Taking photo's

I finally get out to my photo booth this evening and got it all set up. Now I think I have to spend a bit more time reading about my camera and playing around with the lights that I have. Here are a few shots.
Some are pretty flat, some have alot of reflective light......it all just takes time to work out but I was so happy I at least got out there and have started the process.
I need to get back to throwing a bit tomorrow. Please let me know if anyone has an good photo advise. I do have a standard camera I use to use in college to take photo's but I know digital is the way to go so if I can get some good shots with my Nikon Coolpix, that would be great!


Home for my booth

Well the light box has a home. This evening I'll spend some time fooling with getting the paper to lie down and see if I can shoot some images. Wish me luck! We had a hard time deciding where this permanent set-up should go. Since I would like to have start an Etsy site it seemed foolish to have a set-up that I had to put-up and take down especially since time is always a huge factor with anything we do around here. I don't really like the fact that I have to keep this in such a dusty place but it is the darkest "room" I have for taking photo's so if we are really good about keeping it covered when its not in use I think this will work well. We did notice this weekend that right under where this table sits the water from next door is coming down so feverishly that its rotting a hole right through my work building. We also can not get behind there to patch it up due to how the fence next door was put in. Time is ticking away for some renovations around here. Oh.....what a dream to have a real studio!

I have a kiln cooling today and I have pots to trim so I'm getting ready to head out and work. We'll see if I can get some good photo's taken to share on Tuesday.

(I'm going to sit down this afternoon and re-post my upcoming shows. I have some good one's coming up in the fall with my pottery pals. Some how last week I managed to delete that section of my blog. Anyways, I'd rather get going to some pots...its all about prioritising right? .....so much do, so much to do!)



Quick notes...... Large covered pot - my version of a bean pot.
Hate when this happens to a sprig. Always ask myself " should I save it or just ditch the whole pot?" Hard to put sprigs on bone dry pots.

Large platter....still on the quest to make more platters.

Decided to add feet to the squared off dishes. I think it works!
Off to help Joey with some mulch..sunny day, lawn work calls!



Its getting close to Easter so between making some tests and throwing some platters I'm off to buy Easter goodies. Is Easter really early this year or what?
Big problem with buying Easters goodies is trying hard not to buy candy the this big bunnies enjoys as well. Since our kids are getting older its harder to sneak treats out of those Easter baskets without getting caught!
You can only blame so much on the cat these days I've found....


SHHHHHHH...Sneaking cups in the house

This lovely cup by Loran Meadon was my most recent purchase at the NC Potters Conference. ( I just snuck it in the house this weekend so no one would notice....shhhhhhh) And yes, the coffee did taste better this morning! Its been sort of a long week getting back into the swing of things. Last week seemed like such a breeze just being home with no cares except for my show and the children. Throwing teaching into the mix takes a bit more effort to get it all going again. We did start on our slab - containment project. I choose some idioms that they had to illustrate with the box. Not sure they are enjoying the challenge but I could see those wheels turning by the end of class.

I made clay yesterday and last night worked on some pots. This morning will be doing some of the same. My goal this weekend is to get my light box all set up and working. We'll see if I do indeed get that done while also throwing in a play date and a husband that has to work this weekend.


Reporting back for duty.

I have to admit that I feel guilty when I don't get time to blog about anything super interesting. I even feel even worse when I don't have time to get on here with tons of images! But look, I'm here today reporting for duty in the world-wide-web world of pottery. ( Wow, that's a mouth full!)

Look at this sweet little child. One of my customers sent me this image of her little boy holding one of the my mugs. I love these images of pots in use. I know several blogging folks show these types of images. While at the NC potters conference Ayumi Horie showed a map of the world and all these great photo's of her "pots in use" popped up on states and countries all over the place. It was the coolest thing and a visual impact it had on me!
So, if your someone out there that has one of my pieces, please take a photo and send it to me. I love visiting with my old pots weather its in person or just by photo.

Below is an image of a handle that caught my eye. After shows I give myself a day or two of rest. Usually I'm cleaning up after my family because things just get disorganized and out of sorts when "MOM" has a show. I pay for it trying to get back on track days that follow my big pottery events. Anyways, I like to take some time and look around the web at pots, blogs and galleries and I was just investigating some boxes and handles yesterday. Thought this was a nice shot to share.
This week I'm pugging, finishing up some pots under plastic and doing some re fires and tests. Yesterdays I hitched up the wagon and took a trip to the big city of Charlotte to get clay and some supplies. Picked up two new tools , yet again. I don't know what's gotten into me..all of a sudden I feel the need for new tools. Guess I feel like I need a little pottery treat.
Have a good hump day!


