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!