Throwing Thursday - 7th Throw

This is my 7th sitting at the wheel.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Arizona, Uganda, Actors and Athletes – How to Come Out

Over the last few weeks I've noticed that one after another people are “coming out”.  They are taking a stand and showing that they are ready to stop hiding who they are and be themselves.  Michael Sams and Jason Collins have recently come out, however we do know that they are not really the first professional athletes to be gay.

The Ugandan President signed into law today a bill that criminalizes homosexuality despite a message from President Obama urging the world to step forward into equality and not backwards.

This type of fear and hate is not limited to other countries.  Just last week Arizona sent a new law to Governor Ann Jan Brewer that would allow a business to turn away customers based on sexual orientation.  Many are concerned that the protection of ones right to do business with who they want, outweighs the rights of the individual to have access to the marketplace.

In an open letter to Governor Brewer, Out LGBT Activist and Actor George Takei stated he will boycott the state of Arizona if this measure goes through.  

A look back shows us that LGBT families in Arizona do have a right to be fearful of hatred.
As a small business owner, I understand the value of a solid customer base.  As a consumer, I also want to have access to the same goods and services that others have in my community.  I also believe that if someone wants to buy my products, because I’m a small business, I’m going to sell to them.  Let’s say that someone buys one of my necklaces and then burns it because they hate witches.  I’m ok with that.  I’ve been paid.  I really don’t have the right to be concerned with what someone does with my product after it leaves my place of business.

Now, let’s turn the tables a bit.  The sandwich at Chick-fil-a is awesome.  I would love to have it.  It’s crispy and tasty.  It is also served with a side of hate, which is not quite as palatable for me.  That means that I don’t go there and shop.  I don’t eat there, I don’t buy water there, and I don’t visit there at all.  I encourage others not to shop there and I am very clear to others exactly why I don’t shop there. 

While I understand the desire to have equality in the marketplace, I also am really confused by those who want to “make” a business do something for them.   These recent issues with wedding cakes and bakery owner’s refusing to make cakes for certain weddings.   While a baker who said, I won’t’ make a cake for an interracial marriage might be frowned on by the community, one that says I won’t make a cake for a gay marriage is applauded and supported for their freedom of religion. 

While I lived in San Diego, I was always happy when I saw businesses post the rainbow flag on their doors.  I knew that this merchant supported LGBT rights and I felt comfortable spending my money there.  In less inclusive communities it is hard to know who is on the side of equality.  That being said, I would vet my cake decorator by asking others who have used them and if I find one that doesn't want to make my cake; I’d move on.  Why have that negative energy in the best day of my life? 

I found a local restaurant using a microwave but charges $17 a plate.  I don’t go there any more.

I think the real issue here is what people thing about people when they see them.  On a recent trip to Wilson, hubby and I had a really good discussion on this.  What are people really worried about?  Do they care that a “gay” cake is made at the same place a “straight” cake is made?   What’s the big deal?

So really what this all really boils down to is what we think when we look at people.  So what do we see when we look at the following photos

Zach Wahls - Heterosexual child of Lesbian Moms

Del Martin and Phyllis Lyons - By NickGorto

Harvey Milk - By Daniel Nicoletta

Why does looking at these people equate to what they do in their bedroom.  When I look at these pictures the last thing I think of is their bedroom.  When I’m standing in line at the bank, or sitting in my car I don’t look over at the couple in the car and immediately start thinking about them having sex.  Why is it that the thought of a same sex couple immediately leads other to think of sex?  Do seeing opposite sex couples do that as well?  If so, who is really at fault here?

There are arguments against treating Gays and Lesbians equal ranging from biblical to natural.  Some say “God Intended” some say “Nature Intended”.   Each one firmly believing they have the right answer.  By far, the most ignorant argument is “I wouldn't know how to explain it to my kids.”     


Now some of you may say, no, no one really says that.  Take my word for it.  I have been approached by people in my own birth family that said those very words to me.  Here’s how you explain a gay couple to your children.

“Dave loves Steve like Daddy loves Mommy”


"Shannon has two Mommies and you have a Daddy and a Mommy."

I’ll even help with a follow up question.

"Well, Shannon has two Mommies, because that’s how their family is set up.  Some families have one Mommy, some have two.  Some have two Daddies some have one.  Every family is different."

Study after study shows that children are not born with prejudice.  Hate is taught.  Stereotyping is something that is handed down to our children.  From the media, from the world and from us.  We teach them to be hateful people that believe that some families are not as good as other families.  We teach them that it is OK “this time” to single out this group of people or that group of people. 

We need to stop looking at the color of the skin, the religious choice or the gender of people to determine who they are.  We are all earthlings and we should cherish our diversity.

