Saturday, October 30, 2010


Halloween used to be huge around our house. I had the biggest party on the block. We had a wagon, all the dads spent the day plotting out the "haunted trail" which was really a dirt road behind our property and we took all the kids on a hay ride and basically scared the crap out of them for a few hours. This could be why I have to sit through movies like Eraserhead with Wesley now! The party started when Wesley was four with just the neighbors beside us and across the street and by the time she was in third grade people were inviting themselves and it really got out of hand. Lots of fun memories though. As many of you know, Franklin Street in Chapel Hill is famous for it's street party, and we go every year. I think they have estimated over 70,000 people and it also gets way out of hand. I am going to try and remember my camera this year, I always forget it. I should have some fun pics for Monday morning. Happy weekend everyone! Tomorrow I will be down in Southern Pines saying goodbye to all of your potterywith Meredith.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Project Runway

First just let me say a great big THANK YOU to all who commented yesterday. Especially thanks for the Patanjali quote and the Winnie the Pooh poem. As soon as I wrote that post yesterday I felt better and after reading everyone's comments, I got up and went to work. I managed to get a piece made for the commission I'm working on and a few more things. At least I didn't feel frozen anymore, so again thanks!! If you didn't read yesterday's comments, it worth it to go back over and read them, some great words there from some very wise bloggers!
Now, if you are not a Project Runway fan, you might want to move on to another blog.but I will try to make a pottery connection here. I have to tell you, this is one of my mental weaknesses and I'm not afraid to say that I AM a huge fan of Project Runway, I have watched every season and I just think Tim Gunn is the greatest. He is probably the main reason I watch it. However, last nights finale has me thinking I may not be watching anymore. The winner was a wretched, untalented bitch named Gretchen who made clothes that you probably wouldn't even find in your local Walmart. They were hideous and the clear winner, Mondo was robbed of a truly deserved victory. Were the judges seeing a different show than the rest of us?!?! I went online after the show and the blogs were blowing up with outrage. One blog had a vote this morning and MONDO got 93% of the vote.
Clearly, there is something wrong in the fashion industry. My mom gave me money for my birthday, and she loves it when I buy something to wear. Well, that was back in September and I'm still looking for something that is beautiful and affordable. Guess what, it doens't exist! My closet used to be full of well made affordable clothes from The Gap and Banana Republic, I haven't bought anything from them in years now unless it was back in the clearance section. I'm sorry, but I am NOT going to pay $80 for a pair of jeans when the racks at the local thrift stores are full of jeans for $5 and they are just fine for what I wear them for.
Contests of all sorts are so subjective. Remember that 500 Vases book? and the brilliant potters that didn't get into that? Like Jen Mecca for one, Jen's work flies off the shelves, people love her work! The people that were selected were also brilliant and did deserve the selection, but really it's just one person's opinion. Gerry used to enter the NC Press Photograhers and the National Press Photographers contests but stopped long ago because it was all based on the opinions of a select few, some of them couldn't make a good picture if they had to. So anyway, no real point here except to say that Nina Garcia and Michael Kohrs have no taste whatsoever, and Mondo is the real winner in the eyes of everyone that was watching!!!!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Inertia: inactiveness: a disposition to remain inactive or inert; "he had to overcome his inertia and get back to work"
That would be me.
I think if I were a reptile I would be coming out of my skin right now. I feel restless, distracted and strangely lazy. Maybe I'm molting! I have absolutely no desire to make anything or to blog. A few people have commented this week about my lack of blogging, but I just don't feel it right now. I can't explain it, have no idea what has brought this on, and it bugs me a bit, because I really have a lot I need to do. I have two commissions that I should be working on, a few more holiday sales coming up and I should be taking stuff to some of the local galleries. If I was really smart I would be working on some marketing materials or cleaning my inside work space, but instead, I go to eat breakfast with Gerry, go for coffee, go to the movie with Wesley, wander around junk stores, have lunch with friends..... if I were depending on my pottery for our sole income I would not be eating right now! I have managed to save some $$ from fall sales which is nice.
I have been trying to understand why this happens to me. I work in spurts. One reason I have never been able to work at a "real" job. Corporate America doesn't "do" spurt working. I go at it hard and then I drop, lose interest, get bored, drives me nuts!
Also, Wesley and I are right on the brink of having our lives change drastically and we are both feeling the effects I think. She will be leaving home soon for college and we are both starting to have separation anxiety. I have noticed that she will randomly reach for my hand when she is sitting next to me, or when we are walking down the sidewalk, and she stands right next to me in the kitchen shoulder to shoulder, watching and helping with meals. We are really close, and I am trying to get my head around not having her here. That weighs heavy right now. I also see the potential of where my work can go and I need to kick it in high gear, step it up and take it to the next level. Serous commitment and I don't do commitment very well. One other reason for this inertia is that I am sick of my working conditions. As you know, I have worked out on the deck all summer, I could tolerate the bugs, mosquitoes, heat, lack of space, but I can't deal with the rain, the wind and the leaves. This is just too much and I am fed up with it. My indoor space isn't any better. There is no room to spread out slabs, so I am trying to figure out what to do this winter. Do I just throw on the wheel all winter? And the last thing that has me in this disposition to remain inactive, I think, is that there is too much in my head. When I was just doing the terra sig I was more focused, but I have been doing some Raku with friends, I have an invitation to do a wood firing with a friend, another invitation to experiment with some ^6 reduction and it's just too much. After the holidays, I have really got to edit what I'm interested in. I can't do it all! I'm a Libra and I crave balance and right now there is no balance at all.
I have traded working in a community studio for work space, I have worked in my kitchen, worked in an upstairs bedroom and worked on the backyard deck. If I am going to continue to grow as an artist, my work environment is going to have to grow as well. Somehow I have GOT to build a studio!!!! I think that is the main reason for my lack of interest right now. I feel like a professional artist but my workspace does not reflect that and it's a huge distraction!!!
Lots to think about, sitting here writing about it seems to be helping, I think reading your comments will help as well. I know I'm not alone with all of this, these seem to be common threads for all of us. Would love to hear your thoughts.............

