Saturday, February 28, 2009

freak snow

japanese magnolias
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
Can you even believe I was talking about farmers market this morning? There's 4 inches of snow on the ground!

farmers market

herb markers
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
It's funny to be looking out the window at a grey, very cold February day, wondering if the rain will indeed turn to snow, and know that you have to start working on ware for the Memphis Farmers Market. But we had our first vendor meeting of the 2009 season this morning and I think we're all excited to get back to work. Even though I only sell at a handful of Saturdays during the season- typically from opening day until the middle of June- I go every weekend that we're in town. The produce is wonderful and well-priced, the vendors are all lovely people, there are plentiful flowers, baked goods, several potters, glass, and metal artisans offering their wares. MFM is a wonderful organization that takes great pains to promote its members- both at the market and online. My page needs a little work, but I've got a great in-house PR man.

Last year I sold out of berry bowls the first (and only) time I had them. The herb markers almost always sell well, as do my small prep bowls and bud vases. I'm going to try some new display ideas this year, particularly with the herb markers. Right now, I have eight to ten different herbs in three different colors propped in my old galvanized washtub. What you see in the photo is really too many to be effective. I think I need a different container, and I think I'll have to build it.

I'm also considering having a blackboard with the my market dates and the prices of things like herb markers and berry bowls. Last year I had a large banner made with my logo, very similar to the banner over at my etsy shop.

Lots to do- and it all starts with getting upstairs and working!
Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

etsy update

Finally, my etsy shop is updated with a slew of little bud vases just in time for spring's earliest daffodils and violets. I have several single vases, a tiny bowl or two, and a few sets of two or more, including this bright set of three slender vases that I'm looking for a name for.

I started making this form a few years ago when I wanted a slender vase for holding a single sprig of lavender. I knew I wanted it to have a small profile and a slim silhouette. Most of my vases are diminutive but curvy- a slender neck on a round body. I still love and make those, but tall spare blossoms like alliums and lavender need something different. This 3" tall, 1" wide vessel was my answer. But what to call it?

Believe it or not, these daffodils are also miniatures. They are un-named (to me) heirloom varieties that came from the Sisters' Bulb Farm in Gibsland, Louisiana. Though they are no longer in business, my mother visited with the owners a few years ago, toured the gardens, and brought back these found bulbs. Found, because on their way back from the farm, my mother and her sister noticed that the parish had plowed up a large swath of ground on either side of the road, uprooting thousands of blooming jonquils. My mom knows that I love these sweet-smelling, miniature flowers and brought home several bulbs for my garden. I treasure them- they are some of the first to bloom in the spring. And it's a good story. We're not above bulb-rustling, especially if they're going to be paved over.

Happy Thursday everyone. I'll check back over the weekend.

Monday, February 23, 2009

getting ready

It is almost time to begin full-time pottery work. I'm gearing up for a small etsy update this week (maybe by Thursday), prepping for the last session of a class I'm teaching for children, and ready to replenish stock for the farmers market season. Today's task is a bisque firing and some photography. Tomorrow and Thursday will be studio days- making rather than finishing, which is my favorite part of the pottery process.

My last five classes of museum teaching are on Wednesday and Friday, then we're finished for the school year, which makes me a little sad. I really enjoy interacting with the kids- 4th graders -9 and 10 year olds- are probably my favorite age. Once adolescence kicks in it gets harder (mostly because they're all bigger than I am at that point!) to teach, but I really enjoy working with those young minds and watching them think about art and relating it to their own lives. I have a great, flexible boss, a wonderful co-teacher who is a very accomplished ceramist, and a fabulous work environment. I'm always sad when my part of the school year is over. I'm also grateful that it's a job that allows me time to create my own work. If I worked 9 to 5, like most people do, I'm not sure there would be a Bridgman Pottery.

I hope you have a good week- I'll pop in shortly to show you some of what I'm working on.

Friday, February 20, 2009

yellow: dining room

yellow: dining room
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
my last day of yellow week. And almost my last week of teaching- that's next week. I LOVE my job, I love teaching, I love kids. I've been really grateful for the time I've had teaching over the past three weeks because it's kept me focused on what's in front of me rather than sadness, my sick (we had a week of stomach flu) child, the business of our lives lately. I'm also looking forward to March 1, when I'll begin pottery full time again, and hopefully have many more pictures of my work to show you.

I took this picture around 6:45 this morning, on my way to the kitchen to get my second cup of coffee (dear Gary always brings me my first cup in bed. I am a lucky duck). I grabbed the camera because I loved the way the golden light shone through our wavy old 1922 glass windows onto my buttery yellow dining room wall.

I've really enjoyed yellow week. It's made me happy- all that cheerful golden yellow on flickr just put me in a better mood. I hope you've enjoyed it, too.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

yellow: lemons

yellow: lemons
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
lemons just may be my favorite fruit. These are definitely my favorite bowls. We use them constantly. I need to begin making more for the spring!

