No Fancy Handles

I got back in the studio tonight to stain some of my pieces in preparation for a bisque kiln. Here are some mugs that are getting ready for some incising and sprig work. I went back to my basic pulled handle. No upside down ones this time. I have to say all the mugs I have made with an upside down handle seem to sell really fast so we'll have to see how these tried and true one's do for me next weekend.

Here are some plates getting ready for the stain to be sponged off.

My good friend Scott Smith found me the female Flash. She's quit something. Maybe if I keep up the rate I'm going with working I'll end up with a "bod" like this! ( Well....most likely not). Wouldn't we all look so silly if everyone did have a super-hero's body? They all have either squared off heads, huge heads or smaller than normal size heads.

I'll leave you with those thoughts to ponder!

Lark and Key

If your in the Charlotte area, The Circle of Eight will have a show at

Lark and Key in the No-Dah section of Charlotte. Our opening is 6-9 this Friday night! I got all my pots wrapped up and sent yesterday and I think ( hopefully) I put together a good grouping of stuff.

I did take some photo's this morning to show that I do have some pots in progress. I'm having issues with my camera so...............
Boy I hope I've been good this year so Santa will get me a new camera! He may be bailing out Wall Street so who knows. Doesn't the whole economy, election and gas crisis make you want bite your nails all day? My husband and I last night were talking about how we both have such an anxious feeling all the time, sort of like when 9-11 happened. I've been listening to NPR none stop these last few days and I swear its like a horror movie that you just can not keep your eye's off of.

Hope your part of the world feels a bit more calm. Peace!


12 Lashing with a wet noodle!

Ok....I'm feeling so guilty about my blog! The end of last week was spent making up tests for my Art History class and only doing a little bit in the studio .YIKES! Today in Sunday and I'm getting ready to head out for a whole day of throwing while Joey is busy watching The Panthers play and the kids are occupied with a friend. AHHHHHHH.....escape!
Yesterday we took a quick day visit up to Raleigh to meet Joey's uncle Peter from London England. The kids loved his accent and Joey enjoyed visiting with him and his family for the day. Since Joey is the only boy in his family I enjoy visiting with his three sisters because they always have great stories about growing up with him. They love to tell me how much our son is just like Joey when I tell them the adventures I have with Quaid. We both are very lucky we have such tight knit families.

Ok....off to make pots for some upcoming show with the Charlotte clay Guild and Vicki Gils Fall Open House sale. I also have to throw in there a host of galleries orders. Good grief, I need to be "The Flash" these next few weeks!


Salt shakers

My new group of students asked me at the beginning of this session to bring in my salt and peppers sets and talk about them a little bit. I have to admit, this was fun. I love to make sets and talk about why I think I enjoy making them so much. The great thing about teaching is that you learn a lot about your thought process because you have to explain what your doing a lot. As I was out for my walk that morning I was thinking of all the cool and creative salt sets you could come up with. To me, it seems like the possibilities are endless. This session we are going to come up with some sets and I gave them the option of either doing something creative or just totally functional. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with. I showed them a new idea for some houses that sort of came out of a box and teapot I did this summer. I can't wait to see if my idea is as good as it looks on paper.

Here are some of the sets I just finished for the Circle show. ( Wow, that's a lot of aqua!)I need to save one of these to get a photo of . Stay tuned for some images from the Salt and Pepper show that I'm in at Cedar Creek the first of October.


Quick hello!

I was just thinking today how much I am really enjoying being home in the peace and quite of my house/studio. I feel like I have been able to get so much done these last few weeks and I feel more relaxed about things. When I pick up the kids at school I look forward to spending time with them when I get home and I don't fret anymore about what I should be doing because I have gotten most of it done while they are at school. Its been a great start to the school year!
I'm back throwing this week. I was actually amazed at myself for getting back working on Sunday night. Normally I feel like I have to take a week off from the studio just to play catch-up on my MOM duties. This time it has been different!
Tomorrow I'll post some close-up shots of my salt and pepper sets. We talked a lot about them in class last night.
Have a good one!


Lights, camera...show!

I think this was the first day after a show that I was not totally whipped out. I have no idea how that happened because I still feel like I worked to hard to get everything made and done in time! We had such a great day yesterday for the sale that I guess it made all the stress that usually stays with me, go away. Having some good laughs with my friends and all the great folks the came out always helps as well.

Here are few photo's of our new set-up. Ron, Julie and Amy got this idea from the big sale they all have attended in Minnesota. It was nice not having to deal with my tent and the other big set-up that I have. We got a lot a great feed-back on the way the new set-up looked so I have to thank Ron for putting it all together for us. Thanks Mr. Philbeck! Here are photo of Ron with a mug made by fellow blogger Doug Fitch .

Here's a shot of my set-up. Look at those pink roses I got for $4 bucks yesterday morning!

Here is Julie's table. She did a smart thing and made a little dinnerware set-up for her table. The red was a nice accent for her yellow celadon.

