Taste of Art Fridays

I've been getting ready for a demo I am doing on Friday. Taste of Art Fridays is an evant that the Mint Design and Craft Museum in downtown Charlotte has been hosting I think for about a year or so. My friend Amy Sanders was the first one ( I think ) to do one of these demo's and she was nice enough to give my name and my trusty blogger pal Ron Philbecks name also. Ron will be doing the demo in June.
I've been figuring out what to make before hand to finish while I'm there and what I can throw and add to during the demo. The demo lasts about an hour and a half. I have to admit I'm a bit nervous just because a venue where people are coming and going and maybe talking while I'm trying to do a demo is something I have not experianced before and I wonder if it will throw me off a bit. Its kind of that old notion that if to much is going on around you, its hard to stay focused on what your doing. This was kind of true the other night at All Fired Up but atleast I was in an enviroment that I'm use to. So..we'll see how it goes!

Joey is re-doing my website. What a guy! I felt like the photo's where pretty out dated and it needed a good overhaul. I'm so cuious to see what he comes up with!


Old Friends

I had a great treat on Monday. Two of my friends from High School drove down from the Piedmont of South Carolina to hang out with me and get some pots. My pal Angela I hadn't seen since I left school in the summer 1985. ( No need in hiding my age because I talk about it all the time anyways...) And my friend Rebecka and I had served as bridesmaids in a wedding in 1999, the year I got married. Lots about my life has changed since then.

I've always heard stories of seeing someone after many years and not knowing what to talk about but I haven't found this to be the case with people I re-connect with. To me, both of them don't look like they have aged at all. In my mind they are both the same way there where in school and there expressions and mannerisms are burned into my memory. We had a good time laughing, catching up and trying to remember different people we went to school with. I'm the worst at that because I didn't stay my senior year but finished up English in the summer and went onto college. Rebecka still lives in Greenwood so she was great at keeping us informed on who is where.

They both went home with a good selections of pots and now I can boost that my pots are living in Texas!

On a side note, here is rose from my garden. Everything is starting to bloom and poke out of the ground. I love this time of year!~


All Fired up!~

Last night we had our 3rd annual fundraiser at Clayworks. Its called All Fired Up and we serve people dinner, have a silent auction, door prizes, take home gift and an exstreme demo. One of my fellow "Claywork-e-in's" and blogger Becky Story was nice enough to take some photo's for me so I could post about the event. As always it seemed like everyone was having fun and Julie, Amy, Ron and I "hammed it up" as usual. Greg Scott was the brains of the piece we made and Julie, Ron and I threw pieces for it for most of the night. Amy sat this demo out since she is 8months pregnant and Greg didn't get to do to much joking with the rest of us because he had to make sure the master piece would come together.

We made a wall piece this go around that represented a loaded kiln. I think everyone really liked that final piece and we'll cross our fingers that it can get fired and finished to be displayed in one of the class rooms.
Here are some photo's for you!
Here are people looking at the silent auction.

Here is Ron and Julie chatting about something.( Most likely all those teapots Ron was making.....joke, joke)

Here is Julie and Greg throwing some pots.

Here's Amy just looking cute. Her baby is due the same time my twins where due! Very exciting....

And last but not least, here I am...................

...........in my Mud Mama shirt


These are the days.........

The last few days I've had so much anxiety about our world. The gas prices are something I never thought I'd see. Groceries are high, there are houses for sale everywhere around here that have just been sitting for months and the topic of the economy comes up in all conversations I've had.
Since I live in a small town we have some great , lets just say "out of the way "places. My mom friends and I all like to visit a family owned grocery store called "bargain city" here in York. Its pretty much what the names says...full of close-out bargains. Its owned by a family and they all work there~ mom, dad , grandfather, cousin, son, daughter...you get the picture. You never know what you will find but it makes shopping kind of fun because I get to mix up my weekly grocery visits. We all know the days they get fresh bake-good, the day the meat arrives fresh and produce day. We love to call each other when there is a great deal also.
"Hey...Bargain City has cases of yogurt for only $5.00".
Since I've been shopping there, we have cut our grocery bill in half. I can pretty much load up my cart for $50 each visit.

