Wednesday, February 29, 2012

No dragon slaying this week

Well I put my game controller away so I could finish up this commission, aren't you glad?! This barn is for Gena, she wanted a niche for her grandmother/s vase and she wanted to use this finial, so I made a larger barn for her. I like the way this one turned out.
 I have all of the barns finished, now to let them dry, add the terra sig, and fire them. I made a couple of extras just in case, I know my record with loss and I'm guessing at least one will kill itself in the kiln.
 Here are some more treasures I picked up recently. Meredith opened a can of worms when she gave me her little doll, I am obsessed with them now. I also have a thing for thimbles and found these last week at a really good price so I snatched them up.

I have so many odds and ends now, I need to work steady every day to make homes for all of this stuff. I got in two solid days of work this week, tomorrow will be a half day of work, I have some meetings, and then Friday I'm taking Wesley to the beach with my art chick pals. Girls only weekend, should be fun! Wesley will be home from school on break for the next couple of weeks, so I'm not sure how much I am going to get done, but I do need to work at least some of the time she is here. I know she has to work on a screenplay, so that will help motivate me to work also.
Don't forget the Mudfire show opens online Friday at 12pm!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

The three of us

 Gerry was off today and wanted to go climbing. Wesley had no classes today and happens to live about 20 minutes from Gerry's favorite climbing crags. It was raining when I got up and I knew if I rolled out slabs today they would just sit there wet, so we packed up, stopped by and picked up Wesley and headed up to Pilot Mt. for some lunch and a little hiking and bouldering. The weather cleared up and it turned out to be a decent weather day, sort of chilly but nice weather for hiking. So, I have basically had a four day weekend. I love my family more than I love clay, so the clay can wait! We are a very close family, we do everything together and we have a kid that looks forward to us visiting her and says "yes I want to come along" when we ask her to join us. Why shouldn't she? Gerry and I are really fun to be with! We are so blessed to have this child!
 My child is so beautiful and so gentle, she melts my heart!

On the way to Winston Salem we got an email that someone Gerry used to work with lost his teenage son Friday night. Hold your loved ones tight, take time for them, the work can wait, we only have our friends and family on this Earth for a precious amount of time!! Thanks, Wes for spending the day with us, we love you,  xoxo!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Life is so Damn Good!

I am a very lucky girl. I spent Friday with my very good girl friends, and the rest of the weekend with my two very best friends, Gerry and Corky.
Corky was Gerry's roommate in college and I met him when I was 19 years old. He is still our best friend, we have been through marriages, divorces, births, deaths, illness, employment woes, sadness, happiness, and through it all we have remained friends, never an unkind word spoken between us. This weekend he came to stay with us and give me some Skyrim lessons. Corky is a master game player, and yes if you are wondering if the two of us have some maturity issues, I can prove that we do with this video! That's ok though, we are happy, we are young at heart, we are not mean spirited and we have sooooo much fun!!!
My life is very full, my friends and family bring an amazing amount of joy and adventure to my life., and I am grateful every single day for them. They keep the monsters away!!  My wish for each of you is that you may have people in your life that bring you laughter and joy, what is life without it?!
Peace ya'll, happy week :)

Happy Endings

If you have some time on this beautiful lazy Sunday morning check out this story on MSNBC that Gerry has been working on (shot the photos for). It's about a girl that lost her horse, tragic tale, and then a happy ending. Very good story, well written, great photos! If the link won't take you there for some reason, just google Gerry Broome animal tracks and you should find it.
Take a break, have some tea, and read a good story :)
What a beautiful day!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Commission coming along

 The commission for Gena and her family treasures is coming along nicely. This one will be for her dad. A finial I believe from a bed frame, perhaps her grandmother's bed. And a spigot from the farm house. This is one of the most fun projects I have ever had the pleasure of working on!

