We're in a remote part of southeastern Kentucky in the foothills of the Appalachians. So different here from Colorado, from the big city (Denver) especially. It's hard to meet someone who hasn't lived here for generations and would never want to live anywhere else. The person we bought this property from goes back to the 1700s, pre-Revolutionary War, when his ancestors came over from Wales to mine coal; and everyone in our holler seems to be related to him one way or another. Everyone for miles knows Ronnie and Gail. More accurately, everyone knows everyone. I've been stopped on a walk by an old-timer in his truck because he's never seen me around here.
I probably stand out in that I haven't seen one other person walking their dog(s) on leash. Or walking their dogs. Dogs are in their yards, but not fenced for the most part. I managed to find a longish route with little traffic and only one house with dogs that run out to the road when we pass.
One thing the economic shutdown taught me was how overwhelmed I had felt before it. Doing art shows has gotten so competitive that the break "broke the spell" maybe, meaning I'm reluctant to enter the fray again. There are no local shows here I would consider, and there is plenty of work with a big garden and lots of chickens. I'm staying busy with orders from Artful Home and my website. That means no show application fees, no astronomical space fees, no traveling, just working in the studio. I haven't ruled out shows, just the drive and ambition have mostly vanished.
A big reason for that is that my son died unexpectedly last October. We were close, he was very dear to me, and exceptional in many ways. It isn't right that he's gone. I always felt honored and surprised that God picked me to be his mom.
One worry with the move was that the clay I've used for nearly 30 years is not available on this side of the country. I was afraid that my glaze would not work well with this new clay body since it's not as smooth. Just as I ran out of the old earthenware and had to buy the new, a commission came in from Artful Home and I had to do it with the new - with much trepidation. You will understand when you see the photo of the commission. Whew! Thank goodness it worked!
I hope they like it. It is getting shipped out tomorrow. Next will be to see how the glaze and clay interact on a piece that's glazed on both sides. (The plate has no glaze on the back. That can make a difference in the results.)
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