Thursday, December 25, 2008

just to say hello...

Just wanted to say hello to anyone who's reading, and happy holidays. Soon I'll be settled in to my new place and able to write more often, and hopefully I'll be creating art more often from home. In the meantime, here's a blog I've just added to my feed: A Plate A Day

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Completely unrelated to ceramics, but... don't mind that. How about knives? I have some of the dullest knives ever, and here's the perfect opportunity to get a pretty-handled new one. You want a chance to get one too? Brought to you by Steamy Kitchen and New West Knifeworks: Contest! Free knives! Woo hoo! Party time. And if you need to hone your knives, there's a nice instructional there too.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To the Moon! and by that I mean...

Denver! Sorry, that title is completely random and stupid. Moving on... I'm moving! I'll now seriously be looking into my options in Denver. Do I want to join a guild? Take a community college class? Try to bum a ride in some artist's studio? Splurge for my own wheel right away? But what about a kiln?

I just found out that Justin & I will be moving into a town home by December, though we'll both be living part-time in both locations at least until January. I'll have to find out if there's any reason (ceramic-wise) for me to stay in Greeley a little while longer, since my current lease isn't up until May.

Some things I'm looking forward to:

+ a dishwasher. these things are REALLY handy.
+ more space. I'll have to take photos of my current apartment for anyone who ever complains about too little space. We'll compare notes.
+ cleaner air... hopefully. living right above the old, probably mold-infested basement is terrible for the respiratory system.
+ being close to numerous diverse galleries and museums
+ swing dancing. Mercury Cafe = awesome!

Some things I'll miss:
+ my roommate... she's a pretty cool chick and the only roommate I've ever really gotten along with for an extended period of time in close quarters. her fiance is a pretty cool dude, too. where else am I going to learn about weird science stuff?
+ the old quirky charm of my apartment. though tiny, worn, and sometimes difficult to live in, it's still charming and it's been interesting learning to live there. I plan to take a handful of pictures of it before I move...
+ numerous friends and aquantances... it can take a while to make new friends
+ Sacred Space Yoga... Krista tells me they're going to have belly dancing next year!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I don't know... 100? -Clay Math-

Remember the 100 cups challenge? I did it! Well, almost. I consider it a success because if I wasn't living on the schedule of the bus, it would have been just right. I wedged 100 balls of clay on Thursday, using up all the high fire porcelain, Dover stoneware, and mutt stoneware I had in the studio, plus 20 balls of the new Aspen (cone 5-6) porcelain. On Friday I got right to work at 9 a.m. throwing basic cup forms. The first few were a bit sketchy, but I was into a nice rhythm within the hour. I averaged 5 min/cup at first, then stopped checking the clock for a while, but towards the end I think it was around 1-3 min. each. I took several breaks for stretching and walked a mile to get lunch, which felt really good after sitting in that cramped position. At one point my knee was hurting for a while, and towards the end my wrists hurt, but overall I wasn't terribly uncomfortable and with some stretching and moving around I felt just fine. I had considered throwing standing for the first half of the day, but I tried it on Thursday & it felt too awkward and still uncomfortable. I'm sure I would've been far from 100 if I had tried standing Friday, but I'll give it another go one of these days.

So how many did I throw? 92 balls - 5 flops = 87 cups ready to be trimmed Monday. If I didn't have to leave 20 minutes short of 5:00 to catch the bus, I'm sure I would've used up all 100 balls. Woo hoo! And I still have my finger prints. Though I have noticed ever since professor Tim pointed out that a small part of my right index fingernail has been filed away somehow from throwing, in the same spot he's noticed on his nail. Good thing we have fingernails, eh? So now I know, if I'm ever in a crunch or I need to make a boat load of cups for any reason, I can do it. And that feels good :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

hey Denver potters...

I plan to move to Denver between January and March and I'm wondering what options I have for continuing my ceramic education / career in a (relatively) inexpensive yet good-quality way, at least until I can save up some money. I know there are some pottery guilds out there... any recommendations? Are there any artists who would like to have an apprentice? I read on another blog that an apprenticeship would be an excellent way to get experience without the high cost of higher education. What are your thoughts?

