Monday, September 29, 2008

Black Bean Salad

I'm not ready for soups and stews yet, still trying to get the last bit of summer flavors! I'm going to work on some Earthenware this week, experiment with some slips and stains. We'll see, it's been awhile, but I need a break from the craggy clay. All of my tea bowls are out of bisque and stacked up waiting for the dreaded glazing day, they look pretty good so far.


black bean salad

1 green bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup diced red onion

10 oz of frozen corn, cooked

2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained

2 diced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes

1 scallion

1 lime

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 dashes of Tabasco sauce


1 tablespoon of cilantro

Combine all ingredients and toss to mix. Serve alone or it's great with those lime flavored tortilla chips. ENJOY!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fun weekend

Susan and Tim Wells had us over to celebrate the firing of Susan's sculpture Saturday evening. Much fun, good food, good music and lots of nice people to visit with. Yes, that's a washtub bass and it sounded incredible!

Asian Noodle Salad

Asian Noodle Salad
adapted from Jamie Oliver


1 packages linguine noodles, cooked, rinsed, and cooled

1/2 to 1 head sliced Napa cabbage
1/2 to 1 head sliced purple cabbage
1/2 to 1 bag baby spinach
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
1 orange bell pepper, sliced thin (if available)
1 small bag bean sprouts (also called “mung bean sprouts”)
3 sliced scallions
3 peeled, sliced cucumbers
LOTS of chopped cilantro—up to one bunch
1 can whole cashews, lightly toasted in skillet


Juice of 1 lime
8 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 hot peppers or jalapenos, chopped
More chopped cilantro—LOTS

Mix together salad ingredients. Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on platter.
*Dressing keeps up to three days before serving, WITHOUT cilantro.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

3 Guys and Some Pottery

Wes and I went out to Doug Dotson's studio for the annual 3 Guys and Some Pottery sale Friday night. The two cups above, Ronan's on the left, Doug's on the right, came home with me. Doug's studio is like a gift from the pottery gods. If I had my pick of any studio I wanted, this would be the one for me. Doug, Ronan Peterson and Kelly O'Briant were joined by Ronan's wife
Kara Ikenberry, who was displaying her forged ironwork, and Kelly's husband Matthew Thomason who had his prints and handmade books on display. If you are around Pittsboro today, check them out, the sale is on today from 10-5pm. We had a great time at the preview party, lots of good food and the place was packed. It's so great to see people out buying pots during a week when our banks are collapsing and NC cities are running out of gas. Thanks to all of those "pot heads" for their support of potters!
Here is Doug in his fabulous studio surroundings with some equally fabulous pottery.
Ronan and Nolan on the back porch with some of Kara's great iron work

Some of Ronan's mushroom plates
and some great cups from Doug
Here is Doug's kiln with a jar by Ronan in the foreground. Sorry, I didn't get any shots of Kelly's work, there was always someone standing in front of the display eating or chatting. Check out her site here for a look at her beautiful porcelain.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

bowls and tea

What a GREAT GREAT day! This Mark Knoffler and Emmylou Harris CD seems to go with pottery like wine and cheese. Listened to it all morning. Thanks to everyone for the kind birthday wishes and yes I am 48. Not looking my age has nothing to do with me, my parents and grandparents looked and acted young forever, my mom is 78 and she just got married. Maybe the Budweiser helps a bit too. Also, I am one of the most immature people I know. I got kicked out of one of the studios because one of the other teachers bitched about the mess my kids made. So what, they got clay on the floor. She should see my house! Now I am in the crappy studio that smells funny and has no windows. Oh well, we just cranked up some Pearl Jam today and made Matisse paper cut outs, got glue all over everything, so there! When the parents came to get their kids, none of them wanted to go home. ROCK ON!
I trimmed Craggy Crunch bowls all morning, what a pain (literally) to throw and trim. I knew this would happen, it kills my hands but I love the look of the pots. Crap. These bowls were so fun to throw, I threw them fast and paid no attention to my form because my hands were being shredded by the clay. They are loose and wonky and I love them. I'm thinking shino in the wood kiln for these babies. ya think?

