Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Up on the Roof

A predicted 4 day dry stretch seems like a good time to address the state of my studio roof. 

This is sort of a new experience for me, as my typical approach would be to wait until a thing is a Problem, with a capitol P, before solving it. I could have just plopped a tarp over it, or replaced the torn shingles, to keep the water out, but carpenter ants have gotten into the wood, & while I could have postponed the fix it was not gonna get better by itself. So, dry weather predicted? Time to tackle the roof. 

My only problem is, I don't really know what I am doing. I do find myself in this situation semi-regularly: a job that needs doing, but no money to hire it out, & no skills to do it myself. My usual approach has been to just do it anyway, & figure it out as I go along. How hard can it be? has been my catchphrase for decades, though some things can, in fact, be pretty damn hard! For example I have no idea if I am going about this job correctly. I climbed up on the roof with the circular saw & cut out the punky section; next it's back up the ladder with a tape measure, then off to Lowes to buy some...idk, plywood, I guess?... to fill the gap. 

And maybe there's some kind of product, like caulk, to seal up the joint between the boards? I mean, there's definitely caulk, i know there's caulk, but is there a special kind of...roof caulk? You know, like how there's moisturizer for you face & there's moisturizer for your elbow but they are different? Maybe caulk is like that. 

Or maybe I am overthinking it. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

3 Days in the Studio

 Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow:

Yesterday was mostly teaching classes - not a lot of studio work. I did some minor clean up from the pottery tour,

& sent off some photos & a blurb to promote a workshop I am teaching at Hallowell Clay Works. Oh! That reminds me. Want to take a slip workshop? It's Sunday, May 22nd, from 2 - 5. 

Today has some teaching also! I don't normally teach on Wednesdays but I am subbing a class this morning. This afternoon I'll be sorting, pricing, & packing pots to go to Mainely Gallery, in Belfast. That'll take most of the afternoon, but I might get to end my workday at a reasonable time & read my new book, The Investigator

Tomorrow I am delivering said pots! It is looking like a gorgeous day for a drive; maybe Doug will come with me & poke around the cute little town of Belfast, Maine. Not too long, though; I have to be in Portland to teach by 6 pm. 

Friday & Saturday I have to do a serious house cleaning. I mostly neglected cleaning in the 3 weeks prior to the pottery tour, and it shows! Then my mom & the fam are coming on Sunday for Mother's Day. Busy week! 

Monday, May 2, 2022

Time to say Goodbye

And, unlike the old song says, goodbye does mean forever. Goodbye does mean we'll never be together again! It's time to let go of my old art fair set up. I built it in 1994, and while it served me well for many years it has gotten increasingly rickety (not unlike myself) and I have had to resort to more and more desperate measures to make sure it is stable enough to hold the ware for the duration of an event. Last weekend I nailed parts of it together. There was a moment when I was contemplating duct tape. It's time to let it go.

Here's how it looked, in better days...
 The question is, do I build another one? If so, for what specific uses? If it is to be solely a studio evnt display, that has a different set of parameters than an art fair display, that needs to be fairly lightweight, portable, and quick to set up. 

I used to spend a lot of time thinking about booth displays. Lately I am thinking about whether I want to do art fairs at all, given my own increasingly rickety self. Art fairs are a lot of work! And, honestly, I got spoiled in St. Paul; there were maybe 20 top-shelf art fairs within a day's drive; here there's one. Craft Boston used to be, but for the last at-least 5 years it has been sucking mud; the PMA show is headed that way also. 
Most of the good shows that I used to do, when I lived in St Paul are still running, but driving 2 or 3 days, staying in motels (I'm too old to sleep in a tent on the ground, at least when I am working), eating out - fast food is both nastier & more expensive than home-food - the calculation is different. The absolute most I could hope to make from a good show is probably around $5000 - & that would be a rarity. Subtract the booth fee & the studio time, & the classes I'd have to miss & the travelling expenses...not looking like such a great dice to roll now. 

OTOH, I used to love the art fair lifestyle. Seeing new cities, a group of friends I only saw during that season, trying new restaurants...I didn't even mind the driving. I'd try to find a Spanish-language radio station & listen hard to see if I could understand any of it. 

Anyway. The Maine Pottery Tour is over for another year. My event was successful, about 70 visitors & the same sales as last year - which is good, because last year landed in kind of a unique moment, when for about 5 minutes we thought the pandemic which had been keeping us away from public activities for a year was over. (It's still not, of course, but the pottery tour is mostly an outside event, & even a big turnout isn't densely packed, so I felt ok about doing the tour.) Anyway, maybe we've just finally hit a critical mass of people who know about hte tour, return every year, & help spread the word.

This week is always funny for me, because I've spent the last 4 months thinking about & working on the tour in basically all my "free" (lol) time, and now there's a space where that used to be. I have orders to fill & pots to list online & stores to approach, not to mention classes to teach!  - believe me I have plenty to do - but I am going to take a moment to appreciate the not-urgency of those tasks. 

Sunday, May 1, 2022

The Pottery Tour is in the KJ!

 Featured are my friend Diane Harwood, at her studio in Winthrop, and Nick Skelton, whose studio, The Art Walk, is also located in Winthrop. If you scroll down the article a bit, I am quoted! 

Here's the link.