Excuse the Photography

I really wanted so much to post some great shots of my pots that just came out of the kiln the other day....really I did. One problem was that I was in a hurry to pack them up and drive them to the Gaston Day Art Gala that is going on this weekend and number two....the photo's I did take where just...bad. Fuzzy, out of focus, glares, shadows; I just give up( this is my husbands favorite line when he can't get our children to bed at night.)

But, I figure one bad photo is better than none at all when explaining what I've been working on. So... here is my cookie jar. You'll see the Chartreuse sprigs on it and these are the color clay I've been experimenting with. I made up a chartreuse batch along with a sort of orange peach color and it seems that on some of the finials, it looks kind of burned. I guess I have to ask myself if there if to much mason stain in the clay body or is the mason stain I'm using not enjoying being a body stain. I've often cautioned my students with the use of stains and weather you can put them in a glaze or not. I've seen mason stains that are to be used in only a clay body bubble up when added to a liquid base. I guess I didn't take my own advise and I need to consult my chart. ( I love my mason stain chart!)

We had a very busy weekend and this week will be the same. This weekend is also the Clay work Spring sale. If your out and about in Charlotte please come by and see what the students have been up to!


Late Saturday night

Quick post just to say "hi".
I'm currently waxing and glazing pots for a kiln load to fire tomorrow. I have two shows next weekend so I'm trying to get a head a bit. I found this week to be very long. I had a lot of drama with my online course that I had to deal with and I guess the rain for four days here just dragged on and on. I do hope my flowers look wonderful in a few weeks.

I got some disappointing news the other day. It seems the ACC organization decided to close two of there shows. One was the November show here in Charlotte that I was going to do for the first time. I've had a few folks tell me that the kind of think it is a blessing in disguise because the show has not done so well in recent years. All in all I was a bit excited to do a show this big. I guess I'll throw my hat into some other venue's and see what happens.

We took the kids to see Monster vs. Aliens today. It was pretty funny. The guy below was my favorite character. OH....FLAGNOG!


Color Chart #2

I've been traveling around with my Grumbacher color chart in the car and its also been sitting here next to the computer while I've been grading papers and such. This chart is so fun and I've forgotten how mesmerising color can be. When I taught design class at ECU one of my favorite projects to do with the students used this chart, a pattern and some great paper called "color aid". You could get every shade of any color in this stuff. My kids would go crazy if I still had some of this stuff! Quaid has enjoyed playing with this chart in the car on the way home from school. I"m happy to know his art teacher, whom I love is teaching all kind of color theory to all her students!
I guess I should say that I'm trying to find more accent colors to use on various parts of my pots. Finials, birds, flowers, handles..ect. are the focus. Last year I started in introduce a little red on my pieces but I've found that I really don't enjoy this combination with my Amber or Green glaze so the aqua that I use is the only one that is getting this added treatment. At the moment I'm focusing on a compliment for my amber glaze. What shade of blue or purplish blue should I go for. And should I even add blue back into my glaze palette. Boy does blue get such a bad rap in the pottery community although I think it is making a comeback.

Bright vivid colors are so alluring to me -happy, crazy, child-like and fun. Since this applies to me I really would love to bring this into my work more. But with that said, I think adding lots of different colors to your work is so hard. Especially if your pots have so much going on. Many,many things to consider. I wonder if I'm up to this challenge and have the time to explore this more. For the time being, what time I have.. I'm going to do some tests, slowly, maybe experiment with some commercial glazes and keep checking in with my pottery buddies for their input about this and my work. It is such a great thing to have good friends and folks near by that I can say "Hey...how awful is this? What do think? What should I do...ect."
Today I'm finishing up a special order for some bottles. I'm adding a bit more colored clay to these. I have the chartreuse and now I've added some saturn orange to the mix. Small steps......


The Happiest Blog

I found a new blog a few weeks ago that I look at every once in awhile when I want to smile. It is by Elsa Mora and there are so many adjective to describe her work that I don't know where to start!
Happy, delicate, delightful, fun, playful, colorful, unique, whimsical, enchanting, light, refreshing, childish, haunting, feminine...........
And I could go on. Come to think of it, I would like my work to reflect some of these qualities......words to think about for me.
If you want to smile, click and Elsa's name above and have fun exploring.


