Friday, November 30, 2012

What sells, what has sold, what do I want to sell?

 I knew these were going to sell well, because they were such a pain in the ass to make, haha! also they are inexpensive. I only have three left. I'm debating whether I should break out the clay next week and try to bust out some more or just do it later after the tour. If I make more, they will stop selling, if I don't make them, everyone is going to ask for them......aggghhhhhh......
 I do have these lovely barns all waiting to go home with someone this weekend. Starting at $150, the ones with found objects are $325, however no one seems to have any money these days.... sigh..... but after looking at some of the art at Frank last night selling for $3000-$5000 and up, I am done making apologies for my prices. My prices are fair and a bargain compared to some of the work I saw last night!
 I have about 25 stars left, I've been mailing them out all week. No doubts about them selling each year.

The reception at Frank last night was a lot of fun, nice to see all of you that came out on a very cold evening. I have found my calling. I was bartender and it seems that it suits me very well :) we had Carolina Brewery beers, yum, and I did have my share of it while pouring wine and beer for others. Quite honestly it seemed to me to be a gathering of artists that were squeezing in a tiny bit of fun and good food before going home to finish last minute details in their studios. Not a lot of the buying public came out as far as I could tell. Guess they were all over at Best Buy getting the latest greatest electronic bullshit. This selling of art is truly baffling this year. I have had conversations with gallery owners and artists all week about the business of art and it seems that we need to be cultivating a new buying public. But how is the big question. I'm not being mean here towards old folks, because I am getting to be one of them, but the Friday night reception at the CDCG show was packed with very old folks, and 99% of them were white. They were using walkers, carrying their oxygen bottles, some in wheelchairs. I mean, good for them for getting out on a cold winter night, I don't even do that unless I am forced into it, but where are they going to put more art in their retirement villages? Where was the diversity in this show, I saw very few people of other races, just a bunch of white people. Where were the young art buyers? Where was the ethnicity? Last night, same thing, I met two very cool African American men and maybe three people under the age of 40, then talked to a bunch of white artists my age or older..... what up? There were a number of folks with same sex partners, so at least there was a little diversity represented in the crowd. But still, I have been around A LOT of white people over the age of 50 this month! I'm ready for some international travel at this point!
I was talking to one artist last night about how we should be attracting the young tech people in this area, there are so many of them, thirty somethings, buying new homes, surely they need art.
I asked Wesley this morning, if she just bought a new house and had the means to fill it with great art, what would she do? Her reply was, that she would like to commission artists to make personal pieces for her. She recently did just that. There is a  young artist that takes requests for art on her website and Wesley asked her for a charcoal drawing of a vietnam soldier. The artist did one for her, it was amazing and it was $25.
Wesley also talked about how so many of her friends have been influenced by Apple, the streamlined look of the product and the stores and that many in her generation were attracted to that minimalist look.  Thankfully, she added that some of the new pieces that I am working on had that minimalist look that she is attracted to.
I have been making work that speaks to me and things from my childhood and that's fine, I have an audience for that. But I wonder, if I want to attract a younger customer, and grow my art "business", should I consider making work that attracts that customer and will I still be true to myself as an artist and not crossing the line into making work solely to make more money. There is a fine line there, art from your soul, art for making money.
I think for now, I will continue to explore things that interest me, make things I want to make, and if you find me and you like what I like, that is super cool! I figure since I am extremely immature, that a young audience should be able to relate to my work as easily as an older audience. It's just getting them to find me that is the thing I'm figuring out. Well, I have sat here and drank a pot of coffee while talking to you, so time to get going. Weaving today, I finished one scarf yesterday and hope to finish another today. I''l just leave you with this to ponder:

My friend Shannon left a post on Laura's blog the other day with these words:

What do I really, really, really want? What are my mantras? (the things you hear yourself say ALL the time in your head, good and bad) What are my happiest moments?
I have been thinking about this all week, good questions to ask yourself. After this weekend maybe I will write a post about this.......

