Memorial day weekend.....

So Friday was my birthday and right when I was ready to start the day in my studio finishing up all these pots below....my husband showed up at the door and told me he took the day off of work so we could go visit the new Modern Art Museum in Charlotte called the Bechtler.
It was a wonderful museum and had a great collection of works I had never seen before and a few painters I was not familiar with. I can't wait to tell my Art 101 students about it because one of their final projects is to go visit a museum and do a compare and contrast paper about two different works of art. I have to admit at times I said I don't care for Charlotte but I have to admit that downtown Charlotte is very clean and we do have some wonderful museums and restaurants so I guess I shouldn't complain anymore!

After a wonderful lunch we both headed home and than Joey took over with the children while I worked more on finishing up things ( well...not quit finished..) for my up coming sale in Raleigh next weekend.
Between my birthday, a recital that our daughter had a little solo in and the fact that Joey has a three day weekend has been just the ticket for a great Memorial day weekend. Today I have a glaze kiln going and tomorrow another bisque will go in. On Friday, Aydan and I will head to Raleigh for The Larkspur party. Can't wait!!


Garden ideas

For Larkspur the last few years I've always tried to come up with at least one garden item ( since it is a garden show...)This year I'm trying these little houses that will sit on re bar ( hope this is what or how your spell it!)

Little fun projects like this always keep me going. I think items for your garden are really cool and have endless possibilities.

Today a good friend of mine will be coming by for some tea and "chitter-chatter" while I work. Its my birthday and Debi has been really nice that last few years to always show up on my special day with a cake or just company. I'm always running around Memorial day weekend trying to get things made for this show and this weekend will be about the same.

We have two little dancers in the family so on Saturday my birthday treat from Aydan will be to watch her have a little solo in her dance recital. Mckenna will have her little proformance on Tuesday evening. Every Mom loves to see things like this and I get the extra special treat of have two little people perform!

Hope everyone has a great Memorial Day!



Look at this crew. What a bunch...
I wasn't able to be at our opening last Friday but here are Ron, Julie and Amy in front of some of our work. They reported back that the opening was really great with wonderful food, live music and a good group of people. Hate that I missed it but I was home with three silly little girls having a sleep over. At any rate, once again, I love these guys....pottery friendships run deep and we've had some heartfelt times together and I look forward to alot more "silliness" and good talks about my favorite subject, POTS.
I"m really trying to hard to get a bunch of stuff made for my upcoming sale in Raleigh. My classes started back up again at York Tech and Joey's been super busy at work so I'm trying to hold it all together. I'll need a BIG glass of wine I think around the 7th of June!
Below are a few finished items and some in "process". Today I'm loading a kiln and heading out for a dance rehearsal. Aydan and Mckenna both have recitals coming up and last night was a choral concert. Can we all sing a round of "On the Road Again"?

......or perhaps one of Willy's tunes that talks about whiskey and wild, wild women because I think that may be more fitting in the days to come.


Sunday afternoon...

Spent some time thinking alot of cream and sugar trays this weekend. Trays get me! I never know weather to make really fancy ones or a more simple version. It always seemed to me that if someone was going to actually use a cream and sugar set they would like a tray that is straight forward. The flip side to this is a really cool cream and sugar sets makes us want it that much more because its such a conversation piece.
So, that was where my head was this weekend and below are some things I came up with to suit both sides of my "brain".
Just an added bonus is this platter. I just can't give up on platters no matter how many issues I have with them.......
We had an eventful Friday and Saturday and today was spent just being at home. ( Which I tend to love doing!) The kids got to visit a new school that they will be attending next year. This has and will be an on going transition for our 3 children. Lots of drama for the next months coming up. Hopefully it won't last a year...but you never know with children.
Friday night Joey and I planned time together to watch Mad Men while I worked in my studio. I do have a TV and every now and again I can talk him into sitting in a lawn chair with a beer and enjoying a movie with me while I work. This Friday I didn't get much done because my "counseling" services where needed while one of my girls had a heart to heart about some feeling she was having. I was thinking today how when your a parents, working at home you have to stop everything and be flexible at that moment to help out your child. Much different to be "working" and in that thought process as opposed to doing house work and dropping that....
Just a parental observation from my perspective as a crafts person working at home.
( I still have not finished Mad Men but I did get lots done today while everyone was happy and occupied!)


