Saturday, April 13, 2013

Swallow Tailed Kite, A Good Luck Sign

Yesterday a swallow tailed kite flew over our house. It was souring along the treetops foraging for food. The swallow tailed kite is endangered in the Carolina's so I've reported the sighting and borrowed the photos from The Center for Birds of Prey to show you. I was in the house and the kite flew away before I could take his photo. I didn't realize these birds can have a wing span of up to 48 inches. The kite is a bird of prey snatching small rodents and lizards from the treetops and eating them while in flight. They rarely flap their wings but glide along in the wind currents, a real sight to observe.

Do you ever take the sight of seeing an animal or a bird as good luck? Perhaps finding a feather lying on the ground is a good luck sign to you? Years ago when I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area I was taking my mother to San Francisco for cancer treatments. We were driving on the highway in Berkeley, it was a stormy day and I had classical music playing which mimicked the storm. A white bird (an egret) was my symbol for good luck back then. Just as my mother was asking me, "Do you think I'm going to make it, Linda?" a white bird flew right over my car. I immediately pointed him out to my mom and said, "See the white bird that's a sign of good luck, of course you're going to make it". My mother won her battle with cancer and lived another 25 years. My mom is gone now but we had many a good time after that.

Anyway yesterday when I saw the swallow tailed kite fly overhead I took it as a sign of good luck and I even said so to Gary. Later that morning our real estate agent called us to say the folks loan was a go and the sale of our home is definitely going through. So it looks like I'll be a traveling potter again. Sometimes circumstances dictate sacrifices must be made. Selling our home was the only way we figured we could afford to travel again. After three years we'll be taking a real vacation and I'll be able to make it up to Maine this summer.

Of course seeing a good luck bird is the easy part, now comes packing all of our possessions. By the way how does one move a heavy kiln. How do we pick it up. These and other things are weighing on my mind. Gary said I should sell my kilns and slab roller. Rather than put them in storage I should get others when we settle down again. But I don't think that's a good idea. What do you think? I also have a lot of clay paraphernalia like slump and hump molds, texture mats, glazes, chemicals, stains, well you know, stuff. Maybe there's a garage or studio space I can rent in North Carolina somewhere? Meanwhile on the net we've been looking at homes in mountain communities and travel sites. We've also been looking at kit homes. More about those ideas later. This post is part of Artists in Blogland what's happening in the studio. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. Thank you for your kind words on my blog, Linda. I hope the move goes well for you and that you enjoy your travelling. It can be so unsettling not knowing what's next.

  2. The kite is a glorious bird and I really, really hope that the luck he (or she) brought you will continue.

  3. Wow, today you write about good luck and it happens. Congrats on the sale of your home, Linda. Maine should be cool during the summer. If you can't make it to Miami in August, I'll understand. Take care!

  4. On the road again... best of luck to you two!
    I would have a hard time selling my clay equipment and starting over, but sometimes storage ends up costing more than it's contents.

  5. Good luck with the move!! I hope all goes smoothly and you get settled in Maine successfully!! I'm sure the swallow tailed kite you saw is a lucky sign! In our country it is said that hawks are a good omen.

  6. Keep your clay stuff because it takes too long to start over.
    Happy packing.

  7. I have no advice, only the best of good wishes. How fun. After you're on the road, of course.

  8. Watching the posts that come from Clay Club in NC, it seems as though there are always potters selling studio stuff. I set up my current studio with used equipment for a very reasonable amount of $$ and while far from state of the art, it is adequate for my needs. I already had an old Shimpo, and a couple of work tables, but had to buy a small used kiln ($350,a few shelves and posts) & have some wiring done. I was in business for about $1200.00 before buying clay and pre-mixed commercial glazes. I have a utility sink plumbed with water coming in only. There is a large jar under it so I don't put the solids into the septic system. I am frugal with water. When I need to do a lot of washing, I use the kitchen sink.

    Because I had loaned out my slab roller 23 years ago (*) to a friend who had grown dependent on it, I purchased a new one about a year after I opened my studio, and now, a year after that, I am really starting to use it. Subsequently that friend found an old Pacifica wheel at a yard sale that she purchased for me for $100 and gave me as a gift.

