Hibernating bees, frost on the fallen leaves, and an influx of squirrels eating acorns on every flat surface here at Idlewild starts to nudge me: it’s time for the slow-down.
The cold weather will prevent me from working in my pottery barn. My hands will not want to be plunged in a bucket of water. The clay doesn’t even engage well in chilly temps. We would both much rather mingle in the heat.
I bought a loom in September, and I haven’t touched it since it came to live here. I have visions of rugs to weave. Undoubtedly I will miss my hands in clay. I say I’ll take some time off from pottery, but I also know that I can’t stay away too long. This is the time of year that I have to see what the weather brings us and move accordingly. Here in Virginia we have had a 70 degree day in January and I will make a beeline to the studio.
The wood stove produces just fine, but I have a strict studio rule to work with all 8 windows open for lots of ventilation and fresh air. That also helps me feel close to my surroundings outside, which is the muse for my work. Honestly, it’s something I can’t compromise on. Breathing clay dust over years and years is not good and it can settle in my lungs and cause problems I don’t want. So I have heat, but it stealthily slips away into the atmosphere.
I know I talk a lot about the weather and the seasons on here, but it affects my entire practice, which affects my business. That does not frustrate me. Our relationship is a trifecta of symbiotic give and take and frankly that endears me even more to all it. Natural state is my favorite state.
So after the holidays, here you’ll see stops and starts of a tempered, yet bound-by-love clay practice, a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants weaving journey, lots of stark wintry landscapes, maybe some poetic stops and starts. I will do another wintry Idlewild Village, slowly, at the pace the atmosphere allows me to.
Thank you all for being here. It’s been quite a year and your likes, followings, supports, and hurrahs are all so meaningful to me.