Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Plaster Disaster and Mental Confusion

Mold forms from gourds on my farm. I have used gourds as hump molds in the past but the clay tends to stick to the hard shell and it takes forever to dry and keep a form.
      I have uncovered the secret to commenting on my own blog posts. Turns out, there is a setting in my browser that allows/disallows third party cookies and data. I have that checked. I must uncheck it to comment. I dislike all the third party data collection so this will become another step in the process. Who needs to worry about the NSA when Google, the insurance companies, the phone companies and Facebook collect all your data anyway. Bottom line is if you want to be social digitally, you will leave a trail of bits and bytes unless you take extra steps to erase all of it. And even then. Be free in your boring ego.
Plaster added.
    My husband and I took a short jaunt to St. Louis for the Independence Day holiday. During that time, monsoonal rains soaked western, central and eastern Kentucky while we were gone. (The weather was gorgeous, if hot, in St. Louis) When we got back, I got onto scraping, mopping and vacuuming the studio floor to prepare for repainting. However, because of the damp floor, this is only partially successful. And because of the floor repair and the continued threat of severe rainy weather not to mention cloud cover, my photographing of new items for Etsy has been delayed. In fact, many things have been delayed this year. It's July and I'm still not getting the hang of chilling out and just letting go of my "schedule." Well, actually, I think I am but it's a constant tug-of-war. I have to keep reminding myself that the deadlines I have are self-imposed. My progress, my path may be slow but it's still moving forward.
One plastic bowl form wasn't stabilized enough and it tipped. Oh noooo! 
     Many menopausal symptoms have bombarded themselves on my mind and body recently. The most prominent has been the "mental confusion" symptom.
Mental Confusion.
It's been hard to keep a straight thought lately. No particular reason for it. Whenever I look at the weedy garden or the rampant growth on the forest floor when I take my walks in the morning and the total disarray of fungus, wood, leaves, vines, insects, spider webs that cross my path and cling to my lips and eyelids, the competing sounds of birds and dew dripping, the dog suddenly chasing a figment of his imagination, my cat, Possum, King Derp, running along behind me the entire way, the barn falling down, the fences that badly need repair, the fields that are barely fields any more, I am walking through my own metaphor of my mind. And what strikes me is that despite all the seeming chaos, there is some order and some direction. So I take a deep breath and relax. I'm no better off, no worse off than Mother Nature, really. That's not a bad thing.
Scraped up what I could, cleaned out the floor and got ready to repaint the surface.
     I have been following the blogs of two artists recently whose personal affinities and professional work I admire, Altoon Sultan and Ravenna Taylor. Both are painters, not ceramic artists or potters like myself but I like that. I look for some resonance with things outside my own little box. Both are fans of gardens, plants, the outdoors, nature and contemplative thought about those things. Eventually, those thoughts show up in their work.  My circle overlaps that. Both have a very graphical, modern, abstract quality to their paintings. Altoon Sultan also works in combining painting with fiber work from time to time. Ravenna Taylor quoted Robert Frost in her last entry and he's one of my favorites. They both have a solid sense of color and composition and a love of the abstract. I love it.
One coat of garage epoxy.
     The floors of the forest have exploded in toadstools after the rains. That's what I love about mushrooms, their hidden surprise. One day they aren't there and then one day they are and then gone again. Additionally, what you see with mushrooms is that they are only the flower of the giant fungus hidden in the dirt floor, potentially snaking out in all directions, hyphae underfoot or up the tree.  How cool is that? Great book about mushrooms, Mushroom by Nicholas P. Money. Worth a read. 

The forms of fungi work their way into my work over and over again, spores and hyphae. Mysterious entities that don't function like plants or animals. I believe they have more influence on the patterns of life than we realize.

We've had very humid, rainy weather in Kentucky and the floor of the garage gets damp when it rains for a long time or rains a lot. The plaster stuck on the floor retains this dampness and the first coat started peeling up. This will likely happen over and over again.

Dad is 89 today. Happy Birthday, Dad!
Second coat... for now. Because of the dampness and god knows what else, I will supplement the heavy traffic areas and damp areas with simple coats of paint. Hopefully, if we cease having monsoonal weather, things may dry out and I'll get a coat to dry quickly and not peel so much but I'm guessing this may be a constant battle due to the location of the studio at the bottom of the hill.


  1. Great post - good luck with your floor

  2. Love the floor! May have to try that myself!

  3. See latest post about the floor issues. When I get this problem licked, I'll dance a happy dance and post pictures. Back to the grind in the mean time...