Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another pot

I'm off to Florida tomorrow for the Halifax show in Daytona. I'll be taking this.

If you haven't voted in the Art in the Round Contest go here to be on the jury!

Happy Halloween!

Here's a caldron for you!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bag Lady Teapots!

If I've been a bit absent here lately it is because I was accepted into every single show to which I applied for the fall. Gulp. So, it's been nose-to-the-grindstone or wheel for me. I made these sweet teapots over this weekend to replenish my supply of crazy ass pots that people seem to love. I have to admit I enjoyed making these ladies and I don't think I'm quite done with them yet. I still have ideas! Obviously, these have not yet been fired. I will add touches of color here and there and glaze them with more subdued glazes so as to not make them completely over-the-top.

Gotta get back to work!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Crazy Ass pots

My entire line of crazy ass pots is gone! I sold one teapot at a show and a gallery took the rest. These are probably my least favorite pots but if I can sell them I intend to make more. Now that I can throw again I can assemble them from extrusions and wheel-thrown pieces. I like them better that way. I'll post some pictures once I get a few done.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

In process

Here you see a large pot I made in my usual way: I threw a base and then added coils, throwing each as I went along. I threw the top separately and added it last. Arranged around the pot you see some natural stuff I've picked up here and there. The large jar contains ponderosa pine ash from the lodge fireplace at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon! My daughter secured it for me just this past May. I intend to formulate a blue or green ash glaze with it. I will run some tests to see which I like better. I've never used any kind of pine ash in my glazes, only hardwood ash, so I'm curious to see what it does.

The ridges on this pot I made by coating the freshly-made pot in slip and then combing it with a kitchen utensil I have. I like the deep ridges it creates and the undulating pattern that is not rigid at all. These will catch the ash glaze and create a more interesting surface.

Also shown are some very old broken bottles I dug out of a downtown street. The city is putting in a new street and uncovered an old dump, probably dating back to around 1900. The neat thing about the glass made back then is that it tends to melt at a higher temp than the more energy-conscious glass in modern bottles, which can run right off a pot. I can grind this to make a glaze or use small pieces on selected areas of my pots.

I'll post more on this as I go along.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It's an election year

So vote for me! I've entered the "Art in the Round" competition, which is online. You can view me on it at and follow the links to see the other artists as well. Even better, YOU can be part of the jury, just by signing up! How's that for democracy?

Monday, August 18, 2008

March of the Lil' Guys

I make these for my two-year-old granddaughter, who carries them around in a pouch, lines 'em up, assigns personalities to 'em and generally loves 'em. So I'm making more to sell. They are amazingly sturdy for ceramic items. She is not gentle with them and takes them outside, knocking 'em around on the sidewalk. Though one or two have dings, none has broken. These are greenware, made while I watched the Olympics. I'll use underglaze on some and each will be different. I think what she likes about them is their individuality. She actually calls them by their glaze name, which I find exceedingly funny. "Where's Shino?" "White Bird is first." And so on.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Letting it SHOW!

I've spent the week searching for shows to which I could apply, then researching those shows, filling out the applications, writing way too many checks for booth fees and getting very well acquainted with the folks at the Post Office. I'm doing a local show the first weekend in September and will have a pot in the invitational show for our local Westabou Festival. In November I'll be going to Florida to do the "By Women, For Women" show and hopefully either the DeLand Festival or the Halifax Festival in Daytona. Maybe both. I've also applied for a show near Macon, GA, and one in Watkinsville, GA. Unless all these shows accept me I'll also do a show on St. Simons Island. I don't know if I'll sell many pots there but, hey, it's the beach!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

What a long, strange trip it's been!

Here it is, a Thursday afternoon, and am I at work? In school? In any way being productive? Nope.