Things are looking up over here. . . . I think yellow week is helping

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

more yellow week, and an elegy

kitchen table: 2
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
I think I've told you all, probably repeatedly, about my kitchen table. I love it so. I bought it in 2004 or 2005 for $100 from this chi-chi home accessories/boutique/everything store called Odette when they were closing up shop. This table had been used for staging something- I never saw it in use. When I did see it, it was in pieces. I had to badger them to give me a price on it, which I paid happily, even though we had to rebuild it. I LOVED the blue detailing- it reminded me of Carl Larsson's interior paintings. I've been using it happily for four or five years, giving it's scarred top a good coat of wax a few times a year to preserve its dings, bare wood, history. I've glazed pottery on this, used it as a photo drop (when I'm too lazy to go to the basement and turn on the photobooth lights), kneaded, wrapped gifts and packages to send off, eaten countless meals on this table. It is my desk on most days, as well, unless I need more room for the morass of papers come tax-time.

Now this post becomes an elegy: soon this table will be moving up to my studio. I'll still love it and use it up there, but not in the same way. We're inheriting a table Gary has loved since he was five, which his parents had made out of native marble when they were stationed in Turkey in the mid 1960s (Gary's first memories were of Turkey). It is a beautiful round white wrought iron and marble table- much larger than this one, easily seating 6. I'm happy to take in his piece of family history, but I'll miss using this piece that was the cornerstone of so much of our young family's life.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

yellow on yellow

yellow on yellow
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
It's a grey and rainy day here today- and my boy is sick, we're on day 7 of an ugly virus- and the world's going crazy. On days like this I'm so happy to have a yellow house. It cheers me. We looked at so many colors and so many yellows, debating if we could have a house that's yellow on the inside AND the outside. Why not? It's our home. We can do what we want, right?

I hope you're having a sunny yellow day, no matter what the weather. I'm thinking sunshine and knitting friends tonight, lemon soup, sunny citrus-striped socks, yellow pansies, daffodils, and warmth. This is a good week for yellow week, isn't it?

Monday, February 16, 2009


Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
my friend Erin is hosting a week of yellow. You can see many of the beautiful photos featuring yellow here, including a few of mine. A dear friend was working in Florida for most of January and half of February. She brought me a bag of delicious citrus, including this golden sweet grapefruit I ate for breakfast. I popped it into one of my yellow cafe au lait bowls, ran it under the broiler (just long enough to warm it and caramelize the turbinado sugar I sprinkled over the top), and ate it before it could even think about getting cold.

Yellow is one of my favorite colors- I love yellow roses, lilies, tomatoes, and (green) beans. My house is yellow. My kitchen table is yellow. All of the "public" rooms in my house are yellow. It is such a sunny happy color, and one that I use frequently in my glazes. I hope you'll enjoy Erin's yellow week as much as I will.

Happy President's Day, everyone!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
there is still quite a lot going on here, but we're getting back to normal. I'm going to go upstairs for a while this afternoon to work on more berry bowls and honeypots- thanks, everyone, for your enthusiasm about these two Items. I'm about out of all of the ones I finished the first of the month- I think I have three honeypots left in the shop, plus a few more in the wings that need to be reglazed.

Aren't these tulips lovely? A dear friend left a basket of them on my doorstep last weekend and they have been a constant source of cheer during the past difficult week. I love how the pink streaks are only visible when you really nose down into the blossoms. From far away, they seem to be pure white. I like little surprises like that.

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend and a happy valentine's day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Hi, I'm back. Sortof. All of the funeral arrangements- visitation, funeral, out of town burial, ended today. I start teaching again tomorrow and I am ready for our routine to be back in place.

As I was walking across the street to fetch little boy from his friends' house - they kindly brought him home after school for an extended playdate- I noticed the first blossom of spring in my garden. The periwinkles are always early- sometimes as early as the flowering quinces- but this bright blue peeked out at me from under its blanket of leaves and mulch. It cheered me and reminded me that hope, new life, normalcy, all that we love in live- is just around the corner. My mother in law was a very accomplished woman who loved her life and cheered all of those around her.

Thank you so much for all of your kind comments, prayers, support, cards, and thoughts over the past week. I appreciate them more than you know. Thank you, friends. We're getting there.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I'll be away from this space for a little while. My mother in law passed away yesterday. Our world will be turned upside down for a little while. I'll be back soon.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

updated shop

Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
I've put about half of the honeypots up in my etsy shop. There will be more to come. I held a few back because of glazing issues, a few for my farmer's market stash, and one other because I noticed a few things I wasn't happy with.

In using my honeypot I've noticed that the drips on the side that come from using a honey dipper seem to be inevitable. What do you think about having an attached saucer-like lip on the bottom of the piece? It would make the piece heavier to ship by a mite, but it might also help to prevent sticky counters. I'd like your opinion on this.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

hello (sneak post)

Hi! I'm on a little trip, returning home this morning. I just wanted to pop in and say thank you to Sarah, a blogger who loves all things bee as much as I do, for featuring my work on her blog. She's new to blogging, but her photos and documentation of bee life and honey production are fascinating and beautiful.

I made a trip to Nashville to get more clay and supplies- I've also picked up a new glaze color- look for it on this year's berry bowls! We visited the fabulous Adventure Science Center, which has a reciprocal membership with Memphis's Children's Museum. They have the best space exhibit, complete with a moon-walk! And, oh, how I love Trader Joe's. I can't wait until Memphis gets one.

I hope your weekend has been both restful and rejuvenating.