Blogging buddies

I started this blog I think about two years back because I had read an article in Clay Times by Lana Wilson that really hit home for me. It was called Mud Mama's and I think each article that she wrote finally felt like I was connected to others in this field.
So......I thought keeping this virtual journal for all to see may connect with another just like myself that could relate to the duel life of motherhood and being a crafts person. With that said, as time marches on I don't get to spend as much time really thinking about my entries and how well written they are or if they are even interesting to anyone. Half the time I don't even get enough pottery photo's up to show what I'm doing so I've thought to myself, "why do I call it The Pottery Blog"? I have to admit, some days I can see tons of comments on one person site and none on mine for days and I may get a little hurt. I'd like to think I have a thick skin but really....... then I remember the real reason I do this is for me and that one other mom out there.
I got a nice email today from a mom and a potter who lives in Canada and it did really make my day. Its so intriguing to get email or comments from people you have never met but want to connect with you in some way. I think with in the last year or so many potters are blogging and its kind of a great networking tool for everyone. I have potters I have never seen there work add me to their blogger list, which is such a nice gesture. Since Joey put my blog together, there are some sites I have to admit I have only read once. Most days, as I've said, I hardly have time to write something on my own blog let alone read others! Tonight I spent some time cleaning my "connection" folder and also reading blogs by some pretty well known potters. Here are just a few that have some really nice blogs. When I read them I can tell they take the time to think about what they write and they are good at editing. Once again, my thin skin gets a little hurt when I look back on my crazy writings and thoughts and all the wonderful feed back they get but than I come back to earth and realise that I am me and not everyone can keep up with the pack. Isn't there a saying about people who march to there own drum?
(Hey, maybe I just wrote a well thought out blog entry....)
Enjoy these, you may even find some other blog sites that you didn't know about~
Michael Kline , Kristen Kieffer , Kari Radasch , Keith Kreeger

National Teapot show VII

I think about the 2nd week in June you will be able to go on line and view
all the teapots in this show. I'm looking forward to the opening next Friday!

Cedar Creek Gallery
National Teapot Show VII
June 6 – September 7, 2008
Opening Reception June 6, 2008 6 – 10pm



I turned another year older today and enjoyed a day of quiet solitude and reflection with myself. Joey has made this week my"birthday Hanukkah"~ many fun days for me! I love birthdays and I come from a long line of women who love birthdays! I enjoy the actual day of my birthday because I really do like to think back on what I've done this year and what I'm looking forward to in the year to come. I was tickled last week to find a photo of my butter dish in Clay times. That was a good birthday gift. My son is learning how to appreciate the little things I do for him by making a special effort to tell me how much he enjoyed this or that. That's a great birthday gift. Both the girls are asking how to write words..yet another good gift. My goofy-lovable friend Mary Anna sang happy birthday to me on the answering machine in her best opera voice. That was a good birthday gift.
Now all I need is a cup-cake!



Here are some new teapots that came out of the kiln this week. One of these is going to Cedar Creeks Gallery's teapot show that opens June the 6th in Creedmoor North Carolina. This teapots show always has a huge amount of work for everyone to see. I'm sure that after the show opens you will be able to view each teapot and even purchase one over the phone if you fall in love with one! You can click on there site and look at the last show 2 years ago.

This teapot with the black is one of the one's I picked to send. The black is new for me and the bird on the top of the pot looks like a raven. I use to live in Richmond Virginia about 15 years ago and I was always intrigued by the Edgar Allen Poe house and his poem about the raven. There where tons of these birds in St. Petersburg Russia when I was there as well and once again, I was intrigued while watching them appear everywhere in the city.


Welding...the kilns back on

It has been a long time since I posted about kiln. It has been on hold for a number of reason, funds, time ect. This weekend we got back on track and finished another phase of the building process...welding of the angle iron. I was trying to weeks to get some scrap angle iron and had worked out a deal with a welder to trade pots for his labor. Turned out my good friend Sandy Singletary has been taking welding in school and she said she would just come and help me. Finally on Saturday after getting the iron at Lowes, Sandy and her husband pulled up with a big welder and here are the results.
We started off by putting several layers of heavy duty foil over the arch of the kiln to help with a bit more insulation.After the , we added two thicknesses of fiber-fax on top. Over that is a steel sheet of metal that is held down by angle iron on each side and a cable on over the top to help with the some gaping issues we had.Here is Sandy and her husband William working. Its great to have such super friends with all sorts of talents that we just DO not have!Here is the final result or the chimney. I think it looks pretty good and will do the job.