Raku with my students

About a week ago I posted about doing a raku with my Winthrop students and yesterday some one from the class was kind enough to send me some snap shots she had taken of the big event. I thought some of you may enjoy these!

At Winthrop, we do raku a bit differently than most folks. We use the electric kilns! Here is an advanced students who enjoys helping me out with this event. Yes, he is taking a pot right out of the hot kiln. I have to admit when I was first told that this was how I needed to fire the raku pots I thought "yikes, this sounds a little dangerous!" I'm all about throwing wood and salt in fireboxes but fooling around with opening lids of kilns can get a bit dicey! Marshall here enjoys that whole excitement of it all and doesn't mind wearing all the gear. I let him do all the hot stuff while I'm on the side for back-up and helping organize the students in getting the hot garbage cans out the door of our building. Once the pots are taken out of the kiln we put them into trash-cans filled with newsprint and drag them out the door. Some glazes require a burst of air blown on them for the crazing effect before being put into the cans.

Once they get outside, depending the on the glaze, we "burp" the cans to let in some oxygen and as you can see here, at times the flame will shoot back up. This creates so much excitement! The students are all so apprehensive at first but by mid-point they want to "burp" the cans as well.
Here are some of my students loading up the garbage cans with newsprint. I have a good talented bunch this semester!

Here is a photo of some pots taken right out the cans. Beginning students get so excited to be able to take something home right away and not wait for those darn kilns to cool!
Last week we were on Spring Break and I have to admit I enjoyed just working in my studio and being a Mom. I tend to like the life of a hermit where I don't have to see anyone and I can just get tons of stuff done. But after about a week, I'm ready to get back to the real world and with teaching it keeps me on my toes with all the challenges that goes along with it. I enjoy thinking up new ways to teach the same techniques. This week we will be starting on some slab built forms. I think the word "containment" may be a good place to start!

Great Day

We had a wonderful time yesterday at Ron Spring Open house. Many folks came out to say Hi and bought pots. The weather was wonderful, great coffee in the morning and Ron even made some of his famous pizza for lunch!
Thanks to everyone for your support it really means a lot to us and makes all the hard work worth the effort.
Today is family day and I hope to get out to my flower beds for a bit. They are a mess!! Cross your fingers the rain holds off.
Have a great Sunday everyone!


Packing up

Unloading kilns and packing up to go to Ron's today. I had some great lidded cups come out yesterday. Hopefully I can find some time for photo's soon.....
Looking forward to a good show..first day of Spring and it will be in the 70's. YAH!!!


Getting ready for Sale

Just a little taste of some the goodies I'll have at Ron this weekend. Today I will be glazing. So much to do, so much to do!
Hope everyone is having a good week and I'm looking forward to visiting with some folks this weekend at the Sale!
( PS...I did in fact change the 'QUEST' to "Guest" a few posts down..if anyone caught that. Please, you are always welcome to TYPO corrections! Its a miracle I don't miss more considering how quick I do my posts most days as well as the time I day I post!)
Happy St. Patricks day everyone. Everyone was dressed in green today going out the our door for school! I think I'll partake in a little beer this evening to celebrate!


Something to share..

I'm not one for having a lot of tools in fact, I use to laugh at the huge boxes my students would bring to class with everything under the sun in them. I spent almost every class borrowing something because I just didn't come with all my favorite tools every week. Pretty much all I throw with is a sponge, wooden cut tool, fetlin' knife, small trimming tool, needle tool and a metal rib that I use for everything under the sun. At the potters conference I picked up these two new tools. I just kept picking them up and looking at them while I was at the conference so I thought I might as well try something new. This trimming tool is made out of bicycle spoke and they say it never rusts. Guess we'll see since I'm not one to clean my tools that often. The other tool is just for scoring. I score alot with anything I can find really...pens, needle tool and my metal rib with the teeth ( when I can find it!)

I've been enjoying these I must admit!

Off to turn up the kiln. Looks like Mr. Philbeck is really cleaning the place up for my arrival this weekend. Better show up with some good work!


Bone dry pots..

