It is harder than you might think to get nice pictures of these horses, in part because they are so cheerful and friendly they keep following you to see if you might have treats, and all you can get are pictures of enormous noses and rolling eyes.
These are after Rachel and I were out for a trail ride, trying to find the Northwest Passage - a mythical connection between two trails. There are a stunning number of trails that start out looking perfectly reasonable, and then vanish between two trees, leaving you and the horses flailing around getting sticks stuck in your helmet and bridle and all that. And then walking around in misshapen circles trying to find the trail, when it was a trail, so you can go back and try a different direction. It was a nice afternoon for it, despite the sticks.
Alice and I have finally gotten some of our first pots home.
The process is so slow it is kind of a wonder we remember to bring them home at all. After they are partly dried they get trimmed, then finished drying, following which they get fired once, glazed (dipped into one or another, or a series of buckets of glaze) fired again, and finally finally carried carefully home.
While most of my efforts end up a squelpy mess (Alice's words) or terminally lumpy and uneven, a couple are getting useful. Shown here is a cereal bowl, in use, a handle-less tea mug, and a micro teacup.
Using my own work for the intended purpose if pretty gratifying. Plus I owe the house some small ice cream bowls, for the ones I broke a couple years ago. I have my work cut out for me.
I have to make another about today, because I just had the best ride in ages - out on trails with company, trotting and cantering along under the cloudless blue sky, with the amazing colors of a New England fall bright and backlit all around me (and sometimes stuck into my helmet!).
I finally got back into my room and started working on this piece I had let slide since spring.
The whole piece is much bigger, but needs more work. I do like the way the birch trees came out. I still haven't decided whether or not to indicate the pond with very sheer silk, or leave the dividing line more implied.
I was finishing a ride last week, walking back to the barn and I saw a piece of sky fly past me. It was so wonderful, I laughed out loud.
There was a small flock of bluebirds, five or six, nattering together about the trip south, and chasing bugs and loose grain from the horses' lunches. They dodged in and out of the maple tree at the corner of the barn, which is turning already, all oranges and res and splashes of yellow. The color combinations were outrageous.
But it was the bluebirds that lifted my spirits. There is nothing more unlikely than the color of a bluebird. I completely understand why the phrase would be Bluebird of Happiness, and not, say, raven of happiness or goldfinch of happiness. That blue. That astonishing blue.