Friday, November 9, 2012

American Craft Council

This blogpost has been sitting in my drafts for about a year and a half. This was my first and only time taking part in the American Craft Council show. I was honored to have a spot for new up and coming artists. But taking part in the show had some snags and stresses in it, as well as being not very lucrative, so I decided to do it again. At least for now. Here are some pictures of booths that I found interesting. Figuring out the display is probably one of the hardest things.

What's in a mug?

A lot of people I meet have no idea about the process of ceramics. So I made a little process diary I would like to share about the different steps it takes to make one of my mugs.

Day 1: I typically throw multiples, typically about 10 in one day at the moment. Since the process is relatively elaborate I prefer not to do too many at once if I can.
I pull the handles first and let them dry on a table, then I throw each cup, cut it off the bat with a wiggle wire and line them up on a board. Depending on the season, I wrap it up lightly for the next day, so they can all dry out a little for the next step.

Day 2: I attach the handles and wrap everything up again. This allows the handles and cups to reach the same level of moisture, so they can dry evenly without cracking. If one part was drier than the other, cracking will most likely occur.

Day 3: Now the cups are still slightly moist, but not too wet. The trick with a lot of the process is catching the clay at just the right moisture level. At this stage I can still carve and stamp the clay.

Day 4: The clay is bone dry. It can still crumble in your hands if too much pressure is applied.
Now the underglaze is applied. Right after I brush it on, I wipe it right off with a moist sponge. The underglaze stays in the cracks and shows off the drawing nicely.

Day 5: Cups are ready to be bisque fired. That involves loading them into the electric kiln and firing it to cone 04 (about 1800 degrees Fahrenheit). Takes about a day with the cool down period.

Day 6: Unload the bisque kiln (pic 1 is how the cup looks after firing 1), glaze the cup (pic 2 with glaze applied), fire it again for one day to cone 7 (about 2100 degrees Fahrenheit), and then you have the finished mug! Ready for close up so it be uploaded to etsy!
Each cup has gone through my hands about 8 times during the week at various stages until it was done. Did you know that's what's in a handmade mug!

Monday, June 13, 2011

New Work

Phew. It's been a year exactly since my last post.
I almost forgot how to sign back into this, pathetic.

But, I'm committed to keeping this up, especially since I've had a couple of new interesting requests come up in the last month from random people over the internets. Since I am planning on expanding my business I have to keep this going.
And today I created a brand new piece that has been perculating in my head for the past 5 years and a small sample has been created. Woohoo. Nice, when it all comes together all of a sudden.

The idea started while I was in Switzerland on a ski lift and looked at the mountains and the receding tree lines. Somehow that picture and feeling stuck with me for all these years and since I like to sew and love fabric this is what came together today. Just a start, but I definitely see larger pieces in this style, maybe even incorporating paint. I may dip the threads of this piece into black die, we'll see. I'm excited.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Jonathan Adler Video

love this guy.
Let me not forget to slave away. That's what it takes!
So talented...

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Wow, I have not written anything in forever (how many blog posts start like that..).
I have been sewing and working some in the studio, although not as ferociously as before. After the big order for Dubai and the American Craft Council show (which sucked, btw) I was sucked dry.
All the remaining energy goes to life as it's lived and my new passion: Capoeira. I don't think I even mentioned it anywhere here yet. I started shortly before Thanksgiving when a friend showed me a postcard she had picked up in Little 5 Points. First class is free! Let's do it. So we drag ourselves to the 8:15 class in the evening. I remember thinking (not knowing one thing about it) "what if i really like this?". Well, this is what happens if you really like something: You make time for it, get fit, are sore, learn a lot, make new friends, and get in touch with a lot of things that make you up and grow from there. Capoeira is an amazing sport, philosophy, culture, that one cannot sum up in a few sentences. And I am the wrong person to write about it. Anyway, it's something I love now and maybe part of the reason my energy has been diverted. I am happy I am exercising again and I am getting fitter. I am learning a lot, which I missed. Of course now is summertime and my priorities are my kids, husband, and Capoeira. A little bit of pottery. I am really going to get in gear in the fall, when both kids are in school and I can focus on my business again. Lots of thinking going on, but I have to be patient with myself. Nothing big is going to happen in that department for a few months. So, I may be posting a few things here and there, but for now, just a brief update and what's going on. Of course, that reminds me that I have some Capoeira mugs in the oven; I am putting some decals on for my teachers... Peace & Axé!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ritz Carlton, Dubai

For the past 2 months I have been very busy at work with another commission.
There are 5 24" carved discs and 9 20" squares that have to be done.
At this point I am almost done. A couple more firings and gilding of 3 squares and it's finally over. It's been so challenging and physically strenuous, but I learned so much from's been worth the pain, but I can't wait to get a massage at this point. So here are pictures of the process, trials and errors.
I have done the discs before for the Hotel Felix in Chicago - just in a much smaller size.

Continuing the journey... Germany!

I have abandoned the blog for a while, I didn't take the time and didn't see the point of continuing it, but as I talked to Jeanette a while ago I realized it is a great record for myself. And so I have renewed energy to continue - for myself. It is too much pressure to think about others, how it could be perceived, etc. I am not a writer and I can't just focus on pottery alone. I can't take a stance and write about important issues in ceramics. I can only write about myself and my life with my kids and friends and family and all the little things that bring me joy (and sadness on occasion). So, if you care to read about it you're welcome to it, but don't expect greatness.

So, let me play catch up with all the little things that happened since last time.
I got to go to Germany for a weekend last November. By myself. To surprise my parents!
It was time for the annual fair and I missed it so. It was great.
Ferris wheel, Kettenkarusel, and the only stained glass project I have ever attempted and gave to my mother...