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Friday, August 31, 2012

Destroyed Spanish Jesus fresco doppleganger in Worcester

So you know the Spanish fresco of Jesus that was destroyed in an irreparable way in an attempt to repair deterioration? You know how Jesus looks like a character from Planet of the Apes now? At my recent visit to the Worcester Art Museum I saw a plate with faces that reminded me of it. Odd.



Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mystic Arts Festival


This August my husband and I went on our annual anniversary trip. We decided to keep things close to home and spent a week in Rhode Island and Connecticut. They are two places we've been quite a bit, but have never really taken much time to dig around too much. One of the stops we made on our trip was the Mystic Outdoor Arts Festival. It's been a long time since I've attended an event as a visitor and not a vendor,  so it was nice to be on the other side of things for a change.

The festival was spread around the downtown area, sprawling down many side roads. The river was between all the action, so we sat along it with iced coffees and muffins for breakfast. The forecast wasn't good and the sky was pretty dumpy looking, but it stayed dry and the sun had even come out by the time we were leaving. 

There was a selection of mediums there, but for some reason painters dominated the booths. I had to really dig to find the few potters that were doing the event. We saw some really nice jewelry along the way too, and had an all around nice morning and afternoon at the show.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pots at the Worcester Art Museum

I recently took my first visit to the Worcester Art Museum and I love their pots! One of the first rooms I saw  on my visit was filled with Chinese pottery and made me gasp in the doorway. If you know me, you know this gasp. It's loud and dramatic and sincere, generally making people around me think there's an emergency of sorts. Rarely it is, and usually it's something much more simple like a really cute puppy, or in this case, a room full of pretty pots. GASP!

After making my through that gallery I turned the corner and entered another. In about a half second my eyes narrowed in on a Shimaoka bottle across the space. I had wandered into the Japanese gallery and it was filled with more pretty pots and prints. GASP!

The rest of the museum was great too, but here's a few pics of the pots.










Friday, August 10, 2012

Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell, Maine


During my recent trip to Maine I made the obligatory stop to Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell. It's always a good excuse to go up to Maine and if you're already up these it's an equally good excuse to head over for some beer. But prepare your belly for something special, this is no ordinary beer bar. It is a world class beer bar with an incredible and unparalleled selection. If you like delicious beer you are in for a serious treat.


Just because it's in the middle of nowhere doesn't mean people don't know about it. Owners Chris and Jen Lively have poured their hearts and souls into this place and it shows. It is consistently rated at the best beer bar in the country, often the world. While they serve many styles of beer that aren't Belgian, it is the theme and focus of the bar. As they say, 'It's like you died and went to Belgium'.

There's always something interesting to try at Ebenezer's, and it's always more than I am able to. This visit one of the highlights was Evil Twin Brewing's Soft Dookie. It was a super delicious imperial stout and it makes me curious to try more from this brewery. My husband had their Yin, an imperial stout meant to be had as half of a black and tan with Yang, a double IPA. I tried a sip of the Yin and it was also really good, but I'd really like to try more at some point. The brewery isn't so much a 'brewery' as it is a brewer. Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø is a Danish brewer who doesn't have a brewery of his own, rather he jumps from one to the next, using the spaces of others to make his own batches. 

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Alexander Calder planes


I learned that artist Alexander Calder had designed paintings to be placed on jets of Braniff International Airways in the early 70's on my recent visit to the Dallas Museum of Art. He designed the plane as a "flying canvas" and finished two before his death with a third in progress.


The airline name or logo didn't appear on the plane, only the artists signature and his design. The airline chairman called it a "happy combination of international travel, business, and the arts" and that it "would allow millions of people to see an original Calder". It's sad to see this type of thing is no longer embraced by corporations.


Monday, August 06, 2012

My visit to Salad Days at Watershed


While I was planning my busy summer schedule I made sure to include a free weekend so I could go to Salad Days at Watershed up in Newcastle, Maine. I've been wanting to go for a few years but there's always something else going on so this year I made sure not to schedule a show that weekend. My husband and I decided early in the year we'd use it as an excuse to make a weekend of it and go canoeing, something we wanted to do on a trip last year but didn't get to.

 This year's resident artist was Adam Paulek. By the time we arrived an hour and a half after the event began the plates were slim pickings already. I heard when it began it was a mad rush to get up to the table to choose one from the 500 plates made from the local clay. While there were only a few dozen or so left when we arrived it wasn't hard for each of us to find a really nice one, rather it was a little tricky to decide between a few we each liked.


In the end I went with a plate that has a white glaze that looks sort of like a shino over the deep red earthenware and a cut away lip. I liked the decal of pitchers in a row and the rooster eating a flower. My husband went with a teal colored plate that has a really interesting textured surface. It also has a decal of a woman with a lamb head sitting in a chair. Very odd and really awesome.


