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":

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