Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Spring (summer really) Cleaning

Well, as you can see I can be very messy.  This is my photography studio and shipping room.  I had not cleaned it for quite awhile and my son had also cleaned out his closet and dumped the computer parts right in the middle of it all.  I kept stubbing my toe But what really made me decide to clean is that the shelves in the closet are where I put some of the overflow from my showroom of items listed online and I needed to bring the items back from my studio sale.   I was stepping on packing materials and the desk was a jumble of stuff that mostly didn't even belong in that room.
Before (up)  After (right)

I don't think that the pictures actually capture how bad it was, but now I feel refreshed and ready for sales.

Bisque load going, glazing tomorrow.
Before (left), After (below)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

London Trip

A few weeks ago we got back from a trip to London.  This was our 25th Anniversary trip and we had a great time.  To see more photo of the trip, check out my cabin blog.

One item of interest to my fellow potters is that the Victoria and Albert Museum has 11 rooms on the top floor jam packed full of ceramics. The room in the photo was very sparse compared to the following rooms.  Some were floor to ceiling and almost stacked on each other there was so much.  In the next few weeks I make some pieces using photos of pieces from the museum as inspiration.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


I started out the week going uptown to Carolina Clay for some more clay. Then Tuesday I made plates, Wednesday wall hangings (below) and today the three pieces to the left.  The piece in the middle is a prototype and I can see where I need to tweak it a bit. Two inches of the bottom went into the pedestal and threw off the proportions.  I think that the belly needs to be higher up, the pedestal smaller and the neck smaller.

Yesterday I worked on the wall hangings below.  The two on the bottom will have some kind of wire handle to look like baskets.
I still need to make some plates that can hang on the wall.  Tomorrow is slab built platters.  There will be another week of slab built items, then a week of throwing.  I have found that its hard to switch back and forth due to space issues.  Some time next week I will bisque and probably glaze the following week.  Mainly because I have a order for plates that I need to finish.

Today I sent my application in for the Made in the South Show in Charlotte and (new for this year) Macon GA.  Looks like I will be in four shows this year.  Carolina Claymatters Pottery Festival (Charlotte), Carolina Pottery Festival (Shelby), Made in the South Shows (Concord & Macon, GA)  I applied for Adalaya in Huntington Beach, but was wait listed.

I am looking for balance in my life.  Art shows can take over if you let them and I was neglecting my health, family and home.  For a few years I would do around 15 shows, most in the Fall.  My new plan is to workout Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with lighter work schedule those days.  Then there's the cabin on some weekends and I would like to go there during the Fall leaf season.  In the past, I filled up October with shows and missed out on the best time to go to the mountains.  Then there are my friends and family time.  I got to the point that I didn't see anyone all week because I needed to hit a deadline. Now I try to find time to go to lunch or shopping.

I don't know how the new work will sell yet and so it's hard to know how much to make this summer but I am making things I love and hope others will feel the same.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Earth and Fire Festival

The Earth and Fire Festival in Kings Mountain finishes up this Friday.  I am not sure why I haven't mentioned it sooner but there it is.  Since I had no other shows planned this summer I used four of my new pedestals from my new booth display. I can see from the photo that I need to add some other colors to my palette.  A few weeks ago I did some tests that were promising but I won't be able to use them for awhile since I am in a throwing/making mode.  My next scheduled show isn't until October and I really need to get to work.  Next on my schedule is a dinnerware set for a customer, then wall hangings.  My booth lacks wall art.

Monday, July 15, 2013

My first art competition win

As stated in the last post, I took three pieces to Albemarle for the "Summer Art Explosion" juried show at Falling Rivers Gallery.  Well, I got a call yesterday and guess what?  I won first prize for this olive oil cruet.  It's pretty exciting.  A few years ago I won an honorable mention at a show but since then I had not entered anything for competitions, mainly because I just don't hold favorite pieces back for those times when I need a piece so the timing just never worked out.  I wish now that I had photographed the piece in my photo booth.  The award ceremony is August 9th, 6-8pm.

This week I have been adding a number of new pieces to my online shop for the Christmas in July sale.  Customers receive 20% off with coupon code CIJ2013 at checkout.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

New work

Today I unloaded the kiln.  Most of the load was either for a competition I want to enter three pieces in and jury pieces for a gallery that needs to see work.  These five pieces are my favorite and I need to narrow it down to the three best.  So far my Facebook survey is picking the large piece on the left, no to the next piece and a tie on the three pieces to the right.  I will need to decide by tomorrow so that I can take enter the pieces on Friday.

I also did some tests on a purple matt glaze and a soft yellow.  They looked great and I can't wait to put them on some bigger pieces.  Too bad I don't have any pieces ready.  Today I started back stocking up on pieces for fall shows and pieces for the galleries.  I am completely out of unglazed pieces in the new work.

Yesterday I started setting up for my Christmas in July Sale.  I have set up sections that are 20-40-60%off.  The photo is a sneak peek at the 40% off table.  I few of my friends have already been over and grabbed a few pieces.

Hopefully my advertising via Mailchimp email, Facebook, blog, Google+, Twitter and signage will bring in the customers on Saturday.  I would love to make room for more pieces like those above.

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