Monday, September 6, 2010


Sometimes a garish color is necessary to bring attention to something good. The first time I saw beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, we lived in Arkansas. I was walking in the woods and saw this vibrant colored berry on a plant. I wondered if it was real, thinking to myself it looked like a plastic berry. Then I looked around and saw lots of the berries and realized it wasn't plastic, it was real.

I like learning new things and find myself interested in so many topics I can barely keep myself on track much of the time. Today I wondered what the benefit of gaining all this knowledge could be? Then again, I thought, does there need to be a benefit to gaining knowledge, other than the fact it keeps a mind occupied with good things, positive things.

You see at times I am deeply affected with negative things, the state of the economy, all the people out of work, how I'll afford to live in retirement, declining health, disaster striking and not being able to afford to fix what breaks, health or house wise, and so on.

Just the other day we were going to the grocery store and I saw a dead squirrel in the road and another squirrel was standing by his side. As I got closer the living squirrel ran to the side of the road. I slowed down and drove around them and as I looked back in the mirror I saw the living squirrel go back to the side of the dead squirrel in the road.

I said to Gary, look at that squirrel standing by the side of his dead mate. Gary said, or it might be his mother, father, sibling, or friend. Then Gary told me about a bird who stood by the side of another bird all day long one day when he was driving his dump truck. He told another worker about the bird and the worker said the bird was a dove. The worker said doves mate for life. All around me there's positive and negative, happiness and sadness, life and death, happening all the time.

Today I learned beautyberries can be used to make wine and are a survival food for birds and other animals in the dead of winter. I also learned a chemical contained in beautyberry has been isolated and can be used as a repellent for mosquitoes.

Beautyberry grows in dappled shade with the berries ripening this time of year when the mosquitoes are thick and hungry. I wonder if the mosquitoes will leave me alone if I stand next to a beautyberry? Another glaze load is cooling today and I'm off to a local park, more about those two later.


  1. Absolutely gorgeous photos! The sad aspects of life can be wearing. I, too, grapple with the same issues, as we all do, I would imagine. It is hard, seeing animals and birds dealing with loss, as well. This is a sweetly thoughtful post, Linda. Have a fun day at the park.

  2. Lovely post Linda :o) I love the color of those Beautyberries, especially that graduated color berry image you took -appropriately named!

  3. Love the photo of the beuty berries!

  4. purple and green a combo that works well with nature- interesting story I don't think I have seen these.
    Like you my thoughts can be all over the place- the only time they rest well is when i am working.

  5. I love your work Linda. Nature has endless inspirations. Every piece of your work grabbed my eyes.

    I found your site a couple nights ago on a search for potters and again today on a blog for potters search.

    Reclaiming clay. I wonder if you have any thought for my over 2000 pounds of clay bought in 1997 to 2008. I have a pugmill. Some of the bloggers seem to not be sure of the stability of reclaimed clay?

  6. Hi Teresa, thanks, yes it can be sad, I try not to dwell on these things but sometimes they just crop up.

    Hi Cindy, thanks, isn't it a strange color, almost pep to bismo color but not quite.

    Hi Jen, thanks, mother nature does have strange and unusual beauty.

    Hi Meredith, thanks, yes I am out of clay except the black and didn't feel like working with it so my mind is wandering waiting for the kiln to cool.

    Hi Vivienne, thanks every so much for your kind words about my work. I would think that clay no matter how old would be ok after all it comes from the earth originally and that's been there a long time. potters may wonder about the stability of reclaimed clay because it has been processed perhaps with other ingredients contaminating the clay. that is a whole lot of clay you have, you could make a ton of pieces with that. Might as well pug a bit and do a few tests. Just imagine you may have something wonderful there. I hope you try it and let me know.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment