Monday, December 26, 2011

Snow Day

Last week we had a snow day! Overnight we got over a foot of snow. I was so happy to finally have some time in my studio...  I finished glazing my low fire pieces, and then fired them on Christmas Eve. 


Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Have you heard of Kickstarter? It is a GREAT site for creative people.  You propose a finite project, determine how much funding you'll need to complete the project,  post a video, then people can pledge money through Amazon. It protects those donating because if the project doesn't receive what they need in a certain time period it gets nothing (and donators are not charged for their pledge). Looking at different success stories it's helped so many artists, writers, film makers, and designers achieve amazing things. Not only is Kickstarter great for those receiving funding, but it gives everyone an opportunity to be a part of their success.
Through Kickstarter I discovered a business called Liamolly, which designs knitwear. The company was in danger of going out of business due to the large minimum quantities required to produce the clothes in Asian factories. The business owner, Seema Sudan, posted a plea for help on Kickstarter. Her idea was to buy knitting machines so that her knitwear could be produced in the United States (in New Orleans). She is also dedicated to helping other small business owners produce their designs. It was a brilliant solution, and one that will make our world a better place in many different ways. I pledged a small amount and left the following comment:

"I knew nothing about you or your business before seeing this video. You make such beautiful work! I also love the local aspect. It's great all around. I am a very happy backer and just wish I could pledge more!"

 I'm learning that every positive thing we do does make an impact...  Liamolly was successfully funded and this article was written in the local New Orleans paper- MY comment is in it!

Monday, November 28, 2011

First 5

Cup Five

Cup Four

This weekend was a productive one. I finished carving the first 5 cups I threw last week and I began glazing my low-fire pieces. There is nothing quite like opening the kiln after a glaze firing and seeing what colors come out. Sometimes it's incredibly disappointing but it's all worthwhile when a few fabulous pieces emerge!

This week my goals are:
-Finish glazing the low-fire pieces
-Throw 5-10 more cup forms
-Dabble in some ceramic jewelry creating
-Clean the studio

Sorry to bore you with my to-do list but I'm afraid that if I don't put it out there then I will simply not do it- especially the cleaning.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Last week I bought 50 pounds of porcelain. I've been itching to throw again, and last night I did exactly that! I put on some mangy sweatpants, my messy running shoes, and spent some time getting back into throwing.

I'm starting on the project of 100 mugs. I realized that I just need to jump in and go for it- if I wait around trying to figure out the details I won't get anywhere. I now have 5 different mug forms (and one crumpled Happy Accident), each will be carved and stamped and slip-trailed. I'm so excited to be creating these!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Inspiration: Planters

Lately when I look at photos the planters have been jumping out at me.  Here's what I've been inspired by:
Set of 3 porcelain and leather hanging containers by farrahsit found HERE

Cast Rock Planter by Brian Bosworth found HERE

Via Design Sponge Sneek Peek of JUCO  (Julia Galdo and Cody Cloud)

Via Sweet Home Style

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Home again home again

I arrived home from Taos Sunday night. The trip went by quickly, as good vacations do. It probably didn't help that we were only there two days! 

Something that was particularly neat was a business called Taos Clay. It is a gallery, community studio, and teaching facility. Logan Wannamaker is the owner of Taos Clay and exhibits his work in the gallery. I'm always encouraged by people who have been successful in ceramics! 

I visited some galleries and saw some very cool ceramic work- mugs with big goat heads, a glow in the dark galaxy painting, and of course some southwestern art (not really my cup of tea, but fun to see nonetheless). The thing I did the most was walk. I brought my dog Rosie, so I had good company. Taos has a history that Boulder lacks. In Taos there are many things that are exactly how they were 100 years ago- wild untouched ancient sagebrush, old adobe homes, historic places that date back to the early 1600's... It really has a certain spirit.  I already miss it!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


