A customer who had bought a salt and pepper pear set asked me to make a "perfume pear".
It was an interesting problem. Neither one of us had ever seen such a thing, but she explained she wanted a pear with a stopper that fit into the top much like the old fashioned glass perfume bottles.
So, I made a pear with a closed bottom, a long dipper with a stem and leaf handle. The dipper part of the top was waxed to keep it in bisque during the glaze firing. The inside of the pear was left in bisque also.
The stem was fired with a kiln post support--the stem stuck in the hole in the post. Both were liberally waxed.
The customer already had a tiny funnel, but it would have been interesting to make a matching one to use to fill the pear.
The whole thing worked well with an added bonus--since the inside and stem were bisque, the part of the perfume was absorbed into the body and it exudes a faint whiff of perfume. So it can act as a very subtle room deodorizer as well.
Luckily, there has been no leaching from the base--that would be a disaster, since it would ruin a varnished surface.
The next time I make one, I think I'll make a matching tray for it to sit on, just in case.
The beams have been reinforced and the Insulation is in, as are the light cans.
We even gained a widened door leading into the living room. (not showing, however).
I had debated long and hard about whether to have a whole-room concept with a bar dividing the living room/dining area and the kitchen or to have two distinct rooms.
In the end, decided I wanted the kitchen to be separate.
Adding a bar would virtually put the kitchen in the living room and, since it that room is very large and long, I wanted it to stand alone.
Also, the area where the kitchen is serves as a main traffic area between the front and the back of the house. Putting a bar in the middle of that would not be a good idea. (A main bearing wall also had something to do with it.)
The new kitchen has been opened up visually to a very large degree and it should be within it's own space.
We also gained even more view of the bay from there. And glimpses can be seen from the living room area.
This view is looking toward a small walk-in pantry to the left and the sink location under the window; the stove will be where the metal vent shows at the right.
I'm going to have the wooden wall showing at the back of the room; this is the original wide wooden boards that framed the house. It is shown in at the back of the room in the first shot.
I remember hearing once about odd things found by renovators within the walls of houses.
Like mice and insect nests--things that would happen naturally. We found an ancient mouse nest behind the wall that covered the chimney. A nice, warm place to sleep after raiding the kitchen.
They never lasted long after we moved in, though.
I remember one humorous English newspaper story that renovators had come across a "Letter to the mice" putting the rodents on notice to "Leave forthwith and never return!"
Especially interesting are items intentionally put within walls by superstitious people wanting to thwart bad spirits, spells, and things of like nature. Water-filled, corked bottles were common in the New England area during the early settlement period. Witches were very real to those people. Effigies, containers with hair, pins, herbs or spells thought to contain magical powers were placed in the walls during construction.
Shoes are common things found in many ancient houses and barns, although the symbolism of shoes escapes me. They are usually stuffed into the rafters or built into chimneys . (Chimneys were thought to be convenient entrances for witches.) Mummified beef hearts (???) were another common thing sealed in chimneys . No one seems to remember the symbolism, though.
I also recall stories about the hiding or burying of things under the front door step. Probably also to serve as a barrier for evil entering the house, and I can well remember horse shoes hanging on barn and farmhouse door lentils as well as talk about three rusty bent nails buried at a threshold.
Hex signs are still painted on barns and houses in the Pennsylvania farm country.
I have a potter friend who, every year takes one of his best pots, walks out to the end of his dock on a local lake and quietly slips it into the water. He's thinking of future archaeologists. Vikings did the same things with axe heads as an offering. And, well, he lives in Minnesota. : )
In Arizona if you can't sell your house right away, bury a small statuette of St. Joseph in the yard. There is some argument whether it should be the front or back yard; whether St. Joseph should to upside down or upstanding, facing the street or facing the house. Poor St. Joseph.
I still have a chance of slipping something between the insulation and the dry wall of the kitchen. Hummm, what should it be? Think I'll go out to the studio and have a little look.
These are our chairs. They come from Pakistan, manufactured in Pershawa around 1970 by a man named M. Hayat. They are made of leather, rosewood and have brass fittings. The chairs totally disassemble and can be transported in canvas bags.
I just received a note from a lady who is repairing one of these and she was asking about the seat lacing.
The seats are one rectangle of black buffalo hide perforated with eyelets at the ends.
