Rabbit-Forming

There are bunnies, and there are rabbits...

I've been making bunny bowls for years, ever since I sketched a cute little Dwarf Netherlands at the Lane County Fair. He shows up in both cobalt blue and rutile gold, as well as his original black and white on a watercolor card over at my wife's business, Pulp Romances.

But I only started painting rabbits on pots last year. Wild rabbits, cottontails, just burrowed under the garden fence and itching for trouble.

Kind of like John and me, all those years ago. We'd definitely crossed the fence...

Our nearest neighbor was an elderly Slovenian lady named Mrs. Kutzler. She was my grandmother's generation, didn't have any English. Her farm was just to the north of us, and when she came to visit, say when Mom had a baby, she'd eschew the longer gravel road for a shortcut across the fields.

So one day when John and I were about three and four years old, respectively, we decided to return the favor. We headed up hill across the fields to pay her a visit. (Whether the fact that she sometimes brought cookies down when she came down was part of our motive is still a topic of some family dispute. I don't remember cookies; I maintain we just wanted to be neighborly.)

I do remember realizing once we arrived that we hadn't a single word of language in common. And I remember the rabbits, apparently wild cottontails living in the foundation under her house, thoroughly accustomed to her company and unfazed by two inquisitive pre-schoolers.

And I remember being scolded thoroughly and confined to Grandma's bedroom for the rest of the afternoon after my older brother and sister finally tracked us down, ears burning from the tongue-lashing they'd gotten for letting us wander off. But to this day I maintain that it was worth it, just to see those rabbits.

My new rabbits include mama rabbit on serving bowls and batter bowls, and three little troublebunnies--Flopsy, Mopsy and Spike--who've been turning up all over the place, on pie dishes, pasta bowls, teapots, cookie jars, and anywhere else you'd least expect them.