 Most of these dolls are reserved for the show at Lark and Key gallery in June. So excited about that show!
and here is a little guy that is staying at Lark and Key right now until someone gives him a home..... want one? Call Sandy! There are none here at the moment. All my work is in galleries right now and I want to get on with this commission so I can start thinking about the upcoming June and July shows!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Art chick day

 First of all, I wanted to give a shout out to my friend Susan Wells for a great opening night at the Eno Gallery with her reliquaries. Go Susan!!!!  I had dinner in Hillsborough tonight with my art pals and then went to the opening at the Eno gallery. Susan has this house and two others in the show. I am so proud of her and the work she has put into her art. She be a hard working mom and artist!
 My other great pal, Laura Farrow, also fierce talented art chick, went with me to Charlotte today to drop off some work to the Lark and Key Gallery. I finally got to meet Sandy, after many emails back and forth. What a beautiful gallery. I am so pleased that my work will be there and what amazingly nice people. Laura and I had art day, visiting the Mint Museum and the new Betchler Museum. We were engulfed in art all day, so inspiring and so affirming that art has to be in this world.  I copied down this quote in one of the museums:

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”  Piccasso

And not to forget, my other good friend that we had dinner with, Shannon Bueker, one of my very favorite artists. I have a tiny piece of hers, but one day, I will have a bigger piece....... of course this one with the houses is so great.
Driving to Charlotte today, gave me and Laura lots of time to talk about art, goals, themes, issues, lots of great thoughts. Laura made a very interesting point to me recently that I really liked. We were talking about how many blogs had images of houses on them lately. I had a friend awhile back at Claymakers that called it heightened awareness. We worked together as assistants and there were always cycles of similar things. One person would make a votive candle holder and then the kilns would fill with them. Someone would make a slab tray with leaves pressed in it and then the shelves filled up with slab trays. It's an interesting phenomenon in a community clay studio. I have seen it in every one I have worked in. Anyway, we were talking about the house form and how so many people use it and she made an interesting point. We all live in a house. It is a universal symbol: we all take shelter in a house, raise families in them, rest, laugh, love, all in our houses. So of course it is a familiar and comfortable object to many of us. Just like a bowl or a cup is a familiar and comfortable object to all of us. Today I mentioned that I thought it would be cool to see  all of the potter/bloggers make a house in their own style, like the cups or bowls they make, or the sculptures they make, just using their own glazes, surface decorations, inspirations. I had even emailed several potter friends a while back to see if I could send them one of my houses and then have them decorate it in their own style. I would still love to do this, but the logistics went out the window when Ron requested red clay and Michael needed to wood fire his, see where this is going?! But what if everyone made one in their own way? It would be interesting, don't you think?! Maybe Meredith could put together another show, haha!
I'm excited to see the House and Home show go up next week at Mudfire and see the many interpretations of this shape we all have in common. I think it will be a fantastic show. I am very proud of the pieces that I sent down and very proud of the pieces that I left at Lark and Key today.
I am also very proud of these art chicks that are my friends. They lift me up, they support me, they cheer me on, they give me advise, encouragement, and blunt talk when I need it. They don't try to tear me down, they don't envy me, they accept me and they carry on and make their own great and powerful work and I love the strong, intelligent women they are.  They make me stronger, smarter, and bring me laughter and joy when I am with them. Today was one of those very great days, being with women who know who they are and don't give a rat's ass what anyone thinks, because they are confident and secure with who they are. ROCK ON Susan, Laura, and Shannon!!!!!! Thanks for being some kick ass girls!!!

ps: I hope it's ok that I borrowed these images from your blogs :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mudfire Gallery