I've slowly been loading my kiln. Below are some new small flower blocks. All the daffodils are popping up all over our yard so naturally my thoughts have turned to flower vases/blocks and bottles. Today I went to take down my show in at the Cleveland County Arts Council and we pleasantly surprised the I had sold a good bit of stuff while also having some great pots left over to add to my new selections for the up coming Spring Sale at Ron's this Saturday.
I'm excited to see how some of these new pots come out. The weather is going to be great...60's here in the South so I'm hoping for some good foot traffic.
On the home front everyone in the house hold is has been battling Pink Eye. Nasty Stuff!! Knock on wood the main care-giver has not yet contracted it! Poor Joey has been its latest victim. He's been trying hard to think of a way to mask his swollen eye tomorrow and sneak into work. Being one who loves a sick day I just told him "STAY HOME!". I can just see that "Pink Eye" bug as a little character with big feet, beady eye's and silly grin jumping all over the house trying to catch me!
(Maybe I should just encourage Joey to go to work in the morning!)



I'm currently......(well sort of crazy) trying to catch up on studio work for the upcoming sale. We took the kids on an overnight to Great Wolf Lodge in Concord NC two days ago for Spring break so that was a little R&R for us. Always our spring breaks are spent just staying at home but the older the kids get the more I like to do one super cool adventure with them while they are on break. The waterpark was it and they had a blast! I think my brain is still water logged by the all the water slides!! ( I don't do motion very well....) I also think it was a first that I wasn't feeling like I needed to be home working. The older the kids get the more I understand how important it is to spend time with them and if I don't get 10 more pots made..well its OK.

I'll try to get some photo's up of pots as they come out of the kiln. I do have some saved from last week while they where being made.

Dashing off again to work!


Happy to be a Guest

On March 20th I'll be joining my fellow pottery pal Ron Philbeck at his annual Spring Sale. Ron has a great set up out in Shelby. He and his wife Sarah have a wonderful house that Ron and his Dad built along with an studio/showroom. They have worked hard for the last few years trying to get some landscaping done and home improvements finished. I'm always amazed everytime I visit what new things they have been up too . It also always fun going to another potters home to view all the great pots they have collected and Ron has some selection!!

The date is Saturday, March 20th from 10 am till 4pm here at the pottery. The address is 757 Wallace Grove Road. Shelby, NC 28150. You can use MapQuest to find your way.

I know Ron has been working really had this year on his earthenware pots and they just keep looking better and better. I think he plans on having a pretty big selection of work!
I to will have some new pots for the sale. I have been working on my evolving surface since Christmas and although the process is slow, I'm pretty happy with the results.

Please come by and say hello. Ron and I love to talk about pots and potters and other fun stuff!

If you get a chance today, stop by Ron's blog and wish him a Happy 40th birthday!


Quick Moments, Quick Shots

I'm condensing all my daily activities this week into what I like to call " quick moments"....everything except spending time with the kids, since they are home for the week and my studio time. Here are more covered mugs. I really didn't like how the last batch came out. The lids just moved around to much. I have a feeling it may take a many times of making these to get it right but I feel like I'm onto to something so I will try again with this batch.
New dinner plates.
Large bowls...

Two of my favorite boxes that came out of the kiln last week. I think I may have to keep these for some photographs.
Rolled, rim bowls with new colored clay handles. The colored clay and glaze combo needs more thought when the two are combined together. Once again....all stuff to still work out, but its getting someplace and I'm enjoying the possibilities.
Off to get the house cleaned up and the kids happy and engaged in some activity before I venture back out to work a bit.


More Conference Thoughts

Here are all three presenters this year for the 24th annual NC Potters Conference. Lorna Meaden, is in the black and came all the way from Durango Colarado. Bruce Cochrane flew in from Ontario Canada and Sara Jaeger lives in Helena Montana. All where extremely down to earth and worked very hard to answer all sorts of questions and finished several pots in a two day span.

As with every conference some times I enjoy the answers to the same old questions that seem to get asked while potters are up on stage frantically trying to work. Firing schedules, pricing your work, how much time does it take you to fill your kiln, packing and the age old question about how much clay they are using for each piece.

Since I got to see both Lorna and Bruce at the last Utilitarian conference I was trying to just watch the way in which they worked and handled each piece they where putting together. Both Lorna and Bruce do alot of altering so I tended to keep my eye's glued to what they where doing. Sarah on the other hand is a very soft spoken - simple potters who forms and straight forward but finished with such integrity that I found myself picking up her finished work in the gallery more and wanting to use it in my own kitchen.

