...and we're off

Out the door to Raleigh.
Pretty good last kiln but my covered jars ended up sticking...darn those rounded edges! Once again, all new forms for me seem to always be learning experiences when it comes to runny glaze and edges. This seems to be a trend and sometimes even if I think I've made adjustments to with wax it sometimes it still trips me up. I love the outcome of the richness of my glaze but you have to pay the price sometimes with form and application.

I have my camera with me so I hope I can post some photo's of the show while I'm there.

Hope everyone has a great Turkey Day!


Quick check-in..

I got my last kiln loaded last night at ...dare I say 1:30am? My kiln sitter cracked while I was loading a shelf and I had to go searching for some Allen wrenches and do some minor repairs. But, I kept my head, fixed the issue and just focused on getting myself some sleep. The kiln is still going and should shut off late this morning. I won't unload it until the morning when its nice and cool. I'm glad I'm done and hope that everything looks as good as the stuff that has come out of the last two kilns. My Masters work tiles are in this kiln so we'll see how they look ( nailing biting....)

Hope everyone has a great Tuesday!


Do as I say...

It has been a busy weekend of pushing to get stuff done. For the most part I'm pretty proud of myself for not having to quick cool anything but I did need to fast dry some pieces yesterday so I stuck them ontop of my cooling kiln load. This is one of those things where I wouldn't suggest this to anybody but I did learn this trick from a friend of mine since I don't have own a dry-box. (Boy that would be a handy piece of equipment Santa could put in his sleigh for me this year.) I have to admit that some of these handles did pop-off, but they tend to do this even if they dry super slow so I got a few mugs in the bisque..better than none at all. I did get several pieces out of two kilns this weekend. Here a close up of a small milk pitcher. The green came out really well this time around. After the holidays I will go back to finding another aqua to use. I'm still not crazy about the color change it does on my pieces.

Yesterday my little boy turned 9 so he was "prince" for the day. Quaid has been counting down the days until his birthday now for the last two week. Something was really special to him about turning 9 and I can tell that my little boy is slowly going away and the fun pre-teen is emerging. I'm sure those two words should be together in a sentence but for now, he is pretty funny.
My final kiln will be coming out Tuesday evening and we will be leaving for Raleigh on Wednesday morning. I'm pretty proud of myself for not pulling anything out the morning we leave. I think I'll be in a much better frame of mind not rushing myself and everyone else involved.
Off to glaze more stuff.


Work for the day..

Basically my world is under plastic today. Here are two shelves worth of things to put together and finish up. If they don't get done for this show next week I will just take them into the following week for the Winthrop Sale and The Hen House Sale. I fear it may get a be a little cramp in there today for working but its such a nice sunny cool day that with some tunes and a little coffee, I'm looking forward to finishing things up.I have a glaze kiln cooling today and this evening I will be loading another one. These two shots below have all my mural tiles hanging around my glaze table.( You'll see some kids pieces also that below to my little clay babies.)Joey's going to work on this display today. I really needed a side-board made to go with my cup display but we couldn't get that done in time so we'll see what magic he can work today. Black stains helps a lot for sprucing things up I've decided!


Cheap Thrills!

Here it is!! So exciting...look at those cups. They now will have little homes to sit in at in my booth. Jon did a great job. It all breaks down easily and pretty light weight. I do need to add some L braces in the back to attach to my display just in case someone comes in the booth and hits the stand. ( Don't we all worry about this sometimes?)

I'm loading a glaze kiln this evening........rollin' along!


Neko Case

We had a fun time out on the town with Ron and Sara Philbeck last night.We went to a Neko Case concert and it was wonderful. Some dinner, alittle drink, fresh air and some good music and conversation. What else does anyone need to jump start their engine again? I for one needed alittle break so I was glad I took some time off. Today I kept making stuff and loaded a kiln. Onward and upward!
( This is Ron and Sara by the way....aren't they cute!)



This is what I did today to start my studio time. I have to have a calendar so I know when I need to stop making stuff, when I need to glaze, when it will be out and all that "jazz".
(Don't you love how I didn't care about the shadow when I took this shot?)
This evening we are off to see Neko Case with Ron Philbeck and his wife Sara. Joey LOVES Neko Case and since we really didn't do anything for his birthday, I guess this is his treat for the month. I plan on having a beer and getting some breathing time in that I need.
Today Mckenna got to go back to school. She was a little scared this morning and I had some issues getting her up and feed. Being alone with Mommy for 8 days is a treat for the twins. Naturally even though she wanted to see her friends, she still wanted to just stay home with me. I felt my whole body relax when everyone got out of the car this morning at carpool. Even Mommies need some down time.
Off to throw more stuff!