And another thing:
I just sat down and chatted some more with Wesley, my art barometer. I asked her where she would go to buy art. Answer: the internet. She said when she goes with me into art galleries, she sees the same thing over and over and none of it interests her. When she is looking for art, she looks to online art communities like Tumblr, which I have started doing and love. She looks for artists she likes online. Scary isn't it?  My conversation with an almost twenty year old this morning is opening my eyes to how I need to start looking at doing business in the future. No outdoor shows for me next year, maybe one indoor show, and my studio tour. Then I am going to step up my online presence, work with the galleries who are treating me well, and see what happens. Or I am just going to sit at my loom and weave and watch the world pass by, haha!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Reception at FRANK Gallery tonight!

The reception for the Chatham County Studio Tour is tonight at FRANK in Chapel Hill. The time is from 6pm-8pm, come on by and see what's on the tour. I volunteered to be bartender (big surprise, right?) from 7-8pm, stop by and I'll give you a beer or a glass of wine, ha! I have this piece in the gallery for sale, $325. I found this wooden spool on an antique shopping trip in Hillsborough with my pal Laura. The patina is really beautiful. Come get it!!! Looking forward to seeing all the artists and the shoppers tonight. There is also a reception tomorrow night at Central Carolina Community College in Pitssboro. I'm not sure if I will be there, two nights out in a row might be more than I can take, haha!
The movie Weaverly Path last night was incredible and so inspiring to see an 83 year old woman hiking by the river every morning, playing her violin and weaving every day. Much to look forward to in my next half century!!!
Hope to see you tonight or over the weekend

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Now, this is more like it!

 I finished up last minute things in my studio today and it is about ready for business! Gerry and I cleaned up the yard and put up lights and the wreaths on the house and it is looking quite festive around here! I love this sign. It was a prop for a show I did in Charlotte called Pump Boys and Dinettes. If the show ever comes around where you are, go see it. Such a great musical. My first show as a designer and still my favorite.
 I love my little studio when it is all clean and decorated for the studio tour. You should all come and see it! These little barns want a new home :)
 I  woke up to an email from my friend Deb Harris saying that my barn was in the newspaper, advertising the tour, so the day was off to a great start. Then I had two emails for orders, and one email for an order yesterday. So sitting home on the sofa with my laptop brought me more business in two days than I did all three days at the CDCG. Go figure. Next year I may bloody well stay home all year and sell online! My signs are ready to put out for the tour, just follow the red triangles to number 25.

It was nice to ship out some stars and ornaments today and these are on hold for two lovely ladies that requested that I hold some things for them. See you Saturday girls!
I am going to a documentary film at Fearrington tonight called The Weaverly Path. It's about an 83 year old weaver. The film will be in the Fearrington barn, which I love and about a weaver, which I also love, so I think my day will end as nicely as it started. Now this is more like it. Self Care as my wise friend Shannon put it
peace ya'll
PS: I have added a new shop now tab and a buy button to see how this works. This offer is through propay and all I had to do was paste the html, easy peasy, check it out! If it works, this is my future selling venue, no shows... woo hoo.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What is WRONG with everyone!?!?!?

Did you guys see this? Sure wasn't happening at my booth, these fools should have come over to the craft show instead of shopping at Walmart!
 God, sometimes I get so sad for the human race, what is going to become of us? How did these people get this way? My head is going to explode, I swear it is!
I will be so glad when this retail hell is over and I can go hibernate! This season is not supposed to be about fighting over crap in Walmart, we are supposed to be honoring the birth of a really cool guy.....Jesus...... remember?!?!?!
I got my studio set up today and it is so pretty, I hope none of these dumb asses come over and mess it up, haha!

