AUG 2022: Heavy Lifting

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How can we sleep while the earth is burning? Link here to read astrologer Chani Nicholas's post about the disruptive astrology of July & August 2022.

'When these three (Mars, Uranus & the North Node) come together, life gets turbulent, chaotic, and very complex. Their collective influence in Taurus initiates change in our lives, the world, and the earth itself at a dizzying speed. But their union also encourages us to innovate the systems that no longer work for us or the planet at large. Like an alarm sounding, this message is loud and clear...We are in this together, and the only way through it is to find and join the people who are doing the work we feel most called to contribute to.'

 

It's about to be August and I cannot lie. Life and the state of our world is stressful, and I am feeling it. Being here now, is as intense as ever. The other day I wrote down these two phrases that hit home from an article about uncertainty, which I cannot find to cite. But they are 'paralyzing self-doubt' & 'unproductive rumination'.

'The challenge is that all growth, change, and transformation inevitably come paired with uncertainty. We have to go through the uncertainty to get to the possibility.'

On the studio front, some news to share...I have a new MACHINE that I was maybe feeling regretful about, but surprise! I love it. 

And stay tuned for a studio sale both online and in person this August. Info soon to follow.

Meet the Ram Press & its partner, the Air Compressor. Mid 2020, I committed to getting this machine, a hydraulic press. It was one of those fuck it moments. I wasn't totally sure if I needed it or wanted it, but my gut said go for it. After 2 years of ‘I am in way over my head with this thing’ and 'I need an air compressor to run it? and rent ‘a what' to get this 2500 pound thing off the truck when you deliver it?' She is here.
 
And she rocks. We are only using it for a couple of pieces because the mold costs are $$$ and it is not a process I want to take over my production. But it's a good tool, and while it doesn’t make the work 'presto!' it definitely speeds up one or two stages in the making process. And bonus, pressing is a group task which brings us all together in the studio for a few days a month, which makes it fun.

Here's a pic of the 6000 ton capacity fork lift with all terrain wheels I had to rent for a day to get it off the truck, a beauty once it arrived. And next to it the Pugmill now needed to process all the scrap from the Ram Press.

In over my head I said. Believe me when I tell you things like this trigger my old frenemy, procrastination...

 

Clay-making in general creates lots of scrap that cannot be wedged right away and reused. So, we dry out the clay scrap in buckets, add water to re-hydrate into a slurry slip, then spread out a layer on the plaster table. The plaster pulls the water out of the slip and with some babysitting, it’s eventually the right consistency to wedge it back into a workable state. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

 
My pugmill from Bailey Pottery is amazing! Who knew? Well...both Brad from Lail Design, and Susannah from SKT Ceramics did and told me so, but I guess I wasn't listening! Anyways, the pugmill takes clay in any state from dry to wet, mixes it up, vacuums out the air and pugs it into these beautiful perfectly ready to use clay logs. I thought that getting a plaster wedging table was a studio improvement, but the pugmill takes it to a whole other level.

Whoop Whoop! Three cheers for the pugmill!

And now, onto making work and catching up, hopefully. 

Some new pieces to come, Yellow! The Endless Knot!

 

With no beginning and no end, The Endless Knot symbolizes the underlying reality of mutual dependence and the interconnectedness of all things in a continual process of transformation. 

Stay strong, fight the good fight, and take care of yourself. 
XO Michele

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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