Tomorrow they'll watch the anagama kiln being opened, and the hundreds of pots emerge from the fire. There is real sense of anticipation this time, perhaps more than other times, as the firing had an almost magical momentum to it. It flowed smoothly, almost without direction, and it reached temperature easily and relatively quickly. We'll all be watching eagerly to see how our creations fared in the fire.
Family History (right) is a piece that was created from an old dovetailed wooden box. The tiny torn and ragged shoe and the egg with cracks on it were the first to let me know they should be together. They soon rested on a small box with a transparency map on top.
As the piece needed to see, the antique optometrists' testing lenses, which I had been hanging onto for years waiting for the perfect time and place, finally were called into use. A detailed, finely crafted picture of eyes from an old engraving was enlarged, then printed on tissue paper to give a slightly transparent look, and that paper was glued on the back of the lenses, giving a sense of the watcher being watched by the piece, and perhaps by their own family history.
The piece was completed with a vintage document in the background (and yes, it was added after almost everything else was in place), and a very large brass stencil #8, as well as a red wrench (It seems a bit of red finds it way into nearly every piece I make), a vintage decorative handle on the bottom, and an old piece of leather harness on the top.
It is a piece that has held wide appeal to almost everyone who views it, even though the interpretations are often very different. It is also a personal favorite of mine.
Garden update: the tiny carrot seedlings are now joining the peas, radishes, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, and green onions that are already up and growing. It's a beautiful thing, seeing our garden come into being as the earth springs back to life with the longer, warmer days.
(Photo: Family History, copyright 2008 by Diane Lou. 8x6x4". Photo by Nils Lou)