Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Adoption Papers Have Been Finalized!

We've found a good home for Matilda with some loving parents.  Ray and Darlene will take good care of her, but I know Ray will probably work her pretty hard.  After all, she is a 27 cu. ft. downdraft kiln!


My faithful companion, Matilda!

I remember when I first met Matilda in 1992, she was unnamed.  However, I didn't want to tempt the fate of bad kiln firings, so she became Matilda. Matilda has been moved twice ... once from her home in Annapolis to our home in La Plata and then in 2005 from our home in La Plata to our home in Bushwood.  I learned a lot from Matilda, most predominantly how the quality of the flame creates color reactions.  These principles are still in use with me today as I torch fire enamel beads and pendants.  

Susan Craton, the editor of the community section for our local newspaper, The Enterprise, came for a studio visit and interview on Friday.  The photographer, Reed, came later.  I felt sorry for him, actually.  I am not very photogenic.  I freeze up in front of a camera.  Laura chides me about my "fake smiles." But I was actually able to come up with an authentic smile as I was thinking of the ribbing I take from my family.

A comment made by Susan during the interview got us both thinking.  She said, "Isn't it amazing how fast things have happened?"  All I could say was, "Yes."  But, as I was explaining the results of a particular firing technique on a bracelet for the book she said, "It's obvious your ceramics background and understanding of glazes play a large part in what you do ... so I guess you've been building on that knowledge."  And, in fact, what she says is true.  One thing leads to another and while they may appear to be incongruous activities, in fact, the transition can be pretty smooth.  It feels comfortable and "meant to be."  

There were some slight feelings of melancholy today, but also a sense of relief that I won't have to move Matilda again.  The last move left Jim with a serious bout of tendonitis in his elbow and we certainly haven't gotten any younger since 2005.  But it's time to let go of that interest to allow space for the new one.  Ray also took a bunch of glazes home with him, which relieved the pressure on the seams of the studio.

                                         




And, finally, some gifts from Matilda.

 
Sushi Platter


Sea Form Bowl




Vase





Teapot with Reed Handle




12 comments:

mairedodd said...

well, this is kind of ironic - i was asked for some pics of my work with ceramics and i chose one where i used one of your beautiful sahara beads... and i was thinking of how barbara the ceramicist and lover of glazes had turned into barbara the enameler and lover of glazes... and now i am addicted to glazes... but the interviewer was right - it was a progression that you never really saw coming... but the reason you are so very good at what you are doing...

Diane said...

Barbara...
I love what you said: But it's time to let go of that interest to allow space for the new one.
I think a lot of life is that way. I wish you all the best in this new season of life...
And, I love the Wire & Fire article in BAJ. Beautiful!!!

Christine said...

Barbara, I love that Sea Form Bowl...something about it just speaks to me...beautiful!

I can imagine it must be hard to let go of Matilda and all the rest....letting go is always hard...but I love the path you are on now. Cannot wait for your book!

:)

SummersStudio said...

Happy Matilda! Happy Barbara? I think it's fantastic that you've been able to let go of this part of your studio. Coming from ceramics myself, I see tremendous continuity with what you are doing now with gas firing Matilda. It's all fire right? Good on ya and I hope one day I'll be able to let go of my behemoth kiln as well. Onto the small and intimate.

stregata said...

A transition - but still painting with fire! The focus has shifted. Good for you to be able to let Mathilda go. Now there is more room (not just in the studio) for new explorations.

EB Bead and Metal Works said...

Change is good and what you have learned you are taking over to the enamels. I love, love, love playing with glazes to see what colors will come about and that is the same with the enamels.
I do have to say I LOVE the vase and teapot with handle.

Malin de Koning said...

"Waltzing Mathilda, walzing Mathilda ...", that song is stuck in my head now. It is so nice to hear that you found a new good home for her. I understand that she has meant a lot to you over many years. I feel moved by your separation. Sad. Mathilda looks like she is a beautiful friend. And a helpful companion.

Barbara! This was a very nice post to read. I have gotten to know you much better. I had no idea you used to be a ceramic artist before, for instance. My gosh what beautiful things you made. Yes, that sea form bowl is magnificent.

Does Mathilda have the same sense of humour as you do?I bet she does. Otherwise you and her wouldn't have had such a successful teamwork over the years. Bless her! And you!

eve said...

wow i'm loving that sea form bowl,

Cindy said...

Wow, Matilda is like a member of the family and I can see why...and you've been together for so long! I enjoyed seeing these ceramic pieces and another one of your artistic sides! :-)
Cindy

Melissa J. Lee said...

What a beautiful bowl!

Barbara Lewis said...

Thanks for visiting me and providing positive and encouraging thoughts.

Rita said...

Matilda's gift of the Sea Form Bowl is amazing! It's fantastic.