Gene Pool

Today I took the girls over to the church parking lot so they could ride there little purple bikes. I was thinking while I was sitting on the curb at the beginning of our adventure how this moment will only come once in my life; the moment of watching them go round and round and seeing how they maneuver this object with wheels under there little feet. The most interesting thing about having girl twins for me is to figure out which one was like me when I was little. I guess most mom's who have only one girl does the same but only has that one to watch and wonder about. I am lucky to have two...just in case one does not show any signs of things I know I did and remember doing, maybe the other one will. The other crazy and wonderful thing about twins is seeing how as they grow how different there little personalities are. When they where babies ,they pretty much did the same thing. When one started walking , the other one did it the next day. When one got a tooth, the other one would get one on the opposite side the very same week. It was like a science experiment....and still is some days!

Today Aydan could not wait to get on her bike and ride in and out of the parking spaces. She was determined to do it all herself. When he got stuck of tipped over, she got a bit miffed at herself but didn't want any help. McKenna on the other hand verbalized the whole time as to why she wanted to push her bike around and not ride it. She'd get on it for 2 minutes, not go very far and then tell me why she was getting back off and parking it. She would then come sit on my lap and instruct her sister on what she needed to be doing. Aydan would just ecnore her and go around and around acting like a motor cycle rider. There brother Quaid was just like McKenna at 3 and here again is when the gene pool is so amazing. A brother and a sister who have pretty much the same personality traits while Aydan just marches to her own drummer.

I'm really clinging on to this age because I know with each day, they are only going to get bigger and bigger and these innocent times will be gone. Having children forces you to slow down and really take a look back at the "cheap thrills" in life that you forget when your rushing around trying to get through your adulthood. I've relised as of late, that I need this more and more!


Here are a few more things to show. These are boxes that I've been making for awhile. I've had a lot of trouble coming up with feet for them and I spent a lot of time pondering this last week so I just left them off. The are kind of tricking to get through the firing because there shape tends to act as a slope for the glaze to just run like hell down. I enjoy how they look when they come out the kiln and people seem to like them as well so I thought I'd add them as possibilities to my "show" work. The vases are the ones I fuse together in the kiln so they form a family or grouping effect. They look great with flowers in them and like I said before, I've only made them one other time and sold out.

Last night I went hog wild on a new form for a flower block. It is a bit over top but fun I think. If they make it through the next 4 steps( drying , decorating, bisquing and glaze application-firing) I think I'll have to charge a $1000 dollars for them. I spent from 7pm to 12 last night just putting them both together. Crazy!!!!

I may have keep these a secret until the show if they come out.


Shut up and Sing

( This image came out to small..sorry for that, it a photo of The Dixie Chic's).
A few evening ago I watched the Grammy awards. I am a sucker for award shows because I like to know what is "hot" and what movie are out there that I have not seen. Also, I have to admit, I like the Glitz and Glare of Hollywood and the Music industry. Like most kids I wanted to be one of those people when I was little. (There...I admitted it.)

Anyways, on the show the other night the Dixie Chic's won a bunch of awards and I really liked the song they song on there as well. I do have one of there albums and I use to listen to it years ago. I can't say I'm a huge fan of them but I had remembered the remark Natalie made about The President and how much controversy it caused as well. So when they won all these awards and there was more talk about there political statements I thought I needed to watch the documentary"Shut Up and Sing, which I did Friday night. One thing I can say for sure is that I am so embarrassed to be living in the State of SC even more after seeing this film. Of course most of the clips of fans acting like total ignorant a------s( you put in the letters) where from Sc. Oh, Americans can be so rude and ignorant, its embarrassing. It was so interesting to see how the radio stations where so fueled by money and how these girls careers where just hushed up so fast but they managed to hold there ground and get back on top. It was a very interesting film and after seeing it just made me want to run out and get there new CD, not to mention the fact that if I where from Texas, I would be embarrassed that our president is from there also! I also loved Natalie the lead singing..she is chic I would like to hang out with.



I'm waiting on my mommy's helper to show up so I can go out and work in my studio. I had three days of teaching this week and of course two nights away from the studio really puts me behind more than I should be this month. I usually send out letters to my gallery's in January asking them if they need work and when I can put them on my calendar. I haven't done that because I'm a little scared of not being able to finish orders if I'm knee deep in trying to get this kiln built. The other side of me says "you fool" we need the money and it's dropping out of the sky. I guess I'm going to see how the shows go that I plan on doing and then just call up galleries when I have a ton of work left over. Not a very good business plan... a bit risky but it will have to do I guess.

