Wednesday, December 15, 2010

So the season goes.....

Yes, the season is changing, announcing itself early before it's formal entrance.
Soup made from summer tomato sauce, veggies, quinoa, parmesean and basil. I needed something to chase that frigid cold away! While the soup was bubbling along happily, I perused my shelves for perfect presentation of this savory sauce.... and came up with a bowl acquired back in the hot sweaty days of July. Sandra Silberman of in Barrie, Canada makes wonderfully quiet textured porcelain pieces.
So I raise my bowl to those potters who keep me well fed and inspired! Who drives your creative juices in the kitchen??

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thoughts after 6 days off the day job...process

The shop dog, Izzy. Don't worry, she doesn't always look that sad and depressed. She melt your heart when she begs for your bacon at breakfast!

So after 6 days off from teaching, I was afforded the time to work a little. Not really in the mood to crank out production yet, I'm still feeling a little burnt out after the Cottage Sale push. What I feel like making Things are percolating in my head, and it's a slow drip coffee pot right now, but that means it will be a deep robust lusty "pot" when it's done.

Thursday morning, while my mother was baking the turkey and the asparagus was waiting for me to pan fry it up with almonds...I was in the studio making pie plates to clear my head. (I thought it appropriate on pumpkin pie day to at least make the pie plates, if not the pie.) Sometimes, to get my brain to the places it lusts after, I need to do something that requires a no-mind set. Pie plates and pie plates, already to the kiln....then onto teapots. They challenge my brain in so many directions- what's the body like? fat spout? graceful spout? handles??? oh yeah handles. I enjoy the challenge and the time needed in between to make it all work. The creative process is a continual lateral spiral for me. I revisit forms and surfaces over and over. Pete Townsend said musicians play the same four songs. I believe artists, like Paganini, play "variations on a theme" all their lives. Sometimes the themes change, but the connection to something that came before is hiding deep in the subconscious.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Updates and Orders

If you are looking for cherries and pear pottery, I will be restocking the Saxonburg Area Artists Co-op this weekend. Stop by for a look at new mugs, bowls, platters, casseroles and more. We'll be hosting light up night, Friday, November 26 5-9. Come join us for hot a hand made mug! Snag some great Christmas gifts while you're there, too!

Orders: If you would like to order pie plates, pasta bowls, platters or casseroles, please contact me. I will be taking orders up until December 5.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cottage Pottery Sale Day 1

Thank you to everyone who came out to Day 1 of our sale. We had a great group of people visiting, shopping, and watching bowls and pie plates being used. Caroline decided that we needed to show how great pies are in handmade pie plates...she volunteered her expertise in whipping up a pie crust with butter, flour, milk and a little salt. After raiding Christine's refridgerator, we had apple pear

pie!! I think there is one slice left??

Caroline hand mixing her pie dough! Look at that great bowl she's using!

Karen, Aunt Christine and myself.

Paintings by Paul Kuhrman.

Lots of tablewares!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Here's a sneak preview of a "few" mugs...last count at least 6 dozen. Two more kilns to unload tomorrow and one last firing tomorrow evening.

There will be a nice selection of cherries on terra cotta, like this sweet soup bowl.
There's something for everyone here, mugs of all sizes, shapes and colors.

614 Stanton Ave, Mars,PA
10 am -5 pm Saturday and Sunday
Happy shopping!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cottage Pottery Sale

Look for this sweet cottage the weekend of November 6 & 7, 10-5pm.
614 Stanton Ave. Mars PA
Karen and I will be serving up pottery, pear and apple gallette, mulled cider and more.
(No, I won't tell you what a gallette is. You really need to experience this beautiful and delicious European treat personally.) If you show up early, you can join us for mimosas in freshly made ceramic tumblers!
Pie plates, pasta bowls, coffee mugs, dinnerware, spoon rest, butter dishes, casseroles, platters, bowls, bowls and bowls an more!
Cash, check and Visa accepted.
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cottage Pottery Sale

Cottage Pottery Sale!
Saturday and Sunday
November 6 & 7
614 Stanton Ave, Mars Pa
Come join us for shopping, yummy refreshments, and good conversation at the lovely cottage home of Christine & Dennis Mooney in Mars,Pa.
Pie plates, pasta bowls, salad bowls, serving platters, coffee mugs, tea cups, tea pots, butter dishes, spoon jars, spoon rests, oil servers, casseroles and more...
All wares are food safe, microwaveable, oven safe, and dishwasher safe.
Cash and personal checks accepted

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Some things just take time....

Yes, I did start this tea pot in June....with no intentions of hurrying the glazing process... and is done. The tea pot on the left is still waiting for's got one layer of glaze in the texture, but the final color is still eluding me... maybe just a light clear to make the terra cotta deeper?? I don't know how many other potters feel this way, but sometimes, I really like my pots at leather hard, no glaze, just raw clay, raw form.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

She Works Hard for the Money....

