Monday, December 8, 2014

Rearranged studio and holiday plans

This weekend I re-arranged my studio to make room for my new (used) kiln.  I had gotten it a few months ago and was too busy to mess with it.  Finally on Sunday my husband and two sons were all home at the same time and moved the kiln to it's new location.

I wish that I had taken a before photo so that you could see the difference, but I believe that the studio is actually more spacious and more efficient.
My plan was to take the month of December off to rejuvenate but I just had to try out my new space today.  I will probably work this week stocking up on wholesale items.

My mom comes to visit for 3 weeks next Tuesday and I will be doing Christmas things with her while she is here.  We are visiting Charleston, SC for a few days, taking a holiday dinner cruise and checking out the Festival of Lights.  We are also going to check out the Charlotte Motor Speedway light show.
The last few weeks I have been busy adding new items to my online shop.  There is now a large selection of pottery available for purchase.  I ship to the continental USA.

There are berry bowls, brie baker and cracker trays, butter dishes, gravy boats, vases, bowls, platters, sponge holders, salt and pepper shakers and many other fun handmade gifts.

Help me make room for new art next year.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ciel Sidewalk sale and other news

You are invited:  Ciel Galleries Holiday Sidewalk Sale - Saturday November 29th and December 6th.  I will be bringing in the items shown on the right and they will be marked down 50%. Of course inside Ciel many pieces of my new work will be available. 

There will also be ornaments from many of the artists and the proceeds will be going to loaves and fishes.  Please join us for cider and cookies.  

Art makes a great gift for the Holidays.

I notice that I am only blogging about once a month now.  I guess since I opened myself up to wholesale orders I have been so busy that after everything else I just haven't had time.

Just yesterday I shipped out an order for The Annapolis Pottery.  It was quite a large order going to two stores in Annapolis Maryland. 

Check out my Gift shop and galleries page for a full list of where you can find my pottery.

I just did my last glaze load of the year today.  I needed one more piece for a gallery and just filled the kiln with pieces that were made previously and never needed but many are quite nice so look for those pieces to show up in my online shop this week.  

The gravy boat and platter shown above were listed today.  They are a few of the extras made for wholesale orders that were not needed.

In more personal news,  we finally had some time to get away, so we went to St. Marteen.  The photo above is the view from our condo looking out across the bay towards St. Phillipsburg.  We were on the Dutch side.  I preferred the shopping and on the French side.  We were told the food was better on the French side but we got lucky on both sides and had great food all week.
The view to the left was from an area just steps above our condo where there was an old fort with the cannons still there.  Around the other side there was a beautiful beach with great snorkeling.

We had a good time but I was ready to go home at the end.  I am not a laying about the beach person, so got a little bored.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Never too early for Christmas shopping

Well, I have finished all my shows for the year.  This is a month earlier than usual since I changed most of my art shows this year.

So now I am listing all kinds of new items in my Etsy shop.

I'm listing old favorites, like brie bakers and cracker trays, plus yarn bowls.

And new favorites, like butter dishes.

And sponge holders.
And for the first time, Ornaments
Also, new work can be found in a number of galleries and gift shops.  Ciel and Ruby's in Charlotte get new work monthly.  Mountain Nest in Black Mountain, Middle Earth Olive Oil Company in Florida and the Golden Feather in Hammonton, NJ recently received new work.  And next week the Wild Fern in Bryson City, NC will receive a shipment that I am glazing on Wednesday.
Just remember that many of my pieces are one of a kind so be sure to pick up anything you like, when you see it.  It is not to early to get started on your holiday shopping.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Show season

Shows and more shows.  I just got back from the Art in Autumn in Weaverville, NC. In two weeks I am back in Blowing Rock for Art in the Park and the a week later I am at the CCM Pottery Festival.

Then I am done with art shows for the year and it's time to concentrate on Holiday sales at the galleries and on Etsy.

