Next week, April 25-28, I will be at the Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington DC. I am busy packing up the latest kiln load of pots and look forward to showing them in this beautiful venue. Come and see me in booth #209!
I put together this photo documentary as a re-cap of the past year. The images give an idea of some of the day to day aspects of my pottery and the cycle of making, glazing, firing and selling work. Many of the firing photos were taken by my friend Jill Lewis, who always does an amazing job documenting….thanks Jill! While the majority of this photo montage has to do with the pottery work, there are a few life ones as well, since the two are naturally intertwined. I am thankful for all the blessings in my life and look forward to what 2013 will bring.
Best wishes to all for good health and prosperity in the new year. Cheers!
Wondering what to get your loved ones this year? Here are twelve reasons why handmade pottery would be a great choice!
#12 Handmade pottery makes for a unique, one-of-a-kind gift. Chances are, the recipient will not have the exact same mug in their cupboard.
#11 Handmade pottery is good for the economy. Buying it provides jobs for potters.
#10 Handmade pottery is good for you. Yes, it’s true, using a handmade pot to eat or drink out of is good for the soul. It also has the advantage of not being plastic.
#9 Handmade pottery doesn’t have to match. It’s fun to pick which plates to use for dinner and who will get which cup. Guests enjoy picking out their own too.
#8 Handmade pottery is affordable art. Buying one or two pieces at a time for someone or yourself is a great way to start a collection and is easy on your wallet.
#7 Handmade pottery is good for the environment. Many handmade mugs or tumblers fit in cup holders, potentially reducing the number paper cups going into landfills.
#6 Handmade pottery adds beauty to everyday life.
#5 Handmade pottery is available everywhere. There is a good chance someone near you is a potter. Buying something from them will save you a trip to the mall and supports your local economy.
#4 Handmade pottery is a meaningful gift.
#3 Handmade pottery is a valuable gift. Over time and through use, a piece of pottery intertwines with the users life. It becomes priceless. It could end up being a family heirloom.
#2 Handmade pottery is just that, handmade, made with human hands.
#1 Handmade pottery is not facebook or twitter, blogging or texting, yet is has the power to connect us all to each other.
I hope you keep the connection alive by giving the gift of handmade pottery.
Here is a collection of images from my June firing. I always love to see the pots spread out in the studio after they’ve been glazed and await loading. They are grouped by size and form to make loading easier. I can keep the mental image of what I have while arranging each shelf in the kiln. Though I still make (what seems like) hundreds of trips back in the studio to see how many are left! Loading takes two days, since I try to keep my work within the school day hours. This firing (the 7th in this kiln) was 36 hours long and the results varied. As with each kiln opening, this one left me curious, perplexed, excited, disappointed, wondering and already thinking about the next one! Such are the variables of wood firing.
I have been busy these last few weeks making and finishing pots for the next wood firing. With the studio work kicked into high gear, all other aspects of business take the back seat, i.e. keeping up with blog posts and returning e-mails. Since today is so scorching hot and my bisque kiln is heating up the studio to stifling temperatures, I thought I would take this time to catch up on computer stuff, while sipping a nice iced-tea next to a breezy window.
Here is a sample of what I’ve been making. These pots will be bisque fired and glazed over the next two weeks. I will be loading and firing the kiln the second week in June. More updates will be posted about the firing as they happen. My show schedule starts in August this year with the Crafts Shows at Chautauqua in western NY. Stay tuned for my full show schedule, which I will be posting soon.
I’m getting ready for another First Saturday on the Art Trail Open Studio. Spring is always a great time to do some cleaning and open the doors for visitors. I’m excited to have new pots available from my recent earthenware wood firing,
along with a nice selection of spring vases and baskets.
Please join me in celebrating Spring! Saturday April 7th from 10am-2pm at my studio in Mecklenburg.
I am also happy to announce that 10% of the proceeds from this sale will go to benefit the Food is Elementary program which is currently taking place in the Trumansburg Central School district. ”Food is Elementary is a unique and vibrant curriculum introduced into schools and communities that teach children about food, nutrition, culture and healthy living.” The program is run by Antonia Demas, founder of the Food Studies Institute. I believe this a crucial program that needs much support. To learn more please visit the website www.foodstudies.org. Donations can also be made directly through the website.
I am excited about the results from a recent, experimental wood firing. My friend Renata Wadsworth and I collaborated to do an earthenware firing in her fast fire wood kiln. The kiln was perfect for an experiment such as this. It is small enough that it didn’t take long to fill and fires in about half a day. I have worked with earthenware occasionally and have been curious about how it would look in a wood fired atmosphere. I love the richness of the clay while working with it. When electric fired to cone one (about 2077 degrees), a little hotter than traditional earthenware temperatures, the color is a beautiful, deep orange. We fired the wood kiln to cone one as well, to give the clay more density and increase durability. With some reduction from the wood and the addition of a little soda ash, the clay color ranged from deep, rusty orange to dark chocolate brown. I used a white slip and white glaze on the insides of cups and some bowls, which contrasted nicely with the dark clay. Overall I think the results from this experiment have a lot of potential. There is very subtle variation in the surfaces without much wood ash sticking to the pots. I have noticed that my favorite pieces from my kiln are those that have the quietest surfaces. We’ll see where this goes, but I hope to do an earthenware firing in my kiln in the near future.
It is necessary to get out of the studio and look at things. Diverging from the daily routine can be difficult, but I was reminded of the importance of doing so on a recent visit to our local art museum. The Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University has an incredible collection of Asian and Pacific art. A large segment of the collection includes pottery from China, Japan, Korea, Thailand and West and Central Asia. Thanks to the expansion of their Asian galleries that took place last year, there are many more pieces on display. Included in the new visible storage gallery is this grouping of Korean pots from the Silla Dynasty. I admire these strong forms and the direct, intentional way the cut outs were made. Leaving the Museum, I was left with this series of questions that went through my mind as I walked through the peaceful rooms. How did they do that and why? What was the world of this maker like? What inspired these forms? It seems the best thing I can do to understand these mysteries is to take the same questions and ask them of my own work.
New! First Saturdays on the Art Trail!
Being a member of the Greater Ithaca Art Trail has many benefits, including being able to participate in the open studio weekends in October. Since my studio is off the beaten path many people would not know I was out here, were it not for my presence on the Art Trail. Now, the great folks at CAP are launching the First Saturdays on the Art Trail to give artists more exposure AND to give the public more opportunities to meet local artists and see their work.
My studio, along with eleven others, will be open this Saturday February 4th from 10am-2pm. Come on by to see what I’m working on and check out the variety of pots I have in stock!
To see the list of other participating artists check out this flyer. First Saturday Flyer A