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Wandering Cowgirl

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This wandering cowgirl with her man in tow got hitched and made her way through Bali and the Philippines before landing back home in Taos with a monster case of jet lag.

On our journey we made it back to Mindoro, Philippines to a little town called Melgar once known as Lumang Bayan (Old Town).  This little coastal village boasts black sand beaches, coconut trees, little sari-sari shops, and not a whole lot else.  You might wonder why a traveler would make the 5 hour journey to a remote little town with no accommodations, amenities, or attractions.   A bus ride from Manila to Batangas, a SuperCat Ferry ride to Calapan, a Jeepney to Naujan, before soliciting a ride from a tricycle (a motorbike rigged with a covered side car), all to land in this little town with only a few hundred people.

Why? you ask.

Well a good fraction of those people happen to be distant and not so distant relatives.  The town of Melgar is right next to an even smaller village, Papangkil, and the land of my great grandfather Teoderico.  Ned calls this the place of my creation story.  Great-grandfather’s coconut plantation where my mother, her siblings, and her many many cousins adventured as children, is no longer active, but the land still belongs to the family and exists as a remote island paradise at the end of a long long road.

Auntie Minda graciously took us in and fed us heartily during our brief stay while her very kind young helper introduced us to her basketball playing friends and took us swimming in the clear waters.  It was my second visit to the place of my ancestors, where my grandmother feels most at home, and where she will return after decades living in the states where most of her children have built their lives.  IMG_2193

Luck of the Irish

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Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

17 cowgirl sculptures for the 17th of March are cooling off from their night in the kiln with some fresh cups and mugs, and a few fun experiments.  Half of the washtub band sculptures are in there, and a cool collection of armed cowgirls are ready for the attack, pistols, rifles, and shotguns at the ready.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Speaking of shotguns…  in the tradition of the holiday, Irish Car Bombs (the drink that goes down like a chocolate milkshake) is on the menu for tonight’s celebrations.  If I see you out, we can toast together!  Cheers!

17 cowgirls sculptures waiting to be fired

17 cowgirls sculptures waiting to be fired

Spring Forward

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IMG_1266 It’s that time of year again.  We’ve started gathering wood for the Taos potters to fire our spring wares in the big kilns out in Tres Piedras.  We gather wood from felled trees in the national forests, purchase some from locals, and get scrap bundles from the lumber mill and haul it all out to our off-the-grid sight 17 miles past the gorge bridge.  Unloading, cutting, splitting, and stacking somewhere over 10 cords of wood in preparation.

It’s a community experience teaming up with 12-20 committed artists spending, 2 days cutting and stacking, then firing up the kilns and taking shifts stoking 24 hrs. a day  for multiple days until ideal temperature is met.  Hundreds of glazed and unglazed pots and sculptures are loaded into these mammoth kilns to be loaded up with ash and heat resulting in fairly unpredictable and beautiful surfaces.

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Prep day, April 5th will be a mess of axes, mauls, chainsaws, work gloves, glasses, goggles, food, water, and sweat.  Come on out if you’re feeling burly!


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