Tuesday, August 28, 2007
John and I took a little field trip to the Eastern Sierras and up into Yosemite by way of Tioga Pass. It was spectacularly beautiful. We happened to be there during a huge hail storm. White pellets covered the mountains, looking like snow in August. Best of all were the smells that came from the moisture hitting the sage and pine, like delicious incense...truly magical. On our way home we stopped off at the ghost town - Bodie - where I took these photos of wallpaper peeling off the old wooden cabin walls. Those old pioneers had great taste in patterns and nature has complimented them. I look at them and am truly inspired. I wish I could get my glazes and stamps to create a similiar feeling.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Less than two weeks remain of our summer in Tahoe. I love the quiet serenity up here but am looking forward to returning to Berkeley - back to an energetic community of family and friends, stores and retaurants and distracting, wonderful stuff. I have gotten an amazing amount of work done though. Here are the last pieces I've been finishing up. They can be used for olive oil or soy sauce ,ect. I made one with an owl on top so I could call it ...an Owlive Oil Ewer...UGH... I think the quiet around here is getting to me! I sent 6 crates of bisque wear back to the Bay Area with my daughter as I couldn't begin to fit them in my little car. I am going to be glazing like crazy when I return.
Here is a picture of John working on a particularly lurid paint job on a sculpture he is making.
I call it the"Thigh Master"... he calls it "Asteroid". He doesn't see the sexual content that I see in his work. His process is so intersting. He meticulously draws and colors a finished sketch of the piece then does a map of all the pieces he needs to construct the sculpture. Then he throws hallow sections that all look like the same shape to me. He then puts it together. He bisques it low and slow to cone 1 sometimes taking 30 hours., He coats it with multiple layers of paint, then sands down through the colors giving the piece a wonderful silky, kind of waxy hand and fabulous textural color.
Do you think the color might have been inspired by our local fire hydrant? Here's a finished piece called MIncemouse. Of course I think his work is nothing short of brilliant.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Yesterday we had a scare. It started when the power went off about 2 o'clock. We live kind of out in the boondocks and this is not a rare occurence as the power gets cut by PG&E for many crazy reasons but it is unusual to happen on a Saturday. John called the power comapany and we were informed that there was a fire not far from our cabin. We were not being asked to evacuate at the time but someone would come door to door to let us know if the need arose....YIKEEES. Our house is at the end of the Ward Valley and there is only one way in and one way out. We've always had a huge fear of being stuck here in a fire. If one started at the mouth of the canyon the only way out would be over the mountain....This somehow reminds me of the Sound of Music...anyway... back to the fire.... It burned down 5 homes and scorched 35 acres. The wind was thankfully blowing away from us and they got it under control after about 4 hairy hours of helicopters scooping water from the lake, WW II prop planes dive bombing red powder over the flames and 23 fire trucks spraying gallons of H2O. We consider ourselves very,very lucky. I have thankfully put away the Maria Von Trapp traveling outfit.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Another big event around here is the farmer's market held every Thursday on the Commons Beach in Tahoe City. A prettier market would be hard to imagine. Here are some images from this morning's adventure among the perfect peaches, berries, tomatoes, cabbbages, cucumbers and cantalopes:
This is the view from the market.
Monday, August 06, 2007
My life living in the mountains moves at a totally different pace than my Bay Area life, slower, quieter. I am able to spend most of my time in the downstairs pottery studio making new pieces. I am just concentrating on the forms and not worrying about the glazes as my little kiln up here is great for bisquing but not a particularly good for glazing. I am driven to get a fair amount of work completed before we return home so that I can again have a presence at the ACCI gallery which I cleaned out for the ACGA show. I also need to have great new stuff to start my gallery, fourth&clay, in November.
The big excitement around here comes when the netflix arrive. Last night we saw an amazing documentary :Burden of Dreams by Les Blank . It was made about 20 years ago and documents the process filming of Werner Herzog's Fritzcarraldo which was shot in the jungles of the Amazon under unbelievably difficult conditions. Werner Herzog is a maniac with huge vision and stubborn drive that is absolutely relentless. I am now dying to see Fritzcerraldo but wonder if it can be half as good as the process involved in making it.
Art and obsession ...sometimes I feel that I am way too obsessed by what I am trying to do with clay. It consumes my thoughts and I am constantly in the studio working. I am happiest when I have many projects cooking and find myself feeling very useless when I don't. I am sure at times this drives my family and friends crazy. I think I would go nutz up here in the quiet if I didn't have my studio to work in. When I see a movie like this and see the extremes that this man took to achieve his visions and dreams I realize I've got only the teeny, tiniest bit of that obsessive drive. Thankfully I don't think I have the need for it to get bigger.