Monday, December 2, 2013

Catching up

Monday morning finds me in a good mood, enjoying a cup of coffee. I woke up to my weekly email from Step Forward with Katie - this week's theme is "Practice Makes Perfect," reminding me that I reinforce my habits and beliefs, for better or for worse. I prefer "for better." So today's post is filled with cheerfulness and pottery and I hope it sets you in a good mood, too.

Happy windswept puppy on the mountain behind our house
Today I have three packages of pottery to mail. Thank you for buying my work on Etsy! I have three reviews so far and they are phenomenal! I appreciate these kind people for taking the time to share their feedback.

Enjoying a final moment with a lovely serving platter before I pack it up
I'm on a tight schedule finishing pieces for the Fairplay Bazaar this coming Saturday. I'm impatiently drumming my fingers, waiting for my kiln to cool so I can enjoy the newly glazed work inside! And there's another kilnload of pottery to fire tomorrow.

How time flies! Taking a moment to remember the brief but beautiful autumn...
I have to teach two pottery classes this week since we rescheduled last week's too-close-to-Thanksgiving class. I can't wait to see my students again and soak up their dedication, curiosity, and enthusiasm. For our latest project we made mugs and I'm really impressed with the handles they pulled. Great job, ladies!

Brand new potters at work in the Breckenridge Arts District
Onto custom work. I looooove custom orders and the opportunity to really crank up my creativity. These are quick pics, unfortunately with a low-quality camera, but I have to share anyway because I love these pieces!

Yes! Another planter - happy swimming koi fish to inspire serenity and peacefulness

This is my interpretation of a request for a "girly" design - bouquet of lilies, roses, irises, tied in a pretty bow

Time to glaze some mugs. I have four ballet classes to teach tonight and time is running short!

Have a creative day ~

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Fresh Kilnload of Pottery

Happy Friday the 13th!

I have information for the pottery class I'm teaching in the Arts District in Breckenridge. Class begins September 18 and will run 6 weeks, and then we'll have another session after that (November-December). Class starts next week, so find out more detail here and sign up for fun with clay!

At long last, a dry day is here. We've had so much rain this month and my heart goes out to all the Coloradans struggling with massive flooding. Up high in the mountains, I'm enjoying a somewhat-brightly-lit living room as a welcome change from the usual overcast gloominess. During the last sunny day we had (last week?), I rushed outside to sun-bake a few pieces that I couldn't tell if they were totally dry or not.

Here are a few items from the firing, including a beautiful set of 8 pasta dishes, about 8-1/4" wide, 1-3/4" deep. I think they look really fabulous. I want to invite over some friends and serve some colorful Italian deliciousness in them! Ah, but instead I'm going to make arrangements to drop them off with my clients in Breckenridge.

I also made a cute name plate that somehow turned out a lovely moss green instead of blue. It looks really cool and I hope Samuel will love it!

Name plate, $25

The other items from the firing have already been posted in my Etsy store.  Below is my second custom set of kitty food dishes. It makes me happy to see people buying them in bulk. There are a lot of happy kitties out there, snacking from their new fish bone dishes.

Kitty dishes, $14 each or 4 for $52
Here we have a tire mug.

"Where did that idea come from?" you may ask. I seem to enjoy over-complicating things, and thankfully that can be a good thing at times. In this case, Piers simply asked me to make "a couple of mugs" for the guys who fixed his truck. Immediately I thought, "What if I made tire mugs?" -- not really considering how long it takes to draw and carve tire treads all around a mug. The tread pattern is based on his Cooper Discoverer STT tires, which are pretty gnarly. I love how it turned out, and the guys at the shop are pretty happy with their mugs!

Tire mug, $45
I've steadily been making hearts ever since Jesse died. They're for joyful hearts, broken hearts, and everyone in between. For my Etsy shop, I decided to make a proper heart set. I'd probably use these hearts for serving appetizers, but other people might prefer them stacked up to brighten up a space, or used individually to store jewelery and other items. I should start asking people what they do with their hearts... If you have one at home, I'd love a photo, please!

Heart trio, $22
Here's my latest teapot, destined for the Apothecary in Frisco. They keep selling my teapots, so I keep making new ones! I love the design of this one and I think I might do a few more in the same style, but with different colors.

Teapot set, $95

I absolutely adore working with clay! I have so many ideas, and finally I have time to create the work. Now I'm off to do some glazing for a firing coming up on Sunday, and my studio is full of plates waiting to be trimmed.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Koi Fish in my Coffee

I love all my commissions! I'm really tickled with the cool ideas people come up with. Do you see anything you wish I could alter just a bit? Ask me, and I will gladly let you know how I am able to execute your idea.

