Recovering from the weekend at the Worcester Pottery Invitational, which I think should be called the Worcester Pottery Inspirational!
It was a tiring weekend, as a weekend show always is… but this show was even more so. Usually at a show when I am not talking to customers, I get a little break and sit quietly, but it was just too much fun to be with such great potters that all I did was look at their work, talk about pots, and life, as a studio potter. The whole weekend was an inspiration!
Here is a stash of new pots that came home with me. I am happy to welcome the pottery of these talented potters to my home! Holly Walker, Bryan Hopkins, Julie Johnson, Jeremy Randall, Julie Crosby, Tom O’Malley, Maya Machin, Rob Cartelli, Adero Willard, Nicole Aquillano, and Hannah Niswonger!
I am happy and honored to be invited into the Worcester Pottery Invitational!
If you are near the Boston/Worcester area this weekend, this is the show to go to!
I sent a mug out to a customer last week, this is what I received in return… I absolutely love it!
So here we are, this first morning.
Waiting in the sunrise.
The hearth is warm and the dogs dream by the fire.
There is a silent solitude, intimate, complete.
I do not possess you.
Rather I am graced with a glimpse
of the creative passion that crafted you.
Your size, your shape, the colors of your adornment,
the way you feel when I hold you, the way I feel.
This is perfection.
Thank you for being here with me.
Lucy, Thanks for the opportunity to experience your creative side.
In case I haven’t been clear, THIS CUP IS GREAT!
The long winter is almost over. It’s been a busy one… a time of stocking up, and getting ready for wholesale orders, and spring shows. Two big shows are coming soon… first the Worcester Pottery Invitational, and then the Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail. Both in April!
Here are some photos of what’s been going on in and around the studio these past couple of months.
mug order, ready for the kiln
mug order, fresh out of the kiln.
Owl in our field
winter woods at dusk
batter bowls drying
finished batter bowls
spoons for sugar jars
one of our hens flew the coop
Studio entrance, winter welcome
While my son was home during college break he made a little video of me making my classic urn form.
Put on the blindfolds, turn on the potters wheels… this is “Big Girl Pottery class” (as my students call it!)
Mind you, I do not do this every class, just once a year or so. The blindfold class is to remind them the importance of listening to the clay. In losing our sense of sight, our sense of touch becomes heightened. It’s a real good reminder to focus only on the way that clay feels in our hands.
It’s also a lot of fun. Plus with a bunch of middle-aged women I of course hear the comments… like, what is this 50 Shades of Clay? Ooh, I wish Patrick Swayze were here… is that Unchained Melody I hear?
As promised from the last post… wall salt boxes with a sit-in lid. These seem to be a cross from my table salt cellar pictured below, and the antique french salt box I fell in love with over the summer. The degree of difficulty is far less than the hinged lid salt box. I am liking the form, and the challenge it brings. I will do more after the holidays.
My original salt cellars…
I haven’t finished my explorations with the hinged lid yet, A couple of new ones came out of the kiln nearly perfect… so more to come on those too, after the busy season.
A French Salt box that hangs on the wall, with a hinged lid, made of ceramic… what am I nuts!
When I was on vacation this summer I saw a french salt box (metal) in an antique shop. I knew at that moment I had to try making one in ceramic. After a little research and many attempts, I have a couple worth sharing. This whole endeavor has been quite the challenge… but I need to be challenged with new forms, I’d go crazy if I were making just cups, bowls, plates and vases. Give me some technical thing and I’m happy to see what I can do with it.
One of the reasons this salt box is challenging is because I work in porcelain. I am dealing with warping of the body, sagging of the lid, then trying to get the holes for the hinged lid lined up after this warping and sagging. I am no where near satisfied with the end result. I like many aspects of the form, but I have not had one come out of the kiln 100%, working technically correct. I have fired about six of them. I have about three more to fire. I will learn what I can from those, and make some others in my spare time… which is non-existent now with the all the holiday shows.
A bonus of working on this form is that it spurred on a couple of other nice forms , some wall baskets, and salt cellars with sit-in lids. Creative mistakes really don’t exist… they just make you think more.
The top red dot one is almost there, just some slight warping on the lid. The two above drying did not make it through the glaze firing… too much warping, so the lids did not fit. Below are a couple of wall baskets that worked out very nicely. More salt boxes to come soon, with the sit-in lids.
Waking this morning to see light frost on the field. Yet the Dahlias, marigolds, and zinnias that I picked ruthlessly last night seemed to have survived close to the house. I love that last picking… a bouquet in every room of the house brings the last of the outside beauty in! The past weekend also brought in the last of the garden crops, like carrots and beets to be stored layered, in buckets of sand in the root cellar. Some things like leeks, broccoli, and kale can stay a bit longer with straw piled high around them. We left some carrots like that too, but I’m sure they will become food for the voles soon enough.
Enjoying the kitchen bouquet with my morning tea, and the new Ceramics Monthly, then off to the studio. Today I am putting the handles on little berry strainers and brie bakers, then making large batter bowls. Below are the little oval pitchers I love to make for maple syrup. Also some hanging salt boxes that I have been working at every little maddening technical detail for months now… they are challenging to say the least, but I love the challenge! More to come on those in the next post.
The first day of fall and our New England weather is changing. The leaves are just starting to show the first hints of color, and the nights are getting so cold. For me the fall changes are not only in the weather, or the kids back at school. The cycles of my pottery take a speedy turn into the busy season. In late August pots are being made for the holiday sales and shows. By mid September I want to see those pots made in August glazed and ready for the coming wholesale orders. Pottery classes also began this week, three full classes, three nights a week. Plans for the Spring Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail are already being made… the nine potters got our heads together yesterday for our up-coming 10th anniversary tour this April.
Aah, cycles… it seems the older I get these cycles that mark my year come sooner and sooner. Here are some photos of what is being made , some drying on the sunny table, others fresh from the kiln, and ready to be shared with the world. I must also include the lovely entrance to my studio, with the zinnias, and morning glories in all their glory on the arbor!