Ceramic Sensibility - 1st Solo

Woo hoo!!! First exhibition, titled "Ceramic Sensibility," under my belt, done and done... well, it's up until December 5th, but at least it's up. It's been stressful these past few weeks, rushing to get everything finished. Months ago I thought I would be fine, I did have months after all. Then one thing or another got in the way and I was still making sculptures at the last minute. Turned out alright though.

Viewers were allowed and encouraged to touch everything in the gallery, and one of the professors at UNC was having fun rearranging some of the sculptures...

Three people had actually rearranged this last one... I was quite amused :) All in all it was a good reception. Some people were unsure about the fabric draped over half the sculptures, but others really enjoyed it. Most of the people who came were artists as well and they enjoyed being able to touch everything. I enjoyed watching them interact with it, too.

I'll post photos of all the sculptures on my website in the next few weeks.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A New Month!

Some things I'm looking forward to in November:

Mid-range clay, cone 5-6... quicker, less expensive, more environmentally friendly firings.

Making pots! I haven't been able to concentrate on functional ware as much as I'd like because of my show, which consists solely of sculptures. A sculpture once in a while is a nice change, and sometimes I really enjoy making them, but I'd like a change.

A new president!* (*unless it starts with Mc and ends with ain... then I might have to move to Canada... or just bitch and moan for the next 4 years... or try to actually make a difference in the world and become a serious activist)

Learning new vegetarian recipes to share with friends & family for Thanksgiving - and please, quit calling it Turkey Day for gods sake. Think about it.

More ballet! I tried my first ballet class ever in October & I signed up for another round.

Daylight savings time. I'm not always a fan of this, but getting up early every day at camp this summer got me into the habit & it makes it more difficult to get out of bed when it's dark out.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Pain of Pottery

Since late February I've had a bit of lower back pain that started when I was throwing some big punch bowls. It felt like I had a pinched nerve or something, but I never got it checked out. With enough yoga I feel almost normal. Until last Monday... I lifted a heavy box the wrong way and hurt it badly. After sitting for a while I would get up and hobble along like an old lady with a bad back, so I went to the chiropractor for the first time on Wednesday. Maybe I'll feel normal again with another couple sessions. Are there any potters out there with ergonomic wheels? Any advice to make throwing more comfortable & back-friendly?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Why Don't You Just Make That?"

Sometimes when I'm with friends or family and I see a pot that I would love to buy, they say, "you could just make it..."
But I don't want to make it. Sure, half the things I see I could probably make, but that's not the point. I want to make a line of work that says something about me, I don't want to make what someone else has already made. I don't mind supporting other artists either, even though I hardly have money to support myself sometimes. Some things I wouldn't mind making for myself however... here's the difference:

Something I would make:

Something I would buy:

Why? The napkin rings are more simple and I wouldn't mind customizing to my own style. They'd be quick to make, too. The teapot has a more defined style - one that I like, but that I wouldn't want to copy. What's the point in copying other artists? I saw one of Jennifer Allen's teapots at Santa Fe Clay & it was gorgeous! My favorite part was the handle, because I had never seen it done before and I thought it was a brilliant solution - it comes over the lip of the pot so when you pour, the top end of the handle catches the lid so it doesn't fall off.

Rae Dunn
Jennifer Allen

Friday, October 17, 2008

100 Cups

I have a challenge for myself - to make 100 cups in a day (9am-5pm). I honestly don't know what I'm capable of at this point, so why not test it? I know I'm getting better and quicker at throwing, and 100 cups sounds like a LOT for one day, but I've never tried throwing a single form for 8 hours straight. In her blog, Elaine Spallone mentioned her friend John throwing 100 pots, which got me thinking about the challenge. Though John's challenge is stretched out over a longer period of time and involves a wide variety of forms, I still like the idea of 100 cups in a day. I've been planning to switch to mid-fire porcelain once I use up my current supply of high-fire clay, so perhaps this would be a good way to start the adventure, using some cups as test tiles for cone 6 glazes. So here's the plan: Thurs, Nov 6: wedge 100 balls of clay (I wish I could hire someone for this part!); Fri, Nov 7: throw as many cups as I possibly can, taking 3 breaks for snack & lunch; Mon, Nov 10: trim everything and put handles on as many as I can for the rest of the day. Maybe this will finally give me something to sell on Etsy...

