Saturday, June 30, 2012

Some highlights from the show

 I really enjoyed the NC Potters show at the Greenhill Center in Greensboro last night. The potters that were invited to be in this show really put their best foot forward and there are some amazing pieces in the show. Here are the first of lots of photos I took last night, these are some pieces that I personally liked a lot. The figure by Tom Bartel was one of my favorite things in the show.
 Joy Tanner had some beautiful work and some red dots when I left. I love the handles Joy puts on her work.

 For me, some of the most beautiful pieces in the show were these pieces above by Matt Jones. I am a huge fan of Matt's work, although I can't really afford it. Maybe one day......
 Susan Feagin has very original work and fun to look at. Her surfaces never photograph for me as well as they look in person. These were some of my favorites. I may have to go back and shoot some more pics of her work and maybe buy a piece if there is any left, it's very interesting and she doesn't have a huge web presence where you can go and look at a lot of her work.
 Steffanie Martin is also doing some great surface work, very original and so interesting. I liked the work she had in the show a lot, I have more photos for later.
 Shaunna Lyons had some interesting earthenware. I shot this because I like the way she is hanging these tiles. Notice the wire that runs through each side and is exposed. I think this is a great way to hang a piece. There seemed to be a lot of red earthenware/ slip work in this show. Lots of drawing and sketching on the surface. Honestly, a lot of it looked very similar and the mentor work for me was more original than some of the invited artists. Not that any of it was bad, just similar in thought. Although it was all fun to look at and all exceptionally well crafted, I personally lean towards the more traditional Seagrove pottery and good old wood fired work for my home. Give me a brown pot any day!
 I liked this piece by Val Cushing, interesting balance to this one
 I thought Tom Gray's platter was a very well crafted piece. I talked to Tom at the show and discussed the fact that he has been doing this down in Seagrove for over thirty years. His work shows that. It is well made, although it seemed very subtle among many of the younger potters, the flashy glazes, the bright colors, lustres, drawings, uber decoration. His piece just quietly sat there with it's own presence, but look, the platter has a red dot, someone else appreciated the quiet beauty like I did. Yay for Tom!
Steven Forbes de Soule was Ronan Peterson's mentor. Ronan curated the show and had some really great pieces in it (more photos later). I took a workshop with Steven at Penland a few years ago and he is one of the finest teachers I have had. He has some lovely raku in this show. Maybe some of the only raku I saw, but some of my favorite pieces.
I still say, of everything I saw, for me, Oh Hyang Jong's pieces were the ones I liked the best, by far. Quiet, still, and soulful. You can see a slideshow of him if you google his name and Michael Hunt.
More later....

Friday, June 29, 2012

NC Potters

 Here are four NC Potters that were not in the Greenhill show, but went together, drank some beer, ate some good food and loved seeing all of the work of the potters that were in the show. These four should just have their own show because they are some kick ass fierce women!
Barbara McKenzie, (my mentor) me, Laura Farrow, Shannon Bueker.
 And here are two handsome and talented potters that were in the show, standing with two of the most talented artists I know. Mark Hewitt, Laura Farrow, Shannon Bueker, Ron Philbeck
 Oh Hyang Jong, I think Michael Hunt's mentor? The show was not very clearly marked as to who was the mentor/student, it was sort of confusing. If I could have afforded it, this is the piece out of everything in the show I would have purchased. It was just amazing. It had the soul of the maker and I would happily give it a home if I had lots of $$$. Just fabulous!
Our very own sometimes blogger (but coming back on the scene), Michael Kline was in the front window, and I promised him I would take some photos of the show, so this one is for you, MK. Your pieces were lovely as usual. I took lots of photos, let me see how best to present them, and I will share them when I get it all sorted. It was great to see so many potters and friends at the show. Fun to be back in Greensboro where Gerry and I lived when we first got married. Fun to catch up with people I haven't seen in awhile. It was fun to see so much pottery in one space.  What a talented group of potters and all very nice people. How can you beat that! I'll have more later. I saw lots of cameras, so I'm sure there will be lots of blogging besides mine.
Congratulations to everyone that is in the show, and well done Ronan Peterson, curator. If you weren't there tonight, it is worth a drive to Greensboro to see the show. I am going to have to go back when the space isn't filled with so many people I know. I can't remember half of what I saw, too busy talking! It was mostly fun just to spend time with my great friends and look at some wonderful pottery.
More later.......

