For those of you who are local, please consider stopping by this Sunday, October 12th, between 11 am and 5 pm to visit me in my dungeon…. errr… basement studio as part of the Tacoma Arts Month Studio Tour.
*if you are also an artist on the tour who is open on Sunday, stop by afterwards for a bit of decompression, I’ll be around and would love to see you!.
In order to lure as many folks in as possible, I shall be providing wine, cheese and appetizers.
Here’s the map/list of studios… (I’m # 29) There are 61 artists on the tour (some are in co-ops/shared studio spaces).
In other news after all of the crisis, illness, injury, chaos and near disaster of the last year, I’ve had an insanely busy summer filled with performances, art shows, (and when I could get away) hiking, backpacking and enjoying this glorious and highly unusual summer, so now I’m spending every waking moment after work trying to get the house/yard/studio in order before Sunday. (Yikes, I lost control of everything)
I’m finally getting a break in performances and contract work (after the layoff, I REALLY needed the extra money)
My next bellydance performance is at the Urban Onion in Olympia WA on November 10th for the Beats Euphorium Show (7 pm – 9 pm)
My next confirmed fire show is, of course, First Night in Tacoma on New Year’s Eve. It will be another fabulous and fiery New Year.
I’m also finally releasing a photography book (hopefully in time to order for the holidays) which will also contain original poetry I wrote for the August Poetry Postcard Project,titled “Postcards from the Mountain”
Today I am saddened and sickened by the worse than standard media frenzy surrounding this date and the events of 13 years ago.
Why is this year “different”? Why are we being whipped into frenzy of fear?
It’s quite simple, we are on the precipice of another for profit war in Iraq, and the quickest way for our government and corporate overlords to manipulate us into forgetting the loss of life and what a failure the last war was, and to gain support for a new for profit war is to create an atmosphere of fear and paranoia.
This is not about protecting our freedoms; this is about profit for Halliburton and other war machine corporations to line their pockets as well as those of the politicians whose puppet strings they pull.
Honor the loss, respect those who lost/gave their lives. Perhaps even stop to think about those who live in fear of bombs and missiles every day.
But please, don’t fall victim to this heinous act of manipulation.
I know it’s been a while, but life’s been complicated with a new “day job” I started last week, a heavy performance schedule and some other non-pottery related business and legal complications which I am still trying to get sorted. (let it suffice to say that being a “phoenix” sounds pretty cool, but one grows weary of the smell of singed tail feathers)
But on to the fun stuff! (including finishing up the last of the rewards for those of you who said, “no hurry”)
The bales and silk cords for the pendants are in, as are the magnet backings.
I’ve been working on refining and working out new techniques for glazing. My love of highly reactive, gooey, melty glazes makes designs challenging, but each new firing brings new knowledge and ideas.
I’ve been working on refining and working out new techniques for glazing. My love of highly reactive, gooey, melty glazes makes designs challenging, but each new firing brings new knowledge and ideas.
On to the exciting news!
I’ve been accepted as a featured artist for the Stadium Art and Wine Walk on Saturday August 9th.
The event runs from 4 – 8:00 PM. If you’re local, or visiting you should plan on participating; it’s a fabulous event in a great historic neighborhood. (and there’s wine and food)
A couple years ago, I sincerely wished my friends who are fathers or who have/had fathers a “Happy Father’s Day”.
When I did the same last year, a friend jokingly commented on my Facebook post asking if those who were “immaculately conceived” need not apply.
I simply explained that some of us never knew our fathers; we were never given the opportunity so the observance does not in fact, apply to us.
I don’t want to put a damper on the celebration or happiness of others, so I generally keep my experiences/feelings/pain surrounding this particular holiday (as well as mother’s day) to myself.
Then other people started sharing their stories of divorce and being kept from their fathers.
Still more started sharing their stories about having their children kept from them.
It was then that I was reminded that while I don’t want to ruin the day for others, there are many others who need a place to vent and share there feelings.