This Thursday when I went for my weekly produce run I noticed that they had signs up that said they have camera's watching your every move. Low and behold, in this little grocery store that day while I was looking over the cereal section they did indeed catch someone shop lifting. When I finally went to check out and asked about this they remarked how in the last month shoplifting had increase %50 and it was mostly low income older folks that just could not feed themselves. My heart sank thinking about this.
I am so curious to see how well my next selling/show event goes the first weekend in May. I think this time to come may prove hard for those of us that make objects.


Making a wire tool

I've been plugging' away this week on this and that. I had a chance to go back and look at my some of my old posts and figured no one really wanted to see the same old production that I've been making for the last year. I'm kind-of just working on the same big bowls, covered pots and mugs. Maybe if I get some good pieces out and we have a good sunny day, I'll show you what I've been doing. I do have some new things I want to try but I'm trying to just stock up on the basics before digging into to new things.

On the mom front, school is winding down which means lots of concerts and events that I'm having to part-take in. I'm also planning on teaching a summer camp for the high schoolers and discovered that the schools wheels are in much need of repair. With gas being the way that it is I have been spending of a lot of time conserving all my trips into one so I have had less down time at home for blogging. Summer will soon be here and I plan on staying close to home.

I thought I'd post a little "how to" for anyone that has always wondered how one makes those cool swirls on the bottom of their cups. I don't buy my pull-string but instead go to Micheal's or Walmart and get some jewelry wire.

Step #1 Here in the photo's I've attached you'll see some fishing bobbers that a student gave me. You can pretty much use these or large bolts from a screw. You need to be able to tie two pieces of jewelry wire to whatever you want to hold onto while pulling the wire under your pot.

Step #2 You than take a large wad of clay and put it in the center of your wheel head with the bobber/screw ( that has the two pieces of wire attached to it)and securely stick it in the middle of your clay wad.

( hey, this kind of looks like a chocolate pie with whip-cream and a cherry!)
Step #3 Hold onto the two ends and start your wheel. As the wheel goes around the wire will twist and you just hold on till the end.

Step #4 After you have twisted the wires together, let go of the slack so it can relax a bit and tie the end with another object you can hold onto.

Very simple!

Tonight is class so I'm off to go plan for the night!


(Omitted Amy and Chuck's work)

My pals Amy and Chuck get a special post for their pieces I left off the last entry( imagine that!!)Chuck is the studio Clay Coordinator for Arrowmount school of crafts and Amy is one of my oldest pottery "chic" buddies from grad school. Both these guys do great work and they are married to each other....added bonus for the pottery world! Amy is now doing the mom thing and teaches at a college near Gatlinburg. I think she should give up the teaching gig and make a living selling her pots! ( She is also very talented at dressing up in strange wigs and pretending she is an Amish man, but that is another story.)
Ok, Amy you can defend yourself now in the comment section....Love Me!


Strictly Functional

2008 Strictly Functional National is up and the winners are posted. My little butterdish is sitting there. A sigh of accomplishment came over me when I saw it for real.

One more goal to cross off my endless list for this career I have chosen.
When I saw works by people like Elaine Coleman in the show it occured to me that even the super talented in our field, that are well known potters endure the same application fees and rejections that the rest of us do as well. Its all up to who is judging it.
Some of these folks are good friends of mine so I had to pick there work to show off as well. The dinner plates and squared off vase are pots by my ECU friends Chuck McMahnn and Amy Evans.

The vase with the dots is by Ronan Peterson and the platter is by my friend Blaine Avery. Its fun to see people's work that I know in the same show with me. I'm excited for them as well.
The Gaston Day Gala went well last night. I found out today that all my pieces did sell. Only the teapot had a red-dot last night , which I was still happy for the night we went to the opening. Joey and I had a nice time and true to form, I had one food mishap as I expected I would. One tumbling plastic plate and the asparagus went flying. Of course my Dad was standing right with me when it happened so I got a little eye roll and shaking of the head while Joey quickly picked up the food that I had flung across the room by accident.

I'm starting on more teapots and this evening we had some friends over with their children so that was a good time for the whole family.

I'll get some photo's up soon!