I just want to give a great big hug and thanks to the folks at Mudfire Gallery. I have never met them, we have only spoken through emails, but I have to say they are the epitome of a fantastic and supportive gallery! They have been so kind and helpful and I am very honored to be included in their upcoming show, House and Home. Thanks also for the featured artist interview they posted on their blog. If you don't have their blog on you blog roll, you should. They have some great interviews and very interesting posts. Check it out here: Mudfire Blog.  Thank you, thank you for your amazing support of clay artists!!!!  xo
I scored some new treasures this week, here is one of the tiny little dolls I got. This piece is going on a road trip to Charlotte tomorrow to stay with the Lark and Key Gallery. More folks that I have not met, but have also found to be sooooo kind and generous. Looking forward to meeting them tomorrow. My pal Laura is riding with me and we are going to check out some of the art museums while we are there. I'll take lots of photos for all of you that can't ride along with us:)
Thank you also to my blog pals that emailed today to give me the heads up about the Mudfire interview. I really appreciate all of you and your support more than you know!!!
Oh, the first photo is also one of the dolls I got. She is on a box that I picked up for myself. I'll take some photos of it later, it's really cool. I think it will be my new cash box at shows! Really great day today, hope all of you are having some of the same. I know there has been some sorrow this week but I hope that you have had a few smiles to brighten the sadness
peace ya'll

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I have Slain the Dragon and Absorbed his Soul

 I am totally obsessed with Skyrim, I played for four hours last night. Gerry was shooting a ball game and TV programming sucks, so I am now a video game junkie :)
It's not keeping me from my work though. I do have some sense of responsibility and self control, not much, but enough to go out to the studio every day and work. This week I am working on Gena's family project.
 Here are the results of the first two I made, didn't like them, so they went back to the bucket. I don't know why, but this was always the hardest thing for me to get my students to do. Give up the bad shit and just start over, it is so much easier to do it again than continue to fight with a piece that does not want to exist.
 I've been dancing with the spirits this week. Spending time with the memories of a family I do not know has been bringing up my own memories and ghosts. I hold these pieces of another time and place in my hand, I think about the memories this place holds, and I am reminded so much of my own grandparents house and the many special times I shared there with my own family. And then there is the ever present ghost of my dad. He has been a strong presence in my studio this week. I feel something stirring in these houses I'm making. I want them to include more and more histories of the past.....
Here is the house for Gena's grandmother. I am so in love with this piece!
Is it my imagination or are there a lot of house forms popping up on blogs lately?
Ignore everybody, just work, ignore everybody, just work, ignore everybody, just work.........

Monday, February 20, 2012

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Two of out blogger friends Judi Tavill and Lucy Fagella lost their best friends this week and felt safe enough in the blog community to share it with us. I thought we could take a moment and honor their loss with this moment of silence and celebration for the seasons of our lives. Please take a minute today to be silent and honor those that we have lost.......
My condolences to you Judi and Lucy and to your families,  xo
I'm going to take a blog break for a few days, I need some space to breathe............


Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
                                                       Dylan Thomas

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Rainy, miserable day here. Gerry and I went down to Franklin St. for lunch today. A lot of places were packed, there was a home UNC basketball game yesterday so lots of parents are still in town. We ended up at Tallulah's and had an amazing meal. This is a turkish restaurant, lots of lamb and kabobs, but also a great selection of vegetarian dishes. We had a turkish salad, lentil patties, grape leaves, hummus, grilled shrimp, and baklava for dessert. It was such a nice treat for such a crappy day. We sat in one of the window booths, dressed with comfy cushions, pillows and silk tapestries on the walls. So cozy to sit there and watch the rain, have a nice healthy meal and laugh at ourselves. Gerry had a quick little nap while waiting to pay, haha!
I felt sort of bad for them. They are between Med Deli and Mint, two very popular restaurants in town. We in fact were heading to Med Deli but the line was out the door, so we went to Tallulah's and lucky us, there was only one other party in the place, there was great music, it was peaceful, and the food is way better when you don't have to stand in line to order it. I love this place, if you are ever in town, check it out! Sorry, the photos were shot with Gerry's iphone, not terribly great quality! There was so much food left over, we will have a nice dinner too!
Now for some hot tea and a movie. It is Sunday, after all, day of rest.
Peace ya'll.....

