Middle of the week

I was trying to think of something momentous going on with Jen Mecca pottery this week but I have to admit it kind of the same old same old. I have a bisque going tonight for a show I'm in next week at City Art Gallery in Greenville Nc. They had kind of good idea for there business I thought at this time of the year. They are featuring new work by the artists they represent. I plan on sending them just some pieces they have not had. I think they kind of thought I'd have my soda work going at this time. I don't know about the rest of you potters out there but I don't always think gallery folks realize how long it takes to work stuff out. (Let alone build a kiln in my case.)

Friday I'm meeting with all my Circle of Eight folks. I missed the last meeting so I'm fired back up to chat about shows and stuff like that concerns keeping our group moving forward.

I got into a few more shows this week which was nice. Look for those to be posted in the next few days. When I was going over my calendar today I realised that I have a lot going on or due the end of March first part of April so I need to get hoppin' in the studio.

Here is my mug shot for the day. Its by Marty Fielding. I met him a few years ago through a friend of mine at the Pullen Art Center in Raleigh so this mug is pretty dated. He's someone who has gotten a lot of attention in CM these last few years and has burst on the scene so to say.

My first flowers to bloom!



Here are some things from this weekend. This is the flower/frog (?) thing I had in my head and wanted to try. (Please someone give me the correct name for this.) Its a good start to something. I often wish I had a little pen that I could draw on the screen of the computer with and show my next thoughts to what I want to do next or don't like about a piece. I'm sure there is something like this...but we don't have it.

Here are some covered jars in there first stages and my twins that will be stained and loaded this week.

My mug for the day is by Shawn Ireland who lives in Bakersville NC ( I think). The first time I went to Penland he was the core student and just getting into pottery I think. I like how his pots a ruff but still have some color to them.

I thought I'd also show our array of flavored coffee's. I drink more of this than Joey does. He just likes super strong regular coffee but sometimes I can talk him into the fancy stuff. I'm curious to see how the Bishops Blend is that the church sold with my mugs a few weeks ago.


Sunday..the foggy day

I'm always in a fog on Sundays. I just want to go slow, hang out and enjoy the peace of the day. Its 1pm and soon I need to get out to my porch and work, which will be good since I'm feeling relaxed. Yesterday I sketched and worked through an idea. Today I'll keep going on that track. Its another flower vase with a ( I believe its called a prong or maybe its a frog) inside it. At any rate I'll keep you updated if it is something worthy of showing.
I had some sad news delivered to me via email today. A potter that I knew in Raleigh died this weekend after having her cancer come back. Her name was Leanora Coleman and she owned a business called Claymakers that was a very nice place to take workshops. I knew Leanora back when she was just making pots and we use to carry her work at Cedar Creek. She was kind of a character but I always enjoyed talking to her and I liked her pots. I was always in awe of female potters before I even knew I end up being one. I knew what it took to fire and build a kiln and thought how hard it must be for a women to do all that her self! I had just spoken with Leanora back in December and thought she looked really good. I guess you just never know. Life is precious....my thoughts are with her and her family and friends. Its always kind of kick in the gut when you get news like that.
Later today Joey and I plan on working more on the chimney to the kiln.
I have a new song by The Moldy Peaches from the movie Juno that keeps resonating in my head today. Check it out - its a sweet tune with great lyrics.
You're a part time lover and a full time friend
The monkey on you're back is the latest trend
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you
I kiss you on the brain in the shadow of a train
I kiss you all starry eyed, my body's swinging from side to side
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you
Here is the church and here is the steeple
We sure are cute for two ugly people
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you
The pebbles forgive me, the trees forgive me
So why can't, you forgive me?
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you
I will find my nitch in your car
With my mp3 DVD rumple-packed guitar
I don't see what anyone can see, in anyone else
But you
Du du du du du du duduDu du du du du du duduDu du du du du du dudu

There is more, but you get the picture. Have a good Sunday.Jen


Feeling pretty computer savey

Yesterday I was trying so hard to figure out why my spell check wouldn't work and I started pushing all sort of buttons. Much to my surprise I figured out how to change the settings and basically the whole lay out of my blog! This was so exciting to me. I came home and announced to my Tec Guy that I was no longer in need of his services for that kind of stuff any longer. ( I'm sure this made him very happy.) Boy does it feel good to be a 20century gal! Now I'm on my way to ruling the world! (Well, I guess I still need to get the spell check thing worked out and than I 'll take it from there.)
I'm going out to throw some covered pots. I think I'm going to go for some big guys today.
Here is a mug by my pal Brad Tucker. This guy is a an old one. ( The mug that is. Haha) It came from a group of mugs at Cedar Creek when I worked there. It even could of been a second but it has stood the test of time in my kitchen for 18 years! Boy Brad, I had no idea I've known you that long! Time flies. Brad is in Baltimore doing the ACC show so I'm wishing him lots of luck.

