Saturday, February 27, 2010

Twenty Years on

When asked in an interview once upon a time, what my five year plan was, I burst out laughing, and needless to say I did not get the job. Here is my 20 year plan, I want to look like this when I'm about 70. Is she not the very cutest little thing ever?!? That is what my pots are going to look like in the near future. I am going to Starworks on Monday to a workshop with Hitomi, making large pots. Can't wait, I'll take lots of pictures for us all.

Lazy weekend

I'm not planning to do much this weekend, crazy week last week and another coming up. Wesley has had a rough week with the Mono that will not leave her alone so we are going to have a nice restful weekend. Gerry is having some down time too,shooting some of the medal ceremonies and some news events. He has to stay for the closing ceremonies, leave for the airport around 2am Monday morning and then home in the afternoon. Yesterday was the first day I have heard him complain about anything, so I think he is finally tired of being there and ready to come home. Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thanks Trish

This was going to be my post yesterday, but I wanted to play Meredith's happy game, so here it is a day late. Thanks to blogger Trish for sending a little gift from Canada. She sent me and Wesley some of the coveted Olympic gloves that every TV station is reporting on. Gerry said the lines for these gloves in Vancouver were hours long, so I didn't plan on getting any. He is not the one to stand in an hour long line for anything! I think he finally did get some, but his mom's birthday is this month and I think she would love a pair, her favorite color is red. So everyone gets some gloves. We got snow flurries today and we both wore ours. They were so fun and cheerful in this cold bleary neverending cold we are having. We Love them Trish!! Thanks so much for thinking of us here watching from the sidelines while Gerry is where all the action is!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

OK, Meredith , I'll play

I got tagged by Meredith at Whynot, so here goes:
1. a good photo of myself when I'm not making a stupid face, my hair is actually clean and not in a braid, and there isn't clay on my face
2. Watching my beautiful child grow up
3. My family: a smart, talented and pretty hot husband and a very cool kid
4. Nostalgia
5. Having a child that doesn't mind doing silly things with her parents, in fact she rather enjoys it I think
6. My daughter's friends actually like hanging out with me
7. Being with smart, funny people that like to do fun stuff
8. Having a beer in a really great pub

9. Little kids
10. Of course, making pottery!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

All cleaned up

Here are some shots from the weekend. All cleaned up and waxed. Coils, terra sig and fired in saggars and sawdust.

and here is what I worked on today while waiting on the cable guy to come and change our phones to digital, and after I went to the Artscenter to unload a kiln of the Haiti workshop stuff (which had already been unloaded by one of our wonderful assistants), emailed the workshop attendees that they could pick up their stuff, made hotel reservations for Gerry at the ACC tournament in Greensboro, fixed home from school sick Wesley some food, photographed all this stuff, walked the dog, sigh..........remember that wife I requested?
Brick red, love this groggy clay. Linda, there is your church again.
White terra sig, I like where all this is going. Wonder how long it will last?

Monday, February 22, 2010


This is my new student Amber. I love this girl! She is very smart, very pretty, very funny and very determined to learn to make pottery. Amber was born without her left hand and the girl threw two pots today better than anything I threw my whole first year on the wheel. I met her at the studio today to help her with the basic principles of throwing, because last Thursday in class I was also helping five other people and it is so hard for anyone to really get the time they need. All last week I was mindful of using both of my hands and would think about how I would do certain things if I only had one hand to do it with. I tried throwing on the wheel using a throwing stick instead of my fingers to see where the difficulties would be and today we both learned some things.
Once she figures out how much pressure to use, centering is not going to be a problem
Opening isn't too bad either. We figured out that she can brace her right hand on her left arm and pull up with sort of a crab claw grip with just the one hand. I know that there are plenty of potters that throw this way. She can use the pot lifters to get pots off until she figures that out( I rip pots up trying to get them off the wheel all the time), we used clay right out of the bag to make wedging less problematic, and to cut the pot off the wheel she holds one end of the wire cutter with the left arm, spins the wheel slowly and pulls with the right hand. Cindy from Dirt Kicker blog sent me a great video to watch of a one handed potter and Amber had watched this last week before class. (He is amazing, You can see the video here: )
and she can definitely hand build. This is the cup she made the first day in class, it's great! So, next time you are having a bad day on the wheel think of Amber and get some true inspiration. She is going to be throwing way better than me in no time, I just know it!! Isn't she just the cutest thing!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ten days and counting

Gerry has had a couple of light "rest" days, but back at it tonight. 10 more days!!! Here is a very nice link to an Olympic Photo Slideshow the Kansas City paper did

