Sunday, November 4, 2012

From Hurricane Sandy to Wee Willie Winkie

On October 29th, Hurricane Sandy blew out the lights. She forcibly shut appliances and phones. The hum of household motors began a four-day rest. The friendly faint grind of the heat going on stopped cold. Except for the mild ticking of the battery powered wall clock in my studio, all the sounds of electricity underlying life at home became silent.

Even our cellphones did not have reception.

We played Scrabble by candlelight, bundled in layers of clothing.

Half a lifetime ago, when I bought my Lockerbie kickwheel (non-electric), I said, "I can even use it in a power outage!" But I never did. Blackouts rarely last more than a couple of hours.

But Hurricane Sandy left a swath of destruction in our state. The electric company gave an estimate of six days without power (mercifully, our house did not go this long).

The Luddite living inside of me rose weirdly happily to the occasion. Down to the studio with a handful of candles!

And what to make?
Had to bleach out the photo so you could see me in the low light!

Candleholders, of course! Wee Willie Winkie candleholders, in fact!

           "Wee Willie Winkie running through the town
             Up the stairs and down the stairs in his nightgown!
             Tapping at the windows, calling at the locks,
             'Are the babies in their beds? For now it's ten o'clock!'"

In my childhood book of nursery rhymes, this is the candleholder Willie carried:
My friend calls them Jack-Jumped-Over-the-Candlesticks.

 ...and mugs, too! Because when the power goes out and the temperature outside and inside drops, you need, at the very least, candlelight and tea.

I would have fired them in the kiln, too, if only it was not electric...

Look for these among other pottery I will be showing on Sunday, November 11, 12-5 p.m., (assuming the show will not be canceled due to power being out,) at the Potters Guild Show and Sale in the social hall of the Community Presbyterian Church, 1459 Deer Path, Mountainside, NJ.

Keep warm!


  1. It's wonderful to be productive in adversity, no? It makes me feel so efficient and virtuous.

  2. Don't know about virtuous, GilaB! But jolly for sure!