Sunday, February 27, 2011

YAY! and few thoughts about process....

I woke this Sunday morning with great anticipation! I fired the honey pots, biscotti jars and butter dishes last night. What's not to anticipate about decadent pieces that revolve around things your dietician insists you should limit??? I don't have a dietician, I am a dairy farmer's daughter. Butter, not margarine or "spread" in any form. Sugar or honey, not "sweetener."Please, honesty in food...but that's a conversation for spoken conversation, not a blog post today... anyway...LOOOOOOK!!

Multitudes of decisions are made in any body of work regardless of the amount of pieces. Teaching full time leaves me with less time than I'd like for the investation of ideas which then leads to a certain amount of pressure to "get it right." In the middle of glazing, ideas are bouncing in my head and a limited number of pots sit on the table. It's like the lottery, how many combinations can be arranged of pattern, motif, and color? (And more importantly, which one will allow me to build a new studio?) Accepting the fact that I'll never know what will work for me until the glaze goes on trumps hesitation. This fresh batch gives me more to consider. Black and white contrast well against the terracotta, but there is something very nice about the amber over white glaze which was done in the last batch. Amber was used over the terracotta this time, but not over the white...lessons learned. For me, this is the catalyst for the next group of pots. A painter friend asked if I ever get "stuck" or run out of ideas. My answer at the time was that in my studio there are always a few pots that don't get glazed and needing to finish them usually propels me into the next kiln load. But today I've realised that it is more than unglazed pots, it is unresolved ideas that continually move me forward.
As I posted early on, I have never made honey pots before. Everything is a learning experience, and there was much to be learned about small forms that hold specific things, but also forms that need to accomodate a utensil. While I worked some of these new issues out, the issue of availability of the sizing of utensils was disappointing. Make the honeypots larger? Continue in the search for smaller, nicer honey sticks? Probably both.
Another issue is my photo "booth." At some point, I will purchase one of those great little pop-up photo tents. For now, I am (adventurously) working with what I have. Just call me "McGyver."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February Studio Tour

No one does studio tours in February do they? Especially here in Western PA, today, when my driveway is 8 inches deep in snow. Not a problem for us Subaru drivers, but a serious problem for those without 4 wheel drive as the driveway angles downward. With so much snow, I was again afforded a snow day. It left me with some time to tidy up. The studio is currently in a slow sort of lull; finshing some things, beginning some sculptural pieces. Here's your tour...a little of this, a little of that.
Honey pots, butter and cheese dishes waiting for the final details and firing.
A mostly clean studio. I was talking with Kyle Houser (Homefry sketchbook) yesterday admitting to him that my floor cleaning skills were less than admirable. Anyone out there shaking their heads? This week, in an effort to stay ahead of the trimmings and dust I have been "cleaning as I go" with a shiny new sponge...well, it's not shiny anymore.
My hand me down slab roller- still rolling after all these years.
An ecclectic mix of obejcts that pile up in the kilnroom. No, this kiln is not currently hooked up, but it makes a great storage surface. (Anyone wishing to donate to the cause, please contact me personally.)
The beautful sunny view from the studio today. And yes, that orange object at the bottom of the window is my new kayak....when's the snow going to melt???

Monday, February 14, 2011

Who do you love?

A few "little things" I've been working on the side. What a most appropriate day to unveil them!
In October, I participated in a workshop given by ceramic artist Carla Flati at the Pennsylvania Art Educators Association 2010 convention in Pittsburgh. "Nichos in Clay" provided all the top secret techniques one needs to know to create these colorful pieces. I can't give any secrets out, you'll need to see Carla at Standard Ceramics in Pittsburgh to get the goods! These will make their way to my Etsy page soon. (On the off chance you need a late Valentine's Day gift, or a sweet gift for yourself.)

These are wall ready, you simply need to decide where you'll hang them.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


A friend from my college days at IUP asked me to make a honey pot. I've never made one, not sure why?? I am a huge fan of honey, so I guess this is long overdue. These will be decorated with white glaze and cherries then covered with my heavy luscious amber glaze. Dots and stripes will find their places as I go.

Now that these are finished, I wish I had made more in the series. Time is limited with me, and from experience I have learned it takes much less time to throw all the parts than to put them all together. Three tends to be a number that works well in production with pieces that require assembly. My process takes more time than I care to admit. I admit, I fuss. And fuss.

Challenging myself to a new form was refreshing, so much so, I worked later into the evening than usual last night and took advantage of a 2 hour delay this morning. I hear the weather is supposed to be frigid again tomorrow, maybe I'll have a chance to finish the two lidded jars that accompany these three "sweeties".

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Smiled so much my cheeks hurt...

We had a great turn out for the reception at Boulevard Gallery. Thank you to everyone who came out ! The evening could have been considered a faculty meeting, as many of our colleagues joined us. (Maybe I can apply for some Act 48 hours?) Above, Bill Pazman's "Martini" print and the original "Marilyn" painting.

Bill and Rachel Pazman during a break in the action.

Sheila and Emily Knell ( President and junior member of my fan club). What would any of us potters do without those loyal friends and customers? Sheila has been known to deliver rhubarb pie to craft shows! It was still warm!

And the queen of my fan club- Mom. In order to keep her daughter humble, she has been known to pull out some of my first pieces when guests arrive!
Thank you again to everyone. The show will remain up until the end of February. Many good pieces are still available!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Passion Fruit Exhibit, Opening Reception

It's time!!! Finally!! "Passion Fruit", the fruit of my labor and love-colorful Majolica wares and terra cotta pears. A day doesn't pass without my head and/or hands in the clay, it is my passion. I hope you get a chance to see the show. Please join us for fine food, wine and conversation Saturday evening 6-9, Boulevard Gallery-736 Allegheny River Blvd. Verona PA.