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: