Monday, July 15, 2013
beads and berries
Grace gave me some clay to play with. I had forgotten how much fun I could have, and what a mess I could make. Rolling the soft clay between my hands and playing with different shapes made me feel like I was a child.
My inspiration came from the clay bead whorls that I've been reading about. Most are very primitive, simple in design. I wanted to make a few different shapes and see for myself if one shape had any advantage over the other. As I roll the clay between my hands, I worry about wobbles and whorls being off balance. I thought and thought about ancient civilizations, and those who made crude bead spindles before me.
My bead whorls, set out to dry, look like kabobs on the skewers.
The clay whorls still need to be fired. I'm reading about pit firings and gathering fuel. We are heading for a heat wave this week, so I doubt the pit firing will happen anytime soon.
I cannot resist trying out a few of the whorls..and decide not to wait, I grab a handful of some fluff to tie to a distaff, and start spinning. A smile on my lips, I am delighted to discover that I have made an excellent spinner! Such satisfaction! A bit of clay and a bamboo skewer, and I have a fine tool. No wobbles! I spin off the point of the bamboo skewer, in-hand style.
As I build the cop, I decide to cover the bead whorl. I've read about and seen some of this on display in (virtual) museums. It makes good sense to keep spinning without removing the whorl.
Once I made the jump (with my yarn) to the other end of the bead, I had to build the cop on the other side.
Several lengths of spun yarn had to be drawn before the cop was built up sufficiently to cover the whorl. At this point, the added weight of the spun yarn on the spindle is giving me added spin time from one flick of the shaft.
Soon the cop covers the bead whorl completely! Time to leave this task, and pick up another.
Thankfully, we have had a bit of sunshine to help ripen the berries. I'm getting good yields, and the chore of picking and freezing has to be done on a daily basis. While I'm picking, it often seems like I turn my back on a berry for moment, and it ripens. Red Raspberries are fragile things, when they are just right, the fall from the cane into my outstretched hand.