Friday, May 29, 2009

Interview and a garden update

I've been interviewed on Artsy Beat's blog. Click here to see it. If you're not familiar with Artsy Beat, you should definitely check it out. Lots of interviews with artists in all mediums and some helpful articles too. A great way to get some inspiration and learn about other artists on etsy and around the world.Not much new to report from my studio at the moment. I've been working on filling up my etsy shop a bit. But almost all of my free time has been spent working on our 20 x 30' garden plot at a community garden. And the weather up until this week has been ideal for prepping the beds and planting. Last year we grew so much food we had to freeze and pickle a bunch. The site is ideal, tons of sun and insanely fertile soil. You'd never know if from this pic below, taken in mid-May.
After tilling and plotting out beds, it was starting to show some signs of a decent veggie garden.
Even more promising with lots of seedlings. Now all we have to do is keep up with watering and weeding. I've lost count of the number of wheelbarrows we filled with weeds so far just this year.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My new plate

One of our favorite dinner plates that I made back in college broke recently. I used to love to throw plates back in college and it was part of a class called Design and Production. We had to make a place setting service for 8 of dinner, lunch and dessert plates, bowls, tumblers and mugs. It definitely gave us a taste of life as a production potter. And that taste was all I needed to figure out I was not interested in making the exact same thing over and over again. The nice part was getting a full set of dishes after the class was over. I only kept a few of the pieces, selling and giving away most of it. For whatever reason I only ended up keeping two dinner plates.
So when it cracked in half, I knew I'd have to make a replacement. This presented a new and exciting challenge. I had never made a dinner plate off the wheel until this one. It didn't warp and I love seeing the little blue birds dance around the border. Although the mossy glaze didn't quite behave like I would have liked, the blue center is perfect.Also in that firing were many of my glaze tests. Here is a portrait shot of my new family of glaze colors. I can hardly wait to see them in action.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

For all the moms out there, I'm posting some of my favorite flowers that have popped up in our garden this spring. And although I'm not actually spending the day with my mom this year, it doesn't mean that she's not in my thoughts... far from it.
Any time I think of my influences on my life and my art in general, both she and my grandmother top the list. Both are oil painters and were always very supportive of my interests in the arts and crafts. My mom, other than painting is extremely crafty with sewing, cooking, and decorating, amongst other things. She would regularly bring me to the local art supply store and set me up with beads or fabrics or markers or paints and never questioned what on earth I thought I was going to make or why I needed to do so.
When I discovered in college that I wanted to focus on ceramics, I was met by both my mom and my dad with excitement and complete support, something that surprises me to this day. To say I was encouraged is an understatement. This is truly the best gift a daughter could ever ask for, and today on Mom's Day, I'm feeling lucky to have such an accepting and creative mom who allowed me to grow and bloom. Thanks mom, you are the best!!And to all the other moms out there, enjoy your well deserved day.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Making pots is relaxing...right?

I get a kick out of people not familiar with ceramics saying to me when they learn I'm a potter, wow, it must be so relaxing. Yes, at times it certainly can be quite therapeutic and peaceful, but there are other times when it is beyond stressful. I encountered moments of the latter this weekend when glaze firing a very full kiln. It has taken me months to produce, bisque fire, and glaze everything in there, yes my kiln is huge. Things were going just fine for the whole firing up until the last 10 minutes. I heard a loud pop and then what sounded like heavy dust raining down, a noise not common when firing. So this is where the fun began. It was 2 a.m. and I was exhausted to say the least. All I wanted to do was peek in the lid and make sure my entire kiln full of work was not destroyed by little particles of kiln brick or a pot that exploded settling onto the melted glaze. But, of course when the kiln is over 2000 degrees, there is no opening it until at least a day later let alone when it is glowing hot. I tried to sleep, but visions of what I would see when I opened it were running through my head. Luckily the next day I was too sleep deprived to worry.When I opened it up this morning, after a much needed yoga class I was pleasantly surprised. Everything was okay. The kiln wall did break off a bit and it looks like some particles fell to the floor, but amazingly nothing was affected. I guess there is something to be said for embracing the unknown. Regardless if it was a total disaster or not, there was nothing I could do.
The most exciting discovery from this firing were some new glaze colors, bright fresh green to replace the chartreuse that was finicky. A lovely coral red, salmon, and my favorite bright turquoise blue which will make their appearance in my next kiln. Until then, I'll be posting lots of new work in my shop, like these terracotta planters from my old body of work, heavily discounted.