I admit to being quite behind in my writings...the past several months have sped fast as I transitioned my life, my work, and my studio to my new residency here in Brockway, PA. Though the distance between myself and many friends has expanded, I have kept close to those I miss dearly and continue to firing with the artists and crews that I have spent the past several years of my life getting to know and learn with.
The first firing of the year began with Catherine and Warren. Two artists that have become friends and valuable mentors in the past several years. We fired the wood kiln in April...this was I believe to be my third firing with them. Unfortunately, I did not have any work in this kiln and would miss the unloading...but I was fortunate enough to still join them as I had before.
To be back with them all after I had moved farther away was in its self an assurance of the ability to stay in touch and continue these dear friendships.
I was so excited to be invited to fire with Jack Troy in June. I am living only about 2 hrs from Huntingdon, PA and my good friend Carolanne Currier had contacted me to see if I would want to join them. Of course! This was an opportunity for me to fire some of my newest work and to get them in a wood kiln in time for my exhibition. The famous saying "tall and thin gets in, bowls and plates will wait" rang true....all of my vases made it in the kiln and some of them were truly kissed by it.
Jack had just built in a sutema towards the back of the kiln, and this helped immensely in the ability to gain temperature in the back.
I met potters traveling as far as North Carolina and Boston, had the opportunity to observe and play a part in different firing techniques, expand my knowledge in clay, and sleep on the screened in porch and wake up to the buzzing of hummingbird wings.
After firing with Jack, I packed my bags and headed back to the Frederick area to fire with my one and only Butterfly Bend crew. This firing with Debbie and Scott was a special one. Not only was I able to keep my commitment to firing with them, but they also took two big leaps. The first, to join a local studio tour! The second, to experiment with firing just the two back chambers of the wood kiln! Both a success. This was also a much warmer firing than usual...and by that I mean the weather. The usual carhartt coveralls and wool socks we bundled up in, were traded for tennis shoes and t-shirts.
The fire was hard to hold back...it quickly wanted to gain temperature and we finished a day earlier than we had anticipated. But, as the crowds of people stopped by the gallery to buy pots, they were also exposed to the hard work and dedication it takes to fire these beautiful clay works. I felt a sense of pride in the people surrounding me, especially Scott and Debbie for taking such a big step in their life of clay and allowing us all to partake.
I concluded the month of June feeling full...mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Full of happiness, love, and excitement for all the people in my life and the ability to continue my love of clay with them.