Mud Mama's

I saw my article today in Clay Times. Of course I still think I sound like a big geek writing something in to a magazine. I sure I feel this way because I really just wrote it to Lana Wilson singing her praises for writing the article. I always feel foolish when I introduce myself to a female potter that I admire. I remember one time I went up to Julia Galloway at an NCECA conference and just gushed at how much I just loved her work. I'm sure she hears that all the time. Of course I know I like it when someone tells me they like my work so I guess its not so bad. Its more funny than anything else when you look back at worshipping someone's pots. I think all potters do this which is comforting to know that we all make fools out of ourselves to our idols.

On a side note, Joey and I are freaking out about building this kiln now that I have this grant money. We had a place all picked out in the backyard when we bought the house but know that we've lived here a while we relies it floods there! GREAT. Joey is worried that a big concrete slab that will be left when we do finally move will be an eye soar and make the property value go down. Oh, this baby is really going to test our marriage I can see!

Staying awake this week

I think I over did it last week because I'm having a hard time keeping my eyelids from closing a lot during the day. Since last Friday my head has been in a fog for some reason. The last two days I'm ashamed to say I've gotten up with the kids, feed them and put on the TV only to go back to bed. I find my children coming in and going" wake up mommy, time to get up". This is not something I am proud of. The last two days the 3 o'clock carpool home have been shear torture for me to stay alert. I finally have music back in my car but the Christmas music the kids want to hear just puts me in relaxation mode so I have to rely on the windows and gum to keep alert. I have tried going to bed by 11 to try and catch up on sleep I've lost. Next week I'm done with trying to meet deadlines so hopefully on the weekends I can catch up on what I've lost sleep wise. Sometimes I wonder if its the lack of enough sleep or just the stress of it all that wears me out. Who knows, maybe its just 40 again creeping up on me!


Cloud nine

I've been having a wonderful vacation( so to say). The McConnell's sale has gone really well for me. Yesterday I sold some big things I thought would most likely just end up in juried shows(funky, not the norm things) and I also got wonderful news in the mail! I was got the grant I had applied for a few months ago. I could not believe it! I owe a lot to Joey because he wrote mostly the whole thing for me because I was so busy that week and didn't have a clue as to how to Construct the narrative or the application for that matter! We are both pretty excited and pretty scared at the thought of finally building a salt kiln for me. I didn't get the whole amount that it will cost to build the whole kiln but I did get the money to help me pay for most of the equipment. What a great end of November it has been!


What else has been going on.

Here are some new pots I was working on for Sandy's sale. One is a photo of the squared off spoon jar and the others are honey pots!

Lots has been keeping me very busy and its been hard to get on line so I'll update on what I've been up to.

Basically I've been throwing and finishing pots like crazy. I have a show this weekend in McConall's and than another one next weekend at Clayworks. I also have two gallery orders that are suppose to go out. I had to cancel one which really made me uneasy and upset because it was a new gallery but I just couldn't come up with the work in time. I hate that galleries always want work by thanksgiving. Of course it makes sense but I would just love to stretch it out some more. Since my candle holders did so well at the last show I made more for these two coming up and I also worked on honey jars, pasta dishes and some other things. I feel like I fell short of getting out to my studio as much as I should of. Last weekend my son brought home the class mascot, which was is stuffed bear and so I had to help my son entertain it so we could write a story about what we did with the bear. Believe it out not, that took up a lot of my weekend.....Yes, entertaining a stuffed bear. Go figure. This week all sort of things went on at Quaid's school. There where lunches to be at, concerts and yesterday Quaid turned 6 so we were at Chuck-E- Cheese for most of the day. When I look at how little has come out of this week of working, I kind of can see where all my time went. We'll see how next week goes.

