Open Studio Report: 4/19

I did, in fact, arrive at the studio today equipped with figures for my bird house. I’m aiming for a 4″ x 4″ box floor and a 14″ box height. The entrance height will be about 9.5″ and the entrance hole will be 1 1/4″ after shrinkage. The choice of birds I could attract include titmice, nuthatches and downy woodpeckers, as shown. I really don’t know what we’ll attract and it is getting latish. Last year, baby chickadees were born and later fledged from the wooden bird house on the Shore Pine. I spent so much time last summer heading squirrels off with a plastic spray bottle set on stream! My ceramic bird house can’t be chewed through, though… I have been interested in birds for some time, but have been a bit of a vagabond and am only now settled enough to take the time to learn more about them. My step-grandmother was a photographer, birder and botanist, and I tagged along with her on a few outings when she set up her Hasselblad for shoots. I still have many of her slides and a book or two with her pics. My mother is also keen about birds and I’ve learned quite a bit from her. I’m a latecomer to the scene but have been influenced by the people around me. My father was interested in crows and I remember  listening to him talk about them, their social structure and conversations. His enthusiasm for corvids made me interested in them, too. An article by David Shaw in Birds and Blooms magazine states that crows can recognize people. Citing a study by the University of Washington, Shaw says, they are also “capable not just of recognizing humans individually, but also of teaching their offspring which humans are dangerous.” Intriguing! We live on a crow flyway and sometimes hundreds congregate in the woods behind us for the night. On any given day, the sky can be nearly dark with them as they wing their way up the hill to the west. Crows ‘people’ our yard every day, too, and I’ve started talking to them, after having read this article. Maybe I can befriend one. Back to my project, though. My bird house will be impervious to predators, crows or squirrels, and will hang from our big leaf maple. I must say, I am having a bit of trouble with my bird house. It needs the structural support paper clay affords, but I’m making it with regular white clay. It will work out in the end, but I could have saved myself some grief had I chosen the other clay. I went with what I had and that’s not always the best route, is it? It was an exciting day, though, because I cut the entrance hole. Finally! Here’s a pic of what it looks like…mind you it’s upside down and is minus the lid. Click here to see what I’m emulating. On another note, I’ve made a diagram of my plans for the interior of my greenhouse, seen below. The triangular object storage container and I will tuck it into the corner to make room for a lemon tree. Soon!


About Jan

I have a background in ceramics, graphic design and journalism.
This entry was posted in Articles and Interviews, Fun, Home and Garden, How-to-do-it, My Work and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Open Studio Report: 4/19

  1. Pauline says:

    The green house is inspirational! Last night Bob and I took our seeds out from the down stairs fridge and started imaging what we were going to put in the ground this year. More flowers, a few veggies etc. We break ground this coming weekend.

    • Jan says:

      Hi, Princess Rex! It’s a lovely moment, isn’t it…studying our seeds and making plans? I’ve got to do that, too. Haven all the amendments on the raised bed, now need to water it down and start planting… Have fun tilling and sech this weekend… — Jan

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