We miss ya Ger

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I smoked a lot of pots and drank a little wine

HA HA!! Need I say more? What an AMAZING day. I ain't gonna glaze no more stinkin' pots. They will all be smoke fired and raku fired (for awhile at least). Fashion shot of the day....
Barbara, Amy and Wesley are prepping pots in Barbara's studio for saggar firing
Baked potatoes ready to go
This is my newest most favorite thing. could you just die!? Barbara brought this back from a workshop in Switzerland. I MUST have one of these. This bitch went to 1600 degrees in like fifteen minutes. Seriously, We put tiny sticks of wood in it and off she went like a rocket, and wait till you see what the results are like. Of course you can't get much in there but who cares! I love it!
We had the raku saggar going, the sweet little Zurich, and a trash can blazing for a smoke fire. Aren't we the shite!?
These sweet little folks came out of the Zurich (I'm calling it that because I can't pronounce the real name for it that sounds something like oxymoron but that's not it) LOOK at that little house! Hollis you want this one? The spheres were burnished and have red terra sig with copper sulfate and ironite, the house is white terra sig with copper sulfate, the box is Barbara's and came out of the trash can fire. They were wrapped in Spanish moss from the trees of the NC coast and sprinkled with some kosher salt blessed by a Rabbi (we figure the salt was blessed since it is kosher and the pots turned out so good).
One of Amy's rattles, a little note here: the saggars all came out like this. There was not much color from the pieces in the larger raku kiln, even though we added lots of copper and organics that should have given us color. The foil did not burn off so I'm thinking we didn't fire it hot enough. We fired to 1200 f and the little rocket kiln went to 1600. the foil burned off in there and we got nice colors. Oh well, it's all experiments for us right now so no great losses.
my beautiful child that I love
while we waited for the pots to cool Amy and Barbara row, row, rowed their boat.
I have a few more pots to photograph, if they look decent I'll put them up later. Handles on red clay cups tomorrow, stay tuned, Peace!

Red and white

Ahhhh..... the red clay is back. I have had some of Highwater's brick red around here forever, finally cleaned all the white clay from around my wheel and threw some of this clay yesterday. I really like it, just enough grog to feel like clay instead of plastic, it is a beautiful color when fired to cone 6 and I think I will just use a PVC liner and leave the outside without glaze, because we all know that I don't like glaze! I was thinking about this yesterday and I think that I just truly love the clay, not the decoration of it, I like a piece when it is in the most natural state it can be in and still be useable. If I could I would just have greenware :) this is what attracts me most to Raku and smoke firings, you see so much of the clay in it's natural state. Don't get me wrong, I love the glazes on other people's work, but when I make something, I seem to have a hard time giving it up to the decoration of the piece. Probably symbolic for how I am myself, jeans, t shirt, one pair of shoes that I wear forever, one necklace I never take off.... It's weird because way back when I was a runway model for Belk department stores and was signed with a modeling agency in Myrtle Beach. The people that knew me then would never believe how I am now. I used to wear designer clothes, lots of jewelery, makeup, I owned more shoes than I could ever wear. Such high maintenance. Maybe that's why I don't like decorating pots, I did so much of that to myself, and then later decorating showrooms, it's just all too complicated and unnecessary.
Saggar fire today, will report back with findings tomorrow. Gerry is off for a couple of days, so no reports from Vancouver. Happy weekend!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

For the blog

Here is an email I got from Gerry last night. I sent an email back asking for some pics for the blog, meantime you can go here to see shots from last night.

