Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘pottery

I was dusting in my bedroom, where I keep my set of runes (made by my daughter) when I decided it was time to pull another one. This is what I pulled.

Inguz/Fertility

This rune is about new beginnings, possible pregnancy, good omens, satisfactory conclusions, a new idea or venture, a new path.

You must complete what you have begun. It may be a project of perhaps resolving a personal difficulty.

Very soon you will achieve inner balance, and with that, inner peace.

This was the perfect rune for me at this time. Although I had to chuckle about the possible pregnancy, I do crave new beginnings. I started another Amanda book but have not been working very hard on it, so the suggestion that I finish what I’ve begun is timely. Achieving inner balance and inner peace is a lifelong ambition.

I’m so glad I pulled this rune. Now I suppose I should finish the dusting. Sigh.

I wrote more about runes here, here and here

Enjoy this short video of runes being stained and then fired by Madmudslinger. The runes are made from wild clay dug from the ground on her west coast island home.

From the website of Madmudslinger:

Known as ‘oracle of the self’, Runes help to access the infinite wisdom existing within ourselves. The Runes help to focus and reassure what we usually already know.

The first time I pulled the blank rune, I was very disappointed. But then I read the meaning in the booklet my daughter put together and realized it was the perfect rune for me at the time.

The Blank Rune

The Blank Rune represents the unknowable, fate, nothingness, and mystery.

There is no answer to your issue. Some things are not knowable; that is the wisdom addressed by this rune. Rather than feeling a deeper frustration from no answer to be had, think of the unknowable as a relief. Ah, I no longer need to search for answers here. You must take what is to follow.

There are no specific preparation and certainly no way out. Courage is called for when leaping empty-handed into the void.

I am the sort of person who always wants answers. So this rune really speaks to me. And I often pull it. Like today. So I better gather up my courage and leap into the void once again!

I have written about my set of runes made by my potter daughter before, here and here.

Rune meanings are varied and have been handed down through the mists of time since their ancient beginnings in approximately the 1st Century AD.

The Norse runes are part of an ancient Pro-Germanic tradition and the runic alphabet consists of 24 rune symbols – with the addition of one notably blank rune to allow space for cosmic chance.

Runes in production with a furry supervisor.

Runes by  https://madmudslinger.com/

The second part of Madmudslinger’s interview with Rebecca Bud. Hear about her creative process, ekphrastic art, and messages for future archaeologists. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Runes by https://madmudslinger.com/

I decided today would be a good day to pull a Rune. I wrote about my special set of Runes made by my daughter here. The rune I pulled today was Initiation-Perth. I am using the explanation from the booklet published by the potter and included with every set. There may be other explanations. In the introduction of the booklet, she encourages people to look at other books on Runes and learn more about the history of this ancient Norse and Germanic alphabet.

Perth is for becoming whole, a secret matter, something hidden, and mystery.

Your ways to becoming enlightened are very private and cannot be shared. You are freeing yourself to gain a broader perspective. Be prepared for lucky rewards.

If you pull the Rune in a reversed position:

What you see as bad luck, will come with rewards also. Lessons are being learned.

Stay in the here and now, this is where the self-work gets done. Perseverance and patience are your friends.

I pulled the rune in an in-between position, lateral instead of vertical, so I feel both messages are fitting for me. Gaining a broader perspective is something I work on, looking carefully at both sides of every situation is important. Perseverance and patience are indeed my friends and was worth a reminder at this time.

I hope you enjoyed the Rune reading. I plan to share more.

I have a wonderful set of Runes, made by my potter daughter. She makes her Runes from the local clay she mines on the small island where she lives and fires them in her wood-burning kiln. I love my Runes and the more I use them, the more comfortable they become in my hands. I also love how they speak to me.

Runes are letters in the runic alphabets of Germanic-speaking peoples, written and read from at least 160 CE onwards in Scandinavia, as well as in Anglo-Saxon England, to well into the Middle Ages. They have come to represent ideas and guidance.

I’ve decided to pick a rune every so often and write about it. I’ll use the description written by the potter in the little book that comes with each set. There can be other interpretations.

