Monday, September 6, 2010

the Blackberry bush as economic metaphor

I was picking blackberries recently down near the river. There is a bike path next to the area where blackberry bushes and other
fruit trees and bushes grow wild. I took the dogs with me and a backpack full of plastic bags. As we were walking and picking I couldn't help but see the metaphor of blackberry bush as economic model. All the old adages kept coming back to me about "low hanging fruit, going out on a limb,seek and yee shall find. I was struck by the nature and abundance of this plant. I walked in search of good berries and noticed that there were other people also looking for the fruit. I didn't panic or feel the tension of competition as I, knew that there were many more bushes with tons of berries on them. All I needed to do, was to walk in a different direction or look at things from a different angle and I would find enough fruit for myself. As I picked the fruit, the dogs ate the berries hanging in front of them. I started to ponder the number of people and animals that were sustained from these bushes. People picked the berries for their families, there was a blackberry festival, some people picked the berries and then sold them, the birds ate the berries, insects ate the berries particularly when they were rotting, bears ate the berries and I'm sure many more animals that I was unaware of were sustained from these bushes. As the people and animals collected and ate the berries the seeds traveled and spread. As long as there was water from the near by river, and sunshine,the right conditions, the plants thrived.

At first I just walked along trying to find the bushes with the biggest fruit on them. I noticed some of the best and biggest fruit was in hard to reach places, where I'd have to take a risk of falling into the sloping thorny bushes, or tumbling into the river to obtain it.I passed on this fruit but admired it from a safe distance. I wanted fulfillment with minimum risk. I then noticed as I bent down to pet the dog, that if I looked at the plant from a different angle, looked at the situation from a different perspective than most people, I found some lovely large berries hiding just out of site. I collected a back pack full of berries and thought of all the wonderful dishes I could make from the berries;cobbler, scones, pie, sauce jam. I realized that I had to come prepared to reap the abundance. I had to have the protective clothing, containers, good walking shoes. I had to be aware of the right timing to drive the 12 miles in order to pick the fruit when it was ripe. I had to have a strategic plan that entailed not going on the weekend when many more people would be in search of ripe berries, and I had to have enough time between the weekend and the next crop of ripe berries to ripen. So my free abundant harvest entailed some foresight and work to have a successful harvest, but the conditions were there if I paid attention to the details of attaining my goal. So in these turbulent times, I can't help but think that there is a way for abundance to flow freely, a way for people to find enough for themselves and others. Namaste

Sunday, June 6, 2010

riffing - spring poem/ rant

two months of what seems like
solid rain - yesterday sunshine, good moods, and smiles all around -
How lucky can I possibly get? - sunshine and a gorgeous Eileen Fisher sweater find at the Goodwill, for $5 - thank you universe, and whoever donated it - trying to play the glad game - I can be thankful that the weeds are easier to pull out with all this rain - thankful that we built a greenhouse - thankful that it didn't ruin the marriage, when certain said person accidentally let a wheelbarrow of heavy dirt go careening into the side of the aluminum frame,denting it - and other certain said person bit their tongue and refrained from letting loose the torrent of words, that seemed rather in order - thankful that some power watching over us, may have been dad's departed gardening spirit, saw to it that the damage was repaired and it now stands finished, as if nothing ever happened -
glad for my friends, classical music, and a new assortment of birds
that have come to feed and entertain, on the feeders we put up this year -
so I live with the rain, knowing that there is winter reading still, to catch up on,
wool to be spun and knit, and hot food to enjoy along with the fresh garden greens
until the sun and warm weather return

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dishwasher, the great white whale- humorous story

So as a woman, I never really got the whole Moby Dick thing the great white whale, Ishmael, sleeping with a tatooed pierced guy named Queequeg, the tumultous waters and being tormented by a big whale only to have it take a piece of you but I do understand the nature of metaphor and that freakin dishwasher that generates it's own water and constantly opens it's wide silver mouth to swallow up bits and pieces of my daily endeavors only to spit them back out later practically exhausting me with it's constant demands- we cook from scratch which entails 4-5 loads of dishes a day, like what are we octupus or something? with a glass, fork or dish in every tentacle? for Pete's sake we are but 2 people in this household and still the great white whale sucks me in, clearing the decks of the counter tops, dragging me under in a fit of rage" why do you demand so much of me?" "I am part of your life force, "it replies. It lurches and rumbles and occasionally spews water out of it's hole all over the floor. I suppose I could give up the white whale and float with my little dinghy of a washtub but I prefer to wrestle with it for now. In my story, Quequeeg does not have long hair or tatooes.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

strange things I've seen in Rural Idaho

1) a man occasionally flies over my property in a Jensen Gyrocopter(like from the Road Warrior movie)

