Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pots On Location

One of my very favorite movies is Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulin, or just "Amélie" for short. One of the many wonderful conspiracies Amélie cooks up is borrowing her father's garden gnome and arranging for an airline attendant friend to cart the gnome around the world with her, photographing the gnome in front of famous monuments and mailing the photos as postcards back to Amélie's father. I love the expression on his face as he receives the postcards! Recently, I've received some nice photos and updates from happy clay-purchasers, letting me know how their new pots are faring.

This jade plant has a new home, in my large columbine planter. Apparently, the photo was taken the day the jade moved in, and since then it has really been thriving.

Here are my flour-sugar-coffee canisters.  The photos came with a note: "In their natural habitat." Delightful!

I rediscovered these next photos while scrolling through the ol' cellular. The first is from a visit home to my family in May. My mom still uses the mug I gave her several years ago, and its chocolatey brown color does look fabulous accompanying a soy cappuccino. I love the moment the coffee is served, complete with cinnamon sprinkled atop the foam. Yum!

Lilies of the valley and an iris, both from mom's garden.
This is my boss hard at work, with the "It ain't easy..." mug I gave him in August. It's fashioned after a plastic to-go mug that says "It ain't easy being a princess" and for some reason my boss adores the ugly thing! I tried to steer clear of any foofy princess designs, so my version is a large coffee cup-sized beer stein. It took me quite a while to come up with that idea, but I think it works great.

Send me photos if you have 'em!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


In September I traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, and in October I visited family in the Midwest. I love trekking around the country and the globe, but it means I've been out of the studio a lot! It's looking dubious that I'll be all that productive this month, with holidays just around the corner, but maybe I can get back into my routine of getting up at 6 am to start my day in the studio.

I did get to finish a few items, including 2 sets of goblets:

A commission for wine goblets

Matching goblets for the new gallery in Salida
Time to get back to work!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Saturday's Show

Saturday was loads of fun! Linda Susak hung colorful oil paintings on the walls of the gallery, and I had five pedestals of work. I sold some pieces and got a commission, so it was a success!  Plus, there were plenty of fun people to talk to.

Sipping Tea with the One I Love, Fragrant Steam Curling Around Fresh Blossoms
Tea Set 1: Timid Blossoms  (Can you see them?)
Tea Set #2: Tumbling Blossoms
Floral Refreshment; Service for Four
Fresh Blossoms for the Kitchen

The last pedestal is away from the front window, by itself.

Where Flowers Come From

This is the blurb I have accompanying the work:

I studied ceramics in college, working both on and off the wheel.  Nearly ten years after graduating, I still adore how slow, thoughtful hand building complements the fast pace of throwing.  It is a joy to create these floral pieces: first, I throw the utilitarian shapes on the wheel, then while I wait for them to dry I form the flowers and carefully attach them.  For each piece, I imagine I am creating an arrangement in a vase.  Some blossoms are poised upward, soaking in the sun; others face forward confidently; my favorite ones are floating lazily, perhaps caught in a breeze, snagged just before they fall to the ground.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Getting Ready

This Friday I'm setting up a show at the Breckenridge Theatre Gallery.  The reception is on Saturday, from 4-6pm.  Here's a sneak peek at one of my teapot sets:

The flower glaze is less yellow in person.
I have a bit more to do to finish the rest of the pieces, but I think I'll be ready.  I'd better be ready!

On September 13, I fly off to Turkey with one of my best friends (Eric) for our other best friend's wedding (Zeynep).  Eric came up with the idea of giving a pitcher as a wedding gift because it can be functional or displayed, depending on the couple's whim.  He also came up with the glaze combination, which I really like - neutral enough for everyday use, but lovely enough to show off.

Hmmm. The glaze looks kinda messy in this photo.
There are two roses on the front of the pitcher to represent Zeynep and her husband, and the little rosebud symbolizes their future together...

Here you can see the glaze better, a nice honey color.

I can't wait for the Istanbul adventure!  I'm sure I'll get tons of inspiration from the food, the colors, the culture, and of course the beautiful wedding!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sneak Peak! Teapots out of the kiln.

The teapots turned out really lovely with the flowers! I really like this glaze combination; it's the same I used for the last teapot set, the creamer/sugar set, and the leafy espresso cups.

I like these leafy tea cups with swoopy handles.
The cups I made to accompany the teapots are drying for a bisque, as well as flour, sugar, and coffee canisters. The canisters look pretty small behind the tea cups, but they're rather large.  Or rather, they're probably about the right size for what they are.  I don't actually know if there's a standard size for these items. Now I have to think about glazes for these; same green/tan combo, or something else? Maybe I'll wait until I make more pieces to make a decision.

The left two cups go with the left teapot above; the right two go with the right teapot

Meanwhile, I've been making more work for Coyote Creek Gallery in Fairplay.  Here's a sampling of some of the work I'll be bringing on Saturday when it's my day to watch the shop.

3 mugs out of a 4 mug set; small green vase
Med-large slightly squared bowls, blue and yellow.
Finally, I wanted to share a quick shot of my muse resting on the couch this morning, clutching a pillow I made, pretending to be asleep so that I don't feel badly walking out the door, away from him and the studio...

See the open eye and twisted ears? He's watching me...

