Quotes that haunt us....

“Less is more.” Ludwig Mies van der Rohe quotes (German born American Architect. 1886-1969). This quotes pops in and out of my head on a non-stop basis. It haunts me really, which I know is a funny thing to say. I first heard it from a design professor I had back at Virginia Commonwealth University. At that time I was in school for commercial interior design and Mies van der Rohe was his favorite architect of all time. "Less is More" he'd tell us over and over again. I of course really didn't understand this. All I knew is that everything I looked at by this architect was very modern and not really to my taste but since it was design..I was suppose to like it.

"Less is More".
Than when I went back to school to become a potter and all I wanted to do was glaze all my pots in everything single color combination I could find, my critiques would come back with quotes like....
" The surface doesn't match the form"
" The glaze application competes with the handle and the foot"
" The form is good but the surface is to busy"

Out in my studio on my own..... thinking thoughts about my work and looking and looking some more.......
Once again the Quote comes to mind "Less is More".
I than answer my own thoughts " Is less REALLY more? Or can more be exciting, fun, playful, beauty, a visual cornucopia? "

Well, more is me, its what I love to look at. Its what draws me into something. Color, chaos, jazzy, layered surface and whimsy!

Who's knows where 2011 will take me and my work but I think its taken 10 years to get here, where every HERE is. I feel like I've had two years sliced into one. The beginning of 2010 was me still trying to compete with myself and feeling like I was leaving the one's I loved behind in my path to do more, more, more. The second part of 2010 was me being ok with what I was doing and wanting to put my drive on hold and give back my time to the one's I loved. So I guess really LESS IS MORE for me in some sense. I think I succeeded. I feel like I'm in a good place at the moment.

What a wonderful Christmas gift of have my little studio between the pages of Ceramics Monthly as well as be in a new book called "Introducting Pottery". I had great ceramic students this year and good sales. What else could a potter ask for!

Happy 2011 everyone-hope its another thought-provoking New Year.


Happy Holidays to one and All!

A Christmas post is a good of time as any to get back into blogging. So, hello to all my blogging friends and wishing you guys a very Happy Holiday and Wonderful, productive New Year!

In my view over the last 3 months that I've been away, I sort of took care of my New Years resolution and few months early. Taking time away from blogging and writing was a good thing for me and my family. From October to December I've had more time to focus on my kids, my responsibilities as a instructor and studio artists as well as not feeling the pressure to have one more thing on my plate. The time that I have been away from my blog has allowed me to think about a new format ( lack of a better word) for this great outlet we use to connect and educate folks about what we do in the ceramic world. While I've been away I've spent alot of time on my Facebook Fan page. It has worked well for me in connecting with other potters and selling my work and keeping everyone up to date on what I'm working on in the studio. It is amazing to me what a powerful tool the Internet is these days for folks like myself who are self employed and trying to market their project to a wide audience.

So...for those folks who are familiar with my blog, in the new year I plan on taking a more professional approach to my blogging and perhaps not posting as much. I have missed my blog but have really enjoyed the time away to just think about how I've used my blog in the past to purge my thoughts and how I would like to use it to inform the public more about what I am working on and not so much what my family is up to. I'm sure I'll still post a few shots of the kids and there will be an occasional moan and groan about how busy I am but hopefully you'll find a more "refined" blog of my thoughts and weekly or monthly posts about my pots.

Its nice to be back. Hope Everyone is enjoying some rest this week. I look forward to chatching up a bit with everyone!


Mud Mama Signing off

I've decided to take a bit of a vacation from blogging for a while. I think being a part of the Blogging Show last weekend was a good send off for me after posting stuff about my life and journeys with pottery and family over the last , I think, 4 years or so. ( I know someone going to correct me on that!)

Its only fitting that this Mom of three feels the need to down size my own obligations a bit more and give up some things. I do love blogging but think I could possibly post less often on my new website that my tech guy put together for me last year. I know I talked about it a bit but I never formally announced its completion because I felt like I had more to do on it. ( Which I still do!)

Below I have put the link to the site and hopefully without the destruction of my blog, I can focus on my website a bit more and also spend less time on the computer and more time with my kids and my pots.

To all my blogging buddies, don't give up on me! I still plan on checking in to see what everyone is up to. Who knows, I may be back on here at some point!

To all the Mud Mama's out there, please feel free to email me or drop me a note on facebook at any time. I'll still be making pots and multi-tasking homework,ballet and boy scouts along with firing kilns. Someone said to me the other day that as your kids grow up it doesn't really get easier, it just gets different. So true, so true! jenmecca@hotmail.com

If you'd like to see new images of my work from time to time along with posts about shows and events I'll be participating in, you can visit my website!


