Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Fire in the Sky

It was the summer of forest fires.  The smoke spread over the whole province.  We experienced it all the way out on the Island. It was such a strange ferry ride over, when Duncan and I headed out to the Shuswap in August:  the smoke turned both the sky and sea to a steely gray. Approaching the ferry terminal, the usual backdrop of mountains was completely invisible.

Approaching the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal
The smoke followed us all the way there.  Driving through Merrit, BC, Duncan noted that the sky looked like something from Star Wars (Tatooine, anyone?).  I was impressed he could take the photo from the inside of the car while we were driving!  The sky seemed  particularly bizarre since it was only 6 or so in the evening... we still had a couple of hours of sun ahead of us.   

Blood red sun in the sky over Meritt

 Things were little different once we reached the lake. Again, the smoke was so thick in the air that you could taste it. You could still see things in front of you, but the view to the other side was transformed.  

smoky day view from the wheel

It was as if the world just dropped away.

The hops vine seen from under the deck.

Just for comparative purposes, check out the photo below to see a similar view on a day without smoke from the forest fires.

the usual view from the pottery wheel
It was also strange being down at the lake, and swimming;   a little bit eerie. 

What you can't quite catch in the photos is the feeling of stillness. There was very little boat traffic on the lake (it would be dangerous), so there was a really strange sense of quiet.

The smoke also made for some truly beautiful (a terrible beauty) sunsets. 
sunset at the lake

What I could't catch in my photos (or videos) was the amazing sparkle of the shades of sparkling pink cast across the water. Gorgeous.

Like I said, Fire in the Sky (and smoke on the water?)  :-)


Saturday, July 15, 2017

At the Wheel in July

Ah, the summer, and the opportunity to spend a bit of time with my hands in the mud!

Janet and Glen bought a new wheel (one that goes two directions, so the left-handed crew can have a positive throwing experience).  

Plus, it means two of us can throw at the same time (or one can throw, the other can turn, and we can continue to talk).  

The person with the newer wheel also gets the view, which is as beautiful as ever.

Of course, there is still the "stigma":   the most fantastical national railway.

It was wonderful sitting under the porch at the wheel...the shade was needed, as it was 36 degrees out there. 


Kiwi found a cool spot in the corner under the drying rack.

Here are the first 6 pots of the year, both thrown, and then turned. 

The first 6 pieces off the wheel

handles attached, underglaze on, carving done

the next three mugs done and ready for the kiln

Into the kiln for the first bisque firing of the season!

Monday, April 24, 2017

My TRC action for the summer? Learn some names....

TRC Calls to Action:  

Call  #14(i) says:
"Aboriginal languages are a fundamental and valued element of Canadian culture and society, and there is an urgency to preserve them."
Why should I wait for the federal government to enact an Aboriginal Languages Act incorporating these principles?

My thought was to figure out how to support this value by starting to learn and use words in the Indigneous language local to where I live.   Here is my goal for this year:  to start learning and using some words in SENĆOŦEN!

So.. I bought a great book by Nancy Turner and Richard Hebda, called Saanich Ethnobotany: Culturally Important Plants of the WSANEC People (Royal BC Museum, 2012).

The title is not 'jazzy', but the content is pretty awesome.

I am going to start with THIMBLEBERRIES, also known as  which were one of the great loves of my childhood in Secwepemc Territory.  (and then I am also going to learn how to say it in Secwepemctsín!)