Yearly Archives: 2014

Summer Work

This season is winding down for us, I can hardly believe that was summer, it went so fast it seems.  In the spring I had several building projects
8_20_newstepsI had to replace the steps to the gallery after 20 years, and then we re-did the garden just to the right of them, by taking out all the day lilies that were there.  Laid in some new gravel and just spiffed the front up a little.  The other project was putting knotty pine into our breezeway that connects the office and house.  The breezeway was once part of our first gallery space.  The idea here was to put on a retrospective show of our work over the last 30 years.  But with Mom’s passing there was no time or desire to put the show together then and now I think we will have a small opening in the gallery this autumn and show some of our earlier work.
Raku Pottery by Sue Burdick Young, Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay NYSue fired lots of new raku pieces this year.
Stoneware pottery by Sue Burdick Young, Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay NYOne of Sue’s more popular designs this year has been the leaf design.  I love the leave handles on the side and on the lid.  Sue also did five dinnerware sets over the winter and spring.  One was for 60 pieces in the leaf design but in blue and it look fabulous when it was done.
Stoneware pottery by Sue Burdick Young, Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay NYSue experimented with lots of new techniques this year, one was applying different colored slips and then carving into the bowl, like this one.
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This is the silk display in the gallery.  Back in the spring I took on painting on silk and really enjoyed the process, I created about 50 scarves for the gallery, and they have been selling very well.

Sue has been very busy with making pottery, special orders and wholesale orders.  I have more time on my hands these days and I am making plans to get very busy creatively over the next couple of months.  First I still have some building projects to tackle before the winter settles in.  When you live in the north country you have think several months in front of yourself if you want to be warm and comfy come the new season.

Mildred Mary Young

My Mom passed quietly in her home at 2pm today.
mom and grandchildren jun21_2014(back row) – Austin (18months), Kristen, CJ, Marie, Molly, (sitting) Mom, Lori, Emily and Sarah

This photo was taken just one week before on June 21st.  Marie, Lori and Kristen had scheduled a visit on this date back in the winter.  I was planning on having a bar-b-q on Mom’s deck, I realized that would be a very big and tiring thing for her, but at the time I felt she was up to it.  As the following months proceeded Mom got weaker and weaker, something had changed in her, she was tired of living like this.  On oxygen most of the time and going to the bathroom was so very tiring for her.

Both Emily and Corrine also happened to be here and living either at home or in the area and so we were able to get this incredible photo of all the grandchildren and three great grandchildren with Mom.

After this photo was taken and everyone left, I tried to get Mom to eat a scrambled egg.  She hardly had eaten the day before, but again she couldn’t eat, she couldn’t swallow she told me.  When she seemed in a bad state I would sleep over, as it was on this day.  I would sleep in the upstairs bedroom with the door open, and on this night I heard Mom crying and asking for help.  I had set up the portable potty next to the couch where she had been sleeping.  Although it was only a drop, the bleach in the potty irritated her and also sitting on the potty seat hurt her bones.  She was down to 85 pounds and literally just skin and bones.

I got her back on the couch and she started retching, although nothing was coming up, we held each other for the rest of the night and drifted in and out of sleep together.  I was asking for my Father to come and get her, and talking to her about ancestors and how they were ready for her.  The next morning she couldn’t swallow and she couldn’t take her pain medication, so she was in agony and pleaded to go to the hospital.

The plan was always to pass at home but she needed some expert help and so we got the ambulance to take her in and in the hospital we found out that hospice would take her on as a patient.  Her regular doctor had just retired and so we had to find a new doctor that would clear the Medicare hurdle to get her registered with hospice.

Mom spent three days in the hospital, getting fluids and eating a little food, but sleeping most of the time and finding out that she had kidney failure and more than likely was in her last days.  Hospice came to her home with a hospital bed and everything she needed, including pain relief drops so that she could rest comfortably.

When we first brought her home on a Wednesday afternoon, we set her up in her room and she could look out two windows from her bed and see the forest that she loved living in.  She immediately saw Corrine but called her Emily and then realized it was Corrine, she then asked for Emily and we immediately called her up and she was there within minutes.  Mom asked for Corrine and Sue and then she called for me, her Little Boy, she never called me that.  But she told us each that she loved us.