2) I found this piece of graffiti on a big rock by the side of a dirt road, It says "I hate science" I don't know whether this was written by one of the anti-evolution crowd or just a kid who flunked a science test

3)a friend who had a sick chicken that lived in her house, with 2 dogs and a bunch of cats, the chicken was house trained to go on newspaper and slept in a parrot cage in the living room

4) A foal with it's mother horse in distress at the vet school, so the foal was walking around in the very lovely living room on the oriental carpets with some sort of baby harness on it. I was told it hung out inside so it would be warm and not lonely

4) potato ice cream at a dairy store in southern Idaho, I had to try it, the name was better than the taste

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Crazy Horse-poem from the contemporaryAmericanWest

Crazy Horse

second time around
the whorey horsey lady
whose farm you signed on to salvage
seeing only another fifty grand a year
truck payments
extended cab
extend your debt
why didn't it work out?
marriage after two months of intimacy
eight whole days at that
my dirt is drying up
hormone replacement therapy
whose 401k is it after all
let it fall
scrambling around on the floor
for change
the only thing left
after the bankruptcy

white series-my pots

My kiln has now been rewired. I have somewhat of a firing backlog so I'm showing a series of white pots I made a few years ago. I'm also building a new aluminum frame greenhouse as my previous greenhouse was taken out in a cannonball of snow last year when we had an inordinate amount of the white stuff. We had to stop at the stage of the skeletal frame in place or as my husband calls it -The Phillip Johnson Greenhouse- as you can see completely through it now, because although we had a mild winter this year, we are making up for it now. The past week we have seen walnut sized hail, tons of rain, snow, 50 mile an hour winds, power outages, sleet and everything in between. I play the "Glad game" from "Pollyanna" with my friends. Well, at least we don't have drought, or tornadoes. This is followed up by a knock on wood of course. I joke with my friends, well at least we can grow watercress and iceberg lettuce this year!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Modernist Dog Houses at our local animal shelter

If anyone is interested in seeing the unique modernist dog houses made for our local no kill animal shelter by the Washington State college of Engineering and Architecture you can see more of them here on my other blog

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My handspun throw blanket and love of Japanese aesthetics

One of the many things I love about Japanese aesthetics is their use of natural materials in their homes. I spun this yarn in a rustic manner, from a gray Romney and black Blue Faced Leicester/ Lincoln fleece. I then knit it on large circular needles. It is folded in half and then over again in the photo, so you are actually seeing 1/4 of it's true size.It will cover an average adult. I also have an affinity for Mid-century modern furniture and have quite a bit of it in my house.

Friday, March 26, 2010

10-20-30- minutes philosophy

I read this book once called 10-20-30- Minutes to Sew, which basically states that you can complete an entire garment even if you only have a few minutes here and there. Well I pretty much have adapted my life to this philosophy of late. I think it has something to do with what my husband calls my "grasshopper mind" or functional a.d.d. I start out blogging, take ten minutes to sew the edges of the pajamas I'm working on, then make a bowl of soup, then blog for a few, then start a load of wash, then out to the studio to set up a glaze session, then back in to the house to wash a tub full of wool, then knit for ten minutes, hang the laundry out to dry, set up the ingredients to make whole grain muffins, blog some more, finish trimming my pots from yesterday, etc.., the only time I really spend a lot of time in one stretch is in the pottery studio because once you put clay clothes on and start getting messy it doesn't make sense to stop every 5 minutes. When you think about it, it harkens back to the time frame segments of the old farm lifestyle; make breakfast, start bread, feed the chickens, collect eggs, feed other livestock, milk the cow, do the laundry, start the seeds. I'm starting to think that a.d.d. is not a dysfunction but an old lifestyle pattern, and that contemporary life is somewhat out of sinc with some our natural rhythms and need for movement and sunlight

Monday, March 22, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

The ghost of Quentin Crisp

Somehow in making my last post I made the youtube video of Quentin Crisp too large. I tried to remedy it by making it smaller, I had to re-post 10 times as I could not delete the first video and then could not reconfigure the smaller one. When I was finally able to reconfigure the video to fit it entirely on the blog in it's smaller format I noticed that my previous post on" my planters" was all changed around as well as a few older posts. The text had been moved and I was unable to reconfigure it to the original look of the post, no matter how many times I tried. I can come to no other conclusion, knowing the grand personality of the late Quentin Crisp, that it was his ghost, informing me that-" no he will not be made smaller, he is bigger than life and must remain that way and if I dare to diminish his image he will mess with mine!" So the legend of Quentin Crisp lives on. Kudos Quentin, you are still bigger than life!

and while I'm on this topic, has anyone else ever felt as I have, that the computer is some kind of Zen master teaching me the nature of non-attachment? When I compose an interesting comment and click to publish it and it disappears and the error script comes up and you have to start all over again, or when you are trying to put the lines of a poem in a certain order, and the blogger program wont comply, and you try and move photos around and the program simply moves them back? Is this what non attachment is all about or do I just need another program or better skills?