Cup Therapy

 First of all, thanks to all of you for your comments yesterday. I didn't get a chance to reply to all of them, but I love what each of you posted and appreciated the thoughts, thanks!!!!
I spent the day with Wesley yesterday. She helped me unload my car, then we had lunch, then movies all afternoon, curled up on the sofa with my down blanket and warm drinks.
I started the day with coffee from Three Cups and my newest Jennifer Mecca mug. I have always loved Jen's work and decided to treat myself at the CDCG show since it was such a miserable experience. My day brightened as soon as I bought it. Jen makes some really beautiful work.
 Then for lunch, I had soy milk in my new Anna Branner cup. Anna and I did a trade last week and I let her pick a cup for me. I think the barn is most appropriate don't you? perfect for a glass of milk!
Then hot chocolate in my Barbara McKenzie mugs with the movie Detachment. Great movie if you haven't seen it.
So the day was spent licking my wounds and spending time with my favorite girl and it was great. Feeling well rested today and I'll be setting up my studio for the tour all day.
I know my blog post was rather bitchy yesterday and a blogger hesitantly emailed me last night to order stars and a little barn ornament, apologizing for not being able to buy a larger barn. I totally understand that not everyone can afford my larger pieces. Heck, I can't afford them! The thing that I was so annoyed with is that I spent $575 on booth fees $40 on a tank of gas to get there, $10 for lunch one day, not to mention the cost of materials and labor to make the stuff. So I'm way over $600 in expenses for this show and sold very little. The buying public for this show was for the most part wonderful. Appreciative of the work, lots of wonderful comments, very kind and nice to talk with. It was just the lunatics that they let in that drove me nuts! and they all found my booth. Yes, I even had one lady ask me if I could give her a ride home!
Last year at the CDCG, on Saturday I sold $2000, mostly my larger barns, and this year I didn't sell one barn on Saturday, just two stars and my total sales for the day were $48. I really don't know what the difference was, I had even better pieces this year than last. I'm just not sure who this show is attracting. People that love art and want to come look at it, but can't afford it? Mostly..... I would be one of those.Women that buy expensive jewelry, yes. Women buying garments, yes. People buying clay work, no. I think the jewelers did great, the weavers across from me with their mass produced $100 mohair scarves did great. But the clay folks, not so good. I'm not sure how other fiber artists, wood workers and metal artists did. It seemed to me to be a jewelry, scarf and leather purse show! I do know that this was maybe the worst show I have had dollar wise except maybe for that stupid Hog Days festival I did last year. In perspective- I sold more at the Shakori music festival to stoned hippy chicks buying beads, how's that for an oddity! and that booth cost me $200 for four days and I had a front row to all the music and a free camping spot. Not to mention, it was waaaay more fun. Maybe I'll just start doing stoner shows again, haha!
Wesley put it in great perspective for me. My friend Shannon Bueker is probably my favorite painter around here. She has a llama painting that I would love to own. It's $1200, and I can't afford it, but I love it and would buy it if I could. Shannon has even offered a payment plan and I have considered that option. But that $1200 is Wesley's college tuition. So, that's how it was for many at the show, I'm sure. They loved my work, but couldn't afford the $150 or $325 prices. So what to do? Only make stars and little barns and sell lots of them at $24 until people have money again? I have no idea. We'll see how the next two weekends go and then time off until the new year. If I have anything left after the show, I'm sending it to local galleries and let them deal with all of this. I'm seriously thinking of going the way of Sandy in her comment on the last blog posting.... family time, garden and home studio sales. I don't have chickens or I would do that too! I am befuddled and mystified by all of it, but today is another day and I'm just getting on with it! There is yarn to weave after all, haha! That's all I got for ranting on this show. Loved the people that run it, loved the artists, loved the art, loved the nice people I met. Hated everything else about it!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I love your work..... thank you

 I love your work... thank you..... your work is so beautiful..... thank you...... I love your work..... thank you.... your work is so unique..... yes it is..... these are my favorite pieces in the show..... thank you..... I love your work..... thank you..... your work is beautiful.... thank you.....
and then a strange little woman walked into my booth here's how it went: I will refer to her as D.A. or dumbass, whichever you prefer