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sheep and Stuempfle

 I was standing in line at the grocery the other day waiting on the slowest check out lady in Chatham County, so I started flipping through magazines, checking out what Martha is up to these days. Who knew, she did a story on Seagrove's very own David Stuempfle. Great article and Jeff Dean and Steffanie Martin, two of my very favorite potters (the greatest handle makers by the way) get a brief mention and photo as well. Good job you guys! Congrats!!! Doug, Hannah and Ang you might remember going to David's the day I met up with you guys when you were here for your U.S tour. (Ron and Meredith were along on that trip too, such a fun day!)
He is such a great person, so kind and his place is my dream house. One day I too will live out in a field of green with no redneck neighbors revving their engines at 7am, but I digress, sorry :)
So run to your local magazine stand and pick up the latest Martha Living.

 My news isn't so exciting, but fun just the same. I raku fired this little flock of sheep today. I pathetically
played Skyrim, trying to get an f' ing dragon bone until after midnight, so I figured today, I should make up for that nonsense and work. It was so beautiful today, the world just cried out for a raku firing and I had this order that has been pressing me to finish, so my poor customer that has been so kindly waiting can have her sweet little sheep.  I am sad to ship these folks all the way to California, but go they must, so today I will set them out on my kitchen table where I set everything until I can bear to part with it. Right now they are hanging out with the two barns I'm not sure I want to give up.
These sheep are not a constant thing in my work flow. I make them every now and then on a whim. I worked with a brilliant clay artist long ago and together we made these for kid's classes and summer camp and they were fun. But if I had to sit down and make a bunch at one time I would lose my mind. I try to make just a few to keep them fresh and they are just whimsical on the shelves at shows, although they last for about the first hour of the show and then I have no more. If I was smart I would just make stars and sheep, but then I would pull myself apart from the madness of it all! they do make me smile every time I make them though, sigh.......

Friday, February 17, 2012

Meredith's family treasure

Meredith at Whynot Pottery gave me a few more things from her past when I visited with them last week. The absurdity of a little girl in a hula skirt standing in a barn just makes me smile.
I have found the test for these items that I am collecting is that they have to make me smile. This little chick passed the test. And so did the little cherub playing the cello.

 They are hanging out with me for awhile until I can say goodbye to them. I love them both on my kitchen table. I didn't get to spend enough time with the piece that Gerry shot with the cross on it. I sent it right out the door to Mudfire, barely making the deadline, so we didn't get to bond, and I am sad that it went away. I also realized in a previous post that I said I would never see those pieces again. Quite the optimist I suppose, I mean they could come back to me if they don't sell......
 Seems there has been quite the housing boom in blogland this week. I think I counted seven blogs with house forms and I am averaging making around 12 a week, and then there is a House and Home show at Mudfire in a couple of weeks.Who says there is a shortage of housing out there :)
These will be available at the Lark and Key gallery after next Friday, whatever they pick from them at least.
This is an image of a pathetic potter with a terrible work ethic. I woke up with every intention of getting to work on some houses today, I have them cut out, they just need to be built. But what do you think I did? Our friend Corky came over and I ended up playing Skyrim with him ALL day. Sad, isn't it? Then he left and my pal Laura showed up and she gave me a bunch of tutorials on my ipad. 
So let's see what I accomplished today: I got a horse from a dead guy and rode to Riverwood until a wolf attacked us and took a chunk out of my horse's ass, I can shoot flames from my hands, I took a potion made from spider eggs, and I have a mission to get a golden something from a dragon. I can also now use my painterly app on my ipad. Hmmmm, I would say I had a good day, considering haha!
Oh yeah, and I had a short therapy session with Laura where we discussed this compulsion I have to make perfect houses and store amusing childhood symbols in them. Sort of going down the path of: well my childhood was fucked up so I am making the perfect house and putting happy memories from other people in them. See where this is going? A therapist could buy a new car with the hours we could spend analyzing this one!
Sooooo, I will be working all weekend, paying the price for playing today, not a bad deal really!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gena's Family Treasure