Plates,bottles, Larkspur and "Cousins"..oh my

I'm gearing up for my annual trip to Raleigh the first weekend in June. Once again I'm all excited about the 15th Annual Larkspur Party. I use to think it was sort off funny that Frances, the women who hosts this wonderful event called it a "party" and not a sale. But we have such a great time together its almost not even work!Look at this great cast of characters this year who will be selling wonderful things. An added bonus to this weekend is that Cousins in Clay is only about an hour and 1/2 down the road from us in Seagrove NC. If your a pottery addicted you can come to Larkspur on Saturday and than hop down the road to Cousins in Clay on Sunday! ( I was hoping cousins was on another weekend so I could go and get some pots from some of these folks!) My good friend Allison McGowen will be a guest along with Val Cushing. What a line up! Allison, along with Kyle Carpenter will also be showing with Ron, Julie, Amy and myself in the fall. More information to come about that sale.
All very exciting stuff going on in our next of the world here in North Carolina.Just a few photo's of stuff stuff in process. Dinner plates and bottles....Here is just a nice little grouping that came out of the kiln the other day.

So, I had no takers on those plants...guess I'll just have to wait and see what they do when they bloom.

I'm off to work a bit more in my studio. My online courses start back up on Monday ( sigh) I have to admit its been so nice just working away and being a potter. Back to the job of education! I hope everyone has a good weekend and if your in the Salisbury area, please stop by the show at Pottery 101.


Colored clay

I mixed up some new ( and I guess old) colors of my colored clays today. I'm still deciding which hues work best with my glazes or glaze colors I should say since I'm looking for a new glaze body. I decided that I really like the orange, chartreuse and a deep blue/green. The verdict is still out on which pink I think works best and I thought about adding an old gold, which I'm trying in this next batch. If your curious about what % of mason stain I put into my clay body..well, I'm still figuring that out but I am keeping notes. Someone suggested I try a paper clay with my sprigs but I actually found it to be much more brittle than before. Perhaps I didn't have the correct amounts working together. If anyone out there has ever mixed up paper clay..I'd love some input!

On a domestic note, I'm dieing to work more in my gardens around the house. I've been taking about 1/2 hour each day just to weed a bit or plant a few more things. This has been a great spring for plants and I don't want to miss out on doing all I can to make the yard look great. If not for anyone, just myself else...

I remember planting these two "no name" plants last year but for the life of me, I can't figure out what they are. If any of you who garden can give me a hint, I'd greatly appreciate it.

I've had such a few great days just working and a bit less hectic existence. School is almost over for the children and boy are they ready, as well as Mom. They are squeezing out ever last once of energy to get down with stuff..especially Quaid. Education is so much differant than when I was little. Some good some not so good. I'm sure every can chime in on this subject.

On my facebook fan page this week I hit 500 fans, which was a goal I had for this spring. I have an opening Friday night, which I will not be attending but will send all my good vibes up that way while my pottery pals represent our new journey together. The kiln is going today so hopefully my glazes will be kind to me and I'll have some good images for you all to see!

Things are good!



Just a few things that I've been working on.
The Cleveland County Arts Guild, which is in Shelby, is hosting a juried show called "Made for Each Other". Here are a few sets I thought maybe I would enter. Today I worked on these plates and platters. I also made a few more test glazes so I hope they come out of the kiln with some good results. ( MUST GET NEW GLAZES!)

I'm stocking up on my normal inventory for Larkspur. I'm sort of stuck on what to make that is new and fresh or maybe I should say, old but impressive to go along with the normal mugs, bowls, tiles and bottles that sell the most.
Decisions, decisions......


Pottery 101-set up

Ron and I headed up to Salisbury yesterday to set up a show at Pottery 101 called "Form and Surface - Four Perspectives". The show is at a great little gallery in the downtown and I was really happy with the space we got to transform and display our work in.

It really does take more than one eye when your combining four differant bodies of work!
Here are just a few shots of all the work combined on pedestals and the wall area. I think we spent the most time on the wall. Its hard to figure out vertical space when you dealing with plates, tiles and shelves!
This week I'm happy to report that I'm pretty free to work in my studio-which is always greatly needed. Last weekend was packed with all sort of events so I'm looking forward to a little down time.
Hope everyone had a nice weekend!


Interview and "Press"

I've had a good week with other folks promoting my work. What a treat to not have to do all the leg work myself!Connie Norman, who's pot I'm sure you have seen on the cover of Ceramics Monthly, asked me a few weeks ago, if I'd like to do an interview . It fell around the time of my "bagel accident" but I finally did get some answers typed out last week. ( From all I wrote, I think it was clear my finger was feeling much better!) So, here it is! http://connienorman.com/blog/

I like Connie's pots alot and before I even put the "Pot with the Person", I saw the cutest photo of her and her little son Vander on my facebook fan page and happened to comment about it one day. She looks like a happy Mom! Her website is also pretty great if haven't checked it out yet. I love that her blog is called "Talking to Myself". ( I do that alot.....)

So, thanks again Connie for asking me some great questions that I haven't considered in a long time.