In addition to not having, been kept from or losing a father, some were abused by fathers or step-fathers. Yeah, I got the double bonus in the “father” department; one I never knew and one who abused me.
People who were abused as children feel a wealth of pain and anger, and even guilt for being estranged from/not loving their father.
This is a difficult and painful day for so many people; many of whom are spending their first Father’s Day without their fathers or the fathers of their children.
Yes, they may have happy memories, but to them, this day is a painful reminder of their loss.
I have no words that will comfort those who are feeling pain and loss today. I have no words at all other than.
“You are not alone”.
I do however have words for women who are keeping children from their fathers. Actually, they are words for anyone keeping a child from a parent.
Unless the child is in danger/being abused, there is no excuse to keep a child from their father just because you think he’s an a$$hole.
My mother left my father when I was barely three years old.
I have no memory of him at all.
I never even saw a photograph of him.
When I would ask my mother what he was like, she snapped at me, “You don’t want to know what he was like, he was a terrible person, all he cared about was money. He is incapable of loving anyone, he didn’t love or want you or me.”
We moved a lot and she always made sure that we had an unlisted phone number and could not be tracked down.
I finally found his family when I was an adult; I found them too late, he had died two years prior.
I remember curling up in a ball in my kitchen and crying because I was too late. Yeah, I felt guilty for not trying hard enough.
I did finally meet his/my family. The letter I received back was from my step-mother, who had me come visit her.
She gave me some things of my fathers and told me that he did want me and did try to find me. My name was listed in his funeral program. I visited my aunts and met my grandfather before he died. They gave me a few photographs, something I had missed and craved my entire life.
Part of me was comforted by that, and part was very VERY angry for having been lied to my entire life.
I have had to do a lot of forgiving of my mother in regards to this, and other situations. It is a challenging and ongoing process. After she died, as I was going through her things, I discovered the true, terrible depth of her lies. Trust me folks, if you keep a terrible secret, it will be found found out eventually.
I share my story, not to bring anyone down or to ruin the holiday for those with reason to celebrate.
I share my story in hopes that some parent out there will make a different, better choice than to keep a child from their parent.
For those of you who are keeping your children from their other parent (for reasons other than the child would be in real danger) I have these words.
Taking away a parent, even photographs and stories, takes away half of a child’s identity.
Telling that child that one of their parents in a terrible person, teaches them that they are also a terrible person because it’s half of who they are.
Telling a child that one of their parents doesn’t want or love them teaches them that there is something wrong with them and that they are not worthy of love.
Lying to a child, teaches them that they can not trust anyone.
Please don’t do that to your child. They deserve better.
the above photo is of my grandfather and grandmother Lawrence, my father (the one who looks like trouble) and his five sisters/my five aunts
I’ve been catching up after the illness, injury and basement flooding and am getting some pretty cool results from my glaze and design experiments…
I finally have a Phoenix design (which several of you have requested) that works with even my gooiest, drippiest, most delicious glazes…
I have a few others come out nicely as well…
Of course, the process is not without mishaps… (this is what happens when you try to rush firing)
For those who don’t already have their rewards, I have two sheets of designs for you to peruse and request (those of you have requested smaller items such as pendants, may want to get something a bit bigger :)… I will be putting together a third sheet later today and getting all of them posted to the website at Phoenix Rising Pottery Studio
For those who are local, some of my work will be on display and for sale at Throwing Mud Gallery in Old Town Tacoma tonight and tomorrow (Saturday)
There is an artist reception tonight (Friday) from 5-7 PM. (there will be wine, beer and appetizers) where you can see the work of 80 amazing artists and meet many of them, including Mark Hudak’s student artists.
Life’s been absolutely insane with keeping up a crazy schedule, basement flooding due to record rain, a leaky roof (under warranty and now fixed) and some other less tan fun challenges.
