Thursday, November 30, 2006

Trip to the City

I had a good trip to Charlotte yesterday. I delivered and set up my pots at Clayworks for their annual Holiday Open House. It's tomorrow night 6pm until 9pm and Saturday 10 until 3 (I think). For info call 704 344 0795. Location is 301 East 9th Street. I'll be there tomorrow night.

I enjoy going into the city. There's so much happening and always something new to see. Julie and Amy and I went out for lunch after we set our work up. These girls always make me laugh. Charlotte has a pretty good clay community and lots of my friends are there. I don't think I'd like to live there. I couldn't take living in a neighborhood, or the traffic. But I would like to live about 30 miles closer, it would afford me the opportunity to go more and explore and enjoy the culture. As it is, I am 50 miles away in the country which is wonderful, no close neighbors, no traffic, no rush and hustle. It's good out here in the "sticks" as Julie would say.

This weekend my Holiday Open House continues and concides with the Winter Arts Tour. Hours are Saturday 10 am till 5 pm and Sunday Noon until 4pm. I have lots of pots in the showroom so please come out.

I am also having pots featured, along with 3 other potters, at the Foothills Conservancy of NC Gala this Saturday night. I was honored to be asked to have my work shown during this event.

That's if for this little update.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

New stuff

Every so often, maybe every 4 months or so, I get this hankering to do something new in clay. I think, "it would be fun to do some earthenware", or " I wonder if I can draw on these pots ", or "I want some glazes in my cups that are colorful". It can go on for a while and sometimes I'll try a little this or that and move on. I get it out of my system and go back to making simple, mostly undecorated, salt glazed pots... the pots I love...the pots I was meant to make... the pots I know best.

There has to be something said about going deep into one's work. It's easy in clay to get carried away into a wide stream of doing and trying everything. It's tempting too, there is sooo much out there. I love a lot of it (and hate some of it too), but in the past few years I have become much more open minded about pots and appreciating what other's do. I'm not the 'pottery snob' I used to be. (Not all the time anyway). I see my work best when it is in some setting other than my showroom. I love to go to a friend's house and see my dishes in the cupboard, or better yet on the table full of food. Or often when I set up at a show and see my pots in a new place, I can appreciate their goodness and my hard work.

I am writing this because now is one of those times when I am thinking about trying some new stuff. Just for fun, just to see, it's okay to do that...right? Right. Honestly, thinking about it is more fun that actually doing it. It's hard to switch gears when it's a different firing range, different glazes, different clay, etc. It would be easier just to invade someone's studio and say, "hey can I play with all YOUR stuff for a while?" What I will probably do is think about it for a while longer and then get back to work on my pots, discovering small nuances as I go on making cups and bowls and plates and bakers and all the things that make me happy and flow when I am at the wheel. I want to continue to go deeper with my pots, in a slow bit by bit way, naturally, pot by pot.

Joe Bennion has a nice post up on his Potter's Journal that really speaks to me, it's titled "the P word". Check it out.


This morning I am going to Charlotte to deliver some pots to Clayworks for their Sale this weekend. The opening is Friday night and the sale continues on Saturday. I don't have the specifics in front of me but I'll try and get them up here later. It's a fun time with a show of student work and a sale of work made by instructors and resident artists.

It's been unseasonably warm this week. I took advantage of that yesterday to get out and mix clay. I was glad to get that off my list. It will come out of the racks in 10-14 days and should be enough to last me through the colder months.

That's it for now. Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pots in Use

Tom sent me this image of three of my pots being put to use at lunch one day.

If you have a image of my work being put to use you can email me an image and I'll post it on the Potter's Journal.


I have always loved John Leach's pots. I like the humble, direct nature of the work. I love that he is dedicated to making utilitarian ware, the toasted, woodfired surfaces are warm and inviting. The pots are not over done or over decorated, (or decorated at all for the most part). The website has been updated recently and you can view a whole range of pots for the kitchen by clicking on the 'online shop' tab.

