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My Artist’s Assistant

Oh, to be an artist with a deadline approaching!  Rainie and I will be selling my ceramics at the local farmers’ market on Saturday August 25.  Since all the proceeds go to Early Alert Canines in order to help fund the training of diabetic alert dogs, we’ve been invited to man/woman the “non-profit” table.  I am so fortunate to have a wonderful hobby (ceramics) that simultaneously helps my passion to train these life-saving dogs.(EAC); this incredible pairing allows me to be up to my elbows in clay as much as I want, and help out EAC as well.

As I type, my ‘studio’ is a mess!  It looks like Santa’s workshop before Xmas.  There are pieces drying on one table, and wet pieces on a set of shelves.  The stuff ready to be fired is on top of the kiln (not a great idea), and there are more pieces waiting to be glazed.  Oh, and the potter’s wheel has a wet piece ‘resting’ while it waits to be finished.  The main thing missing are the ‘elves’.  I’m Santa and the elves rolled into one – I do everything related to ceramics, while my one helper, Rainie, does an excellent job helping keep my blood sugar level (BSL) and me in balance.


When she’s not actively alerting me, she’s either resting in her cave under a work-table, or watching hummingbirds out the door, Her alerting’s made me aware that my BSL drops with each piece I throw.  It doesn’t seem to matter whether I’m throwing a small piece for a mug, or a large bowl, I’ll soon feel a gentle nudge on my thigh, or paw on my thigh that tells me it’s time to pay attention to my BSL.  And, she’s right every time, which is something I still find amazing.  I’d never realized how much my BSL changes due to the energy I expend while making pottery.  Looking back in time, I now remember the blood sugar issues I used to have while playing with clay.  It’s so easy to forget (and take things for granted).  And since I’m into remembering, the first few times Rainie came into my ‘studio’ to ‘help’ were a laughing disaster!  She soon realized that it is not a good idea to ‘alert’ me by putting her head on my potter’s wheel (wet clay must not taste very good), nor by nudging my elbow (clay doesn’t like to be inadvertently ‘knocked’ either).  Fortunately, she’s a really quick learner.

So, my wonder-dog, best friend (and elf) does a great job of keeping me company and safe while she stays away from the wet clay.  If you are in the Santa Cruz area, please come to the Cabrillo Farmers’ Market on Saturday August 25th.  We’d love to say “hi!”