Off for the weekend

I just was finishing up some berry bowls in my studio this evening. I needed to get things to a stopping point because we are going away this weekend. I always, in the back of my head feel guilty about being away from my studio even though I know we all need a break. Sometimes I think that if I didn't have a family I would spend an enormous amount of time in there and be more obsessed about it than I can be these days. I know when I was in school I was at the art building all the time. I wonder where in my upbringing did this need to keep going and going happen. ( I'm sure a family member or a shrink could answer this one for me).

Anyways, we are going to Raleigh for a show that I'm in at NC State. I use to work at Cedar Creek gallery in Durham NC and the man who owned the gallery, Sid Oakley was also a potter. ( If you want to know more about that place get on line and read about how they started it from nothing......Good story.) Anyways, Sid passed away a few years ago and the gallery at NC State is doing a retrospective of his work. The name of the show is Sid Oakley, Artist, Mentor and Friend. Everyone who is in the show fits this description. In a way I sort of feel like I'm not as worthy as some of the other folks to be in this show but at the last minute Sid's daughter told me I needed to be in it. I was not potting at the time I knew Sid. I was just his employee at the shop. But Sid did take a lot of interest in my artistic back ground and gave me money and a reference letter to go to Penland one summer. Once I got hooked on throwing and decided to go back to school he did take an interest in how I was doing and would ask to see my pots. Finally at a show in Charleston Sc he did get a chance to look at my work and decided it was good enough to put in the shop. This was a huge deal to me since I use to help Sid and Lisa buy work for the gallery and I knew there high standards. So, I'm looking forward to going this weekend and seeing many people I use to work with that I feel very comfortable around and feel like I've known for years. It will also be wonderful for the kids to have a little vacation and see there grandmother and cousins. I'm sure by Sunday morning I'll be bugging Joey to get back home so I can get back to my studio.


Lana Wilson

Yesterday my Clay Times came in the mail and I saw that another article called Mud Mama's 3 with in there. I quickly got the kids infront of the boob-tub and ran to my bedroom to read the article. Once again, I just loved it and could relate to everything this women was saying. At the end of the piece it said that Lana would like to people to email her with there comments. I thought to myself that instead of writing something into Clay Times( which I knew I would never get around to doing) I would just email Lana to say Thanks. Of course when I started writing I had to tell her my whole story and gush about how I needed these so bad to feel like I was'nt alone. Sure enough she emailed me back to say "thank you and keep on pluggin' along". She also put that she sent my letter to the Clay Times publisher! I guess I'll have to be on the look out to see if it gets in there and I look like a big female clay geek!


This weeks issues

Here I am at 12:00 re-counting last weeks events. First I have to say we had a great day here at the house. The girls and I painted a bookshelf for there room( I'm "distressing" it so it did not matter how the paint went on the shelf, which is a must when dealing with 3 year olds and a brush). Quaid got to go hang out with his buddy Wils and then they came back here and we built a campfire for the kids and roasted hotdogs and marshmallows. They had a blast. I also got some peace in my studio for a numbers of hours and this evening works some more while watching the movie "Elizabethtown"( which had a really good soundtrack) SO.....to the beginning of the week. Well, my dinnerware was due and my kiln was still messing up on me. Of course I was stressing out about getting it all my kiln before Monday and then my kiln, after I had fixed it, decided it still would not cut off on time. Thank goodness for pottery friends near by because I rushed a bunch of bisque ware to my friend Sandy's house for fireing. Long and short, it was not done by monday or even Tuesday because it would either shut off pre-maturally or not at all. I did manage to get most of the dinnerware out of the kiln but the large plates just bloated since they had been fired a bunch of times. Tomarrow i"m going to do a test run to see if I did finally fix the issue and then I will go from there. In the mean time I've been re-throwing the dinnerware just in case my customer does not like the set I have for her. I figure one way or the other all the pieces will get sold and I need to have this set come out the way she invisioned because I don't want her disappointed with it. That was my week! Here's one of the survivors of the kiln for you to see!


New vases

I had a customer awhile back open up one of my oval boxes and show me what a nice and interesting vase it would make so....I tried to make some. These are pretty big but I think I would have to charge a lot for smaller ones just because the time it takes to make them. Myself and some of my Circle of Eight buddies where discussing pricing the other day and I have to admit, I have a really hard time with it. Everyone tells me I price my stuff to cheap and this can make other potters a bit mad because they think your cutting them out of the market. I never do it to sell more, I just think when I get more published or do I dare say, a bit more famous in the pottery world, I can ask more for my work. Anyways, if something takes me a lot of time, I always ask more. If its something I can throw really quick like a mug or cup, I guess I ask less then I should. I know when I want to buy someone's work , I can only afford mugs for the most part so I guess I'm looking out for those folks that like my work but can't afford a big item. I'm sure one day when I have time to really sit down and figure up all my time that goes into doing what I do, my husband will be right in saying that we are making little money. Oh well I say, I love what I do and I don't want to do anything else but play with clay!~


