Dragonfly Vase (Heaven & Earth) 007 (652x1024) (2)

I held creation in the palm of my hand…

and all was well.

LESSON IN SURVIVAL

July 13, 2014

Thrasher Family (Fierce Papa) 062 (1024x665) (3)

A path curves through the woods

that surround my house.

Since I moved there in 1992,

I have yielded the right away repeatedly to wildlife:

Birds, mammals, reptiles lay claim to this area

long before I dared to build and settle in the midst.

This fierce Brown Thrasher and his constant mate

presumed to build their nest

over-close to the path I walk each day.

Thrasher Family (Babies) 198 (1024x683) (2)Of course I discovered the tiny smidgeons

of blue and gray fluff

that turned out to be babies.

I puzzled over the blue for a while,

as I raised my camera high

to capture a fuzzy likeness.

Thrasher Family (Here To Protect) 051 (742x1024) (4)I earned a most definite scolding

from an upset mama,

before she lured me away with a gentle cooing

and posed beguilingly for my camera.

As the days rolled by this became a routine of sorts:

My curiosity pulled me back with my upraised camera,

and the parent birds appeared to scold and lure me away.

The babies took on a brownish hue,

but my respect for the privacy of the little family

prevented this wood-be photographer

from getting a clear shot.

Instead I focused on the ever-present parents

and was rewarded.

Thrasher Family (On The Tightwire of Survival) 061 (1024x707) (4)

This little mama lives her life on a tightrope,

 exercising – minute by minute – the will to survive.

My empathy for her –

and for her mate and offspring –

makes it difficult for me to see myself

as the invasive human.

Yet that is what I am.

And the only contribution I can make

to their survival –

after the nest is empty and the birds moved on –

is to decorate a little pot and tell their story…

as I see it:

Thrasher Family Pot 1 Thrasher Family Pot 2 DSC03374 (1024x683) (2) Thrasher Family 9 DSC03377 (1024x683) (2)

and

Thrasher Family 10 DSC03385 (1024x683) (2)

LOTUS WOMAN

July 6, 2014

Lotus Woman 4 (683x1024) (2)

She sat on my shelf but briefly…

before moving on,

gladly sharing space with creations out of my past.

She graciously gazed into my camera lens…

as I recorded my brief moments

as her student.

When I had floundered

at the beginning of creation,

she calmed my fingers and my mind.

She drew attention

to the curving lines of vase…

of woman sitting.

Beyond surrender I flowed easily…

into the center of what came to me:

Woman meditating on the lotus of her life.

Lotus Woman 5 (683x1024) (2)

FAMILIAL DANCE

June 30, 2014

Familial Dance 9 176 (683x1024) (2)

Emotions were intense –

and asking for expression –

in the week I began this pot.

As I picked up my pencil,

sorrow still swirled

in the place between my breasts.

No wonder at all

that I fell back on dance…

appealed to the passion of my youthful years

to counteract the heavy ache

of body and mind.

My soul complied…

Familial Dance 5 166 (739x1024) (2)Familial Dance 138 (792x1024) (3)

The child leapt

from the passionate and driven man

that was her father…

leapt into practical, dependable connection

with her mother.

The mother’s love was based on faith.

Her spiritual guidance would be lasting.

Her dancer daughter –

born of opposites –

would not forget the familial dance.

Familial Dance 6 167 (781x1024) (2)Familial Dance 143 (2)The circular and grounding source

must be repeatedly returned to:

for nourishment…

for rest…

for stabilizing.

And equally,

repulsion and rebounding.

I know this now as I renew the bond

with the women of our family…

renewing also the creative drive.

Familial Dance 10 090 (1024x668) (2)

Even as the body ages and subsides,

the spiritual fire lives on.

So does the dance…

PRAYING WOMAN

June 23, 2014

Praying Woman Pot on Black 096 (587x1024) (2)

This praying woman

appeared on  a pot

not long before losing Star.

The little dog was fading

and other things were contributing also

to a pervading sadness.

I sat in the annex with the other women

and willed my hand to draw something other

than a female figure

weighted with what I was feeling.

Yet I found that I was rubbing out more

than I was drawing.

Surrender gave me the truth:

a sorrowing woman appealing for mercy.

Praying Woman Pot on Black 8 103 (582x1024) (2)

And mercy came in the form of angels:

child-shaped…

plump and earthy with determined love.

Praying Woman Pot on Black 4 100 (601x1024) (2)

Generous and wise

as children can be,

they danced in the woman’s night sky…

and with them came stars.

Praying Woman Pot 2 (on black) 098 (602x1024) (2)

Sweet natures,

whether in children or angels…

or dear little dogs  –

always and innocently –

bring comfort.

Woman Serene (Starlight) 107 (635x1024) (2)

And STAR-LIGHT…