Happy Blogging everyone!


One day away from all sorts of exciting stuff!

Saturday is the big day!

I feel like my kiln shed had wall to wall pots the other day. He's just a snap shot of those bisque pots we all really don't find to interesting but its proof I am making pots!
So many exciting events going on this weekend!
The blogger show.....

October, 2010 Exhibit:

Featuring work by 50 potters from all over the world and an online gallery.
Opening reception: Friday, October 1, 6-8 p.m.Exhibition Dates: October 1-29, 2010Exhibition Hours: Monday-

Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The grand opening of the new and improved Mint......

Grand Opening at The Mint! - You can click on that link and see everything that will be going on for this 24 hour event!

And of course once again, lots of pots, friends and laughter at the 1st annual THROWN TOGETHER Sale!

Hope to see you there...!


Its hump day...

These where a few batter bowls, olive trays and large serving dish waiting to go into the kiln the other day. I love it when I get a moment to shot a fast photo in the morning day light. New little salt shakers- I haven't made these in ages...
Anyone got a free ticket to get down to the Mall in Washington so I can hang out with all the folks waiting to see John Stewart. We don't have cable and if we did I'd have to Tee-vo all the Daily Show's episodes because of the time of day it is on and the kids being right there for bedtime. Everything in my parents house-hold stops at 7:00 when John comes on. I swear some days he is so on the money about everything going on I just want to jump through the screen and shake his hand. ( I usually watch clips of his show late at night on the computer).

The week keeps trucking along and Saturday will soon be here. Always so much going on before a big sale....
Have a good middle of the week everyone out in Cyber land!


The Great Wall

As I was letting my students finish up a project today I was thinking how great the walls are around the Clay Studio at Winthrop. Jim Connell has been running this department for a very long time and what a collection of invitations and cards he has! Every wall outside of the clay studio doors is covered from one end to the other with all sorts of pots! I love during teaching breaks to just come out here and see how various potters have evolved over the years.
I think I even found an old group show card that had one of my old pots on it!

In the Studio
I have been slowly taking quick photo's of items that have been drying. Most of these leather hard pots are now in the kiln or waxed to be glazed. I think we can all agree that bisque pots are not at the prettiest stage for taking photo's so I've left a good bit off the camera roll.
Saturday is the big day of the THROWN TOGETHER sale! 10-4pm......can't wait! I'll get some directions posted on here in a day or so.
Happy Tuesday folks!


Cup show

Sometimes it takes me a while to actually check out shows that I've sent off work too. If you look REALLY closely at that middle pedestal in this photo you'll see my aqua mug. ( Time for a magnifying glass..right?!) You can get on Barrett Clay Works website and view all the cups in this show. Once again, there are some pretty cool ones and I'm always amazed at the things folks come up with. I love cup and teapot shows! Busy glazing and finishing up stuff, working right along.

I enjoyed listening to The Smiths this weekend, some books on tape and hearing the kids play Spy in the backyard. Today its raining, which is much needed here in good old York. Our grass is crackly and brown and I know fall is soon on its way.


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I had an eventful week filled with lots a good things, some bad and some reaction to things I'd rather soon forget about.....

On the good side of life I got a nice email from Dan Rhode, who use to teach here in the states and now lives in the UK. He contacted me about a year ago asking if I was interested in being part of a book called INTRODUCING POTTERY the complete guide. I guess its finally available for ordering so I guess I should hop on the ball and get a copy!

I got the invitation to the upcoming Kiln Opening at Cedar Creek where I'll be demoing the second weekend of October. I'm excited to be on the other end of things for a kiln opening. When I worked at Cedar Creek I was the one putting the whole sales floor together, making sure inventory came in on time and dealing with all the customers. Now I get to be making pots and gabbing with everyone-sound like great fun to me!

On the bad side...yes, you know some days it just has to be put out there...my car got hit this week in what I refer to as the most ridiculous car pool line I have ever been involved in. ( Which of course, this has only really been my third...)! Lets just say the start of our new school year and new school has been a bumpy one and I have not been the parent that sits on the sidelines to see how it all comes out. Things this tend to consume me when I'm not happy with someone, I feel the need to get it resolves and fast. When I don't see anyone standing up to fix anything, I'm the first there to say " well some one's got to say something". So having voiced my thoughts about the car pool situation and traffic on a number of occasions and getting no real response from anyone...having my car hit was not when of my better moments.

