Here we are at the end of another year! It feels like the more times I go through the years, the faster they tumble by! So, as the final days of this year whoosh past, I will take a moment to reflect on what 2018 brought me.
My major time, this year, has been spent with Adrift and my art. How far I have come in the past year! I have moved way beyond papier mache attaching rocks and wood. Now I create ceramic vessels at Reitz Ranch, and add (or don’t add) the desert woods with a dab or two of plumbers’ epoxy and a few smudges of acrylic paint to blend in the joint.
I started from scratch with ceramics. Over the year I am learning to listen to the clay, not to overtax its capabilities. I still face dry-cracked pieces from time to time, but those are far fewer now. And when they happen, I can evaluate what I tried, what can work, and learn from there.
Another ceramic challenge this year has been glazes. Reitz Ranch uses cone 10 glazes, and by their nature, (and because of the aesthetics of my work as well) bright yellows and purples are out. I have been stuck, more often than not, on the end of not applying enough glaze to my work. The result has been dull black pieces. Recently, though, the goddesses of glaze have been kinder. I am pulling some gorgeous blue, and even red vessels out of the kiln. I know, within the year to come, the challenge of glazes, though real part of every ceramic piece, will lessen!
I am still not making many utilitarian pieces. My mindfulness vessels now hold water, and can be vases. I am making pieces which hopefully, with the help of friends, can become fountains. But a set of dinnerware remains doubtful!
With the challenge of dull colors, and the added non-useful nature of my work, my sales are not yet where I want them. Everyone who sees my work proclaim its beauty! Within days the Sedona Monthly Magazine will list me as their artist of the month. Certainly by the end of 2019, I will have established more of a record of sales.
While my health held up well last year, I was able to turn my potentially worst health crisis into a boon. A mis-diagnosis put me on a medication which caused depression and fatigue. For a month or so I could barely hold a conversation. But, during that time I turned out seven moving pieces in reaction to my own nightmares of abandonment and exploitation. Those pieces have now become the impetus for an art show and silent auction to benefit the Coalition Against Human Trafficking. Hopefully, over those two days, January 12 and 13, many people will see my art, and will donate money to end a horrific nightmare. I was able to move beyond a month or two on a bad med.
My writing has returned! I have to work a bit harder with word retrieval, but in the end the poems I have written have continued to make me proud. I taught a memory-writing class in Camp Verde, and thoroughly enjoyed everyone there, and their memories. I will do a follow-up session there, and do another class at the library in Clarkdale soon.
In 2018 I visited my beautiful grandsons. We enjoyed several field trips, some stories and a lot of play. If only I lived closer to them.
I look out my dining room window as I finish this. Mingus Mountain is covered with a filmy cloud, and beneath that I can see snow. I am so happy to be living in this gorgeous part of the world where something, each day, takes my breath away with its beauty. My mischievous doxies await their morning walk. They bring me daily love and pleasure. My shop-cats guard my studio, ready for every petting hand that enters. And, they patrol all corners of my shelves. They dance a graceful ballet around all my ceramics, never breaking anything. What fun!
"With all the beauty surrounding me here above the Verde Valley, how could I not create more beauty?"