TaDa!!!!!! Onto the getting the plumbing hooked up.


Midlands Clay Art Society

I will doing a one day workshop for the Midlands Clay Art Society in Columbia SC. The workshop will be on Saturday the 28th of June from
10-4. I'll be showing some slides and doing demo's of throwing and altering plus some surface treatment. I'm excited! New people to meet and a pot-luck lunch...the best part of being of potter! For more information you can contact Tim Graham.

One more week to go of none stop end of the school year events. I did not get much done in my studio this week which makes me feel so guilty, but this weekend it will be nothing but clay and staying at home. With gas almost to $4.00 a gallon who wants to go anywhere! It is so crazy to me I can not get my mind around the price of gas!!!
If your out there enjoying Memorial Day this weekend, soak up some of the traveling holiday for me as well!


Mid Week

I'm having a bit of an overwhelming week so if I get to blog, it will be short. I did have to get on for a little bit of time this evening because I had to share this photo with everyone. I was coming back from pugging some clay Monday night and found my cat ready to pounce on this little guy. Frogs are pretty cool I think and I don't run across them very much. He was a good break from needing to get everything done is a small amount of time. I love how something like this can make you stop and enjoy the moment.
This evening I didn't get out to work until 9 and I trimmed some platters. Today I spent the whole day at a nature park with Quaid's 1st grade class. On the arrival home at 4 I was going none stop with homework, reading time, cleaning, doing the bills and running to the store. Tomorrow I have a similar day with the girls. This weekend will be my weekend to work and enjoy some unrushed hours in my studio.



I had a very productive day today and here I sit finishing up and checking what is going on with the world wide web this evening.
A few platters where made today, cups to go with my teapots and handles on a few pitchers. I even managed to get some paper work/book keeping down in the car-pool line today. Whenever I think of a bright idea like taking my receipts and three ring binder with me to the car-pool line, I'm feeling pretty good about myself!
The weather is the best it can be in my studio. Not to cold and not to hot. I love May and October on my porch!
I posted a few shows my little group is doing in the fall on our website so if you get the chance, check that out under Circle of Eight. In the last few days I've been reading and looking at a lot of blogs.- I'll post my findings and thoughts in the next day or two....it is late....sleep is needed.

Colored Clay

This session with my class we are trying our hand at some colored clay. Years ago when I worked at Cedar Creek Gallery we made jewelry to sell in the gallery out of colored clay so I know a bit about mixing it up with the mason stains. Over the years I have been sort of interested in trying to make some vessels with it. I'm sure its the allure of the color that peaks my curiosity. Jane Pieser who lives up near Penland is really well known for her creations out of colored clay. I have visited her studio but as always, a bit to poor to purchase one of her pots so I admire them from afar and in books. I got on the web at the beginning of the session to try and find out more about this process and really didn't find as much as I had hoped for. Here are some small loaves I made at class and we are in the process of making some small press mold bowls with these. Like many things, I think my students found the process to be much more tedious than they had expected. I wish the whole buying public could have a chance to see really what kind of time and energy goes into what we love to do. Here is another photo of me adding some of the chips of clay to a plate I had thrown last week. We'll see if it works!


Out of the kiln

I'm happy to report that this evening I started to fool with the lid of my house box and successfully got it off. I use to do the old whack-the-pot with a stick routine but I have to admit, that doesn't always work. If it does work successfully I usually get one little place that has a chip from the whacking. A few weeks ago in my class one of my students demonstrated her technique of getting a lid off which was taking an utensil, such as a knife and sort of placing the blade in the edge of the lid and than hammering down on the utensil. Once you see someone do this it all makes sense and to my student Angela, who is an engineer, the solution to this problem came like second nature to her thought process. Once again, I learn so much from teaching! Thanks Angela, my lid came off with no chips or cracks.

