A little over a week ago I applied - and was accepted at the last minute due to a cancellation - to a popular market.
With just one week to prepare, I found myself hare raising and clay making, day and night… all while I battled the onset of the flu.
It’s been some years since I caught the dreaded bug, but, I’ve been run down and my defences are low, so, I guess it was my time for a bout.
Couldn’t have come at a worse time. But then, when is there a “good time” for the flu?
Downing cup after cup of my herbal “swamp water” brew, to reduce the time the flu hung on, I glazed for days in preparation for firing. Then, I cut, stitched, stuffed, painted and patched hares.
I had intended to finish three… oh how hopefully optimistic I was. No matter how I tried, the flu slowed me down.
With aching sinuses, I sneezed, wheezed, coughed and spluttered my way through the week. All I wanted was to go to ground, rest and allow my body to recover – I’ve always considered that’s the best remedy.
So, once more, I decided to finish one soft creation rather than cobble together three hastily. They deserve better than that.
Currently, there is a tangle of striped legs and coffee stained calico paws in my sewing cabinet, waiting to be buttoned onto soft bodies, and fringed lashes to be attached to bright eyes.
On the eve of the market, with ceramics finished and packed up, I turned my attention to the pieces of unborn leveret on my sewing table. I bent my head and worked long into the night.
At 5am on market morning, my ebony hare emerged out of the darkness into the dawn.
I drew a sigh at the look of her. Beautiful.
Harry and Elliot thought so too :)
A few hours later, feeling as though someone had thrown sand in my eyes, and with hubby shaking his head at my ability to stand upright, we arrived at our location and set up our stall.
We were blessed with perfect weather – sunshine and just the slightest of breezes.
As the hours rolled on, we chatted to our lovely stall neighbours and happily greeted customers. Ceramics were popped into gift bags and there were many admiring comments about our long eared trio.
One lady took quite a shining to my newest addition. She passed by the stall twice, hesitating each time and cast longing glances at her.
When she passed by the third time, the look of hope on her face turned to disappointment. The dark hare had gone.
Sold to another stallholder. A lovely young lass with lavender tinted hair who creates the most exquisite black & white fine art pen illustrations. I wish I’d remembered to take a photo of the two of them. But, as usual, I was a little overcome. Or maybe was I just plain exhausted.
I prefer to think it was the former. And I hope I will always feel a little tug at my heartstrings when I sell a textile creation. I get to know their personality as they are brought forth into the world.
There was something in the back of my mind in the wee hours of that morning as I battled flu and defied sleep. The small voice within that pushed me on to finish - no matter how I longed for bed. For, this particular hare was destined to be found by that particular girl on that particular day. I like to believe that.
And now as I write this late at night, the kiln is firing a load of bisque ware, which I must glaze over this coming weekend and prepare for the big Easter Festival Market next Saturday. Then, I will attend an autumn market the following weekend.
Already, 2015 seems to be marching on steadily.
Soon, my thoughts will turn to new characters, as they all jostle for attention in my head. One at a time please, I tell them. But my mind isn’t quiet as they chatter at me.
Who knows which one will make their debut. But for now, they know they have to take a back seat while I tend to the promised Easter Hares.
After that, the creative floodgates open...