Mar 22 2011

Please help

Days don’t go by without thinking of the people of Japan. What to say.. what to think.. what to do.. I think I heard on the radio yesterday that the dead/missing number was up to 21,000. Its all so much to take in.

Living on the Gulf Coast, it seems a lot more close to home. I have friends in Mississippi who were literally almost swept out to sea and others who’s homes were completely wiped out when Hurricane Katrina hit a few years ago. You see the photographs of the devastation, but I don’t think you can truly grasp what devastation of this type is until you see it first hand or know someone who has gone through it. I think of what I saw in Mississippi, only multiply it times 5 (!). ..and Japan has the additional threat brought on by the pending meltdown of 4 nuclear reactors.

We’ve been bombarded with info from online and the news (satellite photos of before and after, and countless video clips), but very little of the coverage, it seems, puts a human face to this tragedy. Euan Craig, a potter who lives with his familiy just outside of Mashiko Japan, gives a very moving and personal account on his blog. He is just one small voice.

Please help:

“Japan earthquake & Tsunami: How to help
” from yahoo news


Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund

Handmade for Japan – “Handmade for Japan is an online auction of unique, handmade art donated by concerned, invited artists. One hundred percent of all net proceeds collected via the auction will be donated to Global Giving’s Earth and Tsunami Relief Fund”
On Facebook
On eBay – online auction March 24-27, 2011
On Twitter

Mashiko Pottery Foundation by Ken Matsuzaki

The Leach Pottery launches earthquake appeal for Mashiko Village

.

It almost seems surreal as we go about our regular routines here on this side of the globe. I finish up teaching a class session this week, have managed to clean the studio readying for a new work cycle, and have started on a new lot of carved porcelain pieces. Also have started working on taxes. ugh.. I wish I had a secretary. .. and, like every potter I know, a clone.

The other night the moon was supposedly the closest its been to Earth in around 18 years. Such a lovely clear night.

Full moon March 19, 2011


Sep 8 2008

Sept 21st – Peace One Day

Hope in these days of war. elections, and lip serviceĀ  promises.

September 21st ….”A day of cease fire, a day of non-violence, a day of intercultural cooperation on a scale that we have never known before” – Jeremy Gilley

Please visit: http://peaceoneday.org

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Mar 24 2008

Earth Hour 2008 – Lights Out

March 29th, 2008 – 8 pm for one hour…

The World Wildlife Fund has organized a global initiative called “Earth Hour” to help raise awareness of global warming and inspire people to do something about it. Its amazing how much a difference we each can make by even small actions.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcHz6Jv4l-g]

Sydney this time last year:

2.2 million people and 2100 Sydney businesses turned off their lights for one hour – Earth Hour. If the greenhouse reduction achieved in the Sydney CBD during Earth Hour was sustained for a year, it would be equivalent to taking 48,616 cars off the road for a year.” from earthhour.org

To learn more about Earth Hour, please visit:
http://www.earthhour.org


Nov 10 2007

‘Art Soup’ – Mobile’s Annual Empty Bowls: Feed the homeless

15 Place will be holding its annual Art Soup empty bowls event during National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week to benefit Mobile, Al’s homeless.

Regional artists of various mediums, not just clay, donate a piece of work: their interpretation of a bowl.

Friday, November 16th, 6 to 9 pm
Cathedral Square Gallery, 260 Dauphin St, Downtown Mobile
Tickets: Just $35 from the 15 Place web site

“…eat hearty soups, drink assorted beverages, munch on artisan breads and gourmet cookies, dance to a great band, BAYRUNNER this year, and at the end of the evening take our bowl home.”


Oct 15 2007

Blog Action Day October 15

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day when blogs everywhere talk about one thing: the environment.

Potters tend to have a reputation for being frugal. Some stems from necessity, some stems out of principle. I started thinking about ways in which we here at the studio try to make a difference to the environment and recycle:

– Building: recycled wood & windows in building studio (reclaimed lots of waste wood from hurricanes which would otherwise be taken to landfill or burned).
– Plastics: We recycle grocery bags & use them for shows (people don’t mind when you tell them it is for the environment) as well as dry cleaning plastic which works perfect for covering pots & protecting controlling how they dry
– Paper: Newspaper and newspaper roll ends are used in the studio for a multitude of uses. Also excellent for packing pots away for/at shows
– Metal: We bought a can crusher and while they don’t pick up recycled items here, we take our tin/aluminum cans to the recycle depot when we are in town.
– Appliances: We have two defunct refrigerators & freezers make excellent damp cupboards and places to keep moist clay.
– Old Machinery: our clay mixers are 2 recycled old machines: one is made from an old WWII anti-aircraft gun and the other a 1915 dough mixer.
– Waste wood & pine needles: We get scrap wood cast offs from the local wood mill and use them to fire the wood kiln. Wood and pine needles burn much more efficiently and with less smoke at the temperatures we fire the kiln to, than it would in a burn pile.
– Cast offs: We use cast-off bisque ware (cracked and unusable) in holes in our driveway, and try to use as many of the glazed cast-offs as bird feeders, planters, dog bowls, etc.. Lots of other shards go to a friend who does mosaics. (We have also used waste oyster shells from the local fishery to fill holes in the driveway – smells a bit at first, but definitely organic)
– Our clay: Now that our clay mixer is operational again, we try to pay extra attention these days to recycle all of our scrap clay into a new batch of mixed clay and make it go as far as possible. A lot of the clay we use, we dig ourselves. The white and bubble gum colored clay that we like to use is considered waste clay to contractors (not good for road base) and they are quite happy if we cart as much as we like off.
– Organic Gardening: We try our best to garden as organically as we can. We have several neighbors with horses that are glad to part with their more than ample supply of muck.
– Commuting: Our little chunk of land houses both where we live and the studio, so thankfully I don’ t have to commute anywhere (except to shows, wholesale customers, and some of my suppliers, of course).
With a group of like-minded artists, we also started a small artist collective to hopefully open up more marketing opportunities closer to home and cut back on travel. Less traveling not only saves us expense, time, and wear and tear on our vehicles (and us) but also means less fuel consumed and less impact on the environment.

Coming from away, I couldn’t help but notice the absence of things such as public transit for commuters and carpooling lanes when I first got down here. SUVs are the vehicle of choice it seems here and its not uncommon to see a Hummer or 2 cruising up the road. No attention to carbon emissions on old vehicles either. Big cars, big boats and often big inefficient houses too. How do permits get granted to construct on valuable wetland? Always has baffled me how a place with so much sunshine has so few people taking advantage or even the slight bit knowledgeable of solar power. Welcome to the Alabama Coast. Consuming with very little thought of conservation. You used to be able to see to the bottom of Mobile Bay not 50 years ago, apparently. Not now though. Pollution from industry-friendly Mobile and other places upstream have unfortunately taken its toll. Its a pity.

Southerners are known to be resistant to change but hopefully they will sit up and take notice before it is too late.