For some inspirational reading material go to There are some really great essays here written by people of all ages from all walks of life. All 500 words or less. Check it out.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Monster Tree

No potting today. I had an appointment with the eye doctor this morning for my regular exam, I think it's been about 2 years and I am ready for new glasses. I hate the going to the eye doc, I can't stand it when she shines that bright light in my eyes. It reminds me of my childhood alien abduction. (more on that some other time). I could just scream when she does that. Anyhow I survived.

Then it was off to the Arts Council to help set up for the Winter Arts Tour kick off party which is Friday night. I had to help assemble this huge, monster, artificial, Christmas tree. First we had to lug it down from upstairs storage, which was about 20 trips. Then figure out how to get it together and get all the lights working. I don't really like Christmas trees(except the Charlie Brown variety), and I have never liked to decorate them. So bah-humbug to that. Ha!

Anyway it was a good day all in all.

Oh yeah. The first weekend of my Pottery Sale was a big success. Thanks to all that came out. I still have lots of pots so come on by this weekend if you get the chance.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


The Holiday Sale got off to a great start on Friday and carried on through Saturday. I am hoping I'll have some customers today as well. I am finally getting some images up.
Here's an envelope vase with slip pours. I like this deco a lot. I tell folks it's my Tokyo pattern. I pretty much just made that up one day. It's good to have a name for stuff. Sorry about that glare. Here's another one with my Oribe inspired deco.
Showroom all stocked up.
More pots.

Some new pots

Here are a few pots from the last firing. These are new ideas that I am trying out. The first is an ovalish bowl with handles and oribe inspired deco. These are front and backside images.
I tried out some drawing on some mugs. I like this incised line better than I like the brushwork. It's more my style. I especially like the dog. The images wrap around the pots. I'll try and get and image of that up later.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Holiday Pottery Sale

No photos of the unloading. Sorry, it was a rush of a day. Thanksgiving lunch with my family, then home to unload, sand, dust and price pots, then off to Sarah's folks for supper. It's been busy and I am full of turkey and all kinds of other foods.

The Holiday Pottery Sale starts tomorrow, Friday from 10 am till 5pm
Saturday 10 am till 5 pm and
Sunday Noon till 4 pm
It will also be next weekend Sat Dec 2 10 am till 5 pm and
Sun Dec 3 Noon till 4 pm

The shelves in the showroom are fully stocked with lots of good pots. I hope you can make it out.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Today's firing went well. The image below was taken just after I added the salt to the kiln. This next image was taken just after 5pm when I had finished the firing. I had shut down the kiln and walked out of the shed. I looked to the east and this is what I saw. I am taking this as a good omen. I will unload on Thursday.

Videos on my Journal

Okay this could get dangerous. I just figured out how to post from Youtube to my blog. I can see this being useful in many ways. Maybe I could shoot a little clip of me throwing or firing or something really exciting. My new laptop, yes Santa came early, has a built in video camera so I could potentially do a little 'Pottery News' clip and post it. That would be cool, eh? I got the idea from Danny Gregory. Well stay tuned and as soon as I figure out how to do more I'll let you know. For now, enjoy the song and video from They Might be Giants in the previous post. I loved this band when I was in college and have rediscovered them. Very fun and uplifting.

They Might Be Giants - Dr. Worm

Whenever I need a little boost I listen to this song and watch this video.


Not much to report on pottery related at the moment. The kiln is firing. I will be cleaning the studio and showroom today.

Here are somethings to keep you occupied until I get a decent post up. These are things I have been looking at on the web lately. A slipware potter from the UK that I like. He has a blog too. My mom's maiden name is Fitch, maybe we are related. This my favorite Youtube video right now. One of my favorite artists. This is fun, click to change colors. I love these drawings and he updates almost daily.

I can't think of more at the moment and I guess I'd better get to work anyhow.
Have a great day.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Kiln Loaded

I got the kiln loaded today. I got a late start and finished up just as it was getting dark. I will light the burners tonight and fire tomorrow, hopefully finishing up fairly early. I forgot to take a picture of the front stack, but here's the back. I had lots of smaller pots, cups, bowls, trays. bottles and such. It was sort of a weird load, but I got everything in I wanted to. I'll have pics up on Thursday (I hope) of the unloading.
That's it for now.

