Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hand me downs

I've been sick all week either from a bug my kid's gave me last Friday or from inhaling too much raku smoke on Saturday (or a combination of the two) but I have felt like crap all week and have done nothing but lay on the sofa with my laptop and TV. My brain is mush now and I have got to get back into reality. Do you know how lame daytime TV is? WTF!! Anyway, since I have done nothing pottery related, except read blogs, I thought I would share some of my favorite pots I got from my grandmother's house. These all came from Seagrove, but I don't know which pottery. None are signed, but they are all at least 50 years old of not older. Anyone got any ideas? My mom said most likely Cole Pottery but I don't know......

Don't you love the price tag on this one?

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Here is my 12 lb. coil vase that I made last week. It's about 20" high. It came out beautifully! If you click on the image you can see more detail and see how crazy the copper got. It wasn't as hard to lift out as I thought it would be. Gerry is on his way home from an assignment in California, I'm going to see if he can shoot some better images for me when he gets home. Until then, here are some very unprofessional snaps.
Slab and coil built, I will probably change the beads and earrings once I decide what I want. I just tried these out to see where I want to go.
This sweet little dish got lost in the last firing. It ended up in the bottom of one of the trash cans and went through multiple firings.

I'm not sure I like the way this turned out. It was supposed to be a very light mint green and I don't think I like this darker green so much. Wes liked it, but I don't know.....I'm pretty happy for the most part, though. Everyone that fired yesterday had great results. Thanks to Barbara Mackenzie for heading up these open firings at Claymakers, they are a bunch of fun and we have a great group of clay artists.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mares Eat Oats

Maresey doats and dosey doats and little lambsy diveys
Did anyone see it that way when they were small? I was an adult before I figured this out! Ha.
I had a GREAT Raku firing today and will post pics as soon as I get some good photos. Some of you saw me carrying around the pot today at Claymakers and bursting with happiness(actually being totally obnoxious about it, I'm sure), the vases turned out to my satisfaction which is a hard thing to achieve. In other news, Wesley played a song for me around 2am this morning that she wrote and it could be recorded right now, it's brilliant. there must be a good moon on the rise!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Svend Bayer

I saw this photo on a cool blog today called parisparfait
See that Shino mug? That's my goal!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mugs & Molds

Last week when I worked out at Mark Hewitt's, he gave me this really sweet mug. Over the weekend, I had some time to throw and wanted to get some mugs made. I sat down to throw the shape I have been liking to make lately and it didn't happen. This shape came out instead. I think that I sanded and washed so many of these mugs at Mark's place that they were just embedded in my brain and this is the form that came through. Also, Joseph Sand gave me a little handle making demo and now my handles are somewhere between Brandon's and Joseph's. I need a little more practice but I like where they are going. Hope Mark doesn't mind that I am channeling his mugs! What do you think Mark?
Today I made some hump molds that I have been meaning to make forever. This was my grandmother's wooden bowl and I use it to make biscuits. I know I shouldn't be using it as a mold but it was one time and I will wash it and wash it to get it clean again, so hush up about how I shouldn't eat out of it now! Also, Gerry and I put in the posts and got materials to build the shed over my kiln. Yes, shed should come before kiln and yes it has rained a lot since I got the kiln, but it's just how I am, sorry! I have a big blue tarp for these backward ways of mine.
Hopefully just two more weeks and I will have the $$ to get the gas hooked up for my kiln and I can rock and roll! Pyrometer is on order.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

They did it!

I had ten kids in class yesterday and we made the flowerpots that I posted on my last blog. They did such a great job, everyone listened while I did a demo and then they got right to work. The pots turned out so good and they were very proud of their work. Good job everyone!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sometimes you need a little help

I'm putting together some demos for my kid's El Centro class today. I wanted to make flower pots and tie in an Inca/Aztec theme of some sort. I used the template from the Earth To Annie website for making cups (from Pottery Making Illustrated) to make this flower pot. You might have seen this also mentioned on Cynthia Guajardo's blog. I made a mold of a little South American guy that I've had around for awhile to use for a sprig. I think these are going to look so great! The template is very helpful for helping kids to make cups and pots. I have a bunch of earthenware around here that I am thinking about using for more of these pots. Wouldn't an aloe plant or some rosemary look great in this!

Here is a tile demo from Amy's article that I mentioned yesterday. I added feet to it and made a tray/trivet. Sorry you can't see the feet too well, they are just rolled coils.