I am still going to get holiday cards out. I’ve decided that Summer Solstice is the next best thing to sending them out for Winter Solstice… .right?
Just when I thought I was over the cold from hell, I got hit with the nasty virus that’s been making the rounds up here in the PNW (and thanks to air travel, some other places as well) known less than affectionately as “the never-ending crud”. It’s most craptastic feature is a horrid cough that nothing seems to help and that never stops at night. I coughed so hard and so long that I strained my intercostal (rib cage) muscles/tendons/ligaments.
I was still very lucky as I know several people who had to go to the hospital with complications such and pneumonia and fluid in the thoracic (chest) cavity due to cracked ribs/bruising caused by the cough. I also managed to stave off the wicked sore throat which imitates strep that so many had. I firmly believe that my liberal use of the neti pot/saline rinse squeeze bottle with some essential oil of eucalyptus and some betadine (I know… it sounds gross, but the research is out there) kept the sore throat and potential sinus infection at bay. I even managed to avoid the ear infections that so many have experienced by using hydrogen peroxide in my ears.
Lesson learned. I have to rest and sleep (and eat right) because when I don’t take care of myself, I trash my normally bomb proof immune system.
Enough talk of mucous…
The glazes are all thickened/thinned/properly flocctuated and ready to go. (chemistry is fun) I’ll be updating the website soon, but here is a photo showing what they look like on stoneware; they colors will be a bit crisper on porcelain as it is a brighter white.
Top to bottom-left to right…
Stellar Rust, (cant’ find the tile, so here’s a bowl) cedar, plum red, raven black
Shore break, (looks good dipped and drippy over another glaze) corn silk, blue green, hunter green
Eggplant, ultramarine blue, floating blue, black cherry (this is a super yummy, drippy, reactive glaze with neat texture effects)
*the floating blue and black cherry don’t show up well in this photo (they are very complex) but you can see them in other update photos)
There is also a new product for those of you with musicians in your life.
A bass/cello stand. This one will be glazed in the tie-dye pattern and will have a textured, rubberized mat attached to the bottom to prevent slippage during use.
I’ve had to give up my studio tech time at Throwing Mud so that I can devote more time to my home studio. I miss everyone there, but that’s the way it needs to be right now. This means I’m firing everything at home so I can turn things around more quickly (and have more control over drying to the leather hard stage for trimming/carving)
Since I’ve been sick and am behind on work (part time non-profit contract and working artist does not afford one sick leave) I have put items already in my Artfire shop on sale to generate income for non-studio expenses..
Everything on the site is 50% off right now; if any of you have been admiring my blown glass now is the time to go for it.
On Sunday, February 23rd the News Tribune (formerly the Tacoma News Tribune, until the out of state, McClatchy conglomerate decided they didn’t want to be Tacoma’s local paper) published a story which was opinion and propaganda disguising it as “news”. (at the time of this post, clear plastic bags where thrown all over East 70th Street)
We can’t blame the reporter, as she was forced to interview her boss and print a piece that makes the Tribune look good, and the movement against their plastic litterbombing campaign look insignificant.
We’re not buying it. There has been no honesty from the Trib/McClatchy to date, and David Zeeck has already told one of the organizers of our group that they can do whatever they want because they are protected by the 1st Amendment. (since when does making money littering neighborhoods with paid advertising count as “news” or “free speech”?)
While a few people have been able to get through to post comments, organizers of the group “Citizens for Tacoma Not Trash” have been banned from commenting on the Trib’s Facebook page, and even those with paid subscriptions have found themselves blocked behind a paywall when they attempt to access the News Tribune’s site.
The Tribune does not want both sides of this issue reported.
We encourage everyone to go to the article and make their opinion known about these practices.
What we want is simple. We don’t want the Trib to fail, we just want them to be good neighbors/citizens.
Obey the same laws everyone else does!!!
No one should have the right to dump tens and hundreds of thousands of plastic wrapped bags of unwanted advertising in our streets, gutters, medians, parking strips, sidewalks or front yards. No one!