Friday, November 17, 2006


The announcement postcard for my Holiday Sale went out today. Finally! I have never been this late getting them out. They look great. UPS delivered them before noon and I had them labeled and stamped within an hour. I took over 500 to the post office and slid them down the chute.

I have my shelves all scraped and the kiln all ready to load. I will finish this bisque in a few hours. I am looking forward to this firing. I look forward to all my firings really. Salt glazing is something that is never exactly the same twice. Each pot is an individual and the surfaces are my favorite of all the kinds of pots out there. I love the orange peel texture and shiny surface on the clay. I like the way the slips flash, and how stacking the kiln has a huge say in how the pots look. I look forward to making the next load of pots although it will be the first of January before I really get back to it. I am also thinking I'll be rebuilding my kiln in the next year or so. I'd like for it to be just a little bigger, I want to make some bigger bowls and get more plates and wider pots in every load.

I hope you all have a good weekend. I may get in a post or two before Monday, so check in and see.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Getting ready to bisque

Today I cut feet on some cups and also got them slipped. I will load a bisque tomorrow and clean kiln shelves and get the salt kiln all set up to fire.
The photos are the cut feet, the slipped yunomi, and a couple boards of pots that will go in the bisque with many others.

Thursday Morning

Today will cut feet on some cups and get them slipped and I will be all finished with the pots for next weeks firing. I will get the last bisque fired tomorrow. It feels good to be at the end of my making cycle. I had to force myself to stop making pots yesterday. It's hard to quit once I get going sometimes and I kept thinking, "I should make just a few of these."

My Holiday Pottery Sale is next week. I hope to have a good turnout. Here are the dates and times.
Nov. 24th 10 till 5
Nov. 25th 10 till 5
Nov. 26th Noon till 4
It will also be the following weekend:
Dec. 2 10 till 5
Dec. 3 Noon till 4

I'll post some pics tonight. Sarah has been taking the laptop to work everyday so I have no access to the internet during the day. I have written Saint Nick asking for my own computer for Christmas this year. Maybe he'll bring it early. That's it for now. Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What a day.

Oh boy am I glad the day is over. It's past 11 pm and I am going to bed soon, I just wanted to get in a quick post.

I have had a doosey of a day. First of all I have been pulling what little hair I have left out worrying about getting my announcements printed for my upcoming Holiday Sale. I have been trying to get this done since last Thursday. Today, with help from a friend, I got my postcards designed, uploaded, and ordered. They are going out late but it will be fine. Last night I thought I was going to throw myself out the window.

Today was super busy from the get go. I had pots to finish, a board meeting at the Arts Council, a customer who came by for a special order, spinach dip to make, the trip to my friend's house in Charlotte for help with the postcards, and then on to teach from 7 until 9:30. Whew. This was the last class of the session. We had a potluck supper and some folks finished up some pots and I gave feedback on handles and a couple other things. I have enjoyed teaching and will be back when the next session begins in January. I had a good group of students and most of them signed up to take from me again.

Well that's it for now. I will sleep better tonight for sure.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Back at it.

I had no day of rest today even though it was Sunday. I got back in the studio around noon and worked till 4:30 making a few boards of plates, some mugs, small bowls, two sets of owl candle stick holders, and a couple sugar jars. And a few yunomi. A good day. Then Sarah and I went to her parents for supper, chicken and dumplings. Yum.

Yesterday was very good. I had a great show at the Carolina Pottery Festival. I sold lots of pots, mostly nice higher priced items. It felt great to be out seeing lots of folks I know and talking to them about my work. It was a high energy day, and I came away feeling very good about my pottery and knowing that much of it had gone to new homes to be loved and appreciated. Thank you to everyone who came out and visited me in my booth.

