Tuesday, July 22, 2008

And Funnel Clouds

I was walking up from the barn tonight after work - when what should appear:

So - I quickly dashed into the house and grabbed my camera and snapped an entire series of
pictures as we watched the funnel cloud forming - and ultimately fizzling. This was just over the
town that is to the south of us - about 1/2 kilometer away. It was ultimately scary - and very transfixing at the same time. I was standing just outside my back door about 20 feet from the house taking these pictures. There were actually 3 funnel clouds all in a row - this one was the most pronounced.

Oh - and don't think I was overly calm. I was yelling at my son between shots to get the cats downstairs into their cages in the event it came down. I am a storm watcher - they fascinate - and terrify me at the same time.

And now - the main portion of the storm is approaching - I guess I'd better sign off before our house gets struck by lightning - again.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Here There Be Dragons

As Promised - I am posting some of my most recent raku pots. Click on the picture to make it larger if you'd like to see more detail. The first picture is of one of my dragon pots. Now - with raku - it is a low fire glazing technique which gives lovely lustres.
The fun thing about raku - is that you never really know what is going to happen. See the green dragon pot below.

The funny thing about the green dragon - and the red dragon - is that they are supposed to both be the same colour. They are the same glaze - Turquoise. Everything depends on the heat tempurature, the location in the kiln - and the reduction process. I was surprised to say the least - however - very pleased.

This pot here with the dragonfly was an oopsy. The picture was very hard to take - the flash
keeps making the dragonfly too bright. However - if you were to get a good look - the dragonfly is a very lusterous red glaze. The rest of the pot is supposed to be a black and white spot called naked raku. When you quench the pot - the glaze is supposed to crack and fall off - it didn't.
However - if I could show you the pot - because the glaze stayed on - and only flaked off in small areas - it has the look of being very old and fragile. Sometimes oopsies are OK.

These last two pots I picked up in early June while on a pottery run. They are by a small pottery shop in Miller Lake , Ontario - about 4 hours from here - called, what else - Miller Lake Pottery. Funny thing - the guy who makes these pots used to live just down the road from me - and we do know his family. It's a small world.
Rob Nantais (the potter) - makes these pots loosely based on the Lord of the Rings. They are a big seller. The jug on the left is a wizard (Gandalf) - the jar on the right isn't really based on any of the characters - but he does all of these faces in pots, mugs, jars - they are quite captivating.

That's it for pottery tonight.

It's still crazy busy here - we have sold several sheep - and deliveries will start in the next few weeks. I also have to start preparing fleeces for the mill, and I have several pottery commissions to get done as well. Let's couple that with a trip to Newfoundland in August - and it's going to be one busy summer.

And I said I was going to take it easy this year - Yeah Right!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Lambing is Done

Lambing is all done here at Kalwa Taure Shetlands this year. Now, you'll remember that I said, due to surgery, I wasn't going to breed any sheep this year - and I didn't. However, I am babysitting some sheep for my friend Shauna - and well - 4 of them were pregnant.

This first little darling - is our first ever bottle baby. In 13 years of raising shetlands, we have never had a bottle baby before. It's very heartbreaking to watch a baby that's been rejected. So, you'll forgive me for not posting this past week - but I have been busy. This is Windwater
Bertram. He's a beautiful black spotted gulmoget out of Willow Garden Latifah, and Verilaf Silver Streak. Bertram has a twin brother, Bernard.

This is a picture of Bertram and Bernard together. Bernard is all black and has a large white krunet. He tries very hard to spend time with Bertram - against his mothers wishes. At least the other lambs haven't rejected him. For the first 2 days he screamed bloody murder. Then I figured, he may just want to be cuddled. Sure enough - after 30 seconds wrapped in the blanket and rocked - he calmed right down. Now, he follows me around like any lamb would follow their mom - and he's as quiet as
a mouse. What a sweetie. He will be going to a good home near Ottawa some time in the very
near future.

And last but not least - Windwater Flower was born on June 25th. I came home to find this little
lovely laying with her mom in the barn - no issues with her. She's very delicate - all black with a little white krunet. We also lost one lamb - a beautiful mioget ewe lamb. Unfortunately, she was born during the afternoon when I was at work, and her mom started to clean her from the wrong end. She suffocated with the sack over her face. By the time I got home it was too late to save the lamb even though she was still warm - I tried everything - cleared all the passages, tickled her nose with straw, swung her around - nothing worked. It was a heartbreak to take this lamb from her mom.

So - along with Rose, we had 5 lambs - 3 ewes, 2 rams - 4 survived. I have to say that I do enjoy watching the lamb races, so I'm glad Shauna did give me an opportunity to have some lambs here this year.

And finally.................................................

Last week I arrived home with a very unusual flock of sheep :-)

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I went to a raku bash (no- not a raccoon bash) - and made up these little guys.

Raku is a type of firing that is done in pottery - in Japanese is means "Just Right".
These are so fun to make - as with raku - you never know just what you will get - it all depends on the intensity of the heat, where they sit in the kiln - and what you do during reduction.
I actually have several more that I have to photograph yet. But keep in mind - these are all about 2 inches long x about 1 1/2 inches high. The hardest thing - is not losing them in reduction.

I did some more raku last Saturday on my dragon pots. I will try to get pictures and post them in the next few days.