Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wattles, rattles, and the Race for the Cure

Last weekend, E and I went to visit our friends R and Ie. We finally met their chickens, including the intrepid Batty, who survived a horrific stray dog attack last month. You can follow the saga on R's blog.

Ie is an accomplished Chicken Whisperer and patiently allowed me to photograph him holding various chickens. Later, he walked into the kitchen with a pocketful of eggs--five in all. Those are industrious chickens.

Inspired, when we got home I added wattles to some birds-in-progress. I meant to do just a few, but then the wattleless chickens looked naked, so I did the whole flock.

Given the pictures I post, it must seem that I spend all of my pottery time making chickens and Klein Bottles. I do make mugs and bowls and plates and other fine functional pieces, but they're not as entertaining to photograph. Maybe that should be my new goal.

Why all the chickens? I'm planning a wood firing with some friends in June, and we never seem to have enough small things to tuck into the empty spaces between bowls. Chickens tuck well. And everyone can use a chicken.

You can't tell from the photos, but most of the chickens contain a clay egg or two, so they rattle. Rattles and wattles: two words that ought to rhyme but don't. One member of this flock is eggless because the local Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure organizers phoned at a critical stage in her formation to tell me to pick up my team box, and I forgot to drop in the egg.

Which got me thinking. Want a chicken? For every $50 that you donate to the Race for the Cure on behalf of me or my team, I'll send you a unique, handmade, wheel-thrown and altered, wood-fired, North Carolina chicken. That's right, one chicken for $50, two for $100. What the heck, if you donate $150, I'll send you four. Sure, it would be cheaper just to buy chickens directly from the artist, but then you wouldn't have the satisfaction of supporting the quest for a cure for breast cancer or helping to fund early-detection, education, screening, and treatment programs for under-served women.

We're loading the kiln the same day as the Komen race--June 12--so chickens will be available by the middle of next month. Depending on the clay and the spot in the kiln, chickens will range from white/smokey grey to cream to brown.

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