A few days in pictures

Masako (Japan), Stephanie (USA), Sten (DK) at a bbq we were all invited to at another studio. 

Egle and Christin at the bbq – waiting for some bubbly to pop, I think!

Stephanie and Christin riding back from the bbq (Egle (Lithuania) in background)

Me in my studio space, doing what I do best: making rectangles.

My Favorite Tools. Several months ago I repeatedly complained to my friend Lauren about how dull my studio knives were. Finally she said, “I just don’t understand why you don’t go on Amazon and buy some disposable scalpels.” Huh. I actually hadn’t thought of that! Now I can have a brand-new blade every day if I want to. I LOVE it! The handles were about 3 bucks each, and I think the blades (I like nos. 11 and 15) come out to a few cents a piece. Maybe the best money I’ve ever spent. Way cheaper than x-acto…

I’ve decided to do an outdoor installation in the garden. I did the math today and I think I need 388 of these squares. So far I have 42.

Tests of porcelain-dipped fiberglass (fired).

Some of my recent castings (unfired).

Christin Johansson’s (SWE) studio space

Sten Lykke Madsen’s (DK) studio space

Stephanie Stuefer’s (USA) studio space.

Hiroe Hanazono’s (USA) studio space – she mostly works in the plaster room.

 

This is how they mow the lawn in Denmark. (It’s also where I plan to put my installation up for a few days.)

Hiroe making another amazing meal.

One of the many trays of sushi Hiroe prepared that night.

Christin’s family came for her birthday, which was a couple of days ago. Her kids decorated the cakes. Cute!

Egle with some of Christin’s birthday cake.

 

Malena (DK) in an after-birthday-dinner “Lambrusco ad.”

Cat named Steven who likes to hang around Guldageraard, even though he has a family down the street.

Stephanie (AIR), Rachel (assistant), Masako (assistant), and I (AIR) went on a nice after-dinner walk tonight.

 

Eating ice cream at the harbor.

There are lots of rosebushes around town and near both bodies of water. I picked some rosehips and am going to have them in tea tomorrow morning. They remind me of the time Lauren and I picked them at West Island while Piggy the dog went crashing merrily through the bushes, chasing all sorts of other creatures.

The slugs curl up into little balls when touched.

Make a wish!

Walking out on a pier at the lake.

On the pier.

Stephanie, Masako (Japan), Rachel (USA) on an after-supper walk to the harbor and a nearby lake.

When we wanted to get back to the road after walking along the lake, trying to find a way through/around this building proved to be a little difficult. We thought it was an apartment complex and we could just walk through these doors and out the other side, but the building turned out to be a nursing home. Whoops! (We went the long way around.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here are some pictures from the weekend!  It’s Johanna’s birthday today.  She and Rebecca had a party yesterday at their apartment with several international students.  Johanna’s from Finland and Rebecca’s from Ireland.  Have I said that before?  Sorry.  They’re both here through the Erasmus Programme.  Anyway, Johanna graciously invited me to celebrate with her 🙂

Birthday girls

Me, Johanna, cake by Johanna (the # is the total of our years - 28 & 24)

Earlier in the day, Meredith and I walked to what’s proving to be an elusive thrift store – It was closed again, this time due to their changing out the stock.  (We only know this because a young Hungarian guy took pity on us standing confusedly next to the locked door and translated the sign for us.)  So, we went for birthday cake and ice cream instead.  Yum!  These nicely sized cubes of heavenliness cost between $0.70 and $1.16.

Birthday cake - it was custard-y deliciousness! Thanks, Meredith!

birthday treats

Birthday cake and ice cream with Meredith

British Flags, 42 Ice Creams, and a Folk Ensemble to Cry For

Yesterday was spent making saggers.  I’m sure you’ll be delighted to know I got them all finished (if only for the fact that maybe now I’ll stop writing about them…)!

I took a couple of breaks while waiting for the slabs to set up:

1) Meredith and I went looking for a specific ‘upscale’ thrift store.  It’s been getting colder here at night and we wanted to look for a cheap winter coats.  Neither of us bothered to pack one since they take up so much room in the luggage.  Do you know how to tell which store is a thrift store here and which one isn’t?  It’s easy – just look for the giant British flags in the windows.  These flags fly triumphant over the second-hand shops of Hungary.  Why?  I don’t know.  I was told that it possibly has something to do with the Brits (historically) sending a lot of hand-me-downs to Hungary.  Anyone know for sure?  I’d love to hear it!

1a) We found the store but it was closed (shops close here at noon on Saturdays and don’t reopen until Monday).  BUT, we happened to be in the neighborhood of “the best ice cream and pastry shop in town.”  So, of course we had to verify that claim.  They have 42 different kinds of ice cream.  We didn’t even look at the pastries.  I had the Riz (cinnamon), Mojito (SE), Malna (raspberry), and Erdomaster (triple berry-esque).  At this rate it will take me 10.5 visits to try them all.  I figure that on the 11th+ visits, I can start in on the pastries.  That case was at least as long, or longer than the ice cream case.

2)  Then we went back to the studio and I put together the slabs, and cut out the pieces for the last two and some lids.  While waiting for those to set up, we went to find the folk dancing and music.  We asked Peteris and Ilona to come with us, but they were busy glazing.  They’re firing their last kilns this week.  I wish they weren’t leaving the 1st week of October!

Anyway, we found the folk dancing, after some initial mishaps.  It was in the town square on the same stage that was set up the previous night.  These dancers and singers were a step or two above their predecessors, however.  It turned out that this was the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble.  (We didn’t know that beforehand.)  They were excellent.  I’ve never seen, heard, or experienced anything quite like it.  I’m struggling with how to explain it.  Maybe I should just bite the bullet and admit that I almost cried.  More than once.  You can’t laugh at me because you weren’t there!

Part of what made it work, in addition to the beautiful music (live), dancing, and costumes, was the respect given by the audience.  People stood patiently and attentively, in one place, for two hours.  They didn’t talk to their neighbors or fidget and complain because they couldn’t see or sit – nobody pushed anyone around to try to get “the best spot” even though the square was packed.  People very courteously looked behind them when choosing which area of cement to put down their roots, making sure that they weren’t blocking the view of a fellow audience member.  When I was videoing, a couple of different people walked in front of me.  They each ducked down and were careful not to jostle my elbows as they passed so as to not disrupt my picture.  Old people (from what I could tell) were given deference; they filled the vast majority of the seating area.  It was all very respectful.  I liked it.  In a way, it freed you from worrying about the other people around you and left you space to absorb the show.

At the end, when everyone wanted an encore, instead of whistling or yelling, the audience suddenly broke out into rhythmic (synchronized?) clapping.  I’d definitely see this group again, and if you’re ever in Hungary and have the same opportunity, I highly recommend that you seize it!

Kecskemet, Hungary

Hungarian Folk Ensemble - see a video clip on my facebook site

town square, Kecskemet

Traditional foodstuffs before the performance.