What I Did on my Summer Vacation

I’ve been absent, I apologize. I’ve been distracted. Life has been a bit nuttsy and I’ve been trying to keep my head above water; I’m sure I’m not the only one.

I have been making art, though. Lots and lots of pottery, knitting, quilting… but mostly pottery. Matt and I are getting married next month (that nuttsy life thing I mentioned earlier) and I decided to make mugs and bowls as wedding favors. So… that took a lot of time.

I made over a hundred. Not all were usable… I had some trouble finding the right glaze that would show the stamp. Plus I had a few that just didn’t turn out. This one, for instance…

Once I finished with favors I got really crazy and decided to make centerpieces. I thought about making small pots for succulents, which I did for a show a few years ago. They looked like this:

But then I started thinking about the logistics of this plan. We are getting married in a National Park five hours away. I’m already packing up a hundred bowls to transport. What is the plan here? Am I bringing all the pots and succulents already planted? Am I going to get there and then buy plants and a bag of dirt from Home Depot and spend the day before the wedding planting these? Also, how much is that going to cost, when each little succulent is five bucks or so and I need enough for twelve tables? And then what do I do with them? Take them to Vegas on our mini-moon?

I spent a lot of time noodling on it. For a minute I thought “fuck the centerpieces, who cares!” But then I saw this photo online:

HomArt Ceramic Succulent – Set of 4

And I decided to steal the idea! Because that’s the kind of artist I am. Here are a few of the ones I made.

Now making succulents is my new favorite thing! Which is great because I am so bad with plants I can’t even keep a cactus alive. Here is my plan. I’m going to force my friends to make a few of these at my hen party and then fire them and deliver them to their makers at the wedding as gifts… after I’m done using them as centerpieces, that is. Free labor and loving homes for the little dudes after? Um, hell yes. I don’t often feel this proud of myself but, damn. I’m a flipping genius.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to. I’ve made a few other things as well. There’s also a wedding quilt which is coming together. Here are a few of the blocks I made.

This owl design is based on one of my favorite photos of Mr. Owlbertson that I took a few years ago.

To be honest, I hate quilting. I like fabric and I appreciate the artistry, but it makes my brain hurt. It’s basically just math but with bleeding.

I think I’ll stick with clay. That’s my happy place.

About Rachel Lewis

I am a writer, ceramic artist, knitter, and new stepparent. As a playwright, I had six short plays produced in showcases and festivals in Manhattan, Salt Lake City, and Austin. My full-length play, Locking Doors, was presented by Wordsmith Theatre Company in The New Lab Theatre (University of Utah) in 2005. I co-wrote a teleplay titled “Thank God I’m Atheist” which won the 2015 “No God But Funny” contest founded by the Center for Inquiry. My short nonfiction essay, “It’s Coming Down,” was published by the online literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs. I currently work in pharmaceuticals professionally and write recreationally, but dream of making the transition to write professionally and do pharmaceuticals recreationally. I am a Utah native and live in Salt Lake City with my Yorkshire terrier, Wensleydale Doggiepants. I am working on a collection of humorous non-fiction essays and a second full-length play. Follow me at: rachelclewis.com @rachel_lewis_ut (Twitter) @rachel_lewis_ut (Instagram)

2 responses to “What I Did on my Summer Vacation

  1. Gina

    I love this post!

  2. Ooh I was thinking about succulents for table decorations when we get married, but clay ones are even better! I’ve still got a while yet so I might start practising now.
    Your cups and bowls are so beautiful, I hope your guests appreciate what a lovely gift they’re getting.

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