About 16 years ago when we bought this house, we took out a chain link fence that ran across the front of the yard, and I planted a quince and a red twig dogwood out there. Later we discovered that the old lady who had lived (and died) here had planted red tulips all along that chain link fence. They remember her, and come up every year. Mostly they don’t get to bloom before Jeff mows for the first time, but these girls somehow ended up near the dogwood I planted, and have managed to bloom every year.

If I were more persnickety I might have rooted them out, as it’s absurd to bloom in the middle of a bush, but I just send out a good thought to the lady who planted them, and let them be.

I’m packing this morning for my last trip to EMU for the school year. I need to finish printing and make mats for the etchings due tomorrow afternoon (my last final). I’m taking a bucket of cleaning supplies to help tidy up Prof. Diana’s house, which Patrick and I have been using all winter while she has been in Florida and Italy. I’ll do some mopping at the studio, where most of the pots not worth further study have already been packed up and hauled home. I suppose I will bring my plants home, because although I will make a few trips down this summer to help with firings, and take bisque to load my shelves, I won’t be there enough to keep a plant watered.

Patrick’s dad is flying down from Tennessee and helping him drive home, on the 28th. It’s going to seem really weird not to see him all summer, after 9 months of having him as a studio-mate and once a week roomie. We rearranged our shelves and wheels in the MFA studio, to adapt to new changes: Reem from Libya (who has a baby girl, Salma) will switch to U of M next fall, so she is moving out; Nancy Sly was an MFA who broke her arm and is just now getting back into the game, so she’s moved in, and there are rumors of a new MFA coming next fall.

We’ve arranged our stuff so as to define (and claim!) our spaces, allow for interaction with others, but make it difficult for chatters to pull up a chair and turn our limited work time into a social occasion. Prof. Lee had suggested last fall that we hang curtains or put up partitions, and we thought he was nuts because we all got along well, and had no concerns about “stealing ideas” with such a diverse body of work. But as we get more serious about producing the bulk of next spring’s MFA shows, and we juggle the responsibilities of kilns, firings and GA duties, we’ve come to see the importance of protecting our time — in this case, by defining our space and turning our wheels to the wall/backs to the room.

I am still cranking out ewers and pouring vessels at home, I can’t seem to get tired of them. I have almost 100 in my bisque kiln right now, waiting to be fired. None are the same but they seem to be forming themselves into “families”. There’s a group based on an ovaled cylinder, pinched straing across at the top, that have a “chickenish” look, beak/spout and fill/tail. Another group of tripod bottomed ones with funnel spouts have an aardvarkish shape. I could see categorizing them in some pseudo-Linnean system, with Latin names.

My plan for summer is to choose one type to produce as a pair, as vinegar and oil cruets on a tray, maybe with a fill-funnel incorporated somehow… to evolve something into a cream and sugar… to make one perfect for olive oil, one for soy, one for sake with cups. Something like a sauce or gravy boat. Maybe some small lidded jars/boxes using the same ideas. I will need to use them at my own table to solve problems: is it easy to fill? Does it pour too little or too much of whatever it holds? Does the hand want to grip it by the sides instead of the handle? Picture the Savino dinner table covered with ewers, while I plan meals requiring dribbles of this or that!

OK, well, my folks are back from Florida and my mom picked up the kids today to deliver Mobile Meals, go to lunch, see a movie and sleep over — so I need to hit the shower, pack my bags and go to school. Tomorrow morning is their last homeschool science class at the Lake Erie Research Center with their dad.. and Mom’s last day of college until September. My blog is likely to shift to details of baking in the wood oven, garden projects, weekends at the lake and camping trips. I think I’ll adapt ;0)