Lingering Summer, approaching Autumn

me at Beadfest

For so many years this was my back to school part of the year. Now its the back to the studio time – after teaching Ceramics camps over the summer – time to design and create new work for the upcoming Fall season. 

The month of August was all about Beadfest Philadelphia! Glazing, firing, preparing, and finally exhibiting at my first bead show. It was a fantastic time and a success! That’s me pictured at my Beadfest table. But it may be partly to blame for the complete lack of a Summer newsletter…

 

So while it still feels like summer, I have Fall on my mind. Fall festivals and events, fun and frolic. This update is going to be brief – out of necessity as I head to the beach tonight for a show this weekend…

 

Bethany Beach Boardwalk Festival – THIS SATURDAY  (September 8th) in town on Garfield Parkway and the Boardwalk. I will be on the boardwalk between Parkwood and Hollywood Sts.  The show runs from 10-5, and I find this to be my favorite time of year at the beach . There is also a Silent Auction to benefit area schools. Their site: http://web.bethany-fenwick.org/events

 

Artsfest at Annmarie Garden – Next weekend! (Sept. 15 -16th) Imagine it – dappled sunlight through a canopy of trees, music drifting in on the wind… artists galore… Its a lovely setting and a great show! Their link: http://www.annmariegarden.org/annmarie2/content/artsfest-2010

 

The following weekend I have some “me” time planned. ArtBliss is an art retreat held outside DC, in Dulles VA. In its third year, it hosts art, mainly jewelry themed, workshops by nationally acclaimed instructors. I look forward to being inspired, experimenting in polymer ( a new/old medium for me) and catching up with friends! ( Find out more at: www.artblissworkshops.com)

 

Mermaid tile and pendant

 

The final Fall show of the trilogy: Art on the Avenue – Saturday October 6th in DelRay/Alexandria VA. This to me – is a “Welcome Autumn” show as there are pumpkins, kids building wacky floppy scarecrows… you name it. Great music, tasty food – and the festival is huge! Definitely time to do Holiday shopping! Their list of artists: http://www.artontheavenue.org

 

On a different note I have a series of workshops that I am offering this Fall at The Art Studio. It is located in Wilmington DE, and houses “my” ceramic studio. My classes will be a mix of jewelry and ceramics, projects and techniques – suitable for all experience levels.  I will send a more detailed list next week, as time allows. You can check them out if you are interested: http://www2.nccde.org/artstudio/default.aspx

 

Until then – sorry I have to run! Fall is my favorite time of year! I am looking forward to sweaters & jeans, crisp breezes, creating new work, and all that Autumn brings! Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

For details, links and more pictures – as well as up to date work in progress, please stop by my blog on my website: www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog. As always – if you no longer wish to receive the newsletter – simply email me. Thanks!



Shadows and Light

February 2. 

Groundhog’s Day. Candlemas. Imbolc. 

Its all over the news. Respectable looking, white bearded men, dressed in coats and top hats, perform a ritual involving a groundhog – named Phil – and weather divination. We have seen it all before… But did you ever stop to wonder? 

Wikipedia offers us this: The holiday, which began as a Pennsylvania German custom in southeastern and central Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th centuries, has its origins in ancient European weather lore, wherein a badger or sacred bear is the prognosticator as opposed to a groundhog. It also bears similarities to the Pagan festival of Imbolc, the seasonal turning point of the Celtic calendar, which is celebrated on February 1 and also involves weather prognostication.

Apparently Groundhog lodges abound in southeastern PA; who knew. We have Harold Ramis and Bill Murray to thank for making Punxsatawney so famous…And sadly, badgers arent living in the hedgerow over here. (Do badgers live in the hedgerow?) So the groundhog seems a better selection than a bear (!); easier to keep, and handle…

Seriously – back to the lore – 

From Scotland: 

As the light grows longer
The cold grows stronger
If Candlemas be fair and bright
Winter will have another flight
If Candlemas be cloud and rain
Winter will be gone and not come again
A farmer should on Candlemas day
Have half his corn and half his hay
On Candlemas day if thorns hang a drop
You can be sure of a good pea crop

And going more into myth – we get closer to the origins – in my opinion…

“Imbolc is the day the Cailleach — the hag of Gaelic tradition — gathers her firewood for the rest of the winter. Legend has it that if she intends to make the winter last a good while longer, she will make sure the weather on Imbolc is bright and sunny, so she can gather plenty of firewood. Therefore, people are generally relieved if Imbolc is a day of foul weather, as it means the Cailleach is asleep and winter is almost over”… That sound familiar, doesnt it… (Thanks again, Wikipedia.)

Putting aside the weather lore for a moment – Imbolc/Candlemas is halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. We ( and my Celtic far distant ancestors) have to this point gone through a cold harsh winter. It is wonderful to mark time, that winter is half complete, that spring is near. Whether we have snowdrops blooming through a thin crust of snow, or piles left behind by the plow – the light is increasing; Spring is near. 

 snowdrops

 

Imbolc is associated with the Celtic Goddess and Saint Brigid. (I find it very interesting how the ancient goddess of the creative fire evolved into a saint and abbess tending a perpetual flame at her monastery…) And I think I will have to save her for another post. She is deeply inspirational to me, and I would like to give her her due. 

So from the shadows – to the light…

Wishing you a bright Imbolc. 

Articles of interest: 

Article: “St Brigid; no better woman for the times we live in”. The Irish Times. 

Blog: “Beyond the fields we know.” Gorgeous photography, and a thoughtful in depth article in Brigid from the artist C. Kerr