CDC Information

I managed to scan..well half of the wonderful card the CDC organization sent to all of us participating in the show this year. Just a little "sample" of what the card looked like this year! This is the 40th year of this show. WOW! The Friday night preview party this year I think is suppose to be a little bit more elaborate than last year. Maybe there will be champagne this year instead of just wine. ( but don't quote me on that...)At any rate, its fun!
I'm moving along. Last night I started on my flower blocks and more candle holders. Today I think I'll make some olive dishes. I'm trying to think about all the space and pockets in my kiln once the big pieces get in there. Its always about efficiency once I get to this point. Keep sending those good pottery vibes my way!
This evening my Winthrop class will be finishing up their end of the semester projects. Boy that went by so fast! Getting back into the swing of teaching college kids this Fall has been a good thing for me. I have alot of ideas in my head for next semester. This fall I pretty much stuck with projects that Jim Connell has used in the beginning clay class for years and that worked out well for me. Over Christmas break I plan on looking through some of my old East Carolina projects and seeing what else I can come up with.
You all have a good Tuesday! Jen



I finished up the pillow-tile mural this weekend. Here it is before I was almost all done. Pretty cool thing I think. I always marvel at those people who make stuff like this and look...I did it! ( Of course, I still have to get it through the kiln...)Here are my new covered jars. The tops reminded me ( before the final went on..) of the middle of flower petals so that was kind of my inspiration for these. We'll how how the public at the next show likes these.

...and finally, Joey has taken to snatching the camera and ambushing me at what seems to be the most unflattering times. Which in a way is funny...well amazing to him. He fallows me around saying " Smile..you look fine?" Usually I'm running out the door or working sort of in a state of panic or stress. Yesterday I was just kind of tired and ready for a break. I was thinking around the Christmas season we all get this way. Lots to take care of and do to get ready for the endless amount of show we all sign up for.

Today Mckenna went back to the doctors. We are on day 8 of the H1n1. Her flu has turned into the croup and of course we needed to take care of that before it goes further down into her lungs. I was a little stressed out about more days of this illness but than I just realized that its not worth the worry and I just do what I can do. Maybe less dishes will get done, or we'll be having some cereal a few nights for dinner but it will all be Ok. It always is and since she has requested Christmas music to listen to today while she draws, everything seems to be going quite nicely...just rolling along.


Ah yes...some photo's

As promised some quick photo's and commentary to go along..... Here are those oval dishes I posted a few rows back. The brown on the bottom is the Terra Sigg. I'm really trying to make this stuff work with my pots and glaze...its sort of hard but I'm thinking, thinking, thinking about it every time...
Here's a cream and sugar tray. I'm into the little feet!

This is the covered pot idea that sort of pulled my in another direction yesterday. I did get back on track this evening and back to my list. I worked a little more on my tiles mural and threw some flower blocks. Here is one of my big urns. I haven't gotten the other one in the kiln yet. As you can see the terra sigg is at the bottom with some glaze accents. I neglected to add stain to the covering here so that really isn't working for me and I guess that is good thing because......to top part of this huge pot has two cracks where I cut the edge. So sad...but, since these are new, things like that I think happen for a reason until I work out the other glaze/decoration bugs.

And finally below here just some happy mugs. I won't to throw more SO bad, but alas, I have other things before more mugs on my list so I need to just keep going with that...drats!


I'm Here!

I just realized when I went to post some photo's that I didn't have my card in the camera and the cable is now where to be found.......soooo..so much for some shots of my pots!

I did unload a kiln this week. Some good stuff, some stuff that wants to be re fired. I have also been able to get in the studio a bit more. Joey had to stay home today because I think this "stuff" we all had is slowly getting him as well. I am happy to report that all the kids ( knock on wood) are on the mend including myself.

I have my "eye on the prize" this coming week to really push myself in the studio. The CDC is only a week in 1/2 away!! I was in the studio this evening and even though I have a list in front of me of what I need to make, I got side tracked on these covered jars that popped into my head today. Will my mind ever stay on track?

I'll take new photo's tomorrow and I promise I'll get the card in the camera this time around!

I thought you all would like a little Psychedelic Fur's for a Friday "chill" song. Enjoy a little "Ghost in you".


Show Post-poned

Lisa Oakley and I have decided to post-pone our holiday open house this weekend. Lisa is home sick with kids as well as myself. In someways I sort of have to chuckle about this because it really shows how two Mommies who are also craftspeople have to just put our little one's first before this career we have chosen. It just way to hard to get out to your studio to work when you have a little person inside who just wants you to sit with them and read them a book. Both Lisa and I also have husbands who work away from home so even though our "Better-halves" help out a great deal, they don't work from home and we don't have the option of a few hours of trade between being nurse-maid and craftsmen.
So, we plan on having a Spring show together. Both of us hope that we'll be able to get enough work together now for the Carolina Designer Craftsmen show we will be attending Thanksgiving weekend.
I have a glaze kiln that I'm unloading today so I'll have some finished work to show everyone! Yah!!


And the flu goes on....

