Don we now...

Our winter woolies!

Saturday Market spent a lot of time and brainpower this summer considering what to do about Holiday Market. For decades now, we've taken over the Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, packed it full of crafts and food and music, and thrown open our doors to the crowds. All of which we can not do in the middle of a pandemic. To happen indoors, we'd have to limit the number of booths, probably to about half, limit the number of people allowed in to about 25 at a time? All the while, paying full rent and utilities to the fairgrounds.

It just couldn't happen that way.

We considered dropping the show entirely. But there was strong support from our members for some kind of Holiday Market. So a survey was circulated, asking, Would you do Holiday Market outdoors, at the Park Blocks? And enough people said "yes" to make it work.

Including me. I'll be out on the Park Blocks, next door to my usual spot (they're using the even-number alternate booth-space map) from November 21 through December 19. We've no way to secure booths overnight, so will only be open on Saturdays, and closing time has been moved up to 3 pm, so we don't have to pack up in the dark. But we'll be here. Rain or shine or--gulp!--snow.

I think I'd better go buy some long-johns.

Special orders

I'm afraid I'm not accepting any more special orders for 2020. My next firing loads tomorrow, and I have no idea whether sales will warrant another one before Christmas. I'm accepting no-fixed-deadline orders for 2021, but that's the best I can do.

Meanwhile, I'm keeping my In Stock list current, and you can preview some of my newer work and work-in-progress at my Instagram. I now have 118 followers there. Follow along to see new pots, works-in-progress, and continued updates from my sketchbook. I'm @off_center_ceramics.

More Adventures in Video

I shot a couple of videos of/for Denise, highlighting her paper making. The first, longer, follows the process of converting plant materials, in this case, yucca leaves, into paper pulp. The second one shows the actual process of pulling paper sheets, pressing them, and drying to make useable paper.

I've also continued to make new process videos: Coffee Mugs, Batter Bowls, Covered Pitchers, and a look at Glazing and Decorating. You can find all of them at my blog under the video tag.

Pattern of the Month:

Dolphinitely

Minnesota folksinger Scott Alarik used to crack up audiences at his concerts in La Crosse with his fresh-water whaling chantey, Farewell, Superior Sperm.

Jokes aside, though, you don't get many cetaceans in the upper Midwest. Aquatic mammals tend toward beaver, mink, and the occasional moose. Not the most charismatic of fauna.

But I grew up watching Flipper.

Flipper, for the younger folks, was a family-friendly drama adventure series of the friendly-animal variety. Think "Lassie," with scuba gear. (Or "Skippy," for any Australians in the audience.) Clean-cut American boy is befriended by an animal at least 10 IQ points smarter than he is. He gets into scrapes. Flipper saves him.

Flipper, of course, being a bottle-nosed dolphin.

I loved that show; I dreamed of having my own dolphin friend, even though I lived in a landlocked state, and had never so much as seen the ocean.

These days, I live in a coastal state. An hour's drive will bring me right to the edge of the Pacific, where, I'm sorry to say, I still don't get to see dolphins. I've seen humpback whales, and sea otters, even an orca (though the last was in a rehab tank at the Oregon Coast Aquarium). But dolphins don't come this far north, I guess.

So I paint them. It's not easy; smooth curves are harder to draw than jaggedy lines and abrupt changes of form, and the proportions are really tricky. For the moment, I have them only on dessert plates. If they're popular enough, I may start putting them on pie plates or serving bowls. We'll see. There's nothing dolphinite just yet.

I made that pun on porpoise.

See other patterns...