The ends are placed over the rounded front and back pieces and curled around to the bottom, then laced with heavy cotton cord. If you didn't get the cord, check with fabric supply stores in the drapery department. Cotton is the only cord that will work for these chairs, anything else is either too stretchy or too stiff. Take the seat with you to check if it will thread right--the cotton should be well twisted.
The first part of the cording is threaded through the first front eyelet and knotted to secure the end. The cords run from front to back through the alternating eyelets just as if you were threading one shoelace into a shoe. They don't cross over; it's just a straight run in a zig-zag.
There should be a little slack on the lacing so that there will not be too much strain on the eyelet holes.
Depending on how long the rope is, when you have laced all the eyelet holes, the end looped over and under across the back lacings and tied off. It's always better to have a little slack or extra rope at the end, just in case you need it.
I once got a chair that had the seat put on the wrong way--the leather looped over the square side supports. The eyelets couldn't take it and some of them ripped.
Just playing around with left over pieces of clay, I made these little pill/needles cases that can double as Christmas tree ornaments.
It's fun to try new ideas like this.
Each piece is about 2 inches long: A bunch of celery, carrots and beets and a single asparagus spear.
They are hand molded, hollowed out and a tiny cork is glued in to make a stopper.
They are glazed with a clear glaze and an application or layers of liquid stain thinned with water to make the finish look like watercolor.
I worked from light to dark, layering color over the last after it dried. I couldn't get a vivid red for the beets, so I used fingernail polish just as you would use a lacquer--after all, that's really what it is.
Maybe I should think of making fruit and vegetable whistles?
It is detailed instructions about what to do in a gas attack in 1943. I suppose it needed to be posted during construction of the house.
Clicking and enlarging the jpeg will make it readable.
Also, there is a reference to a 'sealed room' that people were to retreat to and seal themselves into in the event of a gas attack.
And noted at the bottom, evidently you could buy war bombardment insurance.
Three antique thumb tacks held it in place. I remember seeing this style in the drawer of my Dad's desk when I was very young. They were a simple disk with a triangular punch-out that had been bent at a 45 degree angle to make the point of the thumbtack. An elegant design.
All images displayed in this blog are included in the interest of sharing aesthetic appreciation and are solely used for the exploration of creative thought and work. There is no intent to profit or exploit other artist's work.
Whenever possible, attribution will be noted. However such inclusions are not always possible.
I also sometimes write about needlearts & fibers
Check it out on www.fiberneedle&thread.blogspot.com
Designer of the new CLAYART logo and CLAYART wiki symbol.
38th Annual Toys Designed by Artists - November 21 - January 6, Arkansas Arts Center, 501 E. 9th St., Little Rock AR. My latest ray gun will be on display. (See SEP 5 post. The ray gun with the wine glass bottoms attached.)
The Art Stop in Tacoma has a selection of some of my pieces. (See below) They have many wonderful things. Well worth a visit.
Teapot Show at The Art Stop, 940 Broadway Tacoma, WA 98402, (253) 274-1630 starting May 5, 2012
Here and There: Contemporary Nordic-American Ceramics. In conjunction with NCECA National Convention, Seattle WA. Three pieces will be on display at the Nordic Heritage Museum, 3014 NW 67th St., Seattle WA. The show dates are March 9 to May 6, 2012.
Ceramics Monthly, Jan. 2011, pg. 13
Member's gallery Jeanette Harris on http://www.southernarizonaclayartists.org
New Webpage: http://fiberneedle&thread.blogspot.com/
A City Full of People by Peter Earle - More research into the period of 1650-1750 re genealogy and the hunt for the elusive Thomas Manchester born ca 1620 in England.
The Pirate Wars by Peter Earle - If you are interested in history, Peter Earle is a master at the period roughly from 1590 to 1700; especially English maritime history.
Watching the English by Kate Fox - A delightful social anthropologist's complete analysis of English behavior and character. A sheer delight if you have lived among them or know some. Spot on in every aspect.
The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan - Another intriguing novel about life in China in the early 1900s, the book covers four generations of women's lives and relationships during the trade boom and intermeshing of Eastern and Western cultures and it's impact upon their lives and relationships.