DA-"Is this an outhouse?"
 ( reference house photo on right as I tell you this story)
ME- noooooo
DA- "What's it for?"
ME- it is a completely unnecessary item to set around somewhere in your house to look at. ( I said this because I was about to smash her head)
DA-(as she picks this piece up by the door knob, reference photo #2, thank goodness the glue held)
 "why is it got this here doorknob on the top?"
ME- I have no idea
DA- "Is the key so you remember where you put it?"
ME- No, this piece is a metaphorical representation of my childhood memories growing up in my grandmother's house and the happy times I spent there, unlike the unhappy times I spent in my real house and this house makes me smile when I look at it, because it represents a gentle part of my childhood......
DA- "It looks like an outhouse"
ME- No it doesn't, please excuse me while I bash your head in

I can tell you that today was a better day than yesterday. I sold a small house and one star, grand total of $60, topping yesterday's total of $48.
Today me and the little white houses want to part ways and I never want to do another fucking craft show as long as I live. I may feel better after Christmas.

Thanks to all of the incredible artists that were at the CDCG, if not for you I would have run from the building screaming. You made me laugh a lot and kept me company and sympathized and you all brought amazing art for me to enjoy as I paced the floor. Thanks also to the very few that bought something, the ones that bought something last year and came by with a bright smile to tell me that you still love your barn, and all of you with your kind comments and zipped up wallets, I understand, really I do. I have no money either, because you didn't buy anything! Today I heard on the radio that 39 billion dollars has been spent in the past four shopping days, and I got $300 of that. As you know I don't do math, what is that, like one tenth of one hundreth of a millionth of a percent or something?

Nell Chandler, you are an amazing jeweler and God bless you for bringing me a Corona this afternoon! I am so glad you were in the booth beside me for this torture session, xoxo!!

I'm fine ya'll, really I am. The sun will be out tomorrow, I will unpack my car, set up my studio and get ready for round two. But after Christmas me and clay are in for a long separation while we work things out.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Suck ass day

This second day, sitting in a hot stuffy convention hall with really bad Christmas music playing too loud, a concession booth that sold $10 tuna salad sandwiches and a less than enthusiastic art buying crowd has put me in a somewhat grumpy mood. The only thing that made it worth being there at all today were my friends that stopped by to say hello, the people that stopped to say my work was beautiful and they loved it (they didn't buy it though, grrr..), customers that own my work stopping by to say they still love their pieces and my vendor neighbors, who are all really fun and nice. This show is well run, the artists are wonderful and kind people and very talented, all of them. But my complaint is this: I sold two stars today. That's right, I made $48 in a booth I paid $525 for, not to mention the $50 I pay in dues to be a guild member.

I have observed a few things. Women are buying things to put on their bodies. Hats, scarves, jewelry and purses seem to be selling very well. The men like the wood work and Daniel Johnston's big pots and I think there are some freudian things I could probably mention about that, but I'll keep it to myself:).  There were many people wandering around as if they were in a museum, not really understanding that artists were there to sell things, and that is how they make their living. It was more like entertainment for them, some pretty things to look at that they don't often get to see.

And of course there are the usual show comments that have me needing to smack something. No they are not birdhouses, no I don't want to enter the birdhouse competition at the Carolina Inn, no I'm not even going to stand here and give you an answer to your question "Why are your prices so high?".
and my favorite one today, no I can't give you a ride home, sorry. People..... really....... I am about over this show thing, but I don't have an alternative answer right now. I am wanting to make houses like this one that probably no one is really going to understand or want to buy, I want to weave, I want to be in the warm sunlight of my studio, I want to drink hot tea from my beautiful pottery, I want to sit by a fire, I want to wrap up in my down blanket, I want to be with my family, I want to walk by the ocean, I want to smell the sea. I want to be an artist and have some magic way to sell my work without the annoyance of selling.

