Sunday, October 8, 2017

In the spirit of making pie and giving thanks....

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on The Potter's Wife, for any number of excusable reasons and rearranging of priorities.  But this morning as I was making pie for Thanksgiving Dinner, and remembering the last batch of pies I made for a group of enthusiastic individuals.....I'm reminded of how important it is to stop and take stock every now and then of what we’ve been up to.

Earlier last month we hosted 12 wonderful people at our property for a firing workshop. It was a mix of urban/rural, BC/AB, male/female, experienced/new to clay enthusiasts. Organized by the Alberta Potters Association, the initial intention and group’s desire was to fire our train wood kiln. Leading up the workshop, the three straight months of summer sun was terrific in many respects, but who knew it would throw a monkey wrench into our fall firing schedule as well. Due to the unprecedented fire season here in BC, the wood firing workshop evolved into a soda firing workshop which the group graciously accepted as a consolation prize.

They fired the gas fuelled soda kiln twice, each time employing slightly different firing strategies to add to the learning opportunity around atmospheric kilns, and in turn achieved varied surfaces in their work.  In between body reduction and soda introductions, Robin gave talks on his atmospheric processes, firing techniques and shared stories about the endless variables at play in this genre. The group toured the studio, milled about the kilns and wood piles and frequented the airstream gallery to contemplate the finished work and surfaces.

Instead of chopping and stacking, the change accommodated for more visiting and great conversations around this ‘life with clay’. 

As a pottery adjacent (non-maker), I am always so appreciative of the clay community. These folks were awesome in every way! They were respectful of our property and privacy, helpful and engaged, and evidently invested in taking it all in.

I so appreciated everyone’s contribution around our place, to prepare and share meals together and to add to the dialogue around what it means to embrace a life with clay. Seen through their eyes, I am thankful for the reminder of what we’ve built here on the mountainside and look forward to more opportunities to share and educate others that wish to contribute to what we’re creating here.

So in the spirit of eating pie and giving thanks this very weekend, thank you;) 

Until next time….

Friday, May 1, 2015

A Second chance

Wonder what happens to those pots that don't quite make the grade? The cracked, warped, crazed and wobbly pots?

Some lucky ones are getting a second chance these days, where they would usually be destined for the shard pile, a certain someone is hauling them up into the woods and putting them to good use.

Introducing the Hazelnut Cafe! Now open for business. The menu boasts some fabulous fare, and it is always a delight to see what arrives at the table.

Handcrafted from all local and organic forest ingredients, the food is fun and the atmosphere is warm and inviting. There is even a resident dog that is always happy to join you for a meal of nature's treats.

I think we have another maker in our midst, and the pots I think are feeling lucky to live another day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Taking a Break

I recently took a break from coffee. The 'coffee break' is something we tend to do, maybe once a year, just to say we can, and its a good reminder of just how dependent we are on it. This is typically not an easy thing for me to do, and usually goes hand in hand with a few headaches, some irritability, a lack of motivation and generally a foggy state...but not for long. I drink a little more tea, shake up the morning ritual a little, try out a few different drinking vessels. And before I know it, I'm good and satisfied with the break and back on coffee.

It's not so much of a break, as it is a productive pause, let's call it. Enough time to step back, change things up a bit and appreciate both the break and the habit! I love coffee, too much to give it up for good. And I love to write, too much to give it up for good.

I've taken a break from this blog writing, enough time to take stock and reevaluate what and why I want to write.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The DuPont 12 months of Twenty-Thirteen

In the first month of 2013, the DuPont family…
…Ice sculpted in -40 degrees, learned the art of the Winnipeg scarf wrap, said a sad goodbye to our beloved Papa.
In the second month of 2013, the DuPont family…
…lost a couple of teeth, celebrated Festival du Voyageur, got stranded in a blizzard in North Dakota.
In the third month of 2013, the DuPont family…
…hosted new friends and old in our Winnipeg home, learned to ride bikes in the snow and played Hide-N-Seekah.
In the fourth month of 2013, the DuPont family…
…had indoor picnics, easter egg hunts and waited for the floods.
In the fifth month of 2013, the DuPont family…
…watched the snow FINALLY recede, celebrated a birthday and had our first outdoor Picnic.
In the sixth month of 2013, the DuPont family…
…visited the shores of lake Winnipeg, packed pots and our belongings and headed back west.
In the seventh month of 2013, the DuPont family…
…hurriedly planted a garden, unpacked (sort of), and lived amidst forest fires and jet fuel spills.
In the eighth month of 2013, the DuPont family…
… shuffled around unpacked boxes, took home two first place ribbons in a bike race, hosted our annual Studio show & sale.
In the ninth month of 2013, the DuPont family…
…started back at school, enjoyed friends and local outings and were overwhelmed with the incredible support and comments that came with Robin’s RBC Emerging Artist Nomination.
In the tenth month of 2013, the DuPont family…
…dug trenches and installed water lines, continued to marvel at the support for handmade pottery, and travelled to Toronto for the People’s Choice event.
In the eleventh month of 2013, the DuPont family…
…took a deep breath, finally unpacked the remaining boxes and celebrated Isla’s 8th birthday with a big surprise party.
In the twelfth month of 2013, the DuPont family…
…welcomed a new niece to our extended family, celebrated Roscoe turning 6 with a skating party and hunkered down in our cozy home in the snowy Slocan Valley. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Why I Should Blog