Friday stuff

I will be at the Gaston Day Art Gala this evening with many talented folks from the Carolina's and elsewhere. My friends Ronan Peterson and
Vicki Gill are also in the show so that will be pretty cool to see them and there stuff as well.
I finished up making clay, mugs and large bowls yesterday. Today in the afternoon I plan on getting out to my little utopia again for a bit.
Thursday night class went well again. I have such a curious group who have made this year a fun one. They are very interested in all different types of fun stuff to try. This session we are doing colored clay and I am still so proud of the few who are still experimenting wth the majolica and working out the kinks. I think it good to be introduced to a few surface things and than go back to the basics again. This keeps everyone interested and educated on all the things you can do with clay. Its kind of like child development. You introduce them to something new in life, which they are eager to learn but then they have to go back a step, which is hard emotionally to pull ahead. One of my favorite classes that I taught last summer was a group of ladies who just wanted to go back and learn centering and pulling all over again. It was a good exercise and I enjoyed seeing there progress. Teaching is good! ( I can pretty much relate everything back to my day job..motherhood, if you all have not figured that out by now...ha!)
I'm looking forward to a dress-up date with my hubby. An evening of the two of us having to act like adult in a sea of mature individuals. Atleast in our view, everyone else seems to be mature while we still like to have the mindset of 20year olds..maybe even teenagers somedays.My parents will also be there so I guess if I pull a Tom Hanks with the baby corn my mother can elbow me.

( Boy, I just re-read this after it being up for a few hours. Mental note, do not post before you have a few cups of coffee.)


The good, the bad, the ugly....well maybe not the good.

Tuesday is here and I'm back in the studio with clay. YAhhhhh....and yes I did throw mugs this evening.

I spent the morning and most of the day running pots around and sending out images, mailings and other paper work stuff that needed to get gone. I feel like now that the day is over, I've done a lot business wise.

I guess I really didn't talk much about my kiln last week and how everything came out. For the most part I was pleased but it never seems to always go off with out some hitches. I did have some seconds, some really ugly things ( ugly to me) and pieces that after I started to glaze, decided that they too did not warrant space in the glaze kiln. I thought I'd show everyone what I mean. I always like to see when other potters have issues so I feel like I'm not the only one with flub-ups!

So...here is the good..that stuck..... and went bad ( this pile is from over the course of about a year and half). I'm going to bust all of this work and make those stepping stones I planned on making last year to go around my kiln( which is still not finished). Can someone ask God to make the days longer so I can get more done.

Here is the ugly. I don't really like anything about these now that they are done. The amber glaze was to thin and I really don't like it when it comes out like this. Maybe I can salvage them but over the years I've just decided some things need to be smashed and fast so I don't have to look at them anymore!

This is the bad. I still need to go back to the drawing board on this relish dish. I do like the handle placement, but the bowl forms are to thin and fragile looking. I really want feet on this but can't seem to come up with that yet. I think this idea may have to go on the back burner for awhile. Of course my mind is racing onto new things or old things I want to improve on. And very sadly you see the two teapots. As you can tell, the handle got broken on this one when I was taking a shelf out of the kiln and a post got stuck and fell. The teapot in the back I love, but the lid is pretty stuck. I may be able to work wonders and get it off,wish me luck.

Tomorrow I will be at my children school for most of the day so I'll have to get out to the shop early in the evening and make up for the lost time.


The sale and such

Sunday evening......it feels good to relax. I've been catching up on my computer time since I've had little this weekend. Today was spent with the family, no studio time but I did need to deliver some pots to my children school for a fundraising event next weekend. Tomorrow I need to clean and pack up for another event with a women's club in Rock Hill South Carolina. I like these kind of gigs where you can just drop stuff of and they will display it and sell it without you having to be there. Next up in the way of big shows will be the first of May so I will get going on stuff for that this week. I'm sure I'll start off with mugs since my stock did get very low this from the show yesterday. Yippee...excuse to throw mugs.
Update from Sale...
I'm sorry to report that I left my camera at home yesterday. It was a very cloudy and raining day so really photo's wouldn't have been the great. We were all still in pretty good spirits and I was amazed to see the people that did turn out in the rain. You all who read this blog and come to our shows for support get a big high five from me. Thank you!

I do have just a few photo's of some of the stuff that I've had photo's up about in green ware form.

Bowl and platter with new red accent glaze.

Custard cups and tumblers.

Now that I'm on the other side of the mountain..so to speak, I can get back to spending time with my blog. Keep checking in for more thoughts,pottery talk, whines and mis-spellings from your truly!



I've had a very busy week and not a whole lot of time to post. Also in all honesty I've gotten kind of sucked into the a website for my old High School and have been catching up with friends I haven't talked to really since I left in 1985! Boy time flies.....