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thanks everyone!!!!!! XOXO

Thank you soooo much, everyone for your very kind comments and emails today. Thanks for the encouragement and sharing your own experience with basal cell and thanks for letting me whine. My day started off sort of scary but reading your comments and just staying busy all day settled me down and I 'm fine now. Gerry and Wesley made me laugh a lot and didn't make too big a deal out of any of this. Wesley gave me a big hug, and then all was right with the world.

I'll see some of you tomorrow night in Greensboro at the reception for the By Example show that half the potters in NC are in. I will be there with three of the best artists I know around here and you will notice that none of us will have work in the show.... just saying.......

We are still contemplating the land with the duck and the pond and the fruit orchard and the grapes, the figs, the blueberries...... it seems like it wants us to own it and we are stepping closer and closer. I would like to have had that pond today to sit by and be calm and quiet for awhile. We want to grow our own food, and this is the perfect place to do just that. Maybe I could have sheep, make wool and weave....... so many possibilities, so many lifetimes to live. Life is good :)

The "C" word

 I wasn't sure I was going to blog about this, but I might as well. This is where I come to unload mental baggage so I can get on with my day, and this is baggage I want to dump, so I can quit dragging around this morning. Last week I had a small spot removed on my back that, to me, was suspicious, that's why I went to get it checked in the first place. The doc said he thought it looked ok, removed it, sent it off to pathology, done deal. So I thought. Still, I had a feeling all was not well. You just know, when it's your body. I grew up on the beach, sun on my body as much as possible. It had to happen.
The doc called this morning to say that the test came back as basal cell cancer and I would need to have more cut out. Oh boy, I have been whining about this little cut and now more and with stitches. I am a weeny and I don't want stitches! From all I know, thanks to the internet, that can scare the crap out of you most times when you self diagnose, this will be fine. It doesn't spread, requires little treatment, and I should be good to go after the surgery. If you have experience with this, please chime in, unless it's scary, then maybe keep it to yourself :)

So, a minor inconvenience, just one more thing to deal with that I don't really want to deal with, but it will be done with by the end of July, wtf.....
When I got the call this morning I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach, it sort of took the wind out of me, then I was a bit nauseous, then I thought about the people that get much worse news and how in the world do you deal with it?! Life is a crazy thing, isn't it? Now I feel like my body is invaded with those hateful cancer cells, cancer cells killed my dad in a most cruel way and I hate them.

All of a sudden, I want to sit by a lake, I want to pour vitamins in my body, I want to go for a walk by the ocean, I want to sleep, I want this fucking planet to be healthier, I want better food, I want better drinking water, I want cleaner air, I want government leaders that have some sense, I want the greedy mother fuckers in this world to find something constructive to do with their time, I want the drug companies to quit killing people, I want Monsanto to quit making GMO foods, I want environmentally clean and safe energy. I want a peaceful life. Is this too much to ask?
This getting older thing sucks, and I am one of the ones doing it well. What about those that have illness all the time? How do they do it? Arggghhh, my brain is going to explode.......

However, let the juicing begin!! This morning: spinach, celery, ginger, cilantro, apple, and 30 drops of black cohosh (the cohosh is now giving me 8 hours of sleep at night and less hot flashes, YES!)
yummy, healthy goodness. Thanks again to Tig for the blog on juicing. Digging it!!!!!