I also got a nice email from Amy Cook. She is a graphic designer who happened to write a entry on her blog about Potters who blog. If you are a blogger, you may like to look your name up. I think I saw a lot of familiar names listed.

Its been a good pottery week. I've got a kiln going today and this evening ( get this) I'm spending the night at my kids school with 47 first graders. Two of which are mine. The first graders had to read over 1,000 hours this year and if they did, their teachers promised them a pizza/sleep over party at the end of the year. Guess who was one of the room Mom's for this end of the year party!?!?! Should be an interesting night.

.....for the record I couldn't talk Joey into taking my place.



Styrofoam is good something besides packing....

I haven't made teapots in a while so they where on my list of items to make this week. I may add some nice teacups to go along!

I'm enjoying just my studio time this week. Its been wonderful not having the responsibility of students this week.
I'm gearing up for the Larkspur show I do every year. I'll be posting lots of pots in the next few weeks...( I hope!)


Getting the new website together..

Joey has been working really hard on putting my new website together. It will have an etsy page, mailing list, lots of photo's, a flicker ( flicka..whatever) account and my blog. He's also trying to get me to do a few video's. I sort of just wanted one with me throwing to music but he'd like me to come up with a how-to video. I'm not really sure what to demo in sections but if any of you have any suggestions please feel free to let me know.
(I think a few words of crazy wisdom about motherhood could be added as well. Maybe my daily back and forth with my children in and out of my studio door. I think my advise would be more like that of the Erma Bonbeck of the craft world...but Joey won't go for that. )

We where playing around with photo's this weekend and Joey took some cool shots looking through my finished pots. Here is Quaid getting some input on a cartoon he was drawing. For anyone who has purchased my work in that last two years you know that I write on the bottom of my pieces about what is going on in my world. I thought it would be a cool idea for my new website to have a photo of me drinking from a cup that said "Read my Blog" on the bottom of it.
We had a few technical problems with that...mainly the style of my mug and my nose! Joey and I have a lot of jokes about my nose..all in fun. I'm half Italian and look just like my Dad so nothing else needs to be said about that really...
Maybe next week we'll try again at a different angle.

I'm trying to get some good work made for an upcoming show in Salisbury NC, called Pottery 101. The teapots are taking a LONG time!


Monday and the weekend...

Today I got on the ball and printed out some applications for juried shows. I haven't applied to anything like this in over a year due to my "photo" situation I guess. The other day I decided I needed to get back into the game, spend some money and get into some shows around the country. It was a busy weekend for us with my Mom's party on Friday, Joey having some co-workers over for dinner on Saturday night and mothers day on Sunday. My only request for mothers day was to have no responsibilities for anything but myself and for the most part, I got my wish. Breakfast in bed, the paper, lots of hugs, handmade cards, a walk with my son and alone time in my studio. It was bliss!

We had a wonderful party for my Mom on Friday night and I managed to surprise her with all her co-workers and my sister family who showed up from Raleigh for the occasion. This was also sort of send off for us. Our children go to the same school my mother teacher for and next year we will be transferring to a new charter school near by. We have loved, loved, loved Gaston Day School but for many reason, none of which the wonderful education nor environment this school offers...well, we needed to move on. Nothing is better than a huge birthday cake!

Just a few shots in the studio......

Back to work some more this afternoon.


Why I blog...

I felt the need to sit down and blog this evening. I guess I really haven't felt like I've had much to share in the way of pottery these last few days because I've only had very small amounts of time to run out to my studio. I feel guilty or a bit silly I suppose just taking photo's of the few mugs I've finally gotten handles on or spoon jars I've finished. Today I did get a few teapots thrown but spent most of the time moping my studio floor because my husband was having some fellow employees over for dinner and didn't want my studio to look a total wreck.

A few months ago I was asked to be part of a show coming up in October called "Clay and Blogs: Telling a Story". Meredith Heywood of, " Why Not Pottery" put together this wonderful show and I was so thrilled to be asked to join in with ( I believe) 50 other blogging potters. Meredith asked each of us if we could at some point write about why we blogged and since I've sort of had one of those weeks when I didn't feel like I had much to say or really any time to think about blogging, I thought "well, why do I keep up my blog?"
This photo of me above and that little boy in the background is the best reminder to me why I started blogging.

Being A New Mom:
Back when Quaid was born and I had just finished grad school I didn't really know any other Mom's who where craftspeople and I sort of felt a bit like a minority in a sea of fresh faced potters trying to make their mark in the ceramic world. As we all know, it takes a lot of effort and time to get your name out there and produce good work. I know when I was in school being able to work non-stop on one piece from 9am to 5pm was sometimes what I needed to really think about what I was trying to accomplish. For the last 9 years I can count on my hand maybe 5 days I've felt like I've even come close to a day like that in my studio. This really is not a complaint, it is just an observation on my part and one that back in 2000, when Quaid was born, never crossed my mind as being an obstacle in keeping up a career in ceramics.