And last, I am doing a mini camp for the ArtsCenter in April and the theme will be Peace Art. Here is a rubber stamp Wesley made for her band's T shirts. This is going to make a great tile for my class. Thanks to everyone for sharing their talent and ideas. I do so many kid's classes and a lot of times I am with kids that I have been teaching for the past four years. It helps to have some fresh ideas from others from time to time.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Amy Sanders

Just a shout out here to Amy Sanders. Her Pottery Making Illustrated article is so much fun. I did a little trial and error demo today with my hand building class at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro. I struggled, they watched. The quilted tile is great. Today my class made a bunch of stamps to use later if they make the tile. One of my students has a subscription to the magazine and brought it in today. All commented on how great it was for Amy to share her techniques in such a helpful way. I was thinking that this technique could also make a nice sushi tray or trivet, so I'm going to explore other possibilities this week for my class. I may also try this for summer camp. The theme is nature, so the tiles could have a nature theme. Thanks Amy!!! Of course, I forgot to bring my camera to class, arghh.

crazy busy

This has been a crazy week. I have a residency going on right now with the El Centro group in Chapel Hill teaching a group of kids in the Hispanic community. Also teaching an adult hand building class at the ArtsCenter and planning for another residency at Woods Charter School. This one is exciting. The Briar Chapel community is sponsoring the residency along with Chatham Arts Council and I am working with the high school and elementary school teachers to plan a week long clay residency with them in April or May. Also planning a silent auction with Wesley's school to raise money for the art department. Several local potters have agreed to donate work, which is wonderful. All of this plus trying to get some of my own work done and working at Claymakers. And then there is the full time mom thing..............whew!

Monday, March 9, 2009


Sunday morning I started this coil pot, and as usual it took on a life of it's own. These things never turn out like I think they will, they just go where they want to. I learned to make coil pots from Meredith Brickell, who is a wonderful clay artist.I learned to use a serrated rib to scrape the surface to even out the coils from Meredith. That takes a lot of time and makes a huge mess. I was watching a youtube video Saturday of a Korean potter making onggi pots and he just used a paddle and anvil to flatten out the coils. I didn't have an anvil but I did have a nice flat rock I got from the Pigeon River in Tenn. so I tried that and it worked really well. Much easier and less time consuming.
By Sunday night, I had a 12 pound 20" vase. I love making these, I just sort of go into a trance with them. I'll probably raku this once I figure out how to lift a 12lb. pot from the kiln! Once it's fired I am planning on adding some sort of rope, shells, found objects, something, not quite sure yet, whatever I find. I have been reading a lot of books on African sculpture and pottery lately and I guess I am being influenced by all of that right now. We'll see.....

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Wesley's band came over today to rehearse, and usually I take advantage of this time and work in my studio while they play. Their music is so much fun to listen to while I'm making pots. Not today. They took a quick break and went out to skateboard down the road from our house. Ten minutes later Gabe had fallen and broke his wrist. I rushed him to the hospital and it was so strange, I felt like he was my own child and I needed to take care of him and get him help quickly. He is now in traction at the hospital and may have to have surgery. So much for the April gig they had! Speedy recovery Gabe!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mark, Joseph, Alex and James

I've had a bunch of fun this week working with this crazy crew out at Mark Hewitt's. How cute are these guys!? Mark, Joseph and Alex have some beautiful pots out of the kiln and are getting them ready for the show up in Hickory. My friend James came out to help clean up pots today, James is the Zen representative of this group.

Joseph's Bonzai, pretty cool..............

Monday, March 2, 2009

Thanks Brandon

Thanks Brandon for the video. I made a dozen mugs Saturday and I like them a lot. Nice movement and much better handles. Not quite as fat as yours but still I like them. The video helped me figure out what is was about my mugs I didn't like and correct it quite easily.
This was the view from my wheel this morning. We got about 2 inches of snow here in Chapel Hill, so pretty. Gerry went over and shot some great snow pictures on the UNC campus this morning and put them on the wire.I wish I could post them but they're AP property and I guess I could go to a maxium security prison or something if I post them! I'll see if I can find a link.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Wesley's band played at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro last night and they ROCKED THE HOUSE! It was an amazing evening to see my child playing music that she co wrote and playing on the same stage that musicians like Leon Russell and Johnny Winter played on and just two doors down from the famous Cat's Cradle. They had a sound guy that worked hard for them and it was the first time they have had professional sound with lights and monitors. Just unreal! They did a set plugged in and then an acoustic set. Needless to say, I am overwhelmed with proud mom syndrome! I may be obnoxious for a few days, bear with me.