Archive for October, 2009

Twelve Moons Calendar

Monday, October 26th, 2009

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Utah artist Kathleen Peterson has just self published this richly illustrated 2010 calendar. The calendar is based on a series of 12 paintings Kathy completed this year titled “Twelve Moons”. She is showing them as a set and they are only available for purchase as a set. The images are 6 feet tall and very striking. No word yet on exhibition schedule. She brought one by for us today and I was blown away at the images and layout. This is more than a calendar. It is a very nice collection of Kathy’s very fine paintings of strong and beautiful women. She has limited the run to 1000 calendars. I would look at this as a very collectable item. Kathy is selling these for $20 plus shipping.
You can contact Kathy at;
Kathy Peterson
PO Box 471
Spring City, Utah

Stone Jugs and the like.

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Thursday’s Convocation at Snow College featured Escalante writer Jana Richman. She stopped by the shop with her husband Steve Defa and our own local farmer/proffesor Steve Peterson. The visit was pleasant but way too short…..some other time.
Making some pottery this week has been a nice change form the post surgery honeydoo’s and assorted fall chores I have been consumed by lately. I have been working my way through some jugs, mugs, jars and bowls.
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In hand thrown pottery I can’t find any surface I like as much as the freshly thrown or turned clay. All of my firing and glazing it to the end of finding something that aproximates that freshness.
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My holiday sales are on November 27,28 and December 5 this year. I’ll be working like a Beaver for the next few weeks to get the ware out on time. I love this.

Spring City listed with the big guys.

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

Yesterday while working I was visited by Strider Wardle and Kelsey Brown. I asked them what brought them to Spring City. This is always a legitimate question as Spring City is such an out of the way place and people don’t usually stumble upon it unless they are truly lost of looking for it. In this couple’s case they said they had read about it in Yahoo News. ????? As it turns out Forbes Traveler ran a story about the prettiest towns in America and Spring City made the list. No surprise to me except that how did anyone from Forbes wander upon Spring City? Other towns listed include Santa Fe, Sedona and the like.

“All things are borrowed, All things must return” Carla Eskelsen

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

I recycled clay today. I would rather have spent the time throwing pottery. I store all of my trimmings, rejects and slurry from throwing in five gallon plastic buckets. A couple of times a year after all of the pottery is made I get around to pugging the sraps. It is not my favorite part of the process of producing handmade pottery. In fact I’d call it a chore. The old Bluebird pugger is noisy and doesn’t de-air so I have to knead the clay to get the air out before I can throw pottery with it. Recycling clay I am worth about $25 per hour so I guess it is OK pay, or should I say savings. No one gives me money for doing it. That is just the value of the clay if I had to buy it new. When I work in the Grand Canyon as a river guide I am paid about $10 per hour tips included, but that is really fun stuff that, truth be known, I would do for free.

So why do I bother with remixing all that clay? Why not throw it in a gully or make a big pile of it out behind the studio like I have seen so many places? Pugging scrap certainly is not all that romantic. It is not like going out into Nature and digging your own as the old time potters did.

I remember watching a film about Maria Martinez, the Pueblo Indian potter of Santa Clara, New Mexico. In the opening scene she went to the desert and gathered clay. Before she dug the first clods out of a hillside she offered corn meal to the four directions with a prayer of gratitude, asking permission for what she was about to borrow. Later when she had completed her pottery making she carefully gathered up all of the scraps, even little crumbs of clay and put them in a bowl to wait for remixing. She had respect and reverence for the earth element she used to make her vessels, the same element she believed her body was made of and that gives forth her food. She knows that “all things are borrowed, all things must return”. Our bodies, like the clay, are borrowed and will return to dust before long.

I suppose it is about respect. If I throw clay into a gully it goes back to its earthly home. What is wasted is the energy expended getting the clay from the mine to my studio. It is the idea that this material can be just tossed out like so much floor sweepings or excrement that eats at me. Clay is magical. I remember clearly the wonder I experienced as a child watching my father make simple figures with clay we had dug from the ground and firing them in an open campfire. I am so happy to be employed making stoneware pottery for people and to have such a beautiful material to work with. Something stops me from throwing it in the dumpster. I can’t do it.

The problem is all of the odd batches of clay sitting around my studio, some of it 20 or more years old. Sometime I should make aa bunch of pottery from all of the unused buckets and bags of clay that clutter my shop. It would be an interesting mix of clay types anyway.
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Scrap in the bucket, the old Bluebird and 600 pounds of recycled clay ready for storage.

Recent walks.

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

I like to go out walking with the dogs early. I go alone these days because of Lee’s recent surgery. She is good for short walks. We usually do those in the evening. This sign marks the beginning of one of our favorite trails. As you can see it is limited in its access. Below are a selection of images from our walks both there and on other trails over the past couple of weeks. Enjoy.
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Aspens and Asters in the South Fork of Canal Canyon, Canal Creek near the second crossing and Lee with the Boyos.
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Indian Paint Brush, The west end of 200 South and the west fields of Spring City and Dixon on the Canal Canyon trail.
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Willow leaf, moss and aspen leaf.

The panorama of North Sanpete Valley with Nebo.