The Old House

I've never been too excited or entertained by the idea of the "new year" - I feel life never changes much, you can't bargain on finishing the year with the people you started it with, and hopes and dreams only go so far. Life is luck, and determination, and effort. Not kisses at midnight or bottles of champagne.

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So for the past few years we have enjoyed the tradition of hiking out on New Year's Eve to one of our favourite spots - an abandoned Victorian era house in the middle of the woods. The foundation and three of its tall stone walls remain, leaving us perfect protection from winter winds, and the ideal spot for a campfire. On a wintery evening when the snow has recently fallen, we sit amongst brambles on the frozen earth, with no lights but the fire and the stars. There is nothing more humbling than to sit in the darkness with a bottle of wine, good company, and a crackling fire, whiling away the hours until somebody realises it is 2am, and "Oh! I guess it's a new year."

My favourite thing about winter hikes to the old house is the fir tree decorated with Christmas ornaments. Who decorates it? Well, that's part of its whimsy.

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Unfortunately it was so bloody cold this year that we had to go on a day hike instead. At night we played RISK and practiced our skills at world domination... humbling in a different way.

HO HO

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Six turkey dinners later, and my Christmas holidays are over. I'm a little relieved that I don't have to eat turkey again until Easter, but wishing I didn't have to go back to work. My week was filled with social events and travelling - we spent the weekend before Christmas with my in-laws in Bracebridge, then Christmas Eve/Day with my parents and Jesse's dad in Burlington. Boxing Day we were in Stoufville, Friday we were in Toronto and Saturday night we visited friends in Hamilton. The holidays sure go by fast when there is so much to do! I'm looking forward to New Years, two more days off, and a lot of sitting around. We will likely play several rounds of giant-Jenga (my Christmas present from Jesse, who made it himself).

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In other news, I will be working on some pots this coming weekend - I have taken a break for a while and am anxious to start creating for next season's wood-firings. My mother keeps asking for big bowls and plates, so maybe I'll scale up this time.

I hope your holidays were delightful. <3

Follow the Signs

I have stopped making pots for a few weeks and have instead been pricing, tidying and decorating for show season. I even mopped my studio  (my lungs are delighted). To top off the winter-cheer it snowed last night, just in time for my annual holiday sale and open house this coming Saturday November 30.

The party starts at 10am and the early bird gets the worm - the earlier you come, the more pots there will be to choose from. There will lots of lovely functional art for everybody on your holiday list, and all sorts of snacks to enjoy while you shop! Come by between 10-5 to check out some great work, and shop handmade this holiday season. Look for the painted signs!

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Spring Thinking

This past weekend, Southern Ontario was blessed with a sudden January thaw. The temperature rose to almost 15 degrees and most of the snow patches melted, causing an uncanny amount of people to walk around with their winter coats wrapped around their waists, and an earth drenched with melted ice. My opportunities to enjoy the weather were limited, but I was unable to ignore the joy and buoyancy that pervaded the air. Winter has since perked up again and all dreams of flowering tulips and garden parties must be postponed, at least OUTSIDE of my studio. I have recently been asked by a dear friend to be her bridesmaid in their wedding this summer. So, months earlier than normal, my thoughts have been consumed with lace, sunflowers and balloons (and other feminine decor of the like). During my first talk with *Linda about my project interests for the coming semester, it came as no surprise that all my ideas revolved around romance and warmth. For this semester I have decided to focus on cupcake tiers, cakestands, flower bricks, vases and bottles. Every aspect of femininity that I have managed to exclude from my work so far, will take first priority (I even intend to incorporate lace and crochet-inspired texture and piercing in my coming pieces). Though I will take my hand at using high-fire porcelain (the most delicate and elegant of clays), I am also eager to continue my use of chunky, architectural stonewares and bright, soft earthenware.

To begin the development of new forms (whose -perceived- effeminate functions are alien to my current palette), I will first look to the pots of some of my favourite ceramic artists.

Flower bricks

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Cake and treat stands

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This week I will start to develop ideas for these forms through drawings, models, sketches in clay and extensive research.