You may have noticed that I am back to using my old display.  A woman had a diabetic attack (she was unhurt) while driving and ran into 7 park cars ending up ramming into my husbands truck over and over, so our truck is in the shop.  We are lucky we can use the crossover to haul the old display.  I am actually liking the old display for a few reasons.  One being that it's so easy to put up and take down.  Second I think it is more approachable for the customer.  I noticed that people seem to come into the booth for a look around.  The pedestals may be to fancy, making it somehow intimidating.

This week I am finishing up the orders from Mountain Nest and Middle Earth Olive Oil Company.  I will be doing the final glazing tomorrow.  Crossing my fingers because I will be delivering the Mountain Nest order in Black Mountain on Sunday.

Also, on Sunday I plan on picking up a new (used) larger kiln.  Hopefully we don't have any trouble getting home and get it wired without problems.  Here's hoping that I start getting more wholesale orders to fill up this big kiln.

Friday, September 5, 2014


While I knew that September and early October were going to be my busiest 6 weeks of the year with 4 shows, I did not imagine how busy it would end up being.  

First off, I decided about a month ago that I was going to apply for, which for those that don't know is a website that brings artists and galleries/gift shops together.  I was accepted yesterday and my page is now open for ordering.  If you are not registered on the site and you are a gift shop / gallery send me a note and I will get you a guest pass.  The items I decided to wholesale are from the dragonfly line (see a few pieces to the left)  plus complementary items.  Crossing my fingers that I start getting some orders soon.
Then a little over a week ago I got a large order from Mountain Nest in Black Mountain.  She wants me to deliver the pieces when I go up to our cabin at the end of September so I am working full time on the order along with pieces for shows.  Of course, it is the hottest it's been this summer and the garage/studio is HOT.

Then last week I got an order from the Middle Earth Olive Oil Co. in Florida.   They want 20 of these olive oil bottles and 10 dipping dishes.  So they go into the rotation as well.

It is a great feeling to be busy and I am excited for the possibilities.

I am working on my Fall Newsletter so if you want to receive it, sign up on the right.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

New Glaze Load and Art of the Cup Invitational

Spent this week glazing.  I mixed up a large bucket of the Spring Green and the Stormy Blue.  I am happy with the shade of green.  I doubled the green and didn't test it first.  All the pieces in green turned out great.

Meanwhile the Stormy blue is different from what it was before but it's nice as well (new color shown on mug below,  the way it used to be is pictured on the Irish mugs shown below).  Now it's more matt and has less depth.  Not sure what happened.

More pieced shown on Facebook. HERE

Finally made some more Mom, Dad, Nana and Papa mugs.  I have started listing them in my Etsy shop.  These will make great gifts.
Last week I sent off this teapot and the Irish mugs to the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans.  The pieces are for the Art of the Cup Invitational and the Teapot Exhibition.  The shows opening reception is September 4th and it runs until the beginning of December.  It was an honor to be asked.  This will be my first invitational.

If you follow me on Facebook you saw the other pieces I was considering for the show.  Some of the other pieces went Ciel for this months exhibition.

One of the shows I was excepted into this year was the Art in the Park in Blowing Rock, NC.  I will be there August 16th, September 6, and October 4th.  I will also be in Weaverville Art in Autumn on September 20th and the CCM Pottery Festival at the Barn on October 11th.  I was wait listed for the Carolina Designer Craftmen Fair at the end of November.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Creative Day

I haven't done much creatively the last few weeks.  Today I had to try again to make a container for my friend Lori for her tub of margarine.  The first attempt was too small from the first, so this is my second attempt and it is tall enough but won't know until after the firing if it's wide enough.  If not, I will try again.

The two pieces to the right are salt and pepper shakers.  I got bored with the other design and decided to try something new.

I have been using my new stamps that I made a few months ago and really like the designs I am able to make.  While I like the store bought stamps, I always feel a little like I am cheating by not making my own designs.