Friday night I went to Wooden Stone in Davidson, NC to the opening of Circle of Eight's show. The show looked fantastic. Jen Mecca rode up with Sarah and I. Seven of the eight were there in person at the show. The Lake Norman Art League had an opening that night too, so the gallery was very full. We sold several pots and I feel like we will sell more as the show is up. Thanks to Drew and everyone at the gallery and all who attended. I forgot to take my camera but hopefully I'll get some pics from someone to put up here soon.

Well that's it for my weekend update. Tomorrow, Monday, I will be in the studio finishing up pots and making some slab trays that will get drawings. It's going to be another busy week. I will try and post often so keep checking in. Thanks, and have a great week!!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Walking down a hill, humming a song

I got right back in the studio on Monday making pots for one more firing before my Holiday Sale here at home. I tried a new technique of faceting with a twisted wire on some cups. They came out okay but I am not sure if this is my thing. It will be fun to see them after they are fired. Yesterday I made some of my type of mugs, thrown loosely with dimples and some square ones with dimples and another set of square ones that will have slip pours. I also made some bakers and oval envelope vases. Those vases were good sellers at ACC. I love when I am making things and I just know/feel that it is good and mine. Natural. Hamada said making pots should be like walking down a hill in a gentle breeze. (or something like that). I felt that yesterday. I had the R.E.M. song 'We Walk' from the Mumur album stuck in my head all day and it was nice to hum along as I made my pots.

So today I'll handle my cups and finish my bakers and load up all my stuff to go set up at the Carolina Pottery Festival tomorrow. The show is Saturday from 10 until 4 at the Cleveland Co. Fairgrounds.

Circle of Eight has an opening Friday night at Wooden Stone in Davidson NC from 5:30 until 9pm. I am excited about this. I hope we have a good turnout.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Do it!

What I liked at ACC

My friend Tom asked what I liked at ACC. Here are some links to exhibitors whose work I enjoyed. There were more, but I couldn't find a website for all of them. I love this jewelry. They actually have a new line coming out that I like even better than what is on the website. And I think this is one of the coolest websites I've ever seen. Awesome. I fell in love with a few of Carmen's pieces. These pots are amazing. Mary Ellen was set up across the asile from me. She had great energy and the glass sculpture she and her husband make is amazing. Mary Kesler was set up beside me and she was lots of fun too. I love Jenny's work. Marilee had some really cool ceramic art. Much of what I saw at the show isn't on this website I am afraid.
I also want to mention Greg Roche from California who was set up across from me selling leather handbags. He was great and contributed highly to the fun on our corner of the show.

Monday, November 06, 2006


I am home from the show. It went well. I sold a good number of pots and got to see many of my friends and fellow potters. I met some new artists whose work I really liked too. It's draining to be inside the Convention Center for 3 long days but I enjoyed interacting with everyone and I was lucky this time to be surrounded by other exhibitors who had good postive energy.

I'll try to post a little more later, it's a bit early and my brain isn't quite awake. Thanks to everyone who came to the show and visited my booth.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I set my booth up at the American Craft Council show yesterday. This is at the Convention Center in Charlotte and the show is Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I am so relieved that that part is over. Getting everything ready, packed, packed into the truck, driving to the show, unloading, unpacking, setting up lights, display, and arranging pots is a daunting task. But that is over for now and I have today to rest a bit and get my things together as I will be spending the weekend at fellow potter Amy Sanders' house in Charlotte. I am looking forward to all the crowds of people who come to this show. I love to interact with folks who love art and craft. It will be fun and at the end of each day I will be tired and ready for a good meal and relaxing with friends.
That's not a very good picture of my booth, the lighting is harsh, it will all look better on Friday when I get some flowers in some vases and the house lights are turned down. The pots look great though and I got some nice comments yesterday from some of my fellow exhibitors.
I don't expect I'll be posting much over the weekend. If you are in the area come on out to the show, it's well worth the $10 to get in. There are artists from all over the country in a wide range of media. I hope to see you there. My booth number is 209.