Here's a perfect example. Do you remember the koi pieces at my booth in Alma Fest? They inspired these custom items:

Koi "mugs" $25 each, large platter $55

The large platter will be used for displaying fruit. The tumblers are actually large coffee mugs without handles. I drew my favorite koi fish in a much smaller size and set them swimming around the outside of each mug. The matte white glaze I use would probably get stained by coffee after a while, so the inside of each mug is brown instead of white. I love the results!

More customization: new stamps for the Apothecary in Frisco. I think these mugs turned out nicely:

Now onto wedding gifts. I love making custom pieces for weddings! (Yes, that's a hint. Do you have a wedding to attend in the next month or two? Let's come up with a great idea!)

Here's the disclaimer: if you buy a wedding gift from me, I will have it completed and shipped to you before your deadline. But if I'm making a gift for the happy couple..... Then I will most certainly be so late that I overshoot the "acceptable" one-year grace period after the wedding date. (Hopefully my gifts are worth the wait!)

This gift is for my cousin's wedding last year. The planter will display an orchid - I hope it thrives happily in its new home.

I sold a couple of my items on Etsy to someone local last week. For her transaction, I simply removed the listings and hand delivered the items, but now I have a much better solution.

If you are a local and wish to buy something on Etsy, please enter the coupon code: LOCAL and the shipping will be waived.

Then you will have an opportunity to leave me a note. Let me know your phone number and where you live. If it's somewhere I'm already headed, I'll drop it off; otherwise we can meet in Alma.

Here are items I've added today. Visit my Etsy site to see more.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Animals, Bicycles, and Pots in Happy Homes

This is a picture I received from my client in Missouri - she originally sent me photos and asked me to make a vase for this particular table. That was quite a challenge! I'm very excited that it turned out well.

This client really likes her new food dish - but I'm not sure how content she is that the bowl is EMPTY.

Here's some of my latest work, just glazed, ready for the kiln:

These are my latest drawings - road bikes & moose. Here they are out of the kiln (my photos don't do the bikes justice - the finished look is really sharp, like the moose):

Commission for an early September wedding, $35 each.

They like biking & drinking beer, so these oversized coffee mug "steins" celebrate both.

Same "stein" concept for the moose. These are on their way to Winter Park. $35 each.

Next up, I've thrown some small blue bowls (the ones I sold at Alma Fest, $12 each) and green mugs ($18 each) that I'll post on Etsy. At the back is a teapot for the Apothecary which I absolutely LOVE - after I add the spout this afternoon, I'll take a photo to share.

Finally, here's a look at me working in my studio, trimming a bowl for the double yarn bowl I showed in the last post. (Don't worry, I'll post pics after I finish glazing it.)

Hooray, an energetic, snuffly visit from my favorite li'l guy!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Exciting New Pottery - Also, I'm Teaching Again!

Things started out this week with a bang! Actually it was a loud, unexpected SMASH.

Stupid Monday. This used to be a nice, large pitcher.

I usually have more success with my work! I guess accidents like this keep me humble.

This post is filled entirely with commissions, so I'm including some pricing in case you want to commission something of your own! Also, I've put a couple more pieces on Etsy, so check out what's new.

Onto the photos:

 Chips-n-salsa platter, $52

Separate pieces fit easily in the dishwasher.

Happy bear! For an upcoming baby boy (the nursery colors are green and brown):

Lots of room inside. $60

This large vase is much more interesting in person. I should have captured the glaze colors better. I made it for a specific table, and I hope the client likes it!! (Fingers crossed.)

10.5" wide, 7.5" tall

 Children's name stands, $25 each:

Hi, Vlad!

I made a custom planter for Hub in Breckenridge. It's a "full-service technology boutique." That just means it's hip enough to rock a custom logo planter.

I really like the size and shape, and have two more in progress (they're going to two different people). They're about 7" wide, 6" tall, $38 each.

I just finished building a custom double-yarn basket. There's a lot going on here and it's very cheerful! I had such fun coming up with the design with my client: the birds keep yarn from escaping out of the J shape, and the purpose of the third J (closest to the camera) is so that a large skein will lay across the basket and nose right up to the J. Also, on the far end where the bowl folds over, you can just make out two holes for knitting needles. I have spacers in each of the J's and I'm crossing my fingers they don't WARP during the firings.