Ruby Bridges - By Uncredited DOJ photographer

Japanese-American internees at Minidoka Internment Camp, Idaho

Trail of Tears - By Wolfgang Sauber

I have a message to all those who are "coming out".  Instead of making a big press conference about it or releasing some public statement, just show up at your event with your partner.  People make a big deal out of things if you do.  While I'm all for being an out Gay or Lesbian leader in our community, I think that if we just start showing up with our partner to events maybe it won't be such a big deal.  Maybe if you get a cake from a great baker and you share their name in a tweet, that works too.  Don't be so worried about getting a head of the game and managing the media that you forget that there are people out there who don't play football or have a great spin doctor to turn the media around when they start bashing them.  

Maybe if we start here, we can try to teach those coming up that it isn't so bad to just be yourself.

Throwing Thursday - 6th Throw

Here are a few pots from my 6th Throw.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Throwing Thursday - Recovering Clay

Throwing clay takes a lot of practice.  That means that many more pieces get made than actually get fired.  In fact up to this point, I have not even turned on the kiln.  I've turned about 30 pots so far and each one has ended back up in the recycle bin.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Recycling clay is a pretty easy process.  After turning a lump and either creating a pot or creating a failure, the best thing to do is let the piece get to bone dry and just toss it in water.  Clay actually will revert faster if it's bone dry than if it has any water in it at all.

Here I have a tub with water in it.  I drop the bone dry pieces in the tub until they revert.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Depending on how dry the clay is, the clay will slowly dissolve back to it's smooth state. Below you can see the clay pots have broken down and have settled to the bottom of the tub.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson
After enough clay has accumulated in the tub, it can then be poured out on to a a surface to allow the water to evaporate out.  A wooden board or a plaster board can be used to dry the clay.  When the clay is workable, slowly wedge the clay back into a lump and store it in an airtight container.  

Here's a video that outlines the process.

More clay pots coming... 

I'd Like to Teach the World....

Over the last week I've seen several stories regarding children and school lunches.  I was so blown away by some of the stories I decided to do a little research.

In April 2013 four food workers in Massachusetts were fired for making crying school children toss their food in the trash after it was discovered they did not have enough money in their prepaid lunch accounts. 

September 2013- New Jersey – Fox and Friends panel support the idea of having children go hungry to teach them a lesson.  There’s no such thing as a free lunch.  Per the video, the child psychologist says, don’t toss out their food… give them a cheese sandwich and an IOU.

January 2014 – A Utah School instructed cafeteria workers to “confiscate” the lunches of 40 schoolchildren who did not have enough money to pay for their lunches.  That food was thrown in the trash while the child going hungry, watched.

What in the actual hell is wrong with people today? Is society as a whole channeling Maria Antoinette?  As we saying, let them eat cheese sandwiches? 

Ok so I do know that she never said that, but really what is wrong with us?

Growing up in rural North Carolina, with a father in the penal system, my family was a recipient of public assistance.  We received food stamps, free lunch, participated in the commodities program and any other free food program we could get into.  My mother, who was pretty much worthless, made sure that all the money that did come in went directly into the pocket of her drunkard husband who systematically physically, mentally and sexually abused us.

I remember stealing food from grocery stores and sitting in the corn field eating frozen dinners.  I remember standing out by the trash can eating the “scraps” of food when I was supposed to be cleaning up dinner dishes.  I remember sneaking into the houses of people who lived near me and taking food from their freezer.
I had breakfast and lunch at school and dinner at home.  Sometimes my mother would fry a chicken for dinner.  I would get a drumstick, some instant potatoes and maybe some green beans. A sister would get the other drumstick, a second two wings.  The thighs would go to the asshole and my mother would get both chicken breasts.

You know, because it’s always a good idea to take the two biggest pieces and eat them yourself and not share them with your children.  One of the worse spankings I ever got was for sneaking the skin off her chicken breast.  No wonder I have issues with food. But I digress...

My point is, we don't know the family situation of these children.  We do not know if this may be the only meal they are getting today.  We just do not know.

We’re living a world where we have people who have more money than their grandchildren’s grandchildren will ever spend.  Why is it so difficult for the lot of us to understand that we can change this?  There is no reason why children should go hungry.  There is no reason why kids should not have food in their bellies.

A Houston man decided to check into his local school and found that there were 60 children who were back on their lunch bills.  He took $465.00 of his own money and paid off the accounts.  He wasn't a rich man.  Just someone who saw that kids were going hungry and decided to do something about it.

What can we do about this as a society?  I've been looking at information around a resource based economy.  Jacque Fresco, a futurist and scientist offers a great idea to come to terms with some of these issues.

If we could just come together, we could change the world.  I'm not a scientist.  I'm not a financial expert and I try to know as little about politics as I can.  This idea of taking what we all have and putting it together, finding a new way to look at our world.  Taking care of our planet and loving each other.  It sounds, well... kinda cool to me. 

It takes a village....


Throwing Thursday - 5th Throw

So this is my 5th throw.  I took these photos after the pots were leather hard.  These pots are getting a bit more consistent and they have a more consistent shape.  I'm really happy with how they look over all.

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson

Photo Credit - Renee Olson
 My next set will look at how to reclaim the clay after it has reached the bone dry state.