I don't want to be a salesperson. I don't want to be a marketing manager. I don't want to do math.
I don't want to sit at a trade show and watch a high pressure salesperson, pretending to be a craft artist when what they really are is someone that thought maybe it would be cool to be an artist, but they used to be in marketing and they know how to sell shit. The shit they sell has no soul. It is mass produced and sold to people that don't know what hit them when they walked into the booth. I have known many many slick salespeople, I know how it's done, but watching it all day makes me want to take a shower.

Oh crap, the *second day didn't sell a thing show blues* are upon me. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. There are a lot of factors that might have made this a bad selling day. Unfortunately I live in college ball heaven and all three schools had a home game today. There is also the fact that there are two buildings side by side at this venue and both buildings hold a craft show this weekend, one filled with cheap crap the other with high end art and in the parking lot there is a flea market that happens every weekend. So, you get a strange mix of people wandering about and there is little to no parking, because not only is the lot full of craft vendors and shoppers, there is football game parking too. One customer told me she had to park a half mile away. And then there is the fact that it's Thanksgiving weekend and many people go out of town. I'm just not so sure I want to do this show again. I don't think it's a good weekend to do a craft show. I know it's not the best time for me to do a show. I hate the way it interrupts the flow of Thanksgiving, the only holiday I actually like.

We'll see, I might feel better tomorrow if some people actually show up and buy something. I honestly don't know how they decide though. The building is full of beautiful artwork, well crafted, well displayed. Soooo many things to choose from. It's tough. All I know is that I am tired of sitting in a booth all day watching people walk by like the midway at a fair. I enjoy talking to people that stop at my booth, I love seeing my friends and I have certainly made some very good friends at shows and through selling my work to them, but man, this shit wears me out mentally! One thing that has improved though, is that I no longer take it personally. I don't have the *oh no you don't like me* issue. I know there are too many other factors contributing to lack of sales and whether or not someone likes me or my work has very little to do with it. I know my work is really nice, I like it, a lot of other people like it. It's just not a necessary item and it's not a bodily adornment, so my work sells if someone really connects with it strongly, as many people do, it just takes the right special people. So those of you that do buy my houses and barns, thank you, I am very grateful and happy for you to own a piece that I cared for very much before it went to live with you.

ps: I took a bunch of photos today of some nice pottery booths, but it helps to put a card in your camera when you do that, hence the photo that I did post :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

One down, two to go.....

Day one of the Carolina Designer Craftsmen show, done.
I sold a few barns, some stars and met a lot of really nice people. All in all, not a bad evening. Here are some shots I took while roaming around waiting for the show to start. Gerry came over and helped me set up on Wednesday, so I basically had nothing to do today until 4pm except make sure my lights were on for the voltage check. And since my booth was the most down and dirty booth I have ever done, it took no time to finish up.
It is really quite a hillbilly booth, but since I set up trade shows for a living for about 20 years, I'm just not that into the whole booth set up thing. I have my work at eye level, it is easy to see and it's not cluttered, so I'm good with it. I should make a better effort, maybe next year.... There are some people at this show with amazing booths that took them a couple of days to set up, and I just have better things to do. I definitely won't win any best booth award, that's for sure! The couple across from me did 30 shows this year, this one being the last of the year. They are weavers, ironically, and it was interesting to see how many people came into the booth and tried things on, but I'm not sure how much of it sold. I really don't want to do 30 shows on the road. When do they find time to weave? and where is the joy in making beautiful scarves and things with that kind of production going on. I just don't want my life to be like that.

My booth does not photograph well, but the work I have in the show is my best yet. I really like all of these pieces.
 Here are some pieces by Daniel Johnston, can you tell who influenced his work..... really nice work though....
 My good friend Deb Harris has some beautiful celedon carved pieces. Deb's work is always so well crafted. I loved this bowl. Porcelain, black slip, and celedon, nice!

Deb also coordinates the high school booth for the show. There are always some great pieces in this booth, fun to see and it is almost always heavy on the clay side. My favorite was this banana phone. Stop by and take a look if you come over.