Salt pots and Such

I went to visit Ron the other day and I got to pick up my pots that he fired for me in the salt kiln. You all may remember that in January I took a little break from Porcelain and decided to throw some white stoneware I had in my barn for awhile. I dipped them in Tile 6 for a slip and then used just a simple black glaze and a yellow glaze for the inside of the pots. You'll see that the yellow did not turn out the way I thought it would but it was my own fault for not testing it. ( And of course I know not to do this but....I was just playing around so I went on a whim.)

So..here are some of the pots. I think I have also said before that I'm planning to play with the surface a bit more. I'm not really sure what I'll do but I know they will go into the electric kiln for a few firings and they will have color on them. ( No way I keep anything simple!) Next week I think I'll get to all this.

This weekend I spent a lot time in the studio making flower blocks, platters and bowls for an up coming show next weekend. This Thursday I'll be firing a glaze kiln.

I'm going to get back to my thoughts about the color wheel soon as well. Ron and I have been having lots of conversations about surface and color lately. Now I can truly say that I think glazing is the hardest thing to do when it comes to making a pot. So many options to choose from and so many things to flub up. I am happy with my pots from the electric kiln which has taken me a long time to except. I'm sure all my insecurities about using an electric kiln come from the educated background I have. When I was in school it was not cool to put work in a electric kiln. Everything was about atmosphere! Boy how things come full circle. In my view I see so many great pots coming out of electric kiln that I'm sure it has caused me to hold off on hooking up my salt kiln even more! I think everything comes full circle. Boy all of you who fire just gas, your time should be next!



Just a short snip-it from me. This morning I spent getting more training for a new format I'm going to have learn and use for my Art History course. Wow...mind blowing. Today was also the start of soccer season. I did get out to the studio this evening and this weekend will be nothing but throw, throw , throw!

I've been having a little fun with an old friend of mine of our facebook page. We are sending each other song lyrics and we have to guess what it is from the 70's or 80's. I've enjoyed digging back in my memory for some good one's.

Boy...when I was in High School I must of listened to this sound track( Purple Rain) a million times while dancing around the house.

Enjoy some Morris Day....every needs a little party music on Friday night!



Death of a mug-Thurseday

Very unhappy morning. I went to put my morning buzz in the "selection" of the day..mug wise, and when I turned around, the coffee was leaking everywhere. My Marty Fielding mug finally kicked the dirt after about 8 years of serving our family well. So sad when you have to euthanize such a wonderful pot. In same ways its easy when it gets knocked off the table and tumbles into a million pieces. I guess at some point, hopefully I'll catch up with Marty again and get another one.
Here are few things I took some shots of this morning. These are jam jars. I plan on having a tray for them and maybe even some little spoons if I can work that out. I have such a hard time trying to come up with clever tray ideas. We'll see what comes out of my brain.

Below is a cookie jar. I had a great talk with my fellow Circle buddies about colors on Tuesday. I have beefed up my colored clay idea. You can see some of that in the sprigs I have on here.

Happy Thursday to everyone! Got to run..........


Color Wheel

I don't think there has ever been a time when I haven't had tons of color on my pots. I know back when I was in school, sometimes I felt like the only one not doing wood fired, earthy tones. I constantly questioned this decision whenever I sat in Critiques with my fellow students and all the professors went on and on about the flame color on the pots. I also have always gone back and forth with the "more, more, more" decorative issue on my pots. I've often looked at John Glicks works and wondered how he can get so much information on one pot and make it work so well. I find this to be very hard and I know sit again struggling with the thoughts of color, line, form and surface when I think about my pots.

You'll see in the last post that some of my pots have more than just the red accent on them. I am now introducing some chartreuse and I would even like to bring some yellow into the mix. The trick here is getting the right red, with the right aqua and glaze colors that I have for my palette.

Today I turned to the good old color wheel for some help. I have taught color theory in the past but many years ago and know I think I need to re-visit my monochromatic, analogous and complementary colors to see where to go from here. Possibly some new glaze colors??? My resident"critic" that I live with had some feelings about my accent colors last night. I thought maybe I needed to bring in some more experts on the issue, so today I'm going to meet with some of my pottery buddies to pick their brains. We'll see if I can come up with some solutions.