Feel free to comment... I'd love to hear about other challenges people have set for themselves, in clay or otherwise.

Speaking of quick throwing, this video was posted a while ago on some other pottery blogs:

Thursday, October 16, 2008


No time for much posting, I have to get back to the studio... I just wanted to announce my new website - Woohoo!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Madison and Main

Woo hoo! My first gallery venue, a little co-op just a block away from the UNC campus - Madison & Main.

Friends Staci and Andrew at the reception on September 12th:

My parents came to the reception & I pointed out some goblets I wanted from Noel Bailey... they bought them while I was standing there, and oddly enough they turned up in my apartment a couple weeks later as a birthday gift. Staci & I enjoying a drink:


Here are some sculptures I was working on a couple weeks ago...

Leo & I decided to have a little fun with a photo shoot after I finished the first one:

The series of 5... Not entirely what I was envisioning, but perhaps I can rearrange them to look right. The basic idea is "Dance," with rhythm and movement in mind, looking at the body of each piece as well as the negative space. What do you think?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ewer and Me, and a Cup for Our Tea

Though I've disappeared from the blogger scene for a while, I've been busy elsewhere. In the past month I've been to a wonderful workshop with Annie Chrietzberg, created a bundle of sculptures, made a few pots, started selling pots at Madison & Main, and went to Santa Fe for a fun weekend excursion. More photos to come, but here are some from the workshop with Annie, "Ewer and Me, and a Cup for Our Tea":

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I love using the word "delightful" ... this work by Clare Twomey is truly delightful. I love how it invades the space of the museum in a playful way, that the visitors can interract with it and take a bird home with them. It's beautiful :-) The show I have in November is also one visitors will be able to interract with, because I think ceramics are meant to be touched. Even walking through an ordinary clothing store I tend to run my hands along things as a pass them... I just like to touch things. When I was a little girl I went to a museum with my dad and there was a wax sculpture with fabric that looked too real to be wax. I reached to touch it and got yelled at. In my show this year I plan to have many pieces veiled in fabric, for the viewer to lift for themselves and touch the artwork they see. If you know of any other ceramists creating interractive art, I'd love to see it!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Back Into the Groove

Home sweet home... I've come back to Greality, and with a grant to give me a boost I'm ready to dive into ceramics full-time this fall. The only trouble is the community college studio I'll be working at is a 30 min. bike ride away and has limited hours... damn. Might have to do all the handbuilt work at home. We'll see once the lab hours are set. This week I'm house sitting so I'm out of the studio anyway, but I've been enjoying some artist's websites. Some work I'm lovin: an organic chandelier from Karin Eriksson, and the sophisticated animals of Beth Cavener Stichter.

Monday, August 4, 2008

You know you're a true potter when discovering the website of a fellow potter genuinely makes your day... I just had a terribly stressful Sunday, followed by a tired and depressing Monday, and on a period off I was browsing pottery blogs. I searched for the website of an old friend, an artist who was graduating from UNC when I was just starting, and I was thrilled when I found it! His outlook on life and pottery is refreshing, as is his work, so check it out - Noel Bailey

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Learning to Throw

At the camp I've been working at all summer I haven't had many chances to teach wheel throwing because it is terribly difficult to go between teaching one thing to half the class and teaching throwing to the other. We have a period each day called "free choice" which is a chance for the kids to try something they haven't done before, or just do whatever the heck they want. So I offered throwing last Sunday and was frustrated with teaching 8 girls this difficult skill. Of course I can throw, but teaching is another story, and I was lacking patience. Today I checked out the website Learning to Throw with Marvin Bartel for some tips... I don't know if it will help me tomorrow when I offer it again, but I think it would be beneficial for any adult who is interested in learning.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Becca Van Fleet in Hanover

On my day off in Hanover today I walked through the League of NH Craftsmen's Gallery and noticed a small group of Becca Van Fleet's pottery. I thought *I know that name from somewhere...* So I searched the web for a blog or website and realized I had written about her back in April about a photo contest she was having. I suppose the entries have been posted for a while now, but I hadn't looked until now, and they're really fun!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Clouds From Above

View of the clouds from a whole different perspective... I was off on a jet plane to Vermont, my temporary summer home, on Tuesday. Flying is a weird feeling, but there are some cool sights from high above.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ceramic Sculpture pt. 2

Sculptures made in 2008...