Islanders, the Pacific in the Age of Empire by Nicholas Thomas - A study in the early history of European contact with the far flung Pacific cultures. Quite a heavy tome laden with data. Quite a wade, but very interesting non the less.
Sharp Objects by Julian Flynn - If I hadn't read Gone Girl, I would not have read this book. Gone Girl is by far a superior book. This one, not so much. Rather raw and undeveloped for my tastes.
The 100 Foot Journey by Richard Morais - Interesting novel combining Indian family culture, French snobbery, cooking and a life that weaves it's way through it all. Good read.,
Bellow Stairs by Margaret Powell - The classic kitchen maid's memoir of being 'in service' in the early 1900s. The inspiration for Upstairs Downstairs and ultimately Downton Abbey. Good read.
The Autistic Brain, Thinking Across the Spectrum by Temple Grandin & Richard Panek - Excellent survey of the extensive range of autism; great reference to the latest research and excellent description of the spectrum. Highly recommended.
Sailors, English Merchant Seamen 1650-1775 by Peter Earle - Historical account of maritime culture of this period; excellent reference.
The Elephant Keeper by Christopher Nicholson - Set in the 1700s England, a stable hand is put in charge of two elephants and must learn about them as he goes.
The Plantagenets by Dan Jones - 510 pages of the history of Plantagenet family's rule, this book reads like a novel. It would make a so-much-better TV drama instead of Thrones. And it's REAL.
Seedlings by Ethel Lee Miller - Written by my good friend, stories of relationships. A perfect nightstand companion for reading and contemplation, deftly told by a master communicator.
Good Women by Jane Stevenson - Three highly amusing stories, each quite different, of women who might not strictly be classified as 'good', but certainly distinct.
A Life of Richard Badiley: Vice-Admirla of the Fleet - A research read, the life of a Royal Navy captain during the 1600s.
The Hundret Secret Senses by Amy Tan - Tan is alway good for a ripping yarn.
The Island of Lost Maps, A True Story of Cartographic Crime by Miles Harvey, a recounting of the systematic theft of priceless maps from collections in public libraries and institutions by Gilbert Bland. Well written, informative and dismaying book.
Sixpence House by Paul Collins - Chronicle of an American family settling down in Hay-on-Wye, a Welch town with more bookstores and books than nearly the population of Wales. Talented writer.
Tyler's Row, a "Miss Read" book by a anon. writer - Cosy English village in all it's splender.
Royals by Kitty Kelley - Ran across this at the used book store. Dishy history of British royals.
Geisha, A Life by Mineko Iwsaki - A true account of the life of a top Geisha of Kyoto. Fascinating account.
The Berrybender Narratives by Larry McMurtry - From the moment you read the first paragraph, this book sweeps you up and takes you on a wild ride through the 1830's American West in the company of some of the most colorful characters you would ever hope to meet. Jump in!
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - It is rare to discover a book that leaves you guessing at every page turning. I must say, this is one of the most original, engrossing books I have read in a long time. I will read her only other two books as soon as I can find them. Highly recommended.
Horseman, Pass By by Larry McMurtry - Semi-autobiographical, this book captures the ennui of adolescence and life on an isolated Texas cattle ranch in the 1950s or 60s. Great dialog writing skillfully reveals the characters' emotions. The descriptions of the settings make you hear the house screen door slam, the windmill's creek and smell the dew on the pastures.
Making Haste from Babylon, the Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World by Nick Bunker- Well researched and presented encapsulation of the political, religious, economic and cultural environment that impacted and made the world of our ancestors. Very well written. Half-way through of carefully reading with a highlight pen in one hand.
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett - Wit crackles on every page as Mr. Bennett imagines Queen Elizabeth encountering a bookmobile parked at the palace kitchen entrance and discovers the joys of reading for pleasure.
Empire at the Periphery by Charles J. Koot - A treatise on British Colonist, Anglo-Dutch Trade, and the Development of the British Atlantic, 1621-1713.
Sailors, English Merchant Seamen 1650 - 1775 - A complete portrait of the lives of seamen of the period. Research source for genealogical investigations. Very good resource.
Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote
The Far Side of the World by Patrick O'Brien - Just got me feet wet, but I'm sure I'll enjoy the trip.
