Olla Pots…

IMG_0840A couple of years ago, a friend gave me a ton of clay. Literally, a ton of clay. We know that because as Herb was unloading it out of the truck, he was doing a calculation in his head and it was more than we should’ve carried in our little truck. The repair bill later was proof of that. But the clay is piled up under a tarp in the back of our lot and I need to start working through the pile and using this clay.

Last year, I went through the clay and made an inventory of what was there and now, looking at the list, there is a low fire terra cotta. It fires to cone 2, which is low for what I normally work in. So, I was looking at a video this morning from a homesteading family. The Dervaes Family in California who are harvesting 3 tons of food on 1/10th of an acre of land. It is pretty amazing what they have done. So, it occurred to me that I could make some irrigation pots like these from that terra cotta clay. They are called Olla pots and they are a way to conserve water, which I am all about.

Olla pots have been in use for many centuries and are buried in the garden. The idea is that the terra cotta clay weeps the water into the ground and allows the plants to take in the water that they need, at the roots, where they need it the most. According to Wikipedia, it is a very efficient method because very little water is lost to evaporation because the water is stored underground. You can also see how to make your own Olla pots here at this awesome site Global Buckets whose goal is about growing food in 5 gallon buckets. Another good site that shows how they are used is Walden Labs. And here is a great illustration of how the pot works in the ground at this Permaculture link.Old-Pot-Technology.slideshow

This will be a way to use up the clay and give me a new item to make and to help with the Community garden

This is what an Olla Pot looks like...

This is what an Olla Pot looks like…

or my own garden with water usage during times of drought.

Now to find the clay in the pile of clay and get some water added to it so that I can start the process of making a batch of these pots.

If I were to get a Tattoo…


Tattoo sleeves I bought for fun.

I have been thinking about tattoos lately. I notice that everyone has one. They are very trendy and have been for a while now. As an artist, I see so many that are not well done or are just blurry and just scream tacky but I know that each person probably gets them as a symbol of something significant in their life, something that they need to be reminded of in a way that only a tattoo can do for them. Many things in my life I never want to forget but I am not sure that a tattoo is how I want to do that. I have things that I may someday need to remember that I will have forgotten. (Nowadays, just remembering where I put my glasses on a regular basis is difficult but, I don’t think I want that tattoo’d on my arm somewhere.) I have always said though, that if I were to get a tattoo, I would want it to be in white ink. It seems that white ink would fade but would still be PURE in some way. Then you would need to have pure words to live up to the purity of the white. Symbolically, white is something pure, something fragile, something sacred.72564_1545542570169_2782734_n

Many people now also tattoo their cars. Putting a tattoo in the form of a  tombstone or a tribute to someone in their life, which is just weird to me too. I know this is another topic but, like a tattoo, should we put a dead person’s birth and death on our vehicle? Should we tattoo that information on our bodies? It just feels disrespectful to me in some way. What does that say about the deceased? That they earned the right to be worn on glass, on flesh, on metal? We know nothing of the person, just a timeline of their existence. Please don’t ever do that to me… I hope I am more than a timeline sandwiched between two dates. Tombstones hold the same purpose for me though. It is as if the dates are bookends to a life. I want to read the book. I want MY book to be read. I don’t want to be sandwiched between two sets of numbers.

But, in thinking about what a tattoo would signify for me, I would have to look to words. Not words from a language that I don’t speak, ( I always would be afraid that the tattoo artist had played a sick joke on me and put the wrong words on me) but words that would truly capture my true self. I want the world to read and know in that word ( or just a few words ) who I am. As an artist, I am not sure that an image would do the trick unless it is just a circle. A circle symbolizes so much. The ever changing life that I have had, the ever connection of my life to others, the unlimited amount of love I want to share. But I don’t want it to look like a doughnut or a condom or something other than a circle. I want it to be taken seriously, just like I want to be taken seriously.

My words often get misinterpreted. So much so that I wonder if I am speaking the same language as other people. So, maybe the circle would be best for my tattoo because I wouldn’t want the words to be taken the wrong way. I want the meaning to be clear without any need of explanation. I want to be understood. I need to have the message be clear and open, like a circle. But not open to misinterpretation. Would I use someone else’s words so that my own are not misconstrued? Should the words be a reminder to myself and screw what everyone else thinks? I think we get so caught up in what others think that we forget that we are our own selves and shouldn’t worry so much about others but with a tattoo, it is out there for the world to see. ( unless you put it in an obscure place, but then what is the point?) Circles are symbols that can start conversations. Is that what a tattoo is? Do people want you to ask them the meaning behind the ink? Are they just trendy conversation starters?


Over 10 years ago, I pierced my navel. I don’t even think anything about it anymore. It seemed so radical at the time but now it is just like an earring. Not a big deal. And in 30 years, I don’t think it will be any different, but a tattoo is something that you have to have forever. I will have to think about this some more. But I am intrigued about a possible tattoo.

BTW, the tattoos in the photos are just silly sleeves that I bought several years ago for fun.