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!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

There's clay all over my career!

The big news is....... I quit my full-time job July 1st! The job itself was fine, but I'm so ready to be doing something else. Working with clay sounds much better! Also, I'll be teaching ballet, immersed in expression, inspiration, and surrounded with positive people. Hopefully, too, I'll be helping a friend's business, which should involve plenty of brainstorming and creativity. I think this new chapter in my life will be filled with art and imagination!

Alma's Festival in the Clouds is coming up next weekend so my schedule is chock full of making and firing pots. Since I'm behind with posting new pics (aren't I always?) I'll just catch up a few pieces now and post more recent work later this week.

Carved vase - 5.5" tall, 6" wide

Roses all the way 'round!

2.5" tall, 2" wide; rose, iris, and tulip lidded minis

Orchid planter - 7" tall, 8-9" wide

My real orchid plant gave up at last after a final show of gorgeous flowers. She would be missed terribly if I didn't have new plant friends to enjoy. The beautiful pink blossoms below are meaningful to me - they come from my cousin's wedding reception last July. Each table was graced with blue, white, or pink potted hydrangeas. This romantic pink is my favorite. Unfortunately, many plants we bring home end up being shocked by our climate/altitude/short growing season (who knows!) and this li'l guy was no different. After struggling with sad, crispy leaves for many months, we snipped it down nearly to nothing. This summer, it has roared back to life and burst into blossom! I'm overjoyed.

Behind the flowers is a miniature rose that one of my fellow dancers gave me at our recital in May. A couple days after I took this picture, a beautiful yellow rose appeared.

I'm very thankful to my silent muses, for the oxygen and inspiration they offer me!


For my birthday this year (in February), I painted a mandala on the living room wall. I owe a big "thank you!" to my sister for the suggestion. Drawing on the walls was just what I needed.

I used a similar approach to this project as I do in my ceramics, in that I wanted the finished result to be very professional but not "perfect." Therefore, I created a stencil for 1/4 of the mandala, then casually penciled the design onto the wall and jumped right into painting. The spacing isn't totally accurate and many of the shapes are just a hair different, and that's the way I like it!

First I sketched some animals to see how their shapes inspired me. Then I cut them out of manilla folders and arranged them to determine scale and experiment with color. 

It was fun playing around with my shapes! Once I was set with the design, I created a stencil using a paperboard pizza box.

It's an interesting experience attempting to draw a straight line on the popcorn finish of our walls. It's a bit like drawing on curved or bumpy clay surfaces, without being able to cut into the surface.

I considered using - and was initially inspired by - geometrical patterns, but that would mean I'd need to execute the design with more exactness. If I'm going to draw on the walls, I'd better incorporate playfulness and approximation, not absolute precision.

Here's the finished mandala. The geometric center is a nod at my math "heritage" and is also the center of a sort of flower. There are silly dipper birds within the petals of the flower (they make my husband smile, and he does a great impression of the very determined way they stomp around in the mud). Around the flower are elephants - inspiring creatures I associate with wisdom, life, etc. Atop each elephant sits a fox (representing our wonderfully intelligent neighborhood friends) enjoying the beautiful sky filled with twinkling and shooting stars.