On I go, with a cancer on my back, at least it's not a monkey, haha :)
peace ya'll

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blog vs.Facebook

 Did you call the Governor yet? DO IT!
I will preface this post with a disclaimer so I don't piss off any of my blog friends. I love you all and your blogs, you know that. I do not say any of this in a mean spirited way, It is just an observation and my very own opinion, it is not meant to cause mental anguish or harm to you! I do not love your Facebook goings on. I tried reading a few last week. I have noticed that some of my favorite blogs are falling by the wayside, very little time and care being paid to them and I miss them. So I cruised over to the Facebook substitutes of a few blogs that I miss. I learned someone found some boxes, someone moved a slab roller, someone ate an apple, someone tied their shoe, someone farted.... not really, but it was mostly like that to me. Yawn.... people.....
I have started roaming outside of potters land for blog material because the potters are A. working very hard and do not have the time to blog, I'm assuming and B. they have succumb to the simple minded quickies of Facebook and Twitter. Gone are many of the thought provoking and often stimulating conversation making blogs of a few years ago. I miss them. I have found, though, that artists in other mediums are writing beautiful and inspirational blogs and I am so happy they take the time to put some interesting thoughts out there for people like me that enjoy reading what other artists are going through so I don't feel so alone with my angst.

Now, here is another interesting observation and happening. Tig, at Future Primitive blog, a blog I used to love to read, also a twitter/facebook victim, recently returned to the blog world and yesterday's post was WONDERFUL! Tig wrote about juicing and her photos and recipes were so enticing, I went out and bought a juicer today, yes I did! We have had a gift card floating around since Christmas for Target, and we hardly ever see anything there we want, but they had a juicer on sale so I got one. Went to the Farmer's market in Carrboro, then the grocery, came home and juiced my brains out!!!! WTF, why have I not thought about this before now? I knew about juicing, Jack Lelane and all that, but, man, this is the shit! I juiced apple, peach, mango, pineapple, grapefruit, and added some rice syrup for sweetness, YUM YUM!!!! I made a pitcher and we sipped away the afternoon, filling our souls with vitamins and goodness.

 The pulp is an interesting thing, I know not what to do with it, the dog wouldn't touch it, so it went to compost land. This is going to be an adventure, to see what concoctions I can make that we can actually drink and enjoy. What fun! Now, if Tig had just kept this in twitterville or spaceland, I would have never known, and I might be less healthy one day, get a disease and die. But! Because she came back to her blog, I will be thin, beautiful and healthy very soon:) She promised haha!
 There is no way in hell you are ever going to convince me that Facebook is worth it. I just find it incredibly boring and not at all interesting. No one is really taking the time to say anything useful at all and the replies are shallow at best. Yeah yeah, people say: "but it will be good for your business." What will be good for my business is to get out and work in my studio, not sit and cruise around on yet another social media platform. It's all so curious to me and I wonder what affect it will have on our minds in the future..... however, people that take the time to blog, do so in a mindful way and I am so happy to have found all of my blogging friends. For instance:
Anna Branner from Cloth and Clay took time out of her day this morning to send me an email after I emailed to her photos of my new(old) loom and explained what I have and what I need. I met her through another blog, I would have never found her through facebook and I love it when she blogs (which is not enough) because her postings are thoughtful and interesting.
Too bad, Facebook and Twitter stole so many bloggers, I really miss the time I spent with family photos and recipes and catching up with everyone's woes and joys and hard work. I guess that might be going on over in spaceland, but, alas, it goes on with out me :( Thanks to all of you that continue to carry the torch, I love reading what you write about


There are 9,650,000 people living in NC.  10,000 of them have called and emailed the Governor to ask her to veto the fracking bill. 
Governor's numbers are:
800-662-7952, 919-733-2391

Have you called yet!!!

