Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Even more stuff I made

Little houses
I like to make series of objects with little to no practical use.  These came from memories of the snow village my mom used to set up every Christmas.  Of course, these look nothing like those simple rectangular houses with pitched roofs and red cellophane windows.  They do have little arches carved in the back in case I get it together to set them up with a string of Christmas lights, a single bulb illuminating the windows.  Tacky?  Oh yes.  There are three more waiting to be fired, and more to come until my last bag of terra cotta clay runs out.  
Like my little houses, these take obssessive hours to make.  Each one is made of two pinched bowls stuck together and smacked with a popsicle stick.  It's obssessive.  I could seek help.

Goat head

Goat head

This is meant to hang over a door to prevent evil spirits from entering.  Though I'm not sure if it would prevent any of them from exiting,  In either case, it's a good thing I don't believe in the protective power of objects hanging over doors, though I like the idea.  This is one object that won't turn into a series because I don't think I can make a similar thing.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Icon Delivery

I spent four days in Zestaponi, a horrfically boring industrial city.  Mari, the assistant assigned to Zestaponi out of default (her family lives there) invited me to join her, several family members and friends to deliver an icon to a chapel in the mountains about 7km from the city.  We all piled into a minivan, the windshield of which was cracked in a wide spider web.  After leaving the paved road, we ventured onto a dirt and rock one, cresting short but steep hills ending in large puddles formed by small streams.  I repeatedly stroked the back of the seat in front of me, chanting "Good little minivan." 
Eventually, the road became a trail consisting of solid rock too dangerous for the minivan so our group, adolescents to Mari's 85 year old grandma, made the trek to a small chapel nestled in the mountains. Dedicated to the Holy Apostles, it is watched over by three monks.

Mari's grandmother, whose name I never heard nor would have retained, tackled ascents and descents.  At times, I held her hand.  Her skin reminded me of my own grandmother's, soft and papery.

The chapel from a distance.

Processing with the icon, a solemn event.

I have no idea what the name of this fruit is in English.  In Turkish, it's called altın çilek (golden flower).  They're like little sweet and sour tomatoes in a papery flower wrapper.  No one would eat them but me.

The delivered icon of a saint who's name I can't remember.  The chapel is very important to Mari's family, so her uncle had this made to dedicate to it.  Such dedications are common in Georgia.

From the relatively new chapel (19th century), we went down then up again to a church whose foundations date to the 6th century.  From there, you cross a rickety wooden bridge over a small stream, then descend this set of stairs made of uneven timbers to reach the baptismal pool below.

The water of another mountain stream has formed a small pool.  I do not know if the faithful are currently baptised in it, and I would not trust the metal ladder to support me for long before immersion.  The bottom doesn't look far, yet the clear water can be deceptive.

Friday, June 22, 2012

And then there were three

No Water in the Dish

      As I was walking to the service bus this morning, I spoke to more strangers in a ten minute time span than I had ever before.  Normally, if fellow pedestrians look at you, it is brief and with disinterest.  If you walk down the street with a transparent box with seven baby rabbits in it, well, that's a different story.
       Today I brought the bunnies to the last day of our school year to deliver some to their new parents, and to introduce others to those who will take them home later.  Needless to say, I have been a very popular person since this morning.  So many have expressed interest in owning a rabbit (I take less than half seriously) that I might just have to make more in the fall.  It's been an unusual and lovely experience, one which I wouldn't mind repeating.  Luli, on the other hand, has had quite enough of the babies and deserves a good rest.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Nap Time

     Since their eyes opened last week, the little ones have become determined to get into a bit of trouble.  Well, the most trouble they can get into at this point is to escape from the nest and go wandering.  At this stage, there is no risk of them dying from lack of warmth as their fur has grown in quickly.  I can already tell which are going to have the longest fur. 
     Even two-week old bunnies show full-grown rabbit behavior.  Although they are still a bit shaky on their feet, they will spontaneously do a "binkie" (seriously, that's a word from respected rabbit sources.) A binkie, performed either from a standstill, a walk or run, consists of the rabbit coming off all fours and making a twist-hop in the air.  Granted, these are small binkies for small bunnies and for that reason are quite funny.  When self-grooming, kits will sometimes fall over, an act which is similarly amusing.  Unfortunately, I didn't catch them at the right time while taking this film.
     Do you blame me for neglecting the housework to watch a boxful of babies?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


10 day olds

         The babies are growing and changing daily.  From round-bellied wads of chewing gum, they have developed into furry little creatures.  Slowly they are becoming steadier on their feet, but still wobbly, and their eyes look about to open soon.  It takes everything in my power not to sit on the floor and play for hours.  Touching them is like running your fingers over butter without the oily residue.

          In comparison to cats and dogs, rabbit mothers seem to neglect their young.  They feed them only twice a day, usually at night, and otherwise ignore them.  This is actually for their protection from predators.  Clearly, there are none in my apartment, but Luli doesn't know that.  Yesterday morning, I witnessed a rare thing.  I opened the door to leave Luli some mint, only to find her standing in the nest box, nursing, covering all but one who was on his back and scrambling to get better situated.  To my relief, she didn't move. In her presence, the kits make excited peeps, like a chorus of excited little birds.

       Last night, I had a bit of a panic.  When I peeked in the nest, I counted only six babies.  I looked through all the hay in the nest, under the cupboard, behind a basket and the litter box, in Luli's cage, in short, everywhere.  No bunny.  As a last resort, I stuck my hand behind the sink stand and withdrew a sleeping bunny, curled up and getting a bit cold.  The nest itself is in a large cupboard with one door closed.  This adventurous little guy must have managed to crawl over his siblings or the hay, fall out of the box, crawl across the cupboard to fall onto the floor (it's about a 4 inch drop) waddle his way around the basket and cage to find a dark hiding space.  The walls of their new nest are much higher.

Friday, May 25, 2012

a baby

Baby in hand


Moving baby