Once again, it will be a quiet weekend planned here at the house. I'd like to take the kids up to the mountains and see what snow is left on the ground. Maybe if I get a lot done Friday night and Saturday, this would be a good Sunday adventure for us. Today is so nice out all I can think of is spring getting here and my plans to get my kids in snow will be gone.

Well, it looks like help has arrived so I'll be off.



Well I said I would elaborate on what I did this weekend in Seagrove. For those of you that are not familiar with that area of North Carolina, it is a place where many potters live and there are many generations of potteries. If your familiar with a potter by the name of Ben Owen, he lives there and is a third generation potter and very successful at having this lineage and making pots for a living. Anyways, I went down to see a man by the name of Dwight Holland, (also an important figure in the Seagrove area) and his kiln. It was a wonderful visit not only because I got to see the kiln and get some idea's for my own but also because Dwight has one of the biggest pottery collections around. He has everyone you basically see in the all magazines and that you have read about. When I came back to my studio and was looking at some of my posters from past NCECA shows and other large conferences, I noticed that some of the pots he owned where the actual ones from these shows . It was such a treat and since there where just three of us there we got to ask a lot of questions about all that we saw.

As for the kiln, it was for the most part what I want only I think I need to make it a big taller. It seems to only hold about 3 shelves high of work; those being the big 24" shelves. Its a little sprung arch kiln and he's got the salt holes in the top of the kiln instead of on the front or side of the kiln. We talked about how if I was planning on doing soda that I really should go back to putting the ports on the side of kiln. Its a pretty little kiln but since Joey and I keep saying we need to sell this house and find another closer to Quaid's school and over the border into NC - the size would be perfect for the time being. I hate to lock myself into something bigger and then have to tear it down in a year or so. I'm not really worried as much about building it now. The only parts of it that seem sort of a challenge to me are the arch and getting the angle iron on it. The gas company is coming out this week to tell me the cost and what would be involved in taking our gas line out into the yard. This weekend I plan on drawing up plans and in two weeks I meet with the historic board for approval.

This morning Quaid went back to school( and was not happy about it either...such a mama's boy). The girls went to school and I got a chance to finally do some things for myself like go to the gym and work in my studio. I put feet on my tall, three pod vases and threw some forms for my oval boxes. So, it was a good morning! Tonight I'll get some photo's taken of what I've gotten done.


Sunday, late

I really feel like getting off to bed but thought I should write a little before go. Plus I got on Joey's blog and saw that he finally did another entry after a very long time and thought I should not "let him down" with all my computer activity he spoke of. I think I am a bit addictive to the computer but some days it my only form of outlet to my adult friends so I always have to check my email. So, here I am!!

It was a good weekend. Yesterday kind of wore me out because I went to Seagrove to look at Dwight Holland kiln. My friend Julie went with me which was great for company. I've known Julie now for almost 13 years I think! We always joke that she is my Clay baby because when I was in grad school she was a freshman and we worked at a coffee shop together where I would sell my work. She got interested in what I did and finally took a pottery course...the rest is history. Anyways...we had a good trip catching up and talking pottery stuff. I think tomorrow I'll talk about my trip since its all about my kiln.

Back to the weekend....when I got home I played with the kids and than Joey and I got to have a movie date, which was a treat. He thinks its funny but I get a thrill whenever we can get to a movie together and agree on one. It reminds me of when we first dated because we use to go to the movies A LOT. We saw Casino Royal and we both really enjoyed it. Today I got to work in my studio almost all day which was greatly needed. Here are some photo's of my teapots drying. I did add some sprigs on two of them but thought a lot about there placement for once. I can tell the surface of these pieces are going to be very hard for me to come up with . I'm going to have to exercise a lot of control and thought. ( And yes, all this is good!)

No studio tomorrow. Quaid does not have school either, so I think I'll take the kids somewhere and then I'm off to my night class.



I'm looking forward to another weekend as this day comes to a close. Tomorrow I'm going to Seagrove with my potter friend Julie to look at a kiln. I need to get some plans drawn up and think about really what size I want this kiln to be that I'm building. I'm going to meet an old friend of mine Blaine Avery and his wife who are both great potters/ceramic "people". Its always such a treat to visit with old friends and I enjoy going down to Seagrove to poke around studio's and such.