Then she closed her eyes and rested, I don’t believe she opened them again.  She was cognizant and could hear us, so that day and on Thursday when she was awake we were able to talk to her, read her favorite poets and just let her know that we were there for her.  She was not eating or drinking, but we were able to put drops of water into her mouth.  At one point I asked her if she would like a little coffee and she smiled, so I brewed her and she managed to take three eye droppers worth and then the very last food she had was a little piece of chocolate.

She closed off Thursday night and went to some place to wait it out while her body slowly shut down.  She was just a month from her 97th birthday, and now she didn’t show any signs of being cognizant of her surroundings.  Hospice had outlined the dying process for us and what to expect, so it was comforting and a relief to know what was going on, she was dying from old age.

Whether she knew we were there or not it didn’t matter, because we continued to talk to her about all things.  I talked about some of the hikes we took and how she helped my children grow up and thanked her for introducing me to the Adirondacks and eventually my wife Sue.

Not much change on Saturday morning, I was talking to her about our ancestors, because that was a big interest of hers and then about 1:45 pm I was totally exhausted and I told Corrine that I needed to go home and rest for a bit in my own bed.  I was just getting into bed when the phone rang, Mom had passed.  Sue, Emily and I got back to the house about 2:10 and was able to be with her for the next two hours till the funeral home came and took her body.

Mom and I talked about death many times over the last years, mostly in the last couple as she continued to loose her precious energy and abilities that a healthy person quite often takes for granted.  But it was a time to question her about family life and all her memories.   To compare her life to mine and my children’s and to see and understand the importance of continuance.  To understand how we are here today on the back of the history of all of our ancestors, they cleared the land for us, they labored and educated themselves for us, quite often the following generations will reap the good fortune and hard labor of those who came before.

Mom went to Catholic School as a child, grew up Christian.  I remember when her Mother Anna lived with us and I would go to Catholic Mass with her. I was confirmed into the  Episcopalian Church and we also once belonged to a Protestant church.   But I found Mom more and more questioning religion as I was.  She was so interested in science and subscribed to several science magazines as well as devouring the Great Courses classes.  Here was a woman who’s father she never knew because of WWI, lived through the depression, got married just before WWII and started having a family at the age of 30.  Saw the cold war and threat of atomic weapons, saw her son drafted into the army and sent to Vietnam.  Her husband died just before he retired and she moved to the woods.

Mom was very progressive in her thought in her nineties, I often wondered if it had to do with just the experience of being old.  As she approached 97 I kept thinking of how few people in the world are that old and what a rare occurrence that my Mom is one and that I get to take care of her and talk with her.

It was a family moment that I will cherish forever and learn from forever.  It was love and family responsibility that drove me to take on the responsibility of my Mother in her old age.  It began 15 years ago after a car accident, but that only lasted about 6 months and then she was fine on her own again.  But then the last four years after a bout of pneumonia and a mild heart attack she began a long process of getting weaker and weaker.

Wow, what a woman to have accomplished what she did, and provide so much guidance and love for so many members of her family and community.

moms_urn

Sue made this urn for Mom’s ashes

Below is the obituary I wrote for Mom………

Mildred Mary (Schwimn) Young, 96, of Jay N.Y. Born in New York City August 7, 1917, has died peacefully in her home with her family by her side on June 28 2014. Daughter of Anna Duffy and Emil Schwimn, Mildred was pre-deceased by her Husband Warren Arthur Young who died in 1977, and her sister, Eunice McGarvey of Saratoga N.Y.

Mildred is survived by son, Terrance D. of Jay N.Y.; and 5 Grandchildren, Marie Young, Lori Vincent, Kristen Esones, Corrine Young and Emily Young; three great-grandchildren, Molly, Sarah and Austin and many nieces and nephews.

Born at the beginning of WWI in Manhattan , N.Y. , she was raised in Brooklyn , N.Y. Married Warren A. Young in 1941 just before WWII broke out. Warren joined the Air Force and Mildred worked for Sperry Gyroscope, finding out after the war she had been working on the Norden Bomb Site System which greatly helped the war effort.

Mildred also did much volunteering in local hospitals were she lived after the war and then moved to Queens County, N.Y. , to raise a family.  After her son was older she worked for and became a buyer for Sporting Goods at the May’s Department Stores.

Mildred had a quest for knowledge that included her learning several languages, Latin, German and Russian. In later years she delved into Scientific Magazines and Mental Mathematical challenges. Always wanting to learn she had a large selection of Great Courses books with subjects as diverse as History of Jazz to the History of Languages.

