Sunday, July 26, 2020

Reveling in quarantine

Guess who did not know for a while that there were trails RIGHT OUTSIDE the house and studio on the other side from the trails I saw on the first day? I was so glad to figure it out after walking down truck tracks and discerning a mowed path that went away from the path for vehicles. I also didn't know until I got on the other side of this that the building was not enclosed!
The hay was obvious when I first arrived but not the geese. They are trotting along in a line, gave me a show that morning.
What is this big weed? It's everywhere and handsome.
Oh, so many generous wild patches in these big meadows. Milkweed everywhere.
For the first time while scoping out a harvest, I saw a monarch caterpillar. It was feasting loudly on the leaf.
While I could use the thistles to make paper, I'm going to refrain. Thanks to Velma for the advice. I'll let their thorns do their job keeping me away, especially having already been stabbed in the hand by one at home while weeding.
Up close I realize these are lights for the now defunct runway. It was funny to see the real thing after playing with the Lego versions as a child.
When I first biked the runway I wondered what the words were and then I realized they spelled RESTRICTED. It was for private planes. Milkweed and thistles and other weeds now flank it.
My first batch of paper, gampi that I had leftover from a batch that was wholly unsatisfying at the time but now gorgeous after two days of peroxide/washing soda light cooks and a final blender whirl.
Finishing the teapot made me realize I wanted to make a duck teapot! The handle is too big but when you start at the handle/butt, you can't fix it later. Ergonomically it's not great because it would take so much to get the tea out of the bill but you could.
Last night I tried to finish the lid while the rest of staff and the one other artist were at movie night outside (I'm bad with that stuff b/c bugs eat me and I am paranoid, plus I am not good at sitting still watching a movie with nothing else to do). I kept trying and nothing looked right so I went to bed. This morning I did a tiny loop because it was too hot already in the morning to really walk the fields but the geese marched out again and I realized what I actually needed to do to finish the pot.
I went to the studio, whizzed up my next batch of chiri and made gorgeous fine paper. Both batches were from dried fiber I brought from home, BUT the formation aid yesterday was from hollyhocks that I got from the garden here, and today from okra from the garden. What a luxury to have those on hand rather than synthetic (which of course I made as a backup). Then I went into the house for food and stretches and finishing the pot. Overjoyed!

One more week of quarantine, then two weeks of residency with less restrictions. These definite timelines have been freeing albeit brief while being secluded here is a fabulous gift.


Velma Bolyard said...

that furry plant is mullein and it's quite useful, i know almost nothing about it. i knew someone who smoked the flowering part, and i read that in the days of castles and sheep in England folks dipped the sten into tallow and let them dry and they were put into those metal torch holders in castle walls for illumination. i'm sure there is better info about mullein in that library.

Velma Bolyard said...

i meant to add the torches had to be lit, of course. and i love love love the mama and baby duck set