Monday...I am Here!

I just sat down for a little lunch and my usual computer "check " time. If you ever want to find me around 12:30 or so, here I am sitting and checking on my students and finding out what everyone is up to on the world wide web.

Joey last night made some wonderful minestrone soup. Here I am with a big bowl of it. ( Note..the is a Ronan Peterson bowl..which I love!) That hubby of mind, he's great. If you want the recipe just put some shout-outs on the blog and maybe we can sweet talk him into a post about the soup. It is sooooo good!

So, I did unload my kiln on Friday and I had a few gems and some re fires and a few flops..literally. My compote's decided to lean a bit in the kiln so I need to figure out if it was the height of all the levels I put together or my clay body. Oh..that clay body issue. I keep telling myself I really don't have time to deal with it, but it seems to be catching up with me. I'm at the point in my career where I can make almost everything I try to throw but if my clay body is not doing what I want it to , than I just go to the next shape. This is isn't good..I know.

Anyways, I'm plugging along in my studio this week. Today I made some cookie jars, platters and I'm still making companions for my various pots who are missing there "loved ones".

Time to sign off and hop in the car for errands and kid pick-up. I sent everyone out with a hug and kiss this morning after a week of Spring Break. They where happy to go to school and I was happy to have some quiet. A few hours away from them and I'm ready to see there little bouncy bodies and happy faces.
Fancy big mugs! Maybe some Irish coffee?My boxes. I'm always so happy when my boxes come out of the kiln because they take so long to make.

I made three set's of bottles. These are my favorite. ( There is third one way behind here) Sorry for the glare. I'm starting to use some colored clay for my springs! Behind the bottles are some egg cups that also came out well.


Trying to keep "cool"

So the kids have been on Spring Break all week. I of course planned a few weeks ago to just "take the week off" but really, that's impossible to do when you still have clay classes going on, Art History folks on line asking me questions and pots...looming over my head. I did manage a few days of adventure, play and fun for the kids but today, I needed to glaze.

This is where my story should start but really I guess since after starting my glaze day at 10 am and finishing finally at 4:30, I should just be thankful I got it done. On normal days, I can glaze a whole kiln of pots in about 3 1/2 hours. As you can see, today it took me 6 1/2 and it wasn't even a full kiln load of work! I have to pat myself on the back and say through all the interruptions, people in and out, arguments I had to settle, food I needed to get, various "screens" I needed to turn on or off..........I was proud of myself for keeping my cool. Towards the end the I managed to talk the kids into about 2 hours of just playing outdoors.
The girls brought out their Littlest Pet-Shop crew and Quaid played nicely with them by building homes, rivers and forts for them all. If I had more memory on my camera I would of taken shots of all the "huts" they built because they where pretty cool!

.....Pray that I washed all my lids well, cleaned all the bottoms well and loaded the kiln right after switching on and off my brain all day today. I should be use to this on and off life I lead but every now and than, it catches me off guard.


Pecan Day

The kids and I took 1/4 of our pecan load down to Wilson's feed store today. Quaid loves this old machine so I let him take the photo's today. My two glaze bucket loads weighed 54lbs ! We have four more buckets to bring down there but I only have my mom's freezer and ours to house them all so I think I'm going to have to make a few trips this year to get them all shelled.
The rest of the day was spent teaching in Charlotte. Tomorrow I'm taking the kids to the zoo and then in the evening I will start glazing for my show coming up at Buffalo Creek Gallery.
I'll have to get back to those covered jars maybe this weekend.


Covered Jar Slump

I had a student ask me a few weeks ago to make an Urn for her mother. She requested one sort of like the one below. I have made these sort of covered pots for about two years now. I started to throw some of these this week and got very bored by the form.

I found myself looking at other lidded forms and wanting something different. Oh..its hard when you have a mind that can not stay on task and always has a need to wonder. I guess its sort of like that saying when someone is cheating on another....he/she has a "wondering eye".

