Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Serendipity Strikes Again

I've always loved life, and I've never known what's ahead. I love not knowing what might be round the corner. I love serendipity. -Twiggy

I was cleaning out my studio and came across a bunch of fabrics that would be good for faces. This is something the women in Los hilos de la vida/Threads of Life, a quilt cooperative in Northern California, were often in need. My gut told me for quite a while that the group had disband, but I didn't want to believe it. It was time and sure enough funding had dried up and the group had disband. Molly Johnson Martinez, the founder and director, hopes to start a similar project in another county in the future. However, here's where it gets interesting. A week later, Peggy Hazard contacted me about Los hilos because her paper on the Migrant Quilt Project was accepted for the American Quilt Study Group's 2016 seminar and she couldn't find contact information. Peggy needed a photograph. I love how the universe works when you listen and act. Sharing with Peggy brought back some great memories and I am glad when my need to purge computer files that I did not purge the one of Los hilos. But I am also sad because the cooperative helped so many women and now there is a void. I am thankful that the group will live on forever through the 35 interviews with Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories project so all is not lost. This is all so bittersweet.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Kiln Gods Were Not Kind

There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. - Leonard Cohen, "Anthem"

I took up ceramics to exorcism a past experience that caused me to give up my love of clay. Most of the time, I feel I have released the past, but at other times I wonder why anyone would ever want to use ceramic as a creative endeavor. There are so many variables especially in a cooperative. I will admit that partly it was my fault. I love playing with different clays. I was told that a new brown clay that come into the studio was extremely easy to use and that it played well with our glazes. I was told that I could get a nice blue, which was what I needed. The gallery I am in requested that I recreate the two masks that had sold. Not something I usually do, but with an unemployed husband this was not an option. So the first image are the masks that were made from the new brown clay done with the exact same glaze and done on the same day. It's a go figure. None of the experts can give me a definitive answer.

There was a time in my life where the voice in my head would have said, "You're no good. You should just give up." The voice is still there, I just don't listen. And while I don't like the idea of starting over, I feel blessed that I can. I also know I won't be using the new brown clay. Lesson learned! Have you done any exorcisms of your own?

By the way, one of my best activities that I have done at ClaySpace Ceramic Arts Center was an evening where I got people to create kiln gods that protect our kilns. Here is mine.