Let the Beauty of what you Love be what you Do...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Hello Fall :)

Winter is an etching, Spring a watercolor, Summer an oil painting & Fall, a mosaic of them all.
~Stanley Horowitz

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Clay Notes From Home...

Do you ever have those times when life feels like it is busier than it has ever been? I'm experiencing that currently... and feel like I can't quite get caught up!
I'm sure you've all experienced this as some point or another. In between work & class & looking for that place to call home, I feel like I've hardly had the chance to breathe, let alone blog. Anyhow, I wanted to eke out a little time to share my experience teaching my first micaceous clay class...  to my mom when I was back home in July- yes, July! I really am behind aren't I? 
Ah, well... so it goes. 
The great thing about hand building/coiling pots, is that you really can do it anywhere... though it can get quite messy, so having some outdoor or garage space is quite nice. Below is our work station in the garage back home... tools, notes, puki's etc.

And Mom, with lots of great instruction (ha ha!) building her first ever coiled micaceous pot! Nice job, mom! (She was an excellent student & we laughed when I learned where I got my passion for perfection from!)

"PIPs"~ pots in progress... Mom's in the foreground, mine in the background.

Mom cutting the rim on her pot, mine taking shape & setting up in the background.

My cone shaped pot from above turns into a closed form... there is something I love about the shape of a rounded form of clay, even though the lid fitting which comes later is a lot of work!

Many days later (the clay takes a long time to dry when the humidity is high as it was when I was back home) the pots are removed from their Puki's & the water scraping, and later sanding begins. It's quite a process!  The rounded form above became the bear pot below it it's rough/dry stage.

Showing Mom how to apply slip & burnish a pot. Note my pot... dangerously close to the edge of the table... what am I thinking?!

Mom's pot- after water scraping & before sanding/polishing.

Below~ same pot- after sanding & polishing. Pretty awesome job for her first pot, don't ya think?

I didn't get a chance to finish my latest bear pot while I was back home- so I packed it up & brought it to NM~ just got around to sanding & polishing it last week~ 2 months to make one pot, LOL. I do like it though, & I think the lid fit was quite stellar. :) I won't even get into all the "repair work" that needed to be done on this pot, but suffice it to say, I think I worked longer on this pot than any other.

Below, another pot I made while back home.

And, you know me, I couldn't resist doing another bear... he's pretty abstract-y & I quite like him!

We had a ton of fun, Mom & I, on our pot- making adventure! They have all made it through the bisque fire & I am anxiously awaiting a Raku firing for the final finish next week. Only 2 months or so from start to finish, now how's that for patience?!?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Local Flavor :)

It's chile harvesting season in New Mexico! And there is nothing like fresh roasted chile, let me tell you! While there are many roasters set up in parking lots & at the farmer's market here in Santa Fe, I had always wanted to go to the Chile Festival in Hatch, NM, so I got the weekend off from work, and off I went. For those of you that are not familiar w/ Hatch... it is considered "The Chile Capitol of the World," and there is something special about Hatch Green Chiles!

Here's a shot driving into the Festival, set just a mile or so out of town. Having never been before, I did not know what to expect. It had the feel of a small town county fair~ rides for the kids, vendors & booths (both local & out of state) selling all sorts of items, & tons of food options.
(I had the green chile relleno burrito & green chile ice cream!)

Booth & vendors~ nothing (except the food!) really caught my eye...

until I found the "chile section..." sampling the red chile salsa, I was sold.

I think more than the festival itself, was just walking around the town of Hatch & seeing chiles hanging from nearly everywhere... and the scent of fresh roasting chile wafting through the air. Not to mention to observe a typically sleepy little town transform into a bustling metropolis of chile lovers!

I did not eat at Sparky's  this time around, but I have before, and I will tell you they've  got a pretty darn good Green Chile Cheeseburger... as you can probably tell by the line out the door!



... and more chiles!

It was a really fun experience, especially as a photographer & chile lover.
For more information on Hatch & the Chile Festival, click here .
For an interesting & important article about the fate of the New Mexico Green Chile click here. For other chile related data & links, here's a fun website~

 Before I wrap it up, I've got to share a couple other places w/ you, should you ever be out this way. :) The first is  The Buckhorn Tavern.  It's a little gem of a place just off of I-25 in San Antonio, NM. Their Green Chile Cheeseburger beat out Bobby Flay (of the Food Network ) in a "throw down."

Let me tell you, they live up to their reputation! It's gotta be one of the best Green Chile Cheeseburgers around.

Another place I've got to share w/ you that I just happened to find while looking for lodging in Truth or Consequences (what a cool name for a town,) is Blackstone Hot Springs. This place is quaint, hip, cool, relaxing... well just plain wonderful. They only have 7 rooms, most of which go for the rate of a regular hotel room, but their tubs carry healing hot spring water direct from the source! 

An awesome place for the weary traveler to relax. My only regret is that I only had one night, so I didn't get the chance to check out the town much. If you get the opportunity, I'd highly recommend this little oasis in the desert~ stay a couple of nights if you can!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

When Bad Things Happen to Good Wolf Pups, Meeting Bloggy Friends, & Other News...

You probably won't recall, because it was sooooo long ago... but I had been working on a larger wolf pup sculpture using commercial micaceous clay, but was unable to complete the firing process when my class ended, so my work in progress has been hanging out in my storage unit. I actually had started this project in May! I had gotten this far when spring break started & figured I'd finish it during break, which I didn't get around to doing... it ended up riding around in my trunk for a week or more, and I planned on recycling it & turning it into a pot when I returned.

Once I returned to class after break, surprised that it survived covered & wrapped in my trunk, I decided to keep going with it.

Below is the wolf pup finished in it's wet state....

and then bone dry & polished with a Micaceous Slip.

It survived the bisque fire at the end of the semester, and I was planning on doing the final fire as a Raku firing this fall (see pot on the side bar, I was hoping for a shimmering black like the little pot.) It sat in my storage unit dutifully protecting my belongings until I returned to Santa Fe... BUT! Unfortunately, it became a casualty to the moving process. I had had him sitting in a good place where he wouldn't fall off something, but wouldn't you know it... in my hasty moving process, I knocked him over... and well, you see the rest. I couldn't bear to throw him out just yet, and may see if I can morph it into something else at some point.

In other news, as I was dealing with my noisy rental/lease situation from my last post, I was lucky enough to meet up w/a fellow blogger, Kate, from St Paul, MN, whose company was a welcome respite from all that stressing out! Look at that smile... that's enough to de-stress anyone. :) We had a lovely visit... she is a pleasure to be around & we got to chatting like old friends. Kate is the author of several blogs, one based on her experiences in & around Santa Fe (click on her name above) as well as a daily photo blog from her home state of MN: Visual St. Paul. Go visit her- she's awesome!

We went to The Pantry... a favorite locals hang out, 

and, because it's all about the food... (did anyone say "Green Chile?)
I am showing you about the best breakfast burrito ever. Smothered, of course.

In the time since Kate & I met, which was only a week ago, I have started clay classes again, moved all my stuff back into storage (yes, I know, I had just moved it out!) & I have managed to get out of that noisy lease arrangement (at a $500 loss- but sanity is priceless!) Being that I didn't find out for sure if the Property Manager had secured a lease from someone else until the last minute, I have been quite busy to say the least... packing, moving, attending class, and again looking for a place. In the interim, I have camped & hotel-ed it the past few days... and am currently writing you from Truth or Consequences, NM. Tomorrow I'll be attending the Chile Festival in Hatch, something I've been wanting to do since I first came to NM years ago... so stay tuned for a very chile related post!