Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I lived in Chicagoo several years as a grad student and teacher, meeting the missus there who was also a grad student and teacher. It worked out well. Chicago was very affordable then--cheap apartments, easy subway and bus service everywhere, cheap tuition too.
The mid-90s brought tremendous prosperity to Chicago, and rising prices for everything, but we had already left for good in 94. We returned for a visit in 1996, with a communion set I had made for Grace Episcopal Church, which had been our church. We were there the same week as the Democratic National Convention, and in 2 years, and with the nation watching, Chicago had CHANGED. The dirt, the homeless, the vacant lots, all gone it seemed, and a cop on every corner. Chicago remains prosperous, but in 96, we said 'dang, the minute we move out, the city gets beautiful and safe, and Smashing Pumpkins hits the big stage!' Urge Overkill, too, another Chicago band came out of that. They had a fab video of a boat trip up the Chicago River while performing. This is that same tune performed live, Neil Diamond's originally, right? Sounds good.
Okay, Richard in Dallas wants to know the secret to awesome mugs. Alright Richard, I make a variety of mugs, some with animals, some without. Before and after for one pictured above. I sliced and diced this one, as you can see. As much fun as it is to make a mug covered with pigs in crazy shapes, a stable cylinder is really the easiest mug to use. It doesn't have to be plain though, here I textured the handle and obviously hacked at the body, and used a two-toned glaze scheme that flows together.
Today, making little animals. I want to redo the elephant statue with teaset thing. Fire a bisque, make banana bread and potato salad too.
Dreamt of an old old girlfriend, which became a retreat from North Vietnam at the end of the war, like I was in somebody else's awful memory.....