If theTtrib is allowed to continue to be exempt from littering laws, this will only get worse. Their goal (as stated by publisher David Zeeck is to move from 50,000 to 200,000 of these) If they continue to be allowed to get away with it, how many more will it be?
Zeeck’s claim that 90% of people in Tacoma want this trash is ridiculous, as is evidenced by the thousands of these picked up and returned to the News Tribune offices on a regular basis and the tens of thousands of these laying in our gutters.
Of course, they are now blocking access to their offices, hiring off duty Tacoma police to guard them, and posting no trespassing signs because they don’t want plastic trash dumped on their front lawn/parking lot.
Guess what McClatchy, we don’t want it in our yards either but we don’t have high powered corporate attorneys in our pockets intimidating the city to inaction like you do.
Tuesday night, there will be a report to the city council on this issue, meaning that citizens will be able to comment. We need to show up in force.
Come show that Zeeck’s allegation that 90% of Tacoma wants this litter is false and that we’re not buying their vaguely worded “improvements”.
Once this out of state corporate conglomerate puts alleged “news” and “announcements” in this advertising circular, they will claim 1st amendment rights to continue to be exempt from littering laws. The City of Tacoma has a long and undistinguished history of rolling over at the first threat of a lawsuit.
The time to act is NOW!
In addition to coming to the city council meeting and commenting on the Trib’s story and Facebook page, we also need to contact advertisers to let them know that their dollars are going straight into the gutter, not into the hands of potential customers and that this association is harming, not helping their business.
Please (politely) contact the following advertisers and let them know how their money is being wasted.
Ask them (politely) to pull their advertising from any campaign that is dumping plastic wrapped trash in our neighborhoods.
You can also contact them via their Facebook pages.
If you do a Facebook Search for “Safeway Tacoma” pages for all of the individual stores will come up and you can either comment, send a message or review. This should work for all chains. We need to handle this on a local and national level.
Once again, please be polite. The advertisers most likely don’t know that their money is going into the gutter and angering the community. We also want to continue to praise and support those who make the right decision to pull their advertising as Quality Sewing and Vacuum did.
Keep up the good work folks, and we hope to see as many of you as possible on Tuesday night at the City Council meeting.
and don’t forget to upload your photos to Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #zeeckbag
On Thursday, February 19, Tacoma City Manager, T.C. Broadnax was seen at the headquarters of the Tacoma News Tribune arriving for a meeting with publisher, and fellow Texan David Zeeck in response to a city council mandate that he meet with the News Tribune to “seek solutions” to citizen complaints and concerns.
On the way out, he told protesters to “just opt out”
Tacoma City Manager T.C. Broadnax walks past protesters telling them to “Just opt out” after meeting with fellow Texan and News Tribune publisher David Zeeck.
It appears that after losing advertisers, and discovering that Zeecks allegations that only “a dozen disgruntled people” are complaining, they are willing to at least pay lip service to making an effort to be better citizens.
They words, “try”, “some” and other non committal words are of concern, as is the insistence that people need to “opt out”.
The other area of concern is that they say they are going to turn it into a “weekly paper” with news and community events.
This would put their paid advertising circular into the category of protected 1st amendment speech, which they are trying to claim it is now, giving them additional protection against the law and the wishes of the citizens of Tacoma.
The fact is, they have no intention of stopping the plastic bag litter spam, just modifying it a bit. If this is an honest effort to be better citizens or just to shut us up, remains to be seen.
We encourage everyone to contact Broadnax today by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org to let him know that throwing 200,000 (minus the handful they may or may not mail) onto the streets/sidewalks/parking strips/front yards of Tacoma is not acceptable.
While many more progressive cities are banning single use plastic bags, ours is allowing them to be thrown all over town.
