After our return from Arizona, one might have thought I'd have used all that inspiration to create some marvy pieces in a pre-historic southwestern theme. Not yet. Those images are still percolating somewhere in the nether-reaches of my mind, and will appear who-knows-when in who-knows-what.....
In the early summer my attention invariably wanders to my full garden, with its shady green niches and overflowing flowerbeds. Since there is too much growth to see any weeds (thank heaven!), I spend a lot of time looking at things, and tweaking -- moving this little thing here, trying that little thing there, and wondering what I can do to make things more interesting for me, for the birds, and for passersby.
I used my studio time to create accessories for other people's gardens.
Birds may not need baths during the winter, but they do appreciate being fed. My stoneware feeders have nice wide trays, eaves to keep the rain off the food in the tray, and they are easy to fill and clean out, as the roof-lids slide up easily to completely open the top of the feeders.
Of course, every garden should have some critters in it. I chose terracotta clay for these because I like the colour, especially for amphibians. In a protected location like a porch or covered deck, terracotta winters outside beautifully in our wet coast climate. It even does well in the rain. But the combination of being soaked and freezing will cause damage.
I'm usually blessed with a large population of Pacific Tree Frogs -- but not this year. I missed their overwhelming choruses in the early spring, and miss seeing them sunning themselves on the phlox leaves by my deck in the later summer mornings. But, no mind. I conjured up some frogs of my own.
They are a far cry from the 1.5 inch tree frogs, being anywhere from 4 inches to 6 or more inches long. But, they seem to be popular with visitors to the Woods Showcase shop.
A nod to my Arizona trip, and to warmer climes in general (the Gibsons weather being so horrid for the month of July), I thought some lizard-ish types might be useful. And who knew? Maybe they'd call up some sun!
Finally, since every garden has its faeries (or so I'm told), I created a couple of those as well.
And so ends Salamander Studio's summer session of work. Stay tuned for tales from Turkey, where I am once again privileged to stay and work in the studio of my good friend, ceramic artist Erdogan Güleç until mid October.