Mildred was a private pilot, flying out of Zahns airport on Long Island , she was a member of the all woman’s flying organization, the ’99’s, and competed in one of their Powder Puff Derbies. Mildred also enjoyed learning aerobatic flying and flew mostly over Long Island and her beloved Jones Beach where she spent much time swimming in the ocean, teaching her boy to swim and fishing with her husband either in the bays or for Stripers in the Atlantic surf.

Mildred was a member of the Long Island Art league and under the direction of Ruby Roth had one of her paintings selected for a tour of Japan .

Mildred moved to the Adirondacks in 1979 and worked at the Olympic Village during the Lake Placid Games. She enjoyed hiking, quilting, painting and taking care of her grandchildren. Mildred became a Literacy Volunteer as well as the first secretary for the Jay Entertainment and Music Society.

Mildred’s quick wit and positive outlook on life will always be remembered and will continue to be an inspiration to her family. She was a wonderful supportive mother and nurturing grandmother who’s grandchildren learned many skills and life lessons at ” Grandma School “

Fresh Pottery for May and a play

This past month has been very busy.  The Adirondacks have had a cold spring and thaw, so we haven’t been able to do much outside work until now.  We are replacing the steps to the gallery among some other projects and hoping to have much of it done by Memorial Weekend.
5_15_14_2Sue has been teaching an 8 session class of pottery at the local library and in her studio.  The library got a grant from the AARP so everyone is over 50.  It is going very well and everyone is learning some wonderful hand building techniques that Sue uses to create all the wonderful pottery she makes.  Teachers will tell you it’s mostly the prep time to get ready for a class and it’s no different with this.  Sue made enough tools for 12 and she has 11 students.  So there’s all the clay to get ready and transport all the finished projects back to the studio and cycle it all through the kilns.  There’s one session left and it has been going very well.
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This is part of dinnerware set drying.  Sue has worked on four sets this winter and still has one more to go.

In addition to teaching, fulfilling orders and creating new work Sue had work in a Alumni show at SUNY Potsdam.  They are showcasing a week of the arts and a new art building on campus.
5_15_14_4Sue’s stoneware tea set that looks like rocks was on the poster advertising the event.
Adirondack Painting by Terrance D Young, Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay NYIt’s been hard to work in my studio lately, but this was my last painting, (12″x24″).  Taking care of my Mom takes my mornings, but it’s an important part of her day, it’s when her heart is working the hardest, getting ready for the day…..so I take care of breakfast and get her ready to go everyday.  She doesn’t go far because she’s in a wheelchair with oxygen, but she has two wonderful decks she can enjoy, she has nothing but woods and peace and quiet around her.
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And then I’ve taken on another play with Scott Renderer.  “Why Torture is Wrong, and The People Who Love It” by Christopher Durang.   Here is a photo on our small round stage with Susy Doolittle on the left, Bob Andrews and Annie Scavo.  Annie plays my wife, Bob is a mysterious voice and also plays a character called Loony Toons and then Susy plays my helper in the “Shadow Government”.  The cast is filled out by Scott who plays a Porno Minister, Olivia who is my daughter and Dylan who marries my daughter.

It’s a rip roaring comedy and I am enjoying it immensely.  The other thing I spend much time with is my piano.  I now have memorized, Misty, Georgia, Stardust, Tracks of My Tears, Skyfall, Bell Bottom Blues and Summertime.  I love just being able to sit down and play and relax to a rhythm.

I’ve also been dismantling my web design business.  I didn’t want to upgrade because I’ve decided to get unwired.  I’m one of the lucky ones, for I remember what it was like before a digital world came.  I use to get lost in music and art and poetry and that’s what I want back.  My mother was telling me today that she had the last two Jeopardy answers and that none of the contestants had them, both of them had to do with poetry.  As a child she use to memorize poetry, I do it as a hobby when I’m not learning lines for a play.

Fresh Pottery

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This pottery hasn’t been fired yet, it is drying in the raw clay stage.  Sue is perfecting new techniques, new images and new colored clays……..can’t wait to see it fully fired.
4_9_pottery_2The snows are melting, the sun is shining and Sue sits at her wheel and is making casseroles today.

