Over the Mountain Studio Tour 2018

 

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How Time Flies!  How can it be that I’m gearing up for my 10th year with this amazing group of artisans?  How can it be that a decade has passed?

In honor of being in my studio for 10 years, for 10 years of West Virginia living, for 10 years with this vibrant and quirky group, I’m offering all of my older work at a discount. My goal is to clean out the studio this winter, making room for fresh new work that is knocking on the studio door, looking for space to come in.

Won’t you help?  Come gather a generous serving bowl with words all around the outside, as I probably won’t be making those again.  Come pick out a tumbler with words and glaze blending into a mesmerizing weather pattern, as i probably won’t be making those again.  Come see if there is a wall vase that calls out to you, as those will be changing, too, and everything will be priced down, a little at a time, through the holiday season.

 

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Three winter oatmeal bowls, on sale this weekend!

And, of course, the new work is being polished and cleaned in the studio, nearly ready for your eyes and hands.

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Having guests is part of what makes this studio tour a true celebradion.  Rose Mendez will be here with her nature-inspired metal-smithed jewelry, and Tim Wohleber will be here with his twig furniture.  The biscotti are piling up, and the coffee will be hot:

Over the Mountain Studio Tour

November 10 & 11, 2018

Here’s the Map!

And there will be more. I’ll be out-and-about this holiday season, something that I’ve never done before.  Sacred Roots Herbal Sanctuary Herbal Holiday Fair, The River House Holiday Artisan Market, Shepherdstown’s Holiday Marketplace… and more added each day.  I’ll update the list as it grows, and look forward to seeing you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating Containers: the process of wood firing kilns

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Wood firing crew at Joy Bridy Pottery, October 2017.

Twice a year, a small group of curious and hard working friends gather to fire my wood fired kiln for three days, round the clock.  It’s a holiday, retreat, vision quest, sacrament, ritual, work party…and quintessential process in the life of a wood firing ceramist.  We build these kilns that we can’t fire alone, and then we create a different kind of vessel.  Not a soup bowl or tea pitcher, but the more abstract and slippery container of community: the kiln firing crew.

Ursula Le Guin’s essay “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction” has been on my mind lately.  In it, she describes the difference between the story of the hero (with a knife, sword, long spikey thing of choice) who tells the exciting story of winning, and the story of the container (gathering, holding, sharing) that tells the story of living.

  “If it is a human thing to do to put something you want, because it’s useful, edible, or beautiful, into a bag, or a basket, or a bit of rolled bark or leaf, or a net woven of your own hair, or what have you, and then take it home with you, home being another, larger kind of pouch or bag, a container for people, and then later on you take it out and eat it or share it or store it up for winter in a solider container or put it in the medicine bundle or the shrine or the museum, the holy place, the area that contains what is sacred, and then next day you probably do much the same again–if to do that is human, if that’s what it takes, then I am a human being after all. Fully, freely, gladly, for the first time.”  -Le Guin

Wood firing is a creative act in so many ways, and no aspect is more abstract than the creating of this vessel, this firing weekend, that holds all of the participants within, allowing for their moods and preferences, strengths and weaknesses, to be.  We all show up as we are, get to know each other a bit deeper, cherish each other and the process, take care of ourselves and each other, live in rhythm of food and sleep, finish with a flourish, close the gate behind us, and go back to our daily being.  Definitely a ‘carrier bag’ experience.

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As the kiln cools, rain falls, Nina Simone sings her things in my ear, my thoughts meander around the significance of creating this community vessel of a firing experience.  It’s an art form, an honor, and a continually evolving experience that I could never do by myself.  Thank you to the crew of October 2017 for filling the vessel, and all of the crews that I have had the honor and privilege to create the vessel with in the past.  May there be many more.