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Happy birthday today to Gerry. We met when we were about 21 I think, so that means that we have now spent more than half of our lives together. It's been a wild ride. Here's hoping you have 51 more wild years ahead of you! and hope you survive a few more basketball seasons! It's coming up so I won't be seeing much of him until April 2011. I shot this at the ACC tournament last year. When the tournament is close by we can go and work with him, only way we see each other during March Madness.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Thanks to everyone that came out and bought great art yesterday at the YART sale. I really appreciate the friends that came out to see me! I had a pretty good day, we had good traffic all day, beautiful weather, great music, food and I made lots of new friends.
I'm having a bit of a blogger block, but I have some new ideas for some work and a commission from my friend Andria for a piece for her nursery for her February 2011 arrival of Oliver. I have a really cool idea for her and will post some of it when I get going next week. More later......

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I'll be mixing up some new Raku glaze recipes today for my workshop in November and firing some test tiles tomorrow at my friend Barbara's. Also need to pack up for the YART sale on Saturday. Weather looks promising, so if you are in the Durham area come on over. I think there are 17 artists of all mediums lined up to be there, should be a fun day! It's at 524 Wofford Road in Durham, just off of Hope Valley Road

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hold My Beer Watch This

You just can't make this stuff up, gotta love the south! I was reading my Google start up page and saw this headline: "Spanky Spanlger in a preshow at the Charlotte Motor Speedway crashes his RV with the words, Hold My Beer.... Watch This spray painted on the side.
This only grabbed my attention because my poor husband has to cover this Nascar race twice a year, and comes home with stories that could fill a book. I think Gerry has been covering this race for about 30 years now. One year I ended up in the infield hospital with a stomach bug and later stopped Richard Petty at his pit and got someone to shoot our picture together. If you have never been to a Nascar race, it is a thing to behold. It's really scary how many simple minded people can fit into one place at the same time :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bascom Sale

This is a similar piece that was selected for the Bascom show American Craft Today and I got a call Friday that it had sold. I love getting those calls from galleries! I gave the one here in the photo to my mom, the one at the Bascom was a bit different, the roof a little more rustic and I only added one of the stripes which I think was a lot better. It really is one of the nicest pieces I have made, so I'm happy to know it has a new home. I have been sort of run down this past week, Gerry came home from Bermuda with a terrible bug that I got a week later and I can't shake it, can't get my energy back. Last night we went to see Wesley's band play at The Cave and today I just can't get it together. I haven't touched any clay in over a week, and I really need to be working on some things. Hopefully, I'll get motivated here soon. Last week's rain didn't help, but it's really beautiful out today so I should get busy!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

