Thursday, November 20, 2008

Indian Summer and the Crash of Fall

We've been revelling in fall and all of it's really good things lately. To start, Halloween this year was the first time that Wren could actually participate. We didn't go all out, seeing as she isn't even two yet, but did let her go to a few houses around. She is now mad about candy, as seen here clutching packages of dots like she's won an award.

We were actually surprised by the lack of trick-or-treaters in our new neighborhood. It seems everyone goes downtown on Halloween in this part of Concord. Oh well, more dots for us.

We've had a beautiful Indian Summer, where we frolicked outside to our heart's content, basking in the sunshine and taking walks to the grocery. I was in painting mode, so I didn't get to spend as much time throwing as I would have liked. I did get an amazing amount of stuff finished , even if it did mean staying up until the wee hours waxing and glazing. I actually did a firing on Halloween (which worried my little superstitious heart) and it turned out beautifully, despite an agonizingly long firing time. Yes, I had the thing jammed with plates and packed to the hilt. Then came the cold again. I didn't have to look at the kiln to know that winter is right around the corner. That would be 37 degrees inside the studio.

I'm relatively tough if I have a bucket of hot water and a space heater, I can handle it down to freezing if need be. This past week has tested my limits, though, and taught me a thing or two. If I wasn't such a dingbat, I would have been able to puzzle this out before I wasted a day of throwing. I spent Tuesday making dinnerware sets and was so proud of myself, never thinking that there might be trouble if the highs were only in the 40's. I put myself to bed without a care in my head, went out the next morning to tragedy and massacre. Guess what happens to wet pots if the temps get down to 18 degrees? Give you a hint: ice does horrible things to most everything.

I was actually impressed by the destruction after I had some time to get over it. Hey, every day's a new lesson, right? Anyway, one thing that I had tried on the day of great freezing that was so much fun was Christmas ornaments. I had forgotten how much I liked to throw wacky shapes for kicks when I was apprenticing until I stumbled upon this idea. Of course, most of the ones I tried were broken up or had a weird scaly, almost furry surface, so I ran out today while Wren was napping and tried again. I got about ten of them done before she awoke and felt completely refreshed. Nothing like a completely non-functional goofy challenge to put a new perspective on your working life. Of course, mugs are going to seem such a chore now. sigh...

I ran into the house and scooped her up, took her outside before it got really cold again, and had a blast raking leaves. I made huge piles for her to jump in (leaf piles are meant to be jumped in with wild abandon and anyone who would deny a baby that is just wrong), and found a bounty of nuts underneath. I now have an entire Trader Joe's bag full of pecans, and there are still plenty on the trees. I sent a bag home with my mom today, begging her to shell some and promising many more to come. Finding them is better than a daily Easter egg hunt, but shelling them is a different story. Especially with so much to throw and so much to knit!