Hot Red Wine

After a day mainly consisting of rice, chicken broth, bottled water, and clean laundry, I’m feeling much better.  You know how it is sometimes when after you’ve been sick for a couple of days your sheets and pillow and pjs feel super grungy even if you just washed them the day before you started feeling crappy?  Maybe I’m totally alone in this and you all think I’m a weirdo!  I don’t know.  But I do know that I always sleep better if everything’s nice and fresh feeling.  So, I did that yesterday and slept really well; it’s nice to feel better.

Yesterday I had a productive day despite not feeling so great, which was good.  I got several saggers done (for a technical explanation of saggers, please see the comments after my previous post).  I have six more to make today, then I should be able to fill the smallest gas kiln halfway.  The rest I’ll fill with saggers made of brick and shelves of plain tiles to be fired white.

I plan to bisque them all on Monday, then fire the gas kiln at the end of the week.  I should be able to get 60 tiles in the saggers and maybe 20 more on the shelves.  Hopefully they’ll be out by Sunday, so I can stitch some of them together and have something to show my adviser on Monday at our first skype crit.

Last night, just as I was finishing up, Harmony (an American who was visiting the studio for a few days) asked me if I’d like to go to the town square with her and Kata (sp?).  They’d heard that there was live music.  So we went.  I’m going to try to put up a short video clip here.  I should have recorded the song after this one.  I liked it much better!  I apologize for my terrible cinematography.  The buildings were lit up and it was really pretty, but it doesn’t show at all in the clip.  Anyways, it was fun to hear some traditional Hungarian music.  I guess when the crowds are bigger, the people in the crowd will spontaneously break out in traditional folk dancing.

Okay, never mind about the video – it costs $59.95 to add the option to your blog.  Sooo.  I’ll put that up on facebook, for free, and put a picture of Kata and Harmony here instead!

International Ceramics Studio

Kata and Harmony, in Kecskemet town square

It’s been sort of difficult for me to wrap my head around all of the traditions in place here.  Many people I’ve talked to, regardless of what (European) country they’re from, have asked me about traditional American music and dancing.  I find it to be a difficult question to answer.  Each section of the country seems to have their own traditions, mainly based upon the origins of the people who settled there.  I don’t know if there is one “traditional” type of music or dance across the whole of America.  The best answer I can come up with is jazz, maybe. What do you think?

While listening to the music, Kata generously bought us some special Hungarian food and drinks.  We ate pita-pocket type sandwiches filled with hot ham and cheese and pickles (surprisingly delicious!), and we sipped a unique Hungarian drink – hot red wine.  It smelled like hot apple cider with cinnamon and nutmeg, and tasted like a cross between the two drinks.

Tomorrow the plan is to cast tiles all day!