Just a few weeks until (perhaps) I will be teaching my first class.  As far as I know, no one's signed up.  If you are interested, check out the previous post for information.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hand building class

I will be teaching a beginning hand building class for the first time in August at the Ciel Gallery.  It will be a bit of work since I have to bring everything we need to the gallery for the class, including water.  My hope is that if the class goes well, in late October and into November I could do a series of classes with more intricate pieces.   You can check out the details of the class and sign up here.

For an update about my Studio sale:  The sale was OK but pranksters stole my signs the night before the sale, so I am unsure how this impacted the drive-by customers.  This was especially annoying because the signs were special ordered and cost a bit.  I was hoping to use them for many years.

For those that were unable to attend, the online sale is going on until July 20th.  Use coupon code CIJ2014 at checkout for 20% off anything in the store.  Extra savings found in the clearance section.  And as always if you are in the area and would like to stop by my showroom, please call me at 704-408-7996 to set up a time that works for both of us.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Christmas in July Sale

Back by popular demand.  This is the best time of the year to get a great deal on pottery.  I ship all across the country.  Lot's of wedding, birthday, hostess gifts or just start your Christmas shopping early.  Shop online (be sure to check out the clearance section)  or stop by my home studio for an even larger selection of pots on July 12th.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Some disappointment and some fun

Well, I had a booth at the Boardwalk Art Show in Virginia Beach the weekend before last.  I had such high hopes that there would be art buyers at this show since the standards were so high.  I was disappointed.  Everything I sold was truly functional (bowls, pitchers, butter dishes and platters) no teapots and only one vase.  Lots of compliments but I can't pay the bills on compliments.  I can say that Virginia Beach is a great place to visit and I hope to go back for a visit someday but I won't be doing the show again.

 My niece Savannah is visiting me and I have been showing her how to make a few slab built items.  She has made a salt and pepper set, a spoon rest, a bowl and a cup.

We have also visited the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Nascar Hall of Fame, downtown Charlotte and Concord Mills.  My sister and her husband race cars in Montana and Savannah helps in the pits.  I couldn't tell you what type cars they drive but they enjoy it.

We also went to the movie Maleficent.  I really enjoyed it.  There was quite a great message in it.  I think that Mom's will enjoy it even more than kids.  Doesn't show Dad's or men in the best light though so Dad's may not like it so much.

Just a reminder that I am on Facebook, InstagramTwitter, and Pinterest

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Glazed pieces for the Boardwalk Art Show

Today I unloaded the kiln.  I had many pieces that I really liked and you can see the rest on my Facebook page.

The piece on the left was a new design.  It is a large vase and during drying it was against another piece and warped a bit, but I kind of like it.  The piece reminds me of a centipede.

The pitcher has the new green glaze.  I doubled the copper in the formula and I'm very happy with the hue.  Of course I didn't do a test of it  ahead of time and was very tense waiting for the firing to finish.  I have realized that I don't need to do three coats of glaze on textured areas as in covers the texture too well.

The platters design was a piece of wood trim I found at Michaels.  I just sprayed a coat of light blue in the middle then placed the trim over it and sprayed on the dark blue glaze.
Next week I head to Virginia Beach for the Boardwalk Art Show.  This will be a new show for me and will take a lot of effort.  First the wind and weather can be a challenge.  My hope is for mild weather but the forecast changes every time I look at it.  The second problem is that I am staying in a hotel right on the beach and this takes a huge chunk out of any profit I may have.  Load in will hopefully go well as I have signed up for the drive on program for set up but the challenge will be the tear down, where we will have to cart our wares a block or more to the truck.  The show looks promising for sales because there are around 300 booths and many potential customers.  The quality looks good as well as we can not have anything under $20 in our booth.  Everything has to be signed as well.
I am very excited about my helpers for this show.  My mom and my niece are coming from Montana to visit for two weeks.  It will be great to have company for the 6 hour drive and during the 4 day show.

After we get back from the show my niece Savannah wants to learn how to make pottery so I have started thinking of projects for her to make.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

One Image / Two Interpretations

The show at the Ciel Gallery in August is to be called One Image/Two Interpretations.  The photo to the left is my image to take inspiration from.