On Tuesday, I threw a teapot body and lid for the Apothecary in Frisco. I ran out of shelf space so they were perched precariously..... and suddenly....

Flattened on impact!!

All I could think was, "at least it wasn't a finished teapot." Grrr.

This is a teapot I have NOT smashed. How 'bout a round of applause for my restraint? The concept is water + serenity + peacefulness, with Asian influence. Can you see the wavy line across the body of the teapot, just under the handle? At this stage I'm considering using my blue glaze from that line up to the rim, and on the lid, omitting both handles. I'm trying to gently capture the idea of water lapping. (Any input from my client??)

Teapots range from $60-$500+, depending on complexity/customization/scale.
I hope these pieces are dry enough to be added to a bisque tomorrow. The farthest-most tumbler is placed exactly where I had the tall pitcher that I accidentally knocked over. In retrospect, it was a really terrible idea to have it there...

The cute floral mugs are going to Magical Scraps.

The irony is, I like to tell my students that my only rule in the studio is to BE CAREFUL. Sigh. Speaking of teaching, I will be teaching a ceramics class this fall in the Arts District in Breckenridge, Wednesdays 6-8 pm. It will be mostly wheel throwing, but I will also happily cater to students who prefer hand building. Anyone interested in a private class sometime? That can be easily coordinated through the Arts District for $35/hr plus clay for a group of 1-3 students (normally we'll meet for 2 hours each session). If that's not your cup of tea, sign up for my Wednesday class!

There's plenty more I'm working on but details on greenware and bisqueware don't often photograph clearly. Stay tuned for more finished work! If you need anything, please email any time: art [at] Please write "Pottery" in the subject line so your correspondence doesn't accidentally get lost in my spam folder.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


I have posted three items on Etsy. I'm deliberately moving forward with care, savoring each step.

It's overwhelmingly lovely to spend so much time in my studio and on my art and I'm really happy to say I am very busy working on commissions. Hooray! Thank you to everyone who placed an order at Alma Fest because I'm enjoying all of my projects. I'm planning to do my next glaze firing on Saturday (just in time for a baby shower on Sunday) and then I'll have my first round of finished orders to deliver. And I'll post pics here so you all can see the fun I've been having!

Please bookmark my Etsy site so you can purchase pottery any time, day or night! My plan is to add more items in the next few days and then I'll start making new items specifically for the site. First up, new mugs! Any other requests?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Festival in the Clouds

This weekend we had the most perfect weather for Alma's Festival in the Clouds. Instead of the usual Sunday afternoon rain/thunder/hail, there was only beautiful sunshine, a refreshing breeze, and fabulous music.

It was lovely meeting great new people and seeing familiar faces of people who've bought my pottery in the past. (Thank you for coming back for more!)

I forgot to take pictures of everything, but I think these photos capture the colors and shapes of my weekend. I sold most everything I brought, and the lovely pieces I still have will appear on Etsy in the next week or so.

There are no pictures of my cool mega mugs, glazed in bright blue. I'll have to make more of those, they were a big hit. The green mugs below went to a woman who quickly claimed them before they even arrived, when I described them as they cooled at home in the kiln. I hope she's already filled the vase with beautiful flowers and enjoyed a drink from one of her new great mugs.

These green stacking bowls had a lot of positive attention! I only actually sold one, though, so the rest will be for sale on Etsy shortly. $14 + shipping (or a little discount for buying several at once).

Piers requested some items to hold appetizers, and I'm glad he did. They were a big hit! He unloaded my kiln in the early afternoon and restocked my booth with pieces such as the one below, which sold within 10 minutes of hitting the table.

I love this blue one, too...

All the koi dishes were snatched up but the pitcher remains ($28), as do the blue bowl ($28) and big ol' platter ($48).

First to go: the two-koi plate. The three-koi deep platter is my fave.
More fun items displayed: kitty food dishes with fish bones and water dishes with "live" goldfish painted inside - all sold. I may make them in larger sizes next.

I nearly sold the om casserole, but for some reason I couldn't convince the guy that my bubble-wrapping skills were better than his friend's ability to break the dish driving down bumpy roads... Darn. Also I still have the sweet yellow tea cups ($9), so they'll go up on Etsy as well.


The guy on the left bought my orchid planter. Hopefully he'll remember to send me a picture of it when there is a plant inside! (On the right is my friend, Mark, demonstrating how it is FUN, not embarrassing, to pose with ceramics!)
I'm off to quite a busy week outside my studio, but I plan to jump in first thing Thursday and start working on new commissions. Thanks again to everyone who has put in an order!