Back in my room after a very long day. It was crazy cool to sit with Shaun White on the bus this morning. I was thinking, I'm sitting here chatting up the guy that's gonna win the gold medal tonight. He was jammin with his ipod out loud, I wished him luck, and we exchanged a little fist bump. I asked him about the halfpipe they built for him in Colorado. He was very talkative and was as nice as you would think. I really wanted badly to get his autograph, but I'm privileged to be in such a position, and I feel like I shouldn't impose (journalists shouldn't do that in my opinion, and I always think it's cheesy when I see a writer or photographer do that. Plus, the guy gets enough of that) I was impressed he treated me like he would had we just met on the slopes somewhere, which is really what it feels like to see this guy. He's absolutely amazing snowboarder and a hell of a nice person. It was very cool, and I'm usually not in awe of any of these famous people I shoot...including the Potus and all the others. I had a good day behind the camera, very long, but typical of assignments like this. Got on the shuttle at 9am at my hotel, got back around 11:30 pm. Once we were in position at noon, shot qualifying, semis- and finals, and didn't get off the snow till probably 8. Had about 2 pee breaks and ate a snickers, 2 cliff bars and a granola bar. (one I split with Streeter cause he was starving) had one bottle of water that a saved till the end cause I didn't want to have to pee again. Couldn't really leave anyway. But the pictures just kept coming. Kept looking at my camera settings between every run to make absolutely 100% sure I was not screwing anything up (and then all the stuff that can go wrong). My Mac was wired into the inside server (we have the best techs, setting this technology up up to a month before we arrive) and I'd shoot, and injest, images went right to the editor, Odd Anderson, who did an amazing edit with so many images coming at him (2 other shooters) I had the straight on look into the pipe, it didn't make the cleanest photos, but the react was right in front of me. And it was good damn "jube" as we call it. Some of the best I've seen at these games. I really have only seen a small portion of probably a couple thousand images I made. Used a 400mm 2.8 on all the jumps, and the 70-200 on everything else. The Mark IV is the best digital camera I've had yet. Glad we got these before the games. Got your package, thanks! Can't wait to listen to Dave Grohl, the candy is already bout gone! Will call later. Tell Wes I was a proud daddy watching the vid of her playing piano. Hate I missed the new Cole Park. I'm getting stoked about seeing them at Shakori Hills.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Michael Kline challenge part II

I SCRUBBED my studio today and it felt so good I wanted to make something right away, but I am baby sitting a bisque load and going up two flights of stairs from studio to kiln, so I needed something that would be fairly easy and could sit around between trips to the kiln. So, I made some trays and found that I had just enough clay left in the bag I opened for 12 of them!
Does anybody like these Jomon pots besides me? I am intrigued by them and what the potters were thinking when they went so crazy with the coilly thingys. I am thinking about trying to make one just to see what the process is like. I thought I would try and use the same sort of tools that they might have used. Like I don't have enough on my mind right now, huh! I have some fun news from the Olympics, come back later for that!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

mardi Gras

Wesley's French teachers put together a Mardi Gras festival at school every year and they are very proud of it. Each student performs a skit, poem, movie, etc. Wes chose to play a piece by a french composer. Keep in mind she has only had a keyboard for a few months, no lessons, and she taught this to herself by going online and listening to it. Just think, if her mom would get her some lessons, what she could be doing! Gerry is just kicking ass at the Olympics, two aptopix today in snowboarding and tomorrow he gets to shoot his idol Shaun White. Lucky! I gave Gerry a snowboard for Christmas the year Wesley was born, he took it up the Mt. in some of the worst conditions the slopes have ever seen around here. Nearly complete white out and he launched himself down the slope, having no idea what he was doing, took a big fall, broke some ribs, and just kept going back for more. He is a great snowboarder, so I know he will love shooting this event. I tried snowboarding for awhile thinking since I was good at skateboarding it would be easy, not so. I hung in there for a while, we would put Wes in the ski lodge daycare and off we would go. I really did not like planting my face in the snow as much as I did, and I don't like the cold AT ALL so I eventually sat in the lodge with Wes while he went out.We got Wes a little board when she was three, she got nervous the first time, threw up and that was about it for her boarding! It just freaked her out. My girl! But she can play some music :)

What's going on

So, what's been going on around here. I have been working on a series of house shapes, shrines, alters, not sure what they are just yet. Let's see if they survive my pyrotechnics and then I'll give them a name. The church/shrine thing was inspired by Linda Starr's photo of the southwestern church, doesn't look like it really, it just gave me the thought to do this.
sort of Catherine White inspired............

