Monday, January 31, 2011


I am making pears again. I have to be in the mood for these and apparently the mood has struck. I have a few in the kiln right now. They were sitting on the table this weekend drying and the sun was crazy bright. I picked up my camera and shot this shadowy thing, then...
Gerry came into the room and said, here's a picture, and he shot this, show off....
and then I shot this one just because I could! I got an email from Lark Books that the 500 Raku complimentary issue will be coming sometime around March, can't wait to see my Raku pear in there, the one that I sold for a shameless price, I won't even tell you how much, lesson learned. Who has that thing anyway? It sold in the NC Craft Gallery. I would love to know who has it. Won't they be surprised at their bargain!

For Meredith and her sisters

Many of you read Meredith Heywood's blog at Whynot Pottery and you know that she has had a rough year, first her brother had cancer, now her sister has cancer, F@#K!!!!! My dad died from cancer and I just HATE that word, it is a plague on our world, where did it come from and can't we send it to some other universe!?! This is for Meredith, Lee, and Leslie, three bad ass sisters!!! xoxo We are all thinking of you guys, keep on the sunny side, as Meredith's sign says :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunny Sunday

The sun coming through my kitchen today was amazing. It has been so gray and cold around here that the sight of sunlight streaming through my windows was so great, I went around taking pictures of everything. Spring is just around the corner, I know it is! Here are a few shots around the kitchen of things I love. The Christmas cactus above belonged to my grandmother. The planter is from Mark Hewitt but I think Alex Matisse decorated it.

Gerry has been covering the NHL All Stars thing in Raleigh this weekend, and Wes is working on college applications, so I have been able to get some pottery making done. I made some terra sig test tiles, got three barns, two pears and six mugs made, and two pitchers that I really like a lot. Getting some pieces together for an upcoming ^6 redux.
and now I need a nap!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tradition In clay

The very first time I touched clay on the potter's wheel was in a workshop Sid Luck was giving and I haven't looked back since that day! This is one of his face jugs on display at The Ackland Museum in Chapel Hill and part of the show there, Tradition In Clay.
I went to see the show today with my pottery pals Charlotte, Kristen and Amy. If you are near Chapel Hill and haven't seen the show yet, it is worth the trip if you love the old Seagrove and Catawba pots as much as I do. It's up until March so there is still time.
Mark Hewitt and Daniel Johnston have a pretty prominent spot in the show and have beautiful examples of their work on display.

I took a lot of pictures but it is so hard to photograph pottery under plexiglass with museum lighting so the pictures pretty much suck. These were the best I got, so if you want to see more, come on over to Chapel Hill and I will buy you a beer. The Ackland is next to my favorite place ever, Top of the Hill. Oh the beer they have..... almost better than the pottery, well, not really but close!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Waiting for Spring

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
—Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Some new forms

I sat down at the wheel yesterday and worked on some new forms. Just getting to know my wheel again, haven't thrown anything in ages. It was a good day, no rush, just listening to what the clay wanted to say. It's cold here, more rain and snow coming. Let me up, I've had enough!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ain't No Rest For The Wicked

I love this band, Happy Monday!

Simple shelter part two

I really appreciate all of you that posted about my workshop woes and your input was extremely helpful for my decision making!!!!! I did some checking and as long as my studio does not exceed 12' in any direction I am good to go without a permit. I'm not going to have electricity right off, lots of windows and a drop cord will work for now. So I sat down at my drafting table, got out all of my drafting skills and tools from my previous life and laid out a 12X12 space, measured all of my tables and my wheel and shelves and it all fits very nicely. I won't be having in big parties in there but it's room enough for me, I like small spaces for working. Now to figure out what the outside will look like..... here are some buildings I found that would fit nicely in our backyard and go with all the found junk I have. The workspace I have now is 9x10 so I will actually gain space! I would like to just go for it, get a big loan and build a huge studio, but we aren't going to be in this house for that many more years, and I'll save the dream studio for our farm!

this one is hard to see, but it is just a collage of windows, really nice.....