 I met Gena during the Chatham Studio tour this past December. She bought some things and happened to mention that her grandmother's farm was going away and she was salvaging some old things from the house. Can you imagine how I started to hyperventilate while trying to stay calm and act professional?!
She was talking about finials and doorknobs and I was seeing visions of houses with these things and thinking yes, please, let me make some for you! This is what my pieces are meant for. Little sacred spaces for family memories, for treasures from our past. So today, in the pouring rain, Gena made it out to my tiny little studio with bags in her hands full of precious items from her grandmother's past, from her past, and her family's. So many memories in these pieces, I could sit all day and let her tell me about the soapstones used to sharpen knives, that we are going to use in some way, the doorknobs from the kitchen, the finials from the house itself, and the bottle opener that was only used for the "hard cider". I love that! Alcohol wasn't allowed in the house, much like my house growing up. My dad hid his stash in the carport :)
Anyway, I could just see the love Gena has for her family and the memories she brought with her in those paper bags and I am so honored to give them a place to exist in my art. I can feel the history of this place, the lives that lived there. My body feels like it is buzzing with electricity from these objects and I already feel connected to them. How does anything get better than that. There will be a barn for uncles, an aunt, a grandmother, a father, brothers, and of course one for her! I have a lot of work I need to get out in the next couple of months, but I will start this project in the morning, I will be too distracted if I don't go ahead and get all of this completed and off to new homes. Then I can concentrate on my June shows! Thank you Gena, for trusting me with your family memories, I am very excited to get started, I will document my progress here on my blog so your family can see what's going on! xo

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


 Ignore Everybody

Just work

Learn your craft, do it with integrity, originality and from deep in your soul.
Do you know that I cried when I finished these pieces? My body was tingling all over, first I cried, then I laughed, then I felt an enormous sense of satisfaction that these pieces came from some place deep inside my heart, they are the fabric of my being and they will now belong to someone else. They are on their way to Mudfire Gallery and I will never see them again..........
This is how your art should make you feel or what is the point?

The phrases above came from blogs I read this week and they were words I needed to keep me from kicking another hornet's nest :)  thanks to Michele and Kelly

BTW, I just want to point out how simply Gerry is shooting this. Jim Hines, the photographer that shot my work last week, is a brilliant product photographer, no doubt about it, but my husband is an artist! These shots feel like walking in a beautiful cemetery.......

It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera. They are made with the eye, heart and head.  Henri Cartier Bresson

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hell yeah

Sleepy Hollow

of Pere Lachaise

I have mumbled a blog to myself all day, but I'm just going to keep it to myself.
It's been a great day, Gerry shot these photos for me today (he's good isn't he), gave me presents, took me out to a great Thai restaurant, so why spoil all that. Hope everyone had a lovely day with lovely people.

Happy Valentines Day

My friend Meredith at Whynot Pottery gave me this  little guy and some other treasures she found around her house. I think I might just need to go down and plunder through her stuff some day, she keeps finding all of these great little things in her drawers. She and Mark also live in paradise. I love going out to their place. I stopped by there Friday after picking up some clay at Starworks.

Hope everyone has a great Valentine's day!
I am unloading some work from the kiln this morning, I may get back to you later in the day with good or bad news :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Civil Wars

Sorry, I had a Bruno Mars video up but it disappeared so I decided to put this one up.
Who watched the Grammy show last night? Bruno Mars rocked it, google his performance last night if you want to feel good. The Civil Wars opened for Taylor Swift and I would have much rather heard more from them than Taylor. I have to say, for a few hours of escapism TV, the show last night was really great. Eye candy for sure, the sets and choreography were amazing, and the performances were so much better than they have been in the past. The Foo Fighters kicked ass and God bless Glen Campbell.

