We took the netting off of the blueberries today and picked our final three quarts. We have a dozen blueberry pies and another 8 quarts frozen in the freezer. Our tomatoes keep coming we have bruschetta almost every day or make a sauce.
Neriage – is a decorative process that involves stacking colored clay’s and then slicing through the cross section to reveal a pattern, which can then be used as an applied decoration. Sue’s Neriage mugs have been very popular, these are hand made from slabs and not thrown on the wheel.
A couple of bowls caught my eye. I love the new colors Sue is having fun with.
It’s a quiet Sunday in Jay New York. Business is open. We’ve hit a ten year average for July so that is good because the month started off slow.
I started off with a walk around the lake, a couple of kayakers were out there. I generally like to walk with the intention of making a discovery. It doesn’t have to be large or important, the thing is to leave yourself open to discovery, you never know where it might lead you.
So today has been a day keeping myself open to ideas. I like to think that I am a temporary archeologist ready to make a find.
From this vantage point I can also see if anyone pulls into the gallery, because I’m in the shop today and Sue is glazing a kiln. I can see our little 3,000 foot complex of gallery, studio and home. I see the garden in the back and the garden under the road sign.
How about a walk around.
I photo shopped out the buildings across the street on this one, too distracting. When we put up our first sign 34 years ago there were only trees across the street. We are selling hammocks again this year so we display one out front. We keep the large flower containers well groomed and inviting.
The garden in front of the gallery always gets nice comments and especially the water fountains that Sue designs.
The gardens are an endless source of discovery every minute of the day.
We have road signs on each corner of the property as well and under each we have Lilies.
From the east corner looking at the house, studios and gallery. Our mural is now 26 years old.
On the back stoop is a container of basil, very soon to be pesto in the freezer.
Continuing around the property the back garage door is open. Here is where the chemicals for all the glazes are kept. Just pounds and pounds of limestone, silica and the like.
It has been a great campfire season. But it is very dry right now. However I’ve been having wonderful evenings back here with poetry and drumming. Sue’s not a campfire girl so I mostly go into fantasy mode here and lose myself for a couple of hours in verse.
A little utility shed is where I keep my campfire drum.
Then we come to the kiln shed where we do the Raku and pitfire work.
We had to net our tomatoes because the Blue Jays or Chipmunks were pecking at them.
The sweet golden small tomatoes are turning nicely, every day we start with a Bruschetta now.
Our raspberries are sparse this year so we didn’t net them, we’ll share these with the birds.
On the other hand, the blueberries are prolifically crazy this year. We will have a years supply when all is said and done.
Banana peppers, yum.
OK, no more photos, that was the walk around. I’d better head back to my chair under the tree, and make some arm chair discoveries, this was exhausting!
I always pick blueberries either on or around my birthday on the 26th day of July. This year CJ came with me and we went up Owls Head, nice and early for a full day of picking. Only they were all dried up like raisins. There was a lot of berries but being such a dry summer they were tiny, wrinkly and tasted terrible.
Our own bushes at home are very prolific this year and we will achieve our yearly goal of a year long supply of blueberries frozen, blueberry jam and blueberry pies. But we are able to water them and of course they have the correct soil and tender loving care.
So that was a disappointment. I didn’t even take any picking blueberry pictures and that really bummed me out after I got home and realized I never released my camera.
So here is my favorite berry picking photo from around 2007.
I was all alone on Jay Mountain picking berries when my friend Nancie shows up shoots this photo and goes on her way along the ridge. Thanks again Nancie!
And here’s a poem I wrote that day…….
Blueberry Picking on Jay Mountain
I make my living as an artist these days,
but once it was only poetry.
and I made no living.
I decided to make a painting to go
with each poem, that is why the title
of my art always comes to me first.
Sometimes the title is so fulfilling
that the art never gets created.
The pleasure was in the written word.
The satisfaction was in the thought
worked out and brought down
from that level where all the gods play
Where all the poets amuse themselves
spending their time touching all the poetry,
and picking all the blueberries
Ahh……some nice memories on Jay Mountain picking berries.
Anyway….had a great birthday celebration with the family. Emily and Zane came up and that was such a treat. Zane is a walking toddler now.
Emily has her hands full, he’s a powerful 9 1/2 month old, he can reach up to grab the table edge and then lifts himself off the floor like a gymnast.
CJ made the appetizers, grilled pineapple wrapped in bacon, a nice bruschetta, and perfect shrimp in a crispy cup with herbs.
Main course was filet mignon and wonderful light salads and then CJ brought out dessert.
I didn’t go with cake this year I told CJ to surprise me, so we had strawberry tarts with mini lemon meringue pies and mini chocolate moose pies. They were all fun and good.
In the studio, Sue is working on Tea Pots.
Here are two large eggs. A woman saw Sue’s smaller eggs in her sculpture and asked if she could make her a couple of large ones that she could paint……so here they are waiting for pickup.
We two could easily get stressed out this summer, but we’re not. We’ve talked and listen to one another about our anxieties. The house renovation took way longer and cost way more, but it was worth it because it came out beautiful and we are renting it now.
Although there was all that in our lives Sue continued to create new pieces of art.
This raku piece has a stairway up the outside and then on the other side a stair way enters the vessel and goes somewhere? It’s a curious blend of copper, aqua and white crackle.
Sue recently fired a lot of Raku, here are some of her popular people forms.
