Rose of Sharon Wedding Rug 

For the last twenty years that I have been hooking rugs, my three sons have made fun of me for my interest in this traditional craft. They felt it was "Old Ladies Work", and thought that I was way too young to be sitting on my butt doing this work. They have even gone through the house to COUNT the rugs that I have put on the floor.

Well, one of them came crawling back this fall, or rather he sent his gal pal ANNA to ask me if they might have a rug or two for their new home together. Funny how hand hook rugs are so desired when that nesting instinct kicks in! Must be the cozy texture, the adaptive motifs, (whether geometric, floral, or scape), that these love birds are so attracted to, because THEN I was asked by both of them to make a rug for their living match their couch! Ha!

And what better pattern (after much debate and negotiation) than The Rose of Sharon, as the two aformentioned lovebirds, Asa and Anna, are getting married! Hurrah for love.

The Rose of Sharon first appears in the old testement, and actually refers to a wild tulip that even today grows on the plains of Sharon in Palestine. When the Bible was translated into English, the word "rose" was used.

The Rose of Sharon pattern occurs in many permutations in quilting blocks, and is usually made for as a wedding quilt, as the pattern came to represent romantic love and the sacrament of marriage. Here is a sweet quilt pulled off the internet, done in an "applique style", each block a variation on the Rose of Sharon theme.

The rug pattern I chose, however, plays with the layout to form an eight pointed star, which has an Islamic influence in the layout.....

.....which can be seen clearly here in this Islamic tiling! Isn't art history great!

The lovebirds chose a black background, and a tetradic color scheme with rust and turquoise being dominant colors. These two colors dictated the yellow green and pinchy splash of ochid in the radial buds. I did have to use the color wheel to confirm this addition of orchid, as the color plan was looking a bit flat.

I may have to remove the yellow from the large rose, but it will take me a while before I am forced to resolve it!

And that incentive, of having to unhook, create new soloutions to color planning, is what keeps pushing me along on this rather large rug (4' x 6'). It is an 8 cut, which allows for a good bit of color play, and I and having fun with the radial buds, and with the diamond lozenges between the Rose tiling. Anna and Asa may not like the jelly bean quality of them as is, but I will wait to see them so that they can have some input.

The rug will be my winter's work, and as it is a pattern I have hankered to do for many years, that makes the outcome satisfying. I do love floral geometrics!


Fruitful Fall

Fall projects  concepts coming to their natural conclusions with all the good feelings of accomplishment that come after working long and hard to have a productive season. The open house at the farm this fall was enriched by seeing many customers who were unaware that Howard and I were still living in the area; this in thanks to a wonderful article in the Times Recorder. It was a a feature article about family sharing the tradition of art from the farm studio's, and even Willow got into the pic. Special thanks to Laurie Law. To read the article and see additional pictures use this link:Times Recorder

The Genisis Mosaic has also been completed, and that was on display for the Open House. It is being picked up this week for installation at the hospital. The times recorder ran an article on that project too! I am trusting that my friend Emmet has proofread all the leaves and that there are no mispellings! Thanks also to my husband who helped with many of the logistical details. Times Recorder

And not to be outdone by all this attention, Howard was featured in an article in the Jeffersonian, the local paper for Guernsey County. Here he is in one of the MANY fabulous pictures taken by the photographer, with Willow, who is always vying for a bit of the attention!

I finished my first firing of the Soda Kiln at the Ohio State University. Full discolsure; it was a grind. I turned it up Monday night, the pilots and one of the main burners were candled through the night. At 7 am the next morning, I started turning the gas and air up. That darn hard brick sure does take a long time to heat up! At 2 am the next morning, the Cone 10 up top finally started to get soft, Paul Simon, (the dedicated studio and kiln tech) and I started shoveling and spraying in the soda. I went to bed at three.

The next morning I felt like I had had a baby, and was too exhausted to hold it.

The kiln is a crossdraft downdraft, and this is its first fire after an arch and baffle wall repair.

My knitting, old stack of New Yorkers took me through the day, along with this old camp chair from Vermont!

This is the soda shovel, all set and ready to go into the port.

When it was unloaded two days later, we were able to assess the stack, the baffle wall, the amount of soda for next time, and how to adjust the burners and the air more effectively. I can't wait to do it again! The best piece was one small oak leaf mug, with just the right of reduction and soda.

Made some more today!



Fog of Resistance, Lifted

Late last sping, my dear friend Nancy posted one of her charming doodles on Facebook.

I am nearing the 7th decade of my one life, and I have to remind myself I am not a tree? Sheeeit. I immediately started shopping around for a high fire class to take, first in Athens at OU, and then in Columbus at Ohio State. Rebecca Harvey opens the door wide to me, in her Special Projects class.  I have wanted to fire the big boys again for many years.

This is me, peddleing to class. I park my car at my son Henry's place, and ride down Lane Avenue to Hopkins Hall. Wood Ash glazes, cone 6, old timey Ohio pottery shapes, cone 10 porcelain, and Soda kilns. I think I can I think I can I think I can. I will. I do. It is all new work, and I am excited.

My first Cone 6 reduction was an all day affair and I learned several important things about what NOT TO DO.... but I know this is the most important function about learning from one's mistakes. I am pleased that I have several successful pieces from the kiln, and am especially smitten with the Wood Ash glazes that I prepared here at the farm.

BEFORE!AFTER!I can not wait to FIRE THIS BABY UP AGAIN! And I do, two weeks later. And while the cone pats might not be the best pieces to come out of the kiln, they are, none the less, the ones I am most proud of.

I scored, a perfect 10. Kelly's Green and Haystack Satin pieces came in as close seconds. Now to figure out where to build a kiln shed here at the farm....