Bruce was amazing to watch because he worked so fast and was extremely clean and precise with his cuts and altering methods. Bruce just finished teaching full time and I can imagine that he probably was a very patient instructor with his students. His slide presentation and forms really made you think about the construction methods he used and even though I can't say I've ever really been drawn to his sort of work I really was amazed with the thought process that goes into his forms. Bruce tended to get the most technical questions from the audience out of all three presenters. Many people would interrupt a totally different conversation that was going on with Sarah or Lorna to say "Hey Bruce..what did you just do there to the pot!!!!"

Here is Sarah working on a teapot.

Here is Lorna finishing up one of her covered jars. I really felt like I could be great friends with Lorna. She was very funny, sarcastic and quirky. I loved her slide lecture because she admitted that she doesn't always make pots that a super functional. She makes works that is fancy and just fun for her to create. My kind of potter! The final day I moved over to be right up close to watch her work. I too had to ask one of those age old questions " how long does it take you to make.....ect.?" Here punch bowls look like they would take a month to construct.
So, another good weekend of filling my head with thoughts, idea's and most of all motivation with my own work. I've been back in the studio getting ready for a Spring Sale at Ron Philbeck's studio on March 20th. The children are on Spring Break this week so I'm trying to balance doing alittle something with them while also trying to get some studio time. Today we went down to the old cemetery and did some grave stone rubbings. Cheap thrills! So nice that the weather has been sunny so everyone can play outdoors while Mom opens up the studio for some fresh air and the sound of children laughing.


NC Potters Conferance-"Talking Heads"

I thought this was one of the best photo's I could share of the NC Potters Conference this weekend. Here I am sitting behind Micheal Kline and Ron Philbeck while they are listening to Ayumi Horie talk about how to market yourself/pots on the world wide web. She also gave alot of credit to Micheal and Ron for all they do on their blog site, which I have to admit is pretty inspiring in my eye's. They both have great blogs and do such a good job of keeping us all informed and engaged.

I have to say that this talk she did was my favorite part of the conference and was very motivating for me. I've listened to her talk now twice about her marketing techniques and I am always amazed at how smart she is but sincere in her approach as well towards her customers. I am finding it harder and harder to keep up with galleries and doing shows and think perhaps I can take a few of her idea's and make them fit for my own life situation and work cycle. Its seems to me if you have a family and you don't have a great show room or sales location right in your back yard, the web is a great venue for reaching customers. Since my production time has been cut way down and I'm starting to make work that is even more time consuming , selling my work myself on the web and trying to expand my market is very appealing.

I'll have more images from the conference to share through out the week.


Road Trip

I'm heading out in the morning for a little road trip. It will be nice to get away and be immersed in pottery talk. After all workshops and conferences my head sort of hurts with all the information I try to take in! I"m looking forward to seeing some blogging buddies like Ron, Micheal Kline and the folks from Bull Dog Pottery. I'm sure many others will be there as well. I'm sure Ron and Micheal will do a great job in keeping everyone up on what will be going on during the conference. Those guys are such computer wiz kids...to much for his gal to keep up with! These days I'm even to impatient to update my facebook page from my Iphone.

I'll be back on Monday with a few of my own photo's I hope and thoughts about the weekend. Hope everyone has as much fun as I plan on having this weekend!


Plate order

Just a quick peek at what came out of the kiln recently. I did a special order for a customer of mine who has one of my big bowls ( and some other stuff) and needed some dinner plates to match. The best thing about this order, which she doesn't know yet, is that on the back of each plate a wrote something about her which I have learned being a friend of hers on Facebook! You can really learn alot about a person by just reading there daily "check-in" posts. Hopefully she'll be happy with how they turned out.
I'm getting ready to head out of town this weekend for the North Carolina Potters conference. I'm looking forward to a little "alone" time and to learn some new things. All conference's and workshops always get me excited about going back to work.


Taking photo's

We spent part of the weekend trying to figure out my light box. As you can see the kitchen table seemed to be the only place that we had adequate light, table room and space to try it out. We had alot of trouble getting my gradated background to work so we just played around with a black cloths. I'm so anxious to get my etsy site up and going I can hardly stand it! But, I want to make sure I've got some good shots before we start going on that...

I'm throwing more lidded cups, flower blocks, plates and large bowls. This weekend I fired some dinnerware for a customer and more small things like tiles and test glazes. The test glazes didn't come out so great so nothing to show there.

The beginning of the week always brings such promise for getting lots of stuff done. We'll see how I do!