But, its the weekend and I'm grateful for that. I'm glazing and still finishing up pots for the upcoming Thrown Together sale next weekend. The weather is good, the kids are happy, Joey is resting and hopefully the start of a new week won't sneak up on me to soon.


Just a peek

Just a quick post to say hello. I had some white stoneware that was given to me a while ago so I thought I might try some different pillow forms with it. I'm curious to see how different the stain and colored clay looks with it.

We have been up so early lately with this new school adventure that my time clock is changing a bit and I'm not staying up so late. This morning after getting my kids to their car-pool stop, I got back home at 7 and took these early morning shots of some pots drying. The color of the morning light is so strange..isn't it?

Those are my twin vases up above that will be fused together in the kiln. I haven't made these in a while so its nice to get back to familiar forms.
Today I plan on loading a bisque. Its teaching day for me and my students are busy on their next coil pot form. They did a great job on they last project. I can tell that maturity, since I have Jr. and Seniors this session, really does make a different.
Hope everyone has a wonderful Thursday !


Photo box question...

Awhile back someone asked me to post a photo of where my photo box was and how it was set up. It just so happened that this weekend I was taking photo's of the inside of my kiln shed so I had a great shot to share with everyone.
Below I've listed a few key points about this set-up that may help some of you who would like to set one up in your home or studio.

*If you look closely you should be able to see the lamp pointed down on the top of the box and there are also one of either side of the box. I use white, heavy plastic lids in front of these lights to defuse it when taking photo's. Yes, the lights do get hot so once I'm done with a set of pots I turn the lamps off so I don't melt anything!

* If you are short on space, as I am, you don't want dirt getting into the photo box even if it is sealed up with a zipper. Every time I'm done using the box, I cover it up with a sheet. Sometimes this sheet is also good for defusing the light on the top of the photo box.

*I do have gradated paper in my box that I had to cut down quit a bit. In order to photograph my pieces without getting the front part of the box in the frame, I have put a little wooden riser under the gradated paper so it lifts the pieces up a bit.

Besides doing alot of fooling with your camera, that is about it to the light box! I really like mine and would recommend one to anyone who wants to try and photograph their own work.

Below are just a few more pitchers and little milk creamers. I never can make enough pitchers!


Visitors and stuff

Once again the weekend went by the quick, ( I think that is a line in a song....) and Monday will be here in about 7 hours ( at least for me that is)! Lots of working in my studio this weekend but I could always use one more day of not having any other responsibilities at hand besides enjoying the morning paper with my husband, sleeping until 8 or so, enjoying watching my kids play with their friends and just working in the studio.
This week I do plan on having alot of studio time to get ready for the THROWN TOGETHER show but I also have papers to grade, kids to run here and there, pottery classes to teach and the endless homework that has been following us home from school.

Thrown Together Sale
Our cards came in the other day and if your on our mailing list, you will be getting yours in the next day or two. We also have an email blast that will be going out tomorrow morning. The day of our sale is OCTOBER 2nd , which a day after the "Blogging Show" that will be opening on Friday evening. If ANY of your blogging folks who are coming to Seagrove for the show want to hop, skip and jump down to Charlotte to visit, Ron and I would love to meet you! We both hate that we can't be there for the opening but putting on a sale like this does take a good bit of prep the day before. So while I was working away in my studio this weekend and Joey was enjoying endless hours of football, Aydan decided to take our old socks and make some puppets! I thought they where the funniest looking creatures and had to take a photo of them. I think we have a mouse, a skunk and a snake there...

And true to form which never fails for me, there is always something going on with my studio that tries to keep me away from working. Last night it was this little opossum that ventured into my studio. I had no food in here so I don't know why it was looking around my shop but I sort of know Clayton my cat had something to do it. I thought for sure after a few knocks on the window pain it would run away but it didn't. The girls and I sat there for a while just watching it and I kept thinking "Man...I need to get out in my studio..go away Mr. Opossum!" Joey and Quaid where away at a friends house so the girls and I had to deal with this guy. He did finally leave and the girls got back in bed after the excitement.
Do you think I could send my stories into a reality show and someone would take pity on me and build me a nice, warm secure studio?


Tid bits

Just a little weekend check in with some images. Here are a few tall cups someone asked me to make. I always like for folks to give me suggests. I like to make so many different things and you never know what a request can spark an idea. Here are some new tumblers. I always look at making tumblers the same way I do mugs. I like a good variety and usually change the shape from kiln load to kiln load and then go back to old styles. There a butter dish sitting in front as well...
Here are some covered jars in the first phase of getting lids.

