Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The things that go bump.. rustle... growl...

I am not afraid of spiders. I'm not. I used to be, but got over it. The studio where I apprenticed was an old building, and in the spring all of the little baby spiders would start hatching and spinning down out of the rafters. Well, I was doing production work and making 100 bowls a day, so there was no time to jump up and run around like a loon every time a few of them would ramble down your head, shoulders, or nose. Yes, I would have to stop if a sizable one plopped into my work, but other than that, just a lot of puffing at them to try to make the tickling stop. This studio is another story. We rousted the place last week in anticipation of new students, cleaning and reorganizing from top to bottom. Even got the bathtub out of there (hooray!). I never dreamed of the beasts that lurked. Forget my love of all living things, Ian, spray the heck out of that room!!! And I say this, not because of the wolf spider we uncovered that had a body as large as my thumb. The frigging thing growled at me, I could have sworn. It said, "go away!" We threw it outside, where you could hear it rustling as it ran through the tall grass of the field next door. The field, as Wren told me yesterday, which is full of snakes and poop. !?!?!? No, no, that son of aragog did not warrant a full room spraying. It was this beauty and his many kin that got the sprayer out:

just about life size

Yup. The place was and is a black widow haven. One look at the wiki page on the southern black widow and I was done. Neurotoxins and toddlers don't mix. I now have a fear of putting my hand under my chair and finding one of these attached to my finger. Shudder. I used to be afraid of the brown recluse, simply because I have no idea what they really look like. But, no, these things just look like they are going to take you down. And they can. Sprayer, don't fail me now.

my beautifully cleaned up studio

On a positive note, I am loading up the first finished painted giant pot and am working on the second as fast as I can. I'll give you a hint on the second, because it's a marvel. Reverse vine pattern. And I said it couldn't be done. Let me tell you, it won't be done on anything smaller than this, because it's a mental boggler. It has to be done almost entirely freehand, unlike most of my black background pots which I draw out the entire pattern before I start. I am so excited.

the first of the giant pots to be painted

I have reached a point in my big pot voyage where I can throw taller than I can fire, my kiln only being 26.5 inches deep. In desperation, I decided today to apply to the Arts and Science Council for a new kiln grant. I'll be working on this until the deadline, trying to make my case. I really do want to make huge, elaborately painted pots and have a big exhibition. Keeping my fingers crossed that I can make this happen. Otherwise, you're going to see me riding down the road with a three foot tall pot on my lap, praying that I don't chip it before I can get somewhere that can accommodate it. Urgh.


Anonymous said...

Um, seriously. Wow. You actually let the spiders crawl on you? EW!
Black widows are not cool. Get rid of those. We have brown recluse here, pretty nasty things but they stay mostly out of sight.

I read a bunch on clayart about the problem with really big pots is finding a market, as they are pretty much impossible to ship reasonably. Good luck- those are a lot of work to paint!! Hope you can get your grant!

Amy Hunt Callahan said...

They were tiny! And harmless! And I had to make 100 bowls a day!

No, the black widows are gone for now. I know we have brown recluse, but I have never seen one... to my knowledge. Black widows are really hard to miss.

I know! That's why I want to do a gallery show. For some reason, the time intensive, intricate nature of these pots is really getting me going. Maybe everything else was getting too easy, I don't know. Of course, Ian works at Pier 1 and I worked at 10,000 villages, so we've both had experience seeing how to ship an enormous pot. Wood frames, webby string enclosures, really ingenious stuff from Vietnam.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, gallery show. Good idea. Those pots will make a huge impression in a gallery setting!