Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cheers Y'All.

Our last show was at Francisco's Farm in Midway, KY.

This year the show moved from the grounds of Midway College to Equus Run Vineyards. It was a bucolic setting amongst the grapevines. 

Each show that we do has it's own unique personality and energy about it. Francisco's Farm feels like an old friend; all warm and comfy. It's not our best show of the year but we keep coming back because the promoter makes all us vendors (artists) feel like a special relative. All the volunteers are friendly and helpful and Marcie (the director) is always attentive. It's a show where there are a lot of artists from our region so it feels like 'old home week' all packed into two days. It's a fun show to be at. 
There is always something special about each show. Something that happens outside of our selling that I find intriguing and I want to share with you. This weekend it was all about the bartering. For years Michael has been bartering other potters for mugs. We must have around two hundred mugs at our house that we have in use. It brings us great joy to open up the cabinet and pick out just the right mug to use. At any time we can summon up the image of our friend the potter while we are drinking from a mug that they made. It makes every day special. Just about a month ago I decided that I wanted to pack up all of my Royal Worcester china and start collecting plates from other potters. So we have started looking at plates at shows and bartering. Here are two plates that we got at this show:
Many thanks to Knox Steinbrecher and to John Sellberg for their contributions to our budding collection of dinner plates. We also bartered with Kotah Moon for this fabulous metal sculpture:
Thanks Kotah! She is going to be perfect in our newly landscaped backyard. 
At this show we started soliciting potters for bowl donations for the Empty Bowls Project of Paducah. Look at all the bowls we got:

Woo Hoo for us and all our booty!
We had dinner with our friends Kotah & Suzy Moon and Kevin Myers at a Midway institution called Wallace Station. Wallace Station was the stagecoach stop between Frankfort and Lexington. Now the building is a bakery and deli. The have amazing sandwiches! Right Suzy?
We had a real unexpected surprise by seeing some other friends of ours that weren't in the show but they were doing something with some store in downtown Midway. It was heartwarming to see Josie and Mark of Mayapple Creations:
We found out that Josie is pregnant. Oh what beautiful parents these two are going to be!
It was such a fun weekend with good friends, great artwork and even some local micro-brewed bourbon barrel aged beer thrown in for good measure.
Cheers Y'All.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

....for having such lovely work!

On the Monday after the Cambridge Pottery Festival we thought that it would be nice to do a bit of sightseeing on the way home from our hotel in Madison, WI. We looked online and we read the promotional guide book that was in the hotel and nothing was jumping out at us. We had asked our friends on facebook for some suggestions and we decided to skip all those and head back to Cambridge. In Cambridge there is a production pottery house called 'Rowe Pottery'. We noticed that there was a store in the downtown so we thought that it would be interesting to stop by and see what it is like. There were a couple of potters at the festival that work at Rowe Pottery and it would be nice to see what they do.
The Rowe Pottery store was indeed very interesting. It was strange to look at a whole store full of very rustic, country-ish style crockery. It was all so very different than what Michael does and it was so very different than hanging out in the galleries that we normally go to. It was fun to see large blow-up pictures of our acquaintances in the store. There were big posters of Glen & Ric throwing on the wheel; larger than life. Click here to see what Rowe Pottery looks like.
On our way out of town we remembered that we had seen a sign for another pottery place. We decided to check it out. What a treat that was! Cambridge Wood-Fired Pottery is a delight of a place. You drive up a long driveway and then you turn a corner and this is what you find.

At first no one was around and we ambled about looking at all the different pots. All of these are made by one person, Mark Skudlarek. This guy is one prolific potter! This is his wood-fired kiln.

Michael came around and we got to talking. On the spot Michael and Mark traded. Mark got a reading glass that say's "R-tist" and Michael got a really cool plate. I used it today, as a matter of fact, for my lunch salad. I'm thrilled! Mark had to take off and go pick up one of his kids but he said we could wander around and take some pictures. I like these of his throwing room. I find it really interesting that he kind of stand/straddles when he is throwing...