I for one and very concerned about this since I live in Chatham County where they will come first. Please educate yourselves Chatham people!!!!! 
Just google the word fracking and read some of the articles, we are going to FUBAR this planet!!!!!!
(fucked up beyond all recognition)

TONIGHT, Wednesday June 27 
Gather at 6:15 p.m.    Press conference starts at 6:30 p.m.
Join the RALLY and Press Conference at the  GOVERNOR'S MANSION TO URGE VETO OF SB 820 - THE PRO-FRACKING BILL   
Governors Mansion (map)
200 North Blount Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 733-3871
Governor Perdue has until Sunday night to veto the bill that would legalize fracking in NC. We  need to let her know one more time that we want to keep NC FRACK FREE!  The rally will feature speakers from business and local government as well as groups who work to protect our waters and environment .  We need a big crowd to make a difference! 
And it's still not too late to call or email her, if you haven't done it yet:
Phone: (919)733-4240  or email

NC governor inundated with pleas to veto fracking bill
Facing South
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This week the Republican-controlled North Carolina Senate VOTED TO LEAGALIZE FRACKING FOR NATURAL GAS in the state, following the lead of the Republican House, which approved the measure last week.
Senate Bill 820 now goes to Gov. Beverly Perdue (D), who has been inundated with calls, emails and letters asking for her veto. She has 10 days from the bill's passage to make a decision.
A spokesperson for Perdue told the News & Observer of Raleigh that her office has received 7,641 emails and 2,824 phone calls since the issue began getting attention, and that they are "overwhelmingly opposed to fracking with very few supportive comments."
Perdue also heard from Calvin Tillman, the former mayor of Dish, Texas, a town at the center of that state's fracking industry. Now an advocate for communities affected by fracking, Tillman visited Raleigh earlier this month to talk to state lawmakers about the serious environmental health problems the rural community north of Fort Worth has experienced.
In a letter sent to Perdue this week, Tillman -- a conservative independent -- detailed concerns about the legal questions around property rights raised by the North Carolina bill. Here is the text of his letter; to view the original signed version click here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What am I doing..........

 Not pottery, that's for sure! I did manage to get these pieces off to The Bascom for the vase show. I'm sure there will be lots of pretty vases in the show, beautiful shapes and glazes, well thrown. Not from me, but I really like these. I had considered throwing some vases on the wheel and raku firing them, but this was more fun and a bit more challenging to make them a "vase".
 What I have been doing is watching all of the nests we have with eggs. We lost some, and we had some babies fly off. We have a crazy wren couple that built a mcmansion on our back deck in one of my plants. They are very loud and vocal and scream at the cat a lot. Wesley has named them as a unit "Lo wren zo". So when we talk about them we just say "the Lorenzo woke me up again this morning". There are lots of empty nests around here, not mine though. We have had lots of time with Wesley. She is in hibernation and writing so she has hardly left the house since school got out. So nice to have her here to have meals with and watch movies and go to the library and sit and read together. Bliss.... who wants to go out to a hot studio when I have all that!
 I have also been cleaning and organizing my "nest". Since last August, when we got Wes off to school, it seems like the world has been very demanding of my time and my house has truly suffered from it. Since we got home from Maine, I have been painting the dirty walls, cleaning out closets, chests, magazines, books, clothes, pantry, cabinets. BIG purge. Gerry took a car load to the dump and I have taken three car loads of stuff to the used bookstore and the thrift store. I am trying to de clutter and just keep the things I love and find useful and beautiful, thank you William Morris for that advise! It's hard, there are so many memories tied up in all the things I own, but some of them just don't need to be taking up my space, so off they go! And of course, if you walk into the thrift store something is going to catch your eye. Yesterday, for example, I found an antique table loom for $3. Today, I found some old balls of fabric strips in a basket that had to come home and see the loom.... sigh.... oh well, I have no idea how to set up this loom, but watched a lot of youtube last night around 2am when I couldn't sleep. I think I will like weaving if I figure the loom out.

 I have been taking care of lots of things the studio kept me from this past year, so that's good. I had a spot on my back that I was almost certain was skin cancer and finally stopped pretending it didn't exist and got it checked last week. It was fine but was removed so I have been whining about pain for a few days and now it's itchy, weh!
I almost have a clean house to live in now, so the studio needs a visit!
Maybe tomorrow before it gets to be 100 degrees again. Wasn't today beautiful!?!
I have a new collector in Charlotte that bought two of my pieces at Lark and Key and has now commissioned another. Where are more of these lovely people?! I love this woman, I must meet her one day! Sales seem slow in the other galleries, but this one is making me happy!