 I would have photographed more pottery, but no one was at their booth when I was walking around and I started feeling weird about taking pictures without asking. Maybe I can try tomorrow...
 Here were the views around my hillbilly booth later in the evening. I got bleary eyed and tired by 8pm and still had an hour to go. Two more days and then two more weekends. Lord, I just want to make stuff, this booth sitting drives me up the wall. I DO like all the nice people I meet, but the lighting, the awful piped in music, the noise, the crowds, the hot air, just make me want to run outside and try to breathe.
I used my ipad tonight with propay for credit card transactions and it went very well. Stepping into the 21st century with my technology and it actually worked without a glitch. Cool!

So crowded,view from my stool, 
can you say claustrophobia....

                                                                                                        me, very tired...


Wednesday, November 21, 2012


hope everyone has a better day than this, haha! Enjoy your turkeys, or chickens, or veggies.
I have the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Show this weekend so come on over and see me. We are having a quick Thanksgiving tomorrow and then sell sell sell!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Early Christmas

 I got an email from my friend and customer Susan Meyers last week about her upcoming shows. Unfortunately everyone is having shows the same time I am, and unless we are at the same ones, I am missing out on a lot of good stuff. However, Susan was smart enough to send a link to her Etsy store and I found these earrings too tempting to pass up. I had a similar pair a while back that I bought at Shakori and lost one of them, so these are an even better replacement. Since my good pal Meredith sent me the green sea glass earrings a few months ago, I have been paying more attention to earrings. I used to buy them all the time, I would get hooked on one pair for awhile and only wear them then move on to another pair. Now I have several new pair that I really like and can change around more often. By the way, Meredith, every time I wear those sea glass ones, I get a compliment on them!

Check out Susan's shop if you want some cool new jewelry for Christmas, she has lots of beautiful things and she is a wonderful craftsperson. These earrings are extremely well crafted. So early Merry Christmas to myself!! I have earned it :)
 In weaving news, I continue to find things to add to this scarf. I have these antique balls of yarn that I picked up over the summer, I suppose thinking of a yarn barn or something, ha!

 I am just cutting up bits and pieces of them and weaving them in randomly. I also still have a bit of moose hair that blogger friend Cindy Shake sent me and I have added little bits of it as well. The little bird bones in the jar were a gift from my friend Laura and I'm thinking that I might hang them from the fringe or something. DON"T WORRY, those of you that look out for me and my use of illegal items!! I am not going to sell this one, keeping it here! I have learned my lesson about adding animal parts to things. Who knew?

The hair is a very pretty little dash of white mixed in with the brown alpaca, and I love that it's moose hair combined with the alpaca. This is so much fun!!! Now I'm on the lookout for all sorts of things I can weave into fabric. Who says it has to just be yarn? Break some rules, color outside the lines. Life is short

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ch ch ch changes.....

 I have been feeling some changes coming on for a few months now. It all started with the table loom I bought at the thrift store and the weaving class I signed up for. I have been feeling a little burnt out from all of the little barns and houses I've been making for the upcoming winter shows and I really needed a distraction. I am totally smitten with weaving now and I am slowly fitting it in with my clay work. The navy blue scarf above was my first class project. It sure looks a hell of a lot better than my first pottery assignment! The learning curve with weaving is much kinder to the ego :) I'm really happy with this scarf project. I had enough warp on the loom to make two of them so I have one for me and my mom will get one for Christmas, shhhh! don't tell her! and don't look too closely, there are some mistakes, but  if there were no mistakes, it wouldn't be hand made, would it now!?
 So now that I have learned all the technically correct ways of weaving and I have my first project cut off the loom, it's time to break some rules! I dressed my loom today all by myself with the help of my newest book, Learning to Weave. I sort of did it right, but I have a serious learning disability when it comes to math, so I had to draw pictures and sort of work it out in my own left handed math disabled way, just like I have done my entire life. But it went fine and I started this very beautiful piece today. I am so excited. It is reallllly nice, just like that! The yarn is alpaca and the denim is from a shirt that my good pal Laura gave me. It didn't fit, so I cut it up for weaving. I left the buttons on and wove it in. I'm just using a plain weave so that I can bust through it without thinking too hard about pattern. Plus, there was more math, never mind... I am sooo loving this. Can you tell I have a tiny fiber crush right now!? What if I started adding family fabrics and found objects in fiber just like my houses? hmmmm...