Literary Life, A Second Memoir by Larry McMurtry - I haven't found the first memoir, but this one is interesting concerning his early writing and book collecting. I will search for the first and third.
A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton - Wading through...not too happy with the main characters; I'm sure nothing will turn out well....Update: One of the most depressing books I've ever read. I won't be looking for this author.
Mysteries of the Middle Ages by Thomas Cayhill - Fifth in a series titled The Hinges of History, this is a very interesting account of the high middle ages including the latest research on this time period. Well worth the read.
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel - A historical fiction about the life of Thomas Cromwell (Not to be confused with Oliver Cromwell.) Unique writing style and slow going, but good window into the time of Henry VIII.
A Perfect Red by Amy Butler Greenfield - The saga and history of the search for the treasured pigment. You will better understand red after reading this book.
Empire of the Ants by Bernard Werber - Originally in French, this book is a fascinating work of fantasy/reality science. Set against fascinating data about the Argentine Ant, the fiction works as a wonderful and intriguing mystery that will keep you absorbing quasi-scientific data while consuming the mysterious plot line wanting to know the outcome. I only wish there were more translations of his books.
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck - What can I say, it's Steinbeck.
The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope - a jewel in itself of English manners, society, pretensions and family intrigues during Victorian England. A delight for any Anglophile.
The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer - Excellent boots on the ground view of what life was like in England between 1300 and 1400. Highly Recommended.
The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson - Better than the first, more intricate and insight into the motivations behind the quirky 'girl'.
Monkey Love by Dr. Robert M. Sapolsky - an exploration of the old question of nature vs nurture with a bit of genetic engineering thrown in.
Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers by Dr. Robert M. Sapolsky - Guide to stress, stress-related diseases as presented by a biologist, Dr. Sopolsky writes about stress with wit and ease.
Introducing Agatha Raisin by M.C. Beaton j- Two stories: Quiche of Death and The Vicious Vet, both mysteries. A new writer for me. Mystories set in the Cotswolds of England. A real delight to read.
Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD - A convincing argument about weight-gain and our overly-engineered wheat source, I've lost 13 pounds following his advice!!! A must read for anyone concerned with eating healthily.
Slight Mourning by Catherine Aird - Aird out-Christies Christie and leaves you guessing about who done it. Dripping with English villege-ana, a crisp writing style and well-knitted plot. I've found a new mystery writer thanks to my sis.
Nell Gwynn: Mistress to a King by Charles Beauclerk - direct descendent of the only son of this union, the author has been able to pull from family archives for this window into the rowdy Royals of the late 1700's.
Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks - extremely interesting read about the brain and music.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - Great piece of fiction. Highly recommended.
History of the Colony of New Haven to its absorption into Conn. by Edward E. Atwater
Perry of London - History of the Perry family, merchant traders involved in early colonial history.
Curtain by Agatha Christie - Christie grew to hate Poirot. So she killed him off in this story--much to the dismay of her readers.
Bats Sing, Mice Giggle by Shanor and Kanwal - Book of interesting facts about the abilities of the animal world, but is in bad need of a good editor. Rather rambling jumble of interesting facts.
The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro - Aaaagh! Stopped reading this halfway through. I totally lost patience with the (?) plot And the main character.
Skeleton Man by Tony Hillerman - my occasional dip into mystery, a Southwestern setting makes this book especially fitting.
Stiff by Mary Roach - Strangely compelling, often irreverent and funny compendium of what can and does happen to our mortal coil.
The Far Traveler by Nancy Marie Brown, a study of the archeological record, the sagas for a reconstruction of the real life of a VIking woman who lived ca. 1000 AD. Fascinating read.
In the President's Secret Service - Ronald Kessler, an inside look at various presidents and their protection by the Secret Service, the history and workings of that service.
Eva Luna - Spanish Language version of Schererazade, this is a collection of short stories written by Isabelle Allende
Anthill by E. O. Wilson - Fascinating story of the life of an anthill; not so great story of the people who live around it.
A Primate's Memoir by Robert M. Sapolsky - fascinating, entertaining, informative, Can't say enough about this great book. I'm 1/3 into it and already I've looked up all the rest of his books, lining them up to order and read. Highly recommended if you're interested in primates both 4 and 2 legged.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - Intricate plot and a good read, but some graphic violence that I could do without.