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Even if you just visit the NC coast or Mts and don't live here you should call the NC Governor and express your concerns about this very horrible environmental RAPE!!! I called last week, a real person answers the phone and they document your call. PLEASE call and STOP this fracking!!!!!!!!!

Mark your calendars for this coming Thursday, June 28, 7 pm at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro. The magnificently brilliant Elaine Chiosso of the Haw River Assembly joins Dispersed for a screening of our 20 minute clip, "Message from the Marcellus." 

While we focus on the human element of the fracking issue, Elaine will present scientific studies to help you understand how the hydro-fracturing process works and how it could impact NC given our very specific shale conditions. Please spread the word and please attend if you can. 

Also, you may have heard that Senate Bill 820 passed in both the Senate and the House. We are pressing Governor Perdue hard for a veto. Please contact her and voice your concerns at 

(919) 733-2391

Read more from Clean Water for NC: 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Maine..... The End.

 Well, I think that's enough with the Maine photos, there are lots more, and I haven't even touched on the ones Gerry shot, but it's time to move on! I got two commissions this week, a show invitation and I was accepted for Festifall, so it's back to work Monday. Our best friend Corky is coming for a round of Skyrim, YAY! so I will be mindlessly killing dragons and collecting gold for the weekend :) Wesley has even agreed to sit in for a few rounds. Oh boy!
I have been cleaning like someone possessed this week and I painted the upstairs and the downstairs entry white. My house was starting to look like a crayon box, every room a different color and I am sort of tired of it, so we are going white and gray. It's nice and restful, but taking some getting used to. My entry was red before and now I walk in and see these white walls, it's odd. But I like it. De-cluttering is full on right now. It feels good!
Here are some pretty photos and the last of my vacation posts. Thanks for coming along on the trip!!

The end.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Maine.... Red, White and Blue Boothbay Harbor

 Boothbay Maine is without a doubt our favorite little town for shopping and hanging out "in town". We seem to get there before the crowds, I doubt we would like it as much at the height of the tourist season, but we had the place to ourselves both times we have been there. It seems like every photo I made there is red white and blue. So pretty.

I'll post some pretty pictures Friday and then I will wrap up this travel guide of Maine. Thanks for sharing the trip with me!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Maine part V..... Pottery

 On our way out of Reid State Park on Georgetown Island we passed this pottery, and Gerry kindly stopped so that I could check it out. There are lots of potteries in Maine, however, I don't live with someone patient enough to stop at all of them for his wife, who is a potter.... sigh..... but we did stop at this one. Some of you that live up that way may know this pottery, I'm not familiar with this work though.
 This is a beautiful pottery, filled to the brim with porcelain wares mostly. Wesley's initial comment was, this is what happens when you spend the winters in Maine, haha! I have never been in a pottery shop with so much inventory.
 Most of the pottery was white, with Maine iconography, lighthouses, pine cones, lupine, fish, etc painted on with underglaze. I can't say that any of it was really my taste, although it was well crafted, very pretty and fine enough. There were some obviously wealthy folks in the shop while we were there, loving everything, and naturally they got most of the attention. Wes and I didn't look like the white porcelain buying crowd, that's for sure. And Gerry was sitting in the car?....
 Anyway, if I'm going to buy pottery, I might as well support my bros in NC and on the blog.
 This place was a mass production facility. I suppose it was the owner, (he didn't really introduce himself) that came up to us and spoke. I had my Penland cap on so he asked about that and I told him I worked with clay, he seemed less than interested in that, but invited us to feel free to look around. He was quite busy and all alone, so Wes and I just poked around on our own. Not the friendliest visit I have ever had with a potter. I'm used to the chatty crowd down south, but he was nice enough and told us a little bit about his business. I felt like he must work 24/7 from the looks of things and his distracted manner. This is everything I never want to do with clay. He told us that he has two stores, sells online and has a wholesale business across the country. He had just opened his massive kiln, this is about half of what was in there.
This is only a small portion of the ware carts. There were other rooms just as full. I don't think I would even fill up one of those with my work. But then again, I'm sure he is making way more $$ than I am. It was really eye opening to see this place and see the work it takes to run a full time mass production pottery business. No thank you, but good for those that can do it. This potter lives in one of the most beautiful places I have been, has had this pottery since the 70's and seems to be doing fairly well. I just wonder if he ever sees the beach.......

