Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Written Word Endures #2

I Always Loved You Book Cover

But she had kept these letters, as he had kept hers, though what they had been thinking, she couldn’t imagine. Such recklessness. Private conversations should always remain private. Why should anyone know what they themselves had barely known? And even if something had once been committed to paper, did it mean that it was still true? Always true? Unlike the relative permanence of paint, words were temporal. You uttered them and they evanesced, but if you wrote them, they remained, though whether the written word was any more truthful than the spoken was a mystery to her. Only paint was honest. But even a painting could be wiped clean and refined. He was forever revising, stealing his paintings back to rework them, everything always unfinished with him.

– Robin Oliveira, I Always Loved You

{I’m not finished reading this book just yet, but I’m really enjoying it, I just couldn’t wait to share a small snippet!}

Drying Out

Jennifer Michie Drying Out

Here are all my finished pieces. At least the ones I decided to keep. I practiced my turning technique on pieces I wasn’t too crazy about. Above is what I have to show for a week’s worth of work, a lot more ended up in the reclaim pile.

They will now dry out for about a week, then get bisque fired and then I will return to glaze them. So stay tuned, I’ll let you know how everything turns out.

Pieces

Here are just a few of my pieces, I thought I would share with you. I made a small vase this morning “off the hump”, just to get warmed up. My tutor showed me how to make plates and bowls today, she makes it look wonderfully seamless as her hands move in, out, across and around. It doesn’t always look like that when I try, However, this afternoon, I made the perfect bowl.

The stars aligned, the sun shone from the heavens, the angels were singing, because everything went just right! I pulled the clay up perfectly with no issues and used my metal kidney to slowly start to form a bowl and little by little the shape took form. Once, I was happy, I called it a day, because you don’t want to mess with a good thing. The bowl I attempted to make after that, turned out fat and slightly off, but who cares? I got one right and it felt so good.

Tomorrow, I’m turning all my pieces out and glazing till my heart’s content.

Jennifer Michie Pottery 1 Jennifer Michie Pottery 2 Jennifer Michie Pottery 3

Day Three

I’ve moved into my third day of pottery class. Yesterday, I learned to throw “off the hump”, which means I created objects (a pot, mini bowl, egg cup holder and candlestick) all out of a single piece of clay that I formed into a cone like shape and worked with it from there.

There’s still a few things I need to work on, but I’m loving this process. I work alone in the afternoon and the time just flew by, I was so lost in what I was doing. I couldn’t believe when my teacher appeared with a mug of tea for me that it was already after 4 pm. I had been steadily working away for over two hours. Incredible!

Today, I worked on throwing jars with separate lids and had my first go at turning some of my pots from my very first day, which are now leather hard. I’m getting there, slowly but surely!

{Sorry there are no pictures, I was so busy throwing, I forgot to snap a picture of my growing collection}

Pottery 101

Jennifer Michie Slip Testers

I’m taking a summer class to learn how to throw pottery. So, come September, I can start teaching these techniques to students.

Today was intensive, but I feel that I walked away with a good foundation. I can confidently bring my clay up into a cone and work it back down into a ball/dome shape on the wheel. I can also make the opening for a pot and bring that back up into a dome shape and begin to form my desired object.

Although I made a pot, a mug and a planter today, I need to work on refining my techniques. A lot more of my pieces ended up in the reclaim tub then on my board to dry out. Oh well, back to the wheel tomorrow!

Jennifer Michie Wildflower Garden{A gorgeous wildflower garden I passed on my way to class, it was buzz, buzz, buzzing with big fat bumblebees and that made me happy!}

Muntjacs

Deer 1963

I stood on the train platform yesterday heading into London and I heard rustling coming from the wooded embankment opposite me. I scanned the trees and noticed two then four little legs slowly come down the hill. Then I saw more little furry stick like legs. It was a group of muntjacs foraging.

I looked around to see if anyone else had noticed. They hadn’t. They were either on their phone, on their iPad, reading, talking to someone or staring at the clock on the platform and wishing for the train to appear. No one else had taken them in.

They stepped gingerly, yet gracefully down the hill, stopping here and there to sniff or munch. They were hidden pretty well by the canopy of leaves. But I knew what I was looking for. I treasure these interactions with nature. They are a gift.

{P.S. The image above is not of a muntjac, they are much smaller animals. I just liked this image and that someone in 1963, saw a deer in their yard and ran to get their camera. // Image found HERE}

The Written Word Endures #1

Emma Stone Reading

I recently read a post on Cup of Jo, the focus of which was a discussion on the most beautiful sentence or paragraph that you’ve ever read. That drew my attention, as I’m often marking sections of a book I’m reading or making a mental note of page numbers, to be able to go back to a favourite sentence or paragraph and write it down.

I have the great fortune of getting to read a lot while I’m traveling around London and my choice of genres is always varying. I thought I would begin a new series on this blog as a journal of sorts to record lines and words and paragraphs that have stayed with me. I’m entitling it: The Written Word Endures, which is taken from a Neil Postman quote.

Travels with Charley Cover

 

I went to the small restaurant run in conjunction. It was all plastic too — the table linen, the butter dish. The sugar and crackers were wrapped in cellophane, the jelly in a small plastic coffin sealed with cellophane. It was early evening and I was the only customer. Even the waitress wore a sponge-off apron. She wasn’t happy, but then she wasn’t unhappy. She wasn’t anything. But I don’t believe anyone is a nothing. There has to be something inside, if only to keep the skin from collapsing. This vacant eye, listless hand, this damask cheek dusted like a doughnut with plastic powder, had to have a memory or a dream.

-John Steinbeck, Travels With Charley

Through Different Eyes

The past few days I’ve been planning for a class I’ll be teaching in September. I have my own ideas about this project and where I want to take it, but I also don’t want to hinder anyone’s creativity.

Everyone sees the world differently through their own eyes. I’m excited to see how each person approaches the task at hand and what their final outcome will be.