I did save a few pots from my last firing. Once again I wish my camera look better photo's because these are a bit blurry. I have a birthday the end of this month so maybe the camera fiery will come visit me! ( Of course the cleaning, clothing and dinner fairy have already been booked so I may have to keep posting blurry photo's for awhile.)
The weeks progress on pots has been slow. I'm on my own this weekend with the girls because Joey and Quaid are on a father and son adventure up help one of Joey's older sisters move. I have some activities planned for the girls so down time for them can be my work time. We'll see how it goes~


Wed. night

I just finished throwing for the night. Today was my first day back working. I only got to spend about 1 1/2 this morning because one of my girls was home sick and she needed my attention. The last two days where spent getting the girls ready for there dance recital last night. I'm excited for a new batch of pots to appear on my shelves. The next show I'm doing is one of my favorites with all my Raleigh friends. I sent off my two pieces for the Jersey Shore National today. I'm crossing my fingers that they both get there safely. M.T. Burton gallery is always very good about posting there shows and the pieces on there website so as soon as it is up I'll put on link on her so we can all enjoy the pieces in that show.


Kent State Cup Show

This cup show is opening the 14th of this month. Hopefully they will have some images up on the website. I was thrilled to get two pieces in the show.

Mothers Day Weekend

Saturday I spent the day at the Spring Claymatters sale in Mathews NC. The weather was great and the turn out seemed to be good but I do think by what I observed that the economy is catching up with those of us in the " object" world. I did have so many familiar faces come by my booth along with students and friends which made the day go by very quickly. My neighbors on either side where Amy Sander and Greg Scott from our Circle of Eight group so I was in good company.

Since I did have a crazy week today I am still feeling the effects of being worn out and playing catch up with my house and paperwork. This has been my routine this year so I'm pretty use to it~ the week after a sale, I play catch-up!

I unloaded a kiln the morning of my sale and here was my favorite piece, a little box that looked like a house. I'm sad to say the lid will not come off( I haven't really tried that hard to get it off.....) I liked it so much I put it on my little check out desk I have in my booth and I think every customer that came in liked it as well! One of those things you could of sold a 100 of, but have none! Anyways, I'm going to make more of these. I already have a teapot made that looks like this for the Cedar Creek Teapot show next month.

I had a wonderful mother day which started Saturday night after the sale at my parents house. My sister and her family came down from Raleigh and we had a great meal and fun conversation. The girls made several cards and drawing for me and we had to laugh because Joey seemed to be forgotten in every one. Here is a tray Quaid made for me. I think its for breakfast in bed and once again...Daddy is no where to be found in the drawing! We'll see if fathers day Mommy is omitted from the family drawings. On Saturday, Joey spent the whole day cleaning the house for me so on my arrival home I just dropped into bed. On Sunday he made reservations at a very cool restaurant in Charlotte called Roosters and we took the kids while also using it as a teaching lesson on how to behave when you go to a "fancy"restaurant. I have to say the kids did a great job for there mom. The day ended with a trip to the bookstore, a movie on the couch and Joey unloaded my vehicle so I did not have to worry about that myself. Once again, I have a great husband.

I hope all you mothers out there had a good weekend as well!


At the speed of light

I'm trying to get a post in today since I haven't written anything since....well I guess a few days ago. I enjoy my blog so much but I'm finding that it is hard to keep up with. Someone told me that when my kids get older I would have more time for things like this. Is it just me, or where they just saying that to make me feel better? I don't have diaper changes and feedings anymore and I can do things around the house while they are playing. But now we face emotional issues with learning, friends, siblings and basically just learning how to be a good person. All the social learning tools are trying to come into play and of course it is hard as a parent to remember how much effort it takes trying to learn all that. I'm not even sure I have masters how to get alone with people and now I"m trying to help my off-spring!! So on days I feel like I can come home with the kids and do a little catch up work in my studio, or house cleaning or blogging, lately that time is taken up trying to solve a kid issue. For the most part I can multi-task when it comes to cleaning and such but emotional things, I have to give my full attention. It takes a lot of attention to advise and listen.

