Before the Fall

After several weeks--if not months--of brutally hot weather, abruptly, it's lovely. Daytime highs in the low to mid 70s, overnight lows down below 60. No longer is it necessary to close the windows and pull the drapes after breakfast, hoping all the fans had sucked in enough cool air overnight to last us through the day.

Dare I say it? It feels like fall.

Our last summer art sale is this weekend, up in Silverton. After that, it's the Corvallis Fall Festival, in late September. Clay Fest is not happening in person this year, though Clay Fest online is once again active. So after Corvallis, it's time to start preparing for the holidays.

Oh good lord.

Some Assembly Required

When I first started this website in 2003, it had about six links: Welcome, The Art, The Artists, Occasionally Asked Questions (because I didn't expect enough traffic to qualify for "Frequently"), Find Us and Contact Us.

As I built it out into something like an online catalog, I added Whimsical and Functional, and, eventually, Patterns.

The other stuff just accreted over time. Links to my Flickr page, my blog, my Instagram. An online copy of my MFA thesis. A wedding registry, that's only been used twice. A link to my wife Denise's website, pulpromances.com. Most recently, during the pandemic, I added a link to what's currently in stock, because I wasn't sure when my next firing might happen, and wanted to give people contacting me for orders some sense of what was immediately available.

It's getting a little crowded in here.

It's also not particularly optimized for mobile. The fact is, I still write these updates in html. Archaic, I know. But I don't see any way to rebuild it in a more modern format without losing a whole bunch of content that's important to me.

So we're stuck with this thing, and because I recently had a customer get lost trying to see what I make, I thought I'd write a Brief Guide to offcenter.biz. A tutorial, if you will.

That's it! That's the important stuff; all the rest is just chocolate chips and sprinkles, tasty and fun, but not, strictly speaking, essential.

Lighten up

With the reduction in new COVID cases in Lane County since the mask mandate went into effect, Saturday Market is able to return to 100% capacity beginning September 25. Music will return to the MainStage, though shelter and seating will still be unavailable, and masks and social distancing still are required. As I'll be at the Corvallis Fall Festival this weekend, I'll return to weekly Markets on October 2.

In celebration of fall colors...

Encore Pattern of the Month:

Fox Paws

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...