Thanks for those votes for the versatile potter thing, I'm not really sure what that means, but thanks. I have been so busy filling out contracts and applications and Mudfire sent me some interview questions, so trying to come up with clever things to say for the obligatory "tell us something about you we don't know" and then name some more people for nomination has slipped through the cracks. It's not that I am ungrateful for the recognition, I just don't like it when a few people are singled out on a blog for recognition when we are all busting our asses and doing what we love and doing it the best we know how. I do like reading the things people say about themselves when these award things come up, but if you have been reading this blog for awhile you already know way more than you ever needed to know about me. If I made a list of those I would like to recognize it would be everyone that reads this. So here is a versatile potter shout out to all of you if you are reading :)
Happy week everyone. I have a kiln going today and I need to ship work to Mudfire for the show and I have some applications to send out, so I need to get going.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mudfire Gallery

I am very honored to be invited to participate in this show with so many clay artists that I have long admired. Thanks to Mudfire Gallery for including me!!! You can read more about Mudfire Gallery here:
This is from their website:
House and Home
MudFire welcomes an outstanding group of sculptors and potters for a domecile-themed exhibit. The show features 16 artists invited from across the country to express their concepts of house, home, shelter, nesting or dwelling places and represents a broad interpretation of the theme, not limited to human concerns but also the hidey-holes and getaways of all manner of creatures. We look forward to sharing a cup of tea with you at the opening reception on March 2 from 5-9pm.
Work will post in preview mode by February 27, and will be available for purchase starting 12:00 pm on Friday, March 2, 2012.

What happens when one gets past the glib proverbs? The cross-stitched welcome mats? Where is home really? Does it have a theshold? A doorway? Is it really as simple as keeping track of where the heart is? With housing starts, busts, bubbles and gains all over our collective psyche, how do you quantify the meaning of home? That is what the 16 artists in MudFire's House and Home exhibit set out to do.
Ranging from the playfully reinterpretive to ghostly and meditative, the notion of home engendered throught-provoking responses from the participating artists.
Mary Fischer's contrarian themes of 3-D in 2-D are explored in the faded facades of whitewashed barns and blurry-focus windows of far-away highrises. In contrast, Heidi Fahrenbacher's playful houses in primary colors reflect the stoic "stay calm and carry on" mentality of Scandinavia. Barry Gregg's dog houses, complete with dog and memorabilia make us yearn for freshly mowed back-yards and lemonade stands, while Michael Pfleghaar's mid-century modern constructions create an immediate need for an Eams chair and a dry martini.
But home is not just a fixed structure on land. It is also a carry-on shell, a carefully woven tapestry of twigs and leaves, a hole in a tree accessed only by air... Exploring the times and the rituals, the artists that carry this exhibit tread carefully among the hopes and ruins of the daily retreat, ranging the full spectrum of the world's domestication.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Let the pros do it

Most of you know that the photos I shoot for my blog are just down and dirty. I have a soft box that I set up next to a large window, I don't use lights unless it is absolutely necessary, and I get decent results.
I know three guys that went to college together and studied photography, so I thought I would get them to shoot some really nice photos of some of my best pieces. Jim Hines worked for years at Alderman Studios in the small products division, shot covers for Smithsonian Magazine, corporate product shots and lots of other things. Gerry swears he is the most brilliant photographer he has ever seen at lighting. Cole Martin (Corky) was Gerry's roommate in college and he is brilliant with photoshop and printing, and has the very coolest studio in downtown Greensboro, and then there is Gerry, who is just plain brilliant at everything when it comes to photography. So how could I go wrong! Jim used small mirrors to reflect light, which I would have never thought of doing, masked lights, masked his lens, moved and worked with shadows like magic and brought out so much depth in my work, the shots looked incredible.
Here is a short video I shot at Corky's studio today. Fun day! Waiting on Gerry to tone and crop and then I will post some really nice photos.

Thanks Guys!!! It was fun!