Today I planned on packing up all these pots to get things ready for my show on Saturday. I still may find the time now that the girls are playing and I'm trying to eat my lunch at ...2:42. I have class tonight so that time in my studio will be taken.

Here are the little trays out of the kiln. I'm still not sold on these. I'm going to take them along with me to my show and get some feedback from my fellow potter Amy Sanders. She's always great for advise on stuff.

As always I really enjoy making boxes and here are a few I finished up the other day.

I'm looking forward to Mothers Day on Sunday. Since I've had a lot of "mother" issues this week I have to admit its been a very reflective week for me. Joey and I are so lucky to have three beautiful children, what a responsibility it is to raise them!


Starting to load

Here's an image from the bottom of the kiln. The little drawings you can see off to the side that I've been working on. Before I just brushed a light coat of clear on the surface. I plan on dipping these in my clear for this next kiln/glaze batch and hope its doesn't come out so dry. These cups in the bottom are for a show at Kent State that is opening next week. I have a lot of shipping to do the end of this week~


The plastic came down..

..and than there was summer!

Here is what my studio looks like in the winter.....

plastic everywhere to keep the cold at bay.

It is the best feeling to have my music going, my kids laughing outside, the breeze blowing through, the sunshine coming in and me..making pots. I think we must of had a good share of rain this spring because my Iris are blooming like crazy in all my beds. I love to look out everyday to see what has popped up. We still have an enormous amount of mulch to find a home for. We need to get going on our veggie garden this coming weekend if we are planning on reaping any of the rewards of planting.

Here is what my studio looks like in the summer. All screened in with what seems like an open area in the middle of our grassy yard. No walls, just screen unless you count the little bit of plastic I leave up as a splash gard from my wheel.

It is a week of the fast turn around. Saturday is the Clay Guild spring show in Charlotte. I have a good amount of pots in stock so I'm making fillers and going ahead with my engobe tests. Mid-week I should have some results to post.


Mint Demo

I did indeed survive my "gig" at the Mint today. Many of my friends/students from Clayworks came to cheer me on. I also had some gals from my home town of York show up. Thanks to all who came to offer a friendly face in the crowd. I really appreciate that support!
We had a pretty good turn out I thought for the demo. Some people just came to watch and others did bring their lunch up to the terrace and enjoyed that company of a friend or the lovely weather that we had in Charlotte today.
I had several thoughts today once I was home about how much energy it takes out of one to get ready mentally for a demo and the whole setting up and taking down that also goes along with it all. Its the being "on" for a crowd of people that makes me enjoy so much getting back in my car, turning up the radio and letting out a big sigh of relief. I'm sure all of this I am describing just solidifies that fact that I'm a introvert disguised as an extrovert. I do think that this is true about most creative people and we teach ourselves how to interact with people and finally feel secure for being a bit...off sometimes. I guess I kind of see it as being a comic up on stage.
So, tonight I'm blogging and then jumping into bed with my DVD player to watch a serious about Abraham and Mary Lincoln that I've been interested in seeing. Tomorrow I will be back working in the studio ( after a few soccer game of course!)


Funny drawings

I've talked before about how I love the illustrations in kids book. I think that also goes back to my love of cartoons and how just one change of expression that the illustrator makes, says a thousand words in always a comical way. Like I've said before, I think in " cartoon" most days. If anyone has ever seen the TV show "Scrubs" on Thursday nights, the character JD always creates funny images/thoughts in his head of things that are going on in his day. I think the show is halarious because I can relate to this most of my days.

With that said, my girls can always bring a smile to my face with all their little self portraits or portraits of our family. The little facial expressions they put on the faces just say it all. McKenna self portraits are the best because if she is mad at me for something she draws out her emotions and will just hand me the picture. Now this can be kind of sad some days but when I look at her picture and her "human" has high heels and a bow in its hair, a mom can not help but smile a little bit.

This week I started taking little slump mold trays and brushes various engobe colors on the surface than tried to replicate some of these images. In previous tests on tiles I had some trouble with the clear that I'm putting over the engobe so its all still very raw.

Enjoy the pictures of two of my favorite books " The Grumpy Bird" and

"Don't let the Pigeon Stay up Late".