This week would have been Clay Fest 2020, our 22nd annual show and sale. We'd begun the planning back in January, even went so far as to print up a bookmark in February, to be ready in time to distribute at April's Ceramic Showcase.

It could have been worse. Showcase had printed posters, postcards, bookmarks, prepared newspaper advertising, paid postage and mailed their cards. They met to choose booths, then pulled the plug a week later. We were only out a couple hundred bucks for bookmarks when we decided, back in April, that this wasn't going to be over by October. And that we should really just commit, not leave our potters waiting for a decision.

At the same time, our treasurer, Robin Russell Sanchez, started looking into alternatives. We couldn't actually get together in person; could we do a virtual pottery show instead?

Enter Clay Fest Online. It's a website featuring a gallery of participating potters, art, videos, and ways to find us. Whether it's in online stores, local sales, or just socially distanced drop-off or pick-up of pottery in person, Clay Fest Online is trying to make it possible for potters and their fans to connect in these trying times. The site has been live for a while now, and isn't limited to just Clay Fest weekend. Robin says we'll keep it up at least until Christmas, possibly beyond.

There's a very good article, with potter interviews and photos, in the Eugene Register-Guard. Check it out!

New work

I've just unloaded a new firing, and have updated the In Stock link here at Sales have been unexpectedly brisk at Saturday Market, some new items are already gone, but I keep the list accurate to within a day or two.

I'll be contacting my galleries in the next few days to see if they want new work for the holiday season. Currently thinking I'll fire again the first or second week of November; keep that date in mind for your Christmas special orders--best to contact me by Halloween at the latest.

Insta Famous

My Instagram feed just hit 100 followers! Follow along to see new pots, works-in-progress, and the latest from my October drawing challenge! 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:

Baldly Speaking

I used to live on the upper Mississippi River, Wisconsin's west coast. I spent a lot of time on the Great River Road, driving the Wisconsin side for work, the Minnesota side visiting friends and family in Winona, and later in the Twin Cities. And I still remember my first bald eagle sighting.

I was driving up to Winona, to visit my sister in college, when a huge black bird flew low over the freeway, followed rapidly by two more, with white heads. It was a juvenile eagle and it's parents, coming up from fishing on the river. Blew my mind.

I later learned they were fairly common around La Crosse; in fact, you could watch them from the back deck of my favorite barbecue joint (which actually had a boat dock for summer take-out). Still never got over my excitement seeing one.

Which is why, when one showed up at Delta Ponds here in Eugene a couple of summers back, I made it a point to bike down there as often as possible, to see how it was doing. It only stayed a few weeks before moving on, but stays on in my memories.

Like in real life, eagles appear only intermittently on my pottery, on tall mugs mostly, the occasional dessert plate.

You gotta watch out for them; just a flash and they're gone.

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