Fat Cats

        Who knew fat cats would be so fun to make. I even want to make them fatter 

What do you think …                In or Out

Pals

These two recently became Pals. They got together in the kiln. You might be familiar with the hottest hang out in town. Go back a few posts to see some of the eye brow raising stuff that goes on in there. Anyway, since these curly tops met up there has been endless ponderings on any number of things. I can almost hear their musings …. 

They are real Pals ~ 

Rabbit Behaviour

… and I quote ~Sitting up with weight on bottom, forelegs stretched, ears up and looking alert – the “classic” rabbit pose
Your rabbit is looking around to see what’s going on, usually thinking about what to do next and is often a prelude to grooming.  It may be rocking slightly due to its weight being balanced on its four feet close together –
Sitting up on hind legs with ears up and nose pointed up
Wild rabbits do this just to get a better view and have a look around for possible danger.  Domestic rabbits are more likely to be requesting food that you are holding or trying to get your attention.

Sitting with weight on bottom, washing face with front feet, pulling ears down to lick them, twisting around to groom back and sides
No prizes for this one – your rabbit is grooming itself – Ear positions
If a rabbit points its ears forward it is curious about something. If it puts them straight up it is alarmed and trying to listen better. If it folds them flat on its back it is frightened and trying to make itself inconspicuous.

The illusive Black Salamander

Known to be shy, these two hardly represent their species. They crawled all over each other to get in the picture. Of course it did cross my mind to wonder if they bite! but then a bug flew at the window and I was history … shy but with a limited attention span would be my opinion 

Terror in the Kiln

All very sweet and innocent …. but I’ve learned not to be taken in by such graceful appearances. Under immense white hot heat in the kiln, tempers fly!
Looks are given
Moves are made

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a Battle ensues
It seems there is always someone who will take a bully down

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Black and White

 

 

 

 

 

 
I have been happily working with white porcelain clay for a long time now but every now and then I catch myself looking longingly at my box of Midnight black clay. It’s pretty messy stuff and I have to wear surgical gloves whie I work with it because it contains manganese … a toxic chemical that penetrates skin, so it’s a real bad-ass clay.

It makes a mean mud pie mess ~

It is So fun
and such a relief from my tidy contained white clay workings.
Don’t get me wrong, I am still enchanted with white porcelain but such a drastic change stirs my pot and is a welcome disruption. The challenge is to keep these two siblings apart so I can work in peace. I know they will play together in a piece one day soon.                    ~ I can already see it ~

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Porcelain Octopus 1I keep making Octopuses, I just can’t help it.
I go to make an elephant and the trunk makes me think
I would like to be making an Octopus right now. Then the poor elephant has heard my thoughts … well, is my thoughts, and the trunk comes out a bit too long and octopus-like.
well … they are kind of similar ..
Porcelain Octopus 3this one came out of the kiln with an arm pointing to it’s eye like a gangster would do.
“I’m watching You!”
Of course getting the “eye” might not be to me, it could be to
some shenanigans going on in the heat of the kiln.
“I’m watching You!”
Mermaid and Octopuslike in the Mermaid and the Octopus moment. When I made them, their hands were a breath away from touching, then as they dried, Octopus kept raising her arm higher, and who knows where those arms went while in the kiln, but this is how they finished.
Coming down for another touch , moving away or somewhere in between?
I’ll never know
Octopus4this is what I love about all this, its unpredictably.

 

 

 

 

 

Octopus Love

I got the octopus love bad. I see them every where. I can feel them. I even feel my arms and legs fluidly spiraling when I practice tai chi. Strong and so soft…. at least I aim for that. 

I made this last night. The mermaid’s hands were tantalizing close to touching the octopus’s arm but as it was drying their touch moved from almost to not quite. I know when they are red hot in the kiln they will finally decide how to connect…. or not. It will be out of my hands. 

and I like that. 

I like that when I set up  a connection in one of my bowls, the drying and firing process has the final say. Once two porcelain elephants placed together in the kiln found each other’s trunks and they spiraled around in the red heat. As they cooled they became inseparable. 

I wonder why this little bumble bes saw fit to land here? Seems a lot of serendipity goes on when I make elephants. Who would have thought a bumble bee would feel so safe among a herd of elephants? It stayed for quite a while. 

But back to seeing octopuses everywhere… I’ll fire these next week. I imagine that their arms will wave and dance all around in the kiln and come out different. Their arms are out of my hands. And stay tuned for the surprise ending of the love story between the mermaid and octopus….

These are not octopuses. They are images of our brain neurons! Maybe octopuses are the brain neurons of the sea…. Octopuses are so Mind blowing!

show & tell some

Here are a few pieces that have gone to good homes this week ~ 

A Menorah specially made for a wedding gift.  

And a pitcher. All porcelain, which I still love working with …  And today I had the idea to make Octopus Imaginaries. I am so into them these days. Here’s a look at more of my opcopus explorations so far.  

Yarn bowls, because I love to knit too. 

Here I go …

Into the land of Octopus. I just stopped into the bookstore for a quick look when this title caught my eye. No, it was bigger than that. It grabbed me and jumbled me until I decided that I needed to take this home with me. 

I somehow knew the Octopus and I had things to talk about. I went back to the studio and had an Octopus on a little bowl before lunch time. 
And today they have found their way up onto my porcelain yarn bowls. I am struck by their impossible grace. I don’t think I could even make an awkward octopus. Their tenicles just seem to flow as if they are in the water where they really belong. 


They are so flexible they can slip through a tiny hole yet have a terrorizing and easy strength. Tai chi in water. Ah yes. See? Octopus is already teaching me new things. I just know we will become good friends. And I haven’t even started to read thie book yet. 

