Friday, October 2, 2009
Into Hedge Apples Again
It is fall again--this time 2009 and I am revisiting the hedge apple. Today was a busy day for me in the studio. I was pinching out small sake cups. My friend--Waka--who comes originally from Japan tells me they are ochoko (my spelling). These come from this years fruit found fallen in my neighborhood on one of my walks.
As always this process of copying nature comes as an obsession and is a difficult yet rewarding process. I leave you with a picture of some of my recent hedge apple efforts. This sheep flask and her little ochoko flock are to be re-fired as I am dissatisfied with how flat the glaze makes their surface. Stay tuned. I shall let you know how their next kiln journey goes. Mean while I leave you with a poem from past experience.
Grandmother Hedge Apple
Since last December had waited
until—again--it was fall.
Every morning I walked past her—Grandmother Hedge Apple.
Looking and waiting for her to release
Her lumpy and beautiful fruit.
Through November I waited.
Until that week—
The week it took four men to cut her down.
During those days I held vigil
For she was a great one
And needed my view as much as I needed to see her.
Her cut open trunk filled the air with spiky fragrance
And I found
I coveted her mass—wondering what things could be made
From her stringy orange flesh
And could only imagine what fires she would make.
When the stump grinders had gone
I went to the mound of fruit at her roots.
Of all the hedge apples I've held in my hands
Those tender green children
They were the ones I loved most.
Jean Ann Bolliger
© February 2004