Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Massimo's Jewelry Box

The little Scarlet Tanager Bird (Piranga olivacea) lives in the Northeast forest of  the US during the summer. When winter comes it flees to south American countries like Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia. It makes a short stop before crossing the Gulf of Mexico, which give us, Floridians, the opportunity to see it.

It is a medium size bird that sings wonderful  tunes. I have chosen to decorate one of my boxes with this bird because, this little bird can be seen in Lima, Tampa and Dallas among other cities. These cities became special when I found out about Massimo.

Massimo is a two year old boy who has Eosinophilic Esophagitis, he lives in Dallas, Texas. His mother and I were high school classmates back in Lima, some years ago. I got back in touch with her during the days of the American Made contest. (Remember the contest? who could ever forget, right? Voting everyday for weeks. Well, during those days I got in touch with many of my former classmates. They were wonderful voting for me everyday, and you know how FB is, you get in touch with friends and friends of friends. When the contest ended, my friend Marissa invited me to "Like" her page Support for Massimo. On this page she talks about Massimo and his disease:

"Massimo is 2 years old and has been recently diagnosed with Eosinophic Esophagitis, he also has dysphagia, food aversion, asthma, chronic ear infections, GERD, developmental delays, celiac disease and failure to thrive. He also has a feeding tube. It has been hard to even reach the correct diagnosis, he has suffered since birth and we had to push, fight and plead to get where we are. If you want to know more about these diseases and our journey, you are welcome to follow this page"

The recent news about Massimo is that he no longer needs to have or to use the feeding tube and that his disease is in remission. Hurray for Massimo!! However, he still needs to be super careful about what he eats which I can only imagine must be really hard for his mother. Children usually don't ask permission to eat, if they see something they like, they just grab it and eat it. 

On November 16th will be an Craft Fair in Arlington, a city close to  Dallas, TX.  Massimo's  10 year old sister will be there selling  hand-made bracelets and the money she raises will be donate to CURED. Her mother wanted to buy one of my pieces so she can do a silent auction or something: she is very determined to make this disease well-known and to find a cure for her little boy. 

With all these things on my mind, I thought how I might contribute. What can I do that will be small and not too expensive to mail to TX; what can I do that would  make people want to contribute? Perhaps I could make something someone might buy as a present, perhaps something for their personal use . . . Who are the ones usually buying my pieces, that I know? My pieces are often purchased by women. What do women like, jewelry, so what about a jewelry box? It is small and can make a great gift, something that you use and is also decorative. I decided to carve the piece with birds, and I chose the Scarlet Tanager bird because this little bird flies around where we live. Perhaps the same little bird can be resting in Massimo's garden and then he can show up in my garden, before going to visit Massimo's family in Peru. Then, he flies back, and so we all can send our love to Massimo with this little bird.

The jewelry box will be my small contribution in the search of finding a cure for the  Eosinophilic Esophagitis. I don't have money but I do have clay ; ) Hopefully someone will like my piece and buy or bid for it. 

Here are the photos of the process, tomorrow it will fired again and hopefully it will look good, Then it will be mailed to TX and arrive just in time for the event.

Painting again!

It has been a while since my last post, I have been very busy, trying to finish the dinner-table sets and working in the garden. Well, I have not finish either, garden takes so much time and the results are going to be visible in 10 years from now... OMG!! how can I get involved in something that requires so much time? I guess because I have this dream of a garden full of flowers and butterflies and just keep thinking on the goal. It does look better than last year, but not yet the way I wanted.
Anyway, in the field of pottery, I am still working, I had some troubles with my plates, one cracked, and others had problems on their foot so I have to make more, and more, and there are still more to be made. But I had to stop of making plates and did some bowls and boxes for a change.
I am working in the "Blue Birds of Happiness" Collection and the "Starry Night" Collection, a little sgraffito and a little of just free hand painting.

This are the photos of the greenware with the Blue Birds theme, I forgot to take a photo with the Starry Night, it has been a while since the last time I photograph the process, I will start to do that again. 

In the photos you can see the 2 bowls and the little box I did, all with the same theme. Behind, covered with blue plastic are the bowls that later I decorated with the sgraffito technique. I still have to make plates, yes more plates and mugs with that theme, so photos will come.