Khnemu Studio, gallery and farm, near Saugatuck, Michigan

I drove North for three hours this afternoon, passing through the tornado damaged areas near Toledo, and then on to rolling landscapes of impossibly lush green… wheat and soybeans starting to go gold already, and fields with standing water from the week’s storms mirroring brilliant blue skies, framed in fringes of emerald corn. I love Michigan’s red barns, orchards, wineries and woods, creeks and lakes. This was where I grew up, in the land of fertile dirt.

I have my bags of tricks all packed: tool making supplies, templates for the casserole project, texture rollers for flasks, and glaze recipes… enough ideas to fill a semester, and a little anxiety to keep me on my toes. Ten people have paid for a weekend of hands-on worshop with yours truly… no pressure!

Khnemu farm is a marvelous place, and I have farm envy: Dawn has 30-some acres to myalmost- half acre yard, a whole yard full of chickens to my dozen, a horse and a llama, turkeys and  peacocks. The gallery, studio and classroom space are in a restored red barn with hubcaps gleaming on an outside wall. The 1800s farmhouse is solid and charming, original woodwork and “period” decor, with pottery and oriental rugs, and humorous touches everywhere.  On my way to bed tonight I spotted the wicked witch of the west’s stripey legs sticking out from under a piece of furniture…

We had dinner and a lovely stout homemade beer on the porch in the late summer light, Dawn and her husband Rob and I. They feel like people I have known for a long time, generous and smart with an easy laugh. A big Old English Sheepdog named Samson followed us around as I prepared the studio for tomorrow’s group, extruding pieces, and throwing  some just to try out Dawn’s clay.  We put the poultry to bed, and checked on a cow who may be in labor; she stood by herself in the field, ears back. The moon came up full and orange over the barn.

I am snuggled down in a bed with an old utilitarian quilt, in a snug upstairs room built 200 years ago; lace curtains, hardwood floors, and the moon peering in. I can hardly imagine sleeping: there could be a calf being born out there in the pasture, right this minute!  And new people to meet tomorrow, and two solid days to give them their money’s worth… I’ll post again when I can.

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