This weekend I am going on a much-needed vacation to Taos, New Mexico. I am leaving tomorrow morning and coming home on Sunday, so it'll be a quick little trip. Taos is very special to me...
-I went there when I was a pregnant teenager with my dad, stepmom and little sister. We stayed in a rental house with a broken down truck in the back yard. It was good enough and close to the downtown plaza. I remember buying a beautiful flowery dress on super sale, looking at lots of southwestern art, seeing petroglyphs, and eating eggs at some metaphysical cafe. It was a cool town, but I was there as a tourist.
-My friend Jamie moved to Taos a few years ago. I'd been wanting to visit her and found a good reason for a vacation when I got divorced. It was going to be a girl's weekend of support and nurturing. The morning I was supposed to leave Taos was hit with a major snow storm. I had to cancel my trip. Many months later I was able to carve some time and save enough money to try again. It was August, the weather was amazing, the drive was perfect, and Taos was wonderful. Jamie and I went to some bars, danced for hours, painted her living room (she wanted my help with the color), visited Ojo Caliente, went to a wild party at a gorgeous Earthship out in the middle of the desert (and mud wrestled!). It was a short trip, but it was long enough for me to fall in love with Taos. I grew up in Boulder and have never lived anywhere else. Part of that was simply because I couldn't imagine living anywhere else! But Taos was different, something clicked there and it felt like a second home.
This trip made me start dreaming about living in Taos, in an Earthship...
-My mom, daughter, and I went to Taos last year just before Christmas.  Again, it was a great trip. I went to yoga, we visited the Earthship Headquarters, crossed the Rio Gorge, ate the best chile rellenos I've ever tasted, visited galleries, soaked up the town. After this trip I knew, I know, that someday I want to live in Taos. It also changed my thinking about my pottery. It was shortly after this particular trip that I started my blog and opened my Etsy shop. I met artists and potters that were making it, and I realized that I could too. The photo of me for my profile was outside a gallery in Taos...
So needless to say, I am very excited to return. I'm going to see Jamie, take lots of walks (and photos), sketch ideas for new art, maybe even pitch some to the galleries (if I feel brave and bold), and feed the dream of building an Earthship and having a successful art business in Taos!

Monday, November 7, 2011

100 mugs

When I was in college getting my degree in ceramics I had this idea for my thesis (or final) project. I wanted to make 100 ornate unique bowls, each hand carved, hand painted, and one-of-a-kind. It was inspired by the idea that potters sometimes become mass producers and crank out form after identical form. I wanted to master creating one specific form, but it gave me the chills to think about making the same thing over and over. So I found a happy compromise. In the three months I had to prepare my thesis (along with my full load of classes) I made 70 bowls. Of those about 50 made it into the show. I was very proud of what I did, and I knew that I worked so hard and had truly done my best, but it has always nagged at me that I didn't create the 100.

I graduated in 2004 and didn't make ceramics for awhile.  I worked various jobs, started a craft business called ReLove Projects, and eventually found my way back to clay. I took an evening adult class through The City of Boulder Parks and Recreation, and loved working with clay again. But I was juggling too much with a full time job and raising my young daughter. I was frustrated by how little time I could spend on clay and ended up only making a few things. My time was unfocused, undisciplined, and very scattered.  I think I made a few mugs, perhaps a bowl or two. I definitely wasn't able to put the time into it that I wanted to- or needed to for it to be worthwhile. So I took another break. A few years later I found myself in a totally different place of my life. I was an art teacher and had many pockets of time, my daughter was older and more independent, I had a successful partner who was willing to support my passion and pay for classes. So I took another class and this one was a much better experience. I decided that I would focus on making mugs. Mugs are something that everybody uses, there are so many variations in form, size, handles, and they were small enough that I could make LOTS! And I did! I brought clay home and worked on my kitchen table. I went to as many open studio sessions as I could. Then I took another class and made more mugs. Mugs, mugs, mugs (and a few side projects like an octopus bowl and an owl bank). I would go to work, come home, set up my clay stuff and work into the night. It was rare that my kitchen table didn't have clay on it. I turned my dining room shelf into a dry space. Clay was taking over!

I am lucky to have a very supportive father who loves building things. He noticed the clay taking over the house and built me a studio in the back yard.

And now here I am- I have my studio space where I can get messy and create, I have my love of clay and desire to make things, I have my kiln, but I need some focus, a project to work towards. My idea is to make 100 unique mugs. All 100 will be carved and stamped and hand painted...  I'm still developing it- I need to figure out exactly what supplies I need, how much that will cost, and about how long it will take. Then I will need to figure out how to fund the project. Right now I'm selling the mugs I created in class, and slooooowly paying for necessities for my studio, but I have a long way to go. My ultimate dream is to be able to support myself with pottery, and I think it'll be achievable... Someday. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to move forward?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New photos!

Today Brad helped me take new photos of my ceramic work. My pictures were ok, but his are professional. I think it looks pretty schnazzy! 

If you'd like any photography help, Brad's website is at
The past few weeks have been busy busy... I have:
1) made 2 Halloween costumes...
 A Day of the Dead peacock (mine), and Catwoman (my daughter's). My boyfriend was zombie Steve Jobs, which didn't require much as far as making. 

