Sunday, April 26, 2015

April snowshowers... bring home improvement projects

Welcome to springtime in the mountains!

It's hard to believe that yesterday the deck was completely dry...

Vladimir the snow-o-meter is on duty! I think he's expecting a romp through the winter wonderland, but I have no intention of spending time outside today. The snowflakes are thick and heavy and I'm content to witness the steady precipitation from inside my warm house.

On a whim, I recently bought birdseed and a feeder to keep my local birds healthy through the snowy spring. The feeder is in a prime location for us to watch the darlings as they dine "Chez Peterson" but it seems they haven't gotten the memo. Either they haven't discovered this secret location or the reviews on Yelp are terrible and they're steering clear.

My theme for this snowy Sunday is coffee, couch, and fleece loungewear. Yesterday was a wine-sipping, productive afternoon. All afternoon. At 12:15 inspiration struck and I made a bee-line to the recently-opened bottle of red sitting on the counter. What a perfect accompaniment to my efforts in hard labor!

This year we'd like to sell our house so I'm tearing out the old carpet, repainting, and getting rid of unnecessary items. The challenge of living in a construction zone is making sure it's always safe for Vlad. He's not allowed inside while there are dirty or sharp items afoot!

I believe he just expressed his appreciation for my caring efforts by knocking over his toy basket and strewing his favorites around the living room.

Plywood is not loveliest flooring to uncover, but I'm really enjoying this process. I like getting to know what's underneath all that I'm used to seeing. Progress is slow and I revel in this opportunity to wonder, What's next?

Besides getting the house ready, we're also getting rid of TONS of items. Shedding the old, the unused, the unneeded. It's hard work. I cut out a cute cartoon to guide us through this process. There's a monk sitting in the middle of a room that is bare except for two planters, each containing a Bonzai tree; the caption is "Zen Hoarder."

We'll only bring a select few plants with us when we move. I hope we find good homes for the rest of my green friends.

As I tear out carpet and clear each new plywood space, I relish the time I spend with the emptiness. It's crazy how much I have that I don't need or even use.

On a similar note, I'm trying to fully experience the things I have that I do want. Why hold on to things that should be used but avoid using them for fear that I won't have them anymore? While they sit around, unused, I still can't enjoy them! I'm making an effort to throw out the crappy stuff I use in order to save the good stuff for "later" and turning my attention to the good stuff NOW.

Among other activities, I'm also spending more time with my wonderful sewing machine.

It's so much fun! I've made several cute but pointless pieces, creating simply for the sake of creating. One project was sewing little 4"x4" decorative pillows. Many years ago I picked out the fabrics and pinned them all together. It was fun to follow through at long last, like I was giving a nod of respect to my younger artist self, helping her out like a big sister would. 

The pillows are arranged in my newly-created nook. I adore my nook! I've always wanted one in this house and I've finally made it happen.

This is a space for clarity and imagination and where I check in with each new chapter of The Artist's Way. It's a really cozy space. Piers likes sitting here, too.

My mom gave me the book, The Artist's Way, nearly 15 years ago. I'm not sure why I plucked it from the shelf at long last, but I'm thrilled I did. On Tuesday I'll start Chapter 6. What a great journey I'm on!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Festival in the Clouds

This weekend it was time again for Festival in the Clouds in Alma. Sunshine, music, and pottery sales! Here's a tour of my setup....

My lovely booth mate, selling her cute concrete rhubarb leaf impressions
I should have gotten closeups on my appetizer trios!
Food and water bowls for pets
I like how the green glazes look together

Flower mugs

An eternal favorite - beer stein coffee mugs

I also had bike plates and stackable mugs - blue, pink, and white glazes
My friend brought a wildflower bouquet that divided nicely into two vases

See anything you'd like to own? Email me! I have a new address: iris [at] wildirisclay [dot] com. I also have a new website! There's still more work to do, but the essentials are up at Let me know what you think of my new look. I always enjoy feedback.

Speaking of which, I've had a request to do more photos documenting pottery in progress. I will try to do that! Meanwhile, a quick before-and-after:

A couple of weeks ago, while doing a throwing demo, a sweet little girl named Zoe was glued to my side, watching closely while making requests: mug, bowl, jewelry holder, large vase. She also drew me inspiring shapes for more pieces she thought I should make later. What a great kid!

After glazing, here they are in my booth in Alma.

Happy Summer, everyone!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spring Stroll

Hello, Spring! The weather is sublime today. We enjoyed a peaceful two-mile stroll behind the house. I love this springtime weather - a little too warm for my sweater and hat (even with my wet hair from the shower), but still refreshing; the snow holds up well enough under our weight so we don't fall through very much, and we also enjoy the sounds of rushing water as it runs down the mountain. We cross streams here and there, most of which will disappear by summer.


Vlad's sweater is much too thick for summer. I think it's time for some serious tufting to rid him of extra bulk and insulation!


I've been spending quality time over at Instagram recently. Come find me for regular photo updates @wildirisclay ( Piers has an account, too, @pierspeterson (


Monday, March 10, 2014

Arts Alive!

Saturday night was the Grand Re-Opening at Arts Alive Gallery in Breckenridge. I appreciate all the people who came, it was a packed house! Here's a photo from much later in the evening. (I like when my display looks a little sparse, thanks for buying my pottery!)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Flowers, Birds, and an Elephant

I recently made a lovely custom butter dish using inspiration from a photo provided by my client.

Here's another custom piece, an elephant teapot (thrown on the wheel then altered).

A new assortment of flower mugs for the colorful Breckenridge shop, Magical Scraps:

I'm starting on a new set of mugs that will feature endangered whooping cranes. Yesterday I sat on the couch with my puppy to sketch some shapes.

And now to leave you with something silly....

On Saturday, in Frisco, there was an event called "Mardi Paws." A Mardi Gras mini parade for dogs! I had a good laugh seeing that many owners coordinated their outfits to match the pups.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Snowy Valentine's Day

Vlad wishes everyone a Happy Valentine's Day! 

The snow is at least as high as his bench

I've been busy making work, glazing, shipping, dealing with bills, etc. Time's been flying by. It's mid-February already?!? 

I have two photos of new work to share: one piece that's drying slowly in the studio and the mugs I packed up and shipped out earlier this week. Then I have to get back to firing my kiln and finish glazing a very cool butter dish...

Custom elephant teapot

Travel safely, dear snowflake mugs

And now my favorite: Photos sent to me from happy customers. Thank you!! I love these very much. Keep 'em coming!

Vlad says MUAH!