December 15th, 2003

The wheel will shape me

I need more artists in my life

Yesterday, while browsing a gallery that had some high-end ceramics, I was so taken by one of the pitchers on display that I forgot myself and actually picked it up. There was something about its shape and its finish that I just had to feel it in my hands and run my fingers along the intricate, curving black lines that looked like they had been laid over the glaze. The glaze itself was beautiful, beginning a rich ivory and fading into a subdued russet near the base. Taboos be damned, I needed to hold it.

As I set it gently down, a lovely woman came up behind me and asked, "Do you know ceramics?"

I was a little embarrassed for having been caught breaking the unspoken code, but recovered enough to say, "Just a little. I’ve been taking classes for a little while now, but still consider myself a rank novice."

She smiled in a most disarming way. "I could tell that you were a thrower just by the way that you handled the pitcher. Where do you do your work?"

The conversation that followed was amazing. We talked for a little while about studios in the area and little by little I realized that she was the artist whose work I had just been admiring. I confessed a fascination with finishes and we got into a long discussion about the tools and techniques that she used, from gas-fired kilns to iron-oxide slip. When I pressed about the pattern on the pitcher, she began to talk about tracing guidelines into the slip and then not using them as absolutes. This very much excited me, and when I started talking about my ideas of "controlled abandon," she smiled again and invited me to come see the studio at Harvard... where she teaches.

I was already riding high on Betsy encouraging me to consider a table at the next Punk Rock Flea Market, and this sent me over the top. I think this was probably the first time that I had had a discussion with an artist where I was made to feel like a peer and not just another student.
Pandas can't talk

Other things that made me happy

clayrobeson sent me, in commemoration of the silliness of our cross country trek and otherwise just because he is awesome, an eighteen-inch Buddha statue with "TACOS" written across his belly.

Before it arrived at the Second Circle Holiday Tea, he had been saying that he and Jeremy had been in Home Despot and passed this thing that just had to be mine. My response was, simply, "Oh? Does it involve D-rings and clips?"

"Um, no..."

"Oh. Forget I said that."

As much as I would have enjoyed something involving D-rings and clips, I can't imagine that they would have made me giggle with delight for so long. I adore the Taco Buddha, and when I get a pic of him up, you can too. ^_^

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Managed to make both the Bizarre Bazaar and the Punk Rock Flea Market this weekend, and I have to say, I thought they were a lot of fun. Overall, it was an interesting mix of stuff and people, and in spite of my compatriots complaining that they felt old and out of place, I really liked the atmosphere at both (though BB really needs more space.) I picked up a few random things that caught my eye, including a stylin' shirt (with flames!) for my favorite two-year old. As an extra special added bonus, I got to meet shutupbetsy and thedeadfisharmy on Sunday. All of this left me very pleased.