This yarn is for a project I already have in mind incorporating some turquoise raku beads. 
With the raku I did yesterday and the smoke fired houses, I am feeling some real changes and new directions for the new year, which is, YIKES! just over a month away!
I spent the past two years busting my ass, promoting my work, getting into some nice galleries and shows, getting some good press and quite honestly I am mentally worn out from it all. The recognition and affirmation of my work has been great and much appreciated. But it has also caused me to become competitive and more concerned with sales than just making art and I have to find a new path. I don't like the me that comes out when I get competitive, it is not a good fit. So, I think for the next year, no more show applications, I am happy to accept invites, if anyone wants to invite me. But I'm not going to pay much attention to the people that do get invited when I'm not one of them. No more searching for the latest hot gallery. I have several galleries that are very kind to me and send me checks monthly and I hope to continue my relationships with them. No more looking at what some other potter is making and wishing I made it, I make what I make with my own voice, not the voice of another artist, so be it. The house form wants to grow and I want to explore that, so the mass production of my "popular" seller may slow down quite a bit (maybe not, we'll see...).
I feel like a kid that is going through a growth spurt. Those of you with kids, remember how that is?
When I first found clay, I read everything I could get my hands on, magazines, books, websites. I took workshops and classes and taught myself through many trials and failures and enough successes to keep my hooked for the past ten years. I feel like that with weaving right now, I am reading everything I can find and I have so many ideas my head is spinning. But I also still love clay and I have a lot of new ideas for exploring the house form and for using clay with weaving projects. 
Now to find enough hours in the day and enough energy for all of it.
I'm still running, three weeks now, I have worked up to running 2:30 minutes and walking 90 sec. for 20 minutes. Feels great, but the cold weather is here and I am less than motivated to get out and run on a damp cold day. Gerry is mostly shooting ball games right now, so he is around a lot and hard to ignore, he's pretty cute, you know. and there is also cute daughter that will be home soon for holiday break. So, I'm wrapping up clay work for the year, yesterday was my last firing. My studio is all clean and ready for the Chatham Artist tour and after that, it's family time with maybe a little weaving. I had considered more clay time, but I want to sell what I have and then see where things stand. I can always take orders. 
Right now I am just seeking balance and joyful days with my family and friends. Hope all of you can do the same.
Peace, ya'll 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Blog Fog

 I have had so much going on this week there hasn't been much time to sit down and blog. Sorry I have been slack on answering your comments and commenting on other blogs, but I'm just in a pre show fog and have no more room in my brain.Today was a really beautiful day, although probably a little too windy for a raku fire, but I did it anyway. I had one last batch of stars that had to be finished today so that I could have them for the Carolina Designer Craftsmen show next weekend. While I was firing my kiln, I put a few pieces in a large trash can, piled in a bunch of scrap wood and leaves and smoked them. This wall hanging is where I want to go next, I think. I do love my little white houses and barns, but oh lord I love what fire does to terra sig.
This one may end up on my wall, I really love it. But I will be making more, probably not until next year though....

 This piece is also rocking my world right now. If I decide to make more of these smoke fired pieces they are going to be limited in quantity, I just don't think I want to tend to a trash can full of burning wood all that often. Today was crazy, the wind was having so much fun playing with the flame, scaring the crap out of me!

