Wednesday, May 29, 2013

small ceramic bowls

I love collecting small bowls.
Here are three that I purchased at the Takaezu Studio open house.
They all nestle easily in cupped hands.

The two larger pieces were made by Bill Baumbach
and the little yellow one by Maxwell Mustardo.
Bill studied with Toshiko and Max is a second year student at Alfred.

How I miss being up to my elbows in clay!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

toshiko takaezu

Today I had the great privilege of once again visiting the home
of American ceramicist Toshiko Takaezu (1922-2011)

 I met Toshiko after a lecture event at a local college many years ago.
I'm a very shy person at public events but I knew there may never be another 
opportunity like this so I mustered my courage and walked up to introduced myself, 
telling her what an honor it was to meet her and how much I admired her work.
She smiled, took both of my hands into her own, looked me
straight in the eye and told me I must come and visit her.
That's how I first found out about her open house events.

Toshiko held annual open house events to sell her 
own pieces as well as showcase the work of her current apprentice.
I'm so glad the tradition is being continued by the current owner, Don Fletcher.

The blue orb under the baby grand piano stole my heart...when I rounded
the stairs and came upon that view it took my breath away.

Toshiko kept her loom by that window,
I was told it was donated to Penland after her passing.
It's always been a dream of mine to attend a summer workshop there.

To be able to touch and hold the pieces that are generally 
off limits at any museum was such a treat.
Inside many of her works are small clay balls 
which rattle and sing when the piece is gently shaken.

What an amazing day...
I'll be sure to visit again for their winter event.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

swallows, strawberries and a storm

The other day Coco asked "What's in your garden?"
To which I commented "Strawberries!"
So here they are, ready for harvest.

The Barn Swallows are back and building 
their nest below a neighbor's balcony.
They are so quick, that was the best photo I could get.

It's very dark outside, another storm is coming...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

dudley farm

the old road to the farm

front bedroom
airing quilts on the back porch
the kitchen house
the garden
corn husk broom

This is the last of my Florida posts.
Dudley farm was built in 1855 and remains an historic
working farm just outside of Gainesville.

What I love about Dudley is that you must park in a lot
and then walk the old road back to the farm.
That short walk has the power to transport you back in time.

Florida is mostly sand covered as is apparent from the garden photo.
There is a small herd of cattle, a horse, a mule and chickens
that are year round residents.

The kitchen is in a separate building just behind the house,
as Florida summers can be very hot and humid.

I absolutely love the corn husk broom!
Would love to make one of my own.
A quilt in progress hangs on a frame suspended over
the beds in the front bedroom.

Thanks for allowing me to share some of my favorite holiday photos.
Now it's back to making things!

Monday, May 20, 2013

sunset, sunrise

We arrived in St. Augustine in the afternoon.
After dinner I was back out on the beach in time to
catch the spectacular Florida sunset complete with palm trees.

As is tradition, my brother and I were up early and 
on the beach in time to watch the sunrise.

The ocean was quiet with no clouds on the horizon
so the progress of the fiery ball was amazing.
A cheerful dog, barking at the birds in flight, paused to take in the view 
and the sand and water were the color of molten bronze.

I took loads of photos, these are just a few!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

marjorie kinnan rawlings home

garden outside the kitchen
typewriter on the front screened porch
peeking through a high and tiny closet window
workshop in the barn

We visited the home of author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings in Cross Creek.
She is best known for her novel The Yearling about a boy who adopts 
an orphaned fawn and for which she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1939.

Unfortunately the home was not open for tours 
so I had to peek my camera up against window screens!

I like to think the area hasn't changed too much since she lived there.
A few more homes and the paving of the road perhaps,
but it's still considered rural Florida and for that I love it.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

flora and fowl


pileated woodpecker
black bellied whistling ducks
brown pelican 
in flight
semipalmated sandpiper
gaillardia blanketflower on the beach

I saw many birds and flowers during my trip.

The Gardenia is from a bush in the backyard and smelled heavenly.
I brought home a small bag of blooms and will run a dye bath with them.

Each morning I took my coffee to the back porch and watched
for the neighborhood pair of Pileated Woodpeckers
They are as large as crows with a flaming red crest and a very distinct call.
Un fortunately, I only managed a poor photo of this bird.

The Black Bellied Whistling ducks are not common to Florida,
they are generally found in Central and South America.
What a treat to see these upright ducks and hear their whistling call!

I also heard a Barred Owl in the backyard, spotted a
spectacular Swallow-tailed Kite while on a drive
and watched Osprey circle their nests.

So much to see.
Missing birdsong filled mornings on the porch...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

back home

I've just returned from a week long trip to visit with family in Florida.
The gator was about 7 feet long and quite close to the shore of Lake Alice.
I always consider it good luck to see a gator while back home,
like my visits to place a coin in the mouth of the Porcellino
at the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo in Florence, it seems to promise my return.

Awaiting my arrival, alongside a very happy cat. were these two treasured correspondences.
With blanket spread on the floor for a morning picnic I opened each  while drinking my coffee.

I couldn't have asked for a warmer home coming!
Thank you V and X, I have so many of both your beautiful blog posts to catch up on!

Be prepared for the upcoming barrage of holiday photos!
xo, j

Thursday, May 02, 2013

beneath the dogwood

pink, green and the clearest blue
new leaves like small wings

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

on the needles and windowsill

A week of perfect Spring weather lies ahead.
Mid 70's and nothing but blue skies.

Started a portable knitting project in preparation for next week's vacation.
Roasted cauliflower and chickpeas with a mustardy vinaigrette and parsley.
Homemade orange marmalade - nothing but oranges and honey!
The first tomatoes and strawberries on the windowsill.