Today I picked Kano – Opening.

Kano symbolizes fire, a torch, spring, knowledge, gifts, fertility, creative expression, craftsmanship, and the first light of day.

There is light peeking through the darkness and an opening within yourself to take on new opportunities. There is a way out of every circumstance. You already know the way.

This is a perfect Rune for the start of a new year, especially a year following the last two we have had to deal with. It is comforting to know there is light peeking through the darkness and that we have it within ourselves to find it.

Taking on new opportunities, gaining knowledge and utilizing creative expression are things to look forward to, however they manifest themselves.

“Not knowing when the dawn will come
I open every door.”

― Emily Dickinson, The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

My home is decorated mostly with items I´ve brought back from my travels. Since we can’t travel right now, it’s comforting to remember past trips. We enjoy looking through our photographs or at items we have brought back to remind us of wonderful times. I don’t do a lot of shopping when I travel, but I like to bring back a piece of art or handicraft as a memento of the place we’ve visited.

One of these items is a small, rustic vase decorated with rawhide that sits on my mantel. Something I couldn’t bear to leave behind, so it came with me to Spain. I believe I purchased it in Arizona at a Native American craft shop. I remember asking the salesperson about the background of the pottery, as I always like to know about the art I purchase. She kindly wrote the name of the Native North American Indian tribe the artist belonged to on the back of the American Express receipt. I got busy and forgot to do any research when I got home.

The other day as I was dusting the mantel, I wished I had looked up some information about the creators of the pottery. I reached inside and found a piece of paper. I pulled out a yellowed and very faded receipt. The young woman’s printing on the back of it was still clear: TARAHUMARA.

My piece of Tarahumara pottery

We had just watched a show on TV about the Tarahumara Indians who live in the Copper Canyon, in the state of Chihuahua, Northern Mexico. When I tutored Korean students in English, I used a lesson plan about the Tarahumara Racers who run a 90-mile race non-stop over rough terrain, often barefoot or wearing homemade huaraches, with little difficulty.

After doing some research, I found that author Christopher McDougall has written a book called Born to Run, where he highlights these amazing people with incredible running abilities.

Here is a short video about these special people.

Tarahumara pottery is made of rough earthen clay and is usually white, orange, or brown. A decorative slip made of red ocher powder and water is often applied. The vessel is left to dry and harden in the sun, before being placed into an open, dry flame for about an hour and a half. Rather than being polished and smooth, Tarahumara Indian pottery is rustic and still made as it has been for generations. Often strips of rawhide are stretched around the piece to add to the simple design.

What a great find. Although the American Express receipt was too faded to read the name of the store, I was able to make out the date, 04/15/ 92. I’ve had this piece of pottery for twenty-eight years and only just now learned more about it! It is now even more special.

Do you have anything you have brought back from your travels that has special meaning to you?

During a visit to Sedona, Arizona, a few years ago, my daughter and I were intrigued by the horsehair pottery we saw in the wonderful shops there. My potter daughter decided to create some of this pottery herself while I was visiting her last fall. I was privileged to watch this fascinating process. The four pieces turned out well. Here are some pictures of her creating horsehair pottery.

Carefully removing the pot from the kiln
And placing it on a cement slab
Applying the fine horsehair to the hot piece of pottery

Horsehair pottery is pottery that incorporates hair from the manes and tails of horses into its design. The process of creating horsehair pottery involves applying strands of hair to the surface of a hot clay pot that has just been removed from the kiln. The hair carbonizes, leaving random patterns in the pot’s surface. Horsehair makes great patterns because of its coarseness and length. Tail hair is thicker, so it leaves bolder patterns, and finer mane hair produces more subtle lines.

Every pot created using this pottery technique is unique. Many artists add other design features to the horsehair pots they create. Some artists use the same technique with dog or cat hair. For instance, my daughter has used the pet’s hair on urns she has created to hold a dear deceased pet’s ashes.  

The above information is based on information from this website. https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-horsehair-pottery. Check it out to learn more.