Happy Turkey Day

I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving! It is 7:30 and it feel like 11 to me since I ate a huge and wonderful meal at 3 today. My husband and his mom( the sue-chef) made the whole meal for ....get this 19 people! Can you believe that? Of course most of you don't know how little our house is but those of you that do picture 8 of those people as small children. It was truly a feat getting it all done and he did a wonderful job. It was even different than the norm because he took great recipe's out of gourmet magazines and made the meal. What a guy. And so, what we I doing??????? Glazing today. I did manage to help with setting a nice table ( I have to throw that in and I did make the stuffing). I also get to see the Macy's day parade on TV which has always been a tradition with me so it was a good day.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


All worth it.

I went to see quietus school yesterday to see his little thanksgiving program and realized how important a mom is to a little person. He just beamed when he saw me come out to take this photo of his class. Makes you really realize how important your mom is to you and how important it is to make a little heart feel happy about themselves. He had one of the first lines in his play and I could tell he was nervous but he stared right at me and did a great job. He even mouthed the words that the other children had to say which was pretty funny. Anyways, here he is. He's the only male pilgrim.

As for work. I finished up some honey pots( which I haven't made in years) and more cream and sugars. I not doing a very good job of matching up the heights of my creamer with the sugar bowls so I'm throwing a bunch to get matches. This weekend I need to finish up my throwing for a few days with candle sticks, trays, vases and maybe some clam boxes. We'll see if I can do all that. We have a pretty low key weekend. Quaid did get picked to bring home the class bear to " take care " of this weekend so we took a long hike this morning to Kings Mountain state park. I think the bear and all the children are pretty popped so Joey and I should have a pretty quiet day. We'll see.


Thursday update

Just thought I'd drop a quick post to say what has been going on. I can't believe its Thursday already and I have no idea where the week went! I was kind of sick for a few days with one of my many sinus/throat issues but I think I'm on the mend...that kind of slowed me down. I managed to get about 30 mugs made, pasta dishes, some honey pots and some more cream and sugars made this week. The mugs kind of slowed me up because I enjoyed doing them and was watching TV at the time( I know....bad, bad , bad while your making pots). This weekend will be a big work weekend because I have to fire next week for the Thanksgiving sale at Sandy's.

As for home life. Joey and I are going to Charlotte tonight for a little date to see the guys from the show "Who's line is it anyways". I'm looking forward to a good laugh. My roommate all through college just happens to live in Charlotte and we are meeting her and husband. We use to be like twins going everywhere and now that we still live pretty close to each other, I hardly see her, so this will be fun.

I finally got out to buy my enormous turkey for next week. We'll see if it will feed 16 people. I also have to make two pies today for a thanksgiving feast at Quaid school. I'm looking forward to going there tomorrow because the kid are doing a play. Quaid was very upset that he didn't get to dress up like a turkey. He's one of the biggest kids in his class so he got stuck as a Pilgrim. I personally would of put them all in turkey suits......nothing could be more funny to see a bunch of 5 yr.olds as little birds.


Done things!

I took some photo's of finished work I had put on the blogs weeks ago. I thought it would be good for all to see that yes they did come out and some where very successful in selling and some are just kind of sitting there , but I think make a good contribution to my overall body of work.

Last night I threw a ton of mugs...........I was just in the mood. And this morning I kind of just took it easy at home and only worked in my studio for about an hour or so. I did throw some pasta plates and experimented with a Christmas tree ornament for the sale I do in McConnalls Sc each year. It put on by my friend Sandy Singletary and for 5 year she has cleared out her whole house and invited different craftpeople to set up for a holiday sale. It really is a wonderful idea and people just eat it up. The down side is that it wears her out and I truly don't see how she's done it all these years because it just gets bigger and bigger. This year she is trying something new and moving it to the McConnalls rec center. I know it will still have a great turn out and I do the ornaments because there are so many fabulous handmade one's to choose from. Its the one time a year I can do something a little fun that I don't normally do. Drop me a email note if you'd like directions on how to get there. Its always on thanksgiving weekend.