Fresh Kiln

Sue’s kiln loads these days seem to be mostly orders.  She has work for Adirondack Life, a local Rustic Furniture Store, the Local Public TV Station, plus three large dinnerware sets, and there’s more.
3_31_14_kiln2Sue has been making the award for the Adirondack Life Photography Contest for a number of years.  Quite often recipients will contact her to let her know how much they like the bowl.
3_31_14_kiln1Here are a couple of horse handled casseroles.
3_31_14_kiln3The yellow lilly pendants are new.  Sue used a yellow clay.  But I’m excited about these mugs.  I love the design, I think they will be a very big hit this summer.
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A robin eating a worn out apple.  This robin came back too early, we have lots of snow around still, but our apple tree see’s lots of activity from this robin who noshed for several hours, and also crows and deer.

We canned lots of apple sauce and froze a bunch of apple pies and we could use all the apples we received from our tree this year.  Some were way too high to get to and we just left them on the tree.  So this tree has been like a market for the animals all winter long.  We just lost the very last apple….and the forecast finally has some days in the 40’s coming and I’m sure patches of grass will soon open up.

This photo was also selected by WPTX ULocal web site as their featured photo of the day.  I wonder if I’ll get a nice pottery bowl as a reward?

New Paintings

With this entry I have equaled all of last years entries…

I’m really working on managing my time better, because of being the caregiver for my Mom.  It’s taken some time to handle the emotional aspects, but I’m finding that if I take the time for my creativity, it’s better for both of us.  So the first part of the winter I worked on silk painting, and I still want to do some more of that, but I’ve been oil painting for most of this month.
Adirondack Paintings, by Terrance D Young, Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay NYLooking from Jay Mountain, 16×24
Adirondack Paintings, by Terrance D Young, Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay NYWhiteface from Jay Mountain.  I once did a painting similar to this, this one is from another angle. 18×36
Adirondack Paintings, by Terrance D Young, Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay NYMarcy Dam springtime 18×36.  I always wanted to do a Marcy Dam painting and now I have.

Spring? Pottery orders, R&D and another play

This has been a long winter, Burlington Vt broke a record for most below zero days, out heating bill bares that out……it’s snowing today and looks like it will next week too……Ah….the north country.

Sue has been very busy completing orders, and experimenting with new techniques.  She has three dinnerware orders this winter.
3_22_14_dinnerwareHere is a partial order, ten of each.  It takes some time to get all the plates through the kilns, because they take up a lot of shelf space, you can’t stack in the kiln or they will fuse to one another….
Ceramic Pendants by Sue Young, Young's Studio & Gallery Jay New YorkThen there are new pendant ideas……all flowers, some are a mix of colored clay and glaze.
Stoneware Pottery by Sue Burdick Young, Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay NY

This is a vase I scooped right up as it came out of the kiln, because I have “Partners Rights to One Piece from Every Single Kiln”.  Most times I don’t use my “Rights”, because we need to actually sell the work, but this piece Sue created from a slab of clay as opposed to throwing on the wheel and then she attached her colored paper creations that are baked into the pot.  The pot feels and looks like it was just dug out of some ancient temple……that’s why I like it and keep it on my desk.
3_22_14_paperbeads1Sue has taken over the kitchen table with a new project.  I got her a book about creating paper beads.  I received an email from a woman named Akua Lezli Hope, she was searching the internet and came across our site and just wanted to touch base with us.  I went in turn to her site and discovered that not only is she an accomplished poet but she works in glass, paper and other crafts.  On her site.  Art Farm  she shows beads she’s made from handmade paper and then mentions the book where some of her ideas came from.  Perfect for Sue I thought and so I order her the book.
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Boom….Sue went right to work, we’re eating in the living room for awhile.   But that’s ok, the beads are very cool and I can’t wait to see what she will do with them………Thank you Akua!

As for me…..I play a lot of piano, I have five songs memorized, “Misty”, “Georgia”, “Tracks of My Tears”, “Stardust” and “Skyfall”.  I play each one at least once a day and have so much fun doing it.  I’ve been playing much more than these, but these are the one’s I can play without the music in front of me.  Next I believe will be “Landslide” from Fleetwood Mac.

I’m caring for Mom which is an important part of my day, I’ve been painting, I’ll have to take some photos and now I’ve taken on a new play.  I’ll be performing in “Why Torture is Wrong, and The People Who Love It” by Christopher Durang.  I’m playing Leonard the father.  We’ve only been talking through the work, next week we’ll begin to memorize, run lines and block it out.  Scott has some wonderful ideas for the set.  The production will be in late July and early August at the Recovery Lounge in Upper Jay.