Poland by Mitchener
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, Why the Greeks Matter by Thomas Cahill - One of the Hinges of History series
Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks by John Curran Tedious, but interesting insight into AC's seemingly random writing notes.
Texas by Mitchner - 1090+ pages - this is going to take a while.....
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Prizzi's Family, Richard Condons hilarious prequel to Prizzi's Honor
Mysteries of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the modern world by Thomas Cahill - just started and it looks very interesting indeed
Lost on Planet China by Maarten Troost another hilarious sojourn into another culture.
My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme. If you liked Julie & Julia, the movie, you'll love this book.
Getting Stoned with Savages by J. Maarten Troost, Hilarious account of life in the tropical paradise of Vanuatu and Fiji including poisonous centipedes, cyclones, and the hazards of Kava
The Good Good Pig by Sy Montgomery - It's good to know a pig.
Uncommon Clay by Margaret Maron, murder mystery set in the Seagrove NC clay community
The Ladies Auxiliary by Tova Mirvis, a novel about the dynamics of a Jewish community in Memphis TN during the '60s
Salt, A World History by Mark Kurlansky - A fascinating survey of the scientific, political, religious and culinary history of 'the only rock we eat."
The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr - the story of a lost Caravaggio masterpiece
Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan, a great yarn about travelers in Burma
The Old Wive's Tale by Arnold Bennett
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamontt, Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Eleanor of Aquitaine by Alison Weir. Eleanor is my pregenator (pregenatoress?)
The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost, a hilarious account of life on Kiribati, a Pacific Island nation.
An Unquiet Mind, A Memoir of Moods & Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison
Dark Mission by Richard C. Hoagland and Mike Bara
On Writing by Stephen King
Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Charbon - A sort of graphic novel in wordy prose.
Rapture for the Geeks
Stubborn Twig - Three generations in the life of a Japanese American Family
Jewels by Victoria Finlay - beautifuly researched story of precious stones
P.G. Wodehouse by David A. Jasen - The man who wrote the Jeeves & Wooster stories so beautifly portrayed by Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.
A History of Their Own by Bonnie S. Anderson and Judith P. Zinsser, Vol. 1 - an extremely well-researched study of women in relation to the society from prehistory to the 17th cent. Highly recommended
Talking to the High Monks in the Snow by Lydia Minatoya
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night compiled by Scott Rice, an outrageously funny compilation of entries into the yearly Bulwar-Lytton contest.
All of Alexander McCall Smith's three Professor Von Inglefeld's "Portuguese Irregular Verbs" books
All of The No. 1 Ladies' Dective Agency books by Alexander McCall Smith
Friends, Lovers, Chocolate by Alexander McCall Smith
Color by Victoria Finlay - a fascinating study of the history of color sources and origins.
First Ladies by Margaret Truman (sandwiched between the Adams books--it's taking a long time!)
John Adams 2 Vols. by Page Smith, an old autobiography written in 1962-will read the Mccallum version after this.
Moab is my Washpot by Stephen Fry
Shelf Life by Suzanne Strempek Shea
Lettering on Ceramics by Mary White
Listening Woman by Tony Hillerman
Halo of the Sun by Noel Bennett
Migraine by Oliver Sacks
Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick
Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen - the book I took to Las Vegas. What a contrast. (eye narrow) Or is it?
Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman
Outlander - Ok ok, ya twisted my arm. Tedious and prissy writing, that is until Jamie Frazier shows up!
The Grays - Good and creepy Whitley Strieber
A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, another good book
How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill
A Stranger in Her Native Land, Alice Fletcher and the American Indians by Joan Mark
Aunt Dimity Digs In by Nancy Atherton
The Road to Miyama by Leila Philip
Quite Honestly by John Mortimer
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Vintner's Luck by Elizabeth Knox
China Paint & Overglaze by Paul Lewing
Spice by Jack Turner
Robert the Bruce by Ronald McNair Scott (Robert the B is one of my ancestors)
Strange Pilgrims by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Discoverers by Daniel J. Boorstin
The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie
Uncle Tungsten by Oliver Sacks
Beowulf by Seamus Heaney
300 The Art of the Film by Tara DiLullo
The Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield
The Greek Way by Edith Hamilton
Recommended Websites--just click on the discriptions