I did finish my teapots. I ended up making about 7 of various forms and shapes. I'm letting them dry super slowly because I just can not afford to lose anything this next firing. I also started throwing parts to some triple flower vases that I made for a one person show I did last summer. I really liked how they came out so I thought I'd try them a little big bigger and see what happens. Some other pieces I'm going to try for the show are some flower blocks and maybe a pitcher with cups. I love to throw pitcher but I can't say they really fly off my shelves. I guess things like that you just have to take into stride-- Make stuff you want to make and a few that seem to keep you in business.

I had two mornings full of teaching this week. I made up a snow day today and really enjoyed teaching on a Friday morning. The studio was really busy with all sorts of folks and I kind of liked all the energy that was going on. At the end of class today it was nice to hear from my students that it was a good class and they thanked me for what I was teaching them. It always does the mind and spirit good to hear that the efforts you have made have paid off.

Check back for some photo's of my trip tomorrow!



Here are some teapots I've been working on. I always find it very nerve racking to make teapots when I'm trying to make them for something special. It seems like when I make them just for fun I don't have as much trouble putting them together. I guess its not really the putting them together its the fiddling with them. I did that a lot last night and I'm sure I'll do it more this evening. Anyways, lots of different shapes so I can see what kind of surface looks the best on what shape. I also wanted a lot of different options in line and curve when adding thing onto my pieces. Julia and I talked a lot of about that, especially when adding my spring to things. I'll post some more photo's as the progression of the pieces continues.

Heart Day

This is how we enjoyed our Valentine's dinner yesterday. This is McKenna, she decided to come to the table in her "Rat" mask. She sat down and said she was a nice Rat, not a mean one like Templeton in Charlotte's web. I told her, "ok, well then I guess you can come eat with us". Of course my kids had day of nothing but sugar thanks to school and other parents who give to much at parties. I guess I do allow the kids to have some candy in moderation but the big reason I don't like all the sugar in the house is because I eat it! I'm one of those mom's who'd rather spoil the fun and give each kid a card and a pencil or sticker. At the moment I'm eating a little bag of sweet-tarts!!!


Really trying to think

These are some sample pots from the workshop I did with Julia Galloway. There really was no rhyme or reason to either of these. The creamer was just trying her inlaid surface drawing and the sugar bowl was a new form for me. The clay body is not one that I use and the glaze I really hate( and yes , it is one of my colors). BUT.....these pots I have above my sink in the kitchen to look at everyday and think about; or remind myself of things I'm trying to change in my work. In fact the writing on the creamer was more like a diary entry when I was in the workshop. It talks about what I think I'm missing and what I want to say with my work. On the belly of the pots are two pea-pods just to remind myself that being a mom and being at home is always right in the for front of having a career in pottery.

Sunday I was able to throw some teapot forms and parts. Last night I taught so this morning I was able to visit with them again and make even more. I'm trying to get work made for my up coming group show at NCECA. I like to do some new stuff but if it doesn't work.....that's a risk, but if I'm not sold on what I was doing, do I really want to show it? Oh the thoughts that go around and around in my head days on end. I go to bed thinking of pots to make.

The photo's I took of my tumbler I really liked where all blurry so maybe if they didn't all sell in Shelby( which of course we hope they did!), I'll try to get another photo of them. The one's I put aside here in my studio got snatched up by my mom for some Valentine's gifts. At least there was one other person that appreciated them besides me. Of course my parents are my best fans!


Nurse Ratchett

Have not been able to step into my studio since ...I guess Tuesday and boy is it a mess and in need of some work on the shelves. Poor Quaid is now having a hard time of it with his surgery and between him and keeping the girls away from him I have been to worn out to do work. ( Not to mention I have my sinus infection back). I heard the opening at Shelby went well. If you want to see some photo's on it go to Ron Philbeck's website get on his blog, he's got some good ones.

I've rested a bit this afternoon and Joey has taken the girls shopping a Quaid is getting some quiet time in front of the TV so I may sneak out to at least clean up the cyclone that hit a few days ago.


Ant Farms and displays

( You ask what the two have in common...well I'll see if I can bring it around full circle with some sort of conclusion...like a sermon that makes no sense but somehow the man at the pulpit ties it together.)

