We spent the day in the woods yesterday, preparing for our wood-firing. I think most people know that Lee and I are ceramic artists. (I’m working on a new website right now, but you can find some more info here for the time being). Our focus is wood-firing our Anagama kilns, one of which is located in the backwoods near the church where we are living now (the other is in our front yard in Queenstown, where we hope to return this year or early next). Our firings last for between 7-10 days, and we stoke the fire every 5 minutes or so, 24 hours a day, for the entire duration. Right now we are finishing up our pieces in the studio, and we will be starting to load the kiln with sculptures and vessels over the next few days, once Lee has rebuilt part of the kiln that was destroyed by vandals (an issue we deal with on a continuous basis).
All three of these kids have grown up around our kilns, and have experienced firing within the first weeks of their life. Horus and Treva both help with wood-piling and Horus is pretty thrilled about learning to use the hatchet (with Lee’s supervision of course). It’s so nice to be in the woods. We build a campfire, roast sausages on sticks, and read library books when we get tired after piling wood and moving bricks. The leaves are mostly gone now, and the tamarack needles have turned fiery and are falling too. August makes me sad that summer’s over, but really, New Brunswick has a proper Fall, and it’s still tolerable to be outside, working hard. We are hoping the weather will hold and snow won’t come until we’ve done this firing. There’s no roof on the kiln and we don’t have time to build one, so we’ll string up another tarp, and hope for mild weather. It’s going to be fun. This is school, and love, and work.
I’ve felt a lot of despair over the past six months, after the oil spill at our home just months after we finished the year-long kiln-building project, and just over a year or so after we had moved into the old old farmhouse in Queenstown. Lee and I both feel a bit out of the loop, and as though our careers have been faltering. But in the past few weeks, there has been a resurgence of energy, and also some good news. I found out that the Mindy Solomon Gallery who represents my work in Florida, will be taking my sculptures to the SOFA expo in Chicago coming up in 2014, which is quite a coup, and I’m pretty thrilled about it. Sometimes these little things really are galvanizing. But in the end, Lee and I have had to reconnect with the simple joy and intrinsic goal of making art. The rest is a happy byproduct of doing what we do. So we continue.