Today I started my piece.  It was a lot harder that I anticipated putting together 7 cubes.  I originally only cut out 4 pieces for each cube then realized that I needed 2 more for each.  I was planning on making a vase but it just didn't look right,  so I just made an outright art piece with absolutely no function but to sit on a table.  I do not look forward to glazing this piece as it will take time painting each cube a different color.  I will be curious to see my partners piece in August.
Cutout, Texture
Bevel and score

Put the
squares together

Monday, May 19, 2014

Booth Set up and Shenandoah National Park

Last weekend I went to my first new show of the year.  Instead of going to the CCM Spring Pottery Festival like usual, I went to the Crozet Arts and Crafts Show in Virginia.  The show was a bust, probably because in rained most of Saturday.  The one thing that was nice is that what I did sell was mostly my favorite things to make (teapots and vases). I did get a chance to set up my whole booth in order to get a new booth photo.
My friend Lynda came with me to keep me company.  This was nice for the 5 hour drive up and back especially.  We decided to start our drive back on Monday by going through the Shenandoah National Park.  The park is maintained very well with wonderful pull outs along the way.  We did come about two weeks too early since the trees at the higher elevations did not have all their leaves.  It will be beautiful in the fall.

Since I didn't sell like crazy at the show I am mostly set for the Virginia Beach Boardwalk Arts Show in June.  I had already started most of the pieces I need to fill in inventory.  Plus, I made 2 more large vases and some platters when I got back. They should dry out in time for glazing at the beginning of June.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Preparing for the Crozet Arts and Crafts Show

Getting ready for the Crozet Arts and Crafts Festival in Crozet, VA this weekend May 10th & 11th.  I realized a little almost too late that I didn't have any butter dishes and Salt and pepper shakers made until last week and hurried up and made a few.  I then hurried up and made a few bowls just to fill the kiln plus the funeral urn for a relative made a 3/4 filled bisque load.  I usually fill it to the brim.

Needless to say the glaze load was not full either but I was very happy with the results.
These three pieces were glazed with a mixture of two similar glazes.  One was blue and the other was supposed to be green but looked almost the same color, so I just dumped them into each other.

I have noticed that the green glazes I have made may look great when I first mix them, but they seem to lose the green after a few uses and turn yellowish.  I am going to up the percent of green colorant in the next batch but will only make a small bucket of it.
I spent the last few days getting my pots ready for the show this weekend.  I had to grind bottoms, sign the bottoms, price, photograph and pack.  The packing also meant rearranging boxes of pots from last Fall's shows.  I removed some pieces I wasn't happy with.  Plus, over the winter and spring I had taken some pieces out for galleries and to sell on Etsy.   I ended up with 8 boxes, which is way too many but I can never seem to leave any nice ones behind.  The Boardwalk Art show is only a month after this one so I will need lot's of pots for that 4 day show.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Vacation photos

Just got back from vacation.  We flew out to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon and Bryce Canyon.  We had an OK time in Vegas but really enjoyed our time seeing the gorgeous scenery as we drove around the Grand Canyon.

We spent a couple days walking the rim at the Grand Canyon (pictured left, top).  The best photos were taken the first late afternoon after a rain storm.  The smog cleared and the shadows were great.
Then we went to Antelope Canyon (left, bottom).  That was our favorite and so much fun.  We had an Indian guide take us through the canyon and he new all about the settings on our cameras.  There are better photos of this one but my computer is still down and I am using my phone photos in this post.

Last we went to Bryce National Park (Right).  We hiked down into the canyon.  It took 2 hours and was fine until the last 1/2 hour of a 45ish degree incline.  My legs were jello afterwards.
So, I am back in the studio for a few days and have made salt and pepper shakers, teapots, fruit bowls, vases, a box, a hanging wall vase and heart dishes.  I am at the point that these items will not make it into the kiln for the show in Crozet but are backup for the next show in Virginia Beach in June.