My friend Susan gave me some jasmine tea blossoms from Chinatown and Wes and I brewed some tonight after my kid's class. It's a beautiful blossom when it unfolds. Perfect ending to the day.


I turned 48 on Tuesday, the first day of fall, and I swear I still feel like I'm 13. I had a great day celebrating with Wes and Gerry and ordered a new Shimpo banding wheel for myself with money my mom sent me. I'm going to Ronan Peterson and Doug Dotson's sale Friday night to buy my birthday present. They are the best cup makers around here and I'm certain that I need a few more cups :)
I am back at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro doing a two week arts immersion residency for the afterschool kids. This is a great group of kids although rather large- 36 of them- K-6 graders.
We are learning about the artists in the 1930's and 1940's. We did sculptures in the style of Henry Moore Tuesday and the sculptures were so great. They really got it. I have been so excited watching their enthusiasm for these artists. We studied Frida Kahlo, Slavador Dali, Henry Moore, Max Ernst, Magritte, and Miro. Today we are going to talk about Henri Matisse, my favorite by far. I can still see the paintings of his at the Met in NY. They just took my breath away. The kids have asked so many questions and their art really showed me they were listening to what I was saying and they were enjoying it. I have spent the last two weeks looking for books and examples and writing about these artists to make it interesting for kids. It has certainly paid off. Today, I have 25 tea bowls waiting for me to trim, I had to bring my wheel in as the winds are blowing fierce outside and it is really chilly out there. I also have been asked to do the props for Mother Courage at UNC. Oh yeah and tomorrow I have a meeting at the Montessori School to do a one week residency with them for Chatham County Arts Council. Do I sound like I have multiple personality disorder or what? I really want to do pottery full time, but I love the kids at the ArtsCenter and I love the theater, so what's a girl to do?!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Rising Earth firing

Wesley and I went out to Susan Wells studio yesterday to see the latest Rising Earth sculpture being fired. She built it on site(see previous post) and wood fired it wrapped in ceramic fiber. quite the labor of love. 400 lbs. of clay, 12 hour firing, kiln decided it was done at 1950 and didn't want to do anymore so they shut 'er down. Can't wait to see the unveiling next Saturday. Come on out if you are in the area.
Jonas and I roasted marshmellows while Susan and Rochelle stoked the kiln.

Susan and Tim are the very cutest couple I know!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Craggy Crunch

Isn't the light amazing in the afternoons right now?
Enough with the pleasant, on to the whining..........what SADIST created High Water Clay's Craggy Crunch?! I picked up a bag on Tuesday and made tea bowls, then made all of this today. My hands feel like I have been scrubbing them with coarse sandpaper! It has a great texture when you get finished and I will say that it is good for keeping you from messing with your pots. two or three throws is all you can stand! It doesn't seem to hold up to much else. If I tried to work with a bowl or cup for awhile, they would just collapse on me. I had to use a lot of water to keep my hands from bleeding, but honestly, isn't there a better way? I am going to put some in the wood fire in October and will load some in the gas kiln. Will be interesting to see what happens. I will probably love everything and have to keep using the stuff!
Also, you may notice, I can't make more than two of anything to save my life. I get two done and then it's oh, hmmm, wonder what this will do if I do this............... one of a kind pieces is going to be my mantra. No dinnerware sets for me.

I like the course texture of this clay, if I can toughen my hands up some
This bowl kinda sucks, it's pretty wonky, but it was the last three pounds of Craggy and I just wanted to get it over with!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


On the way home from Arrowmont I had to pass through Cherokee which is the reservation for the Cherokee Indian nation. I have been going there since I was a little girl. My parents seemed to be attracted to tacky tourist places when I was growing up! This place is the ultimate in tacky, but good for the Cherokee people for finding a way to make a living off of tourists after the way our government screwed them when all of this land was theirs. I like the place, it's fun and amidst all of the stuffed bears and tomahawks, there are a couple of new art galleries featuring local potters and artists. There are some beautiful coiled pots that I could sell my house and buy. They have also recently added these bears along the road throughout the town and they are so cool. I took a couple of snaps from my car. But the strangest thing of all was this abandoned motel. Did the motel get there first or did the trees?