2) Had a birthday...  
I wanted to spend some time in my studio but that didn't happen. I went to yoga, out for lunch with my dad and stepmom, out for coffee with my mom and boyfriend, then to Anthropologie (I got a gift card).  It was a lovely day!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My tripod (an update)

In my last post I wrote about trying a tripod tutorial to overcome my lack of motivation... And I did! In the video  "How to Make a Textured Tripod Pot With Soft Slabs" at Ceramic Arts Daily, Sandi Pierantozzi made it look easy... And it was! I used gutter guard for texture as suggested and I REALLY like it. I forgot about all of the everyday things that can be used. 

I know this picture is a tease. Sorry about that. I've lost my camera cable and can't find it anywhere! Argh. In a few days all of my low-fire pieces will be dried and ready to bisque, so more updates will be coming soon (as long as I can find my dang cable!). 

If anybody has a tutorial that they'd recommend I'd love to hear about it.  

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tripod Tutorial

This week I've been feeling really blah and unmotivated. I haven't exercised. I haven't made anything. The most creative thing I've done is choose some new favorites on Etsy! Ugh.

It's time to get myself out of this rut... So I looked up some tutorials and found one that I really want to try:

In the video  "How to Make a Textured Tripod Pot With Soft Slabs" at Ceramic Arts Daily, Sandi Pierantozzi explains how to texture the slab (she used gutter guard), create an even tripod, bulge the sides out, and then add some finishing touches. It is inspiring and simple! Well, she makes it look easy. I'm going to spend some clay time in the studio on Sunday and will give you an update on how it actually goes! Find the video HERE.

PS- I thought some of the comments were really helpful too!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Glaze Test Dishes

I always prefer my handmade dishes over anything mass produced or store bought, but these dinner plates at Anthropologie are making me consider an exception...

    An ode to happenstance, this collection of striped and splotched dinnerware was culled from a bin of discarded dishes that had been used to test glazes, which our buyer found in a factory in Portugal. We love the sea-hued marks and general irregularities as much as we appreciate their backstory.

    Monday, October 3, 2011

    Inspiration: Catherine Cleary

    The first and second weekends in October Open Studios are happening in Boulder. It is a FABULOUS event that's been going on for 17 years. 135 artists open up their homes/studios to the general public and are there to answer questions and show people around. Every time I go I leave feeling so inspired!

    Yesterday my boyfriend and I visited Catherine Cleary. I met her at the library's opening reception and just knew that I had to see more of her work! She had a clay sculpture of an iguana perched on a log holding an umbrella. It was amazing.  I was wearing a vintage polyester dress and she told me about her mother's bright pink polyester outfit. She promised that she'd show it to me if I visited her studio. Sure enough, as I walked in, she said, "Pink polyester!" (It was fabulous. I really wanted her to wear it!). 

    Swine lake by Catherine Cleary
    Catherine gets most of her inspiration from animals. Her pieces have an illustration quality ( Catherine's other love is drawing), are humorous, amazingly realistic and whimsical. Catherine creates her sculptures with low fire clay. Much of the form is made from slab construction. She adds all the details my hand with her "many many tools". After she bisque fires she achieves much of the color with underglazes. First she paints it with a black underglaze, then washes it off. Then she hand paints the colored underglazes, and puts a clear matte glaze over all of it. Catherine's studio was filled with pictures, toys, tools, creepy dolls with bad haircuts that she picked up at flea markets. I could feel the creative energy! I really just loved Catherine- her gregarious personality, her openness, and of course her art. 
    Visit Catherine Cleary's website HERE to see all of her work.

    Do these stripes make me look fat? by Catherine Cleary
    This is my favorite:
    Octopuppet by Catherine Cleary

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    Monkey Mugs

    Back when I was in college I would spend countless nights working on my thesis (50 thrown and altered/ carved bowls) until the wee hours of the morning. At times I would get tired of carving, and being the middle of the night with a huge amount of pressure to get my work finished I would be a little, well, crazy. On one of those nights I compulsively started making monkey mugs. With banana handles.  They were hand built from low-fire clay and glazed brightly with majolica. They were very cartoonish, crude, and weird. The monkey mugs were definitely a change from my usual work! 
    As I've begun to take my pottery more seriously and have been trying to produce work, my mind keeps revisiting those monkey mugs. The other night I was sitting in my studio wondering what to make. Here's what came out:

    I sort of love it. I think I'll make more! Maybe going crazy in the middle of the night has its benefits.

