Final Tea...#4

Final photo's from the Cedar Creek Teapot show.

They had a little contest for "Viewers Choice award" at the show. I picked this guy. I'm sure the color and form had a lot to do with why I liked it so much. Plus the little tea strainer that went along with it was just such a great added touch.
So sorry, but I did not get the name of the potter who made this. If anyone knows, drop me a note! This teapot below won first place.
And here is my version of "Can you guess who this is"? I cropped the photo because the name was showing..........Ok...now don't cheat! This one threw me off when I saw it. ( My students out there....shhhhhhhhhhhh)

Back to teapots....post #3

Here we go..more teapots! This teapot is by Bruce Goldson. When I was working at the gallery I always loved his work and could kick myself for not getting one of his shino pieces at that time. His forms are so nice and his pieces so nicely done.
This pot was just so fun, I enjoyed its "wimsy".
This pot you could not ecnore. Look at that spout and that color!
Here is Brad's studio. I need to take notes on how clean he keeps this place.

I put the cabinet back up because "Mr. Philbeck" could not get a close-up of the pots from my last entry. This is for you and anyone else who couldn't open that last post!


Off Track...Kings of Leon

I had to stop on my way in from walking this morning before I head out to work to post something totally off the "pottery track" and my 3rd teapot post.

My husband use to play in a band years before we ever met ( I would of loved to have seen that..) anyways, he's really into new music..alternative stuff. He's introduced me to a lot of my favorite bands. At the moment, I'm the only one with an IPOD in the house, so he will sneak new stuff on my song list on days he needs a little music to listen while cutting the grass or exercising.
I now have a new band that gets me going in the morning when I'm out doing my morning run/walk. Its called Kings Of Leon. Oh to be in my 20's again..... I think this guy has the coolest voice!
If you get the chance click on this attachment and listen. If small kids are around..turn it down!) http://www.last.fm/music/Kings+of+Leon/+videos/+1--0sH3e_qr7c

Back to work!

Teapot show #2

Cedar Creek has all these very cool old cabinets that they display things in. For the show, the teapots where in two rooms and although most where on pedestals, some where in these old dish cabinets or glass cases. I always liked seeing the pots in this contexts because it always made me feel like these handmade objects where meant to be used!
I had Angela take some photo's of just pieces that stuck me right away when I saw them. Here's a teapot with terra sig and I liked the drawing because it told a story.
Here are Micheal Kline's pots!
This is by Elaine Coleman. I just can not imagine the amount of time she spends on something like this.
Here is Sandy Singletary's teapot. Sandy is one of our members in "Circle of Eight". At the moment she is in grad school and sort of being pulled to more sculptural pieces. I can't wait to see where school takes her with her work.


Teapot Show *1

Last Saturday I took some folks from Clayworks to the teapot show at Cedar Creek Gallery. It was a great trip and I'm glad some of the students took me up on going "on a road trip" to look at pots! There where about 200 or so teapots plus the rest of the gallery. We also got to visit with Brad Tucker and Tim Turner, which was an added bonus because they are both just so nice and funny to chat with.

Here are some photo's that one of the students took. Did I mention that I forgot my camera that day so................Angela was so nice in snapping anything I asked her to.

Here are my two entries. Wow, my pots are sitting next to Sam Chung!

The two teapots below I just liked. There was so much to see that I think I could of found something I liked in every teapot I saw but you can only have so many photo's ..right?


A place like home

We did finally get our house painted. It felt good to know that most of the money that helped get it done came from my pots.
It was once just white but we jazzed it up a bit. I love the pumpkin colored door.
About a year ago I started thinking about what it meant to me to be in the house everyday working, taking care of our family and really enjoying that fact that I did not having to go to a 9 to 5 job in some office. My office is right here at home and home and my hours are 6:30 to about 11 everyday! But, it is always a trade off.
I think I've said before that in my mind some of my pieces remind me of creatures or figures in some way. I have lots of customers tell me that as well. I worked a year or so ago on some sets of salt and pepper shakers that I wanted to enclose in some way and give a home to; not just a tray. I felt like I needed to bring my feelings of security and the comfort I feel being at home everyday into my work some how.