Good weekend

Sunday, my day of rest................................
Shelby was a nice show for me this year. My numbers where no different than in the past but I enjoyed the building I was in and the people I met. I had so many return customers from the show that asked where I had been along with some familiar faces that always stop by to see what I'm doing. I love to see people who enjoy my work.........who wouldn't! I also was behind a very cool gal who made the nicest raku work I've seen in a long time. I'm not a big raku fan and I think that is mainly because I'm a functional( for the most part) potter. My issue with raku is probably for the most part a little bit of envy because those potter make vases, that don't hold water, only fire for a small amount of time and they charge so much for there pieces. Of course, when I'm spending lots of hours on small little cream and sugar sets that I try to charge a fair price for and can be used..........I guess I get a bit envious. So anyways, back to this gal. She was very nice and funny and also was a years past collector of my work. She too has had a hard time getting into the Piedmont Craftmen guild so we had a lot in common. From what I saw, she did great at this show!

The opening in Davidson at The Wooden Stone was also very nice. It is a huge and very nice gallery with lots of good work. There was a pretty good turn out for the show and it was nice for our little group to get one show under our belts. The funny thing about the evening was this very intelligent and extremely verbal 12 years old that sought us all out and asked us what the Circle of Eight stood for. It was a very good question but before one of us could answer he started telling us how it sounded like a pagan cult and ....well you can imagine the rest of a conversation out of the mouth of a very smart and geeky 12 year old boy. He was great! Having a little boy just makes me appreciate them all the more.

I wanted to also say Thank you to Sybil for coming up and letting me know that there is someone else who reads my blog besides Ron and a few of my other pottery friends. Thanks!



Car packed, kiln loaded and I'm ready to go ( for the most part). I'll unload my kiln late tomorrow night and take the remaining pots on Saturday morning. Tomorrow I get to set up a day early in the morning. Than at 4 I'll leave for The Circle of Eight opening in Davidson. I hope I don't wear myself out to much. I'm feeling better today, like I got some energy from somewhere. Yesterday I was draggin'. I'm really looking forward to getting back to throwing on Sunday night. I'm going to focus on somemore complex things for my next upcoming shows and orders I'm putting together to some galleries. I've been toying with putting some Terra Sig on my pots for awhile and would like to try this before my last show in December. I can't say I'm really sold on my luster experiments this summer. It just doesn't feel right on my pots, although a bit of my personality does like it. I'm so fickled when it comes to sticking to one thing. I've always been all over the board with my work. Once again, I'm sure that is a bit of the ADD talking in me.

Wish me luck Saturday!


Gearing up for Show

One bisque kiln down one more to go and than to the glaze. Not sure I'll get all the pots in there but neither bisque was filled to the top so there is hope. Sometimes I just go ahead a fire off a half stacked kiln because it sometimes saves me time in the end. Tomorrow while my other kiln is cooling I can atleast start glazes half of the stuff and pack my glazed work. There is always a method to my madness. I am pretty tired since I'm running around and a bit anxious and stressed. This week I'm trying to stay focused on all I have to do( I speaking of EVERYTHING I do like bill paying, cleaning, child care ect. plus my pots). I've said before that when I make my life crazy it effects everyone around here and I'm trying not to do that. Today the girls and I stayed home and just enjoyed playing out in the yard, helping mommy clean and a lot of books. Its really nice on wednseday when I don't have car pooling in the afternoon; gives me time to relax and enjoy the day.

yesterday was Joey's birthday. I tried to make his day a little special by making Brunswick Stew for him and an apple pie that said Happy Birthday on it. ( I figured we didn't need any cake and he's get one this weekend at his sisters house). The kids enjoyed having a little party for Daddy. Next week when all this blows over we are going out to dinner and to a show in Charlotte. I'm all about "Hanukkah birthdays"!


Just thoughts

I have the Carolina Pottery Festival this Saturday at Shelby Fair Grounds. I'm throwing like crazy because my inventory is low. I'm also throwing whatever can be thrown and trimmed fast. I feel like I'm jipping myself in some way when I do this. I"m making things like small vases, spoon holders, cups and bowls. At this show I seem to sell sort of simple items so I don't know why I'm beating myself up for feeling this way. I guess it all goes back to feeling like I should be making really cool, funky art pieces instead of just really straightforward functional things. I sometimes feel like if I where working in stoneware and firing a cone 10 kiln, this would all be justified. I guess since I'm doing porcelain in a electric kiln I guess I feel like I have to prove myself more. These are just my random thoughts. Maybe I needed to title this entry MIND STRUGGLES once again. I have a lot of these!