Off to do more work. The weather is so great here this weekend. I can feel that Fall is around the corner!


Dinner ware show

I'm happy to be a part of what looks like a pretty neat show going on up in Worcester Mass. the end of September. Wish I lived closer because nothing is better than alittle wine tasting to go along with buying pottery! Here is the set I packed up yesterday. I'm trying out a new sunshine yellow. Tell me what you think! I do still love my amber but I have issues when it gets to thin turning a really horrible shade of brown that just is not at all appealing on my pots. Always something with glazes..isn't it?
I'm forging on with all sorts of things to do today. Mailing lists, packing more pots, stopping by the kids school before my class for lunch ( and to snoop) on the girls than off to ballet and tap class with the girls. Quaid is a real trooper sitting in a room with a bunch of Mom's and little ballerina's for an 1 1/2. As long as I bring him a good snack and a book, he's good to go! The evening will be spent in my studio and hopefully my right hand guy will get home from work at a reasonable time so we can tag team getting everyone in bed.
Hope everyone is having a good week!


Interesting Read

I just saw that a friend of mine Chuck Young posted this article on facebook. Give it a read and tell me what you think?
Its titled "The Case Against Art Show Entire Fees".

I'm headed out to throw like a mad-women today. Wednesdays are turning out to be great days to work because I can put the kids on the bus both ways to and from school. They have to get the bus and 6:30 and don't get home until 4:30 which tugs at a mothers heart string but its the only day I do this. I also tend to shower them with some sort of homemade treat because I feel so guilty! Cookies and milk for everyone!!


What to send..what to send

I have to send pots out to the blogger show this week. I think I must have spent a 1/2 hour trying to decide what pieces worked together, what price point I needed to have for a good selection, did I have to much of one color and not enough of the other. I have never spent so much mind energy on this before but I find myself these days going back and forth on what to send to shows that just have an open door invitation for pots! So anyways...I just finished up grading some tests and I'm headed back out to the studio to do some packing on a special order. Maybe when I look back over at the group, it will all make sense! ( Meredith..you can chime in on anything you see..! HA)


I love Sunday Evenings

Something about Sunday evenings always puts me at ease. Guess I know that I've enjoyed alittle relaxation from the weekend but Monday brings back my routine and some alone time for Mom.
We had a wonderful time at the beach for a few days and got home today early afternoon. Joey was able to sit down and watch the Panthers and Giants play, Quaid got to spend time with his best buddy and the girls played outside. I got right back in my shop and glazed an order of cupcake plates and mixed up my glaze so the dinnerware I had on hold last week also got in the kiln ready to hopefully come out and be boxed up to Massachusetts mid week. A little R&R is just so good for the soul!


Plates and Cups

Started to glaze these plates yesturday to send off to Mass. but found I was out of silica.....I needed to mix up some glaze. One bad thing about living out in the country is that fact that I don't live just 15 minutes away from the nearest clay supply shop. ( But..who does right? ) I ended up making clay yesturday instead.....
We are headed to the beach for a few days. We enjoy going later in the season when the crowds die down. Next week I'll be throwing, throwing, throwing ....getting ready for the THROWN TOGETHER show/sale. Stay tuned!


Revisiting the Artists Statement...minus the hype!

Fellow friend and potter Jennifer Stas, who had a studio at Cedar Creek Gallery sent me her latest artist statement the other day. Jennifer was not at Cedar Creek when I was there but I've gotten to know her in the last few years since I stay in touch with all my old buddies there. Its nice to know the she fits right in with carrying on the traditions of not taking yourself to seriously or what she does for a living. This was a common thread among the potters when I was just working in the gallery at Cedar Creek. They would come in during lunch time, sit around the fireplace and talk about that latest Ceramics Monthly or this potter and that potter. These professional discussions always ended with some sort of joking about who took themselves a tad bit to seriously and was a good memory for me to look back on while I was sitting in critiques getting drilled up one side and down the other about why it was I did what I did....
So for those of you who read my post a few weeks back about the comment made is Ceramics Monthly about how up and coming ceramic artists seem to over state what they are trying to say in their artists statements....this one is for you! Thanks to Jennifer Stas for sharing this with me. I have no idea what her background is in ceramics, but I like her work and I know she's a hard worker.

my newest Artist Statement by Jennifer Stas.....