The patter of crackle on this piece caught my eye.
I’m thrilled to finally hang some giclee prints of my pencil drawings in the gallery. On the left is, “Bather and Tree on Johns Brook”, on the right, “A Satisfying Fog”. Now that I have the play behind me I can concentrate on getting new prints out in the gallery and some new original work as well.
We had a very successful run of the play, it was such a wonderful creative collaboration with very talented and trusted friends.
Here is a rehearsal scene, from left, Martha, Lia and Dennis.
New Gallery Work
We have new weaving’s in the gallery. When Sue and I opened our gallery 34 years ago we featured weaving because Sue had a loom and we had it set up with warp and we use to weave during the long winters. But weaving’s were hard to sell, hard to get the money for the time.
These are created by, Whimsy and Tea, a local weaver. Here they are displayed with Sue’s pottery but we’re going to display them on a rack all on their own.
We personal have a nice collection of local hand weaving, some of our own from years ago and some tapestries as well.
We also have jewelry by Kate Sears as well. A local woman who creates wonderfully intricate copper designs to hold infused wood. This is wood that is very punky and rotted, she infuses color into it and vacuum seals it to create a very durable piece of jewelry.
Kate has also designed these Tree of Life pendants, they have been popular.
Summer started very slow after July fourth but then picked up in the last ten days, we are in an average pattern for July now and that feels good after all the hard work we’ve put into getting the gallery ready for the summer.
It finally feels like we’re don’t have to “catch up” any longer
and boy does it feel good. Especially on a hot day (94 degrees today), because the studio’s stay nice and cool.
I’m binding three books at present, here is the second one. The third will have the same cover paper, just a different end paper. This is a coptic binding, BFK Reeves 100% cotton paper, good for printing and watercolor work. There are 14 signatures of two pieces of paper.
After the book binding I will move on to matting and framing new prints that I have coming along. I’m very excited about having Giclee printing of my pencil drawings and canvas prints of my paintings.
Sue has some wonderful new work in the gallery for this summer.
Of course Sue is totally swamped with work, here is a pine cone design mug of which she made a couple dozen for an order today.
Next weekend is the studio tour.
This the the cast for, “Body Awareness”, by Annie Baker. It opens tonight at the Recovery Lounge, 946-8315 for reservations.
A comedy, great cast….long haul, glad to be in front of the audience tonight, people will love it!
There was quite a lapse in this blog for a couple of months. I was totally wrapped up in renovating my Mom’s A-Frame in the woods, that she called, “Windsong”.
Its been a two year project. Beginning with taking out the old furniture and rugs, which were forty years old. Then we renovated the basement apartment that Sue and I use to live in when we were first married. We lived there five years and brought Corrine home to the apartment when she was born.
We re-built the house where we now have our business on route 86 after Corrine came along. We were in the process of making it a gallery and studio, but realized we needed a home for our growing family.
On April first of this year we started on the upstairs bathroom.
There was a linen closet tucked into the corner, which is now gone, giving more room for the vanity I made.
When is there never a problem when you open up the walls and floor of a bathroom. We were very lucky that after 40 years there was very little water damage.
Sue wanted to build a walk in shower which meant that we needed to move the existing traps for the shower and the toilet, six inches to the right. Sounds easy? It would have been if the 40 year old pipe matched up to today’s pipe sizes and of course it didn’t. I had to consult with plumbers and we found a good solution to join the two different types.
Sue designed a beautiful walk in shower with a pebble trip and a corner stool.
Here is the finished shower. Sue always wanted to use glass bricks, here she got her opportunity.
Here is some of a series of photos we took to stage the house.
We didn’t worry about making it look too “Adirondack”, I mean it is in the middle of the Adirondack woods, a trail from the property links up to a trail around a near-by lake and a system of trails that you could walk all day on. With the knotty pine and the art work from our private collection it has plenty of ADK flavor going on.
Pysanka is a Ukrainian Easter egg, decorated with a traditional folk design using a wax-resist (batik) method.
Sue has been doing this craft for years. Both daughters have learned to do it and many other people have learned from Sue.
We’ve had friends coming in all week to do an egg with Sue.
Here is one our daughter CJ is working on. The wax is black and this egg is almost totally covered in it. Here she is using a hair dryer to melt the wax as she wipes it away to reveal…….
Looks like Gay Pride to me……to reveal her design. Each color is dyed on separately and the rest of the egg has to be resisted with wax so color won’t go everywhere only where you want it.
So on the egg above the white of the egg had to be waxed out first, then the remaining parts were dyed in succession of color, one over lapping the next.
Here are some finished eggs, with original designs.
Here’s where they wind up, in a basket for display on the dining table.
Sue’s been doing Pysanka eggs for years and it’s always nice to see them come out around the time of the spring equinox.
Sue decided to make several of her decorated slab mugs
Here she’s painted with colored slip on paper. The trick is to now transfer the slip painting to a clay slab.
After a little more decorating the image she moves it on top a slab of clay.
Then slowly reveals the image by carefully and slowly pulling the paper back and the image transfers from the paper to the clay.
Here she’s cut out the bottom of the mug.
Now she has all the pieces ready for the mug.
Here’s some more images she was working on today.
More work on Shabories in my studio and then we tried a new technique.
This is the size of a doo-rag, about 24 inches square. This piece of cotton is folded in triangles and then clamped tight and the edges are dipped in stain. This is what happens when it dries.