Bicycle man, N.Y.C. revisited-story fragment

Bicycle man and I lived in a 3000sq ft ground floor loft in the East village in New york city.This was when rents were still pretty cheap. I worked as a bartender in Chelsea and he was a carpenter who scrounged around for discarded broken furniture that he would fix up and sell out of the loft on weekends. Bicycle man had a tandem bike that we would ride on with me in the back, all over new york at night, the whizz and whirl of traffic and colors and flashing neon lights coupled with the fear and danger of squeezing in between cars was exhilarating, and heightened the effect of the visual imagery that softened and blended together in a liquid manner that resembled a blurred painting.It was a Bohemian life we led, with a big picnic table for a kitchen table that all sorts of eccentric characters would stop in, and pass through, and chat away the evening over tea or beers. We both had our own eccentricities, I wore very brightly colored clothing in an attempt to brighten away my inner emotional deadness, my brightly colored clothing really bothered his environmentalist sensibilities, but we agreed to disagree. He was a vegetarian who fed his cats expensive premium tuna from the Big Apple Supermarket, and was so environmentally conscious that when he sent me out for coffee I had to bring his own mug for them to fill, and I was such an artist that I liked the Greek printed paper coffee cups and had to have my coffee in them or I wouldn't want it at all. He had a dog that he believed should be free, even though we lived in the city. He'd let it roam off leash and it once ate some kind of corruption and grew sicker and sicker and I told him "you need to take the dog to the vet" and he said it would heal from it's own natural healing powers, and I'd sit on the floor with the dog in my lap stroking it's weakened head, and he kept saying if it doesn't get better in the next few days he'd take it to the vet and it wasn't my dog or my decision and I was young and he was older than I was and the dog didn't get better and it died. We were two different people, roommates, friends, but we had a love for the bohemian life. There were improvisational music jams and dance sessions in the open room we had in the back . Other people would stop by, people involved in the Living theater and street performance and the jams were fun and took on a life of their own. Bicycle man new Adam Purple, an old man who built what he called "the garden of Eden" on a vacant lot in the lower East side. A huge organic vegetable garden complete with a yin yang symbol in the middle of it. Adam lived in a squat and we had to climb through a window to go into his apartment, and we were like kids going to a friends fort in the city.

I took a lot of dance classes at the Clark Center for the Performing arts and art classes at The New School. There was a Nuyorican poet guy who had kicked drugs and was hanging around a lot and couldn't understand the nature of the feminist art I was making and thought it was all hogwash, and I remember there was an artist at the time, who put a basketball in a fish tank and called it art, and I thought that that was a bunch of hogwash, and there were more people who lived in squats in alphabet city- lower east side. only we we went through padlocked doors to get into their apartment and they had some kind of unauthorized electricity set up and had to take baths in their kitchen sink and I don't remember much more about them other than they were a couple, and friend's of the bicycle man. At the time people were living in tents in Tompkins Square park and it all seemed so odd to me the nature of people and habitation in the city. There was a performance artist named Nam June Paik who spent somewhere's around a whole year living outside in New York as a performance art piece, and I wondered how in the world he got away with that.

There was an old vaudeville actor named Ben who the bicycle man felt sorry for and he'd sometimes let Ben crash out on a trampoline the bicycle man found and kept in the loft. We would drag the trampoline out onto the street at times and the Armenian priests from a local church,with their long beards, dressed in black frocks would come and jump on it and that was a site to behold. I remember seeing Quentin Crisp once in Soho. I was looking at him thinking "what an eccentric fellow that is with his hat with a feather in it, ascot, and colorful dress.I guess I sort of recognized a fellow eccentric only later to have it register in my mind who he was.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I like the colors and composition of this photo
that I took. If I was a painter I'd paint this.
If anyone would like to paint this, feel free to

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

my planters- (one hole for excess water )