Through my work I attempt to examine the phenomenon of Hong Kong Fooey as a metaphorically interpretation of both Henri Matisse and itching.What... began as a personal journey of damnation has translated into images of macaroni & cheese and elbows that resonate with Inuit people to question their own plaidness. My mixed media jukeboxes embody an idiosyncratic view of Jim Jones, yet the familiar imagery allows for a connection between Dean Martin ,mittens and burritos.My work is in the private collection of Gavin Mac Cloed who said 'Eureka!, that's some real clumsy Art.' I am a recipient of a grant from Folsom Prison where I served time for stealing mugs and tie clips from the gift shop of The MOMA. I have exhibited in group shows at Chic Fil A and Cedar Creek Gallery, though not at the same time. I currently spend my time between my attic and Berlin.

I've also put my artists statements up on here....with some changes below that I really would like folks to know about me but when your trying to be professional, I guess you got to stick to the boring stuff.

Artist Statement

I am a utilitarian potter. I create pots that are visually pleasing and unique in character, but also useful in everyday life. I was born in upstate New York and moved to the Piedmont of South Carolina in my late teens. I earned a BFA in Interior Design from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1989, and returned to school at East Carolina University in 1995 to complete a BFA and MFA in Ceramics in 1999. I am currently a full-time studio potter and adjunct professor at Winthrop University. I enjoy making serving pieces and tableware that bring delight to the daily activity of eating, setting a table and enjoying a meal. While growing up, I spent many weekends observing and participating in the traditions and rituals of my paternal Italian-American extended family. Among the most prevalent of these traditions were the preparation and presentation of elaborate meals. As a child, I observed how the tableware was as important as the planning, preparation and enjoyment. This served as the foundation for my interest in utilitarian pottery and love of creating elaborate surfaces and forms.

The pots I create reflect the enjoyment I have for throwing, embellishing, creating and using. I enjoy creating each piece with its own unique character and personality, whether I change a spout, foot, rim, glaze color or decorative element. All of my pieces are wheel thrown and altered in some way. Because of the rich color I get from the glazes I use, I enjoy working with porcelain. I embellish my pots with handmade stamps, colored clay sprigs and have recently started incising drawings with black slip into my pieces. The forms I make are usually organic in nature, which stems from my love of the material I use, and my personal preference for a fluid line. My inspirations for surfaces come from patterns in fabric, paintings, nature and historic dishware pottery.

I currently work from my home studio in York South Carolina, where I live with my husband Joey, our son Quaid and twin daughters Aydan

and McKenna.

.............I spend most of my days thinking in cartoon and sit come language. If I had my way the world would be animated like Roger Rabbit and I'd look like Jessica of course only in overalls and Birkenstock. I'm a NPR junky and sometimes my pots reflect this because when I get upset or frustrated with the state of our nation, I screw up what ever it is I'm working on. My pots can be rushed at times because I'm a mother of three and also teach so although making pots is near and dear to my heart, I have other mouths to feed and people that depend on me. I would like to say that I've gotten accepted to almost every juried show I've applied to but that would be a lie. I am a go- getter so I have no idea how much money I have thrown away applying for all sorts of things. I have been published here and there but like everyone else would like to be published more. I love to eat so why would I want to make anything other than items I can eat out of? I make what I do, choose the colors and clay body that I love and I don't think its rocket science that we all have differant tastes in things. Having a few degree's in art taught me alot, but it didn't change that fact that I do enjoy the color blue here and there on a pot! Most people also think art school is easy..well its not, its hard and emotionally draining at times. My studio is on the back porch of our house with no running water or heat/air. Its not the best place to make pots, but it works for me and hopefully if I ever hit the big time, I'll have one of those grand studio's every one's sees on the covers of Ceramics Monthly. ( Which as we all know is like being on the cover of the Rolling Stone so maybe my theme song should be song by Doctor Hook!)
Yours truly - Jen


End of the week update

Thanks to everyone who voted on a new name for our group. The winner was THROWN TOGETHER.

Joey and I have the task of making the card this time for our Fall show. Coming up with new a creative idea for promoting yourself can be a task in itself we concluded this time around. When you have four creative minds working together and a short time frame to get things done, you realize that planning ahead is a good thing! Be on the look out soon for alot more information about our first fall sale as the group THROWN TOGETHER.

On the home front...
So here it is Friday and I'm wondering where the week went. I guess Monday, a day I don't teach, I spent doing something clay related since Julie and I set up a show together. Tuesday I was back at Winthrop and spent the morning packing up pots to send to a few shows in the North East. You never figure how long it takes to pack up boxes until you relies about 3 or 4 pretty much can suck up a morning! Wednesday I had a meeting at the kids new school, which was followed by a bunch of errands and being the single parent that evening, which wore me out to I couldn't muster any time in the studio that evening. Thursday I woke up with sinus infection ( every September I get one!) so I was slow getting going in the morning but got a few tumblers made - teaching again the afternoon and Joey and I spent the evening finishing up the postcard for the Fall Thrown Together sale. And here it finally at Friday again. I'm going to go out for a little run and than put on my blinders as I walk back through the house and head straight for my porch to throw on mugs and more tumblers! Can't wait for this weekend...!