The Year of Monkey

Monkeys 2Inspiration can come from anywhere and sometimes it’s just a matter of saying Yes. I have made Elephants because of my 2 friends’ love of them, powerful enough to create a touring storytelling show about them called Hidden Elephant, and I have made Imaginaries because of my love of creating a lovable figure without convention. But I hadn’t imagined Monkeys. They were requested in celebration of this Year of the Monkey.
So I got to work. It took a while to find Monkey in my fingers and in my my clay. Monkey-a    Years ago I read the classic Chinese story of Dear Monkey, a story about the mischievous monkey king given the task of guarding the immortal Peach Orchard, he caused a great upset with the Immortals of course and had many other astonishing adventures. It’s a fantastic read.
One can not see a monkey the same way again after that book.Monkey-bThe Yang style Tai Chi Sword form has the most beautiful titles for each position ~
The wild horse jumps the ravine
Follow the currant, push the boat
Black dragon twists around the column and

White Ape Presents Fruit

performed by master Yang Jun, nephew of Yang Zhen Duo(son of Yang Cheng Fu)

performed by master Yang Jun, nephew of Yang Zhen Duo(son of Yang Cheng Fu)

I know what it feels like to be that white ape presenting fruit, it’s a simple and straight forward move in its earthly complexity. I always imagine presenting a peach, probably because of the story, and I learned that the Peach symbolizes Immortality. I see this Monkey in my mind as I play the sword.
So I drew on what I understood.3 Monkeys1and Monkey came to me
Monkey-d

iLuminaries ~

last Friday I spent all day making iLuminaries, keepers of light.  

I have become fascinated with the translucence and elasticity of a special kind of porcelain. It is a pure, warm, alive white. And when lit with a candle inside they turn golden. 

As usual I discovered these while just playing around with an idea. I am reading, with a wonder and fascination I cannot explain, Edmond De Waal’s new book on porcelain called The White Road. He writes of his quiet yet passionate journey into the long history of porcelain. White Gold. He talks of it’s qualities of translucence and openess and its ability to maintain its strength when stretched out to its thinnest limits, there, light can pour in and out. I know … this sounds like a life lesson ~  

… and who doesn’t need a little Light when the sun goes down ~ 

What do you do?

What do you do when you find yourself living on a rare jewel of a giving yet struggling planet out in the Universe and you realize that we are all together … alone?

LB 3 portageyou build Life Boats.

You pack your essential supplies
Connection – Communication – Compassion LB walking with dog detail 2

and then you
Create
Celebrate and
Circle around Listening and LearningLB 3 portage detail2

~ as Playfully as you can ~

Elephant bonding

I was photographing these two elephants for my sister. She was to choose one or the other for a gift to her dear friend who loves elephants and finds herself in need of a little heart-lifting elephant power right now. IMG_1487Will she choose the big one or the little one?
I turn them around and around so she can better see.
IMG_1488they pose themselves just right … choose me! choose me!
IMG_1489I can see they are getting a little distracted by flower garden
(they don’t get out much before they find a new home)
IMG_1490by the end of this photo session I can see that these two have totally bonded and there is no way I am going to separate them. I have decided they will go together … and if I don’t put down my camera right now, they will just simply wonder off by themselves
as we all know elephants will do

Slowly Drying

I have left this new Life Boat at my studio to dry at a snails pace for a few weeks. A large porcelain piece like this tend to encourage tiny cracks here and there so I put Time in charge to be on the look out for any signs of danger.IMG_1411There are lots of backing and forthing going on here, I don’t know even the half of it ~

New Life Boat

  This one has 3 portague figures carrying a life-canoe.  

   Yes, those are cowboy boots. There’s a story here.  
 I always start with an owl at the helm and it goes on from there. 

~ to be continued ~

Elephants on the move

IMG_1240The Elephants are traveling, single file, right into a soft cushioned box bound for SaltSpring Island BC
IMG_1242after much wandering, they will be happy to be found and taken to a loving home.
They all know they will be admired
IMG_1237There is magic to be discovered with these beings

~ light and shadows, candlelight and flowers ~
IMG_1239

Talking Clay Show

I have a little show at Circle Craft down on Granville Island in Vancouver this month
here is a little peakIMG_1199IMG_1195            IMG_1196
IMG_0752 a real softie under that tough exterior
IMG_0765IMG_0743
IMG_0767IMG_0788IMG_1181 IMG_1188

The Spinster!

I conjured up the Spinster years ago. She helped me find my own way…. Of course I had to make it a creative and whimsical journey. So here she is ~ The Spinster ~ She Flies She Fights She knows her Rights! 

©1982 Nancy Walker (All rights reserved)

 

more funnies

I’ve been going through my old files, so old, they are PAPER! So much paper of bits and pieces and OH! How and Why did I collect so much!? It’s kind of amazing and humbling at the same time. I have recycled MOUNTAINS of paper …. and it feels … GREAT!

but
I saved these for you
IMG_0994IMG_0995IMG_0990

A little green jewel

 I found this little one hiding under a board way up high on the freshly swept deck. A bright green spot in an impossible place. Once safely in a jar I carried this little frog out to the rock garden and opened the top. “You’re safe now, you can go out to your world.”  She climbed to the rim and just stayed there. Her heart was pulsing so rapidly, maybe from the fright of this adventure. I waited and waited for her to leap off to freedom but she just sat there and so we waited together.  M  Until finally, she leaped out into the green.  And now it’s a hide and seek game. Can you see her?