About Me

Autumnal Equinox

Posted by on Sep 22, 2012 in About Me, Teapot | 5 comments

“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.”                                                  – Emily Bronte Happy Fall!  Today is the first official day of fall and I am so excited.  In fact, I have hung a harvest wreath on the front door and bought some beautiful red flowers to put on the table because this is my favorite time of year. The changing season brings certain rituals that I enjoy.  I make soups, set out decorations, light candles in the evenings, buy mums for the deck, drink tea, etc.  But, there isn’t much that changes in the studio.  Although, I am a bit more apt to work on holiday projects.  But other than going to craft shows, my work continues.  With such pleasant weather, it is even more enjoyable to be in the studio with the door open!  Perhaps I will make some leaf mugs...

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Photo shoot

Posted by on Sep 8, 2012 in About Me, Parnter | 0 comments

As I have developed into a potter, I have learned a lot of things – how to make pots, mix glazes, load kilns, recycle clay…  But what I didn’t think I would have to learn is how to have my picture taken. I am not particularly comfortable with having my photo taken (I thought I would have been over that by this point in my life but it seems that isn’t the case).  The thing is, when people purchase a handmade items, they want to know about artists which includes seeing a photo. So once again, A-La-Mode Photography, came to our rescue.  Speight and Nassim came by the studio and shot several photos of us, our work, and the Sous-potters.  They have amazing talent and generous...

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Cultivating Creativity

Posted by on Sep 5, 2012 in About Me, Philosophy | 0 comments

Creativity is a concept that I have had to re-define.  Initially, I thought you were born creative; and there is a lot of propoganda out there  to support this mispreception.  At this point in life, I realize that being creative is a form of problem solving that combines using limited resources, acquiring skills, and working around deficiencies.  Often, a creative solution is the result of preparation and tenacious work. As a potter, I understand that there are a lot of things I need to DO in order to be creative. Primarily, I need to work.  Working means my hands are in clay.  I get lots of ideas when I am engaging with the clay and am able to try lots of things when I am working. If I am to cultivate creativity, I know I need time to think and consider.  One way I do this is to journal.  But it is hard to carve out quiet time to listen to the ideas floating around in my mind because something always seems to get in my way.  However, when I do, I gain clarity about what I want to do in the studio. I also need to be inspired if I am to be creative.   When I want to be inspired, I read, search for new glazes, reading, look at fabrics, attend workshops, or take a trip.   But this is a dangerous zone because I can spend a lot of time shopping for tools and reading inspirational material rather than acutally working – the result is a pile of tools and ‘pins’ that I don’t do anything with. Sometimes I need more motivation to be creative so I give myself a problem to solve or a challenge to overcome (make 10 different mug forms, the largest bowl I can make from 5 lbs, texturize a series of tumblers, etc.).  And sometimes, I am forced to cultivate creative resolutions to problems that I didn’t mean to have like how to use a glaze that I love but runs, how to save a kiln load of bisqueware that was fired to glaze temperatures, how to the make pots lighter because I am running out of clay, etc. Being creative takes work and it doesn’t happen for me unless I do the work.  It is like my fortune cookie said, “It is tough to be fascinating”. What is it you do to cultivate your...

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September 1st

Posted by on Sep 1, 2012 in About Me | 0 comments

There are signs all around that fall is almost here: Labor day plans are being made Mums are being planted Starbucks is selling Pumpkin Spice Lattes (not to me though – I don’t like to dilute coffee’s flavor with anything but cream) Kids are going back to school And, pottery show season has begun Last week, we attended Lazy Daze in Cary and had a GREAT show.  The day was full of people – among the new customers, we had several friends and repeat customers came by our booth!  It all made for a fun day.  This was our third appearance at Lazy Daze and it has always been a good show for us.  (Last year, we didn’t get to go because Hurricane Irene decided to visit.)  Since we have participated in this show the most, it has also become an indicator of the ending of summer. So what’s on the autumn agenda?  A few more shows (Sparkcon, Mumfest, and Friend’s of ECU Studio Tour).  Making more pots (maybe even some pumpkin themed pots…).  New classes at Emerge (Lidded Forms and Holiday Ceramics).   And, I will begin working on holiday projects. I know many people who lament the end of summer.  But, I am not among them.  I love how the trees seem to crescendo in beauty before drifting into a contemplative rest.  Fall is my favorite time of year and worthy of celebration – I decorate my house, listen to ‘fall’ music, light candles, and make lots of soups.  I hope you find ways to celebrate and enjoy this most soulful of...

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Summer Luxuries for a Potter

Posted by on Jul 17, 2012 in About Me, Sous-potter | 0 comments

Summer in eastern NC is relentlessly hot and humid.  Although I love going out to the studio in the morning in my p.j.’s and working until after 8 in daylight, it is hot and I long for the cool autumn days.  Here are few things that help make the dog days of summer more bearable for me: A fan – even in the hottest days, moving air is refreshing.  I have a ceiling fan in my studio which often cools the studio enough for me to avoid using the A/C. An A/C unit – there are afternoons when nothing but air conditioning makes the studio bearable.  I am so thankful for the window unit in my small studio. Cool water – I let the water run a bit before filling my buckets.  Then I have cool water for throwing which is very nice when it is over 90°. Open-toed shoes – I don’t mind getting clay on my toes. Shades – I draw the curtains in the studio in the late afternoon to keep the harsh summer light from heating the studio.  There is something soothing about dimmed afternoon light. Iced tea – it is light and caffeinated. A good audio book – aren’t beach reads essential to summer?  A good audio book keeps me in the studio longer (truthfully, this is a year-round indulgence). Potted flowers – the seem cheery even in the sweltering afternoon...

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House of Surprises

Posted by on Jul 3, 2012 in About Me, Inspiration | 2 comments

Today we visited the Isabella Gardener Museum in Boston.  It is a unique museum filled with pieces Isabella Gardener collected and displayed in a house she had built for her collections.  The collections are housed in several rooms and salons that are arranged around a three-story open courtyard.  Gardener installed the pieces for their enjoyment rather than by provenance, artist, or period.  It is quite an eclectic museum. A collection of antique wooden and leather boxes displayed on a carved Spanish table made me realize that this wasn’t really a museum – it was a house of surprises.  One box would have been interesting enough but the assortment was entrancing. A friend told me of a family home that she visited as a child called ‘the house of surprises’ which which was filled with lots of interesting things.  And, I have another friend whose home is filled with intriguing collections.  I love spending time there because there is so much to look at and to be inspired by.  I always leave her house wishing I had more ‘stuff’. Perhaps it is my preoccupation with multiples, but I got to thinking.  If I had unlimited space like Isabella Gardener and I weren’t such a minimialist, what sort of collections would I assemble?  Well, everything that I love and gives me pleasure!  Teapots (of course), leather-bound books, nutcrackers, glass paperweights, boxes, carousel horses, women’s hats, glass jars, balls of yarn, handmade journals, blown glass globes, teabowls and mugs, bottles of wine, minerals, gingerbread houses, blankets, antique perfume bottles, music boxes, sugar and creamer sets, snowglobes, tote bags, apothecary cabinets, scarves, tea canisters, gloves, river rocks, hat pins, sets of dinnerware, and glass pumpkins. Alas, I don’t have unlimited space or funds; and I am too pragmatic (which is why I only purchase Christmas ornaments as souvenirs – I can enjoy them and the memories they evoke while they serve a purpose and have a place).  But it is fun to think...

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