( Low and behold my spell check is working...guess I can start taking over the world now. On second thought its rainy and gross out today so I think I'll just hide indoors and let some other free-less female try today.)


Planning out new things

Whenever we sit down to a meal I always seem to have three veggie's/fruits that the kids need to try and "eat". Lately since we get a lot of resistance as to what we put on their plate, I've been trying the approuch of letting them decide which "good thing" they would like to choose.( Of course I just stick a dinnerplate out in the middle of the table with various things on it.) I've often thought that a serving dish with several little compartments would be a good thing for a family such as ours with three picky eater. I've been working this piece out in my head for awhile and in previous years attempted something like this.

Before Christmas someone gave me the idea of combining the thrown pieces together the way I do my twin vases. Here is what I started to just play with the other night. This is in very raw form and I also did also sketch of it my book one day waiting for the kids. We'll see if next week I can't push this into an actual new piece for me.

Here is a mug by Mark Peters and one by myself. I made Joey and the kids each there own mug for Valentine's day. This one has a little sketch of Joey on it with a Beetle's song verse written on the bottom. ( Its kind of hard to see......)


Ideas and more ideas

I got all the red clay cleaned up and out of my studio (plus the pugmill...what a job) and I got back to my porcelain work this weekend. Currently I'm working on a small order that needs to go out next week. If you recall I was trying work out my "quest" for putting words on my pieces. The tiles I made worked for the most part but I was not happy with the pots I chose to write on. I did experiment with writting on plates with some of the left over red clay. Those have been bisqued and I think I am onto something with the possiblities a flat surface offers to many images. I made a great discovery at class last week that was waiting for me on the finished shelf. A dinner plate I was demonstrating engobes to my class last session came out really well! Here is the plate and I really like the quick jesture carving that I did around the edges of my flowers. I think I may be able to play around with some wall pieces/platters using engobes. Stay tuned for some examples as soon as I can move forward past my order.

My camera is down for the day....new batteries are needed. I have several mug shots to posts! Boy have we been enjoying some good coffee since Christmas.
(On a side note I asked my tec guy about why the spell check is not working and he said his wasn't either. Time to contact Blogger....)


Opening Friday night

My pal Julie sent me some photo's from the opening Friday night. It was a lot of fun getting out and being, what seemed to be a whole differant crowd than our norm here in York. The two of us kind of felt like we where in Greenville NC again because it was a very hip, artsy crowd like when I was in grad school. Sometimes we miss the old days when it was just us and we could go to cool resturants and interesting opening ect.~ Of course if I where still doing this every weekend I wouldn't have little people jumping in bed with me pretending to be some sort of rodant under the covers on the weekends. Neither of us would trade that.....
Anyways, the work in the gallery was all very nice. Both of the owners did wonderful work. Here are some painting by Duy Huynh who is one of the owners. Joey and I loved his work because it was very dream-like.
The gallery was set up with things all around so there wasn't really one view of my space but here are a few of my pieces.

We ended the night at a great Vietnamese resturant. Here we are! Its true what they say about men, they just get better looking with age. Atleast to me, my husband does. He's back on his blog as well and enjoying the fact that I made us get high speed!



Today was really nice out and even though I didn't feel like I got a whole lot done today, we did manage to work on the kiln a little bit. Here is the stack going up more. We've had a lot of cutting to do because the bricks I had to get where not totally the same size as the others. You'll notice two bricks that stick out from the rest and NO this is not a passive damper but a ledge for the pipe to sit on. We will take this up a bit more with bricks and than another pipe will fit on here to go up and out the roof.

I got all my mugs to the church today. They where glazed very plainly and went over well. Guess I should of taken a photo of them but they where so far removed from my normal stuff I thought I'd just box them up and send them on there way to do what I intended them too...make money for a good charity.

The opening for the Lark and Key was a lot of fun on Friday. Hopefully I'll get some photo's back from my friend Julie this week to post on here.

Here is my mug shot for the day. This was my morning coffee and this is an old mug made by one of my very good friends Amy Evans. Amy went to grad school with me and she makes GREAT pots. She, like most of us has had to put making pots on the side because she needs to teach and support her household. Her husband is also a potter and works as the clay studio cordinator for Arrowmont in Gatlinburg Tennessee. I hope one day both of them will just be able to make pots and do what we all love to do. This mug does not do Amy's pots justice!
Hi Am'~

Good Photo's

I was looking at so many blogs the other day and really relized how the photo's of my work do not show off what my pots really look like. Since I don't have a great digital camera I will just have to keep posting what I can for now. I did just get some great photo's taken of my work and before I wouldn't have wasn't the time to try and down load these but today they popped up in 1 minute flat. ( We are so amazed by this new toy we have!!)
Here are things I have shown in differant stages or have spoken of.