Monday, June 18, 2012

Maine part IV.... dragon rage at The Farnsworth

 On our list of things to do in Maine was a trip to The Farnsworth Museum in Rockland Maine. They had an exhibit of Andrew Wyeth's watercolors that I wanted to see as well as a really great exhibit of Jamie Wyeth and Rockwell Kent. Both were breathtaking and wonderful. We did, however have a small episode while we were there.
 Port Clyde

This is my child. I am very proud of her. She is a gentle spirit and very sensitive, and as far as I know, she has never said an unkind word to anyone and refuses to talk about others in any gossipy way. In fact, she hardly talks at all, and I think we have had to discipline her maybe twice. She leaves a small portion of her food for Buddha every time she eats something. She loves nature, music, art, and good food. As you can tell, I very much admire and respect her. She is one of the kindest people I know and she has such a sense of peace about her. All of you that read my blog and know Wesley are nodding your head aren't you?
 Reid State Park

 Brunswick Maine

Anyway, about the incident. When Wesley was in first grade, she played softball, Gerry and I were assistant coaches for the team, I worked in the dugout keeping score, etc. One day one of the bully girls, twice Wesley's tiny little size, knocked Wesley's cap off and then pushed her on the ground. I saw this happen across the baseball field, and by the time I tore across the field to rip that little girl's head off, my body was shaking, I was screaming and losing total control of my senses. Meanwhile, bully child's mom is sitting on the bench drinking her Mountain Dew, smoking a cigarette, and yelling at her other illegitimate children. That's what Wesley labeled that day, my dragon rage. It seems to only surface when one of my family members are attacked and it is primal rage, I will tell you that. I have never known anything like it. If you are a parent, you know what I'm talking about!
Popham Beach

So...... we are in the Farnsworth. There are a couple of high school groups there. We are looking around, gasping at the watercolors and we go downstairs to see another exhibit. Gerry and I are still downstairs and Wes has already gone upstairs. We hear a man speaking rather sharply to Wes, but we don't quite grasp what is going on. Let me also say that my child has been going to museums and art exhibits since she was born. She has been to the Met in NY, the Smithsonian, and many other small museums and she knows how to behave accordingly. She is also almost twenty years old! Anyway, Wes is standing at a directional sign indicating the downstairs gallery. It is translucent and she is holding her hand behind it to see what's going on with it, and mean dude growls at her to not touch the sign and to not touch ANYTHING in the museum. He was really rude, we caught that much as we came up the stairs. I guess he thought she was in one of the high school groups without supervision. By the time I got to Wes, the tears had started to come. She was embarrassed, unjustly accused and treated like a child, and of course, being the polite girl she is, she just took this abuse from this moron, but felt helpless and violated, I have been in this position, I know how this feels.
By the time her dad and I figured out what had happened, got her outside on a bench to console her, and dried some tears, my rage was building rapidly. Gerry and I headed in to the museum to find mean dude, but Gerry was so furious he backed off for fear of what he would say. I didn't really care what I was going to say, someone was going to apologize to my girl! Luckily, the first person to get to me
was David Troup, the communications director for the Farnsworth. I explained to him as calmly as I could what had happened, I wasn't very calm but Mr. Troup understood and was extremely kind and understanding. He came outside with me to meet Wesley and to apologize to her and gave us free passes to come back again. He handled the whole situation in the most professional manner and I was so grateful to him for that. It was an awful experience for Wes and she had been so excited about seeing the Wyeths. Thankfully, Mr. Troup turned a bad situation around and we were able to enjoy our visit without any hard feelings towards this very fine museum. I hope Wes learned something from this experience, I'm sure I did. But that dragon rage, I cannot control, so leave my baby alone!!!!