Here is Amy's set-up. She spent most of the day going in and out of the house with little Guthrie. Watching her and Brain care for him all day really brought back memories of how different life is with a baby. She still did an awesome job of making some great pots before the show. My Hero!


Such a small Pottery world

I met a women by the name of Ann Lindel the last time I was at the Conference at Arrowmont. She happened to know my friend Amy Evans. This time while I was sitting down for breakfast the second day of the conference and we had just gotten our cup from the cup exchange, Ann sat down with my cup in hand. I of course knew my cup and was happy that I recognized the person who had gotten it. Even more funny is that Ann said she reads my blog and I found out today that she has one as well. Better than that.... I was told that a photo of my cup came up during a demo that Ayumi Horie did and sure enough, if you click on Ann Lindel's blog, you will see my cup. To cool! If your out there Ann, thanks! The world just circles around and around and it amazes me how one way or another we all have some sort of connection. Boy if you stop to think about that it can really get mind blowing!
( Guess I'd rather think of that rather than what is happening in the world markets these last few days....that has also been mind blowing but not in a good way...YIKES!)


Back in Business

Quaid found my camera today and got a $2 reward for it!! He was thrilled and so was I!

I'll get snapping some photo's soon because my kiln is cooling this evening. Lets hope for some great pots!

Busy week catching up on stuff with my Art History students, the house, the kids and getting ready for our fall Circle of Eight show. Did I mention that my good friend Brad Tucker will be our quest this time! Brad makes some of the nicest functional pots I've ever seen!

If your in the area please stop by and say Hi!

Ron is making some Peach Tea for the occasion!


A few more thoughts

Monday nights for me means class time. I told everyone all about my adventures at the conference and brought a poster to show them all the work in the show.

Everything has still been fresh in my mind. I even did a demo on a dry thrown plate that Ayumi Horie demonstrated. Today was a great day in my studio and I got so much done for our up coming show this weekend.

Conference Thoughts/Observations.

I wanted to report from the conference some overwhelming themes that came to mind while I was dashing in and out of the demo's. Lots of talk was given to the web and how its really hot right now in selling and promoting one's work. The next theme and how we all need to go green with our work ( boy, that is a big one!) and third, what I would like to talk about today is just my own quiet observation that I know I've said before - likeness of ones work to there personality.

I'm always intrigued how most potters fit the pots they make. I really enjoy seeing the person behind a pot that I love. I guess the majority of the buying public feels the same way. For this reason alone, those people that have galleries or store fronts at their home I think must do pretty well. People enjoy interacting with the person who has made the object they want to use or have in their home.

Here are some examples of people's work who where presenters at the conference that I had never met before. Once I listened to them speak or saw what they finally looked like, the connection between the object and the artist became clear to me.

Victoria Christan's pots are colorful and fun and so animated. A few minutes listening to Victoria and she had me smiling and feeling easy about being in the same room with her. Very bouncy and colorful. She also fires these in a salt kiln at Cone 6, which I would like to do with my work.

Ursala Hargens work is also fun, colorful with a bit of seriousness in form but quirky at first glaze. I could really connect to Ursala because she is a mom with young children getting ready to move her studio home because her family needs her. I could tell when she spoke of this issue that it tore at her and I felt so connected to her feelings. The good news about this was I think there are many more females today trying to make pots and be a mom/wife, so I'm curious to hear more stories about making this work.

Lorna Meaden spoke about how people always come tell her that her pots remind them of Alice in Wonderland or that they are cute. She really didn't like this compliment and was hilarious when she spoke about this. I too always have people tell me this about my work but I guess I don't take it in a bad way if they enjoy the work. I think I've learned that the source of a comment matters to you, not the comment. I'm sure if one of my instructors years ago said my work had been Cute, I would of gone off in a corner to cry. Since customers tell me this I just feel good that they want my piece in there home. I really enjoyed Leana demo's as well because she was very Witty and I could see this in her pieces.

I'm going to have to stop there for the day. I have pieces of my own to finish and look like something out of a Disney cartoon.

PS....yes, yes I hate to admit it but I can not find my camera anywhere, so I'm covering up by posting already posted photo's from the web. AH!!! Very fustrating.

If you want to see some great photo's from the conferance go to Tracy Broomes blog, she has some great ones.


Utilitarian V ( report)

I came home a day early from being up in Gatlinburg at the Utilitarian Clay Conference. Tonight I'm sure the beer is flowing and everyone is dancing and having a good time.

I took three days off from my usual to get re-energized and educated in a few new things. I always go to workshops these days with the attitude that I need to learn some new "tricks" for my students ; not necessarily for my own work. Years ago I would seek out people that I wanted to emulate and now I think I'm at a place where I want my own voice so bad, that I try really hard not to do this. In all honestly I think it does still slip in here and there and from what Pete Pennell lectured about in the evenings, it always will seep in. But that is a whole different topic that I'm not sure I want to take on.

Tonight I thought I just say a few things about how I personally felt driving back and thinking about what I saw and heard these last few days. Maybe during the week I can kind of break down my other observations on what I saw.

