Winter Beauty and Radical Acts of Hope

This weekend, after too many weeks of sad news from the state of our government to standing rock to climate change, we made our way to our favorite spot: our friend's cabin on mount hood, a place we've been coming to for ten years.  It was the first time we took the kids; usually it's our adult only getaway.  There's no cell and internet service at the cabin and it was so so needed.  We made popcorn, read and listened to books, played games and legos, went sledding, drank our weight in hot chocolate, and just generally slushed about in the snow.  It's always beautiful up there, but even more so when everything is covered in white.  It was magical.

 I brought some fresh kiln goodies with me to photograph for the shop and I swear, I've never had so much fun taking product photos.  This little wintry collection of pots looked so at home in the snow, made me wish I could send a snowball along with with every purchase, but I'm guessing that wouldn't be appreciated.  

 Once again, I was reminded how important a change of scenery can be.  The world didn't fix itself while we were away, but I do have renewed energy to face it now as well a much needed boost of creativity.  Making things right now feels like a radical act of hope for our future.  It's an act of hope I intend to keep making as much as possible, but I can't do it when my head and my heart are in the kind of turmoil they have been in too many times recently.  So I take breaks from it all as much as needed and look to my friends for courage.  One mug at a time, one small act of hope followed by another.  

"I have long been inspired by how those with the least in the most difficult circumstances create beauty out of nothing in a declaration of life,  existence, and resistance to the oppressive circumstances that surround them.  Just as the Cherokee nation, herded onto reservations in Oklahoma in the 1800’s by an oppressive government, beaded their ration cards.  Just as in the poorest shanty towns of Nairobi, where I saw pieces of colored glass hung in windows. Just as the quilters of Gee’s Bend Alabama took their old clothes and turned them into works of art to shelter their bodies.  All these acts and many, many more say to me….’We are human and you can’t have our souls.’ The making of beauty and of art says that we are alive and we have this beauty within us."

Ann Shaffer, artist, from Thoughts on Beauty as Resistance