 I have lots more stars made and some little barn ornaments. I should have made lots more of these barns, but I got bored with it all and weaving interrupted my flow. This is something I should continue to keep in my inventory though, they are really nice.
I'm still trying to find a rhythm with weaving and clay and have my first project off the loom so I'll show you that in my next post. I'm really proud of it! More later, I am going to go an have a beer, my first since October 26, but I earned one today!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Brown Season

 Clearly, I need to buy some new mugs! I have run out of space in the cupboard that used to hold all of these cups so I relocated them to where our dishes are and moved the dishes over to the cup space. I wish I had a great space to display all of them but there is nothing I can do, so they are tucked away in a cabinet. I love the way they looked out on the counter before I put them away.
I now have a new yarn obsession, so my mug buying is on hold while I buy yarn. I guess I have been influenced by all of the fall colors, everything I bought was in the brown tones, except one really nice turquoise. Yesterday while my kiln fired, I did some weaving, I am slowly finding a nice rhythm with clay and fiber, I think this is going to be a really great combination. Plus, I have found tons of fiber blogs to read. Nice to find since so many of the pottery blogs I used to like have become facebookers.
It's a rainy day here, good day to sit at the loom. Of course I washed my car yesterday, it's like doing a rain dance isn't it? Wash car, get rain. Gerry got up all the leaves in the yard, this morning you wouldn't know he had done a thing. It's raining leaves and raindrops.
My studio is now clean and ready for the Chatham Artists Studio Tour. I have time to make more work and get in one more firing, but I don't want to mess up my studio, can't decide if I'm going to start some new things or wait until after Christmas. How did the holidays get here so fast!? I don't like how the best holidays are all piled up on top on one another. Why can't we spread it out and have candy and turkey and gifts spaced more evenly instead of getting it thrown at us all at once? The retailers have all lost their minds. The stores have Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations out all at the same time. It's insanity and making me want to pass on all of it. I just want to crawl in a cave this time of year, and come out when it's all over!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Three Days.....

I took advantage of the beautiful warm fall days we are having, and I gave my studio a massive cleaning for the past three days. I took EVERYTHING out. I have washed, painted, cleaned everything, even the door and windows. My hands hurt, my back hurts, but thank goodness I don't have a lot of last minute work to make. I do have a kiln to fire tomorrow and one more batch of raku stars to do, but I seem to be in pretty good shape for the upcoming CDCG show and the studio tour.
I have no idea if I have made enough work, but it is what it is, if you want something, better come on out!
 What a mess.......

At least the weather has cooperated and it has been really nice to work outside without rain and cold. Every morning the sun lights up this orange tree and it looks like it's on fire, so pretty.
I am sort of in tunnel vision mode right now, lots that I could blog about, but I just don't feel like putting all my thoughts together, so maybe another day. Just wanted to check in and say hi, let you know what's going on here in Chapel Hill!

 THANK YOU to all of the Veterans out there as we celebrate Veteran's Day this weekend.
I was going to post a photo of my dad in his sailor uniform and say a big hello to him, but I'm just too tired right now. Maybe later......
Have a great week, everyone!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Minor distractions

 I picked up my loom Tuesday night and it is now snuggled in to it's new room. Gerry is off for a few days after storm coverage and election coverage so between him and the loom, I have some minor clay distractions. But that's ok. I think I have enough work made for the upcoming shows, if not, I'll just take orders :) for now I just want to sit here and enjoy the view!!
 I am also distracted by some new designs I'm working on. The houses/barns I have been making are still floating about in my head, but I'm getting bored, I can practically make them with my eyes closed now, so it's getting time to move on, challenge myself, try some new things. I am interested in mostly the silhouette of house and barn forms and I want them to become more abstract in their meaning. I'm sort of getting there. The one above is from my seeing The Cider House Rules recently and loving the apple picking ladders and the cider house itself. I want to explore this more..... maybe just keep it all white terra sig, or maybe smoke fire it....
 Also working on some wall pieces. I am starting to wonder if people might be more interested in a piece they can hang on the wall rather than table top pieces, so I'm working on some house forms that can go on the wall, adding some found objects.
If you like the little white houses, better come get one, I see their future dimming.....
I have so many ideas for weaving projects as well, but I have to learn to crawl before I can walk there. I want to make some book covers and add clay pieces, incorporate house forms with weaving for wall pieces, so many many things to do, when will I ever sleep!!!!