I have been uncharacteristically quiet for a year. So many reasons. The sadness of watching my mother struggle through the final months of her life, tempered by the gift of being there until the end. Ted holding down the fort at home so that I could be with her and with my sister. As the lockdowns and travel restrictions increased, I found myself thousands of miles from home, uncertain as to when or how I would get back. Through it all, Ted took solace in turning wood in a world turned upside down. The resulting creations inspire joy and optimism for better days ahead.
Our July Show
The cooperative gallery in which we are members, Ptarmigan Arts Gallery, closed under mandate in the spring. It re-opened during the summer with limited hours and days of operation. Ted and fellow woodturner George Overpeck had planned for over a year to have a month-long exhibit at the gallery during July. Ted focused his attention on creating new turnings in the hope that the gallery could re-open. He spent months working on new dizzy bowls and lidded segmented spheres for the show. He completed a collection of stave pepper mills, wine goblets, and ornaments in between working on the complicated bowls.
Ted and George named their show “The Fruits of Distancing” — showcasing the results of time and talent invested while hunkering down.
A Rock in the Road
Normally by the week before Thanksgiving we are knee-deep in finishing up and packing items for two large holiday craft fairs. Those fairs have been a staple for us since 2008. Not this year. Fair sponsors cancelled both shows for 2020. We were relieved from the standpoint of personal safety. We were also relieved to not have to build up stock of the smaller items that typically sell so well at the fairs. There will be other years for holiday fairs. This unexpected but not unwelcome turn of events allowed Ted to focus on custom orders requested by clients. He enjoys the challenge of designing and creating the perfect item based on input from a client, but that takes time. And time is one thing we had this year.
A Virtual World
Ptarmigan Arts gallery closed temporarily in late October as a way to keep our members who take turns working as cashier safe. Covid cases continue to rise in our little community. The gallery has a plan to be open for the holiday shopping season, with Covid mitigation procedures in place, and we are looking forward to helping customers shop for gifts. Even so, like many of our artist friends, we are now working within a virtual world with a medium that begs to be picked up, examined, and touched. Zoom meetings, operating an online store – it’s been a challenge. We spent the last few weeks adding almost 50 new items to our Ted’s Woodshop website store and actively posting to our Facebook and Instagram pages. We hope you’ll visit us online and on social media and help us make our virtual presence better known.
My mother’s advice in this world turned upside down would be: “Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Put other people first. Make good decisions. Be responsible.”
Indeed. And Ted will keep turning wood in a world turned upside down.