Ceramic Sculpture pt. 1

Sculptures made 1 - 2 years ago...

Monday, June 9, 2008



Sunday, June 8, 2008


I'll be posting more photo groupings throughout the next few days of the work in my portfolio, but if you'd rather just see everything right now in one bunch, I've posted them on Flickr, titles included.





Monday, June 2, 2008


The sky was beautiful tonight. What does it have to do with ceramics? Who cares.

On the note of ceramics however, I've decided to hold off on a website until September when I start making stuff again. I'll be teaching at a camp this summer and won't have time for my own creations, and I don't yet have enough work to get into many galleries. $15 / month is a bit pricey for a website when I've got nothing notable to sell. So I'll wait.

This summer may be sporadic in blogging. I'm sure it'll be eventful and noteworthy, but the question is how much time I'll have online. Just a little update, for the few who are interested.

Monday, May 26, 2008

So about that whole free time thing... turns out I have bouts of laziness here and there. I went to a wedding in Indiana, applied for health care, and shopped 'til I dropped for summer camp gear. There was a lovely tornado outbreak around the area, but thankfully myself and loved ones came out unscathed. More on life later when I have something worth talking about.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Annie Chrietzberg and Websites

Annie Chrietzberg is quite the colorful ceramist. When I first saw her just over a year ago in an airport she was wearing some pretty limey green sweater, knitting a brightly colored hat, perhaps similar to the one the man traveling with her was wearing. Judging her overall appearance I figured she must be an artist. Coincidentally she was a Coloradan going to NCECA as well, and I met her on the bus ride to the hotel. From the little that I've conversed with her, she seems like a pretty cool artist, and she makes some very well crafted and beautiful art. These cups are on my wishlist now.

I've been mentioning websites here and there and I really like Annie's, partly because it's colorful and it goes well with her work. I've started a 2-week trial period with the service she uses, so you might be seeing a new website soon :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Empty Bowls

Just over three years ago Hurricane Katrina hit and organizations all over the world contributed their time and money to help. UNC's Clay Club did their own part and started the first annual throw-a-thon. Professional and student potters from the whole Greeley community joined together one weekend to throw as many pots as we could. After finishing them over the next week or two we held a sale in the University Center and donated all proceeds to the hurricane relief fund. It was the most successful throw-a-thon yet. There was an immediate need for help and both potters and consumers alike realized this - we had a lot of help making and a lot of people buying pots. The following two years there were no catastrophes, yet we wanted to make the throw-a-thon an annual event. Of course when there was no immediate need for help there was less excitement and involvement. We donated to Habitat for Humanity the 2nd year, and to ourselves this year (to help six students go to NCECA).

I was informed of the Empty Bowls project when I went to my first NCECA in Louisville, KY, and I was just reminded of it reading through Emily Murphy's blog. I think it'd be a fun way to get more involvement with the community in the next throw-a-thon event. We could throw all the bowls in one weekend, give them to other students in the community to decorate, and instead of selling the bowls themselves, we'd host a dinner. Honestly, would the general community be more interested in feeding the hungry, or helping six students go on vacation?

Monday, May 12, 2008

30 things to do before I turn 30

I recently found this artist via Pottery Blog and she just turned 39, making a list of 39 things to do this year. I'm sure countless people have these sort of lists... here is one of my own I started a while ago:

30 things to do before I turn 30 (list started October 2006):

1. learn a 2nd language
2. travel outside the US
3. travel outside North America
4. learn a 2nd instrument
5. get married
6. own a house
7. exhibit artwork in a solo show
8. buy a potters wheel
9. run the Bolder Boulder
10. learn to belly dance
11. get a masters in fine art
12. learn more about wine
13. make a REALLY BIG painting
14. visit my aunt in Chile
15. learn how to draw a frog
16. learn how to spell necessary (I always get that one wrong)
17. teach someone how to throw
18. maintain a clean room for at least one year
19. become financially independent
20. visit Santa Fe
21. volunteer to help the needy
22. ...