The set below is what I came up with. I called these guys " My opera house". All the frills and decorative elements that I embellished this tray with just screamed "Opera" to me.

I took this photo along with me to be critiqued by a well known potter I was doing a workshop with. At the time, I thought it was one of my best pieces. After the critique, I felt a bit different about the whole set. I was told it had a feeling of contriteness to it and was over done. I at that point agreed and put these pieces on the back burner for another time.

So...stay tuned.....I'm in a salt and pepper show and at the moment I'm back to my Opera houses. Photo's and thought to be posted soon!



Summer just seemed like a splash of light that flew by for me.

Today was the second week of school for the kids and since I got back to my normal "school day" of getting everyone up, fed, to school, quick clean-up, a brisks walk and then out to work...I realised that something about today was different. For the first time I really did take note of all the time I had to myself. All the work I was getting done. All the sounds around me. And the fact that all my kids for 7 hours, 5 days a week will be ....with someone else. It was a strange feeling.

As I worked I realised that here I was, like every other potter without children who planned their day just as if they where off to some 9 to 5 job. For a moment I even said to myself " wow, I'm not going to have to come work out here every night now?". Of course when I took note of everything else on my plate, I realised that that statement most likely won't come true that often. But being home from 9 to 2:30 is such a long stretch of time for me with NO ONE around! This hasn't been my world in the last 7 years.

I realised what a transition this is going to be for me in the next few weeks. I had such an urge to call school and could not wait to see their little faces at 3. Last week I was so wrapped up in the beginning of school and my Art History course that the days flew by. I guess being in my studio, throwing pots and having the silence all around made me go to that place we all go when we are doing those repeated motions of throwing and our mind wonders here and there. The clouds where in and out today so I had sun and rain on and off. This can also play with your mind and mood.

We have lots of transitions going on in our house-hold. I can only think that new adventures open so many doors even though it may be scary to walk through them.

Today was a very interesting day......


Found HER!

...she was hiding in a Sid Oakley bowl up on the shelf...my camera that is!

Her I am at Blowing Rock. I'm happy because Joey's with me for this show.

Here is the last of the small Flower Blocks. I've got to get out and make more today for our up coming Circle of Eight sale!

The one thing I love about doing Arts in the Park is all the animals people bring to this show. Now, I'm a big cat person and I know if I where a cat I would NOT like being here or being on a leash.
( Have you ever seen a cat who is happy on a leash? )
This cat was so pretty I had to take a shot of her but the whole time I was thinking about all the expletives this cat must of been saying under its little kitty breath about its owner and all the people wanting to pet it. Especially all the kids! I had to ask this lady what did the cat do when all the huge dogs where around? Always an interesting day.....got to go!


Lost Camera

Ohhhh...I can not find my camera anywhere in the abis of my unorganized house! Rats and Drats!

So much to take photo's of:
*Kids going to school

*New clay freshly pugged

*Disaster in the studio from the scraped paint that is going on , on the outside of my house but coming in my studio since its only screened in!

*Disaster in my kiln shed ( I did that...)

*Happy clean studio! Joey helped me with all the paint and dust and general untidiness that happens before a show.

*Our newly painted house...well...almost done...workers still here.

*New pots I didn't photograph at show.

*Show photo's!

*.....the look of frustration on my face Knowing I can not find my camera for my blog!!

I can't wait to finally throw tonight and get off the computer!


missing my blog

I have been consumed by my Art 101 class and it is kicking my "hinny"! ( Your vocabulary tends to change when you have little ones!)
Since this is an online course I'm teaching and it started this week I have been overloaded with questions from my students. I fear that if this goes on, I may be growing cob-webs in on my blog site! Hopefully this is just the first frenzy of the beginning of school. Lets hope!
Tomorrow I have a full day to myself. School starts for my little ones and its the first time I will have basically 9 - 2 to myself. Its a little bitter sweet because I feel like the girls have grown up faster than I had planned. Since Quaid was a "singleton", (that's multiple-mother talk for a child that is not a twin or triplet) I naturally spent more one on one time with him when he was little. He also tends to still be attached to me even though he is going on 8 now. Literally some days he hangs onto my leg in jest when I have to go do something. Talk about a Mama's boy! He asks me all time if I would just home school him so he can stay home with me. ( He also tends to wear me out quit quickly because he has ADD and likes to talk ALOT!) Anyways, I'm sure tomorrow I will be a little teary-eyed when my two little matching kindergartners go into to school. They are a funny pair and everyone knows them when they walk into school because they are very bouncy. Ok..enough about my kids...
I do plan to spend the day cleaning my studio and getting ready for the next batch of shows coming up.
I need to clean because I can't seem to find my camera anywhere!( Its most likely lost here on the desk under all my Art History notes!)
Stay tuned....