HP Printer RIP OFF

I have been having a lot of trouble with my printer cartridges lately and am just about ready to throw my HP C6300 printer out the window. I have been replacing cartridges about one a month with the printer saying I was out of ink. I know I'm not printing that much, and mostly printing in black there is NO WAY I am running out of ink this fast. I'm not a tech geek but I can Google like a mad woman so I have been googling this ink cartridge thing and have found page after page of people that have ripped open the cartridges, brand new only to discover that they are about 30% full. WTF!!!!! Also, I have read that a few years ago HP was involved in a class action law suit due to a chip they put in the cartridge to tell the computer the cartridge was empty and would not allow the printer to print past this point, when in fact the cartridge had plenty of ink. I feel pretty helpless here, don't know how to deal with this, you know if I try and call HP I will get nowhere because what company out there is going to do the right thing any more? I am just sick to death of the money grumbing sons of bitches large corporations that have control of everything.
Wish you could buy electronics from artists, you would know that your purchase would be good quality and would last forever. Grrrrr......

Friday, October 15, 2010

Never Let Me Go

Wesley and I went to see this movie tonight. It just opened at the Chelsea for those of you that live near Chapel Hill. For the rest of you it will probably be in your nearest Indie theater. Amazing, beautiful, sorrowful, this movie just wraps around you. I LOVED it! Wesley read the book in 9th grade and has been waiting to see the film for awhile. I want to read the book now, apparently even better than seeing the movie version. Great movie to see for the weekend!!!!


A while back I had a post asking opinions about taking credit cards. I thought I would update you on my first month first show costs for taking credit cards.
I decided to go with Propay for several reasons. One they charge a flat $50 per year, no contract. Every bank I contacted and several of the merchant services wanted a 3 year contract. No way I'm signing a 3 year contract. Second, I am just now getting calls from banks that I left messages with, one month later! With Propay, I got someone on the phone that could answer my questions right away and it took a very short time to set up online. The banks wanted to send paper work for me to fill out, etc. I manage all of this online, transfer funds, print reports, very easy to understand.
So the costs: I guess there is a cost to doing business no matter how you look at it. I would prefer not to pay these fees but they don't seem too bad, you tell me. I paid a flat $50 for one year, if I continue, I will pay $50 each year, or I can choose to upgrade at small fee increase.
I had four credit card transactions and my total fees for taking the card and transferring funds to my account were $18. Each card I took had a different fee. I didn't know this but when you use your bonus points credit card, I am the one paying for that. Those cards are evil, they are making things cost more in the long run for all of us. Do you think the companies are just giving things away for free? I read this on Lucy Faegella's blog, she has a great post about it.
So, overall, I'm pretty happy, I had sales I would not have had if I didn't take cards, two sales over $200. I have deposited about $1000 in the propay account and transferred those funds to my checking account and with the yearly fee, I have paid $68. If there is a cheaper credit card method out there, I couldn't find it, but then I don't do Math all that well, soooo....
Hope this helps if you are considering the credit card path. I'll post again in a few months to see if there are any changes. It's pretty easy to investigate all of this and make a decision that is right for you. Just google merchant services and you will find more info than you will ever need. I did see a couple of negative reviews on Propay, but it seemed to me that it was more user error than anything. I also set up a tax ID number, easy to do online and I registered as seasonal, which was a nice option to have. So, I'm real now, just need to get busy selling something!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lucky Man

Most of you that read the pottery blogs know by now that Merdith Heywood at Whynot Pottery lost her brother Jay recently. I just wanted to stop for a moment and honor his memory for her. Meredith did a lot for many of us, putting the Clay and Blogs show together and she did much of it while dealing with a very sick brother. So, let's just take this moment to stop and think about her and her family.....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Social Media, ick