Oval Serving Platter, Posey Bacopoulos, majolica

After some thought about the last post focusing on the new male pottery in my house, I decided to showcase the female pieces working in my kitchen as well. Above is a piece by one of my favorite potters working in majolica, Posey Bacopoulos. Those golden onions were purchased Saturday at the Farmers Market in town. The color is perfect against the indigo glaze! Fresh little onions on a crisply glazed piece?? Perfection in a plate?? Possibly?
I was asked by the great journalist Rex Rutkoski, "Does it take something away from the piece if it is never used?" Intention is only for the artist, not the customer, never ask what someone wants to do with a piece behind closed doors. But in my kitchen, using the piece for which it is intended in thoughtful ways only adds to the integrity of the artist's process, intention and design.

Stop back for more...I've got a pot of potato soup on the stove and I've got to find the perfect bowl to serve it up!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Reinventing the Wheel

Potters may not have invented the proverbial wheel, but when given one, we can make great pottery. Early this morning I had breakfast with the two new men in my life- my new coffee mug and lidded coffee pot with milita. I reference them as men simply because male potters made them. But it made me realise while I was writing this blog in my head, that 96% of the pieces in this kitchen were made by women. So it leads to the wandering questions about femininity and masculinity, style, intention, and stereotype. I'll ponder this on my drive to work while I'm drinking some well presented brew.

Lovely Flatulent Dodo Mug by Kyle Houser and Lidded Coffee pot & Milita by Josh Floyd. Purchased at the Saxonburg Area Artist Co-op.

User rating on the wares: Excellent: The pot brewed a nice strong eye opening french roast, while the Dodo served it with a smooth ride from start to finish.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's a Shiny New Room!!

Straight up, I'm going to brag, so bear with me. I've got a brand new room this year!!!! The Fine Art Program at Deer Lakes consists of 2 D and 3 D programs. Mark Weleski and I have been teaching together for the past 14 years, making the best of the two rooms and equipment we inherited when we were hired.( for him, much longer than 14 yrs ; )) Our department now consists of a 2D classroom (not pictured- Mark is still unpacking.) a 3D working classroom, a dedicated wheel room, and a kiln room/ connecting storage room!

These changes are the result of whole building interior remodel which has lasted 2 very painful years. I would post images of the Home Ec sewing room, library and chemistry labs in which we worked during this process, but like childbirth, I'd rather forget.
There are so many wheels, I couldn't fit them all in the picture!!! 16 in all. I'm not sure why we need spotlights in this room, but I'm installing a disco ball for Rave Fridays.
Working classroom. Check out the electric drops from the ceiling. Our new Brent slabroller got cut out of the picture, but we'll be breaking it in next week.

Ahhhhhhhh, two programmable kilns. No more transporting pottery to my home kiln or the Middle School!
Standing in the middle of my rooms today, I considered myself one lucky potter. I've always loved teaching my students. This year, my students will see how much this program is valued by the district and the community.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Work in Progress

I've been doing "Yard work" all week. It's been so hot, I can make pots in the morning and have them trimmed by evening. Keeps me on my toes.

There are soup mugs and bowls, bowls and more bowls, firing away. It shut off an hour ago, so off to the glazes I go...

I fired these earlier this week, testing some new things and tocking up on yellow cherry ware. Th tests I do today will help me decide how the pieces for the Saxonburg Ceramic Invitational will look. I can't just put in the "same old same old." Stay tuned...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ceramic Invitational Exhibit

Jake Johnson, Oil Server Set
Amanda Wolf, Butter Dish

It seems I haven't been doing anything but staring at goats all summer, but no... I have been working and traveling. I've also arranged a Ceramic Exhibit titled, "Setting the Table: Contemporary Ceramics Dines In." The Saxonburg Area Artist Co-op is hosting the show and we are excited!!!!

We invited potters from Western Pennsylvania to exhibit tableware- dinner plates, soup bowls, serving dishes, pitchers, teapots, drinking vessels, vases, centerpieces....I think someone is even making maritini glasses!

Join us for a Wine and Cheese Recpetion, Saturday September 4, 6-9 pm. Meet some of these wonderful potters and see what the Potters of Western Pa have been doing all summer.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday Afternoon Thai Tea Blog

I was invited to watch Farmer Jesse of Frosty Hollow farm in Vandergrift feed his two new goats this morning. Buttercup and Daisy, 2 months old, are new to their digs, but are beginning to be curious about the world outside their pen! Jesse is the son of friends Sheila and Jeff who also farm chickens, rabbits, berries, and not to mention a few snakes.
Here's the official farm office where I purchased my guinea eggs and two other kinds..(hopefully Jesse will respond to this and I can edit in the correct names!) $1.50 for a dozen happy homegrown eggs! I recommend them, after the picture below was taken I ate the two on the left for lunch with Sheila's dill. I didn't even need to make up a dressing, just a little salt and they were gone.