In a nut shell, the longer I'm in this field the more I realize I just need a few days of talking about nothing but clay to give me a real boost for a good year or so. I feel so re-energized and focused on goals and taking small steps with my work one day at a time. Slow and Steady is what I always tell my very shy daughter every morning when she timidly goes into school unsure of herself. This motto rings true for me also; Slow and Steady..just keep plugging' along. In the past situations like these where there are so many big names and lots of networking, I only felt lacking in confidence with my work. This time I realised that I feel pretty alright with where I am even if that next kiln load brings does not bring the prospect of better pots than the last. Kind of deep stuff to talk about but being immersed in something always brings deep thoughts to topics.

(Ok...enough deepness...back to surperficial fun stuff!)

On a lighter note, if they gave out a badge this week for the most antsy person, I'm sure I would of won. I must of jumped around from demo to demo more than anyone else there. I kind of felt like the fly on a wall that couldn't stay still to swat! I swear our house must be the poster family for ADD.

............I'll think I'll end there tonight.


I'm in the Weeds!~

(If you've ever waited tables, you know what this means.)
Yesterday we got back from some fun in the sun with the kids and I ran off to teach my first class of the fall session at Clayworks. Today I had to grade tests for my online students, work in my studio, get my family organized for my departure tomorrow and .....I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed but its ok, I know it will all turn out fine in the end. ( I have a big hunk of wood sitting next to me!!)
I'm excited to be going to the Utilitarian Clay Conference for a few days. I hate to say that I"m going to be cutting my trip a day short to come back and make more stuff for our Circle of Eight sale next weekend.
I still have yet to locate my camera but my mom is nice enough to let me take hers so I'll get some good shots to bring back and share.
I'm out of here!


6 Random things...........

So Ron Philbeck tagged me last week as well as Judy Shreve so I here I am playing along! The game is 6 random things about me .
I'm wondering if anyone is left to tag?

Here are the rules of the game:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog. (this is what you're now reading.)
3. Write 6 random things about yourself (see below).
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them. (This is only a game.)
5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

And here are six random things about me:

1. I have to have an ice cube in the bowl when I eat cereal. I don't like warm milk!

2. I had the opening for my thesis show on September 15th, 1999. On September 16th, hurricane Floyd hit Eastern NC and my entire show was UNDER water!

3. I married a guy who was wearing a skirt.

4. I repeated 2nd grade.

5. I have three college degree's.

6.I spent many Saturdays at the Moose wood restaurant in Ithaca New York.( IE. Run by the people who are famous for "The Moose wood" cookbook.)I grew up on a lot of carob as a child.Who invented that stuff anyways?

So, who hasn't been tagged yet??? I'm coming to get cha'!

End of the work-week check in.

Aren't Fridays the best day!
Today the weather was warm but crisp on my walk and it just put me in the best mood! As I was hoofin' it around our neighborhood I noticed tons of different kinds of mushrooms and it took me back to one of my visits to Penland. I think I was taking a jewelry class at the time and there was a guy in the wood class ( I think ) that was an expert of "mushrooms". ( Yes, you can laugh.) I recall one day he was going to take a group of people on a mushroom hunt through the woods to find some varieties your could eat and then he was going to cook them up that night! Only at Penland.

Onto pots! Here are a few shots of salt and pepper shakers in various stages. At the moment they are in the kiln and I'm onto making another kind of set so I'll have two to choose from. I was working on the trays this morning and .....can't find my camera again. SORRY, I'll keep looking tonight.

We are off to the coast tomorrow for our first family vacation of 2008. Joey has been planning this beach trip for awhile and even though Hanna is about to hit, we plan on going after it clears somewhat. We both are old masters with hurricanes. If I can get the time to do "6 random things about myself", (that is being pasts around the pottery blogs,) one of those things will be about a hurricane. I'm a bit antsy about leaving my studio for three days but I learned last year that I need to balance everything so off we go. Next week I'll be in Gatlinburg at the Utilitarian Conference V. I can't wait!


Back to Jen Mecca pots!

Hi Everyone, just a quick hello...a check-in if you will. As all the teapot posts where going on, I was working on pots for The Circle of Eight fall show that is coming up in a few weekends. Ya-hoo!

My wrists have been killing me the last few days because I took on some very stiff clay out of the bag and than decided that I really needed to pug it all. ( Side note......... even though I do not have the time and I should be able to use moist clay out of the bag that I just spent a lot of $$$ on.......) but...who's complaining. ( ....well, my wrists are as you know, any other time I love to visit my pug-mill !)
Anywho.....here are just a few shots for you. I'll get some more up soon. Lately I've been starting my new batch of pots for kiln loads by working large to small. Big bowls and platters started this new round of pots. I hate to say but the clay I used ( slop clay that was pugged) did not like my drying method so I lost some of the platters last week.

Below is how I normally dry platters so the rims don't get crispy while the middle stays dry. Still this way did not help the issue of my recycled clay that had just a bit to much silica from the bottom of my buckets mixed in.
I'll keep up the posting!