and more little structures. It's odd that I haven't done these before. This is all I used to do when I was a designer, (except with foam board) for set and house models. I loved doing them and this was very similar, just easier to fix if I cut it wrong.
It was funny, after I shot this I realized how many of you bloggers had been an inspiration for the work. I love the houses Jen Mecca draws on her pots, so I did a little 3 D cup, sort of reminded me of her work. The spheres were made after a reference Hollis made about Maria Bosch, I saw some trays on Catherine White's blog that were triangular, and I had some triangular templates out of foam board that I had used a while back for something else I constructed and they seemed to be just the size for a tray so I got these, they're kinda nice. All have red or white terra sig and I will be saggar firing and pit firing them this weekend and into next week probably. So who's going to buy this stuff? No clue..............
Other news, Cole Park played at the Local 506 in Chapel Hill last night, their first real Chapel Hill bar experience. The sound guy was an ass at first, but he warmed up a bit after my kids killed him with kindnes. You can not be mean to these kids, they are the nicest people I have ever known. Wes was on bass and keys. They have lost their lead gutarist and the band now has a whole new set list, they have written all new songs, the drummer now plays lead and sings, they have a new drummer that also plays with Old 86, a phenomenal band that's been around here for quite awhile, and all was good. They sound pretty awesome for a bunch of teenagers.
and then there are the chickens..... my new neighbor built a chicken coop right after they moved in and ordered some chickens. I have always wanted chickens but don't have the time to care for them right now. Well, now I got chickens. They stay over here a good part of the time. Here is the thing, the girls come over and peck around for awhile, then the rooster gets fussy and comes over to get them. He really fusses at them and then herds them all back home. It's like a pimp with his bitches. I came downstairs yesterday morning and they were all at my back door looking in. I love this!
last thing and then I gotta get going. check out the Huffington report slide show this morning here: Gerry has pics there from the memorial for the poor luger that died. He was the only photographer there, and as he does, he respected the family and shot some very dignified photos of the memorial. Sad thing to have to cover, but it's good that no one knew about it and there weren't hords of photographers that don't have the compassion Gerry has for situations like this. Today he goes to shoot the women snowboarders, should be fun. He has mostly been the news guy, so I know he will be glad to get some sports action while he's there. Quite honestly, I like that he is getting to shoot more news, we have enough sports in our life when he is home, especially this time of year. When he gets back he goes right into ACC and NCAA playoffs, neverending..........have a great week everyone. I have to go to Wesley's school today for Mardi Gras festivities. Le Bon Temps Roule!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Year of the Tiger

Gerry was in Chinatown yesterday to shoot a march remembering those who have died in violent deaths and to shoot the celebration of the Chinese New Year. He sent me these photos for my blog. He was brought to Vancouver as a roamer to do what needed to be done, so he is getting to shoot a wide variety of events, which is what he does best. He started out as a photojournalist, to tell stories and document people's lives, and in the past few years he has shot mostly basketball, football and hockey. I am so glad to see that he is shooting something besides sports, because I quite honestly don't get the importance society places on sports figures. In fact there have been protests against the Olympics because of the huge carbon footprint and the commercialism of the event. I know it's exciting for the athletes, they work very hard, this is important to them and I admire them, but really, so much money is poured at them when they win medals and we still have starving people in this world. Cant' they be great athletes without getting a TV commercial and huge amounts of money?!
I would much rather be roaming around in Chinatown celebrating the diversity of our world and eating good food, as to standing in the freezing snow watching someone propel themselves off of a steep slope.
Meanwhile in the pottery world, yesterday I did a workshop at the Artscenter to raise money for Hearts With Haiti, what a great group of people, doing important work in the lives of children. Check out their website. The studio was packed and everyone learned to make bowls, vases and cups with slabs. We had a great time, and strangely when I mentioned the Olympics none of them were even aware that it was going on. Carrboro is an odd place, where the events of the world sometimes just pass by completely unnoticed. Last night Wes went out with some friends so I stayed home and made some pieces, inspired by Linda Starr's church photo. I'll post them up when I get some photos done. I'm working on this homeless project with Lynden at Hidden Voices and I am thinking of doing a series of "homes", shrines, alters, that sort of thing. Judy Shreve sent me a wonderful email when I was being so fussy about functional pottery and yesterday confirmed her thoughts. I put a few test bowls in the ^6 kiln at the Artscenter, got them back yesterday, to find glaze that had crawled, glaze had bubbled, you know my usual success story with functional glazes! So I'm about through with all that. Sculptural and non functional work is on my horizon I think. Or at the least functional pieces with very little glaze if I can figure that out. Me and glazes don't seem to get along. Now, me and fire? That's another story!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gerry from the floor

Wow, what a night. One of the most memorable of my career I would say. I'm glad for all the Topix. I swear I had one of the best shooting positions in the house. Mark Baker had the best. Too bad about the Georgia Luge athlete. Did you see the video? It was horrible. That was going down when I walked into the bureau this morning. Awful. It was a magical moment when they played Adagio for Strings. Made my skin crawl. I had to just stop shooting and watch for a moment and take it all in.
All the editors seemed happy. Oh well, you're only as good as your last photo.
Tomorrow's another day.
I will try to get you a toboggan. It might have to be your Valentines. Sorry if I don't get a card or candy to ya'll, but I'll try to make up for it somehow. Here's a snap for your blog. Love my white painters suit? Sweated my ass off. Nice shooting position huh?
Love ya'll, thanks for all the great support. I'm freakin tired.