The second one is my artsy fartsy shot.
We will definately stop by here again when we come back next year for the Cambridge Pottery Festival. Click here to go to Mark's website and check out his pottery. Thanks to Mark for bartering and for having such great work!

Monday, June 27, 2011 in shape for the games next year.

This past weekend was the Cambridge Pottery Festival and US Pottery Games. What is not to love about being at a show with a bunch of clay people? And even better to be at a show with only clay people! In the twelve years that we have been doing art shows for living there are a few truths that I have come to know.
One of them is this:
Clay people are most often really fun people to be with. You want to hang with clay people.
This past weekend turned out to be a really joyous time. Honestly we didn't make much money but the 'fun' factor made up for it. On Saturday morning as I was setting up our cash box a potter walked by with a pie. She stopped and said to me, "Oh you're new. You don't know about this." She told me all about the church ladies who make pies and sell them at the show. She told me I had better hurry and get down there before all the pies were gone because they go quick. You bet I sorted that change as fast as I could and I hauled it down to the pie booth.
Pies, Pies, Pies. There were so many to choose from:
Apple pies, peach pies, rhubarb pies, oatmeal pies (that was one I had never heard of before), pear & cheddar pies, pecan name it, they had it! I was gushing. I was so excited. These poor ladies must have thought I was a kook. On Lopez Island where we used to live full time one of my favorite events is 'Bingo For Pies'. What is not to love about pie? I looked, I giggled, I was beside myself with joy. I bought a rhubarb pie because I LOVE RHUBARB. I am nuts about rhubarb. I almost bought the pear & cheddar as well but who needs to be greedy? I bought a beautiful looking rhubarb pie. Like a dope I didn't take a picture of my pie. With the love affair I was having with it all day you'd think that I'd have a photo album of my pie. But alas, all I did was make Michael stop at the Piggly Wiggly on  the way back to the hotel that night so that we could get some ice cream to go with my new love interest. I wonder how it feels to be upstaged by pie? That pie was as tasty as it looked. Michael took a picture of me having a piece. He loves to post embarrassing pictures of me so it must be up on his facebook page by now. Click here to go to his facebook page and see if you can find it.
We had pie for two nights in a row and I even managed to save a piece for Xan. I am amazing! It was a feat of sheer will power.
Okay other than the amazing pie and the pie ladies (Which were all sold out by noon on Saturday. Just like I was told they were going to be.) there was the US Potter Games. What a hoot! A bunch of potters competing in wheel throwing contests.
They even have a competition for high school students.
I'm not going to go into any more detail about the games because when I went over to take pictures for this blog I was struck with (what I think is) a very funny idea. On the spot I decided that I wanted to film the games and make my own narrated mock-umentary ala Christopher Guest-ish. I started filming and they let me go up on the stage and film away. Everyone was so gracious and good natured about the whole thing. Clay people! I tell ya. So in the next couple of weeks I will get my video together and post it up on our youtube channel. Keep an eye out for it.
Saturday night the promoter's hosted a Mexican dinner for all of us complete with lots of local micro-brewed beer. It was great to sit and chat with everyone. Michael got to do his clay related techno-babble with other potters. I think he enjoyed himself immensely.
The show was in a park near a really big lake. It was a beautiful setting and other than all the bugs that showed up on our tent...

we were really happy to be outside. Cleaning off the tent on Sunday night was a bit yucky.
All in all another great weekend to add to our collection of great weekends. Even though we drove home with our pockets not quite as full as we would like, we did come home with lots of great clay items that we bartered for and with our hearts warmed by camaraderie. We look forward to going back. I'm putting Michael on a high carb diet so that he'll be in shape for the games next year.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm sure on that.

Sometimes when we are driving home from a show (usually on a Monday) it's just the same ol', same ol'. We listen to a book on tape, we chat, we take turns driving and I always end up falling asleep at some point (in the passenger seat, of course). Sometimes we stray from the norm and end up doing something extraordinary. Our drive home from the Edina Art Fair aired on the edge of the 'something extraordinary' kind of drive.
Our friend, Martha, told us about this funky antique/really cool stuff place that is right outside of Minneapolis. On the way up to show we had passed this place that had old cars and stuff that Michael could see from the road. If you're thinking that at this point in the drive that I was fast asleep in the passenger seat...You're right. I must have been in a deep snooze because I don't remember seeing anything like that.
Sometime during the weekend Michael was talking to Martha and her boyfriend about all the stuff he saw from the road and they told him that we just had to stop and take a look. That's how we ended up at Hot Sam's in Lakeville, MN.