Onto a good thought, I got 2 cups into The Ultimate Cup ShowV at Charlie Cummings Gallery in Fort Wayne Indiana. I think the show is in December.......So that is pretty cool! I also have an opening with my Circle of Eight buddies at the gallery in Davidson NC called The Wood and Stone this Friday night. So, like I've said in previous posts, I'm super busy this month! ( And whenever I say this to someone they always say, "well, that's good....right"? I guess we'll see if can successfully make it through without stressing out the rest of the people who I live, love and breath with. Wish me luck.


Sunday update

Not to much to report that is different than the norm this weekend. I worked on pretty much packing pots, staining large bowls and salt/pepper sets. I always threw some pieces for pillar candle holders. I try something new with those, so I'll tak some photo's when they are done. I'm trying to cram a lot in this week since I have Shelby next weekend. I really need to beef up my inventory these next two weeks because I've got orders where I just need random inventory plus two more shows. November will fly by for me I know!

Good family weekend. Joey worked on painting our kitchen and running errands with the kids. I took Quaid to a birthday party at a skating rink. Thank goodness he wasn't into skating on the actual rink( just the carpet) so I didn't have to get any skates on myself. ( Though I have to say I was quit the roller skater in my day!!!) Anyways, we had fun together.

I'll try to keep up my blog this week, but it may drop off at some point!



I took my class to Seagrove today on a field trip. Only 5 people came on the outing which was kind of disappointing but of course, we all have lives outside of clay. Anyways, we had a nice time looking around today. It was a crisp November-fall day which was good for pottery visiting. We got a great guided tour of the NC Pottery Museum and went out to see Ben Owen 111 huge "compound". I have to admit, it doesn't look like the residence of a potter and this....I hate to say kind of bothered me. (Maybe it just made me jealous.....................naw......it bothered me.) Of course if I was not in "my potters shoes" and looking at the whole set up from just a consumers view, it would look very impressive! More power to him.

Anyways, here are some photo's of the kilns at the pottery center. Boy would I love to get my hands on that climbing double chamber kiln! I love driving around Seagrove and just seeing all the chimney stacks from all the kilns at the different potteries. It is a whole different world out there. ( We have got to get out to the country and win the lottery so I can have my studio and kiln). Ron Philbeck...if your reading this you don't know how lucky you are!


I'm not quit super happy with my trays. They always seem to me to be a last minute idea not really thought out super well. Here are some new cruet sets where I tried yet another tray and I can say I really love it after looking at it finished. I had good intentions to try new feet and mimic the arms that are on the cruets but..................I think I need to go back to the drawing board. Who knows maybe after they get fired I'll like them better. ( but most likely not) I have to remember the 3 best crit questions to ask your self.

1. What is working
2. What is not working
3. How can I improve it

Maybe I'll answer these another day.jen

Dinner plates

It occurred to me the other day that I've been putting to many photo's of my kids and myself on here and not enough of my pots. That is mainly because I didn't know how to upload the images and usually Joey takes the family photo's and puts them up on the computer . ( This way I have easy photo's to steal). Anyways, he did finally walk me through the steps so now I plan on using the camera a bit more to put images of what I'm working on up here. After all it IS the POTTERY BLOG right?

Anywho, here are the stack of dinner plates for that order I've been working on. Each plate has a different leaf pattern on it. I like this images because all these dinner plates make me feel like I accomplished something! (Plus the rest of the order is already packed.) I've learned a lesson from this order and that is to establish on set of dinnerware and stick to it and don't venture away from what you said you could do. I use to like to do this for people but I think it confuses the customer on what they are actually going to get.