Quaid had his surgery yesterday and went through it like a big boy. On the way to the hospital he drew all these pictures of the doctor standing over him with a chain saw and spiked teeth. What a little mind can come up with . He instructed me that I was suppose to tell the doctor that he would ONLY have his tonsils out that day, nothing else. Anyways, he did have a host of stuff done to his little head and he did pretty well in recovery and now is eating sherbert like its going out of style. ( Today I did manage to get some real food in him but it was hard). He's on a good bit of codeine so he's walking around like my 96 yr. old grandmother and his sisters are still creating havoc around him. Here's a photo of his ant farm. These ants never sleep or stop and I don't really see any pattern to there tunnel digging or mound making. Ahhhhhhhh...here's where my pottery talk starts.

I went and put up my display for the Treasure's of the Earth show this Tuesday. I didn't get all my pots out of the kiln that day so I had to go back yesterday with another load and finish.( Of course I was in a rush getting there and putting everything out so it looked nice. ) After I went around and looked at everyone else's work and got back to my booth my eye's told me the truth about my pots at a quick glance. All the stuff I do to my pots makes my display look like a circus act! There is just to much going on with those pots. I've got springing, staining and now this shellacking( which I do like I have to admit). To many colors also. Just to much and I'm sick of looking at it all in a jumbled mess. Am I hard on myself or what? Really I'm being truthful I think and I've decided to limit my decoration. I don't think I'm going to do the staining anymore and I think I'm going to just keep to three glazes. Boy I can not wait till I am able to use the kiln on just a white clay body for some eye relief on my pots. ( ie. when I get my salt kiln going). I'm sorry I did not get any photo's of the new shellacked pots because some of the vases where really nice and subtle. Maybe I'm onto something with that. I did keep out some of the tumblers so I'll take a photo of them finished for my next entry.
Ok....displays and Ant Farms....so I work like an ant, just crazy going all the time but all my hard work sometimes does not make any sense when it all comes together. There, I did it! Maybe I should just go and get ordained and leave the potting to someone else.


We'll see how it looks!

Got my glaze kiln going about 8pm this evening. I have another one that needs to go as soon as I can cool this one down tomorrow. Tuesday I have to go set up for the show I'm doing in Shelby Nc. Its called TREASURES OF THE EARTH and it is held at the Cleveland County Arts Council. I like doing this show because you just set up your work in your own 10x10 space and it stays there for a month. People can come in and purchase something and than they pick it up when the show comes down mid March. The only thing the arts council asks from us is that we donate bowls for there fundraiser ( soup and a bowl). There's not much going on in the way of galleries buying work in February so this is a good way to make some money in the lean months.

Here are some new designs on tumblers that I'm going to try this time. Really they are not new for me. I did this sort of brush work in grad school when I had to focus on something. My theme was art nouvou and these little flower shapes are inspired from that. I've been thinking a lot about what Julia said to me about needed something for my work to say. That of course puzzles me but it feels kind of good to go back to these images that please me and make me smile when I see them on surfaces. Here I'm also using a different application of my stain, one i did back in school as well only with wax. Julia reintroduced this whipping away of clay from a brush mark using shellac and I find this way to be a lot faster in dry time. I'll see if I can get a photo of them when they come out of the glaze kiln.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend. Crazy week for us because Quaid has his surgery. By the way, for my friend with the Ear, nose and throat husband, the doctors name who is doing Quaid's surgery is Fredrick Levy in Gastonia NC. Wish us luck!


In the studio

I got my bisque loaded...atleast the first one. Thing are in my studio drying that I still want to put in next week show. It will be another fast drying process as always. I'm going to really have to change my way of doing things once I get back to a gas Kiln that is for sure!

Had some technical issues with my clay body. Nothing really new, the handles on my casseroles popped like crazy. I hate porcelain some times. I use to like this clay body but I know they changed it a few years ago and now it is hell to work with when you are adding handles. I know there must be some secret to keeping them from doing this but I have yet to find it. Very aggravating when you spend so much time on those pieces. I'm about ready to just give up on casseroles and move on, something is always going wrong with them. I did make some new cream and sugar trays that I like, we'll see how they look once the whole set is together. I am a little concerned that I made the foot to big but we'll see.

Off to bed!


A day off for all of us. No class for me, no school for the kids and much to my surprise, Joey did not try to go into work today. The kids finally made it out into the snow but by the time the two of us got our stuff on, it was raining.....not much fun. We did manage to play a little bit and the kids did'nt mind that much. They did go out twice today for some time. I enjoyed how it looked but always want more. I can say that part of me is glad we don't live in the North because
getting all those snow pants on wore me out!