Setting up a show in Asheboro

( KEEP VOTING FOLKS - We need our final count on a name by Wednesday the 1st of September! Post is below for voting or you can go to my Fanpage on Facebook!)
Julie Wiggins and I set out yesterday morning for a little trip to Asheboro NC. We spent the day setting up a group show called "From Within to the Surface". This show will take place at the Sara Smith Self Gallery and its being sponsored by the Randolph Arts Guild. Theses are the same folks who put on the NC Potters Conference.
Pretty big space to display pots and the folks where super nice to work with. The reception will be Tuesday evening the 7th of September. On September 28th from 12-1, Amy Sanders and Ron Philbeck will be giving a talk during a "Lunch and Learn" session. If your in the area, please stop by and view the show.
I took some REALLY quick shots yesterday with my Iphone so I apologize for some blurry images.
Ron's pieces up above and Julie's down below.
Down this row you can see Amy Sanders work and Adrienne Dellinger.

So, on to some sad truths..............
I spent part of my weekend fooling with this on off button you see below. I swear, does anyone else have more equipment issues than myself?
The button over time has been sticking and low and behold a few weeks ago the darn thing fired right through a bisque.

Yes, I am the proud owner of what seems like a 100 white pots!
I didn't feel like blogging about it a few weeks ago because I was just so darn aggravated! I know we all get that way at times. Best thing to do is just walk away and breath until you can deal with it.
As for the button, its seems to be bent and I can't get it right in the center of the hole so when I push it in, it doesn't lean to one side.
Solution?? Well, I guess I'll just check it every time I fire and keep my pyrometer in at all times to check the temperature.
If anyone has ever had this happen, let me know what you did to fix the issue and yes, I've taken the whole thing apart and re-assembled it.


What's In a Name

We are down to the final week with choosing a name for our up coming group sale. For those people who are just visiting my blog for the first time here's a little background information about the four of us and why we enjoying having shows together and why it is so important to us all to have a support system.

For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you know that Amy, Ron, Julie and I enjoy what we do, enjoy the support and encouragement we give each other in are ceramic pursuits and are serious about being part of a clay community.

We would be so happy if you'd give us your vote on which of the following names you like and feel best represent us.

Clay Dept
Thrown Together
Kudzu and Kaolin
Kaolin and Klay
Kaolin Krew
Clay Crew
Dirt Merchants
Ring of Fire
Cups and Dishes

Back round about the four of us:
I think we are all going on about 10 years of being clay friends. Julie and I have alittle longer history together since we both attended East Carolina University. I was in grad school at the time and Julie was just getting started in clay as a sophomore.

All of us taught clay classes together at Clayworks in Charlotte North Carolina and though-out this time we enjoyed just talking about current trends, potters and our work together.

We all tend to be a bit silly at times and enjoys each others company as well as keeping track of what's going on in each other personal life. I've enjoyed having another mom to understand my time frame issues and Julie and Ron have always been great about having kids around in some form or another while we have meetings.

All of our work has changed in some way or the last 5 years. We all enjoy drawing or embellishing our surfaces in some form or another. We also all enjoy making functions vessels and forms the people can use and enjoy in their homes.

Please click on our various names above to view our personal profiles and images of our work.
Thanks for your helping in our quest to find the right name for our group. We are looking forward to our first Fall Sale together with quest potters Allison McGowen and Kyle Carpenter.
The sale will be in Charlotte on October 2nd.


Oh it is so fresh!

How many have you all listened to a demonstrator say " The clay looks the best right after it is thrown" or " I want to emulate how wet clay looks" or " The best part of being a potter is throwing". I think these comments use to go right over my head and I'd be anxious just to learn and watch every new trick I paid my money to learn about.

Well today, which I'm happy to report was a full, uninterrupted day of throwing........I finally got the "WET CLAY" thing. I threw a bunch of pitchers and I guess I must have been in the zone with my freshly pugged recycled clay because it was such a joy to throw and looked so awesome at this stage of ..wetness!

I was sort of chuckling to myself that if these phases have finally hit me, does this mean the next time I'm doing a demo for someone I'm going to be spurring off the same lingo? Will I be that old broad that some youngin' is going to be thinking..."yeah, yeah..I get it, she likes to throw. Now show me how you make those sprigs!"

