As I was saying in my last post, while I was on vacation a ton of things ran through my head that I felt I needed to get off my chest on my blog.
I know I've comments on Ceramics Monthly in the past and I even think a few years ago I was on a roll with some sort of commentary each month about weather I liked that months issue or not. Well, I was excited to see Victoria Christen's pots on the cover. I love her work and I enjoyed seeing her a few years ago at Arrowmont as well. This edition, as most of you have already seen has alot of studio visits in it. I do enjoy reading these because I can tell just by the interview weather or not I think I would like to meet that potter or not regardless of their work. I'm sort of getting off track of why I was posting this evening so here below I did a quick scan of what really caught my eye this month.


I do find this section of the magazine at times pretty interesting especially when someone has such a beef about something that they feel the need to vent in writing. If a letter starts off with " In all due respect to last month article...blah, blah, blah" or "After reading blah, blah, blah, I found that I was upset by....." I sit their in my chair and think "Oh yeah, this one going to be good!"

Most of the time I don't agree with what ever they are ranting about but I find their view interesting. So...this month a letter about Emerging Artists caught my attention. As soon as I read a sentence saying that they found it hard to read through "their ramblings", I started feeling really sorry for those emerging artists. I was thinking about how hard it is to come up with an artist statement and if your in the academic world, its even harder because you feel like you have to say something REALLY deep about your work!

I guess truthfully I, like most people I think, skim through the artist statement unless I find something interesting and I mostly look at the photo's and at times think " Wow, wish I had been an Emerging Artist"!

So, nothing against the person who wrote this letter. Everyone has a right to say what they feel and I respect that in people just as long as they don't pull me down their path. I just thought I point out how entertaining the Letter section is and how the written word can really make or break the way you feel about someone.

(Boy, I think I just ended this post with a deep thought!)


Pottery Related Trip Adventures

( Boy that was some introduction!)

We'll we did have a good time on our trip to Gatlinburg. Maybe in my next post I'll do the Mom thing, and put up some photo's of our family adventures. Today I thought I'd keep it pottery related and because lets face-it, even when your on most vacations, and your a potter, your still sort of seek out art or pots of some sort. Arrowmont School of Craft is right in the heart of Gatlinburg and I've enjoyed many trips there for classes and Conferences. But my most favorite part of visiting Arrowmont is seeing my old friend from East Carolina, Amy Evans and Chuck McMahon. Amy and I where in Grad School School together and at times seemed like the only females in the department making girly pots so naturally, we stuck together and had many, many silly adventures. Chuck also was in the pottery department and graduated before the two of left and went onto to work for Highwater clay in Asheville/Florida and than moved onto Arrowmont and was studio coordinator for the ceramic department.( I think that was the right title for what he did..correct me if I mis-spoke!) Somewhere in all this Amy and Chuck met up again and got married and we've kept in touch.
I did also stop by the school to see a former student of mine but while I was all the lights went off so I didn't get any good photo's of the work that was in the gallery. I did see some pretty great pots because the summer instructors show was going on.

Here I am with a very cool mug. One of the best things about visiting with Chuck and Amy is that they have a pretty great pottery collection. Wish I had asked who's mug this is or even who's bowl it was that Joey made this great salad in. ( Looks like the shot is right out of Gourmet magazine!)

Amy and Chuck have two little boys Eli and Finley. In fact, Finley is just about 3 months old so we is pretty new to this world and it was nice meeting these two little guys. Eli just turned 4 and didn't really know what to make of our three taking over his little world that evening.

Here's Chuck with Finley.
I couldn't pass up sharing this little photo!
So funny to think back on the times we were just students running around the pottery building or out getting a beer or even being eager new potters without any obligations other than trying to make a bunch of pots. Thirteen or so years later, Amy is teaching full time at Walter State and hasn't had much time to make pots ( which is a shame because she makes wonderful pots!) and Chuck is going back to school full time for computer programming and also has no time to make any great pots as well. Babies and four year olds can do that to ya'! And of course there is myself, my little crew and Joey doing what we do. I have Blowing Rock again in 3 weeks, a bunch of special order and even though my pugmill is back working and I'm eager to get started, I'm sure what spurts of time I'll have between now and than. Guess I better stop typing and get going!

Organizing my thoughts and photo's

I spent all day...well most of it, in front of this box. I downloaded photo's, organized files, graded tests, worked on my calendar for the year and answered a 1,000 emails I think! Wow..

I was thinking today at lunch that I had so much to blog about this week and sadly, like most days this year, little time to blog. But..there is always hope I'll catch some time here and there to get my thoughts down. Seems a shame not to blog when I think I actually have something to share! I'm sure all my fellow bloggers out there have weeks that go by when you feel like you really have nothing to post. I know I get in that rut at times and I wonder weather to just post something..anything at all or leave my slate dry for a bit.

So, with that said I will try my best in the morning to get a good post up. I have some final exam for my students I need to re-do a bit in the morning as well as post some study questions but hopefully if all my little people are playing nicely and content, I'll be able to blog a bit also!


