Friday, April 29, 2011


what a crazy week it's been.  Easter was lovely, then the weather came.  All of our friends and family are safe and well, but the toll on the mid-South has been really steep.  I complained about three straight days and nights of tornado sirens wailing, but the reality is that I'm glad we have them and I'm very grateful that Memphis escaped most of the damaging winds.

Pottery-wise, I'm having a bit of a crisis.  My old reliable white glaze has begun acting up on me- either not covering properly or shivering off - which means that the glaze cracks and bits of razor sharp glaze flake off.  I grabbed one of my new latte cups from its bin on Wednesday and cut myself.  Not badly, but that's not supposed to happen.  I suspect that my clay has been reformulated, but my clay and glaze supplier has sent me a new batch of white to test and I've purchased a few other glazes to test the next time I fire.  I'm waiting to glaze a fire a ton of work until these problems have been worked out- which must happen, oh, next week.

My colored glazes all seem to be working properly, so I will be using them, instead.  I put up a bunch of these speckled spoon rests at Etsy and will list the solid colors over the weekend.  I had hopes for honeypots, but many of them are supposed to be white, and, well, ahem.  Soon, I hope. 

I think that these are growing pains.  It's interesting to me that these problems are cropping up now, eight years after I began using this clay and this glaze, and I'm working more carefully and mindfully now than ever before.  There's something to learn, I'm just not sure what it is.  So in the meantime, I'm doing a lot of thinking and throwing and yoga (I've discovered that I can do a mean headstand.  The handstand triggers my old friend tendonitis, so I'll stay away from that, thanks much, but I'm a bit tickled by the headstand action) and reading and refining my pottery-making process.  Maybe that's what I'm supposed to be doing- refining rather than producing.

Well.  I've said all I have in me.  I hope your weekend is nice and relaxing.  Thanks for being here with me, friends.

Friday, April 22, 2011

new work

For the past 6 weeks I've been working like one crazed- typically 8-10 hours a day, 5-6 days a week.  I feel both satisfied and dissatisfied with this- I have very little product on hand to show for the time I've put in, but my last two (previous to the load I just unloaded) kilnloads were sold before they were even fired.  I've made a few dozen large platters, mugs and honeypots of all sorts, these latte cups, egg cups, and spoon rests, all pre-sold.  It's craziness.  Right now I have these cups, spoon rests, and not much else to take to my first of three appearances at the Memphis Farmers Market.  Plenty of herb markers on hand thanks to my once-a-week studio helper, Natalie, but pickings are slim.  I'm grateful for the pre-sales and feeling slightly crazy at the same time.

These latte cups make me really happy.  I kept one (a bonjour) for myself, and I have several more upstairs drying.  It's also berry bowl season, and my friend Jeanette Zeis shared some new-to-me techniques that seem to have stopped the insidious cracking problems I've been suffering through for the last three years.  I'm actually excited about making berry bowls again!

Ok.  Must run.  There are pots to price and pack, pots to trim, and a brother to pick up from the airport in the next five hours.
Happy Easter weekend, Happy Passover friends.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

hope (one hundred two)

hope (one hundred two)
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
I feel like one of those kindergarten mice on an exercise wheel- going and going and going and getting nowhere. Not that I'm nowhere, but I have been working like crazy and not feeling like I've got an appropriate (ha!) pile of work to show for it. So. I'm here, I'm hard at work. I'll be at MFM on the 23rd. Etsy restocking isn't happening this week. I painted a bunch of "bonjour" and "good morning" latte cups today. I work on getting pots ready for glazing for about 4 hours this morning and afternoon. This is the first day in, oh, six, that I haven't done a 8-10 hour day. Monday and Tuesday nights I worked until 10 pm. YUCKY. This is not, folks, why most people decide to work for themselves. I will tell you, though, that this is also why most pottery is as expensive as it is. It's because each cup takes about 2 hours of hands-on time, lump of clay to finished product, not counting the 16+ hours of firing and 40+ hours of cooling time.

To top it off, I cannot get my pictures up to blogger and I have to use flickr to do it.  The day's been caca, I tell you.  I am managing to keep up with my photo-a-day, but just barely.  But we're here, breathing, well(ish), together.  That's all that matters in the end.

So. A poem. Not mine.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me

Thank you, Miss Emily.

Monday, April 4, 2011


that absence was unexpected.  life is crazy sometimes.  mine certainly is.  the bad things are bad; we learn from them, hopefully, and send them on their way.  We got hit by big-time bad on monday the 21st, right after I wrote here last.  Another layoff, unexpected, and a big problem with our insurance.  All is well in the end.  We're coping, we have short-term insurance (hi, powers that be, I'd really really like single-payer insurance.  I'd be happy to pay for it, to sacrifice some other things to get it.  just so you know, in case you're listening.).  The end that is well isn't here yet, but it will be.

I promised I'd show some of the new work that is at my newest retail account, Original Ink a stationery and gift shop in Germantown, TN.  They're carrying my botanical pieces and some of the French redware, but I wanted to show you two ideas that they asked me to create:

 The first is a series of baby cups, a spin-off of my french-labeled pieces.  I love the "bebe" in lower case font.  I'm not typically a pink fan, but I think it worked well here:

The second, a series of plates and platters, comes from my little nest-topped honey pots.  I would have never thought to take the little nest and put it on a platter, but it's sweet.  

Both of these lines are exclusive to Original Ink.  I'll still sell my nest-topped honeypots and redware locally and at my etsy shop, but these particular versions are only available in Germantown.  They are keeping me busy, as are my other retail accounts in Memphis.  I'm planning my home sale for mid-May, and updating etsy NEXT WEEK!  I promise.

Later this week (barring uncertainties) I'll have a few more things to show you.  Until then, be well, be happy, be grateful for the good in your life.  That's helped me wade through the muck.  Thanks for reading, friends.