Hues of Red, White, and Blue

Wood fired pieces always blow me away mainly due to the natural effects of flame, heat, and earthly elements. This cup is from the most recent wood-kiln firing.

Happy Memorial Day! Thanks to the brave men and women who died in service of the U.S.A.

For Sake’s Sake

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Sake Anyone?

We thought it would be nice to create a Sake set for my youngest stepson. I created 4 sets and offered him his choice of a bottle and 2 sake cups.  I decided to enter one of the Sake sets that he did not chose into my company’s Employee Art & Literary Show… and won 1st Place in the Craft Category! What great fun and exciting experience.

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1st Place – Sake Set

Personal Relationship with the Matter World

I heard these words, “Personal Relationship with the Matter World” from a recent YouTube video from Linda Moulton Howe (conversation at 39 mins 14 secs) and it resonated with me right then, right there. I felt a harmonious connection with those words and our recent Wood-firing event – – because creating pottery with a wood-fired kiln process is really, as artist, instructor, and amazing soul Wes Weiss recently said, it’s a “Labor of Love“.

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Here are some photos from the 2018 wood-firing May 18-May 20.

Pottery Meditation

Breathe.

Deep breath. 

My master potter instructor at Clayscapes Pottery always reminds us to breathe. In my earlier pottery days those instructions weren’t at the forefront of my mind…  I was focusing on making technical progress. Nowadays I am way more grateful for those reminders, and most importantly, for the love and wisdom shared by my instructor in doing so.

As some people know, my pottery is infused with love, from the first touch of the clay to the moment I gift, sell or welcome a pottery piece to my home. During the many moments in between LOVE is spoken, felt, thought, incorporated, through creation, drying, trimming, finishing, bisquing, glazing, firing, etc – and now I find that I can include more and more of the Deep Breath.


Mindful Breathing, Meditation and and Throwing Clay

For several years I found it hard to attain a meditative state, though not for a lack of trying. In fact I over-tried. I over analyzed and over-thought. I’d usually end up frustrated and disappointed in myself.  Everyone kept saying, “It’s all in the breath,” or “Focus on the breathing.”  So there I was, focusing on the air coming into my lungs, letting it hang out a few seconds, then examining the air being pushed out of my lungs from the alveoli sacks upwards through the tubes, up my thorax to the nasal and head cavity and then either out my nose past my nostrils or out my mouth past my lips which would then shut firmly as I held my breath a few seconds before starting the process again.

Wow – pretty intensive for something that is supposed to relax eh? LOL

And then one day recently someone somewhere said this: “Focus on the cool air coming into the nose, and then focus on the slightly warmer over your upper lip.”

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On the first try with this new focus, I found a meditative state!


Nowadays I explore different counting methods, and the following 3 Steps seem to help me get meditative rather efficiently – what used to be 45 minutes can now be as quick as 5 minutes!

3 Deep Breaths

Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth

(Bonus 1: continue a few more times while doing a prayer for protection; Bonus 2: continue a few more times with a focus on a mantra or with healing, loving words, i.e. “Breathe in Love, Breathe out Stress”.)

4     7     8 

BREATHE in through the nose to a count of 4

HOLD for a count of 7

BREATH out through the mouth to a count of 8

Repeat 7 or so times and then resume normal breathing

(Dr. Andrew Weil wrote up a similar technique using the 4:7:8 ratio.)

Resume Normal Breathing through the Nose

About this time I do focus on

  • Bringing in LOVE with my inhale; and releasing any remaining stress, frustration, worry, anxiety, etc with my exhale
  • I do this a few times before simply ALLOWING myself to BE in the state or matter of love both during my inhales and exhales
  • Now I experience whatever is for my greatest and highest good – this is a meditative state for me.

I am safe, protected, loved, loving, I am love.


 

So how does that pair with Pottery?  Breathing and loving each creation is a win-win situation, however your style.

 

I encourage everyone to research and explore different breathing techniques. Find the ones that resonate with you and then share what you’ve learned.

 

Here’s something neat that I found on betterymindbodysoul.com:

Meditation tips for beginners by

BetterMindBodySoul.com


Nebula Glaze? Whaaaaaat?

The folks at Clayscapes Pottery are always creating, exploring, and doing new things – including letting us try new glazes.

Nebula Glaze.  Wow!

 

Here are a few pieces I create most recently:

  • Glazed with a Starry Night base, dipped 1/2 from neck to base with Nebula, topped with a small rim of Cream. The clay body is 66.

  • Glazed with a Starry Night base, 1/4 dipped from neck to middle with Nebula and topped with a angle or rim of Cream.  The clay body is 66.

 

I’ll definitely be exploring more with this Nebula Glaze!

Thank you Clayscapes Pottery!

Wood-firing Prepper

Soon I will be joining forces with my wood-firing citizens to mass produce some of today’s most creative and heart-felt pieces in the area! Last month I finally came out of hibernation (Native American Bear Clan reference LOL) and started working to prepare for the wood-firing. I also had pieces that didn’t make it into the last wood-firing that will be included in the lot, like the “Man Offering” figure below (on the left).

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Additional Love: There was also a story shared with me from a fellow potter that her family & her were excited to incorporate wood from a downed Maple tree. Her pieces were being prepared with this heart-felt natural bond. Perhaps I can share a photo or two of her tree and/or the pieces she created.

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These pieces are getting ready to be bisqued. Later I’ll glaze the interior with a food-safe glaze, and perhaps embellish a few with some distinctive character.

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This wood-firing experience is going to be epic!

Stay tuned for more exciting updates.