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...!