I admit to have fallen by the wayside with my posting. When I first started writing this blog, it was with the intention to document a specific time in our lives. We were a young family, headed off to do the unthinkable....go to grad school, post-babies. ACK! I thought it would be a good idea at the time to chronicle our adventures and experiences, so that we could one day look back and say " WOW, that was something else!"

Well, I do that, often. I browse back through old posts and remember and relive even some of those precious moments. And now I am asking myself, why did you ever slow down with it?

Admittedly life has been a little crazy. We left our home in the summer of 2008 with an infant and a toddler and moved to Utah to begin grad school, then three years later we moved home only temporarily to then pack up and move again with a preschooler and a grade schooler to take a job in Calgary, only to do it all over again the next year, but in Winnipeg. "WOW, that was something else!"

And now we are home, settling into our life and space in the Slocan valley, after 5 years of moving around. And I am feeling all the more reason to post and document this time in our lives, because life's opportunities seem like they've only just begun.

 Take this for example:)

Robin has been nominated for a prestigious award. He is one of five ceramic artists across Canada chosen to exhibit his work at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto as part of the 2013 RBC Emerging Artist Awards. You can view the piece he has submitted and watch a short video online where he talks about his work and practice by clicking on the link below.

It is a People's Choice award which means that the artist that receives the most votes will be awarded $10,000. We hope you'll help support him and vote online today. Voting closes October 13th, 2013 and Robin and I will fly to Toronto to attend the awards ceremony on the 15th.

We sincerely thank you in advance if you have already voted and a double thank you if you share this with your own network of friends and family through email or through posting the link on Facebook. Every vote counts!!

It has been incredible to read the comments and testimonials that have resulted as part of this show. I am blown away by the kind and supportive words that keep coming in. Robin is the only artist that is exhibiting functional ceramics in the mix of artists selected, and his nomination is a huge endorsement of making functional ceramics in today's day and age.

So if you enjoy your morning coffee out of a handmade mug, appreciate a meal served in a handcrafted dish, have ever purchased, gifted or been given a piece of pottery.....please vote for Robin online:

I can already hear myself saying, "WOW, that was something else!"

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A day at the beach

Packing has commenced and we are living amongst boxes and piles to sort through, pack up, throw out or give away. With our moving date just over a week away it seems absurd to take the day off and head to the beach, but that is exactly what we did today - and it turned out to be a well needed day off from reality.

One of Robin's former students very generously offered to host us for an afternoon out at their cottage at Victoria Beach on Lake Winnipeg. We'd heard much about the beautiful white sand beaches of Lake Winnipeg as popular cottage country for many Manitobans.

Although the water wasn't quite warm enough for swimming, it was a beautiful day to spend it walking along the shore looking for beach treasures and playing in the sand dunes. Many thanks to Peter and Daria for a wonderful day and meal.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sneak Peak

When we first rolled into town last summer late one August evening, we discovered a major landmark was being built just a stones throw away from our house - 'Peg Stadium' a.k.a. Investors Group Field was well underway and seemed enormous, towering over the University of Manitoba campus.

We watched the construction workers toil away all winter long, and when winter seemed to hang on unexpectedly this spring, we watched them toil a little harder, and then when winter finally did break, we watched them panic. There were plenty of rumours that it wouldn't be finished in time.

But seems like they are going to meet their target date after all, since we received an invitation to neighbourhood residents to come out for a viewing. Mostly an act of goodwill extended likely out of how the closest neighbours will be affected by traffic on game days, a nice gesture nonetheless to have a close look at the finished stadium.

We headed over later in the evening, and there were only a couple hundred people milling about. The kids loved it - running up and down the stairs and aisles, in fact circling the entire stadium on foot - twice!

We even ventured up to the nosebleeds for a look at the field from the highest vantage point. Although not a football fan, it was fun to check out the Bombers new digs. Looks like we'll be pulling out of town before the season opener, so we won't have to worry about the traffic woes!