Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I'm so glad to have new work finally photographed for the website and the blog.  Lots of photos, thanks to Marian Parkes.  I'll post some of the group shots here and then all will go on the website.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

New Photos Coming

I am finally going to get photos of the newer work for my website.  I have been promising them for weeks.  I really must get a new camera and/or schedule photos as soon as the work comes out of the kiln.  There are so many things to think of for this business. I enjoy the work and the planning, etc. but I am not as organized (surprise!!!) as I should be.  Every task seems to be two or three steps behind all the time.  Being ill hasn't helped, but I can't really blame it on that. 

I'll spare you the recent ER episode.  I am okay now, no thanks to the doctors there.  Physical therapy is working on my legs and I do feel stronger.  Making food decisions every meal, mostly good ones.  Will be working non-stop for my next kiln and for a techniques class with John Britt.

Photos soon!!!!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Status Update

So, this is what's been going on.  For the last few months, I have been feeling very ill.  I try to deny it and push through it, but, there it is.  So I finally went to the doctor.  I was convinced that I had Congestive Heart Failure. So now I've had one sleep study, blood work an MRI.  The upshot it that I am borderline just about everything, except obese, which I am with a vengeance.  So I am now being treated as though I have Diabetes II, even though my numbers do not call for the diagnosis.  I have a blood sugar monitor, and until they do a proper sleep study, I am sleeping with oxygen, if you can call it sleep.  They say I'll get used to it or a C-Pap if I have apnea.  No CHF, but still a candidate for it, as my diastolic blood pressure is high and that is very bad. 

So I've come to a crossroad, a real moment of choice.  On the border, the edge of the sea.  Let's see how well I choose my path.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Okay!!!  So I guess my last post was a "whine".  I was hoping that the blogasphere was a place fore whining, and discussion and points of view.  I submit that whining is a part of my process of dealing with my own inadequacies...I whine, or get angry or panic as a way of releasing frustration and then it passes and clarity is often the result. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sometimes Hard to be an Artist

For many years I walked into offices and onto stages and asked a multitude of people to buy my "wares"  I was an actor.  The art of acting requires not only the talent for it, but the internal fortitude to be rejected, face to face, from pillar to post, throughout one's career.  "Fabulous reading, dahling, but can we do something about your hair?"  "You're absolutely right for the part if you were just thinner/heavier/blonder/shorter.   Can you do that for next week?" It wore me down, finally, and I stopped acting.

 Singing with a band proved much easier on the ego and so I stuck with that for a awhile, then moved to Asheville while the band stayed in Los Angeles.

So now I'm a potter. Love it.  The clay, the glaze, the fire.   Love it!!!! Except...."Oh, what a fabulous Seder Plate.  You know, Harry, we really should get one for Shelley's wedding."   "Sam, look at the roses on the Spice Box...oh, that's so beautiful." 

If you saw Saturday's  blog, this is photo was posted.  When I broke this table down on Sunday, it looked EXACTLY the same except that one of the mezzuzahs on the right was gone.

Now in all fairness, I must say that the Clearance Sale ($12.00 or Less) in my studio did very well, and considering the economy, I shouldn't gripe.  It's just that I don't want to stop being a potter.  Should I just put everything on Clearance when it comes out of the kiln?

Friday, June 11, 2010

River Arts District Stroll

Well, it's time for the summer Stroll.  Odyssey Gallery & Studios has a red door and a District sign this year, and inside, up the stair, make a right and a left and Oy Clay!!! Pottery is the second studio on the right.  This year I have a wall display outside my Studio, a clearance sale inside the Studio and a table on the floor. 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Counting the Omer - Belatedly

There is the mitzvah (commandment) in Judaism to Count the Omer. The period of the Omer starts the second day of Passover and ends 49 days later at Shavuot...the period of deliverance from Egypt until the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. A solemn and reflective period in which we began as slaves and ended as a people of laws and the moral obligation to be the role model for the world. Only on the 33rd day of the Omer (Lag B'Omer) are we allowed to celebrate. Many Jewish couples marry on this date of joy.

There are many reasons given by the Rabbis for the counting of the Omer (which means "sheaves"). And there are many customs that enhance the biblical directions for counting. Kabbalists believe that each day represents a human trait.

The following is a D'var Torah (a word or interpretation of a portion of Torah) of the 8th day of the Omer: Chesed of Gevurah. "Chesed" is defined as "kindness, mercy", but it is an active word.  It means to "create kindness/mercy out of nothing".  Gevurah means "strength", and is also active, as in "support".  This D'var Torah is written by Mark Horn, a Jewish Buddhist Gay Activist, who also dabbles in pottery.

Today is 8 days, making one week and one day of the Omer: Chesed of Gevurah

Consider the potter throwing on the wheel. One hand is on the inside of the form being shaped. The other on the outside. The force on either side must be perfectly balanced. On one side is Gevurah, discipline, giving form and structure to the clay body. On the other side is Chesed, supporting and lifting up the form with a compassionate touch that understands the imperfections and limits of the clay body.

When compassion and love is expressed through structure and form, the results are beautiful. So it is with Chesed of Gevurah. This is not form for the sake of form. It is form infused with meaning. And of course, emptiness.

I remember once hearing one of my meditation teachers, S.N.Goenka, tell of how a potter in India beats the outside of a clay body with flat piece of wood to give it form. And that there is a hand inside to help absorb the shock of the blow so that the beating does not destroy the pot. He laughed and said, when you are supporting it with love, of course you can beat it! Not that he was advocating beating anyone, but he was making the point that expressing discipline without love is destructive. Just as expressing love without discipline is destructive. As my friend Marion once wrote: Do I center the clay, or does the clay center me? For today, this clay body hopes we can all make every day of this counting of the Omer, truly count.