Home show in Charlotte

I was asked again by my glass friend Lisa Oakley to join her for a home show here in Charlotte. Her sister in law, Claire Oakley is hosted it and it is near the South Park area of town.

You can see more information about Lisa by just visiting the site for Cedar Creek Gallery. Lisa has a wonderful sense of humor and I enjoy having a chance to hang out with her, admire her glass work and have many good laughs...all while selling some pots! Friends in the craft world need to stick together and I always enjoy opportunities like this one where I get to visit with an old friend.

Today I enjoyed some pancakes with my pottery pals Amy, Ron and Julie. Julie ( Wiggins..that is) will soon have a web page and I think even a blog! The three of us have been encouraging her in this direction and she announced this morning that she's working on a site! YEAH....another good soul to add to the blogging community.

I did spend the whole day with my Mommy cap on. This evening I got a few things done and tomorrow I'm hoping for a really productive day before all the spooks and goblins come out!


Quick update on the week...

I just got in from class. Wish I had some photo's to download, but I don't. I've been working on my tiles, bowls, large vases, bottles and mugs. The tiles I sort of put on the side mid-week because I realized I have a show coming up in two weeks and not a whole lot to sell. YIKES!!!

I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning because I'm meeting some of my pottery "peeps" for breakfast and I'm sure pottery talk. I have to be near the kids school for most of the day because I'm the room mom for Quaids Halloween party. The adventures never end!

As you know....I can not wait for this weekend. I LOVE when my kids dress-up. I'm also hoping the Daddy is going to take them a good old fashion field trip for most of Saturday so I can lock myself away in my wonderland of clay.

You all have a good Friday! Jen


Cool Invitation

Last week a got a neat invitation via Facebook.
A potter by the name of Jeremy Randall found me on the web and asked me if I would be interested in having my work in a gallery called Imagine That, in Skaneateles New York. If you recall..this is where I was for vacation this summer with my family. This town is only about 30 minutes from where I grew up and is a wonderful tourist location in central NewYork. Jeremy had no idea I was from that area so when I said "YES" and told him my back ground, he was pretty excited. Here is one of Jeremy pots! Pretty cool stuff!
So nice to have a new gallery and it will be my first in the State of New York. Ye-ha!


Monday in the studio

I'm working on what seems like a 100 tiles. Here are some boxed up so they don't dry out before all the other one's are finished. I have them stashed all over my studio in plastic bags and cartons. I have to make a bunch because I need to make sure all the one's for the mural are pretty level. These pillow tiles that I make tend to vary in "puffiness". (I guess that is the best way to describe it.) I'll just use the ones that don't fit in the grouping for my regular production and this way nothing will be wasted. Back to making more families of bottles.
Today Mckenna was home sick from school. She spent time on a little towel before her doctors appointment coloring Tweetie birds for all her friends at school. We had a nice day together and I am happy to report that she'll be back at school in the morning. I'll miss her little company but I really need to get crackin' in my studio!


You oughta' where shades..

Today I spent most of the morning with Quaid at Sam's club getting his vision checked out as well as my own. Can you believe this was my first time ever seeing an eye doctor? The verdict did come back that I need some spectacles when I'm reading and here at the computer...or just doing any kind of activity up close. Yet another sign of the impending truth that I'm aging.
So, Quaid and I did a little fashion show for each other and tried on a number of different styles. Quaid of course went for the practical frames that would not slide down his nose anymore and I felt like a babe lost in the woods with all the various occupations I could pass for with just a different style of frame! I've found the my 8 year old boy is my most honest and truest critic when it comes to dressing his Mom. If he laughs and I know I'm way far off and if something just doesn't look good he'll honestly tell me "Mom, that's just not you". In the end I found a nice pair of Liz Claiborne frames in black and we'll see how they work.

I've had a lot of needy students online this week who have kept me from my normal amount of time in the studio. Today I got a lot done and I"m getting ready to go back out this evening. The tiles are coming along and the design has been changed a bit for my mural piece. Hopefully I'll have something to show you around Monday.

Have a great weekend!


Hen House....Home

Just a quick post to say that the Hen House Sale that I loved putting together and doing with my gal friends here in York had to scale down a bit this year. Its going to be at my house!

I haven't had a home sale for about 2 years so although we won't have as many folks with us, Colleen, Mary Anna and I had to find a place super quick for the Hen's to go. So, here we will be on December 5th, which is a Sunday. ( Personally I think this is a wonderful day to shop for Christmas gifts). And we'll be here for most of the day along with a few goodies but some local folks here in York.

