Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Howling of Murray

     I wake in the morning to feed the animals. I walk out the back door to the feed room where all the animal feed is kept. Murray, my eighteen-year-old cat, meets me on the way out. He hopes to come in and have some food from a can as opposed to the dry food that sits in his bowl in the barn. I imagine he feels at his age that he is entitled to some special treatment. And he is, really. I'll feed him in the house but first, the horses have to get their grub. As I walk through the pasture, he follows, howling to no one in particular, looking out to the horizon, lamenting his wait for the good food, screaming, screaming... Mrraoow, MmraAOOw, MmmRRAAOOOW! Louder, louder, louder until I scream out to him (Because he's going deaf) "MURRAY, SHUT THE FUCK UP!" As if a tiny speck of my voice reaches his brain, he turns his attention to me and addresses me in a smaller voice, "Mrow?" as in "Now? Maybe now you'll feed me from the can?"
Murray with mouse
     I saw Murray get a mouse for the first time several weeks ago. Since this cat is eighteen and moves in tai-chi time, I was amazed. And happy. Poor mouse, you did a noble thing. Maybe you were deranged. Maybe you were on meth. How else would Murray have caught you?
     My step-eth son-eth hath graduated high school this month. I am very proud of him. I wish him the best. May he find his way and find himself. May he explore beyond the boundaries imposed on him by others and the boundaries he imposes on himself. May he come to realize his own true feelings. Do I wish him happiness? Sure, but I really wish him honesty and integrity in his life; happiness follows.  Find your mountaintop, find your space, be yourself.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Update: May

New Puppy
     Since Derby weekend I've been running in circles here on the farm. We got a new puppy, got new windows in the house followed by a visit from the in-laws for a weekend plus my stepson graduated high school. To prep for the visit and graduation, I planted the garden, scrubbed the kitchen floor and painted the walls a lemony yellow before my in-laws arrived. I hadn't wanted such a long hiatus from the studio but finally I'm back at it, reclaiming clay, wedging, coiling sculpture forms and glazing again.
Only one layer of oak planks, layers of old wallpaper and
some drywall separated us from the heat and cold.
     We live in an old farmhouse, one of the first built on my road so I've been told, and since I moved in back in 1999, the windows have been non-functional. Basically, I had "holes with glass" as my sister aptly put it. Now that the stepson is legal and graduated, time to upgrade the living quarters as he makes his way in the working world before he goes off to college in the Fall. For the first time since 1999, we can open the kitchen window! I cannot tell you how exciting this is. Almost as exciting as when I got a septic system installed in place of the original straight pipe that ran out the back. I suspected that the straight pipe was an upgrade to an outhouse long before I bought the house. Ah, rustic Kentucky living!
Ah, the mess of renovation...
     The new puppy and his energy has pushed me out on the trails behind my house. This is a good thing. I revel in nature. If you just stop for a second or two, there's so much to see and discover, so much we don't see, so much we gloss over. For instance, there is some lichen around that is the most awesome combination of colors!
Just luscious!
     Vibrant, eye-popping-red knots on stems that hover over minty, sage green of branching lichen. But it's small and tiny and you have to get down to ground level and scan the forest bottom slowly. Plus the amount of seed and nut forms that litter the floor gets me all gooey inside and excited to make things  when I get back at my table. And that's where I am now, working on three forms simultaneously from April, May and trying to get a jump on June's sculpture. I want them to hang at eye level. I want them to come off the floor. I want to make what you miss when you walk through the woods. Work, work, work.

Friday, May 4, 2012


     Greetings, Earthlings! It's Derby Weekend in Kentucky. For a horse lover like me, this is great stuff when these wonderful animals get the same respect as NFL football players, if only for a day and if only to bet on... wait. People bet on football games, too. Nevermind. Anyway, this weekend plus last weekend's Rolex 3-Day Event make me a happy camper.
     Things going on. I unloaded another batch from the kiln. These white stoneware cups and bowls will be split between Damsel Fly Gallery and my Etsy site over the next couple of days. I still have more items to glaze and fire including some teapots. Busy bee.
     I spoke to a local business development person here in Estill County. Beginning this summer and starting for a full season next year, I will open up my studio to visitors for a limited schedule. Tentatively, beginning in August until the 30th of September, I will begin a work schedule of Wednesday to Saturday, 10 am to 3 pm where I won't set the dogs on people who wish to come visit my studio. Then, beginning in 2013 (on the non-Mayan calendar), I will work the same schedule from April 1st to September 30th with certain exceptions where I will be closed to due prior shows and events (Last weekend in April, Derby Weekend and other specified days). I am hoping to get some roadside signs to help point out the way. I also hope to put more of my work in some local Estill shops.
     There is a move afoot in Kentucky to attract more tourism around the Kentucky River for use as a canoeing and kayaking river. I am hoping as that angle expands, I can attract some area visitors to my studio. I'm not that far from Berea and several other potteries including Turning Wheel Pottery and Tater Knob Pottery. To get from their shops to my studio means driving one of the prettiest roads in the region, the Red Lick Valley Road. For anyone needing their country and clay fix, a trip to Turning Wheel, Tater Knob and then Tea Horse Studio on your way back to Richmond is a nice day's drive. Now if I can get the local's on board about some signs...