In a way my love of pottery started when I was little more than a toddler and played in the mud. I kept wanting to make little cups but the mud wouldn't stick together. In my teens I dated a guy from the local college. He took me into the art building - and lost me in the ceramics lab! It was empty except for one student who told me it would be fine if I tried out a wheel. From that point on I was hooked. Life intervened a bit and I did not do pottery for years. Then I'd take a course or do it in a limited way. Two years ago I decided that life had handed me enough lemons for a whole lemon pie and scared up my courage and went back to school to study pottery.

It's been a funny week. Not much has gone my way but I still love the pottery. I've got some shows coming up this fall and plan on going full tilt until Christmas. All my life I've envied those who got to do what they love for a living. Now I'm one of them.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A bad day at the pottery...

Yesterday I was putting the finishing touches on a very large pot, maybe three feet tall, and accidentally stepped on my wheel's pedal. The pot spun at maximum rate and the center ballooned out way past the point of saving it. I worked two days on that damn pot and it's history. Then, probably coincidentally, my wheel just stopped working. All I did was step on the pedal, which I've done over and over for more than two years. But when stuff begins to happen it seems to happen all at once. Finally, while placing another large pot I'd glazed on a low shelf for firing I hit my head hard against the shelf above.

Still, a bad day at the studio beats a good day in many places!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Selling it

I've had my first sales from my etsy site. ( and it is so encouraging! I really want to keep making pots. When I was a writer I never felt compelled to write the way I feel compelled to make pots. I was happy enough to write and happy enough to lay it down. But I get itchy when I can't make pots. The problem with this is that pots take up space and right now one can hardly walk through my living room without bumping into one pot or the other.

Gotta sell more pots!

Friday, July 18, 2008


Back when I was working full time Friday just meant the weekend, the laying down of the daily grind and finally getting to do what I liked (pottery). Now, Friday means no studio time but instead a morning with my granddaughter and an afternoon of doing the other stuff pottery demands: paperwork, web stuff, pricing, etc. I enjoy this break.

Today I updated my etsy site with new pots. Come see what I've been doing!

This little flask sports a Shino glaze with ferns and a blushing alkaline collar.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Eat bread and salt and be content

I've been working hard on building inventory since June. I'm not a production potter, (though I enjoy production work), I'm more of a series kind of potter. I work on platters in a series, shallow bowls in a series, that kind of thing. This pix is one of a series of what I call bread bowls. They're stoneware, thrown and altered with a wheat motif I like. One uses these to warm bread and then serve it at the table. The heat from the bread bowl keeps the bread warm, unlike a wicker basket. I am Slavic in heritage and my title for this post is actually an old Slavic saying. There's a lot of wisdom in it and it appeals to me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The price of pots

I've been considering this a lot lately - the price of my pots. I look at a piece and I know how much clay, glazes and time I have in it. I know how much it cost to fire and I know my associated costs: the entry fees, the displays, the gas(!) used in driving to a venue. All this I add to the "price" of my pots. What I don't add is the cost to my body - the aching arm, sore back, stiff neck. I wonder how long I can make pots. How long I can lug the clay, pug the clay, even center it?

This is not a whine, just a musing. For clay gives me at least as much as it takes. But it is a hard taskmaster!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I'm back!

Whew! I started this blog while on a bit of a rest from pottery. My Mom died last October and tending to her before her death took a bit of a toll on my right arm. I didn't realize it when I started this blog, but lifting her tore the tendon in my right arm. I thought I just had a case of tennis elbow but as soon as I began throwing pots again my arm turned black (from the internal bleeding from the tear). I had to completely stop throwing pots for six months.

But I'm back now. I wasn't entirely unproductive during that time, however. I created what I call my crazy ass series - pots made from extrusions, mostly. These were fun, but also frustrating. I just wanted to throw. The one shown here, the plate or shallow bowl, is one in my new Southwestern series that feature glaze treatments inspired by the austere yet serene landscapes of Arizona, one of my favorite places. I've also started to make larger pots by both throwing and coiling.

You can see more at my etsy site: