This is the story of one family’s attempt to live life on the land. I am a potter; I make pots meant to elevate daily life to the level of ritual and sell them at farmer’s markets and shops. My husband, J., is an artist and teaches at a university (hence we don’t plan to live our life “off” the land). We have two delightful children, M. (7 years) and A. (6 years).
When I was pregnant with A. we bought 17 acres of raw woodland in Northwest Wisconsin. Sort of intending to camp there indefinitely. No other plan than to have a wild space in which to quiet ourselves and acquaint our children with nature.
We found ourselves dreaming of a home in the woods, a studio to share and a wood-fired kiln, an orchard with fruit and nuts and wild berries, mushrooms cultivated and wild, we dreamed of making charcoal to sell, keeping poultry and bees, making maple syrup and wild-crafted baskets, pressing cider, eating mostly what we produce and preserve. The house we dreamed of would be built ourselves, simply and as much as possible with natural materials and attuned to the natural world that surrounded it.
So, Dear Reader, I’ll be sharing our journey with you. I’ll begin with Spring, 2016, when we completed the kiln (the first item finished in our long, dreamy list) and began our house. You’ll read about it all: the daily work of the potter, the dreams and plans for the future, the work we do in bringing those dreams to fruition, the false-starts, the self-doubt…it’s all the Clay Life.