Twin vases with Amber and green glaze.

Flower block with feet.

Dinner plates with raw clay showing on the edge and orange slip on part of the design, this is also raw clay showing through. I've been trying to do this on more and more things to get ready for the interduction of the soda kiln. ( If we ever get the money together to get it totally hooked up to the propane tank.)
Here are some drinking cups. I love this photo~


Happy Heart Day

So today is Friday but I'm still doing Valentine's day. Joey surprised me and took the day off so he could be Mommy and Daddy today and I could be...well just me. I am such a lucky gal to have a guy that helps out so much with being a Dad. I love to see my husband with the kids and after 7 years of learning as we go being parents ( and we still have our moments and will always) we make a pretty good team. We always have good laughs about who knows the other one better. Today the phone rang and I knew it was Joey on the other end and the questions he was going to ask me so I just answered the phone without a hello and just gave him his answer. I think it is so cool how someone in the world that is not related to you can be closer to you than your own flesh and blood.

So...back to my day, I am still in heaven with my latest computer adventure! I slept late and here I am doing my morning computer stuff , faster then lightning I might add!I enjoying listening to NPR and I've had three phone calls while on the computer..what a consept! My breakfast even tastes better today. After this I'm off for my walk and than into the studio. I hope everyone had fun yesturday.

Here is my favorite Valentine from one of my four year olds.

Since I've been making lots of mugs I thought I start doing a "mug post" for this day. I have two times a day I drink coffee. In the morning and at night before I go back out to work. Each time I make a point to pick a differant mug from our collection. Some I have bought, some are my rejects and some people have given to me. Here is one by my friend Amy Sanders!


HIGH SPEED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here I am, phone is free and I'm going to town feverishly checking all sorts of sights, emailing as quick as I can. It is a great way to spend my Valentine's morning! So, here are some quick photo's of stuff I thought might be nice that I've spoken about in previous blog. ( FYI I still can not figure out what I hit so my spell check won't work but I'll get my tec guy on that tonight. I'm sure he'll be on here until all hours of the morning reading as many news sites as he can. Maybe he'll even get back on his blog!)

Here the soup mugs I needed to re-fire and a teaset for one!

Tonight I have class, right now I have some mugs and tests cooling for the donation to the church and tomarrow I plan on puggin' out the rest of my slop clay and finishing that up so I can get back to porcelain next week.

Hope you have someone to share Valentines day with. I'm sure after school today my kids will be bounceing off the walls with excitment over there day.


Thurseday morning..at 9am...high speed goes in!

I can not wait for Thurseday to get here. It has been no fun to try and do anything on my computer for months now. We are kind of over trying to save money by not having high speed internet and finally we have decided it would be in our best interests to bite the bullet and pay for it. It finally occured to me the other day when I was trying to upload images how much time I waste waiting for my computer work to get done...makes sense that I'm looseing money by not having high speed rather than spending money paying for it!

My mugs are in the bisque kiln cooling and I had a few tests come out but plan on doing more. I really enjoy playing with the red clay and may just do some wall pieces in it that are totally differance than my porcelain work. We'll see.....

Here's the announcement for the Lark and Key opening on Friday. I'm really excited to go out and have a date with my husband that night!


No posts

We've been having lots of issues with our dial up and last week we finally decided to change over to high speed! Yes, we will be in the 21st century finally!!!
So....I have'nt posted because its to fustrating for me....stay tuned. I'll be back! Jen

Mugs and red-slop clay

I've been throwing mugs! Yippee! I made sure I was down to my last bag of porcelain before bringing out the red slop clay that I've been housing for a year. I always use this clay at this time of the year because typically for the last 5 years I've donated some sort of pottery item in bulk to our church for a fund raiser the youth group does. This year the youth group asked me to do mugs so they can sell mugs along with some great coffee made at a monistary somewhere. ( I'm excited to try this coffee!) Of course I've enjoyed making all sorts of mugs and using this clay that I pugged and is just like butter to throw. It is also so forgiving, what a breeze compared to porcelain! But with all that, I keep looking at my wheel, wedging table and pug-mill and thinking...what a mess to clean up. So far I've thrown 50 mugs and also a few plates that I want to play with. I decided I still do not totally want to give up on my writing and thought maybe it would be interested on big platters. First I want to see it on a plate and decided weather or not sacrificing all that clay will be worth it.

Today I reloaded the pieces that I just did not like out of the last kiln along with a bunch of test tiles. I haven't made tests in over a year and boy do you forget how time comsuming it can be!

Last night some friends and I went to see the movie Juno. It was great so if you get a chance go see it.


