Wednesday, April 13, 2011

sometimes you need to put a bird on it.

Okay. I am just going to go ahead and pretend it's spring.  So what if it the temperature is still barely above zero and there are multiple feet of snow on the ground that haven't yet begun to melt.  The sun is shining, the days are LONG, and my little garden starts are starting to grow, so yeah, spring.

One of the coolest things about spring on the Seward Peninsula is the return of all the migratory birds  (Which hasn't quite happened yet). It is so amazing when it does happen though... to see, and hear, flocks of thousands of Sandhill cranes flying overhead is so welcome after the long winter its like Christmas, and Easter and the last day of school all rolled into one.  When I was teaching the kids would hear them flying over the school (they make a really distinctive call) and they would all rush to the windows, noses pressed up against the glass because it really is the difinitive sign of spring. I would usually take a 10 minute break and let my class go out and watch them. Place-based education right?  Not only are there cranes, there are swans, a plethora of duck and eider species and countless other shore birds.  Wanna know what the cutest chicks are?  Shorebird chicks.  They look like puffballs on stilts.  See:
Cute, huh?  Thanks Susan Stevenson, for the great image on google searches.  Your photos are amazing...and your blog looks pretty cool too.  Hopefully its okay that I am borrowing this photo for illustrative purposes.

Since I have been hoping, waiting, and wishing to see some birds but haven't, I have been making my own spring happen in the pottery studio--part of which involves birds.  Here is some of the stuff I have been dreaming up lately:
The "Bluebird of Happiness" Sugar bowl

Sunshine & Roses Platter
(if you look close, you can see that some dark glaze from another pot spattered onto this one in the kiln. Arg!  I hate that--but I guess it cant all be sunshine and roses, right?)

Some Sourdough crocks...  still in the green, not yet glazed, or named, but I am liking them so far!

And... no birds on this one, but a nice springy texture and form.  It is a cake-stand, I guess (thanks Erin F. for asking me about them and inspiring me to make one! My pottery students are so rad!)

The design on top is made by rolling a doily into the clay and then adding slip-trailed dots for flair.  I am really liking the whole adding fabric textures to clay forms concept right now--fun stuff.  Hope your week is going well, and that you are enjoying spring (or at least the idea of it) wherever you are.


  1. Can I put my order in for a cake stand now? I think I need one of those ; )

  2. And some of those sunshine plates in grass green maybe? Ok, now I'm just being greedy, but keep it in mind in case your ever just really bored and thinking, "hey, maybe I should make Ana, the best sister in the whole world, some new dishes!"

    Ok, now I'm the worst ; )

  3. the idea of rolling the doily is soooo cool! cute baby bird for sure :)

  4. Lol Ana! I totally thought of you and your fancy cakes when I made that cake stand. Maybe it will be yours after all. Then again, I don't know. What if it winds up at the thrift store and our mom finds it and cries?!

  5. WOW!! I cannot believe how awesome that cake stand (and everything else) is!! I would bake a cake just to use that stand. Wow.

  6. I am the worst...I don't think the cake stand would wind up at the thrift store, but just in case maybe you can wait to give it to me till I'm living in Hawaii so it doesn't get lost in the move ; )

  7. I will shop thrift stores in Hawaii when we come to visit---just so you know. Tara I love the little birds, and the cake plate. delight upon delight!