March Meet the Maker 2018: Days 1-5

Posted by A. Lorena Haldeman on

I missed it last year, but am 1003% on board for this year! Let's do March Meet the Maker!

Weeks ago, I had every intention of doing @joannehawker's March Meet the Maker; I had so much fun doing it two years ago, missed out last year because of all that kidney stuff, and was really looking forward to this year... and then This Last Week happened. But things are looking better for all the people in my life I've been caring for, so here we go! Time for selfish me-time! Hey, hi! I'm Lorena, I'm a Maker. Primarily ceramics (my first, best love) but I also knit, spin, dye yarn, make soap (and occasionally lotion and lip balm), and about a year and a half ago I also took up blacksmithing. I am the daughter and niece of science fiction writers and the nerd runs strong in me (got any questions about feminist science fiction? Hit me up!). I am a wife (better the second time around, y'all!) and an aunt and a Goddessmother. After spending my angsty teenage years being sure I needed to live in the heart of a big city, I now live on 15 acres in the middle of almost nowhere (go nowhere, turn right at that tree, go about two more miles and it's on the left). I have tattoos and an attitude and my sarcasm game is strong. Pleased to meet you! Can't wait to see what everyone else is posting!

I'm still a day or two behind, but I'll catch up over the weekend, here. (Wait, it is the weekend, right? What is today???). For March Meet the Maker Day 2, the prompt is "where". Here's where. 15 acres outside of Keystone Heights, Florida (between Gainesville and Jacksonville). The whole reason we bought the property is that big not-finished-being-painted building, my art studio. 2000 square feet, y'all! You can kind of see the house far off to the left, in back. In front on the left is our kiln shed; it holds a bunch of junk that shouldn't be rained on, a wood-burning kiln, an electric raku kiln, and my blacksmithing equipment (gas forge, anvil, etc.). Inside the studio is where I do everything else - making ceramics, dyeing yarn, making soap.... everything.

The Day 3 March Meet the Maker prompt was "How you started". I can't say how I started without showing this bad-ass warrior woman, my grandmother. Because she moved to Alaska in the 40s and discovered ceramics, and by the 50s had her own home studio... because of that, I learned ceramics in the early 1970s. How I started was by painting a greenware duck she'd already poured and cleaned (I painted it purple). That's all it took - I was hooked. Years later, after having a stroke and no longer being able to paint, she made sure through her limited communication abilities that everyone in the family understood that I was to get her paints, her supplies, her molds, her kiln. The rest is history. Or should I say HERstory?

The prompt for Day 4 of March Meet the Maker (hey! I'm caught up!) is "Favorite to make". Actually it's "favourite" but that's giving my Spellchecker fits. Hah! Anyway. My first, best crafting love is ceramics, and my favorite ceramic thing to make are mugs. I want to make the mug that makes you sad when you reach for it in the morning for coffee and it's still dirty from last night's tea. I want to make the mug that you use when you're celebrating a good day. I want to make the mug that feels like a best friend's hug in your hand when you're having a bad day. I want my mug to break your heart when it gets chipped. I want you to glue my broken mugs back together and use them for pens and pencils when you can no longer drink out of them. I want to make the mug that brings a smile to your face.

March Meet the Maker Day 5: Photography. I think last time I did this I took a picture of my light box, and talked about my camera equipment. So this time I'll show off another place where I take a lot of photos... the back stoop of my studio. When we came out to look at this property for the first time, the realtor was late. We walked around the 15 acres... we walked around the outside of the house (which was locked)... we walked around the outside of the studio, expecting it to be locked as well. There were three doors to the studio; one door with a beat-up but lovely weathered wooden step (the door was locked).... one door at the front of the studio that you had to wade through ten feet of waist-high weeds to get to (it was also locked)... then we walked around to the back door, and there was this concrete stoop... and that door was unlocked. I took it as a sign! I use this area to take a lot of "group" photos - everything in a particular kiln firing, everything of a particular colorway of yarn, and sometimes as the backdrop for official product photos. It faces west and gets lovely golden hour sun, and it's probably my favorite place at my studio to take photos.


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