These little play dough cups where the only pots that got made today. Actually even though all three children where sick today and I was a little "wiggy-headed" myself, I managed to get my kiln load glazed and stacked today. Joey was awesome and stayed home to help with running everyone to the doctor and getting all the tama-flu and essentials for the long week ahead of us. Here are the pitchers I promised from my last post.
These where the start of little trays and some cream and sugar holders as well. They are all done now...but I know sometimes its nice to see pots in various stages of development.
This Sunday I spent time in the chicken-coop down the road trying to get some good Hen House shots. Coming up with interesting postcards is a new thing for me. Chickens are just so cool I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take some up close photo's of them. I wanted them to peek the gift box but after about a 1/2 taking many photo's of them, this is about as close as they wanted to get. I gave Joey all the artistic licence with the photo's to come up with a cool postcard for my home show. Stay tuned and we'll see what he comes up with!
I'm off to take more Tylenol.


I unloaded a bisque today and played nurse maid to our girls. (I'm not feeling to hot either!)

I may be a bit absent from the blogging this week but you never know....I did take a nice photo of some pitchers I finished up this weekend. Maybe in the morning, I'll down load them and share!



The kids and I whipped up a quick birthday cake for Joey this afternoon. Nothing like homemade birthday cake! Those cheap, sugar letters are always a hit with anyone under the age of ...well...20? I had left-over Halloween green skull plates for the "theme" of our party. Here is what I did the rest of the day......
Worked on pitchers, bowls and some oval serving boats below. I even got a bisque kiln loaded. Tomorrow I'll add some handles and finish the boats. Next on the list are olive dishes, cream and sugars and maybe the start of some flower blocks. On Tuesday I will need to start the glazing stage so I can be ready for the home sale I"m doing in Charlotte next weekend. Hope the computer doesn't call me away this week from all my studio work!


New Location

We celebrated a little bit this fine Friday evening. Lark and Key, a gallery that represents my work along with several of my other pottery pals, moved to a new location in Charlotte. Joey also turns another "shade" of 40 tomorrow...so we needed a night on the town which is always an event with three little children in toe. We did manage to survive the car ride to Charlotte, the opening and some good Mexican food. I had pumpkin/spice beer which was really needed after the week I had. Everyone conked out in the car on the way home and here I am catching up on emails while Joey enjoys some couch time and a movie. I'm really looking forward to a nice sunny weekend and a lot of studio time.Wish me luck! Today we pretty productive so I think I'm on a roll. I think I may even tackle a birthday cake for Daddy with the girls!

Enjoy some photo's of our night below. I"m not sure my phone takes the best photo's but Joey and Quaid had fun playing with it this evening!
Quaid looking at Charlotte Foust's work. I love her stuff!A view into the new gallery.

Here is Amy Sanders and myself....and kids in toe. That is Amy little boy Guthrie and my two below. Looks like Amy and I are in a pretty heavy conversation about babies, motherhood and pots I'm sure.


Exhausting day....

I had an exhausting day with my online students. I had planned on a whole morning and part of the mid-day in the studio but found that I had to race back and forth to the computer all morning with student issues and complaints. Thank goodness this evening all my little one's went to bed on time so I could get out and work some more. That was a treat!

I've realized over the last two years that emails can really be upsetting if not written correctly. This issue has been played out a lot in my life lately. You always hear something different than what is really being written. I wonder what kind of effect this is going on have on our younger generations who only know the Internet as a form of communication? HUUUUUUMMMMMM

At any rate, I did get some work done in the studio today. Soup bowls, tumblers and I stated to stain some of my pieces for the bisque kiln. I'm hoping tomorrow that everything with my students will have died down and I can get some uninterrupted time being creative. We'll see!


In the process of...

Oh the site of mugs, could anything make a potter more happy! I'm working away on several things. I plan on making a bunch of drinking vessels this season because I have this really cool new display unit being made. If you recall I had bought a CD holder at IKEA a while back to use for my display but it didn't really work for me. So, the perks of working at a University is all the hungry grad students around who need money and are willing to use their skills and talents to help out. I found a very nice woodworking student who is currently helping me out with some of my display issues. This is SO exciting to me! Forget making the pots, its all about your display at a certain point in your career. ( I say this with zeal and much enthusiasm...surely someone out there can relate to this!) Anyways...I plan on having a bunch of different mugs to fill my new display unit.
Here are some large bowls under wraps drying.

These tall vases seem to be very popular these days. I've been sort of obsessed with getting my handles to match up just right, not only with each other but with the cuts I have on the tops of these pieces. I love the fact that I still find new things that need improvements in my work.

I love this "gal" here, look at those hands on her hips!


Goblins a foot!

Quaid went as a Star Wars "wookie" with red glowing eyes....I of course could not resist the devil horns this year!
I just got in from finishing up spriging a bunch of stuff.....What a weekend and most of it I"m thankful to report was spent in my studio with NPR, Noah Jones, Cold play and a host of other great musical artists.

Aydan...my little turtle.Halloween was a little off this year. We got some rain which threw us into a little bit of frenzy. I didn't get as many "spooktacular" photo's this year as in years past. I may have bribe the kids with more candy next weekend just to put on their costumes again! ( First I guess I'm going to have to let them eat all they got last night.) No matter if it rains or not, its always a good Holiday. Now the race is on for the finish line.....December. I know everyone else out there is doing the same!

Tomorrow will be some photo's of white pots in various stages.

Mckenna, the princess vampire!