It’s cold out there. No snow to speak of (that pic is from a week ago), but winter is definitely moving in. It’s -16 with the wind chill today, and the sun is so low in the sky the light is permanently just-before-dusk-ish. Between fencing and houses and the slope of the backyard, the garden is getting about an hour of direct sunlight a day, and it’s not even solstice yet.
My friend Jessica, of Mauzy Metalworks, made this gorgeous ring for the Christmas Craft Fair. I spent an awful lot of the downtime wandering over to her booth to admire it.
I saw her the other day, and she offered to trade for it. So now I have a beautiful beach stone ring, which I have taken to calling my squid eyeball, and she will soon have a custom teapot with cream and sugar.
Took up the last of the carrots yesterday. They’re small, probably due to their late planting time, but there are more of them than last year and they’re considerably tastier.
I was busily throwing away last night, waiting for a a kiln to peak, when I looked out the window. The world went and changed.
Eliu helped me pack pots today. Fitting, considering he inspired some of them.
It’s set up day for the big Christmas Craft Fair! The last couple plates are in the kiln now, to be brought down to the Arts and Culture Center in the morning. Everything else is ready to go… Booth, pots, tiles, float. Shiny new doodad for taking credit payments via cell phone. Knitting. Tea kettle.
Just need to acquire some snacks for the week and I’ll be all set.
My friend Jessica Butler, jeweller extraordinaire, met this guy Jim in some Parks Canada-related story I can’t quite accurately recall. (She was working in Woody Point at the same time he was bumming around between film projects? Maybe?) Jim is a film dude. Not too long ago, Jim moved to St. John’s (because Woody Point in the winter is a very isolating place and can do funny things to your sanity) and roommated with Jess for a while, and they got this film project idea. And then they took the next big step and got to work on their idea.
This is the first installment, hopefully of many, profiling local craftspeople.
Stog: v DC ~ Nfld (, 1937) for sense 1; cp EDD v1 2 ‘to surfeit with food’ W for sense 3; OED v2 1, EDD v1 1 Bk Ha So D Co for sense 4.
1 To fill the chinks in a log-house with moss; to insulate a house; CHINSE.
2 To block or clog an aperture; STOP v.
3 To fill completely.
4 To be stuck in boggy ground or snow.
You can check the entry over at the Dictionary of Newfoundland English for usage examples. In this case, I am using it in its third sense. (That one empty shelf has a pile o’ mugs on it now.)
In gardening news, I got my fall bulb order! Squee! I expanded the existing flower bed and put in phlox, a bleeding heart, two geranium roots, and scattered clumps of tulips, daffodils, crocus, and glory of the snow. I still have some daffs and a bleeding heart left; they’ll be put in the back yard somewhere. Probably under the tree my hammock is in. And that’ll be it for flower-related stuff until probably June or so. There will be some spaces to fill in the bed, but I haven’t decided yet what I want to put in there. I’ll just wait and see how much space the existing things take up and make a decision later.
I’ve been working on a teaset for the annual raffle at the Christmas Craft Fair. It’s given me the chance to play around more with medieval vine patterns. I’ve used that one before, for one of the Library of Teacups mugs (for one of my Old French textbooks), and it’s one of the more striking ones. I especially like the bright colours–a lot of these patterns are all thin black lines with thin black squiggly bits crammed into wee teeny spaces. This one is more colourful, bolder, and will quite boisterously fill any space you give it.
The teaset is in the kiln now… I get to see how it turned out tomorrow morning. Sure hope I like it.
I have three dogberry trees in my backyard, plus one overhanging the driveway. The berries are cheery, spectacularly abundant, and edible, but taste AWFUL raw, so I’ve never had much to do with them. But this year I thought I’d give them a try. You’re supposed to pick them after after a hard frost and then freeze them for good measure, just to get the bitterness to break down a little. And then you can make stuff with them. A quick google turned up recipes for jellies, nut loaf, and sweet and sour sauce.
Well, we haven’t had a hard frost yet, but I’m impatient and in possession of a freezer, so in a fit of procrastination from the studio, I grabbed a bowlful. I will try cooking them into something or other at the end of the month.
 Known in parts of the world that are not Newfoundland as mountain ash or rowan. And probably other things as well.
 And then spent some time on the porch with a colander, trying to sift out the earwigs without actually touching the earwigs. There were at least a dozen in there.
So, my knowledge of screenprinting is entirely theoretical, and not really complete. But there’s this thermofax stuff that I found out about from the latest Meredith Host video clip over at Ceramic Arts Daily. I am not providing you with a link to Ceramic Arts Daily today, because their website seems to be under attack, but here’s a link to a different Meredith Host video that’s living over on YouTube and shows the thermofax screen in action.
Seems like the answer to all my niggling RSI worries… I need a way to reproduce my designs in a more wrist-friendly way than drawing or carving everything. Decals won’t give me the colours I want without annoyance, and conventional screens are only good for flat surfaces. I know someone who screenprints underglaze onto newspaper and then transfers the image onto her pots, but the colour is always a little washed out. Which is itself a nice effect, but only if you’re looking for it, and I’m not… Printing with a flexible screen directly onto my pots should give me solid black lines (or solid lines of any other colour).