Time Marches On

March has marched; it's already April. Saturday Market opened with a mix of sun and showers, but no horrific wind gusts. We were fortunate in our timing--caught a dry hour for load-in, and again mostly dry for load-out--and saw lots of customers, braving the occasional shower to visit the nation's longest-running (50th year!) weekly crafts market.

I've gotten three replies on summer show applications so far: I'll be in Roseburg in June, Anacortes in August, but Salem in July put me on the waiting list. Not going to Edmonds in June because I was still feeling stressed in January when their application was due and decided taking a year off after last year's kerfuffle (my van broke down just before take down, and it took another day to get it fixed well enough to get us home) would be good for my mental health. Still waiting on jury results from Silverton (August) and Corvallis (September) and I've just sent in applications for October and November shows, Clay Fest and Clayfolk.

I've fired the kiln three times since the year started, using the newly-installed gas-pressure gauges to get more predictable, consistent firings, and so far it seems to be working. My last two firings were almost identical in timing, and I was particularly pleased to learn how to set the burners so I can start the kiln pre-heating at 8 pm, and have it just ready for body reduction when I come in at 6 am the next morning.

It helps me sleep easier, it really does.

I'll be delivering bowls to Food For Lane County tomorrow. Their annual Empty Bowls fundraiser is Friday, May 3 at the Dining Room on 8th and Lincoln, and I always try to have at least a hundred bowls for them. This year, I have 135.

My biggest event in the near term is right at the end of this month: OPA's Ceramic Showcase, happening Friday-Sunday, April 27-29 at the Convention Center in Portland. It's held in conjunction with the Gathering of the Guilds, so there'll be jewelers, woodworkers, hand weavers, glass and bead artists, as well as a plethora of potters from Oregon and Southwest Washington. I'll be in space 20, not far from the entrance, and will be demonstrating Brushmaking and Decorating Sunday morning at 11:00.

Now where did I put that squirrel tail?

Pattern of the Month:

A Big Fan

It was twenty-some years ago. We were visiting Denise's parents in Brookfield, and my brother and his family had moved out of Chicago to rural southeast Wisconsin, about thirty miles away. We hadn't seen them since our wedding, so we made arrangements to meet David and my nephew Joey (mom had to work) at the Milwaukee Zoo.

This was back when I first started taking my watercolor sketchbook with me. I have some great drawings from that day, particularly of a mother gorilla and her baby that you can see on Denise's cards. But I just couldn't get a sketch of a peacock.

They weren't caged, or enclosed, or anything, just wandering free around the grounds, rather like the Jungle Fowl up at the Portland Zoo here in Oregon. They weren't particularly skittish, would let you get fairly close... unless you were an energetic three-year-old.

Joey was fascinated by the peacock. It was so sparkly, and blue, and though the tail was only about half grown out, it was impressive. And he wanted to pet it. I think it was teasing him, as it never went far, but always managed to stay just out of reach. And of course never held one pose long enough for me to get it on paper.

Finally, it was time to say goodbye. Joey was pooped, David had to head home and get ready for work, so we said our farewell by the exit, and plopped down on a bench to rest a little before heading for our own car.

And the peacock came over and sat on the gravel next to us.

So I finally got my sketch, watercolored him in, and even featured him on another of Denise's cards. But I didn't think to try peacocks on pottery until last year, when I painted one all the way around a large cookie jar. I've since painted them on serving bowls, baking dishes, even the occasional tall mug. I've yet to try one with a fully open tail display, though.

I'm just not a big fan.

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