Please mark your calendar and plan to come say HI. Now that my kitchen has a new floor, we are not so embarrassed to have quests over!

I'll post more about this soon along with a map.

Out to work on some tiles. Have a good middle of week day!


Tile project

I agreed this year to be part of what's called the MasterWorks show in conjunction with the Carolina Designer Craftsmen sale I do every year. This program allows craftspeople to create a one of a kind piece for the show that is displayed in its own section among other pieces. My idea is to do a huge mural with my pillow tiles. I've wanted to try this for a while and this is a great venue and opportunity to do so.

Right now I'm just working on some sketches and idea. If I know me...it won't end up looking like any of these drawings from my sketch book, but it is a good place to start! Slowly the tiles are coming together in the studio and my sketchbook is traveling with me to and from car pool.

I'll keep ya' posted!


Rescue Blues

Yes, I'm posting my tormented but so loved musical counterpart. Have I said about 1,000 times how much I love Ryan Adams? ( I know I have....) Anyways, I needed some Rescue Blues this evening. You can hit the URL below. Fitting that this song was in the movie Band of Brothers..... more on that at a later point. Enjoy some Ryan, he always seems to calm me down so I can get back to work.


Fancy Stuff

I have not had a working phone for three days now. Oh...this can drive a girl batty! For some reason when it rains here our phone is all fuzzy and well.....it just won't work so I begged and begged for a "Fancy phone" this week and low and behold we took a trip to the Apple store this evening. Yes, one more electronic, left brained toy I need to learn. Right now Joey is "testing" out all the new Iphone equipment so he can teach me. ( Really he's just decided that this was HIS idea and he's not going to give it back to me). So, exciting stuff here!

I have yet to get back into the studio this week. The kid are on fall break and I've been pre-occupied with other "clay related" events in my life that have sort of well...taken over my brain. Last night I did a raku with my students at Winthrop that was pretty fun. I'm not a big raku person but I had a very enthusiastic upper level students who did all the hard work while I just instructed my crew on what to do. At Winthrop raku is done in the electric kiln, which is pretty smoky and HOT. Anyways, that was my big clay adventure for the week. Tomorrow I will be back in my studio. So I'll check in after I get my hands dirty.


Photo time

I went over to Ron's house today so I could get some new shots made of work. I'm still learning how to fool with my editing programs on the computer but I sort of was playing around with cropping these images this evening. I think Joey or myself will work on them a little bit more. I'm planning on getting one of those nifty little light boxes that are made out of parachute material along with another gradated back drop. This will be my big equipment purchase for the fall! I use to take my own photo's many years back but it was always hit or miss. Time to try again!
I think my favorite piece out of these three is the last one way down at the bottom....

Doesn't "she" look like a Hollywood starlet with an attitude in a gold gown?


Tuesday check in

I was able to try out some new porcelain last night. My old pal Allison McGowen gave me a bag of Matt and Dave's Clays. If you use porcelain of do slip cast work you should check them out. Their blog is pretty fun to read and the clay body I threw last night was very nice. I have to find out some more info. on it but I'm investigating finding some new clay perhaps.
I'm also working on sketching out a wall piece for the CDC. I'll see if I can get some photo's up from my sketch book soon.

Have a good one! Jen


13 years and counting

Joey and I celebrated out 10th anniversary this weekend. We had a wonderful weekend just the two of us eating great food, enjoying the city, taking in a low-budget play and just being with each other with no computers, clay demands, kid issues or house chores anywhere around us for about 24 hours.

Joey and I dated for 3 years before we were married. In fact, when I got back from my concentration at Penland, Joey said to me, "I think we should get married". I guess absence does make the heart grow fonder and we went looking for a ring and set the date.

One evening when I was at that concentration a man by the name of Paulus Berensohn ,who has a long history at Penland, came and read some poems to the students. I can't say that I have ever really cared for poetry but one poem he read caught my attention and I found myself tracking him down those weeks to see if he would make me a copy of it. I guess at the time I was missing Joey and this poem just reminded me of him. Incidentally, Paulus has a wonderful book called Finding One's Way with Clay and it is a great book about pinch pots and how to give those vessels back to the earth after you have created them.

Joey and I used the poem on the last page of our wedding program and I keep this copy that Paulus wrote for me in the back of our wedding album.
Tomorrow I'll be back in my clay studio. I'm trying some new porcelain! Exciting stuff.......



Thanks everyone for all your great comments about that topic I put up earlier this week. It was also nice to see some new folks check in with some comments! The blog is such a wonderful way to get some great feedback and discussions going on topics we can all relate to. Food for thought this morning as I eat my oatmeal and have a good cup of coffee to get me moving.