Besides my normal running around with my super-mom cape flying in the breeze, the laws of physics, gravity or the universe...however you want to put it kicked in this week, as they always do and my plans for glazing and firing kilns where interrupted with sick kids. Usually its Joey having to go out of town at the last minute and than my nights are not free. This time I had children at home during the day that I needed my attention. I did "freak out" for a few minutes about this and then went with the flow and did what I had to here and there to get things done. It all does work out in the end; the little people feel better and I do get my work done. My last kiln is cooling. I was up until 2 finishing it up last night ( crazy) and now I feel the weight lifted and should be ready for our group show.

I hope some of you in the Charlotte area will come out to say Hello and see some new work by all of us in the group as well as Blaine and Laura Avery..our guests. Hopefully the rain will come early in the morning and than clear up by 10am.


Down to the wire

Once again I'm pushing the envelope..down to the wire with making stuff. I at the moment waiting for Quaid to get home so I can get him started on his homework and head back out to the studio to make some tiles. CRAZY! I have a glaze kiln that is cooling and as always, I'm very excited to get into it.

Here are some teapots I've made. I really like these a lot!

These are some new trays for salt and peppers/cream and sugar sets.

And last but not least the new bakers I think I mentioned. Really just the handles are new for me. I'm not sure if I really like them but we'll see once they are done.
The other day I was looking at some photo's about a year 1/2 ago and when I looked at my work/display my stomach kind of sank. Does anyone else ever feel this way? ( Silly question I'm sure....) Do the "big-wigs" feel like this about there old work? I'll have to ask my "Master Potter" friend in Raleigh. Brad are you out there????



Sunday Evening

I just got in from finishing up for the day in my studio. I managed to make some teapots, salt and peppers and baking dishes. Tomorrow and Tuesday I'll throw some more and then I'll quit for the week and start to glaze for the Circle of Eight show this Saturday.

Yesterday I worked the Claywork sale in Charlotte. I took McKenna along with me so she could have some one on one time with mom. I think she did pretty good in just hanging out with the Clayworks gang at the register. Even though the kids don't always get maybe a day at the park with me, they do get to see what mommy does. The kids always ask me about my students and why can't I teach at their school.

The sale I think went pretty good. I sold some things and at the end of the sale two ladies came in a bought a good bit of my stuff so that was nice to see.
Tomorrow I'll try and get some photo's up.
Good luck with your Monday!


Relish dish

I'm still struggling with my "veggie/relish dish". I think this one really is for relish, its a bit to small for a veggie server. There are some things I like about the idea..others I'm not sure about. You can give your thoughts from what you can make out in the photo. Once again, we'll see how I feel about them after they come out of the kiln. (My favorite part is how the handle fits between the three parts.)

Time for bed. Tomorrow is a busy day. Two soccer games, then to Charlotte for the Clayworks sale and back home to work all night.



I just realised yesterday while I was working all the multi-tasking I had taken on for the week. I think this is the norm when I get ready for shows. Today I set up for the ClayWork spring open house in Charlotte. I did drop the ball with that one because I mixed up one of my boxes that was suppose to go to another opening in two weeks. Tonight my focus will be assembling things. Here is the break-down of everything else I've been doing on and off the last few days......

Pieces that need to be finished...

Bowls to be trimmed and assembled together for a form.

More parts of something to assemble....

Items that need to be waxed...Things that are waxed, ready to glaze.
Clay to be pugged/recycled....Start of new bisque kiln....
Things drying waiting to be stained or sanded....Things to be boxed up and sorted to go to different shows....



I always get lost in the website for Akar Design Gallery in Iowa City. They have a great show there featuring Yunomi's by tons of potters. ( I often wonder how all these people get invited to be in there shows...hummmm) Anyways the definition of a Yunomi is -

"A form of teabowl, usually being taller than wide, with a trimmed or turned foot unlike the formal chawan tea bowl....a yunomi tea bowl is made for daily tea drinking - ceremonial."

I could spend hours downloading my favorite ones but here is what I had time for. I did some common threads of people's work and where some very famous people got there influence. Pretty cool, plus it shows what a small community we are!
You can go to the website at http://www.akardesign.com/ and click on current shows. Enjoy!
(I'll download some of the one's that caught my eye as soon as blogger lets me...maybe this afternoon). Jen