Touching the weasel

I’ve always thought it was interesting that so many of us who make ceramic horses have a lot of interests and behaviors in common, all unrelated to our work. We all listen to a fair bit of Celtic music (or, as my husband terms it, “that danged Irish banshee wailing”). We gravitate towards Art Nouveau and Pre-Raphaelite art. We are almost all tea drinkers. But perhaps more than anything else, we tend to be avid storytellers. Over the years those stories have produced a lot of colorful sayings.

One of my favorites comes from Joan. She was relating a story about how some plague swept across Europe, carried by some rodent. She could not remember the specific species, so she simply referred to it as “the weasel”. She pointed out that societies with a prohibition against getting too close to these animals were relatively unharmed by the disease. Knowing not to touch the weasel insured a longer, healthier life. After that story, we took to referring to getting involved with something likely to have a bad outcome as “touching the weasel”.

I’m mentioning this now because that is exactly what I have been doing these last few weeks. Although I suspect that Joan would add that I’ve probably gone beyond touching this particular weasel. I petted it. I took the darned thing home and named it!

This is my “weasel”. See, I promised myself that I had spent long enough messing around with the Vixen mold. What I had wasn’t perfect by any means. In fact, the mold was more than a little tempermental. But it worked; I had four perfectly usable bisque Vixens when I left for Idaho. I was going to walk away and call it a day. I had already gotten so far behind on all my other work getting to where I was. It was time to declare it all “good enough”.

But then I came home with one of the Taboo molds. I knew I should just put it down and get right to glazing. But I talked myself into casting “just one or two” to insure that I really understood the innovations involved with the mold. (Nothing really illustrates how a mold works like demolding it.) I also thought it would be a good idea to see how assembling a pieced mold in that scale might be, so I could better assess that as a potential path for future pieces. I didn’t intend to make a multi-part assembly version of Vixen. (Little did I know that I was already staring at a weasel and thinking he looked kind of cute.)

But that Taboo cast so easily. And the assembly part wasn’t that bad; certainly not as bad as babying things to come out in one piece. And if I was going to make a new version of Vixen, surely I should do this while the process behind the Taboo mold was still fresh in my mind. (At this point, I was picking up the weasel.) It would only take a few extra days, and besides, I didn’t have all my special glaze mixes back from Idaho yet. I wouldn’t be losing that much work!

And here I am, several weeks later, with no blog posts and no newly glazed horses. I do have a new set of molds which hopefully will work better. I have told myself if they don’t, I’m turning this particular weasel back into the wild before he does more damage to my productivity!

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6 Responses to Touching the weasel

  1. mel June 3, 2009 at 10:42 pm #

    But isn’t this the way art works? We must go with the flow? Fighting flow for the sake of progress doesn’t necessarily result in better outcomes, does it? I personally think following your artistic instincts was the right thing to do!

  2. Mel Miller June 3, 2009 at 10:53 pm #

    But… that weasel is soooo cute!

  3. Marge Para June 4, 2009 at 3:05 pm #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Becky Turner June 4, 2009 at 5:54 pm #

    well I wish you could have shown us how they are different so we can learn! I would also like to “pet the weasel”! lol can you take pics of each one and show how and why they work and don’t work ? hey I get your behind..but maybe sometime for a future post??? hmm??? lol looking forward to reading more weasel gentling posts!
    Rebecca Turner
    http://www.solticeartstudio.blogspot.com

  5. Lesli Kathman June 4, 2009 at 6:38 pm #

    Oh, I have all the photos and plan to post this, Becky. I just haven’t had time with sick family members and the unexpected new car search!

  6. Becky Turner June 4, 2009 at 9:55 pm #

    OH great! Im so glad.. I know you have been busy and had sick family.. hey I have a car for sale! lol I have a nice white infifniti 4 door ,sun roof, lowjack included.. all electric..with only 78 thou miles on it.. but its all leather and I have 3 small dogs so I don’t need such a nice car.. wanna buy it? lol a low 9 thou! ok Ill give you a deal.. too bad we live so far apart!
    I look forward to the mold posts!
    Rebecca Turner

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