 After eating our salad lunch we wandered to the tent where the invitational sale was happening. There was lots of great work there by Ayumi Horie, Ingrid Bathe, and lots of others but I gasped when I saw the work of Susan Dewsnap. I've loved her work for a while now and didn't realize she was part of the show so I was super excited to get to see and handle her work for the first time. I ended up walking away with a plate of hers. Rather fitting, don't you think?


 The rest of our weekend in Maine was awesome, as it always is. I love it up there and would happily live anywhere in the state. We're hoping to make room for this weekend for ourselves each year, it's a good excuse to buy some pots and have a fun weekend getaway.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Jamaica Plain Open Studios at The Brewery Complex

Hop vines growing at the Sam Adams brewery in JP
Later this fall I'll be participating in my first Jamaica Plain Open Studios. I really like doing shows in JP, people are always really nice and interested in what is going on in their town. I'm pretty excited for this two day event and I'm even more excited for my booth to be in The Brewery Complex parking lot aka Sam Adams parking lot. It's no secret I'm a big advocate of craft brews, especially if they are local. Sam Adams has a long and important history in the American beer story so im looking forward to selling my steins so close to their headquarters.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

How to make tent and canopy weights


**Alright guys, real talk. Let me plead with you for a moment about the importance of weights at shows. If you already understand this importance perhaps you can pass this along to a friend who doubts the unpredictable power of mother nature. It is not only incredibly important but necessary to properly weight your canopy tent for all outdoor shows. It doesn't matter how still you expect it to be, weight your tent. I have seen very strong single gusts come out of nowhere at shows. It happens. Weather is unpredictable. To not prepare for this puts yourself and so much else at risk. The property and bodies of yourself, other vendors, shoppers, and organizers are all compromised if you choose to ignore the possibility of disaster. While this may seem dramatic I have seen too many tents grow wings out of nowhere, too many events that don't enforce their own tent weight rules, and worse yet, too many vendors with no weights or inadequate ones. 10 pounds on each leg isn't going to do anything when your tent is ready to fly. For the sanity and safety of everyone please properly weight your tent.** Thanks guys. I knew you'd understand. :D

8/16/12 update- THIS is what can happen with improperly or unweighted tents. Boooooo


I had been wanting to upgrade my tent weights for a while and was looking for something that was taller than it was short, like the weights I had been using. I worry about people not looking where they are going while passing by my booth and tripping over weights so I really wanted something taller than short and easy to move. These instructions I found seemed great so I used them as my design. 


The hardest part of this project is lugging the bags of concrete so it helps if you've got a strong friend to help you. I had help from the hardware store staff for both lifting the concrete in and out of my cart and cutting my PVC pipe for me. I opted for the flat plastic caps on the bottom of the weights so it can rest sturdily on the ground and be bungee corded to the tent legs and upper tent frame. I'm happy with my end result and and thinking of ways to try to disguise the weights a bit. I think I may get some fabric at some point to hang around my booth, but for the moment I'm satisfied with my upgrade.

Friday, August 03, 2012

ArtBeat 2012


The most recent event I've done was the 2012 Somerville ArtBeat and it was the most beautiful weather since I don't know when. My last handful of shows have been crazy heat/humidity/no wind so I was super excited for a predicted upper 70's. I even wore a cute dress to celebrate.The crowds were awesome too so I did a lot of chatting and met some really nice people. There were lots of potters that came by and we talked pots. I even got a high five from a woman who also recently finished her first pair of socks. Hurrah for us! People were really friendly and seemed to like my work quite a bit so hopefully next year I get accepted again into this popular show. Aside from my vendor neck of the woods it was still a very eventful day. There was a parade that wandered through the area with people towering on stilts and music coming from stages in different directions. I really like doing events where there is more than just the vendors selling. It always makes my day more interesting and it seems to make visitors happier too.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

My first pair of knit socks


Earlier this summer I finished my first pair of knit socks. Woohoo! It was the first time I had used yarn or needles that small, so it definitely felt frustrating when after a few nights of working I only had half of a cuff....of one sock. But I plowed through and rocked my socks. I used a yarn I grabbed from Black Sheep in Needham and I really like them. I'm pretty excited for cooler days to come along so I can wear them more often. I like that the stripes don't line up to match, it gives them more personality and a handmade touch. Not surprisingly, they match my pots, as I've mentioned before my clothes often do. It's not hard to tell my favorite colors.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Glass beer steins at Rose Alley Ale House in New Bedford


I was a vendor at my first New Bedford Summerfest this summer and after a long weekend of working in the heat (if I haven't made it clear before I hate summer) I was ready for a beer. I wandered over to Rose Alley Ale House that was just around the corner from where I was selling. I had a super yummy chocolate truffle stout and snapped a pic of the handmade glass steins above the bar area. The local mug club members each have an assigned glass made in a style I really like. If I lived closer I'd definitely want my own too.