Mr. Mom

People always are amazed when they find out I have three children how I get anything done. I always say I have a lot of help from my husband and I don't get a lot of sleep. This is the truth. ( You can just see how I've let myself go in the last five years for proof on that....But that is a whole nother topic for another time). The real backing behind all that I am able to do is because of Joey, he does so much around here. Sometimes when other wives are talking about how hard it is to get there husbands to just put the kids to bed for them one night, I'm usually just sitting saying to myself "wow, Joey does this every night". Sometimes he will joke how he would love to be a stay at home mom and in all truth, I'm know he could do this. In fact on Saturdays when I'm off to a show I'm always amazed at how clean the house is when I return and everything is in place. How does he do it!~ Here I am day after day and the as much as I try to keep it clean, its always in samples for the most part. Today, on top of dealing with the kids, cleaning the house he made a Terimasue for dessert with my folks! Ok, I'm really heading towards being "Suzi home-maker disaster". Anyways, I relies how lucky I am and how the kids are to have a Dad they are so in tune with and close too. Maybe I should write to Lana Wilson and tell her my story of being a mom and potter and how I do it.......Maybe I could get published in the next Clay Times article! On that final note, I think I need to go spend sometime with my hubby and sing his praises some more.

Lots been gonin' on!!!

I have had no time to get on my blog....so sorry but....I'm here now! I think I listed all the things that are coming up in my"pottery life",but there has been lots to do this last week as well.

One was a grant I was applying for. I really only did a 1/4 of the work on that, Joey wrote and organized the whole thing. I did have to get the budget together and make sure it got in on time so, it took up some of my time this last week. The second thing was The Circle of Eight show I just did today. This is a group of 7 other potters that I got together last summer. I got the idea from Linda Christenson, who is an amazing, funny, wonderful and down to earth potter that I met a few years ago at ECU. I was able to do a week workshop with her and picked her brain about being a mom and a potter and how does one get a head in this business without having to , well, kiss up to everyone basically. She had suggested I get together a group of my peers and get some shows going along with a support system. As soon as I got home I started calling potters I knew and had some connection to and the result now is Circle of Eight. We had a first group sale today and I was surprised at the turn out.....Pretty good! I'll get some photo's on the web soon from the show so you can see what a diverse crowd we are.
My last adventure this week is a dinnerware set I'm finishing up for a couple that now live in NewYork City. I'm getting down to the wire on this because my kiln was out of commission for a awhile. I'm pluggin along and hoping it turns out well so I can deliver it on Tuesday. Wish me luck! Wow, what a September so far.


Busy, Busy, Busy

I'm really to busy with life to be sitting here writing on my blog but.....everyone needs a break to do something relaxing...right? I did get to go for a walk this evening. It was great. I was just thinking today how when the weather is a certain way or there is a certain smell in the air it will remind me of places I've lived and all my 1000 walks around those neighborhoods. I love to walk. I use to like walking with my walk-men on and just get in the zone or my own personal bubble away from everything else going on around me. Sometimes when I've had a crazy day with the kids I really like going to a noisey store like Target. When I'm there I know no one will talk to me and I can just relax into my own thoughts with no interruptions. (How did get on this subject????)Oh yah.....walking. Its great for everything!

Well anyways, I had a show last weekend , which was pretty good and I have another one this weekend- plus a dinnerware set due so I'm swamped. Of course not to mention my other life and all I have to do with that! In the fall, craftspeople just have to hit the ground running to sell, sell, sell so it will make up for those slow months after Christmas. I always kick myself come February when we are broke and I haven't felt like I saved up enough to hold us over. My goal this year is to that just that. So................Off I go to bed to re-energize for tomorrows work load!


Shows coming up

Here's is a list of some shows I'm doing in the next weeks-months.............

This weekend( Sept. 9th) is ARTS IN THE PARK in Blowing Rock NC. I like this show, lots of great work and gives us a chance to get a way a bit and go eat somewhere good!

The weekend of the 16th of September myself and 7 more potters are doing a group show. I'll have to talk more about this little group of us but for now, just for the record we are called CIRCLE OF 8 and we are having the show in Charlotte. I'll put all the info on times and place the beginning of next week. Pretty cool postcard of our work I'll have to post.

SID OAKLEY, MENTOR, FRIEND AND ARTIST is at the north Carolina state art gallery and the closing reception is the 30th of sept. This should be a great show of various artists( lots of great potters) who knew Sid.....Including myself.

October 14th is the annual ClayMatters guild barn sale in Chalotte.

There is more, but for now, that is all I can think up to at the moment


Enjoying Labor day

Hi All. Hope your enjoying your labor day weekend. So far, we are having a nice, productive and not to stressful weekend.

Onto last week!
Here is a photo of a major pottery goof and a bit of lazyness on my part( I hate to admit). I have neglected to put visual cones in my kiln for, oh since Quiad was about one. In a gas kiln, its a must. In an electric kiln you get lazy and rely on the kiln setter. Well, I learned my lesson with this one. My kiln sitter slowly bent over the years and finally this week neglected to shut my kiln off at the temp. it was sapose too. Result......stuck pots. What a mess to clean up. I only managed to selvage about 9 things,some had to be smashed and the rest still have to be pryed off the shelves. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . Lesson learned.