Thursday, June 26, 2008


So, anyway, things move along. Not so much with Jon as they are no longer doing much of anything with Jon. Why bother working on a man with no thoughts? Well, suppose the man is thinking like a good thing but just can't get his body to move. Of course they test him. They walk in and say "Well, William, can you move your arms for me? NO? Can you tell me the date? NO? He must be brain dead." and they walk out. So nothing much going on with Jon. If I could be there every freaking day and I did all the work, I am quite confident that we'd have Jon controlling a computer and letting us know what he wants out of what's left of his life. Suppose he wants to read War and Peace? Somebody has to help him. The problem with this plan is it requires me to have a healthy intact body, and I don't. Point of fact the back is getting worse, rather a lot. Now just climbing into the car starts the pain in my legs, much less driving for two hours. So after they burn my sciatic nerves in half I should be able to go down and see him, but with gas at $4.19 I won't be able to afford to do this very often. Sometimes life sucks.

On the home front, though, things are looking up. I have a gallery going to show my sculptures for two months in August and September. I get to design the show, all my ideas and set up, which is nicer than some galleries where they do the work of set up and you have to hope they know how your stuff looks best. Clearly the Dance Museum did not know how to show sculpture. They put my work down too low, with poor lighting and then broke a finger off Dancer because they had it in the wrong location! Crap. But then I have a mask image in an online gallery about pain and art, two subjects I know a lot about. Anyway with multiple sculptures and vessels, masks etc on display during track season and Skidmore College starting up I expect some notice.

Then we have the kiln... A Skutt 1027, fully computer controlled is sitting in the garage waiting for a spot in the basement. We bought it online and it is pristine! Should be great for oxidation firing. (electric as opposed to gas or wood) and that means the colors will be true from the mason stains. Reduction firing in a wood or gas kiln turns mason stains dark, not pretty. Plus the iron in the oxide stain turns black rather than red. This will make firing tiles exceptionally easy. Larger sculptures can be fired by taking the kiln apart, which is easy enough. Place the piece on the base and then assemble the kiln around it. No lowering it into a narrow kiln opening risking breaking off parts. So with the electric working and the gas burners getting mounted on the frame of the noborigama kiln I should be able to fire anything I need. Means my work will be ready to show at a moment's notice.

The garden is looking very nice even after the attacks of the killer woodchuck. So far I have caught a chipmunk and a skunk in my traps but the woodchuck still gets in and is nibbling the leaves of the Brussels sprouts. I put the big trap out last night but so far nothing. The skunk was quite pretty by the way. It's back was almost solid white with a narrow white stripe down it's nose. So far we have growing in the garden: Brussels sprouts, pole beans, sunflowers, yellow pear tomatoes, Brandywine tomatoes, Oxheart tomatoes, Genovese tomatoes, Rutgers tomatoes, Fourth of July tomatoes, red potatoes, snow peas, bush peas, lima beans, Anaheim peppers, spinach, romaine lettuce, purple basil, green basil, amaranth, asparagus, onions, leeks, blueberries, raspberries, black caps, black berries, rhubarb, hops, feverfew, coneflower, irises, squashes etc etc. I won't try to detail the flowers in the various beds in the yard because there must be over a hundred types. We're very happy with the tiller for keeping the walkways cleared of tall weeds. I let plantain and gill grow here and there because they are low and you can't kill them anyway. Plus the plantain is good for lung disorders.

It's raining, dreary and cool. I have four altars designed for the show in August and I need to build about 6 pedestals maybe 24" square and 3' high. I don't think I'm going to try the Jon series of masks because it would distract from the altars, besides the gallery owner likes the idea of altars, being pagan herself. I have a neolithic altar, bronze age altar, late bronze age and shamanic altars. They all look good and if I could get the light right they'd be great, but that requires a larger room and dim lights.

Anyway I can't sit much longer so I will stop and get back to setting up the small hen house for the new chicks and going through my sculptures looking for appropriate work to display. I'll upload a picture when I get a good one.

Monday, June 23, 2008

new browser and cat screams

I'm trying out Flock to see if my web experience can be enhanced. Hmmmm. Well there is a fox living in a hollow log down the slope. She seems to have only one baby and that one likes to sneak out into the sun while mom is eating sunflower seeds under the bird feeder. Mom notices and barks at him and then she splits to the front yard and he dives back into the brush. It's happened a couple of times and would be charming except we have 12 Rhode Island Red chicks in a brooder in the garage. Sooner or later they'll have enough feathers to get their own yard and then the foxes become more problematic. Like tonight, when the cat screamed bloody murder outside in the dark. We can't find her right now and it might be the cat next door fighting our cat or it could be the fox, or the big raccoon. Might be a coyote. One never knows. Well, maybe before bedtime she'll show up. Gee I hope so. I just got back into loving a cat after losing three in one summer. I didn't want to, but she's so sweet and lovable. And maybe dead. That would not be fun. Okay, I'll let you know.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Merv Griffin

The last time Jess was up she brought a friend, a kid named Ritchie. Nice kid, very quiet and so forth. Anyway I brought him up to the studio to see some more of my work. We walked about while I explained things,
"This is a portrait of my second wife, The Witch of the East. This is another Persephone..." until we came to one of my latest pieces, the Griffin. I've been adding color to it and looking at it, getting it right.
"His name is Mervin." I said.
"Merv Griffin. Huh." The kid responded. I've shown this to a few folk and he was the only one to "get it" and when you think that Merv Griffin is not a household name anymore... I think. Anyway I was impressed. So he's complete now, I think. He's got a name. Meet Merv Griffin.