Half Past

It's half-past summer. I've had two summer shows, two more to come in August.

Roseburg was a challenge. They were predicting hot for Friday, dangerously hot Saturday, and ohgodohgodwe'regonnadie hot for Sunday. Also? My booth backs onto Harvard Avenue, with no shade and a south exposure to my back.

I actually coped fairly well. I remember a very hot Salem Art Fair one year where my neighbor across the way, who didn't have a shade tree like I did, brought a big mylar tarp and encased the back of her booth to keep the sun off. I couldn't find a tarp, but I did manage a camping blanket, silver mylar on one side, 5x7 feet. Clipping it to the outside of my tent, and moving it with the sun, kept me reasonably well-shaded Friday and Saturday. And Saturday evening, the management came around to tell us they were canceling the show Sunday, as packing up in 114-degree heat was just unsafe. As my shows tend to be front-weighted (all my regulars come out Friday to get first pick, and Saturday was almost as busy), I don't think I lost any sales from Sunday. Honestly, I don't think anyone was planning to come outside anyway. I boxed up my pots Saturday evening, then came back Sunday at 7 a.m. to load everything into the van. I was home before noon.

Club Mud's July 10 Summer Sale was much slower than the May Day sale. There were a lot of possible reasons--fewer university students in the neighborhood, no pent-up end-of-winter demand, even just the fact that we didn't have Mother's Day shoppers--but sales were way off. I think I did about a third of my previous, and I was one of the busier potters. Oh well, it was worth a try, and I got out of the second Twilight Market.

My first Twilight experience was... okay. I sold maybe $250, but $50 of that was right after closing, so more a late regular sale. I'd brought down a shop light and inverter, turned it on around 8 pm to brighten up the inside of of the booth a little. It really helped after closing at 9 pm. By the time I finished packing pots and loading the van, it was well past dark, so I was glad to have the light, even resting on the concrete as I folded up the canopy.

Right now, I'm looking ahead to August. The last few ware boards of mugs are awaiting handles in the studio, while bowls dry outside in the sun. On Sunday, I start glazing for my Anacortes/Silverton/special orders firing.

Meanwhile, I have to plan for fall. Corvallis Fall Festival is in late September. Clayfolk has confirmed a show at the Medford Armory the weekend before Thanksgiving. And my Holiday Market sign-up postcard arrived in the mail last week.


100 Percent

Effective July 3, Saturday Market is back at full capacity. I have neighbors once again, they've brought back the music, and it's slowly beginning to feel like home again. As we're no longer on a rotating schedule, I'll be at Market every weekend--barring road shows--for the foreseeable future.

We're heading up to Washington in a few weeks, for the first time in two years. In celebration:

Encore Pattern of the Month:

Crustacean Nation

We did not have crabs in Wisconsin. Crayfish, carp, crappie maybe. Crabs were something on the very festive high end of the menu at the local surf-n-turf. Prom night entrées. Anniversaries.

So you can imagine my surprise to be offered free crab my first winter in Oregon by my friend Marcia. She and Kyle had gone crabbing on the Oregon coast, gotten a license, rented a couple of pots, and in one afternoon wound up catching more than they could eat. Would I like a couple?

To tell the truth, I almost said no. I had no idea what a crab tasted like, but they looked really scary. Fortunately, they were already cooked, and there was no one to watch as I nervously dissected and timidly tasted the bugs.

They were wonderful, of course. Oregon Dungeness crabs are among the biggest and meatiest you can find in the lower 48. Handsome, too, reddish maroon to purple fresh, though of course they turn classic red after cooking.

I started painting them on pottery after my first visit to Anacortes, on the northern Washington coast. You'll find them on tall mugs, pasta bowls, dinner and dessert plates and pie (crab quiche?) plates.

They're my crab pots.

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