Monday, 29 September 2014

Spring market musings


This is especially true when it comes to clay, glazes and... (temperamental) kilns. As many a ceramist and potter will attest to.

The spring market season hasn't kicked off quite as I had hoped/planned.
First, my kiln failed to work. Thermocouple problems resulted in a no firing. Followed by two over firings where temperature fluctuations produced bloated, distorted plates, bowls and some pendants. Glazes ran, and many hours of clay work melded with kiln shelves - resulting in a sad and sorry mess to grind apart.
All were anticipated pieces that would be missing from this (and near future) stalls, laying my optimism low.

Temporarily that is.

Onwards. Upwards. And continue to create fervently. Forget failures - learn from them, but don't dwell.
A mantra I've recited to myself many a time.

Hopefully, seeing as apparently, “things happen in threes”, that’ll be it for a while, and I can see this busy season through without any further problematic incidents, as every firing counts from now on - at least til after Christmas.
... she says, crossing fingers, touching wood and pleading to the Universe and importantly..... the kiln gods ;)

 Not quite as abundant as planned...

The recent local market was off to a slow start. Big black threatening clouds in the distance, followed by a shower or two, delayed many visitors in the morning.
It was a small market, and not a huge crowd was anticipated, but fortunately, more ventured out to see what was on offer as the day brightened.

It was lovely to have people admiring, and buying, my wares and wonderful to get great feedback from return customers who stopped by. Especially those who turned up proudly wearing my pendants or brooches from previous market purchases.

One customer arrived at my stall with a safety pin holding her scarf together.
She chose a beautiful aqua coloured, heart shaped brooch, and left with her scarf decoratively secured and a wide smile on her happy face.

That brightens the spirits, when I sometimes question why I do what I do…

As always at an outdoor venue, dog watching offered a very welcome distraction, as owners brought their fur babies out for a mingle.
I have an extremely soft spot in my heart for wiry coats and whiskery faces. And, especially for Scotties and Westies.
The brooches I make are very good sellers.

Those who buy them either have, or had, a Scottie/Westie - or buy them for someone they know who do. And once asked, people always have a wonderful tail tale to tell about these little characters.

So, when this jaunty little lad walked into view, I was super excited!

While his dad waited in line at the nearby food vendor, I asked if I could lavish a pat then take a photo of... “Chumpybones” - I think the kids named him, don't you? :D

He was a delightful and dignified little fellow who stole my heart that day.

Later that night, last toilet break outside for Jack before turning in, we were visited by a resident Brushtail Possum who calls the nearby forest trees, home.

Not in the least bit shy, she gently accepted a piece of apple from my hand and graciously posed for a quick photo.
Then, we bid her a, “goodnight missus” and left her to her nocturnal pursuits.

The weather looks good for this coming Saturday’s market.
And, as I write this, the kiln is on. I hope that it is a successful glaze firing.

At last glance, a few minutes ago, the kiln temperature read 666°.  Shudder...

Tuesday, 23 September 2014


We are told that September 1 is the first "official" day of spring here in the southern hemisphere.

I prefer nature's seasonal guides rather than the Gregorian calendar, and await the days when I feel the change.

Today is the vernal equinox, when day and night are of equal length. And, after a long, grey winter, it truly feels like spring has arrived.
There is a perceptible shift in the air as the wheel turns.

I'm grateful to have had the sun's gentle rays warm my cheeks on this special day.

And, at 2:30pm - as if on cue - the blackbirds burst into a strong song to herald in the new season.
Now, I think that's official  ;)

Happy spring/autumn (in the north) equinox everyone!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Dog Days: September

A dog has lots of friends because he wags his tail and not his tongue.