Signs it's fall at Off Center Ceramics:
After a summer that includes jaunts up into Washington and down south to Roseburg, fall sales are closer to home: Fall Festival in Corvallis, Clay Fest in Eugene. But looming over the horizon in November are my biggest show of the year, Clayfolk (the weekend before Thanksgiving in Medford) and the biggest continuous run of sales, Holiday Market at the Lane County Fairgrounds in Eugene, which we join in progress Thanksgiving weekend and continue right to Christmas Eve.
I've just unloaded a kiln to stock the first two sales; I'll need at least two more 50 cubic-foot firings to get me to Christmas. I just had a ton of clay dropped on my driveway last week. It's time to start making that into pottery.
Last sign of fall at Off Center Ceramics:
When we go to recruit bears for Saturday Market, they're all hiding under the quilt at the end of the bed...
I participate in three pottery-only, member-run art shows a year: Ceramic Showcase, in Portland every April; Clay Fest, the second week of October in Eugene; and Clayfolk, the weekend before Thanksgiving down in Medford. (The fourth such show, Wildfire, in Bend, is just too close to 'Fest and 'folk for me to participate.)
As it happens, I'm Graphics/Poster/Advertising chair for all three of them. Here's my work for the two coming up.
I think it's been two or three years now that I've been making tumblers: straight-sided drinking glasses, like a tall mug without the handle. (In fact, that's why I started making them. People kept picking up the tall mugs, then saying (disappointed), Oh, they have a handle.
I've never been that fond of the shape, myself; they seem a little too wide for my hand. So I experimented until I came up with a no-handle drinking vessel that I liked. And here it is.
It's kinda like a draft beer/pilsner glass, or a slender version of the classic Coke glass. It holds about 12 ounces, has many of the same patterns and sells for the same price as the tumblers, $23. So far, they seem equally popular, so there are no plans to discontinue one in favor of the other.
It was an unexpected sight.
I was on the back deck at Denise's aunt's lake house, on Little Lake Butte des Morts in Wisconsin. I'm used to seeing gulls overhead, thousands of miles from the ocean--the Great Lakes aren't so far off, after all. This bird seemed much bigger, though, white with black flight feathers. Snow goose? Neck seemed wrong, the beak... no, it couldn't be, could it?
It was, in fact, a pelican. I saw a much bigger flock of them close up in the rapids of the Wisconsin River in downtown Neenah. I've since spotted them in the prairie potholes (seasonal wetlands in the Great Plains) of North Dakota, and scattered across bits of Eastern Washington. White pelicans are much more than a shore bird. In fact, the only place I've yet to see them is on the Oregon Coast.
I started painting them this summer, on dessert plates and tall mugs; we'll have to see how they do before I try them on other pots. But if I wanted to try a new, dramatic bird pattern on my pottery...
They fill the bill.