Friday, June 24, 2011

moving forward

Good morning!  Yesterday I dropped off a small batch of these cups and had a really interesting talk with Diane of Diane's Art Gift and Home in Midtown Memphis.  She is such a creative, generous person- I'm grateful to have her retailing my work- for that matter, I'm grateful to have good working relationships with all of my retailers- they encourage me to look beyond what I'm currently making and into what's possible.  Sometimes it's a bit of a stretch, but stretching is good.  We're working on some things with a little more whimsy- more birds, more color.  We'll see what comes of it!  She was excited about these little cups- as am I.  I'm just crazy about drawing these bees. 

I was browsing around early this morning and came across this blog.  I was looking for something having to do with refinishing a built-in-butler's pantry, but this honeycomb platter caught my eye.  She uses self-hardening clay for this project, but I am definitely going to adapt her use of a plastic bee-keeper's honeycomb foundation to create some texture and pattern in my bee pieces.  I'm thinking that I'm going to set aside a portion of my bee sales to financemy own hive next spring.  This website is full of good information on top-bar beekeeping, a low-impact practice that is good for urban areas. 

One last bit- I am holding my annual Spring/Summer sale on July 15 and 16.  Let me know if you want on my mailing list (please email me your address).  I know it will be warm, but I'll have lemonade and cooling snacks for you.

Have a nice weekend!

Monday, June 20, 2011


Thank you, everyone, for your kind words- here, on Facebook, and elsewhere- regarding my departure from the crazy-making and unattainable land of perfect.  I really appreciate them.  We jetted out of town for a long weekend of lakeside family reunion for my grandmother's 90th birthday and to help another relative move into her new house- it was cool and rainy and there was no internet access.  I napped and knitted and organized rested and unpacked and watched the river roll by my aunt's new house.  It was nice.

Shortly before I left I unloaded this stack of plates from the kiln for a client's dinnerware set.  I've done teacups, tumblers, salad/dessert plates, and now her dinner plates.  She's getting her set one component at a time, and while these aren't *quite* where I'd want them to be, I am, by and large, pleased.  It has  taken me years to get to the point where I could make plates- both in terms of skill level and in dealing with tendonitis.  I've found that I can make 2-3 plates a day if I alternate plates with smaller pieces that don't require as much force to center.  I started with around 3 lb of wet clay and threw them around 11.25." After bisque and glaze firing, they shrank to 10-10.5".  I made 12 hoping for 8 successful plates.  Another client has asked for a botanical set of dinnerware and I am about 1/4 of the way through her set. 

Yesterday I found an email from a potential client who wanted tea bowls for matcha.  He was kind enough to send me a link showing me exactly the shape and slope he wanted- I had no idea there was so much variation.  I did some online research and really enjoyed watching this series, which included the chawan bowls I've been asked to make.  There are so many different shapes and styles of tea bowls, from refined porcelain to rough and rustic groggy clay.  This should be an interesting project.

If you happen to be in the Memphis area, Original Ink is having their grand opening/open house on Thursday afternoon/evening.  We have a conflict or I would be there, but I hope that you can stop by and see their lovely shop.

Have a good week!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

restocking: taking stock

I have finally restocked my etsy shop. There are latte cups, a few honey pots, new mugs, and more solid-colored spoon rests.  And more to come- both locally and online.

Saturday's last market day was good- events unfolded so that it was bitter-sweet, more sweet than anything else.  My instincts that it was time to go were validated- friends were sad but happy to see me embarking on a new chapter.  Now- to begin that new chapter?  What shall I do?

I'm listening to myself, to my customers, to new opportunities that come knocking.  I'm revising my plans and my expectations of myself.  One large revision is throwing away expectations of perfection.  I'm embracing wabi-sabi- all of my work shows my hand.  There is a flaw in every piece because I am a human, flawed, wonderfully imperfect.  And I'm getting to the point where I'm ok with that.  I'm not going to kill myself trying to make work that looks like it rolled off a factory line somewhere and should be sitting at (name your favorite large kitchen-ware retailer)__________.  Stopping that right here.  Happily.

I have shelves full of work to be fired upstairs and am waiting until it is just a *little* cooler before I fire again.  We've had 2 weeks of 100+ heat indices and actual temps of 95+.  I think most of the country has.  I'm in no hurry.  It's summer.  It's the south.  We move slowly for a reason (but we're thinking fast, don't let our pace or drawl fool you!).

Ok.  all done.  Y'all have a nice weekend.

Friday, June 3, 2011

last day

I am back.  Happy to be home, well rested, feeling cooler than the temps outside.  Holding all of the deep lush green forest damp in my heart.

Tomorrow is my last day at the Farmers Market in Memphis.  I'm not sure if it's the last ever, but it will be the last this year.  If you're in the notion, come and find me and say hello.  Leaving the market was a difficult decision, but I can't keep and build inventory and hold on to my wholesale accounts or manage to stock an online store.  So I'm dropping my obligations there and seeing what will happen in other areas.  I'll have some mugs, some honey pots, a few berry bowls, and a precious few bee pieces.

While we were away in the Smoky Mountains my new clear glazes arrived.  I'm excited to try them.  And shortly before we left I restocked my wares at Original Ink in Germantown, TN.  I am so happy to be with the ladies who run this lovely stationery and gift shop- they have so many nice gifts for babies, small children, and a growing selection of gifts that would be just wonderful for hostess and birthday gifts.

Next week I'm planning to do more glazing and firing and restocking.  Have a nice weekend, y'all.  Stay cool!