Sunday, 31 May 2009

scotland!

it's great to be on a little trip again!
i left my parents house on thursday, took a bus to Amsterdam where i met up with a really great friend. we talked and talked, and then took another overnight bus to London -miraculously it arrived on time! so we were both able to catch our connections, and i got to Edinburgh on time, where i was met by my boyfriend who i haven't seen for ages. we had a picnic in the Meadows, which was full of people. Edinburgh strangely seems to not ever change, every time i come here there's the same atmosphere... i'll be popping over to Glasgow as well, of course.

buses are a good way to travel. not always comfortable, convenient or on time, but you almost always meet some interesting people, and it feels rights somehow that the travelling should be felt. in bums and knees and no sleep.

anyways. i'll write more another time. it's good to be back here again, and i look forward to seeing everyone.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

a few details

the firing i did the other day didn't turn out so well. some pieces were alright, but some ended up in the pot-bin. it's not easy.
i'd mixed up a new batch of glazes, and they were not diluted enough. and so they bubbled horribly cause they were too thick. another mistake was that i'd programmed the kiln wrong, so it fired too hot. so lots of mistakes to learn from. i probably won't do those two things again any time in the near future, anyways.
but i can refire some of the pieces that didn't have tooooo many bubbles. J, who shares the same studio, let me borrow his dremel.
and i can always make more pots.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

potplants

my friend has been putting up pictures and biographies of her lovely potplants on her blog, and suggested that others do the same. so here we go, here are some photos of the plants that live in my studio.
(i also copied her way of putting up the pictures, there's a program i didn't even know about which is brilliant, that converts your little digital photographs to look like they're polaroids! it even makes a little sound and you can watch it "develop". fun fun)
my brother and his girlfriend let me borrow this lovely plant whose name i do not know when i first moved in to the studio this winter. on the way there, a little branch broke off, and now it lives in its own little pot next to it. in the picture you can also see a sheep from Istalif, Afghanistan, which was a gift from one of the potters there. and a beautiful blue glass fish from Palestine, which was a gift from two friends who had a wedding party in Damascus last Autumn. (first it was hanging in the window, but it fell down and broke a fin, so now it's happier on the ground). there's also an avocado seed from an avocado that i ate ages and ages ago, it's not growing at all, but it's not doing any harm there either so it's still there.
this geranium is rescued from a huge shopping centre (i did pay for it, but not very much at all). it looks much happier now that it lives in my window instead. i wonder what colour it will be?
this geranium has really really beautiful flowers, dark purple-red with pink-white around the edges and middle. i bought it when i had just moved in to the studio, even before i got the kickwheel or anything there. first things first.
my generous aunt gave me this morning glory. it was only small then, now it's shooting off long tendrils. but no flowers yet. look forward to them! i think it needs a bigger pot.
and this was a gift from my aunt's friend, an aloe vera plant! always a very useful thing to have around. i remember my gran breaking off a piece of aloe vera once when i had burned myself, telling me that the juice of it would help, and it did.

i'm sure the plant family will keep getting bigger, then i can add more pictures.

waiting...

(some of the things in the kiln, before they're glazed)
right now, while i'm sitting here, a kiln with my little bowls and dishes in it is getting hotter and hotter, firing until it gets to 1160 degrees Celsius, melting the glazes and hardening the earthenware clay... tomorrow i'll be able to open it up and who knows what i'll find!?! i guess it's a sure sign of still being a beginner, but every time i fire a kiln i feel childishly impatient at seeing the results.
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while i'm waiting, i can also write about what my dad did last weekend: at his honourable age, he ran the 21km long Göteborgs Varvet. i was, once again, impressed. a couple of months ago, he did Vasaloppet, which (for those of you who are not Swedish) is a 90km long ski race. he's quite energetic, much more than me! but i am dreaming and scheming about one thing: there's a bike-race that goes around the biggest lake in Sweden, Vättern Runt, which i'd love to do sometime before i die... why not next year? why not on a fixie?
anyways: all we did on Saturday was watch and cheer, but that was fun too. here's a picture. i didn't manage to get anything of my dad actually running, cuase he was too fast.


Wednesday, 20 May 2009

to find meaning in one's life may end in madness.
but life without meaning
is the restlessness of vague desire

it is a boat longing for the sea
and yet afraid.

i can't remember exactly how it went... or where it's from. it comes into my head every once in a while, today again... (it was my yearbook quote in my final year of school in Pakistan).

i still have no idea what the meaning is. why i'm doing what i'm doing. or even what i'm doing...
i wonder if i ever will.

....

the crazy thing is that i can sit here and wonder what the point of my life is, while for example approximately two million refugees from Swat are trying to simply survive not far from where i was born and grew up, and don't have the luxury of wondering whether it's meaningful or not. women who have spent their whole lives within the confines of their courtyards who now have to try to take care of their children in crowded refugee camps with not enough water - let alone things like food, toilets, privacy... (it could have been me; we don't choose the circumstances we're born into.) two million people whose whole existence has been completely turned upside down and destroyed - that's almost a quarter of Sweden's population.

and here i am, in Sweden...


Saturday, 16 May 2009

konflikt

this morning, while drinking morning coffee, we listened to a really good radio program called konflikt . today it was about the forced deportations of Iraqi's from Sweden. a whole group were deported earlier this year. i can't believe the things that are happening!!! i can't believe how we humans can do this to each other...
Myrra, who has the wisdom of a 4-year old, was also listening. her response was that we should "take the keys to the jails and let the people out, and let them stay here!" (ie the people who had been detained in cells before being forced into a plane in handcuffs and flown to Baghdad).

i wish it was that easy.

Friday, 15 May 2009

beep, beep!!!

today when i was sitting in the quiet studio throwing some little bowls, i heard a car honking honking its horn in the courtyard outside. and it made me miss being in Pakistan or Afghanistan alot!
here in Sweden you hardly ever hear people use their car horns. i guess it can be annoying at times, but i think it's generally a very useful and somehow cheerful thing. i rarely drive cars, and when i do, it's like a scared snail, but i think next time i drive i'll use the horn. just for fun.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

the day before another week...

i'd like to quit my job and be a full-time-drawing&making-all-kinds-of-things-ceramist.
my hands in clay every day of the week.

but then i think about the bills i have to pay, the trips i need to (and want to) make, the insecurity of an empty wallet.
i wish i was braver...