In Maine we have a word for those who stay in-state for the summer, then head south for the cold weather: snowbirds. Looks like I will have literal snowbird staying with me this summer! I just noticed a tangle of grasses in the eaves of the summer studio yesterday; when I had a chance to look again, there's a full nest, and a robin sitting on it! Not sure if there are eggs yet, and I'm not inclined to disturb her to find out.
How long do robins gestate, anyway, and then how long to fledge? The summer studio is only a few feet away from the kiln, and I'm worried that when I fire the activity, or the heat and roar of the kiln, will frighten her off the nest. Or possibly it won't bother her in the least; after all she did build the nest right during hte pottery tour, when folks were walking in and out of the shed all day long.
Speaking of the tour! It's the last half hour, and I am prepared to say I'm very pleased with our turnout and sales. Our numbers were much closer to my hopes than my fears, despite on-and-off rain on Sunday. Hard work rewarded, always a happy end to a story.
And someday, when all this is over, I will clean my house. But not right now; right now I am watching a robin sit her nest.
UPDATE: I am hearing and reading stories of robins' incredible nest fidelity, including a story of a robin who continued to tend her nest on a joint of a crane which was in use during her gestation, and another on a moving train - the robin went with the train to its various destinations. As long as the nest itself isn't disturbed, the kiln is probably not going to be too disruptive!
Had a really busy morning. Things slowed down quite a bit in the afternoon, and now, at 4:45, I am winding down. If you didn't make it out today, there are still plenty of cookies, pots, and demos to come tomorrow!
Lori Keenan Watts (aka me) is a potter, gardener, and avid reader from Augusta, Maine. Though I started my university education in surface design for fabric, clay quickly grabbed me by the heart and redirected my creative impulses. I have been a potter for over 25 years -- hard to believe. The most valuable years of my ceramic education were spent in graduate study at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, under the tutalage of Dan Anderson and Paul Dresang.
My aesthetic is guided by my love of the material itself. What fascinates me and makes a pot compelling for me is the clay-ness of clay: the squooshiness that becomes the adamantine solidity. I also like patterns, unexpected proportions, and when the flame comes along and dissolves part of my careful decorating efforts! I am obstinate about this aesthetic, to a point which might be called pig-headed, but hey, if you don't like what you make, why bother?
My happy little family also includes my husband, musician and photographer (and author of the book Alewife) Doug Watts; five cats; and a turtle, all foundlings and rescues of one stripe or another.