I'm coming back this evening to work on water goblets, a pitcher, and more!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Flowers Everywhere

Last week I realized--in a moment of panic--that I have a show coming up in September! Thankfully I've already made some pieces I'd like to display. I'll continue with other household items (Piers is pressuring me to make a bread box, although I'm pretty skeptical at this point). Oh yes, and I want flowers EVERYWHERE!
The teapot on the left is 7" tall at the height of the handle; the pitcher is 11" tall.
 The pitcher might actually be a wedding gift. That's the intention I had when I made it, but it also fits in well with my flower theme for the show. I'll leave it to my best friend to decide, since it was his brilliant idea to give a custom water vessel in the first place.

I need to make flowery tea cups next.

In other news, Piers is building a wood shed! I'm really excited about it, and it's in a great location. It's below the height of the deck (that's where I'm standing, pointing the camera downward) which means no shadows to block the sunshine. The door frame has a lot of clearance at the bottom so it will be easy to keep the snow cleared away. The large windows are actually shower doors, which won't shatter if hit by a wayward log. Obviously it's not quite tall enough for him to stand inside, but it will be very comfortable for me!

Piers waving the hammer wildly, showing off for the dog (can you hear Vlad barking?)

I'm off to check on my glaze firing, which includes mugs, bowls, leafy tea cups 'n' saucers, and the large columbine planter (which might go in my September show). Then it's time to brainstorm more pieces.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Vlad stays inside the studio on a rainy day

Today I loaded and fired a bisque load and made new clay. I also threw 5 new bowls, 4 mug forms, and 2 cups/saucers à la leafy espresso cup set.

It may not look productive, but it's been a quality day.

Here's a look at the photos chronicling the day's events:

11 am. I pour myself some coffee as I realize Vlad and I are quite bleary-eyed and sleepy.

Vlad chooses the path less caffeinated.

Cannot..... fight.... gravity....

A much-needed bathroom break.
Where was I? Oh yes. Back to the studio.

One must throw oneself wholeheartedly into each task.

Another bathroom break at the end of the day.

There you have it! Tomorrow should be just as enjoyable, and will have a lot more pottery to show for it.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Alma Fest Preparations

It's Friday! Alma's Festival in the Clouds begins tomorrow at 10:00 am. I'm looking forward to listening to music all day.....

Every year, I donate work to the Alma Foundation for my name to be on the Alma Fest T shirt. Here is Vlad displaying this year's bowls:

It rained yesterday afternoon and my pottery collected the rainwater.


I hope we have sunny, dry weather this weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

In Celebration of Flowers and Greenery

I finished the vases and delivered them to a local florist, Petal and Bean. These are 12-14" tall, and they all have a triangular shape.

Can vases have "mug" shots? Everyone turn to your right, please.

"Normal" vases, about 8" tall.

Do you remember the mini-planter I made for my brother-in-law's oh-so-cute succulent? I made another planter, this time for the minuscule cactus given to us by Piers's wonderful mom. It's lived in a boring plastic pot for too long, and I hope a change of scenery is all this li'l guy needs to grow big and strong! He's only 1.25" tall currently.

A dainty ladder brings you to the front door.
A fox for Piers.
Stylized walls continue along the back side of the planter.
In contrast to the miniature adobe-style planter, which is 5" at its longest and a mere 3" tall, the columbine flower on my new piece is almost 7" wide! The box shape is 12" x 12" x 6" tall. It's finally dry enough to bisque, but I have to wait until after Festival in the Clouds to move ahead with firing and glazing.

On Sunday, after the large planter was finished, I found myself at a buy-one-get-one-free sale at our local Mountain Growers nursery. Irresistible!! My friend Erin oohed and ahhed around the nursery with me as I picked out Speedy Sonnet Bronze snap dragons and Wave Blue petunias. (Who makes up these names?!)

We planted them outside my studio that afternoon, and it wasn't until the next morning that I realized that the color combination I selected mimics almost perfectly the red-orange Indian Paintbrush and purple Lupin already in our yard.

This evening shot doesn't do the colors justice. Is this Lupin or false Lupin, I wonder?

A good luck bunny watches over the newly-planted flowers.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Snow Day

I'm so excited for this year's Festival in the Clouds! It takes place next to Alma's Town Hall, with plenty of room for vendors and visitors. The playground and the river entertain kids while bands play on stage. I'll be sharing a booth with my friend Priscilla again this year. She makes great handbags that add color and excitement to our space. I hope to have some of Jesse's matted photos, and I think Priscilla's husband Greg will add something as well. We'll set up on Friday afternoon, July 15, and enjoy sunshine and music as people wander around all day Saturday and Sunday. (Fingers crossed for minimal rain!)

To prepare for the festival, I've been making new work. Yesterday I woke up to this:

Mr Puppy singing on the deck, joyful in the snow.
No thank you, snow! It melted quickly, but it was a good incentive for me to stay in my studio all morning. Today I'm firing a special glaze load, including a serving dish for a fellow yogi as a wedding gift for her friends. Tomorrow I'll do a bisque firing.

In the front are squared bowls to replace the ones that sold at Coyote Creek Gallery. For the July festival: mugs, bowls, teapot & cups, and cream & sugar set. The tall vases might go to Petal & Bean in Breckenridge, depending how they turn out. They are fun slab projects, and I like the shapes so far. I'll have better pictures later.

I like this creamer/sugar set.

I'm having fun with this faux wrapped handle theme (top of the tray handle; where the teapot handle meets the spout). What to make next...? Any ideas for more sets? I'm going to start on an idea for square dinner plates this afternoon, or maybe more vases (more "normal" vases).