Bad Karma pottery day

Some days you have just got to wonder what you did to piss the pottery gods off. Today was one of those days for me. Nothing to horrible happened just little things all day long. Here's my list:

*Unloaded kiln this morning. Work with words on them basically sucked. I hated them.Yuk!! The tiles where fine but the boxes just did not look good and the rest of the work was to dark...my glazes revolted on me in the kiln. What was up with that??? So I packed up what I could and left the rest to look at when I got back home.

* Went to load up my car and jammed my finger in the door.

* Went to my packing shed to get out my shelves for my set-up and found that Joey had put them back way behind what seemed like a mound of stuff to move. Took me forever to get them out!

* Spilled coffee on myself in the car driving to set up.

* Got to art center to set up and relised I had left my lights at home to make my display look better ( which it needed since I did'nt really have a huge variety to pots! And I was next to someone who had amazing lighting.

* My display fell while I was putting it up almost knocking down the display beside it. ( In this case the pottery gods spared me.)

* I broke two pieces unpacking and setting up.

*Went to pick up my kids at school with empty pottery boxes in the car and found it was my turn to do car pool and bring home 3 other children. Result...the poor kids had to ride home with plastic crates on there laps whinning to me the whole time and asking if we can just throw them out somewhere on the way home, which is an 1/2 hour drive. ( Mainly this was my sons idea.)

* Got home and got a rejection letter in the mail along with my slide back.

So...hence was the bad pottery karma day. I did manage to take a nap before dinner and tried to regroup for the night. A song by the rock group Foreigner came into my head and I managed to change the lyrics to fit my own thoughts......"Feel like making....dada..dada..dada....dada....I feel like makin' clay". Why this popped into my head...who knows. Finally I ended the day making clay to start new tomarrow.
Ps.I still can not get my spell check to work!


How Fitting

So here I am in my last post talking about words and why I think I'm into writing on my pots and low and behold...my spell check won't work! Comic irony( I have no idea if that is even spelled right!)

I didn't get to glazeing today because both girls stayed home from school with colds. I had to call the arts council and plead my case for setting up my pots on Wed., a day later than the rest of the crew. Such is life as a mother. I have a good potter friend at the moment who is getting ready to have her first child and since she too is a studio potter, I'm curious to see how she handles it all. Unlike myself, she got her career going before she decided to have children. This was a smart move!
Tonight I will glaze.


More Words

My bisque kiln is going; tomarrow I'll glaze in the morning.

I'm still dealing with words, phases, verses and such. This is kind of a profound thing I'm dealing with I just thought today since I have so much trouble expressing myself sometimes. Yet another aspect of dyslexsia is not being able to find the right word that fits the defination you are looking for when speaking. My mind will be thinking one thing and my mouth will say another. I of course am more aware of this than I think other people are. I loose my thoughts a lot when I'm lectureing or recalling a story to someone. When ever I am in a heated argument, I get flustered and can't say what I'm really thinking or feeling. This has really come to the fore front of my being since I've been married and haveing a son that is so verbal. ( and a husband that is an excellant debater).

So....putting the written work on my work may be a way of getting this all out of my system. As I was loading my kiln and looking over the work I had written on, it seemed to me that this is a phase. Not an aspect of my work that will stay around to long, atleast I don't think it will.

Here are two vases. Both of these have lyric's on them from a Glen Campball song of all things. Witchita Lineman is a song from my childhood and there is a phase in the song that says, " I need you more than want you. And I want you for all time"( corny maybe...). It was'nt until a few years ago that when I heard a remake of that song by Michelle Shock that I really understood that phase a bit better now that I have relied on someone other than a family member for the last 13 years. Its bites and pieces of phases and quotes that I'm drawn too. We'll see what happens!


Firing Time

I guess I last wrote in the middle of the week. The later part of my week was spent getting ALL my tax stuff together, throwing some more and My domestic goddess duties...Ha! Today I am staining and incising the last bit of work before I put it in the bisque. I will be glazing on Monday and unloading/packing Tuesday morning. On Thurseday night I have an opening at the Cleveland County Arts Council for a show I do every year called Treasures of the Earth. I also have an opening at a new gallery down in the North Davidson section of Charlotte. The gallery is called The Lark and Key and the grand opening is February 15th. Joey and I are planning on making it a Valentine's date with a night out and dinner. After trying to get the kids to eat meat loaf, sit still in their seats and not look at each cross-eyed at the table, I was dreaming of this quiet night together that we will be having.
I had one more opening this month and that was a show sponsored by the SC Heritage Corridor. It is called The Connection and you can read more about it on there web site. Its has to do with the connection between South Carolina and Barbados West Indies. I can honestly say that this show will enable me to put on my resume' that my work has been shown internationally because not only does the show travel all around the state for a year but it will also be in Barbados. Boy, it would be great if I could go to that opening!

Here are some more soup mugs.
I really am into these this month. Lets hope my shopping public is as excited about soup in the winter time as I am!