Once again I'm just having a cartoon character "bubble" thought that I had to share.
Happy hump day everyone!


Back In The Saddle

( If only I did have a horse..how fun would that be!)

I'm back in the studio which feels great!

The kids have had sort of a bumpy start to the new school transition but hopefully that will get better and better. The twins are in the same class so we are keeping our fingers crossed that it works out!

I'm pretty excited about some juried shows that I have gotten into for the Fall line up! A few are up in Massachusetts, one is in Paughkeepsie, NY and of course my pots are on display at the moment in New Jersey. Not to mention all the stuff going on here in North Carolina. I have to admit, living in ( well near) a state that is so rich in ceramics really helps to keep my career moving along.

Today I meet a whole new group of ceramic students so I'm gearing up for that and my online art history classes are back under way. Things feel a bit back to normal for me. I enjoy a routine.

Hope everyone had a great start to the work week as well!


You all Rock!

It was great to read every one's comments about parenthood and pottery. Some great suggestions and ideas for those us who may need some new advice and also to those people just starting out on this double journey!

To sum it all up ( this came from Meredith Heywood from Why Not Pottery)

Parenting is like making pots,you build layers.

We started at our new school this week, which had some real bumpy roads each day to maneuver. I spent the entire week worrying about them and doing anything extra special for the kids just to soften the blow. Lots of tears, fears and anxiety for everyone and not much sleep. But we did get through it, and I managed to slowly get back to the studio and I got my online classes up and going. Next week will be better and each day the kids and I will be back to a set routine.

I did something else this week that professionally I have never done before, I declined two gallery orders. I politely called the galleries saying I just could not commit to any other accounts for awhile due to motherhood and over committing myself last year. Thank goodness both owners where wonderful and understood my situation and said they would be happy to have pots when I was ready. What a wonderful relief and a huge weight off my shoulder. As much as getting orders is great and having folks call wanting your work feels really good, I'm just have thought twice about the quality of life I would like to have.

Today I enjoyed some time with my son and his friend. ( I have found the nine year old boys are very funny to hang out with!) I also got out in my studio for a few hours and enjoyed a good book on tape. As soon as everyone is tucked into bed, I'll head out again to make some sprigs and perhaps watch alittle movie.

************FUN, FUN, FUN**************

My fellow partner in "blogging crime", Ron Philbeck has put a little contest on his blog. Our little group of pottery pals are looking for a good name for our group. Julie Wiggins, Amy Sanders, Ron and I will be doing some sales together and also some gallery shows. We have been trying to come up with an inventive name and thought we'd open it up for any and all suggestions! If your interested in winning some mugs from Ron ( and possible a little something from me as well...) you can click below to Ron's blog and add your own suggestions.


Howdy clay People! I've Got Some Questions for Ya'!

I checked in with my pottery pal Ron Philbeck the other day on his way back from doing a workshop. For all of you who follow the blogs I know people click back and forth between ours at times so I'm sure some of your read his post with apologies for some comments he made on Sawdust and Dirt.

I did not read Micheal Klines post that day so I had to ask Ron what that was all about! He explained to me that someone had commented about blogs and what people write about...weather those of us who purge our thoughts, feelings and day to day studio work was really what needed to be written about on a pottery blog. I have to admit and I know I've said a few times that I am amazed that folks enjoy some of my on going moans and groans about family life and studio time. I of course really appreciate all the parents that leave me messages about things I write about and I love reading stories of there on going pottery lives.

So, I thought I'd throw a few questions out for those folks that parent and also try to be productive and pro active with their career.

Please join in with comments about any of the following questions.

*Do you have a set time you work in your studio or do you enjoy having your kids play while you work along side them? Do you find you can get what you need to done?

* Do you feel that you miss out on important residency's and workshop/teaching opportunities because you have another full time job? How do you fill in these voids?

*Do you have a significant other who supports you financially so you don't have to rely on your income? If not, how stressful is it for you to parent and juggle all the rolls you have to take on being a potter. IE - photo's, paperwork, repairs, shipping and selling your work?

* If you have older children, have they ever resented the amount of hours you put into your studio work while they where younger? Do they appreciate the fact you where home with them but still worked?

Just a few thoughts I had that I thought would make for some good conversation. I've thought about these things or listened to other craftspeople talk about these struggles.

We all can use a little advise here and there so offer up yours!



I've been a big fan of saying for the last few years. I even tried putting some on my work but it just didn't take or I couldn't seem to work it out....