Musical Instruments, orders, silks

Udu by Sue Burdick Young, Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New York

Sue has been invited to have a show in a new gallery at SUNY Potsdam.  She will be showing the musical instruments that she has been working on over the years.  More about that to come.

This is an udu that is ready for a pitfire.  It has been burnished with terra sigillata, which is a watered down clay, called a slip, very muddy, very refined and applied with a brush and then burnished by hand.

Sue has many orders this time of year to fulfill…..clients getting ready for the summer season, here are a load of mugs going out.  Every kiln has orders in it these days.

Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New York

Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New York

Here are some shibori silk scarves ready for the steamer that I have been working on.  Our gallery will have many new silk scarf designs and also many of the old favorites available for this summer.

From the beginning

We’ve been in business 30 years this year.  It could have been last year, but that was our 30th wedding anniversary and I don’t think we merged our two businesses into one that first year.  So we’re saying this is our 30th year.

I got to thinking about it because I was cleaning up my studio, I’m moving from silk painting to oil painting now…..and I found this photo that fell out of somewhere….
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New York
It’s me at a craft show in 1983 or 84.  I have corner spot so that is good.  I see my first etchings, Sue’s early pottery and my 35 years old self.  We did as many craft shows during the summer months as possible and then on autumn weekends and at Holiday time there were a couple.  It was a great way to get the word out about our work and begin to create customers and friends that are still with us 30 years later.

But our goal was always to have a gallery on the road.
handworkSo we got our very first loan for $500 from the Bank of Lake Placid and built our little gallery, 10′ x 12′ and called ourselves Handwork Studio & Gallery.  There was no failed restaurant across the street from us yet, and Sue’s brothers’ business next store was still going strong at that time.  Route 86 looked more like a sleepy country road than it does now.  We were only open three days a week.
2_23_1985_handworksignOur friend Smurtha who was a sign painter at the time then created a nicer sign for us.  We kept this name until a craft store opened up in Wilmington about 6 miles down the road and they called themselves, Handiwork.  Can you imagine!  They bought and re-sold local crafts, while we actually made the work, but it was a good thing for us.  Customers told us that we should have our names outside because that is what they are looking for when they come down the road for the first time.  So we became Young’s Studio & Gallery.  In 1995 we opened the larger gallery that we have now.

Business, Sue’s new work, silk

It’s Presidents Weekend and business is slow.  Probably from the weather keeping people from reaching their second homes or vacationing up this way.  January was a very good month, but not from sales in the gallery.  We’ve diversified our income, because business off the road is so far off from what it was 10 years ago. (and the funny thing is……the road is the same distance from the gallery as it was ten years ago)  It was our goal once to have 90% of our income coming from the gallery and we reached that, never thinking the economy was going to tank.  So we now have income coming from wholesale, other galleries, shows, special orders and web hosting.

Sue was interviewed for the Lake Placid News this morning, just a local piece, but it will produce some free advertising.  Sue is also going to be in an Alumni Show at the new Art Gallery at SUNY Potsdam.  She will be displaying her rock teapots among some other work of hers.
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New YorkThese teapots are hand made from lumps of clay, she has a white and beige stoneware wedged together.  By continually pinching the clay until she can close it into a complete form.  Sue made five of these teapots with accompanying stoneware rocks for display purposes.
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New YorkSue created a color palette of clay for herself this winter.  These are over 200 test tiles that she’ll use as a reference when she begins to work in colored clay very shortly.
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New YorkLast year broke the mug record for amount of mugs Sue made.  She is getting a head start this year on mugs for our gallery.  She has several different businesses that buy her mugs of different sizes wholesale.  The bowls I see in the photo I believe will be knitting bowls, you put the yarn in the bowl and thread it through the opening for when you are knitting, the skein will then stay in the bowl.
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New York

Shibori (Shiborizome) is a Japanese term for several methods of dyeing cloth with a pattern by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, or compressing it.  Some of these methods are known in the West as tie-dye.

These are silk scarves I’ve been doing a Shibori technique on.
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New YorkUsing an old good size wine bottle I tape a cord to the bottle and begin winding it around the bottle capturing the silk as I do so.
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New YorkAfter several times around the bottle you push the cords down into a compression bunch at the bottom.
Young's Studio & Gallery, Jay New YorkThen apply your dyes.  Wait till it dries to unwrap.  The fabric is like an accordion when you take it off the bottle and these Shibori designs have to be ironed first before I heat set them with steam.