This one was called Patriot Bear
Trail of Tears Bear
Forgot the name on this one, I photographed it in my car while driving so it's not so good

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Clay Conference Part IV A Tour

Here are the last of my photos from Arrowmont. This is the main building where the gallery, store, library, offices, and some of the studios are located.I love the Arrowmont campus. It is warm and welcoming, the studios are well equipped and the property is lovely.
I ran into my friend Julie Wiggins first night there. Julie and I taught summer camp together in Charlotte and I still use some of the things I learned from her. Julie is an amazing teacher.We first met at Clayworks studio. I also ran into bloggers Vicki Gill and Jen Mecca while there. It was so nice to put faces with blogger names.
The Charlotte group at Kari Radasch's demo
This is the dining hall. The food at Arrowmont is sooooo good. They have a traditional southern cook and a more holistic organic cook and the combination is magic. It was hard to come home and have to cook for myself after having someone feed me such wonderful meals three times a day for four days. I can still taste the chocolate cake!
One of the dormitories where the students stay
And my favorite of all, the Library. I could just go up to Arrowmont and spend the whole week reading. What a collection they have.
And finally, this is where I slept while there. It was cheaper and I really love my van.
So anyway, I went to the conference hoping to come home energized and full of ideas and I was not disappointed. Yesterday, I threw 25 tea bowls in two hours in the morning and another 25 in the afternoon, a record for me and today I cleaned out my studio of debris, old molds, old pottery and old clay. I am ready for a productive fall! I feel like I cleaned out a lot of baggage in my head while I was there and really figured out where I want to go with my work. Thanks to all of the presenters for being there and inspiring us with your work. It was so amazing to see how much effort everyone put into their demonstrations. I know what it takes to prepare for a class and these guys went over and beyond all expectations. Thanks a bunch for that!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Arrowmont Sunset for Alan

It was with great sadness that I read about Alan Gaff on Ron and Michael's blogs. Alan always had such kind words for me and lifted my spirits more than once. I loved his blog and was so inspired by his work. I will miss the blog very much. Here is a sunset from the Smoky Mt. National Park that I took on my way home. Alan would have loved the park, it is a major destination for motorcyclists. My thoughts are with Alan's family and friends......................

Clay Conference Part III Cool Tools

One of the fun things at the conference was seeing all of the tools everyone used. I'm such a tool junky although there are only about three or four that I really use. I love going to hardware stores too and looking at the tools, always have.
Kari Radasch uses this garden sprayer to keep her table surface wet for rolling coils. Much better on your hands than pumping a spray bottle. You just give it a few pumps with the pump thing, and it sprays for a good while without pumping a trigger. loved it!
Daphne Hatcher had about six of these slings made out of wood with fabric stretched over and stapled for her slabs. The great thing is they store so easily in a small space. This one is upside down by the way.
These textured cylinders were part of Bruce Cochrane's demo. They create the greatest patterns.
Daphne Hatcher got some old fence posts from her neighbor's farm and uses the top for textures

Ayumi Horie's tools after a demo and one of her lid molds
Victoria Christen puts her terra sig sludge at the bottom of the bucket in this glue bottle and uses it for slip when needed for attaching handles and other parts. So great, it just squeezes on where you need it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Clay Conference Part II Celebrate the Object

Shoko's piece in the photo below (invitee of Michael Kline) was the most exquisite thing in the show to me. I heard a lot of others say the same. There were so many beautiful pieces in the show and we walked by them every day as we went to the various studios. Every time I walked through the gallery I saw something new about a piece. It was heaven! I have photos of all of the pieces but sadly some of the photos are not so great. The conditions were a nightmare, sparkly lights and everything under glass. So here are the best shots I got, not great quality, sorry.