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Just a simple shelter

As many of you know from my past whining, I need a simple studio shelter, the deck is not working out in this cold winter weather, I want my wheel out of the house, and I don't want to constantly clean clay out of my kitchen. I need a space to work! I have been looking at these pre fab buildings. Not a lot of character and not exactly what I want but less problematic than building. Meredith took me by the building place where Chris Luther works and we checked those out before lunch the other day. They are fine for my needs and I can afford one.
So here is the problem. I came across a business card in a coffee shop while hanging out with Gerry on a photo shoot one day. It said artist/carpenter and I thought aha! This guy will get it, he will know what I want, so I called him and he does know what I want. He has lots of ideas, his work is great and I know he would do a great job for me. The problem is things keep coming up. A building permit, an inspection, and now before I go to the bank to get a loan he suggests I need to go to the environmental health and safety place and get a septic and flood plain review. (Sigh, a long one.....) people, I JUST want a little shelter, I'm not trying to build an f'ing house to live in. Does it really have to be this complicated!??!? The biggest problem is our property. It is a hill in Chapel Hill (imagine) that is rocky, red dirt with a big 'ol slope, almost no flat spots at all. To make matters worse, the only place a truck could possibly get in to deliver a building is the very place they chose to run our septic pipes. We have one of those systems that pumps the sewage up hill through the rocks to a septic field and Gerry is hell bound (rightly so) that no truck is going to drive over our pipes. So dilema #1 the building would have to be constrcuted on site, which brings us to dilemas #2, #3, ..... inspections, permits and government interference which I am strongly opposed to. Ask forgiveness not permission has been my life long motto and it is working for me so far! The other dilema is the sloping lot and the quandry of digging footings for the building or setting it on blocks. My new carpenter friend strongly suggests the footings which brought me to this permit thing in the first place. In the beginning I thought a truck would pull up to my house, back up set a building off on blocks, I would way goodbye to them and start moving in. Now I am going to the bank to get a loan for construction, going to the permit place for a permit, calling the inspectors, going to the dept of envionmental health and safety and plotting out my sewage field. I JUST want a fucking space to WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why is this so difficult (that had a HUGE whine factor in there, just keep that in mind ). I am on the verge of taking the Jen Mecca route and getting some plastic. I hate making decisions (Libra), hate waiting for things to happen, I like intant gratification, and I really don't like going to government places where people have rules, I don't obey them all that well. Does anyone have a creative suggestion or know anything about driving heavy equipment over sewage lines, or can we take up a collection and have Brandon come over from Texas and secretly build me a little building like he has for his showroom!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Nothing fancy

I've been messing around with the soft box Gerry got me and it's working out really well, so much better than the cardboard and white sheet thing I had before. I've been shooting with my point and shoot Nikon but I think I could get crisper images with Wesley's Canon, but these aren't bad for blog photos and art fair submissions. For magazines and book submissions, I think I could step it up a notch.
I'm using flat early morning light, nothing else. Using artificial light gets way to involved for my patience.

These are all shot with natural light, nice and flat, no glare, soft shadow, but I should let the pro in the house have a go at it and get some really nice images!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One of those days.....

If you read Meredith's blog at Whynot Pottery, you already know how I spent my day. I ordered some chemicals from Takuro at Starworks Ceramics and invited Meredith to ride over with me and of course since I stole her stamp design, I owed her a lunch as well! I stopped in at Whynot Pottery, picked her up and we made a day of it. Today was just one of those really great days in the south. The sun finally decided to come out, the temperature climbed into the 60's and there were lots of empty country roads to explore.
Meredith has been promising me a Seagrove barn tour forever so today we went riding around looking for them. There are so many great details with barns, it's one of the reasons I love them. Some of these details are likely to show up in my work one of these days.....

These are all the things I love. Warm winter days in the south, red barns, old weathered wood, rides in the country, hanging out with smart and funny people, and good food (we had Thai today at a great place in Asheboro). I got all of that today and more. I think this covered bridge below is one that I used to visit with my cousins when I was a little girl, I'll have to check with my mom, but I'm pretty sure it is. What a great structure. Speaking of structures, Meredith took me by to see Chris Luther today and I may have a lead on a building for my studio, I'll let you know more about that later when I work out the finances a bit. Thanks for a great tour MH. I think we both needed a slow southern lazy day!
I still have to tell you about the Tarot reading I had and this evening a really strange but really cool thing happened that may change some things for my summer plans. More later about that too!! Peace ya'll........

