Posts made in February, 2012

Vacation

Posted by on Feb 28, 2012 in Dinnerware | 0 comments

I’m on vacation!  Well, sort of – I still have to work at my day job; but, my pottery partner is gone for a week and I am on hiatus from the art center; so it feels like a vacation. With all this vacationing, things have been slow in the studio (although, I did trim a bowl tonight).  However, things in the kitchen are heating up.  I have been cooking and experimenting.  This morning I made a shrimp-stuffed omelet and tonight I am working on a version of cajun sausage and rice (for Jeff).  I’ve noticed that when I am working on a lot of ideas and pots in the studio, I often struggle to come up with a menu.  But, now, while I am  feeling uninspired in the studio the creativity has kicked up in the kitchen.  I wonder if creativity in the studio and kitchen can both...

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A Brief Study of Teapots

Posted by on Feb 24, 2012 in Teapot | 0 comments

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Eva Zeisel

Posted by on Feb 21, 2012 in Dinnerware, Philosophy, Pottery | 0 comments

This week is the last week of classes in the Winter Session at the art center where I teach.  The focus of our session was “Production Pottery” in which we made dinnerware pieces.  As I was preparing for our last class, I began to think about Eva Zeisel, a renowned potter whose dinnerware was made available through industrial reproduction. Eva Zeisel died on December 30, 2011; and the ceramics world collectively grieved.  I read several articles about her shortly after she passed away.  She is known in for her beautiful dinnerware – clean, modern, organic, and elegant.  It was cast and reproduced for mass market by several ceramic industries. One of the articles celebrating her life (Zeisel) was reprinted in our local newspaper.  Although the author, Lance Esplund, had met Zeisel, he claimed that he mostly knew Zeisel through her work.  Esplund said to sit down to a table ‘enlivened’ by her dinnerware was “not to simply dine but to engage with art”… amazing praise for a potter. There were so many interesting things about this potter – her imprisonment, a long and successful career in ceramics, and her legacy of pots.  She made what she loved or re-worked others’ designs all in her “playful search for beauty”.  So as this brief session on dinnerware concludes, I am inspired by Eva Zeisel’s  endowment to modern...

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Winter Luxuries for a Potter

Posted by on Feb 17, 2012 in About Me | 0 comments

Winters in eastern NC are usually mild and 2012 has been exceptionally mild. But, we had a cold snap, and although I have a small space heater in my studio that manages to take most of the chill out, it never gets really warm.  So even though I love making pots, it is still hard to motivate myself to go to the cold studio when the house is warm and bright. The recent below-freezing nights made me think of the small indulgences that make working in the winter a little easier for me. Warm water – a bucket of warm throwing water makes all the difference. I heard of a potter who uses an aquarium heater to keep the bucket of water warm. But, I don’t live in a climate that demands such level of attentiveness. Hand cream – strategically placed for easy accessibility (beside the sink, in my desk drawer, on my bedside table, in the car, and in my purse). Although this luxury isn’t limited to winter, I use hand cream more frequently this time of year.  I like small bottles of any unscented varieties but I don’t have a favorite. ¾ length sleeve shirts – they keep me warm without getting wet and nasty when I throw. Shade tank tops – they are close fitting and LONG. I wear them under my shirts and the extra length keeps my back covered when I work on the wheel. I don’t like any cold blasts of air. Clay stored in the house – it is warm and I don’t get an ice-cream headache when I throw with...

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The Potter and the Baker

Posted by on Feb 13, 2012 in About Me, Slip Trailing | 3 comments

I love to cook; but baking was never a passion.  It had to do with 2 things: calories and messiness.  No matter what you bake, there are a lot of calories.  And, sous-potter, Jeff, doesn’t like breads or sweets, which means the bulk of the calories are mine to consume unless I can find some other sacrificial soul. The other reason I didn’t care for baking was the mess – flour everywhere and sticky hands.  But, working in clay has made me much more comfortable with sticky hands.  Whereas I used to stop every few minutes and wipe them clean, I’m more comfortable with messy hands and only stop to clean them when it is necessary for the task rather than repetitively washing them.  Pottery also taught me how to keep my work space tidy.  I am also more conscientious about using tools and putting them away immediately because no matter what the studio or kitchen size, there is never enough space so I’ve learned to protect workspace by keeping things orderly and out of the way. As I was making sugar cookies this weekend, I realized how much pottery has improved my baking skills.  I rolled out the dough much more evenly and I didn’t over work it (this may not be a benefit from clay but a result of laziness because most of the clay I wedge has air bubbles in it – I have never been guilty of over working clay).  And, I had a steadier hand when I was decorating the cookies – probably a result of a lot of practice slip...

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