So, I've been spinning my wheels these last few days and nights in the studio. I have managed to move ahead on getting some pots bisqued, but when it come to making stuff its been ruff. I have a tendency to give up when I've hit some sort of "potters slump" ( get it...writers slump..potters slump..haha). This evening I started on some relish jars. These too are covered jars and I am creating a new form with these as well but they seem safe to me rather than a big 6 pound mound of clay that has to have a lid and sit on a shelf.
Round and round and round the mind spins..where its going to stop
no-one knows........

I'll keep you posted!



On Friday the kids and I took a trip to Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in Belmont Nc. I was surprised that this was the first day trip the kids wanted to take on the start of their Spring Break vacation.I guess the fact it was in the upper 60's and the allure of running through some fountains sealed the deal.

Last year The Botanical Gardens opened up an Orchid house that I had yet to see. It was truly amazing and the kids and I took lots of photo's of our favorite flowers. Here are just a few.

After viewing all these plants I sort of can see a similarity between some the flowers I do on my pots and this breed of flower. I think it would be a great idea some days for me to just go out there and sketch a wide variety of the orchids they have there.


Horn Tooting!

I'm not sure if Amy had posted this or not yet so I'm going to toot her horn for her!
My good buddy Amy Sanders is on the cover and between the pages of Pottery Making Illustrated. I know our whole crew with the Circle of Eight are so proud of her. Amy is such a great potter and a real nice/funny person to be around. This accomplish for her brings a smile to my face. Way to go Amy!

On my own front, I got featured in a local magazine here in my little neck of the woods called Lake Whylie Living. Here is just a snip-it of the article they did on local artists. ( Boy...life would be good if you could pick your own photo's for things like this!) There is a page two, but I'll just leave that one off the blog for now. It was nice article about how I juggle work and family, which all of you who support and read my blog now already. Overall it is an honor when someone wants to meet you and write something about what you do.Hopefully it will bring some business my way as well.

In the studio this week I'm "cleaning house" sort of. Those pieces that are missing their "mates" are being attempted this week. Teapots without cups, sugar bowls with out creamers...ect. Those kind of pots always seem so lonely sitting there on my shelf! I'm also working on some covered jars. Next week a show comes down and another one goes up. More on that to come.


Weather Delays

As everyone in the North/South east, we too got snow last night. It was great! The kids and I had fun today and I did manage to get a little bit done. I even added some more names to my blog list! Ye-Ha! This evening I even braved the cold in my studio and trimmed some things. Today I revamped some Art History tests and assignments so I guess it was a sort of successful day with a little fun thrown in.
Tomorrow school is closed again because they fear black-ice around here. This sort of puts a bit of a cramp in my day since I have to teach tomorrow and I had also planned on getting some much needed clay at our local vendor here in Charlotte. One must always be flexible in the world of motherhood! Time to give old Marilyn and Tom a call for some free babysitting tomorrow.....my parents are the best!


March Comes In Like a Lion

( Its that the old saying?)

This weekend in my neck of the woods the weather has been just cold, rainy, gloomy and yuk. The bottom part of the yard looked like this below. Lots of flooding..today its worse. (I found out this weekend that the house next door which has caused this issue in our yard, just went into foreclosure. Kind of sad and gloomy - fitting for the weather this weekend.) My studio was... well cold, but I managed to heat it up and worked in it this weekend. Tonight I plan on being out there some more. Joey and I enjoyed a movie together last night. We watched "W", which was mildly entertaining. The children spent the weekend being entertained by the two of us with various activities and this evening they are hoping for snow, which the weather man in calling for. We fear that we will just get a lot of ice. Boy...such a gloomy weekend report!!!
On to pots!
Here is one of the compotes I've been working on. I ran out and bought a much needed level the other day. These can lean and I realised last week that I need to invest a bit in my tools for various challenges I have sometimes with things like this. I'm forging on with cups, bowls and odds and ends until I can get down to the Carolina Clay , pay off my bill and invest in more "fresh" porcelain. I think I have recycled my clay to the limit. We got our tax money back so this is the time of year we stock up on things, get the house and cars fixed up and pay on things. I think I can say I'm honestly ready for spring.

Last but not least, here are all the pecans I still need to take to the "nut cracking place" down in a small town about half and hour away called Lowry's. In fact I think I have one other huge bucket in my glaze shed with more!!(I'm going to try sneak my camera with me so you can see this place..truly old southern history in the making).