Friday, June 30, 2017

Man Décor

Andrew has been living at the lounge while I was on the road and until he and Victoria find a house and finally live together after his 3 year his sojourn at Grad school.
. I see he did a bit of man décor in my absence. He has displayed his Fiskars axe in the kitchen. A lesser man would have parked  it in my garage or perhaps down the basement but no this is a prize possession. I gave Andrew the axe as a parting gift the summer he stayed and worked here. I personalized by writing in silver indelible ink Andrew “Bitch” Kellner. Not because of his bitching and whining but because he called himself my bitch because he did all the grunt work around here. Mostly he split a lot of wood that was just to nasty for this senior’s body.
A Fiskars axe is a piece of art. It is one of the few products I know of that is guaranteed for life. Now that is a big claim unless you have a great product. My pots I guarantee for life. When I did more production work I remember taking back pie plates that had cracked. There was an obvious sign of the electric burner ring on the bottom so I told them again never to put the pie plate on an element. They would assure me that they hadn’t.   It is better to keep a customer than have to find a new one.
When Andrew gets his new house I’ll be interested to see his man décor. Fiskar axe in the kitchen in case he over cooks his steak, his new Fluke pyrometer in the bedroom to measure the heat, the stand up Dremel tool in the bathroom to fill in as a electric tooth brush, the heavy duty Husquavarna chain saw would make a nice conversation piece for the coffee table and as a focal point of the living room he has a beautiful yellow oak treadle wheel.
Then he is going to be moving back here because his wife will have kicked him out. Biologically speaking if something bites you it’s more likely to be female.
Revised Man’s Prayer-Church of The Cactus Lounge
I am a man.
I cannot change.
So bugger off.

In the year of our Lord 2017

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Ensconce dates back to 1580 when it literally meant to covered by a fort. You don’t need a fort to be ensconced but the idea of being surrounded by familiar objects and friends is a form of being ensconced. Memories can also be a form of ensconcement.  With that in mind I am totally ensconced after living most of my life in south western Ontario.  It is the age old idea that the pasture is greener on the other side of the fence or country.
I have long dreamed of living in the mountains. I dreamed of living in northern England and the south of France. Here I am totally ensconced in rural Ontario amongst the corn fields, soya and the Carolinian forests.
My aunt and uncle first dreamed of setting up their studio in Grande Mannan on The Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick. They spent their entire career in Aylmer where I have landed.  There are no mussels, no oysters, and no views of the sea. There are the corn and soya fields and the pockets of hardwood forest and the wonderful brick houses that speak to me of being home.  I arrived home to The Cactus Lounge late to the welcoming sheets of my own bed, the cast iron bra, the bullet proof panties and  a globe of places I’ve yet to go. And God said unto Jesus “Go forth my son and spread banter.”
I have at least a day of life’s maintenance to catch up on- banking, laundry, groceries and you all know the drill. There is also that 3 hour jet lag I’m fighting. I have to get back into the studio. I have some ideas I want to try out. It was great to take time to breath in. I haven’t done that for a loooong time.  Time to breath out. I have a show to get ready for.

Not all that wander are lost. J.R.R. Tolkein

Sunday, June 25, 2017

If I had a million dollars

I remember when Canada’s Barenaked Ladies produced this song we all dreamed of what we could do with a million dollars. I’m in Vancouver doing a workshop. Vancouver has the highest real estate prices of any city in Canada. A garden shed would cost you over a million dollars and a detached crack house 1.6 million dollars. Actually I’m staying in a friends one bedroom condo which has the million dollar price tag. It’s hard to imagine a person in the arts living in this city without having 3 or 4 jobs. Not a place for little ole moi.  Rural Ontario is looking better and better.
We went down to Granville Island which is a happening spot on the harbour front that has long been the home of Emily Carr School of Art and Design. There were some sexy little house boats nestled along the shore and low and behold a cement factory. What that real estate is worth would be mind blowing. I’d sell the joint pay a few bills, move to Aylmer, Ontario and make pots till all the money was gone.  What was nice to see is the paint job on the silos. Art can change the entire face of industry. I wasn’t the only person that stopped to photograph the cement trucks . They are even smart enough to have artists painting flower boxes, mail boxes and empty walls. This way they look like art instead of some bad tag from someone in a hurry to deface an empty space.

Here is a picture of my friend Cheryl who works 3 or 4 jobs to live in Vancouver amongst her arts peeps. A big salute to Cheryl who gives so much to Ceramic Arts in Vancouver without much well deserved recognition. People like Cheryl are in many arts centres making sure the glazes are made, the kilns are working, the space isn’t a pig stye and people go home happy.  People that know who the worker bees are celebrated Cheryl's

B-Day with flowers.  A tip of my fedora to you Cheryl.  That'a a helluva smile and a even bigger laugh- har, har, har, har.  Cheryl long may you run!