Friend me, tweet me, I'm having my second cup of coffee, I'm going to take a crap now.....
Social Media, grrrrr.......
"I WILL NOT do Facebook". I remember a similar phrase a few years back, "I will NOT buy CD's, I will only buy records." Well, I did buy CD's but I am back to buying albums, thank God. But I WILL NOT do Facebook. I hate the whole get on the band wagon thing of it, and the whole everybody's doing it thing. If everybody's doing it you can sure as Hell bet that I won't. But mostly I HATE the term social media. First of all, I'm not that social, I like to be alone, a lot. Second of all, I spend way too much time as it is sitting in front of this computer reading a very long list of blogs, blogs that I enjoy very much and I would be sad to see them go because of Facebook, like Jen Mecca stopping her blog to have more time with her kids. I applaud her decision, but I will miss her blog. If more people start adding more stuff to their Facebook and less to their blog, I will miss a lot, so maybe come on over here and tell me what I missed if you don't mind. Like today, Kari said that she saw photos from the workshop on Facebook, well I won't be seeing those..... I just find the whole thing absurd, here is a perfect example: I sat behind someone at a certain event and at every break, they grabbed their iphone to say what they were doing on Facebook, post a photo, then check email, then back to Facebook, then texting, then back to Facebook, then another photo.... it's an addiction, and I do not have an addictive personality, so I just don't see the allure. I am really not interested in using something as bland looking as Facebook to market my art either. It is a really boring media to me and quite frankly I just don't get it. I'm actually surpised that so many artists have embraced Facebook, it just isn't that creative. That's what I enjoy so much about blogs, they are just another art form to me and I think people get very creative with them. I'm not saying this to piss anyone off and if you choose to do Facebook, your world, do what you want, I'm just saying, I won't be there, so I guess I am going to miss something, don't know what, but I have done without it for 50 years so I probably don't need it. And another thing, people keep saying that they hooked up with old high school friends, well if I hook up with the people that I went to high school with, it will be a less than pleasant day for me, I can tell you that. I tried Facebook and it took a week for me to start cringing and the comments, so that's that. I hope I survive without the "Social Media". I hear that it's the future and if you aren't on board, you're going to get left in the dust. Oh well, more time to watch a good movie, read a good book, not an electronic one but one with pages that I can turn, more time to sit on the front porch with my family, have a nice glass of wine, tell some stories, roast some marshmellows, cook a good meal, make more pottery, go to a museum, go for a hike, write a letter, call my mom on the phone, listen to an album, visit a friend, go see my daughter's band, walk the dog, test some glazes, build a studio, plant some herbs.....where the heck do people find time to tweet, facebook, text, blog, and get in some of these fun things?
I actually have this very lovely friend, Carmen Elliott, great potter, and she doens't even have a computer!!! She seems to be surviving just fine and she's one of the most serene people I have ever met. She may be on to something......

Handmade tools

This man, (we'll call him Mr. Jenkins, because I can't remember his first name) showed up at the workshop the last day with a bag full of the most beautiful hand carved tools I have ever seen. There were brushes, needle tools, ribs, throwing sticks, and paddles all wonderfully handmade. The prices were pretty good except of course for the brush I liked that was $50. I did get a needle tool that I really like a lot. This guy should have a website but he, like most artists, just likes making the stuff, not marketing it. Too bad, if I want to get more I have no idea how to get in touch with him......

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cone 6 Reduction Workshop

I'm back from the cone 6 reduction workshop at UNC Wilmington with a head full of things I didn't know I didn't know. (does that make sense?) The photo above is not my cup but my favorite thing that came out of the firing. This is VC Matte under Cherry Blossom, and it is beautiful in person! We had some great results from the very sweet Geil kiln that UNC has and some nice new recipes to test.
This board is an example of what I stared at for three days and the photo below is what I stared at on the way home for three hours. When I got home, my head began to spin around like Linda Blair in the Exorsist and I spewed feldspar and gerstley borate (just kidding, but it sure felt like that was going to happen!)
Do you do this? Set your pots out in the car on the way home from a firing or a show? I do, gives me lots to think about while I drive, at least I don't text and drive!
Here are some pretty quick and dirty photos of some of my test bowls. These bowls were thrown, trimmed and bisque fired on the same day so don't be too critical please! I was in a rush, remember I had three shows the previous weekend!
This is buttery rust over cherry blossom
floating blue over vc matte, really nice, it looks almost wood fired
beautiful on the inside, this was the favorite of my tests
thick and thin yellow salt over an iron oxide wash
copper red, not my favorite, a little too muddy but sort of ok. There were some bad ones too but I'll spare you for now. The oil spot glaze just completely ran off the pot, very nasty, and the floating blue alone looked like baby poo. I also did some copper red over white slip which was nasty looking.
All in all, I am very happy with the results and I learned soooooo much! I have a really good basic knowledge of glaze chemistry now and feel pretty confident that I can work something out with these glazes we tested. Thanks to John, Heather and Vicki for coordinating such a great weekend. I'll have more later..............