The first year of Quaids life and trying to keep up with my studio work was a challenge. I basically had to figure out on my own how to keep him on an exact schedule and work in spurts around his eating and napping time. There where some days he'd sit and bounce around on the dryer for 1/2 hour while I trimmed bowls or finished up some mugs. ( My first studio was in our laundry room on the back porch).

I did have a support system with other mothers in the area where I could talk about baby issues and things like that but it was difficult for me to try and explain to these same women why I had to keep my pottery business going. Its hard to explain to someone who is not a creative person why you need that time to "make stuff" and create. I think most of us who are parents can feel a bit guilty about not spending as much time as possible with our children. We have a little voice in our heads pulling us in another direction at those times when little people just want us all to themselves. I am the first to raise my hand as a person who suffers from this quite often.

Starting my blog:
Joey was really the first one in our family to start blogging. He wrote about our family,had great photo's of the kids and somewhat strange observations about life. Most of his friends read the blog and whenever I added something to it, he'd sort of edit what I'd say and we'd go back and forth at what "our blog" was really about. About the same time Joey started our blog, my friend Ron Philbeck started his pottery blog and Joey decided this would be a good marketing tool for my work. After about a month of bloggin, I knew it was a great way to purge my thoughts about making pots and being a Mom at the same time. This way I'd connect with other women, or parents out there who where trying to juggle the same sort of issues I was.

What I've found...
Not only does this blog connect me to other Mom's/parents but I've also learned so much from readers comments and I've met so many nice people. It has been a super networking outlet for someone, like myself, who tends to be a wall flower at conferences and workshops. Talking to people on the Internet and not face to face is a whole lot easier for the socially awkward at heart!

In a way I dive off a cliff with no bungee cord when I put my thoughts and feelings out for people to read. Being someone who is so extremely dyslexic and allowing the world to see my lack for catching typo's and mis-spelled words is just extremely brave...( or at least it is to me!) I use to keep a diary until my sophomore year of college when I found my roommate reading it aloud to some of her friends one evening. I pretty much stopped writing for quit awhile after that. Strange things about being an young adult and not wanting anyone to know your vulnerabilities and than being a mother and wife and wanting to share your faults and fears!

Final thoughts...
So, I do really enjoy writing on my blog. I may not always have the greatest photo's on here and my posts at time can ramble on about many trips to school or my lack at getting anything done in my studio for a number of days. But if keeps me motivated to connect to other folks who make pots, have children or just like ceramics, well I than I guess this whole blogging adventure was a side road adventure in place of spending a 9-5 hour workday in my studio.

PS. Don't worry, the girl who read my dairy out loud...well, Karma does have a way of sneaking in!


Cinco De Mayo to you!

Happy Cinco De Mayo folks!

I'm getting ready to head to my twins classroom this afternoon with a huge plate of fruit screws. I'm one of the Mom's hosting a Cinco De Mayo party for the 1st graders. Don't these look good!Its also my Mom's 70th birthday today so I've been planning a huge surprise party for her. My Mom is great and has been a super role model for me. I could not have asked for more support/guidance through out my life so spending some of my time putting together a celebration for her is the least I could do. She is also finally retiring from over 45 years of teaching. If it wasn't for her sticking up for me and my dyslexia issues I probably wouldn't have ever gone to college. So..I guess since Mothers Day is around the corner. Here, Here for my mom!
Just a few shots of things from this week. Batter bowls and plates.
I have mugs and tiles drying as well. Its nice to almost have my finger back in work order!


On the mend...

Saturday afternoon I tried my hand at throwing somethings. It was little awkward but I managed to make a few cups and some batter bowls. Typing is still pretty hard. You never understand how much you use your the pointer finger on your left hand....the letters "T,R E, Y and G" do come up a lot. ( Try it today if you have nothing better to do...)

Below is a bowl with the new glaze I've been trying to switch over too. I think I've talked before about my glaze recipe and how it has some "properties" about it that I'm starting to get a bit weary of. I've been playing around with a few recipes lately. I like this one but the crazing is a bit worrisome. My normal glaze does craze but in an all over pattern, which is alot like a true celadon so I've come to like that. This glaze below has a random craze pattern that I don't care for so much and worries me. I'm reading up on how to help this issue, so we'll see what I find. I unloaded a kiln this weekend so here are a few quick shots. I'll be taking some photo's in my trusty "photo cube" later this week.

Hope everyone is staying dry. Its a gloomy day here which is Ok for a Monday in my book!