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Amish winter

This video was shot by one of Gerry's mates at the AP. One of the most beautiful videos I have seen. Well done Amy!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

New direction

Well it's time for the 2010 barns to go somewhere else and here is the first of them. I want them to become more like canvases and have a more painterly quality and this is sort of where I am right now. I'm sure this will evolve, but I love American flag motifs, I have a bunch of stuff around the house that has the flag pattern and it's a very comforting design for me.
One thing that has me stuck is all of the directions I like to go and how to meld it all together. I like making the pendants and would like to make them into jewelry pieces, I like making raku vases and I like these barns. Somehow the turquoise raku and this new flag pattern don't seem to match. I only notice this problem when I am putting together a CD of images for a show and they ask for three or five images. How can you properly represent who you are as an artist with threee photos!? People that have a very distinct style and only make a few forms have no problem with this I'm sure, but I have a big problem trying to sort it out and show who I am (flaky artist). So I usually just send images of the barns and surprise everyone with raku and pendants. This is an organizing and planning week for me so probably not a lot will get made, we'll see......and that Etsy shop needs attention. I'm not really liking how much time is required to make an Etsy shop work, but I like having it, so on to the tedium.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Care to guess?

We drink a lot of tea and coffee around here and my dish drain is constantly full. At least it is full of beautiful cups and bowls most of the time!! I saw this the other morning and thought it looked great. I got Gerry the little espresso maker for Christmas and now every morning we have fresh espresso, makes the house smell so great.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!

Who knew you could have such a tremendous sale in the first weeks of January!? The trunk show today at The Bead Store was amazing and for those of you that bought my work today, here is a huge THANK YOU and a big hug!!!! It was great to see friends that stopped by, especially my best buddy Charlotte who has been such a great supporter and just seeing her bright smile at a show is the best. Also finally met Susan, who gave one of my barns a home through Etsy and found me through Meredith's blog. It was so mice to meet you and your sister today Susan, so glad you finally made it to a show. Be looking for a link here on my blog when she gets her Etsy shop opened, she makes beautiful jewelry, we were all drooling over her necklace today :) and Betsy, who cleaned me out on my turquoise beads, and so many other great new customers. I had the BEST time watching everyone make their own work with my beads and pendants, the whole shop was just vibrating with creative energy. And the biggest thanks of all to the pros that work at the store. These girls are so talented and so helpful and it was just fantastic watching them create.
No one has ever made a sign for me before, I loved this!

Here is a great example of what was going on today. Evan helped a customer put this together with my raku pendants and beads from the store and the final result was exquisite. I really have to get in there sometime soon and make some things.
Most of all I would like to thank Evan for working so hard to put this together and inviting me to have a show. This was a first for me, I'm usually doing art festivals and music festivals, but this was sooooo fun and I hope to be back there soon. If you haven't been to The Bead Store, you really should check it out! The owners are wonderful people and the shop has some of the best supplies I have seen for making jewelry. Thanks again everyone!!
PS: Meredith made a comment that the square looked like one she made and she is right and I am a total idiot!!! You may remember that I stayed at her place a while back and I made an impression of this stamp one day just messing around while waiting on my slabs to set up. It got bisque fired with all of the other stuff I made down there and I tossed it in one of the many boxes of junk I have around here, not intending to use it. I completely forgot about it and then picked it up last week and used it for this square. It completely slipped my mind. So, I really have to give Meredith the design credit for the square and my humble apologizes for my brain malfunction!!!! I have so many stamps, I can't remember where half of them have come from but I shouldn't be using this one, so I'm going to toss it out so I don't make the same mistake again!!!!! So sorry M. !!!!!!!! but at least it's the only one I made :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Bead Shop

So many beads..... and they are for sale tomorrow at The Bead Shop, Carr Mill, Carrboro, NC
I will be there by noon tomorrow and I guess I'll stay until closing, the shop is beautiful, the folks there are really nice and there are lots of places to get great food, not a bad way to spend a Saturday!