Twas the Month Before Christmas...

Clayfolk was a success, their best ever. Our sales were closer to average, but that still means we moved a lot of pots. In the days since, we've emptied and inventoried the van, restocked the gaps. Traded out display hardware suitable for a 10-foot square booth for Market's familiar 8-foot space. Got Denise's sign and stands and paper products box out of their temporary storage in her bathroom.

We set up our Holiday Market booth the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, moved all the pottery boxes indoors from the van. Still to do: Arrange and anchor plate stands to the grid panels. Lay rubber pads across the back of the booth, to soften the effects of standing on concrete all season. Set out all the pots in their proper places, and bring in the paper and book display stands. Fill them, too.

Think about whether, with one more extension cord, we can bring a little light to a dim lower shelf.

Meanwhile, there's a loaded bisque kiln in the studio, and another kiln load waiting. I'm trying to decide if I'll have the time and energy to throw a few last items, cookie jars and pitchers, mostly, before I warm up the studio firing kilns.

The mugs and tumblers I made at Club Mud during my last firing are bisqued and waiting. I'll start glazing on Monday for one last push, a December 6 firing that will provide new work for the last three weekends of Holiday Market.

So there's a lot of creatures stirring around here, and will be right up to Christmas. But at least we're home for the year. We get to nestle, snug, in our own beds.

Funny You Should Ask

I've just updated my Occasionally Asked Questions page, after someone pointed out that I hadn't covered one of my most frequent inquiries.

I suppose these have to be hand-washed?

In fact, no. My dishes are fine in the dishwasher, high-alumina glazes resistant to etching or wear in the hot, soapy environment. In fact, they're probably safer there than in the sink. You can't bang a rim against the faucet in a dishwasher.

Encore Pattern of the Month:

Fox Paws

Because a fox against the snow is such an iconic winter image...

Once upon a time there was a children's story... I heard it on NPR, read by children's literature maven Daniel Pinkwater one Saturday morning. It was called Basho and the Fox, and was about a haiku legend Basho's conversation with a fox who claims to have written the most beautiful poetry in the world. His competitive spirit aroused, the poet produces progressively more elegant works, none of which impress his furry critic. Finally, at the end of the story, Basho produces a poem that is pronounced exceptional by the fox. Why is this haiku superior to all the others? "Because," proclaims our bushy-tailed literateur, "it has a fox in it."

By these admittedly subjective standards, the most beautiful pots in the world include my pie dishes, dinner and dessert plates, soup bowls, stew mugs, painted and tall mugs, covered casseroles, serving bowls, cookie jars, creamers and tall mugs, all of which may be found with a Fox on them.

   Beauty creeps in
   To a crowded Market booth
   On little fox feet.

See other patterns...