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sh sh sh Shino

I'm heading to the coast for the weekend for the ^6 reduction workshop at UNC Wilmington. I have to say, I'm still pretty skeptical of this lower temp reduction, I have not been too impressed with the results I have seen posted on other blogs, but we'll see. It should be interesting at least. So for now, until Sunday, I will leave you with a little Judith Duff eye candy from the last workshop I attended. If I can come home with a sweet shino recipe that will reduce at cone 6 it will have all been worth the trip! Happy weekend everyone!

Spring Collection?

I guess because of my background working with companies that came out with fall and spring collections, I still think like that when I'm working on new ideas. Gerry shot this picture for me in Bermuda, I'm thinking Spring here! Brightly colored barns and houses like these. I love the idea of a bright yellow church. I am also planning to wood fire some of them, I think that could be very cool.
I'll be heading down to Wilmington tomorrow for a 3 day cone 6 reduction workshop at UNC Wilmington. I actually threw some bowls last week, they are in the bisque right now, nothing like waiting until the last minute to fire. They are just little 1 lb. bowls, but they were pretty sweet, can't wait to see how they look in a ^6 redux.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Thanks Linda

Linda Starr took this picture of me with Gerry and Wesley at Festifall on Sunday. We rarely have a picture of the three of us together, one of us is always holding a camera. This is a good one!
Linda also has some great photos on her blog today from the Charleston SC area, one of my favorite places. We used to go there all the time when I was a kid, so much to see and do there and the food, OMG! Also, check out Brandon's blog for a great quote, for once a quote that doesn't send me into a blog rage, haha! Here is the beginning of it:
"The satisfactions of manifesting oneself concretely in the world through manual competence have been known to make a man quiet and easy. They seem to relieve him of the felt need to offer chattering interpretations of himself to vindicate his worth.........

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Proper Display

I really like displaying work properly. My background is showroom design for the furniture markets and set design for theaters so I'm all about display and merchandising. At the Clay and Blog show Friday night, Hollis picked up one of Doug Fitch's very lovely jugs, as a true potter would, to get a better look, and found packing peanuts still in it. We got a good laugh out of that. Attention to detail people.
I have created a tab called potsparazzi where you can see more pictures from the blog show and I think I will use this space to post other pictures of potters as they come along. Check it out.
This was part of my display for Festifall in Chapel Hill. I wish I could do more, it's really hard to do what I would like to do with a Subaru wagon and a 10X10 space. If I was doing indoor pipe and drape shows that really need proper display pieces I would have to make some changes. For now this works ok for what I'm doing though. Here I have just used old apple crates and a very old Ralph Lauren blanket with a few pumpkins, it is fall after all! I did get a lot of nice comments on my display, so thank you for your comments everyone!
...........again, just saying.........................

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Festifall Winner!!