A visit that started as watching the goats bottle feed turned into coffee on the new deck and lots of good conversation with the family and a bounty of dill, not to mention an avocado, a cook book and some summer reading.
From the happy, pastured hens of Frosty Hollow Farms, Vandergrift, Pa. I saw them, they are happy!! So now the morning is but a fond memory, it's off to the studio for me...lots of pots calling my name. I'll grab my Thai tea and go...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Morning Fatass Coffee Blog

Oh, It's finally heeeeerrrrre! The first day of summer vacation. A little time to recuperate and rejuvinate. And instead of just a Saturday Morning Fatass Coffee Blog, I can do it any old day of the week!
So summer brings time to think about what to make in the studio while I walk Izzy all through the game lands this morning...we returned with wet feet and ankles and a few bug bites, but smiling none the less.
Second breakfast was those sweet little strawberries from a farm in Chicora, Friedman's in Saxonburg was selling them on Saturday. My bumper stucker doesn't say "Save a Farm, Eat local!" for nothing. So begins a summer of visiting farm markets and friends I neglected during the school year, making fresh everything pots and food....stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Cherry Vases

I've been playing again...after throwing so many pots on my pottery wheel, I needed a change. Using slabs of clay and some giant paper tubes from work, I created some new forms. Because they were so new to me, I felt I couldn't do the same old glaze pattern. Leaving the clay exposed is somethig I have done in the past with mixed results....scumming from impurites in the body. (Unbelievably frustrating, but Amaco's cinnamon underglaze covers a million sins!) This time around the clay is as red as my face without sunscreen in July. I love the contrast of the white and black with the red clay and the red cherries. Sometimes it's good to get bored...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Studio Sale!

Thank you to everyone who visited yesterday! If you couldn't make it, we are still open today- Sunday. If you are having trouble finding my directions on this page, look to the right -PAGES, underneath- HOME- Open stuido locattion and directions.

The weather was perfectly HOT, but the rain held off. It was so nice to see so many friends again! Many pots left with smiling to their new homes. This experience has me thinking that another sale is in the making for the fall! Stay tuned!

Studio Sale!

Thanks to everyone who came to the sale yseterday!! What a joy to see so many friends! Karen and I hope you all find as much joy in the pots you took home as we got in making them!
We're still open today, come on back or come on in.
A few people said the directions were hard to find on this page...look to the right where it says HOME with PAges underneath.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sneak Preview- Open Studio & Sale June 12 &13

The pots are coming, the pots are coming!Another load from the Little Kiln that Could.

Karen and I are sending post cards out this week, keep an eye out for them and get them front and center on your refridgerator. We're looking forward to a weekend of fun- lots of pretty pots, good friends, some demos and, of course, that magical kiln opening Saturday morning.
I am looking forward to this very first Open Studio & Sale! My hope is that it will be a yearly event, possible one in the fall. It is so exciting to see the studio fill with pots!
Hope to see you all!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Karen McKee, Potter

Karen McKee, friend and potter.
These are just a few of Karen's treasures that will be found at the Open Studio and Sale.
Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 10, 2010

New Shelves, New Pots

The Studio is showing signs of spring! New shelves, new pots springing up! I unloaded the kiln this afternoon, cherries, cherries and oops! some pears! So far the list goes like this...plates, plates, pretty mugs, salad bowls, chip & dips, small platters, big platters, spoon jars...some covered dishes are on the way. Nothing makes me want to head right back into the studio like a stack of finished pots.

Studio clean up report:
1.The floor is beginning to turn brick red ( And the windowsill is sporting red Kittie footprints.)
2. Two new wall mounted plate displays built by the amazing Pete will get their first coat of white paint tonight.
3. Various piles of stuff I have collected over the years are beginning to disappear...making the studio look like a studio and not a giant storage room.

Stop back again...more pots on the way.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

There's been a Dodo sighting!

Saturday Morning Fatass Coffee Blog is thrilled to announce there's a dodo in the house!!!! Who would have thought this Girly-girl wold be drinking her java with a flatulent dodo?? Get yourself to the Sweetwater Center for Arts Pottery Sale TODAY!! You can get your own personal fatass coffee mug and make a potter happy all at the same time.

Happy Saturday to you all....this bird and I are heading to the studio.

(For the record Kyle, I had to fight Sara for it. It was tough, but it was worth it.)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Saturday Morning Fatass Coffee Blog

This one's for you Kyle.

Ever inspired by other potter blogs, Homefry Sketchbook posted a lovely tribute to some of his new favorite coffee mugs. Never one to leave a good idea goes....

Not many a potter has a house full of store bought mugs, bowls, plates, anything food or flower can put on or in. This morning I pulled out three of my favorites, filled them all with cream, sugar and coffee and here you have them. Tara Wilson, Kristen Pavelka, Victoria Christen. Coffee always tastes better in hand made mugs. My kitchen is a happier place as well. Come on over, you can ask it.
Yes, that is my BREAKFAST. Avacodo, cilantro, salsa and tortilla. YUMMY. I would say lime, but my two furry children kidnapped the lime from the table yesterday...who knows where ( or when) it will show up.
One cup down, two to go...look out studio, here I come!