Finished work

I took some quick photo's this evening before calling it a day.
I've only ventured out to my studio to unpack pots and pick-up a bit. Its still alittle disheveled from my last glaze marathon. I managed to finally get my pug-mill back today. When I showed up to get it the motor wasn't attached and the guy who fixed it was trying to explain to me what I needed to do when I got home to put the motor back on. One blank look from me was all he needed to remember that he had the other part and needed to find it and put it back together for me!! The whole ordeal only cost me $48 bucks ( where that number came from I have no idea). If I could have this evening I would have started pugging clay but I was to busy with my Domestic Goddess duties to be a potter so I guess it will have to wait until I'm back from vacation.
Its been some time since I took photo's. Its funny how when your viewing them they seem brighter than when I post them on here! I find that pretty frustrating......

I updated my show information today. I was thrilled to be invited to a dinnerware show at the Worcester Center for Crafts, in Worcester MA. I can't wait to get back to start on this project.

I'm hoping to still post some idea's and thoughts while I'm away enjoying a bit of a break with my family. We are heading up to Gatlinburg so maybe I'll be able to sneak off and visit Arrowmount one day!


Rain was OK

I had a wonderful mini-vacation while also working a bit - if you call it work! I headed up to Blowing Rock on Friday and met two friends of mine from back in the day when I first was learning how to throw a pot. One of my friends Laurel was room-mate and co-worker of mine when I worked at Cedar Creek Gallery and Amy managed another gallery in Raleigh around the same time. We were all single back than and no matter when we get together, it is nothing but laughter and none stop talk! I think our friendship is going on about 20 years now! It funny as time goes by how many changes we have all gone through and can find humor in every drama we have each experienced.
Amy's family happens to have a little house/stable near Blowing Rock so this is where I spent my weekend. Here is photo of one of the horses Froggy and although the photo does not show it, we slept in a little loft above three very quiet horses! Its nice to have a free place to stay in such a beautiful settings.

Amy and Laurel where real troopers with helping me get this whole thing set up. This is the second year they have helped me out. Hopefully we can make this an annual event since we all live up and down the East Coast now. These friends of mine have alot of funny memories about that first Blowing Rock they experienced with me when I was on a incline and was not a happy camper! The whole set up was held together with Bungee-cords and they managed to calm me down every time my racks looked like they where about the tumble over. No one actually knows what its like to haul tents, deal with bad weather and packing and unpacking a truck and they love to tell anyone who walks into my booth how hard it is to be a potter! ( In a joking manner that is....)
I think this is about the only serious photograph I have of these two gals. In fact, I think our whole row of craft men came by and remarked at how much the three of laughed that whole day. I'm sure of the conversations our next door neighbors heard where quit entertaining!
We did get a little rain that day but nothing too bad and the crowds still came out and bought pots so of course, it was all worth the journey there.
Above is a photo's of those tooth-brush cups I posted a few weeks ago. They where gone by the end of the day. All the butter dishes got sold and I think I have one tall vase left.

Its time for a little R&R for me. Joey and I will be heading up to Tenn. for a family vacation. This summer, once again, I've learned alot about my time at home with the kids and really how much I can get done. Next year I think I may change my show schedule a bit in the summer. I do have another Blowing Rock when a few weeks after I take a little break with the family. More on that soon.....


Why is Paws on the top of the car?

Well Gary Rith has Penny and I have....Paws and Clayton. Paws decided she wanted to go along with me today to Blowing Rock. I'm sure she wanted to hunt a bit and than walk into my booth with a Grey Wolf or Mountain Lion, drop it at my feet and than demand that I feed her the usual dry food. This week Clayton delivered a squirrel underneath my wheel the very night and I was in and out turning up the kiln. Anyways...Aydan came out and said "Mom, why is Paws on the car?" She just blends right in with my tent - see if you can find her.

For some reason this go around, getting pots ready for Blowing Rock was a real challenge for me. I'm not sure I'll do this next summer but never say never. Many factors and yes...my pug mill is still not done. The clay I had to substitute with just turned out really bad! When I got it out of the bisque kiln it just felt grainy and not at all like porcelain. It didn't like my glaze much either but what could I do? I needed to make pots and had none of my porcelain to use. I did finally get some this week but of course it was to late. Once again, just par for the course when your a slave to your material. Here is the best thing that came out of the first kiln. I think I'll keep this one for some photo's next week.

And...........I'm off!


Odds and Ends of the weekend..

I'm not sure if I posted this or not but our twins did finally get back into the school we applied for the end of this year so this weekend we had a little event at the new school that we attended. Big "YEH-HA" for that obstacle out of the way...

Yesterday I began the glazing process. Here is one of the twins joining me just after the kiln got unloaded. I didn't realize how many pots I had packed in that kiln over the last few weeks. I have another bisque kiln to load in a day or so, so I hope I'll be well stocked for my Blowing Rock show. ( Mckenna got a new beany baby this weekend so "Pinky" as she named her had to join in for a photo opp!)
Meredith from Why Not Pottery emailed me this morning to say that one of my boxes was featured in a blog by Tom Starland called Carolina Arts Unleashed. That was a treat!
And my pal Amy Sanders sent me a interested article about Etsy that some of you may want to check out. As you know I do have a etsy site now. Its pretty small and I really haven't had any nibbles on anything but in all truth, I haven't done that much with it besides getting it up and going. That was a long awaited event in itself so maybe this Fall I'll put more time and energy into that.
Until than, its Sunday and since the girls are playing nicely together and Quaid is at a friends house, I think I'll head back out to the shed for a bit more glazing!



