In the Studio:
How are you? It’s been lovely here at Tres Marias located in the Alentejo region of SW Portugal. There are 9 clay artists here working with Tony Clennell. David Treub, Natasha, and Alix all help us accomplish our projects. We are all playing nice in the studio, spending most of our day with our hands in the clay. The clay is very different from the porcelain that I use at home. It’s red/brown and very groggy. It took me about two days to get used to it.
Week One of the Portugal Clay Mentorship is completed. We made lots of cups the first couple of days. We critiqued each other’s drinking forms and handles. Then, moved onto covered casseroles, plates, and more. Thursday, I decided to start thinking about what I want to accomplish during my time here. I have been keeping a file of images showing art that resonates with me. While on the plane, over here, I wrote comments about why I liked the art.
This month is exactly what I needed. We are entirely focused on clay and eating. This week, I need to take time to either walk or go bicycling. My head is spinning with information. Yes, I have ideas but how to implement is the question.
The donkeys and sheep greet us as we walk to the studio each morning. Several of us talk to them as we walk. They walk along on their side of the fence with us. There are wild boar that wander the land with sheep. Cork trees, olive trees, and trees for making paper pulp seem to be the main farming in this part of the country.
Two nights ago, David treated us to try percebes. Is one of the most appreciated species of crustacean, a real delicacy in the Iberian Peninsula, being especially typical between the coast of Portugal and Galicia. I liked them after I got past the fact that they looked like toes. We went out for dinner at a nice restaurant last night. It’s off season here so the hotel staff doesn’t work on weekends. We have a small kitchen in the studio with lots of food supplies for us. It works just fine.
There is a flu bug running through us. Not covid. Tony had it on Monday, worked the entire day, not his usual self. Tuesday, still not his usual self. Left class right after dinner, which he never does. Then, the studio owner, David, got it. Yesterday three people came down with it. Me, last night. It seems to be about 12 hours of yuck, then, just worn out for another 36 hours. Last night wasn’t fun. I am taking it easy today with lots of tea and water, maybe a banana. Monday, I will be back in the studio. I am curious to hear who else came down with this crud last night. We are with one another 24/7. My classmates believe that we will all have it by the end of this next week. It was discussed with regard to Covid but not the flu. We all accepted the possibilities when traveling here.
Need ideas for gifts?
Here is what I am currently reading:
“The Giver of Stars” by Jojo Moyes
“Rising Strong” by Brene Brown
“We believed in mermaids” by Barbara O’Neal
”Yes and….” By Richard Rohr
“Die Trying” by Lee Child
I think I am going to lie here in bed watching clay videos. Happy Sunday, c2.