Unrestrained Summer Fun

It's turning into a quiet summer. I kinda like that.

UVA Summer Arts Festival was an extremely successful show, up over $800 from my previous high there. Saturday and Sunday were hot--no surprise, for Roseburg--but I came prepared: Neck cooler, sun shade for the back of the booth, a contractor's cooler full of ice water. It wasn't pleasant, but only in the 90s, rather than over 100° like last year. Some of my neighbors bailed out early on Sunday, but I held out until closing at 4 pm, at which point I had a little shade again for packing up.

We'd planned on flying back to Wisconsin for my class reunion last weekend, but in the end, decided not. Denise's knee is still in recovery, my sales so far meant I had a lot of stock to replace, and, frankly, flying still feels a little unsafe, virally speaking.

So I have an extra week in the studio, which is nice. No Art & the Vineyard on the Fourth of July weekend, which is sad for the Art Center--it's their major fundraiser--but is one less event to worry about load-in, staffing, and load-out.

Meanwhile, Market continues apace, even before the madness of the World Athletic Championships. I've had once-a-year visits from Bach Festival singers, NCAA track coaches and fans, even parents of graduates who stop in whenever they're in town. We've had visits from a whole mucosa of Slug Queens, fairies and fairy-hunters (handing out flyers for Faerieworlds), and just last weekend, Sluggo, mascot for Eugene's minor-league baseball team, the Emeralds. I of course took the opportunity to introduce my bear-du-jour, Yuri.

This weekend is Oregon Country Fair, which will mean an influx of tie-dye and an absence of some of our usual vendors. It's never really been my scene, so I'll be in my usual space downtown.

Sales continue up, letting me be a lot more relaxed about dropping three-quarters of my road shows. In fact the only one left this summer is the Anacortes Arts Festival, in August.

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:

Octopational Hazard

Because they're always so popular up on the Washington coast.

I have too many pots in my booth. Too many choices. Too many patterns. It's an occupational hazard; I just can't pass up a good idea.

Some of my best ideas aren't mine at all. I don't mean I stole them. Rather, someone came into my booth and said, "Could you make me a pot with a (blank) on it?" And since I'm a sucker for a challenge, and love to draw, more often than not I'll say "Sure, that sounds fun!"

That's how I got goat plates. Horse toddler bowls. Giraffe mugs, penguin pies, tiger cookie jars, they all started as special orders. So when an Oregon State marine biology graduate student asked me to do a set of soup bowls in an octopus pattern, well, I dove right in.

I love octopi. They're curious, intelligent, and amazingly flexible--they can squeeze through tiny openings, limited only by the size of their hard beak. And they seem to have a catlike sense of mischief. I remember hearing of a Pacific octopus at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport that liked to play hide and seek. She'd regularly escape overnight from her enclosure, and lay in wait for her keepers to arrive the next morning.

So how could I resist? And true to form, the little squigglers escaped from Liz's bowls, and are now showing up on tall mugs, serving bowls, dinner plates and--you guessed it--octopie dishes.

See other patterns...