So it's an incomplete list, but I've got a few years anyway.

What's your list?

Sunday, May 11, 2008


My tiny apartment was chockablock with people on Saturday - there were 17 crammed into that little living room. At one point there was a small gathering in the kitchen and my roommate & I thought it'd be a fun game to see how many people we could fit in the kitchen, then challenge ourselves with the bathroom. It didn't actually happen sadly.

Graduation day overall was quite entertaining. It was cold and windy and I was sitting in the second to last row, all of us Performing & Visual Arts kids getting no insulation from the weather except from thin ponchos and huddling together. Finally half-way through calling the names the president announced that due to inclement weather she now declared us collectively graduated. It was chaotic. No one really knew what was going on, and there were people walking around carrying stacks of diploma covers for those who weren't yet called to the stage. But hey, I didn't get sunburned. Sooo... bonus.

Obviously the picnic I had planned was moved inside, where the sun was shining and warm.

It's a relief to have some free time now. Of course I still have a to-do list - without one I'd be a lazy do-nothing bum. But it's nice that it's 9:30 am and I don't have anything scheduled until 5. I'm working one day this week... sucks for the budget, but it's a good breather between the busy school year and the non-stop work schedule I'll have in Vermont. I'll be teaching at a summer camp for 10 weeks starting in one month, so I'll take the free time while I can. It also means a month of regular blogging, so stay tuned.

P.S. Does anyone know much about Aftosa WebHosting? Any pros/cons? Other suggested hosts to start an artists website?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Gorgeous Goblets

It's been a busy week between the Spring Sale and my senior portfolio presentation, and the work isn't over. Here's a sneak peak of some pots from the kiln this week, until I have more time to write:

P.S. I would like to organize all these photos into an online gallery... any suggestions for hosting sites / easy-to-use photo albums?

Monday, April 28, 2008

End of Semester Excitement and Stress

As usual for the end of the semester, it's been a roller coaster ride the past few days. A fun weekend, but a busy weekend, and I can hardly wait for a break. Thursday! That's the day of my portfolio presentation. The last big requirement from this University. The bit of sadness I felt for the last day of wet clay last week has passed, and now I'm so excited to be moving on. I'm craving a more professional atmosphere, a studio where everyone is there because they love being there. A studio that is open to the students 24/7, where the guy in charge trusts the artists to be responsible and not hurt themselves when the professor isn't there. Anywho, I'm tired, so there's my little rant. And here's a plug for another artist who's blog I read occasionally: Mochaware - I think a lot of potters can relate to his latest post.

In other news, I loaded almost an entire kiln today with my own work, so that's exciting! Here's the before photo, stay tuned for the after:

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fuzzy Clay and Fresh Work

Water etching
paper porcelain is tough. It leaves a rough texture that I'm hoping I'll be able to easily sand away after the bisque firing.
If you click on the photo for a closer look, you can see that the clay looks sort of fuzzy. I sanded it when bone dry and it brought out the paper fibers. It's one of those little things that amuses me, a new discovery that's just fun. My hand was fuzzy, too, when it was covered in p'slip.

Below are the two things I had in the last kiln. When I first saw the sculpture I was shocked - the glazes I had layered were Susan Filley Black and my own mix, which when tested resulted in a deep shiny black. Instead I ended up with a rich blue. I was put off by it at first, but as I looked at it for the next few minutes I realized it reminded me of the ocean, with a small mountain of land floating on top. Though it was never intended to, this could easily become a commentary on the state of the world today, on what it could become if we continue on our path of over-consumption and ignorance.
It's still a work-in-progress. It will be fired again with a lichen glaze on top of the red, and when it's set up in the exhibition I'd like that part of it to feel warm (viewers will be able to touch the work in this show). So that's my next challenge... any advice?

In Seth's words, this bowl is "rad" :-D I'm so excited about it! This photo doesn't do it justice. It's one that might be hard to let go of, and if my latest goblets are successful, I would consider submitting the set to Madison & Main. That's been one of my goals this past year, to get into the local gallery. Sadly I haven't yet had a strong body of work that I would feel confident approaching them with, but I would still like to try.

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