You can also upload photos of blatant violations, plastic in gutters and storm drains, piled up in front of homes, safety hazards etc… to instagram with the hastags #landspam, #tacomanottrash and #zeeckbag
We would like to congratulate Quality Sewing and Vacuum for being the first local business to opt out of the Tacoma News Tribune’s litter bombing campaign.
The following post appeared on their Facebook page:
“After this was brought to our attention last week we contacted the News Tribune to express our displeasure with their advertising delivery method; they distributed our ads in this manner without our knowledge. We would never knowingly participate in a litter campaign like this. We’re now looking into removing our advertising.”
and… “We’ve successfully canceled our advertising campaign with TNT. But unfortunately our name will still be included in the next orange bag, as we weren’t able to cancel in time to stop those from going out. But there should be no more going forward after that.”
Please consider giving this community and environmentally minded local business your support by liking their Facebook page, recommending them to your friends and supporting them:
Please also consider contacting (politely) the following advertisers who’s ads are in this week’s plastic wrapped trash. It is unlikely that they know that this what their advertising dollars are going towards and how it negatively impacts our neighborhoods, the environment and customer’s perceptions of their business.
Puget Sound Hearing Aid
Safeway (the Proctor Safeway used to house the office for the Tacoma area stores)
Since the News Tribune does not care about crime, blight or the environment, the only way to stop this practice is to hit them where it hurts, their advertising dollars!
If you haven’t already, please consider joining our Facebook group (with almost 600 active members, David Zeek is going to have a hard time telling the city that it’s only a dozen disgruntled people complaining):
Complaints are also being filed with the Better Business Bureau (Zeek claims that they have addressed our concerns by switching to clear plastic, which is still litter, still toxic, and still landing in our streets, gutters and storm drains-as an added bonus there are no suffocation warnings or opt out information printed on them
Complaints are also being sent to the State Attorney General’s office and are being posted on RipOff Report.com
Keep up the good work folks!
Concerned and active citizens CAN make a difference!
Once again, the Tacoma News Tribune is unleashing it’s plastic bag dumps on the Streets of Tacoma, asserting that people “want” this advertising litter, that it is “protected 1st Amendment Speech” (it contains only paid advertising) and that it’s “easy to opt out”
Tell us David Zeek…
How do we opt out of your plastic wrapped litter (yes, you removed the orange color which is synonymous with your disdain for the environment and the citizens of Tacoma, but it’s still toxic trash) when it’s in the street, gutter, storm drain or vacant lots?
One of today’s early finds in the area of N Verde and Cheyenne.
They probably save a lot of money by driving away long time journalists and regurgitating AP news, as well as outsourcing their customer “service” department to the Philippines.
If they used direct mail via the US Postal Service, they would know exactly who is getting their “product” (which is all paid advertising) and who is opting out.
Depending on who you get your information from, very few plastic bags are actually recycled and instead end up in landfills where they eventually percolate to and pollute the water table. One of the largest recycling providers in our part of the state, is about to stop any recycling of plastic. You can read the latest article here.
Progressive and educated communities are banning single use plastic bags, why then is the city of Tacoma allowing up to 200,000 (total give by McClatchy) plastic bags to be thrown onto our streets each week?
You can learn more about why it is important to keep plastic out of our water by clicking here.
Things you can do to help.
Email, email@example.com to opt out (don’t call or give them your phone number, they are notorious for unwanted/unstoppable phone solicitation) You will get a written response after the auto response.
When the delivery doesn’t stop after two weeks (and since they are just chucking them out the windows of moving cars, it won’t) you can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office.
Contact the advertisers to let them know that their money is funding littering, pissing off the citizens of Tacoma, ending up in gutters and storm drains and making them look bad.Share information about our group with your friends, neighbors and business associates.Photograph/Video the offending practices, especially useful if you can catch the drivers in the act.
Put signs in your yards/windows to make people aware that we are working on this issue.Come on folks!Let’s not let the Tacoma News Tribune, owned by an out of state conglomerate trash our beautiful city for profit!!!