Adding more hair
All four vases finished
Each one unique
The finished pieces after waxing

All the pictures were taken by me, the unofficial photographer, except the last picture taken by madmudslinger

For more of my daughter’s work check out her website www.madmudslinger.com

Follow her on Instagram where she posts many pictures of her work https://www.instagram.com/madmudslinger/

Have you seen or heard of horsehair pottery before?

Copyright © 2020 darlenefoster.wordpress.com – All rights reserved

My talented daughter lives on the beautiful west coast of Canada where she makes pottery and communes with nature.

Here are a couple of examples of her pottery.

More of her pottery can be viewed on her website https://madmudslinger.com/

She recently had an opportunity recently to observe first hand an Eagle family. She sent me pictures of this amazing nest where the Eagle parents are raising their adorable Eaglet. This is what she had to say about the youngster –

“It’s so cute, ever since he’s been big enough he peaks his head over the side while waiting for his parents to come back with food. Interesting that only one hatched this year.”

She also included some information about the nest.

“The nest has been there for years, maybe decades, but 2 years ago a series of storms crashed it to the ground. The site was abandoned until last year when the Eagle couple decided to rebuild. Building is a lot of work, it went into the season so they waited until this year to hatch another family. It’s very exciting. A celebration!”

“An Eagle nest weighs one ton and a VW Beetle can fit inside it. The adult wingspan is 8 feet so they need some room with all the comings and goings.”

She is fortunate to be able to witness this marvel of nature. I’m so happy she shared it with me.

Have you ever had a chance to view wild animals in nature?

Every year for three days at the beginning of February, the city of Orihuela, Spain transforms itself into a medieval town complete with market stalls, soldiers, street entertainers and food cooked over open flames. The Moors and the Christians are both represented as at one time they lived side by side in this area. This year a friend and I took the twenty-minute bus ride to the city to partake in this fun event. Here are a few pictures. Enjoy!

Our first stop was at a Moorish tea tent, to partake in perfect mint tea and delicious baklava. We even got to keep the tea glass as a souvenier.

I got to pet a camel! Those of you who have read Amanda in Arabia, know how much I love camels.

We watched artisans at work, such as this potter

And this sculpture

And this baker making buns in a medieval oven!

Displays of sturdy ovenware for sale

and colourful graters, perfect for grating garlic, ginger, tomatoes and more

Street entertainers were spotted everywhere.

Medieval musicians

and dancers wound their way through the streets as in days of old.

Even a troll

and other scary woodland creatures

Adults dressed up in their finery

And children got to be a king for a day!

How would you like to buy a suit of armour?

We stopped for lunch at a charming little restaurant frequented by the entertainers!

There were plenty of food stalls with fresh produce

waiting to be cooked over the hot coals, resulting in paella and other mouthwatering dishes

We decided not to have soup with balls.


A handsome Bedouin poses for us by his tent

To catch the spirit of the day, watch the video I took while there. You might feel like you have gone back in time like I did.

DSCN1801We had one rainy day in Paris, the trains were on strike and the traffic horrible. So we decided not to go downtown. Since the Ceramics Museum was nearby, we choose to visit it instead. I love ceramics of all sorts, my daughter is a potter, after all. It was a good decision.

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The elegant entrance into the French Museum of Ceramics

Located in Sèvres, a suburb of Paris well known for producing fine ceramics, the museum is housed in a building built in 1876 on the site of a ceramics factory which is still in operation. The museum was originally created in 1824  by Alexandre Brongniart who’s statue stands in front of the building. It was later moved to the current location.

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The museum contains one of the world’s largest collection of ceramics representing many countries, periods and techniques. I was fascinated by all categories of ceramics (pottery, faience, stoneware, porcelain, as well as enamels, stained glass windows and glass) from various cultures and time periods well displayed in the many rooms. Here are some of my favourite pieces.

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Don’t you just love the face on this item from Germany?

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I couldn’t help but admire this vase decorated with dogs, cats, and rabbits.

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A fabulous wall of ceramic plates

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This was one of my favourite pieces. I love the colours.

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And not just because it matched my nail polish perfectly!!

The rain doesn’t ruin your plans, it just gives you an opportunity to do or see something you hadn’t planned!!


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