I'm immersed in motherhood this summer. We have hit the age of siblings bickering, rivalry and trying to gain a little bit of Independence from mother. I heard a great interview the other day on NPA about "Free Range Kids". This interview was all about how we live in an age of the "helicopter parent" and we don't let our kids explore and just be a kid. I am all the time saying how I wish I could let Quaid and the girls just ride their bike all over town but instead, I make them stay close to home. By society and all those cop shows and the media has really done a number on us over the last 20 years! I'm still sort of digesting what the author of Free Range Kids was saying to see if I could cut that umbilical cord just a bit more.......

In the mean time, I found a few blogs searching around the net for motherly advise. I just like Eric Carle and a friend of mine had this one on her blog list as well.

In the studio I'm still finding snip-its of time to work. Here are a few teapots from the other day. I finally got a bisque loaded last night and this weekend I'll do some glazing. Next weekend is Arts in the Park. Such a fun show to do!!


Finally found some creativity!

Lots of photo's here today folks so get ready!

So, I think I sort am getting out of my pottery funk. I enjoyed playing with the libs to some butter dishes this weekend. Here are a few new "chicken's" or just long legged birds I came up with. Sort of fun but I'll know more once they get out of the glaze kiln.
Today Amy Sanders and I had a little Mud Mama's day out. Our pal Allison was suppose to meet us as well but had some car trouble so it was just us to talk shop and motherhood. We decided to meet up at the Daniel Stowe Botanical gardens, which is located outside of Charlotte. Great place to go with kids and parents! They usually have some pretty cool art once a year as well and this summer they have some wonderful chairs that the kids enjoyed trying out.
Here are my three along with Amy and Guthrie on a really nice modern bench. ( Sammy and I are taking the photo!)

Dirt couch complete with table!I love going to see all the wonderful shaped flowers they have. The colors are beautiful but the different shapes always give me new idea's for my pots.
Quaid is a boy who likes to lounge around alot..this hammock made out of tree trucks and steel is perfect for him!
The gardens have lots of fountains and the kids did get totally soaked today. We have had wonderful weather but today we were back up into the 90's and tomorrow I heard that we should expect high 90's. ( I'm not to happy about that!)

This chair was our favorite because it was made out of garden hose.
A sleigh..
And finally here are my toads....
In the afternoon I got back to work. Called the machine shop again only to be told that one of the repair men is on vacation and it may be three weeks before I get my pug mill back. Needless to say......now I'm in a sort of pickle since I have a show only two weekends away and only one bag of clay left. Guess I'll figure something out.....always do!


Whitewater fireworks

We plan on a low-key July 4th here at the house on Sunday, but last night we had a blast at the US White Water center here in Charlotte!
This place is alot of fun and every time we go, I feel like I've been transformed to another town, like Ashville or Ithaca because there are lots of folks in hiking gear, ty-die and facial hair galore. We couldn't get over how crowded it was for a fireworks event on Saturday evening instead of actual date of July 4th. (I tend to forget that we live next to a major city because York is so little.)

The reason we chose to come on Saturday night was to avoid the crowds. This was not my doing...crowds really don't bother me mainly because my parents where big "crowd avoiders" when I was a child. Of course I felt like I missed out on lots of fun, even though I really didn't.

I think its funny how I married someone who hates crowds as well. I always like to tell my kids about what it was like when I was little seeing fireworks.
Below is Schoellkopf Field, at Cornell University. Here is where I spent my July 4th. This was my favorite event growing up because the whole family would go early in the evening to get a good seat, we'd wait and wait and wait ..than the Ithaca firemen would come hose down the field and they'd put on this elaborate ground show and than the big "boomers" would start around 9 or so. The only catch to this wonderful childhood memory was the my father, mid-way through the end of the fireworks would whisper that we had to go to beat the crowds leaving the stadium. I"d always say " but we'll miss the finally!" and he would say" you can watch them from the car". So I'd sit, backwards going out of the parking lot in wondering what I may be missing not staying that final 5 minutes of the show. Needless to say, since we've had kids, I've never allowed Joey to leave any firework celebration early no matter how big the crowds where. I also usually end up driving on the way home....


Getting there

I'm slowly pulling out of my pottery funk. So funny how I think we all go through that. Atleast I know my pottery " pals" here do and its nice to have folks to talk to about it. I've been meaning to try some simple molds that don't need plaster so I played with these a bit yesterday while also making some lillie vases and butter dishes. We'll see if these pop out today. My pal Amy Sander was talking about how to do these awhile back so I thought I'd give them a shot. Pretty easy, just put some cooking spray in the mold, do some coils and they are suppose to pop out! If they don't, I'll be visiting with Amy on Tuesday so if I have any issues at least I can get right back to this idea next week.

Looking forward to July 4th weekend and the fact that it is Friday.