Monday, January 30, 2012

at the end

My little Jan term is almost over.  I feel like I've worked a lot and been really lazy.  Played with new ideas, produced quite a lot, drew quite a lot, and am ready to keep moving.

I am really quite pleased with my yarn bowls- I have a few other ideas that I'm working on and waiting to dry long enough to fire and glaze.  I'll admit that  I hesitated before making them because, well, I didn't see the point.  I keep my yarn in a project bag at my feet, so I didn't see the need for one.  But my knitting friends prevailed upon me and I made a few testers.  Now that I've used one, I get it.
After I broke my favorite cup earlier this fall, I had to make my own tall tumbler.  This photo seems to have led to a request for a virtual twitter tea party.  I need to get to work!
This fat little teapot is the first I've made in several years.  I got a wild hair this fall to make one (and the hex stamps are a direct result of my visit to Heath Ceramics) in October/November, and didn't glaze it until just last week.  I think I'll make more.
These bright blue mugs and saucers are for a customer who's ordered her dinnerware set in a piecemeal fashion- plates, then cups, then teacups, then bowls, another set of bowls, a set of dessert plates.  This last round has been what you see here, plus red egg cups, and a set of vases.  I'm ready to get the little niggly reglaze work done on these and send them out the door.

Finally, y'all have helped me raise well over $200 for my friend Angela through the sale of the Emily Dickinson hope pieces.  I am ever so grateful, because, friends, that's $200 in one single week.  As in, last Monday, January 23, to this Monday, January 30.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I'll have more tumblers later this week (in the bisque kiln now), and some new colorways on the trays in another week.

I hope your week is a lovely one.  Thanks for being here with me.

Monday, January 23, 2012

a fundraiser

for my friend  Angela and her husband, Devin.  $32 for the 6" tray, flat $4 shipping.  In a variety of colors, in my shop now and in the coming weeks.  Thanks for helping me help my friends get back on their feet.

More soon.

Friday, January 20, 2012


It has been a killer of a week over here.  We had a week and then a weekend in which I really felt my well had been replenished. Friday night date/movie night, several parties to go to on Saturday, and then Sunday was wonderful-we took a family trip to try to see bald eagles at Reelfoot Lake in Tiptonville, TN.  Monday was quiet, and Tuesday started a slump for me.  I was on the ball and started and finished my quarterly sales tax before 8:30 am (one of the benefits of having a 7:20 school day start).  I rewarded myself by checking  facebook to find out that a college friend was losing her 5 year battle with metastatic breast cancer.  My friend is still fighting, refusing hospice, but she is weak and tired.  Holding on for her two sons, her husband, to the life she loves.  It's been hard to see much past that.

I did manage to fire my kiln and the past 2 days I've been alternately keeping vigil for Mischa and working on the special "hope" pieces.  I have almost 20 little trays and the first four tumblers (the tumblers have all been reserved, but more are in the works).

These tumblers are lacking only a clear coat of glaze before they go back into the kiln this afternoon.  I'll put the trays up on etsy and my Facebook page, hopefully on Monday.

Thank you for your response to these.  You warm my heart.

Go and love on the people you love.
See you next week.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Even though I came into 2012 with a plan (for drawing, for finishing up a client's order), I felt like I lacked any sort of momentum to get myself up away from the cozy wood stove and into the chilly studio.  That is, until I found out about how much a friend is suffering with a debilitating, degenerative rheumatoid disease, that it's been going on for 16 years, that she and her husband are in the direst of straits.  So I started working, thinking about Angela and Devin as I worked, and this is what I came up with:

and also this: 
As many of you know, my husband was laid off and under-employed for almost 2 years.  I'm blessed, fortunate, lucky that we came out of that period with our savings largely intact, with out home, our health, our marriage.  We lived on hope and faith and scratching around to make do.  I know that lots of people aren't so lucky.  And it just hurts my heart that my friends are in such a bad bad spot.  I didn't think that I could do much for them- I'm so far away, and what really could I do?  Well, this: I'm dedicating half of the sales of this work, featuring the first line Emily Dickinson's poem, to help support Angela and Devin.  I hope to have the first batch of these pieces out by the end of next week.  They'll be for sale here (email me and I'll send you a paypal invoice), through Facebook (same deal, let me know and I'll send you a paypal), and my etsy shop.  The trays are roughly 6" long by 5" wide and are $32.  The tumblers are 4" tall and are $34.   Shipping is a flat $4.

I know this poem means a lot to so many people.  It meant a lot to me as we wandered through the darkness.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for helping me to help my friend.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

new year

Every year I try to take on a new project in January.  Learn something new, develop a new habit.  It's leftover from my college days when we were on a 4-1-4 system and had the month of January to take an intensive class, do an internship, independent study, or travel (I took a class on Churchill in 1994, interned at my city's Human Relations Council office- essentially a Civil Rights/non-discrimination arm of the city government -in 1995, interned at the Arkansas Territorial Restoration in 1996, and completed ten oil paintings in 1997).  It's a nice way to segue into a new year and ease out of the excitement of the holidays without having those post-holiday January blues set in. 

In years past, I learned how to knit socks, ran every day, taught people to knit, started blogging and opened an etsy store, painted or did printmaking.  It's never been as monumental a project as when I was in college, and frankly, as a mother and a small business owner, my memory of those "extra" things that we do for ourselves is a little lacking.  Two years ago I started the habit of taking a photo every day.  I continued that last year, but started to feel like my photos were becoming a little, um, formulaic or rote.  How many times can I take a picture of a bowls of lemons?  Lots, apparently.  In high school and college I really thrived in art classes.  I loved to draw and kept sketchbooks.  Since 2000, I think I've jumped around in three or four different sketchbooks- some huge, some purse-sized- mostly for taking notes, jotting pottery ideas, sketching pots and surface design motifs.  I decided to buy a thick, 365+ page book for this year, some nice micro pens, and make a drawing every day.

Here's my first drawing.  Edna, my black star hen, her egg, and one of her fluffy downy under feathers.  Then I drew a rose, some lemons (sensing a pattern here), and today I drew a saucer that took at least twice as long to sketch as it did to throw on the wheel.  So it's stretching me, which is rather the point of these January exercises.  But I think I'm enjoying taking ten minutes (or thirty) sitting by the fire, sketching and drawing before I start working in the studio for the day.  I'm posting some of the sketches on flickr, as I feel up to it.  Some are private, visible only to me, others public.  I think tomorrow I'm going to work on the shallots on the counter that have sprouted and should be planted in the coldframes.  Maybe.

There's studio work, too, an order to finish for a client, new work to develop, and an entire 6 foot table in my basement full of work to glaze.  I threw 6 saucers, 4 mugs, and 3 ill-fated yarn bowls today- my first time at the wheel since early December.  I need to ease into that rather than hurl headlong.  No real goals for the year, just observing the journey as I take it.

Happy Wednesday, folks,  and see you soon.