|Detail of a stoneware bowl that I fired last week.|
It is possible that summer was here, the flowers in the garden thought so, and the grass grew, and so did the trees, but we hardly saw the sun. In desperation, after several days of rain, I looked at a 10 day weather forecast for this area, only to find that the met service only predicted one sunny day a head of us. It is inevitable that a sense of time and season passing blurs and flexes when there is no obvious rising and falling of the sun, and every glance into the heavens is rewarded by a view of lactating udder shaped clouds;
however I seem to remember this all started in December - early December - at the time that it was reported in the media that rivers in our area were so low for that time of year that farmers were going to have to take steps to conserve water.
Some could say that the rain was just what we needed, and nature has been generous! Now farmers are anxious about how to cut silage and hay for winter feed.
|I got soaked seconds after taking this photo!|
Like Noah and Mrs Noah, our little home is a shelter for us, and our lives continue within its walls. We have the company of animals, ship's cat Nigella Stopit, the various mice, lizards, and small rats that she catches outside and releases inside...., and we have a new visitor, one that I am currently calling Winnie.
Winnie is addicted to sunflower seeds, and hangs out on and around our back door step waiting for her next fix. Nigella watches her through the cat flap.
We call the cat flap “cat TV”, as Nigella seems to waste a lot of time staring at the images she sees on its blurry screen.
Why “Winnie”? Think of A. A. Milne and Winnie the Pooh. Think, copious sunflower seeds. Short and simple avian digestive tract. Rapid bowl transit time. Our back door step. A slight change of spelling to Pooh, and there you have it!!
I do enjoy having Winnie around the place. There is something rather nice about seeing a hen scratching up the ground under a tree or a shrub. They are pretty when the sun peeps out, and have a simplicity that is cheering and good for the soul!
Nigella Stopit does not approve of Winnie, but probably enjoys herding her from time to time.
|"Attacking" (decorating) a leather hard earthenware pot with a wooden tool!|
|Um..., that's right, it is a rabbit!|
|Earthenware pots drying on the kilns. Some have white slip over them.|
We have had some enjoyable visitors to our studio and gallery. Recently someone from the UK, who had discovered this blog whilst researching something else, got in touch, and arranged for his son and his son's partner who live in NZ, to visit us to chose a Christmas present. This was great fun for all, as the couple had first to solve a most ingenious coded message in order to locate where their Christmas present might be. There was a brief mix up with a small winery, but they found us eventually, and it was delightful for us to meet them, and wonderful that they found something here that they liked.
Peter, the seal making potter, was here off and on for a couple of months or so working in my studio, and also firing his little gas powered raku kiln under some shelter out the back. He has now headed South to a place near the sea. It was really great having him here, and we certainly will keep in touch.
Today I have to get my hands back into porcelain, I have a great many small bowls and mugs to make, so I have to at least make a start at them.
|A small porcelain bowl with runny glaze.|
|11 inch (380mm) Stoneware bowl.|
Under glaze...., I think exciting things are about to happen with that..... watch this space!
Happy New Year!