Yesterday I ran across a plaque in a magazine that said this below and I thought it was great!

Be bold be thankful
be quiet be original
Be spontaneous be
punctual be a
star be young be
loving be crazy
be loud be random
be aborable be
unique be daring
be obnoxious
be Yourself!

I thought it was pretty neat.

I'm still not able to get back in my studio yet. I may try tomarrow evening. More soon!


Getting off a Merry-go-Round

Its Sunday evening and if this had been the weekend that I had planned right at this moment Joey and I would be playing catch up today with chores, spending time with the kids and sleeping late.

If this had been the Saturday I had planned, we would have been coming back from Blowing Rock right after the show with about a 2 hour drive, grabbing a fast food meal, exhausted and feeling drained only to pick up our kids from my parents at about 9:00pm. My parents would be concerned that we were both to tired and did we make enough money to warrant all the effort. I'd re-assure them that it was a good day and that we are fine. The kids would be wired up and hard to get to sleep and even though all we would want to do is basically collapse into our bed, we'd still need to read to everyone, get them settled down and to bed later than usual. Sunday would be followed with a similar feeling one gets after drinking a tad to much. Ours brain are hazy, ( mine tends to be a bit worse then Joey since I worry a whole week before a show) and all we want to do is lay around all day and do nothing because our bodies sort of hurt from all the hauling of gear. Well at least mine always does. We'd be sort of grumpy with the kids and try our best to get everyone to bed early so we could crash early Sunday evening ourselves. Not a very restful weekend to say the least, but at least I would have once again sold some pots!

Well, this was not the way we spent our weekend. Joey and I slept in on Saturday morning, enjoyed the paper together and a good cup of coffee. We did some chores around the house, went to the gym and welcomed our kids back around mid-afternoon and spent the evening with friends cooking out and watching all our kids play together while enjoying some good conversation, laughter and a few good beers. The previous night we even got to enjoy just one on one time with dinner and a movie - something we only do an occasion. Today we did clean the house, Joey and the kids spent some time outdoors and got some ice cream at a local produce stand while I finished up the kids school shopping list.

The reason my weekend was different was because for the first time ever I called an canceled my spot at a show. I've never done this before ever and I have to admit, although it felt good the over-achiever in me and work horse ethic felt ashamed for bugging out.

On Thursday evening after a week of trying to do to many things at once I just gave up and said to myself that I just couldn't do it. I was to tired and needed a break from this merry-go-round I've been on for awhile. Truth be told I just felt like I didn't have enough work to make my booth fill up and I couldn't see one more day of running around. The thought of what I had to do Friday morning just loomed over my head thinking about trying to re-fire and salvage the few left over pots, packing up the truck that night, getting up at the crack of dawn on Saturday and all the energy it takes to set-up, sell your work and than break it all down again. On top of it all, I have the kids to consider and school starting next week. So....I just told Joey I didn't have it in me and he agreed and Friday morning after waking up with migraine I called and canceled. I than called my folks who in turn told me to bring the kids over anyways so we could have some free time and by 6 o'clock Friday evening my migraine was gone and I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulder.

Its really hard sometimes to say NO and realize you just can not do it all. I am finding this out slowly the hard way which is a hard lesson for me to learn. When your a working parent and you want to still be part of the crowd ( the pottery crowd that is) you just can not do it all. You can try but you have to be so wise about your work time and family time.

I learned some good lessons this summer about working and trying to make the summertime enjoyable for the kids. Guess I found I can't do both! Next summer I won't be doing so many shows. The Fall I won't be doing so many shows either. Sometimes you just need to look at the reality of things and except them.

Next week my priority is getting everyone settled into their new environment and than I'll get back to focusing on what I love to do and see, once again how to re-invent being a studio potter/teacher, parent and partner all at once.


The List- and Thank you!

Thanks to all the comments on my last post about weather or not I am STILL a blogger. I appreciate all the thought, nice words and comments so I guess...I'll keep trucking along whenever I can get a chance to post. Alittle time here and there...

This weekend I am heading back to Blowing Rock. Once again, I'm taking a small group of pots but I think my display will still look pretty good , I hope!

Below is my To-Do list when my new week starts minus kids since school will be under way next week. All those folks that have asked for pots, special orders and those shows I need to get stuff too are high on my list!! On top of Blowing Rock this weekend I've been getting toys and cloths together for the annual Twin consignment sale I do twice a year. Its so much work to save money sometimes!! Lots of ironing, tagging and convincing the kids that they need to get rid of some toys....

.....our house and the studio look like a bomb has gone off!!

What a mess.......!