The renovations continue...

We have been busy with the studio renovation, one week in and we are 2/3 complete. My husband says I have should/would/could have syndrome. As we have been working on the renovation I have been saying if only we had done this when we built this house. Hindsight is foresight, but it would have been so much easier to drywall an empty space rather that one is full of so much stuff. I often tell my students and my admin that pottery is the space bully of the art world. However, I am also a collector of many things that I see and think that can be used in the studio, and most of the things are useful. I am loving my bare white walls and while I am excited to arrange some of my small pastel drawings on one of these walls, I am going to wait until the mood arrives. I am not fond of clutter in my home or my art and for now the minimalist white walls are very calming.

Last year I discovered and like most things pottery, fell in love with slip casting. I had spent a busy weekend throwing big bowls on the wheel and chose to ignore the pain in my right shoulder. Back to should/would/could syndrome. When I finally went to the doctor because my shoulder was beyond just sore, I was told that I had bursitis, arthritis, micro tears and bicep tendonitis. I was told that I could not go on the wheel for at least 6 weeks, my shoulder received some shots, phsyio, massage ( daughter #3) and acupuncture. My first thought, other than mumbling about getting old, was what was I going to do for minimum of 6 weeks! I am not a sit and watch TV person, I like to keep busy. Just in time a copy of Clay Craft, a great magazine from the UK, arrived with a section on slip casting and a whole new journey began. I love this process and plan to continue learning this craft, part of the renovation will be culling some of my first moulds in favour on the more skilled ones that I am making now. I would love to take more classes on this process. I was able to take one class with the amazing Kaleb Romano here in Edmonton just before Covid shut everything down. I still need some work on the small details of this process. I have noticed that it seems more popular in the UK and when I look at pottery supply stores in the UK there are way more tools available... part of the collecting of things.

In my working life I am an art and pottery teacher at a high school here in Edmonton. Usually at this time of year I am getting excited to see former students, meet new students and return to the joy of teaching my classes. This year is very different and I am returning to school with many misgivings. We have been told that most classes will be arranged with desks in a row, but as my room has communal circle tables I wonder what my class might look like. Small tables restrict the creation of art and I always strive to create a shared community of artists, rather than students working in isolation. Added to this is concern for not only my own health, but that of my family. I am also trying, so far in vain, to find a mask that I can wear all day. I do not care what the experts say I feel that when I wear a mask that my oxygen intake is reduced. Plus have you every had a hot flash while wearing a mask? You want to take off your hot skin never mind an oxygen reducing mask. I have just ordered one from Amazon that has vents and a head strap, fingers crossed this one works.

I was out doing a favourite activity with my three daughters, visiting greenhouses. One of them had a collection of masks made by Papillon, I do love their clothes, as we stood in line we were all commenting on the masks and which ones we liked. If you had told me a year ago or even six months ago that I would be having a conversation about masks I would have said that would be impossible. So much has changed in a very short time. Hopefully that vaccine is in the near future and we can return to a new normal having learned from the mistakes made during this time. Keep safe and even if like me you despise the mask just wear it.

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Well another Covid year is almost over... will we have another one? Unfortunately, with the new variant it would seem so. Like everyone else I am tired of the restrictions but they are there in order