When I was a child I lived in a northern New Jersey suburb. The river flooded one year and spilled over it's banks,turning our backyard into a lake that approached the steps of our back porch. The road in front of our house also flooded, and my friend's sister fell into an open manhole cover but was grabbed out and rescued. A man came floating through our backyard on a wooden raft. He was wearing a beret and painting a painting. My mother asked him "can I help you?" He replied" Oh I thought this was the river" I tugged at my mom and implored her to invite him in for coffee. It's not everyday that such an interesting character floats through your backyard, but he just kept floating away. This was one of the first times that "the artist way of life" registered in my little child consciousness. I thought that he was fantastic and wanted to learn more about the interesting man. Instead all I have are memories of a surreal encounter with nature and a bold and adventurous artist .

Monday, February 15, 2010

gorgeous found art piece

I like this rusty piece of junk,
It's very, Helen Frankenthaler

for more Helen Frankenthaler you can link directly here.
Even the thumbnails of her paintings are amazing

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Risk it or wreck it

This is a little game I play when making my ultra thin wheel thrown pots. I suppose it can apply to lots of people in many different areas of life but particularly for certain kinds of artwork that one invests substantial amounts of time on. It goes like this. I'm close to what I'm after, at the good enough stage, but not the " oh that's it" pushing the boundaries to the very edge point. I have learned after wrecking countless pots by making them so thin they collapse, or I break through the wall with a tool, so I stop and ask myself "risk it?" after all, does the world need another mediocre pot? or am I willing to go for it but risk ruining it? I usually go for it but watch the danger signs. By staying alert and aware in the moment and applying proper procedures each step of the way which means; not rushing or fudging or keeping my fingers crossed and taking a reckless leap of faith, I've been able to have a higher success rate.I can still recycle the clay at this point and try again after reclaiming it so it's not a total loss if I fail, mere frustration as to time and energy expended. I suppose risk it or wreck it can apply to many aspects of life, jobs relationships, etc.., Just something to think about

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

funny things I've heard recently

1)I'm not Daniel Boone

2)stop blogging start crafting

3) I'm a brain because I seso (this is a bi-lingual verbal pun, say so/seso=brain in spanish)

4)those dogs won't breed together, they are brother and sister

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?-poem

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
(who will guard the guards themselves?)

id-ego-superego-computer ego

Friday, February 5, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

my favorite Frank O'Hara poem "Why I am Not a Painter"

this is my favorite poem by Frank O'Hara - "Why I am not a Painter" you can link directly to it here if you're interested in reading it As for me, I have always loved painting, but find myself more skilled in the 3 dimensional arts of sculpture and ceramic art as well as writing. I greatly admire those who can paint, my spoofs on- junk as modern art- come from an admiration for modern art and inability to visit my favorite urban galleries and museums more often. They are in the spirit of paean to- rather than criticism of

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

property saga-poem

Pipestone pass
or the continental divide
Homestake Pass
and the Hollywood screenwriters place
garbage pit full of
antique relics, garbage,
and God knows what else
large chunks of crystals
garnets and mica dust
dilapidated cabin by
the side of the highway
our dream place?
with the allready existent studio
like my studio
"there's hot geothermal water nearby"
"maybe on your land"
says the realtor
sweet as pie
hair piled a mile high
that greenhouse,so charming
in it's rundown state
belying the hailstorms
with busted out glass windows
"we're moving to a quarter million dollar house"
says the current occupants
as if quarter million dollar
with it's word million
had some fairy tale significance to it
your dream
my dream
subdivision vision
log shack by the side of the highway
"Butte's only 25 miles away"
in the summer
"why this community is nestled in the bosom of agriculture"
"that's right"
"it's rural living at it's best"
"with a real sense of community"
"Hey I got some unpatented mining claims to sell ya"
"reeeeeal cheap"
"Why, if you hold onto those long enough"
"you'll have yourself a goldmine all over again"
(written in 1995 while looking for property in Montana)

Monday, January 18, 2010

simple sculptural bowl

This is one of my simple bowls. I threw it as one piece on the wheel and then carved away clay at the top rim. I see it as a scuptural vessel. The glaze is a textured matt white. It is not food safe because of the textured glaze but can hold non food items. It's one of my favorite's so I kept it for myself, but part of a series of larger sculptural vessels I'm working on.Barbara Hepworth is one of my favorite sculptors-see previous blog post. I love the simplicity of her sculptures. I feel her influence in the forming of these larger pots 5 1/2 "tall x 10 1/2" wide

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Haiti. Their cries for help will not go unheard.