Monday, July 2, 2012

Heat Wave

     June. What a month. Had to deal with family stuff back in New York which has compressed my work schedule. My parents are in their eighties. They still live in the same apartment that I grew up in. It would be great if they could stay there forever but it’s hard without assistance in a dense place like the New York City metro area. Took Dad’s keys away that week. Had to. He’s 87 and winding down. He’s had four accidents (nothing major but try not to look at the passenger side of the car, please) in the last year. He wasn’t happy but my brother said he’s much more focused now about where the hell his damn car keys are! He called me right after I got back from New York wanting to know what I did with the keys. “Dad, we’ve had this discussion.” “Oh, so I should just lay down and die?!” “Well, Dad, if that’s the way you want to think of it, but I don’t think it’s going to go the way you think it will.”
     Back into clay. Much to catch up on making pots. Much to think about creating new sculptures. In between shuttling my folks around town, running errands while I was back visiting (and stealing Dad’s keys), I spent time walking the path along the Bronx River Parkway from the train station to the old duck pond. The county has paved the dirt foot path and renovated the bridges and crossings on the river. It’s really quite beautiful. Some of the trees behind the apartments are huge, just tremendous. They’ve got to be over 100 years old. It’s like an old growth forest. I used to play along the river as a kid. When I walked the path last week it occurred to me that the place I stood and reflected on my childhood is the reason I live in the country in Kentucky. Those hours in the dirt, in the woods, getting lost and dirty, never left my soul. I lost my way living in NYC but nature came calling me again. So here I am, still playing in dirt.
     Bubbles. bubbles. New York City and environs exists in a bubble. When you punch into it, it becomes obvious. Of course, people in NYC don’t see it that way, They never have. When your bubble has 18+million people in it, you see your bubble as the world because you rarely ever reach the bubble boundary. Easy mistake to make, I suppose. Having said that, New Yorkers need to get out more often. I mean beyond the Catskills, the Adirondacks, Martha’s Vineyard, the Hamptons. Go someplace not mentioned in the Sunday New York Times Magazine section, or the Times Travel section. Scare yourself a little. Come to Kentucky!
     And now it’s July. I’m getting ready for a wood firing. Yes, it’s been over 100 degrees here in SE Central Kentucky so what better time to make cone 10! I think this is my favorite time, the prep and firing of a wood kiln with other potters. When this happens, everything else in my life takes a back seat for a brief moment, particularly all the computer shit I feel obligated to do. The process of cleaning, scraping shelves, re-washing shelves, wadding, glazing, loading and then working your shift, it’s a slow march to something potentially magical. I like that. My carvings this time are focused on the horses, cave-art inspired drawings and symbolic imagery. I’m less inclined to do the biologically-inspired work in a wood kiln. The warm tones of the kiln remind me of the tones of rock walls and petroglyphs and hunting scenes. Hope to have finished work to photograph and upload in a future posting relatively soon.

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