I got an unexpected call this week from a potter who is new in town. She wants to buy my kilns and kiln controller. I had my equipment for sale a short time on Cr@igs list last fall but everyone either just wanted the controller by itself, or wanted me to magically make the kilns come with studio space and use only 110 power, so I just covered everything up and waited for a better time to part with them. I would rather just have donated the kilns should someone have had the proper electrical power and space. Truthfully, I hadn’t been thinking about the kilns until the phone call. It was fun to meet with the new potter and show her what I had to offer, all for a screamin’ deal. She’s anxious to start making pottery again as all of her supplies and equipment are in storage in Washington. Due to the weight, she said it would have been too expensive to ship to Alaska. Uncovering the sheet-draped kilns, opening the boxes of stilts, shelves, files of manuals and firing schedules made me want to change my mind about selling everything. I do miss working in clay but I don’t miss the disappointments… The majority of our conversation
was really about how does an artist new in town meet other like-minded artists? Good question. I told her I’d put together a list of other local potters I know (those that wouldn’t mind meting someone new), share a list of blogs & web sites, give her a local resource list and invite her to our Art Coffee group. We do have a potter’s guild here, but I was never able to get any information from them and the university can be closed off for non-traditional students. The local “Anchorage Clay Arts Guild” doesn’t even have a web presence, and a couple of years ago when I tried to contact a member I never even got a phone call back.
Working alone in your studio can be very isolating let alone being new in town. I think that’s why I sought out other art blogs, especially clay bloggers. I learned so much on-line through other potter’s blogs and appreciated the sharing and exchanging of ideas, clay, glaze and firing recipes. Most of all I appreciated knowing that even the rock stars of clay had the occasional failures and disappointments.
Another unexpected phone call was Wednesday/Thursday night at 3:36 am when my cell phone rang here at the cabin. Any call after midnight cannot be good. My stomach tightened as I searched for the phone in the dark. I was relieved when the missed call indicated it wasn’t one of the kids or family members, but it was our friend and downstairs renter. Whew, I thought, she was probably accidentally dialing me from the resort bar. Then my cell phone chimed that I had a voice mail… “So, so sorry to wake you guys but do you think you come downstairs right away, there’s water shooting out of the hot water heater and it’s going EVERYWHERE!” Derek heard the voice mail and flew out of bed, racing down the icy stairs to the disaster below. Three good things happened; First, all of us were home when the rental water heater blew, normally the girls are on some back-country ski adventure or at work and we’re 45 miles away, in Anchorage. Second, Daddy-O is the handiest guy I know and with a trip to town for supplies, plumbing tools and our wet/dry vac all was repaired. Third, Derek was actually CLOTHED when he went flying out of bed and down the stairs wearing his flannel pants and a t-shirt. Though when his warm rubber Croc’s did hit the icy steps his feet went out from under him, but he quick-gripped the railing averting a second crisis –of the medical kind!
The photos above are of some new felted wool pins I've been making this week. The ice carving photos below were sent from Kristen in Fairbanks at the 2011 World Ice Art Championships. Kristen wished she could have better shown the scale of the carvings as the bird cage, entered in the multi-block competition was over 30 feet tall! The bottom photo is actually a giant ice slide, you can see two people in the upper right.