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.
Inspiration 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. 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.The 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)
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.and Monkey came to me
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 ~
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. Will she choose the big one or the little one?
I turn them around and around so she can better see. they pose themselves just right … choose me! choose me! I can see they are getting a little distracted by flower garden
(they don’t get out much before they find a new home) by 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
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.There are lots of backing and forthing going on here, I don’t know even the half of it ~
The Elephants are traveling, single file, right into a soft cushioned box bound for SaltSpring Island BC after much wandering, they will be happy to be found and taken to a loving home.
They all know they will be admired
There is magic to be discovered with these beings
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!
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!
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?
I’m thinking that this specimen is going to be 2 dresses in one. See how Great this looks Inside out?! If I am feeling especially creative and funky, I can just wear it Inside Out and if I happen to slip it on the ‘wrong’ way one sleepy morning, no matter, what the heck!In one of Josh Bennett’s knitting classs at my first Vogue Knit Live conference, he talked about a sweater he designed with a beautiful fair isle collar knitted inside out … intentionally! Being the sort to like that kind of knitting blasphemy, I took to that idea …
Ya! Why Not I say! This is not to say that the Front side is absolutely Glorious!
I will be wearing it the ‘correct’ way a lot I imagine
Knitting slows me down in a good way … so I say ~
I’ve been busy in my clay studio making Imaginaries. They are little fine porcelain creatures that come right out from my imagination straight into being
Some are always ready to catch a ball or
ready to run and greet you at the door after your long day Some are peaceful (that little guy in the background is one of those always ready to chase a bird or is he just watching some one climbing a tree?) They are little Connectors.
Each one has a story to tell. I quietly listen and search as they take shape and form through my fingers and understandings. They don’t leave my hands until I feel a connection with them, until I have found their story. This interaction assures the possibility of someone else making a connection and hearing a story too, of their own making.
That’s the plan anyway.
It might even be a small story like this one ~ “and … I’m just wondering if you you might perchance have a yummy delicious little sweet for me in your pocket? I do so love persimmons.”
See what I mean? They are always chatting me up.
So, I am driving along looking for a 2 hour free parking spot down town. This requires a lot of quick focus if you are alone. But something caught my eye.
Do I continue on with my parking drama? or do I stop for a better look?
I stop because I need a closer look at this. Clearly it is a fairy house, you can see her resting over to the left near her fire truck and her silver car. See her pink wings? Such a tidy little home she has.
* * * So, I am walking along my sometimes usual path to shop for supper when I notice this ~
I’ve seen this tree trunk many many times, but this time I saw it … upside down and I could see exactly what was missing * * * So, I am walking along a city block looking at all the amazing magnolia blossoms that are getting really serious about the coming Spring
and I wonder will this bird be back?
Every had a scattered week? Well that was me this week, lots going on. And it is wet here in Vancouver. We don’t have to shovel but the endless grey takes it’s own toll. Maybe some one just HAD it with their kids playing inside for days on end … I hate to think
… this was by the trash bin in the alley as I mentioned, it’s been raining ….. lots
spotted by Bettina Matzkuhn on her bike ride home
but work I must, I am going to make some more of these guys, They will focus me
I do have a knitting blog and I am blogging about this little project over there but there is
so much colour, challenge and fun, it has earned a place here in my nws blog ~
it is about folk art, sculpture, colour, construction, materials, creating
Here she is ~ The Lidiya knitted dress (designed by knitting artist Kaffe Fassett) and this is the 100 row pattern. Yes, you read it right, One Hundred Row Pattern!
Needless to say there was much sorting out, planning, strategizing and practicing.
It felt like I was preparing for a long … long … journey, which I was.
~ a Scenic Journey ~
Finally I just had to dig in and start even though I didn’t feel ready
I was pretty intimidated, ok, Scared! (you saw that pattern!)
Once I jumped in, I was Totally sucked into the Lidiya Dress Vortex
It is Screamingly engaging!
I am always knitting with 2 colours, and every 5 rows, 3 colours ~
that’s bit tricky but it has a rhythm to it Every stitch speaks, I mean …
I spent a long time painting each surface made up of 25 tiny cubes
taking great care with each cube, I even posponed my firing a whole day so I would not feel rushed to start firing so late in the day that I’d be up all night keeping one eye open on the kiln. It’s a story made up of 25 cubes, 6 sides. You have to rotate 5 cubes in a row at a time to find the story. It’s a puzzle. It has particular beginning or end. I’ve posted just 2 of the 6 panels of the story here. I got so involved painting, I forgot to photograph what I had done. Photographs are the Answers to each side, so I’m cooked if I drop it, I’d have to sit down and solve each side like anyone else.
When I finally finished painting each side, as planned, I loaded the kiln the next day being careful, taking my time and double checking that everything to be fired was in. I placed my little kiln dog on top and started it up and it wasn’t until hours later when I went to turn it up on high that I realized that I had forgotten to put this little puzzle in!
Nothing to do but let my anticipation go …
Now I will have to wait till next month to see how this comes out …..
It’s a lesson on patience