The timing on this post is rather hilarious, or maybe pitiful is a better word...as I’ve put off doing my last post from the Fall Concentration...until right before leaving for Spring Concentration. My excuse du jour is that I’m working on residency applications, but it’s probably actually just procrastination. Sorry y’all, but none of my Halloween pix came out well- too dark...so if any of you have good ones, please share! Since I’ve got a zillion pictures, I’ll try to keep commentary to a relative minimum... so, (drum roll please) here goes:
We had two more visiting artists this Fall: Ibrahim (a fine start, I’m drawing a blank on his last name, help me out please!) a potter from Egypt who came from a family with a long pottery tradition- he had some amazing carving skills, and Alex Matisse, a considerably more local potter (near Asheville) who does some amazing slip trailing...I’ve been drooling at his pots over at Crimson Laurel for years...It was nice to finally see a slip trailing demo done by someone who uses that as their primary form of decoration.
(Look familiar? This was taken from the same spot as one from last year's end of session post for Fall.)
Hurricane Sandy blew threw bringing lots of wind and snow- 40+ mph sustained winds, and 6 inches or so of snow (There were 80 mph winds forecast for the Roan and other 6000’+ areas...dunno how much snow they got), this gave me the opportunity to fulfill one of my Penland fantasies and go sledding on the Knoll!
My friend Joe from Glass and I went sledding the first night while the snow was still falling- there was enough reflected light that you could sort of see where you were, but we still had to signal with flashlights to find each other on the hill...it was eerily beautiful with the shadows of mountains and the flying snow. The next day the steel sea otter bench that the Iron instructor was making was pressed into service as a luge sled (as pictured above)- very fun going down, but a 45-50 lb dead weight to haul back up the hill, ugh.
Some nice lidded jars all in a row that I gave myself as a throwing exercise towards the end.
A beautiful sunrise over the mountains while watching the kilns for the last firings.
My pots, set up for the end of session studio show and tell/sale...
...with the Rabulette of approval. (Rab is one of Susan the Clay Coordinator’s stuffed individuals. Long story.)
I finally got to go to the fabulous Knife and Fork in the grand metropolis of downtown Spruce Pine- totally worth all the hype I’d heard. The stragglers from the Clay studio went there for a late brunch after sleeping off their post post-changeover workstudy/assistant dance party hangovers- I will here note that I did not have a hangover (due to not having drunk anything but fizzy water due to a nasty head cold), and indeed had made it to actual breakfast (custom omelets in the Pines). Anyway, brunch: I had the above pictured braised Rabbit on wilted Escarole with sauteéd Persimmon and fried Persimmon chips (oh. my. goodness.) other items ordered by our table were a local Trout sandwich, various preparations of eggs, some very over the top Cinnamon Rolls...and copious amounts of very back French-pressed Coffee.
After Penland I went down to Florida for a much anticipated visit with McKenzie Smith, a dear friend, mentor, and one of my pottery idols. This was not, however, a lazy vacation: two wood firings, unloading and cleaning the kiln and pots, matting and hanging a gallery show, and working the Tampa Bay Tour de Clay pottery tour- we had three days off in three weeks...and it was more fun than I’ve had in years! First things first- food.
For Thanksgiving we made sweet potato pies, lots of them, and ended up eating them for breakfast and dessert for a week. (Suzanne, this should remind you of the infamous Buttermilk Pie episode.)
Loading the first firing in Kim Kirchman and Mark Fell's new wood kiln.
McKenzie stoking during the firing.
Kim Kirchman and Mark Fell firing their new baby the second time.
Oohing and aaahing after the door was down from the second firing.
The day after both firings we slept in and then went to the beach, Fort de Soto the first time (beautiful) and Honeymoon Island the second (less so- rattlesnake warning signs and spooning couples). The 70° temps both days meant that I was comfortable, while Kenz was up to his eyeballs in towels.
Here, for your drooling pleasure, is McKenzie’s space for the Tampa Bay Tour de Clay...most of the pots are from the two firings we had just done in Kim and Mark’s new kiln.
Here are a few prettied up pictures of my pots from this Fall, all ready for application-land.