Short little Hello.
We're back from our adventures in the mountains. It was so good to spend the day together and most of all sell lots of pots. Wow was it a banner day for me. Thanks to anyone who came out and got some Jen Mecca pots!
I was so busy from the get go that I didn't get a whole lot of photo's. My new flowers blocks sold out in the first hour so I only got a photo of one! Wow....hot items are always good.
I'll check in with more news and maybe a few photo's this evening. Off to clean and rally the troops!


Show on The Horizon

Ok...I've been bad about checking in this week. I have a feeling this fall my be that way so bare with me. Tomorrow I'll be getting packed up for Arts In the Park again. Another Blowing Rock trip. This time my better half gets to come along which I LOVE! We get so few moments to just be with each other that I really love having him with me at a show. I'm not really sure if he would agree that its the best alone time. But I think he enjoys the crowd at Blowing Rock and getting out of the house is always a good thing.

I have taken a few photo's this week of pots in progress. Here are a few things out of the bisque waiting to be glazed. I'll get some finished shots for you as well!
Bottles, mugs and platters
Teapots, Small covered dishes, platters
New smaller flower-blocks


Grave yard clay

Last weekend I fired the chuck of clay that my neighbor Bo got out of our local grave yard. I went ahead a put it in an already bisque pot and fired it along with my cone 7 batch of pots. It came out not being totally vitrified and almost felt like a insulating fire brick. Its a wonderful peach color, and has many chips of quarts in it. I would be curious to see what would happen if I took it up to cone 9. I may test a little piece of it in our gas kiln at work.

Very busy week. I'm getting ready for Blowing Rock, School starting, we have painters here prepping the house for a full "re-do" and KIDS. So...sorry I haven't been checking in. I have read many informative posts on many other people's blog this week about "cleaning up" your blog page and getting your own domain name. If you haven't gone to Emily Murphy site lately, you should. I think I'll start out with baby steps and focus on getting an Etsy site this year.


Standing Up

I had a request the other day to post a little bit about throwing standing up. This is a great topic for those of you who still sit down to throw and most likely are having some aches and pains doing so.
I can not really recall who I must of encountered throwing standing up but I do recall that I started my first year of grad school. While sitting down I was having a lot of pain in my tail bone, which has totally gone away since then. For years I would throw standing up facing exactly the same way most people do sitting down behind a Brent. I do recall having some trouble being able to pull tall forms at this angle, but I can't be certain about that since we all know that making tall forms comes with time. I do know that it did take awhile to figure out that centering the normal way of just forcing a lump of clay into a disc form was a bit more challenging. I think the reason is that if you can not press your elbows into your knees, you are forced to use just the strength of your form arm. Soon after the start of my first semester one of our instructors did a demo on throwing large amounts of clay. His method of centering involved pounding the clay into the middle of the wheel head and then coning up. This method worked for me standing up because I could rely on my entire arm strength to just push the clay to the middle of the wheel and not have to brace my arms for centering a large clump.

In the fall of 2000 when I was pregnant with Quaid I found I could not get close enough to my wheel head due to my growing belly so I moved to the side of the wheel. Since then I have been throwing "side saddle" and have not changed back. I find I can get closer to the wheel head and I have more room to switch my feet back and forth on the pedal so my legs don't get tired.