    Late last spring I bought a new wheel when the old Pacifica died and I still thought I needed 2 because of teaching. The old broken one would have cost me as much to repair one way and another as the replacement one I purchased and would have taken 2 trips to Portland (3 hours each way) to drop off and pick it up as well has not having the wheel for use. For the same price, I had a new wheel delivered 3 days later. As it happened, I never got many students, and I still have the broken wheel that needs a new foot pedal, the new wheel, and that old work horse of a Shimpo that is probably 30 years old and trudging on. I only use the new one.

    There's a lot to be said for getting rid of the old stuff and starting fresh. I might keep expensive ingredients, or specific tools that I use often, but all the rest of the stuff, meh! Just my $.02.

  9. Linda, I can't comment on your selling or storing pottery equipment since I only own tools and use the wheel, slab, kiln, etc. at the student studio on campus. But as far as good luck goes - yes, I have had the same experience. Mine was with a butterfly, not a bird. It emerged on the morning of my surgery and flew off into the sun. I *knew* at that moment that everything was going to be alright...

  10. Coming to visit from the blog hop. We moved out of our house in July and moved into our RV. The house sold in January. When you go from a big 3400 sq. ft house to a fifth wheel, you get rid of and store a lot of stuff. But now we can travel full time, and do our art on the road. It's been awesome, and challenging all at the same time. Good luck with what ever you decide to do,

  11. And..I love your work. I love pottery and ceramics and yours is very unique and awesome.

  12. Wow, exciting things are happening in your world! I think I would want to hang onto all the equipment for the time being. At least then you will always have it no matter where you land. Best of luck with all your plans. I look forward to hearing how it all works out for you!

  13. Great news, Linda. Hope you have a smooth time packing things up. Are you going to store your stuff in a bus again? I thought that was so clever when you did it before. I don't know of any specific storage places here, but there are rental units available all around. Hope you come through Black Mountain on your travels so we can spend a bit of time together!

  14. Linda, well- since you asked, I recommend keeping your stuff. hard to know the history of used equipment that one buys and well, I remember that my kiln came on a simple pallet--- with some foam under it and on all sides which was just inside a huge cardboard when I move again, I'll just put fluffy blankets or towels on each side of and under the kiln and put it in the middle of a pallet. As for wet glazes in buckets, harder to store-- as for everything else, keep it! I think it's just harder to start up again with less supplies, and well, for me pottery is great self- care and it is so hard to go without. any ideas as to where geographically you're looking next? come to NC! would be great to have you closer.

  15. oh, and to pick it up--- just get a few people to pick each up on all sides. I was amazed at how much easier it was to unload mine off the pallet than I thought... trust your intuition. if your first thought is you don't want to sell your equipment as you write, that means something. don't sell it. life is short; make pottery.

  16. Hi Tracy, thanks, oh I don't mind not knowing I'm going with the flow.

    Hi Elephant's Child, thanks, isn't that bird so wonderful, they glide like well like a glider; me too.

    Hi Gigi, thanks, that's why we want to go to Maine in the summer. Ha. Aren't you going to another state too perhaps we will meet up there.

    Hi Michele, thanks, I think I may have a solution, storing in a small trailer, lifting a kiln into the bus is much too difficult I think.

    Hi Sapphire, thanks, oh we're not moving to Maine just visiting there, much too cold of winter's for us. We are thinking of the mountains or perhaps a beach town somewhere.

    Hi Meredith, thanks, yes too long and too expensive to start over.

    Hi Joanne, thanks, yes we will finally breath a sigh of relief when we are on the road again.

    Hi Christine, thanks so much for your 2 cents, I am working on trying to keep it all, just figuring out the details.

    Hi Rian, thanks, oh a butterfly is so wonderful as a good luck vision.

    Hi Mary, thanks, I have traveled in an RV before so I know there is a bit of culture shock, we plan to do that again this time. and definitely some art on the road.

    Hi Ms. Sparrow, thanks, yes I think I have just about decided on your advice.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, oh I plan on visiting you for sure. I am hoping to make some pottery in my rv and leave it with various potters along the way, to glaze and keep - what
    do you think?

    Hi Amy, thanks, yes life is short I agree, and making pottery makes it longer.


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