    Monday, September 26, 2011


    A couple nights ago I had my big event... I invited LOTS of people over and displayed almost all the work I've created over the years. I had ceramics, of course, but also everything I've made with my other creative endeavor, ReLove Projects. I had a really amazing response to all of it, which was nice. It was great to be joined by Erin King of Deadwilder and Kurt VanMarth of Swear Jar Designs too. I scored a couple of Erin's prints and my daughter picked up a silver paper airplane necklace from Kurt (she hasn't stopped wearing it!). Everyone that came had a sort of creative energy- many were artists in their own way, so it was a fun crowd. The big hit of the party was my boyfriend's photo booth. It was hilarious to go back through afterwards and see what people did! I think the photo booth deserves it's own post, so when I need a good laugh I'll put up some of those pictures.
    Dead Wilder 

    My encaustic work

    ReLove Projects

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    Photo Booth

    My boyfriend, Brad (of Torchlight Photography), will have a face-altering photo booth set up at the art party this weekend. It should be LOTS of fun! (we had a lot of fun with it, as you can see!)

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    Mug in Action- Brad

    I offered to make my boyfriend a custom mug- anything he wanted. He asked if I could make a mug with his tattoo on it... Yes, yes I can! 

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    In bisque-ness!

    Sorry, I couldn't resist that horrible pun! It's true though, I am firing away- I unloaded my first bisque firing today! It was a small load because a) I wasn't sure if the kiln would work b) I only have one shelf for it at the moment and c) because I haven't been able to make stuff lately (the art school started the fall session last week). The kiln did work, so now I have some test tiles, the beginning of 3 mugs, a snail container and parts to THIS necklace. One more step in the right direction...

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    Being an Artist

    I realized something. Since graduating in 2004 with my BFA I have only been half-assing it as an artist. I haven't submitted my work to a gallery (ever! not once!), I haven't put myself "out there", I haven't networked. My reasoning was that I wanted to draw a line between my art and a career, but then I'd have fantasies about making art as a career. By fantasy I mean that I would daydream endlessly about life as an artist. Kind of hard to achieve that dream if I'm only making art for myself and never taking risks to put it out in the world!
     Last month, when I was out at the First Friday Art Walk in Denver, I had a thought that my work was just as good as a lot of the pieces being shown in galleries. I picked up a postcard for a juried show at a gallery I liked, and very quietly created and submitted an encaustic piece. I guess I was quiet about it because there was the chance that it wouldn't get accepted... But it did! I got the call today that my work was juried into the show! Hurrah!
    Floating by Anne Pendergrast, encaustic, 2011
    This is the piece that will be in the show. If you'd like to come to the opening reception it is this Friday, September 9, from 6-9pm at Core New Art Space

    I feel like this is the beginning of being a "real" artist. I'm thinning the line (or moving it?) between creating art because I love to, but also creating art to support myself. 

    Friday, September 2, 2011

    You're invited!

    Who: Mud Whimsy
    and possibly others...

    What: An art party! Let's call it a pARTy

    When: Saturday, September 24th, 2011 
    6-9 p.m.

    Where: My house
     (if you're in the Boulder area and not already 
    on my mailing list email me at 
    and I'll send you an official invite with the address)

    Why: To celebrate the completion of the Mud Whimsy Studio!
     And to see/ buy art! Yay art! 

    P.S.- I will be making pesto (that's the color I painted the studio) with fresh homegrown basil!

    P.P.S. Feel free to bring kids, friends, significant others. All are welcome! Except cats, because I'm allergic. 

    18th Anniversary

    Yesterday I sold my Earthy Spotted Mug to a woman celebrating her 18th wedding anniversary. I didn't know this before but porcelain is the gift to give for 18 years together! I love that my mug got to be part of such a special event. Happy Anniversary!

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011

    Overthrown: Clay Without Limits, Part Three

    On Friday I went to the Denver Art Museum's special exhibit Marvelous Mud: Clay Around the World. This is Part Three of my highlights from the exhibition Overthrown: Clay Without Limits

    This piece is titled Mast Year by Mia Mulvey. At first sight it was sweet and cute, then upon closer examination and seeing the birds and butterflies tied to the tree with cable ties it became quite a bit darker!

    I LOVED this piece! I couldn't find the definite marker for it, but I believe is by Del Harrow, titled Copper Fade. This piece was allowed to be touched, which I always enjoy! Maybe it's the tactile part of me that helped me become an artist in the first place. 

    And finally, a piece by the beloved Jeanne Quinn. She never stops impressing me! This piece is called You Are The Palace, You Are The Forest

    That concludes my highlights of the exhibit Overthrown: Clay Without Limits. There were many more pieces in the show that were amazing... I highly recommend visiting the Denver Art Museum to see it for yourself!