I don’t know when my obsession with birds started.
I know in my adult life, a special moment was a surprise Christmas present my husband brought home with me. I had always wanted a bird feeder and my husband bought me the Mac Daddy of bird feeders. It had a three chamber vessel up top, 3 extra bird feeders hanging below and a suet feeder to attract woodpeckers. That winter I invested in a bird identification guide and would howl every time I got a new bird I didn’t know. I definitely began painting birds that year.
I think the bird I feel most akin to is the black bird. All blackbirds. I call them my spirit animal. I love the screech of a giant crow. I love the blue/purple iridescence of grackles and I love spotting a red wing black bird from far across a field. Lately, I am loving this giant flock of hawks by my local library. They collectively circle above. Sometimes I count twelve of them up there!
Eventually, birds started sneaking into my pottery. I found these from years ago:
This year I took a new approach at bird vessels. I wheel-threw bowls and then hand-built all of the bird features.
One batch I hand painted all the wings and one batch I did a solid dip of solid color glaze. By far I love the colorful ones most. It just seems like they come more to life. Like each one has it’s own personality. I’m going to take what I learned and try them again when our pottery studio re-opens due to Covid-19.
I also love gardening and I’ve certainly gotten in on the new trend of succulent collecting. I’m imagining a windowsill filled with birds and plants. Then when it’s absolutely frigid here in Rhode Island, I could have a nice reminder of nature.