This is what we saw as we were driving up the long driveway.....

And yes! In the top picture that is an airplane stuck in the ground. We knew right away that this was out kind of place!
This is what awaited us at the top of the drive...
This is the antique store and some of the out-buildings...

Every out-building is jam packed with stuff to purchase. Michael bought 4 wooden antique folding chairs for us to use at home. 
We spent at least an hour walking around and chatting with the owner's girlfriend. Apparently the owner travels around and collects all the outside treasures and his late mother was the antique dealer.
So the next time you are in the Minneapolis vicinity, particularly if you are in Lakeville, MN find Hot Sam's Antiques and Furniture. You won't be disappointed. I'm sure on that.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

...the joy of seeing friends, sharing meals, and visiting new places.

We've had a crazy, busy past 4 weeks here at Terra Cottage. Michael is the co-director of the LowerTown Arts and Music Festival that happens in our neighborhood. This year we had a booth on the street. I walked around and took lots of video footage and forgot to take pictures. Actually my time was really limited because Michael's co-directorship is very demanding and I barely had time to leave our booth. So watch out for the video that I'm going to put together.
The LowerTown show was the first in a run of 4-in-a-row for us. I don't recommend it. We did it. We got through it but lots of bits of our life got left in the breakdown lane. Just like that lone shoe or chair that you see as you're driving on your way to some fun vacation. That was a piece of our life that you saw there sitting lonely and forlorn.
The next show was Cuneo Gardens and that was in Vernon Hills, IL. Great location and potentially a good show but Michael (who was flying solo) got rained out. That show was rained upon, hailed upon, lighteninged upon, and the thunder was so close it shook the tents. I'll blog about that as soon as I get Michael's pictures downloaded onto my computer.
So that brings us to the Edina Art Fair in Edina, MN. Long haul for us (13 hours of driving) but last year it was our best show so we figured we'd better suck it up and go. All in all it was a terrifically fun weekend full of staying and visiting with our good 'clay' friend Martha Enzler:
This is the type of ceramic artwork that Martha does:
She draws a picture, then carves it, then makes a mold of it and then she casts tiles. She does really lovely work!
These are some pictures that I took around Martha's house. When I think of Martha's home I think 'Zen'. When I think of our home I think 'Chaos'. Her place is so tranquil and serene.

This last picture is of these white sort of coconut looking things that she made. She was thinking about Buddhism and being all alike yet one-of-a-kind and unique. I love them! I think of Martha and I think of altars in honor of nature and life.

Martha and her boyfriend Erik (he shoots these amazing pictures of dancers) were both in the art show as well. You can see one of Erik's photographs in one of the pictures above. His is the one on the table that is leaning against the wall. And "NO" it's not the hula girls. It's the one with the dancer with (what looks like) smoke behind him. Click here to see Erik's work. Martha unfortunately doesn't have a website. She only displays and sells her work at shows.
We all had an okay show. Not great, not horrible either. We decided that we were all going to go out for dinner at a place near Martha's house.

We walked over to the Holy Land to have the buffet and to our delight we discovered that because it was the end of the day they only charged us $5 each. Michael and I ate there two nights in a row. We love those fabulous 'cheap eats'! Holy Land is a Middle Eastern grocery as well and Michael & I went shopping. We bought olives and halvah. Yummy, yum, yum! All day long at the art show I get to tell people that I was going to the Holy Land. It was just so much fun to say.
We do so many art shows throughout the year that we've learned that one does not make tons of money at every single art show that you participate in. For us it all works because this is what we do for a living and with all the shows added up it all works. So when we don't do terribly well at show we know to relax and not fret because there is always another show to be had. We live for the good moments and the joy of seeing friends, sharing meals, and visiting new places.