I'm heading into Charlotte today to drop off some pots and then back around to Gastonia to put up the kids and head to a violin lessons.

I hope everyone has a good Friday.



When you've been making and selling pots for awhile you never get past the point of over thinking what your doing right or wrong. Maybe this is just true of art in general. Those of us who make things or create internalize so much of the process that at times, it sort of take a lot out of us. I use to think it was just me who encountered this but after being in the business for several years, I think most of us feel this way. Its no wonder when your in art school and you have a critique that some take the criticism with no emotion and others get super defensive. Selling things you create is sort of the ultimate critique just with no words said. Funny....would we rather have a professor tell us that our pots just didn't meet the standard expected or would we just like for customers to quietly pass us by?

I thought I'd bring up these questions not because I had a bad sale last weekend - I did sell pots. Its just that you never know what will be a hit and what will not be a hit. You can think that maybe you've found your niche with folks and then other times you may think that your not speaking to the masses as well as you could.

I've gone back and forth several times with these thought and all I can conclude is that...well, I'm just an artist who is sensitive to what I make. I guess this will never change and after every sale I just have to sit back, re-group, clean-up my studio and start again on making the best work I can. I always like to tell myself that the time in my studio with my quite thoughts is so important. This time I have is so limited with balancing all the other things/people in my life. I tend to forget this when I have a deadline and with multi-tasking , I should really be focusing and not rushing through the creative process. Details are a hard thing for someone with ADD to focus on!

Last night I worked on some butter dishes that needed to be finished. I had several pots that did not make it into the kiln last week so I will slowly load my kiln this week. The majority of my time will be spent on my Art101 class...midterm is fast approaching so I need to give that area of my life some attention.

I hope everyone has had a good start to October. It is my favorite month!


Saturday's show

Saturday's weather was perfect once again for our fall Circle of Eight sale. Many folks came out to say Hi and give lots of support to our little community of potters. I enjoyed seeing some former students from Clayworks along with familiar customers. I think everyone had some really good kilns come out for the show. We all at times think that our work may not turn out the way we planned but in the end, only we as the artists can see this.

Below is Amy Sanders work. That wonderful vase with the flowers in it now belongs to me! I think Amy sometimes thinks a lot like I do about form and making her pieces look like little creatures. I told her Saturday that this form reminded me of the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland. After that thought, I knew I had to have this piece!
Here is Julie Wiggins next to her "Flower Cake". Very cool interpretation of a flower block. Julie looked so cute with her little hat on, I had to take this photo.
Ronan Peterson was our quest this fall. Ronan also has such a wonderful, creative flare to his work. His forms are just...well so cool! He is always fun to talk to and super nice about sharing glaze recipes and techniques. We were all very happy to have him join us yesterday and I think the crowd really enjoyed seeing and purchasing his work as well.

It is 11pm here in York and it has pretty much taken me until now to lift the fog from my head that I always have after a show. Today was a good day of sleeping late, decorating the house for Halloween and unpacking my pots from the show.
I enjoyed a wonderful documentary on Jimmy Carter this evening which was very inspiring to me. My favorite part was knowing that former President Carter always fly's couch when he travels. It showed him getting on an airplane and anyone who wanted to say hello to him while he boarded could do so. He just always takes a seat in the back of the plane with the group that travels with him and he just..takes a nap. I wish more folks who where public servants did such humble things like this.
Monday is a new start. Time to take a deep breath, reflect on my pots and the show and move forward. My next big project is a multi-tile wall piece for the CDC show coming up in November.
Hope everyone had a wonderful start to October this weekend!


Friday before show

So far I've had really good kilns this week. Today will be my last one and hopefully my luck will keep going.

Here are a few more shots of some items for the kiln. I'm looking forward to some good crisp October weather and visiting with folks I haven't seen for a while. Hope everyone in the area who reads my blog will come out to say Hello this weekend!
Below are my grouping of "families". I really enjoy making these bottle forms, which I'm sort of surprised to say because I think I use to find tradition forms sort of boring to make. I of course have put my own spin on these so I find them enjoyable. You'll see a new "snowflake" color glaze to your left. Just something new I wanted to try with the aqua's and colored clay combination.This group are pots I'm going to keep. I am in a big need for new professional photo's made of my work. I sort of got a little angry at myself this week thinking that lately I just make stuff to fill orders and shows. Stuff gets made and goes right back out my door. I told myself that perhaps my display won't be the most filled but I need to keep what I feel like is my best work and get some photo's made. That internal voice sometimes just won't leave you alone!Here is a huge group of bowls.

Off to pack and clean!