As you can see in this photo my wheel is up on one cinder block and steadied by a piece of wood. I have had people tell me they have two cinder blocks stacked on top of each other horizontally and I'm sure this works great as well. As far as height goes, you have to find what is comfortable for you. You can adjust your posts on most models or add boards if your really tall. I am happy to report that I don't feel like I have any hip or lower back issues anymore. I can at times have some pain in my left shoulder blade if I'm pulling a lot of tall cylinders in one night. I try not to throw for long periods at a time so I am moving around a lot while I work.

I hope this information was helpful! Thanks for the topic idea!


Drawing, Sketch Book & Thurseday

Today I finished up my summer class at Clay Works. I had such a nice bunch of ladies. It was a pleasure getting in my car every Thursday morning with my ice coffee and enjoying the sunny drive to teach. I'm so much more clear headed in the morning than at night. I think it use to be the other way around a few years ago. What's up with that??? I enjoy answering all their questions and trying to solve "glaze mysteries"with them. What makes teaching fun for me is having fun, interesting and eager students that want to learn as much as I do.

So speaking of teaching......I also have enjoyed looking and reading up on all the art history I had to learned years ago. The book I'm using for my course has this whole great chapter on digital art and cinema. I can not remember these topics ever being taught in my classes. I found this page in the chapter about drawing especially interesting because here are some sketches from the film maker Guillermo del Toro, who directed Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth. Here in his sketch book you can see the beginnings of a monster he used in Pan's Labyrinth that I believe didn't have eyes. ( I may be wrong about this because I don't watch movies like this but my better half LOVES stuff like this so I'll see if he comments on this blog entry if I"m right or wrong about the monster guy.)

Anyways, seeing his sketch book reminded me that I needed to go get a new one. My sketch book from Christmas sadly got lost at the NC potters conference and I never got it back. (Someone out there has some good glaze recipes that I had copied in there.) With the start of school in two weeks I wanted to be prepared for my long wait in the car-pool line and my a trusty sketch book at hand to pass the time.


Avery Pottery/Tile works

My good friends Blaine and Laura Avery have their blog up and going now also. I love that everyone is catching the "blog-bug". In the last year or so they have been working on their new studio and gallery. I saw it back in the spring and boy has it changed a lot and looks great! They are two great folks and do wonderful work. If you get down to the Seagrove area you need to stop by and visit them. Take a look at there blog site! Jen


Your have to Click and Listen

Its late and I am suppose to be making up more test for my class.I had such a hard night making anything in my studio this evening...boy I hate times like that. So here I am and instead of doing test stuff I"m here checking in with all the pottery blogs I love to read. Its funny how I kind of surf from comment, to post, back to new blog and so on. I really have no rhyme or reason to who's blog I read first from day to day.

At any rate. I was looking at JFB Times and he had copied this very cool tape from Emily Murphy's blog ( otherwise known as The Pottery Blog) which was Ira Glass from This American Life and he was is talking about being creative. It is an awesome short clip that you have to watch! Like Jeff says on his blog, it says it all. Ira Glass is great!!! Thanks guys for sharing that with us on your blog.
Now all of you who have not found these two blog entries....click and listen. Its so true!



I've never really been one to make many bottles. I'll demo them for students but for some reason its never been on my list of things to make for shows and what not. I don't know why...bottles are pretty cool!

Many potters make bottles so maybe I've just always wanted to be a bit different and focus on sets and things like that. The more I make pots the more I start leaning back towards traditional forms; which really I've never done with my group of work. I think after watching the Matt Long video about whiskey bottles and such, I've had a new appreciation for the simplicity of the bottle form. Last month I made a bunch of little bud-vases that mimicked the form you see below. This weekend I decided to try some really big bottles for my next Blowing Rock show in a few weeks. Here is the form alone and with handles. Today I did my surface treatment and later this week I thought I'd show you how it looked before going into the bisque kiln. I love putting lug handles on the sides of things like this. They always look like a women yelling..

" Geeeooorrrgeee..where are you? GEEEOOORRGGE...come here!"

On a family note, the weekend was spent looking for a new used car.
Vaaooommmm...honk, honk!

Joey and I also got to go on date..dinner and the Batman movie. I loved even though the clown stuff kind of freaked me out.
Batman rocks. He has so many cool toys!