At the Sierra Hills Gift Boutique this past weekend someone else was also kissing the sky. An 85 year old woman in a wheelchair rolled up to my booth and I noticed she was clutching something very gingerly in her hand. I asked her what she had. When she opened her hand, she revealed the most beautiful Bradford pear leaf I have ever seen. The leaf had orange, brown, green, and gold. The leaf reminded me of a Rorschach ink blot test. The leaf was perfectly symmetrical as if someone had clamped the two sides of the leaf together with various colors inside and then just opened the leaf to reveal the perfectly formed colors.
Of course I didn't have my camera to take a photo of the woman and her pear leaf, but Gary manned the booth while I went outside to gather a few pear leaves for myself. I didn't find a leaf just like the one the woman found, but I found others. Leaves are illustrated in clay quite often. For instance some folks at Beads of Clay also found inspiration in leaves.
Unfortunately there weren't many sales at the show; only lesser priced items were selling. I understand where folks are coming from only too well. The economy in California is stalled. Unemployment is running very high in the state as well. My local area has 15 percent unemployment. Even those with jobs are feeling the pinch. Earlier this year, Gary was cut back two hours per day and his salary was also reduced. Just the other day Gary's boss was saying when things pick up they'll be getting a raise. Gee, with a raise Gary will probably be making less than he was before. Somehow that doesn't sound like a raise to me.
Anyway, in spite of lack luster sales the Sierra Hills benefit for the local Boys and Girls Club was a success and worthwhile for many reasons. I had plenty of time to enjoy the company of visitors to my booth and people said they really appreciate seeing art handmade by local artisans. Others said they want to come up to visit my studio and several asked about my ceramic sculptures. Since my sculptures are harder to transport, I didn't bring any to the show. Live and learn; next show I'll be sure to bring a sculpture.
Hollyhock Plates by Linda Starr
Meanwhile I'm thinking about building a display stand I can use at shows to hang tiles, decorative plates, and the plaques I make. I could use two pieces of pegboard 2 x 4 foot. Then I'd put 1 x 2's on the edges to strengthen it. I'd make it about 5 feet tall and two sided with a hinge at the top. I'd set it up at the corner of my booth with some lettering at the top with my name. Ceramic pieces could be hung with S hooks. What do you think? Feel free to make comments, in the meantime Excuse Me, While I Kiss the Sky.