Hey Ya'll!! Festifall in Chapel Hill today was brilliant. Glorious weather, wonderful people and I WON 2nd PLACE for my art!!!!!!! I just want all of you to know I would'nt have this body of work without all of your encouragement, support and input! I put it out there from the very beginning not really knowing if this work was going to be valid and all of you gave me the confirmation, so this ribbon is for all of you too! Last year my Festifall booth had turquoise Raku, very beautiful and very easy to sell. This new work is work that I love and believe in and that makes all the difference to me! It's more difficult work and much more expensive, but I really feel connected to it.
Thanks to everyone that gave my barns new homes. I had the best show I have ever had today and I enjoyed meeting all of you so much. I love knowing who will have my work, it is such a personal thing to work so hard on something that means so much to you and then hand it over to someone who truly appreciates art. Thank you thank you thank you!!!
Sorry Brandon, A very nice gentleman took your barn home today, I will have to make another one for you!
I had to go up on the stage at the end of the show and have very nice things said about me and my work, how bizarre, it was fun though. Thanks to the Chapel Hill Parks and Rec for being so incredibly organized, they actually sent a booth sitter to watch my booth so I could go to this awards thing and it is the most organized festival I do all year.
I have lots more pictures, there are still pics from the Clay and Blog show Friday night. Boy three shows in one weekend is a lot to deal with! And last but not least, thanks to Linda and Gary, my blogger friends for coming by today, it was so great to see you on my home turf!!!!
Thanks again to everyone that shopped with me today, I really appreciate your support of my art work!!!!!!! More photos later, I have a sore throat from so much talking and I am beat! Good night all..................

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Birthday bowls

These bowls from Brandon Philips are mine now. I saw them the day I brought my work and Gerry told me I should get them for my birthday. I really wanted to wait and see everything in the show. I had decided that it would be so nice to have one of the Clay and Blog show pieces for my 50th birthday present. I kept thinking about those bowls and last night Hollis and I were admiring them and he convinced me to get them. They seemed to speak to me for some reason, although there were so many many other pieces I would have loved. I have always admired Brandon's work and have wanted a piece for a long time, so I now have two beautiful bowls of his!!
I also have another amazing bowl. Another piece I really wanted to buy was one of Hollis' bowls which were going fast, but limited funds and all that..... and I rationalized that I already had two of his cups so I should get something else. Then as Hollis and Dee were leaving I was invited out to their car where Hollis pulled this amazing bowl out of a box and gave it to me for my birthday! So, first thing this morning, I poured a bowl of sugar smacks (sorry, I know I should have had something more fitting this bowl, but I like my smacks, ok?) and then Wesley washed it out and had her bowl of oatmeal in it. I left my Brandon bowls in the show, so this bowl is going to be getting a lot of use. Every time I bring home a new piece of pottery it stays in rotation quite a bit.
I have a lot of pictures, not really enough, but I'll try not to bombard you all in one day. I'll spread them out over the next week.
Here are my WHITE barns on a WHITE silky tablecloth..............I might have made a different choice for display..............just saying...............

Friday, October 1, 2010

Meredith you ROCK!!!!

The Clay and Blog show was just a whole bunch of fun. I have lots to tell you, but it's midnight, and I have a long long weekend coming up. I'll try to get out more later. Let me just say that Meredith Heywood ROCKS!!!!!!! Thanks girl for such a great evening, you did good!
I feel very blessed to know all of you and it was a blast getting to meet everyone in person.
We tried a group photo but there are a few missing here......
Hollis with Meredith and his lovely wife Dee. Brave woman to get thrown in with all those potters!
Lots of love to everyone!!!!!


Euan Craig has one of the most thoughtful and articulate posts I have ever read today on his blog. One year when I still lived with my parents my mom asked for The Rubaiyat for Christmas. It sat on a side table in the living room and I would pick it up from time to time for words of wisdom and guidance. So nice to be reminded of this wonderful book. Thanks Euan for such a thoughtful post!!! If you haven't read it, get over there and enjoy!!
Here is a bit of his post, I just love this:
And so I chose to become a potter, not because of what I wanted to do, but rather who I wanted to become. I do not have the things which most people associate with success; but I love my wife and my children and they love me, and I sleep with a clear conscience. As I write I hold one of my goblets and sip plum wine that a friend made. It is sweet and has a subtle almond fragrance which goes nicely with the cheese toasted on our home baked bread. I have today and it is good. I cannot heal the world, nor can I always take away the anguish from the hearts of those I love, though I wish with all my heart that I could. But I can give form to my passion, and through these vessels perhaps give joy to others and help them find succour in simply living. And perhaps in a hundred or eight hundred years this clay that my fingers have touched will touch the lips of another and give them hope. Just as Omar's words reached over eight hundred years and all the barriers of language and culture to touch my heart, and these words I write tonight may reach some anonymous reader elsewhere on the globe.