This is Canada Day weekend. Yesterday Attila and I managed to get away for an afternoon, a reward for the months spent repairing the north side of the house. Although it rained intermittently, and the wind was brisk and cold, we had a wonderful, comfortable time on a three-hour boat tour of the Thirty Thousand Islands, designated by the United Nations as a Biosphere Reserve, on the east coast of Georgian Bay.
The Island Queen sails out of Parry Sound Harbour. We chose the longer afternoon “nature” tour, which focuses on the natural beauty of Georgian Bay, the islands, the flora and the fauna. An additional shorter cruise runs through July and August that focuses on areas where wealth owns and creates recreational built form along the shoreline; a tour of how the other .000001% live. The opulence of the natural world will suffice for us.
However, I did find the shoreline at Depot Harbour of interest, although little built form remains, as I have documented a portion of the genealogical history of that area. As I child I heard much of Depot Harbour, as it was quite a going concern during my grandparent’s day and very near one of the original land grants taken by my ancestors.
Today it is sunny and cool. Already Attila has a load of his laundry hung to dry, and I have a crockpot full of granola quietly doing its thing on the kitchen counter. It is the day we will begin the creation of my “studio”. After some deliberation we have decided to convert the downstairs bedroom into a studio. On the north side of the house, it has a large window with lots of natural light, and it will be fairly easy to create a venting system at one end of the room for the kiln.
In order to create the studio we must first move the sofa bed and linen cupboard out into the family room. The bookcases will go back to back to form a non-structural wall to give those sleeping on the sofa bed some privacy. Attila will move all this furniture over the course of the day. I will vacuum and wash floors and walls as we go.
Once the studio room is cleared of bedroom furniture, we will move in an old dining table, a melamine worktable (rescued from the landfill years ago) and some old stained shelving for materials and greenware. There will be no sink in my studio. I am using colour-coded buckets of water to clean tools and my hands of clay. The clay will eventually settle to the bottom of the bucket, where I can reclaim it for future use. There will be two buckets for each type of clay that I use. I plan on working very slowly and keeping the studio very clean by sponging down all surfaces frequently and cleaning as I go. This is easier with hand building than it would be with a potter’s wheel in the studio. The sinks and drains in the house will not be used for my pottery pursuits.
We plan on spending as little as possible to get me going. My plastic buckets came from The Dollar Store, as did some of my tools such as plastic tablecloths, plastic measuring spoons and a plastic measuring cup. My MDF boards for wedging and bats were scraps from a lumberyard, cut to size by Attila. But, where quality is important I have cut no corners. I purchased reliable wet clay and glazes from Tucker’s Pottery, and will continue to do so until my skills have developed sufficiently to make my own glazes. I also splurged on a good quality turntable on which to work.
An added bonus of moving all this furniture to and fro is that we are inspired and able to purge unused items. After sorting and purging items for more than a year, it is hard to believe so much remains. There are now two garbage bags full to the brim and several boxes of items for the church bazaar.
|RECIPES :: Cast
An island shoreline from the deck of the Island Queen, Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
On the Screen
starring Billy Bob Thornton
A few clouds
Wind N 7km/h
Pressure 102.42 kPa
Visibility 14.0 km
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