Monday, July 12, 2010
Winter's Cold, death and beauty
If I should die somewhere in our hallway in the next two months, don't worry about giving me a burial until late September, it is so cold in that part of the house that I would not decompose at all, so don't rush to my funeral, the ground is too hard and a good book, or even television, are more entertaining!
Cooking is done in a fug of steam and condensation, we have to fly on instruments in the kitchen when boiling potatoes. It takes a great feat of white knuckle concentration to prepare the evening meal, as pots and pans dodge in and out of the cloud.
"This is Papa Alpha Nevada requesting permission to land on stove. Over." "Papa Alpha Nevada, you are cleared to land, if you don't make positive sighting of stove from 6 inches, go round again, and mind the wall. Good luck and God's Speed. Over." "Papa Alpha Nevada.... I'm..... EEEEk..... " "pull Up pull Up".... Splat! Another dinner is lost in an explosion of potatoes and peas!
At ground level, the cats fantasize moodily about air conditioned apartments with cordon bleu silver service and carpets 6 inches deep.
The good news is that, by resorting to piling coal on our stove in the studio (and thereby hastening the end of the planet), or by wracking up huge electricity bills (and ensuring our early economic doom), we can make the studio quite nice to work in, and our living room warm enough to thaw in.
It is winter here, believe it or not those of you who are basking in 100 degrees of sunshine, and it is the coldest month of the year. In fact it has been a fairly mild winter up to now, but there was a real bite to the air over the last couple of days, and the frost stayed on the ground all day today in shaded parts.
The good thing about winter is that it can be very beautiful. I took some photos this morning of the frost on the fields.
The pale frost rimed grass made just the right surface for the trees to make blue shadows patterns on.
Every lump and bump of the pasture was sketched in by the light and shade as if drawn there by an obsessive artist with a pencil.
At one point the camera lens fogged over, probably encountering the steam from my breath, and I took a blurry photo of the winter light that was made more poetic by this.
I have been trying to throw some more bottles and vases today, and I did a few breakfast bowls last Friday. Throwing is rather a struggle at the moment, and I am feeling very incompetent. With a musical instrument, such as a violin, enormous amounts of repetition and practice are needed to progress from merely sawing away with the bow and making a ghastly scraping tomcat yowl, to stroking the bow across the strings and making music. Throwing on the wheel is similar. Lots of regular practice is needed, and I have been spending rather too much time over recent weeks glazing pots and catching up with the business book keeping. So...., I need to throw, and to throw, and to throw.
Tomorrow is my day at the Stuart Street Potters Co-op in Dunedin, of which I am a member. There are 12 members of the Co-op, so we each get to do one day at the gallery/shop a fortnight. This can be fun, but it can also drag out terribly on quiet days in Winter. I think that most members have actually fallen asleep at some time on their "watch". I know I have occasionally.
I was wondering how many potters were planning to attend the "Clay and Blogs: Telling a Story" at Campbell House in North Carolina in October? I have some crazy (in money terms) thoughts of trying to get over for it, but would only do so if I was able to meet up with some of you. Got to decide soon. Any advice about travel (which airport to aim for from here) and accommodation would be welcome.