Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas eve, before and after

Kenny's painting, "The Holidays" 2005

Last night we hosted our annual Christmas Eve gathering with our family—now families. It was a wonderful evening. Kate and Ben helped me prepare a delicious Mexican style meal. Chris, Karen, Justin and Sara brought the accompaniments. Lauren, our only granddaughter, made a wonderful apple pie for dessert. Conrad, age 9, was his dear, sweet, happy self as was our newest grandchild, Reed, age 2. It was a delightful evening—we feel so very blessed!

A very quiet Christmas day today. Jim left at 7:00 am for ZMM. I tumbled back into bed as soon as I got home from the airport. In short spurts, I tried to regain control of the house—between naps! I munched on leftovers from last night at noon and again this evening—delicious leftovers.

The firing last week went well in spite of the light load. It took longer that usual though. I wonder if that is a consequence of the light load or a sign of aging elements? The cone packs all indicated a good, even ^6 firing. The BlackJack clay fired well—no problem with pinholes or crawling. I did have some trouble with uneven coats—streaks of thick and thin glaze. I want to give more attention to that part of the process.

Chris called me out to the studio last night to share some observations about my glazing. He pointed out that the pieces that had oxide stains painted on the bottoms were so much nicer than the ones with bright white, unglazed foot rings. He commented on how when one would put the piece in the dishwasher one would see the unglazed bottom and feel it was unfinished or crudely done. When he picked up a piece and turned it over to talk about the foot ring I was reminded of the Japanese custom of always turning a bowl or pot over to look at the finish—something most potters do also. And I remembered Euan Craig standing in his kitchen in Japan describing how he analysed how a piece would be used in the home when he was designing his new pieces--how it would feel to wash and dry the dish or pot. I have thought about Chris' observations a lot today. It is an important detail which I have been mostly overlooking. I appreciated his interest in my work and his concern to share his thoughts with me.

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