I will be putting items into the kiln for a bisque firing tomorrow after I do the slip trailing.  After that I will take some new items to the Ciel Gallery for the May show "Into the Garden".  The gallery crawl in Friday, 6-9pm.  Maybe I will see you there.  I will also stop by Ruby's Gift and drop off some new items.

I will begin glazing most likely on Thursday since it's supposed to rain the next 2 days.  I anticipate doing 3 loads to get ready for the next show.  There is so much because a lot of the back stock from the fall shows have been sold on Etsy or sent to various galleries over the winter.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cookie Jar, Teapots and Vases

Very exited about this weeks glazing.  These are only a few of the pieces out of the two loads and I was happy with 99% of it.  A few of my favorites are shown here but you can see more on the Facebook Page.   I made a new green, which you can see on the leaf piece.  It is a pale green so I plan on mixing in a little more green colorant in the next batch  Although I like it because it matches my new decor in my living room.

The pot to the left is my new cookie jar.  I made myself all new pieces for my kitchen counter since I painted the room a powder blue.  I made canisters, butter dish, salt and pepper, salt cellar, olive oil bottle, utensil holder and a tea caddy.  The tea caddy includes a jar to hold tea bags, sugar jar, sweet and low cup and spoon rest.  My hope is that this will keep my family from leaving them all over the counter now that they are contained in a nice tray.

Two of the pieces will go to the "Into the Garden" show at the Ciel Gallery in May.

Lately I have been trying to stock up on items for my upcoming art shows.  I have one in May and one in June.  I also go on vacation this week so no work will be produced for a week.  At this point only a few more pieces can be made for the May show but I need to have pieces ready for glazing after it for the four day show in June in Virginia Beach.

Monday, March 24, 2014

New Glazes

Last week I did a glaze load with my new glazes.  I was happy with about half of the pieces.  The problem came with the green color.  For whatever reason it turned out the same as the dark blue.  The next time I glaze I am going to try a different green.  Most of the pieces were made with the speckled brownstone and half the plain brownstone.  I have decided that I am most happy with the plain brownstone.  I really like how the brown clay shows through the glaze where there is texture.  Individual photos are on the Facebook page.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Pitchers make me happy

Today is the first day of Spring and it's also National "Be Happy Day".  So I decided to make something that makes me happy.  I played around with three different forms.  The piece in the front was supposed to be a gravy boat but ended up more the size of a pitcher.  Next time I will make it about 1/2 the height and maybe make a tray for drips.  The middle sized pitcher is a good size for a water pitcher and the large one is really just for putting flowers in or for home decor.   I also made 2 appetizer trays.

Yesterday I loaded the bisque kiln and I will glaze either tomorrow or Saturday.  Both days are showing that they will be warm with no rain. When I spray the glaze outside the temperature needs to be comfortable or else my fingers freeze.  My hands are in water a bunch during glazing days.  Sunday we are back down to 50 with a chance of rain and I can work inside the studio with the heater on.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Back from vacation

Got back from vacation last night.  I was gone for just over a week with my mom, sister and her 2 kids (10 & 11).  We went to Tampa (Busch Gardens) and Orlando (SeaWorld, Aquatica and Universal Studios)  It was fun but exhausting.  Busch Gardens was my favorite, mainly because I had not been there before.

So I get home and have something like 400 emails. Most needed to be deleted because they were junk or I had read them while on vacation.  I spent time unsubscribing to a number of websites.  When you get them opened daily it doesn't seem like much and I always think I may need a coupon someday, but I don't shop very much so they just had to go.

While I was gone I also got notifications on a number of shows I was accepted into and I will update those on my show schedule page.  I will be doing the Boardwalk Art show in Virginia Beach in June and doing the Art in the Park in Blowing Rock in August, September and October.

This morning I made two vases then I did the slip trail beading and some dragonflies on pieces ready to go into the kiln for a bisque firing.  Then I loaded the kiln.  I am very excited about this batch. There were a number of elaborate pieces.  I can't wait to glaze in a couple of weeks.