Friday, January 30, 2009

Happy Friday

Clay "Love" plaques

Happy Friday everyone! We are set to get more snow. We are all feeling a bit better, so hopefully we can enjoy this next snowfall fully. What ever your plans, have a GREAT weekend everyone! I'll be finishing up the Mini Scarlett, and a Taboo and cleaning up a shelf full of new clay pieces. I'm gearing up for Valentine's Day!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Currently on Sale. Sale ends tonight.

Today was a day of making alot of things on my wheel. I was totally entranced with the clay today. I pulled on the wheel and made a few hand build pieces, but didn't enjoy the process of hand building as much as I thought I would. My hat goes off to those who can stamp, carve and build pieces without a wheel. It's more difficult than it looks.

I anticipated getting photos on the blog of the various pieces I made today, but I must confess this illness has gotten the better of me this evening. The chills, headache and general ickiness I'm feeling is over powering any desire to show off what I've accomplished today. So, I'll keep the photos for tomorrow. In the meantime, if you missed the ad for the little pony I'm selling you can catch it here on the blog. Just click the link above. Catch you all tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mini Talk

I almost didn't want to post today cause I was really enjoying those two shots of summer from yesterday, but work really does go on and there is exciting stuff happening in the studio despite the slight blue feelings that pop up here and there.

Mini Scarlett in progress

I wanted to share with you one major piece that is almost near finish in the studio. It's a Mini Scarlett in dappled bay. As my space becomes sparse here in the house and studio the more I am loving the smaller pieces. This mini was a commission slot offered as a "send me your bays" deal.

I get on these jags were I just want to paint one color. I'm happy customers like the colors I want to paint too! Once I paint the color that has been nagging I then I have to paint another color. Right now I'm sorta feeling the need to paint up a black and tan with a few tan dapples along the barrel. of those Mini Doodlebugs that were just released would look smashing with such a color on. Hmm....I need to quiet my mind I think and just finish all that I have started in January. Hard to believe it's almost February. But....after February i'ts March and that means spring and I love the sound of that word!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Shadow dancing


.....for summer. Not 'cause I'm sick of the cold or hate the snow. I long for days without the flu, colds, and general sickness. I long for the lazy lumbering days of summer. How about you?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Good to Be Away

It was good to be away for the weekend, but it was also great to return home. I wasn't expecting anything more than having alone/me time from the weekend and I walked away not only feeling totally enriched, but I walked away having made some wonderful new friends.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

On Retreat

I'm on a Catholic retreat this weekend. Twelve members of our congregation were asked to join in a very special program at a Long Island seminary. I'm very happy for the opportunity and am enjoying my first day so far. Well, the day is over now. It's actually the next day and I'm just trying to catch hubby online so I can chat with him. Email love letters I guess you could call it.

My room

The accommodations are really nice and strikingly similar to my very first dorm room at Marywood College (now University). as a freshman college student.....learning art.....that was many, many moons ago.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Goodies for Valentine's Day

Today is almost over. It has been a very busy day. I have yet to sit and take a breather. I am very much looking forward to relaxing soon and playing Candyland with Francesco. Despite the whirlwind of the day I did make nice progress on the china pieces for Valentine's Day.

PS: I'm totally hooked on this Peter Gabriel song.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Work Continues

Valentine's Day china

This morning I broke the news to my son that we lost Odin. I had been preparing him for Odin's death, but he was still upset to hear the news. Odin was the only rattie I would allow him to hold and pet. I believe that children should learn how to respect animals and treat them well even if they are just children. Later today we will bid Odin farewell for good and then take his little decorated box to the shed outside. The first moment the cold spell breaks I'll bury him in the far corner of my beloved garden. A fitting send off to a beloved pet.

Despite the upset, work continues here. I am preparing for Valentine's Day with a few "mice" boxes and really cool espresso cups! I love these cups and am so excited to bring the ideas in my head onto the porcelain. The work is moving quickly. Much quicker than I expected. I poured all my energy into painting last night and this morning. It felt good and was therapeutic.

New Idocus hangin' out in the kitchen

Another exciting project just starting to brew here in the studio is another JAH painting tutorial (May/June). I'll be creating a roan painting tutorial on the brand new Idocus mold. I'm totally and utterly smitten with this new mold. He is wonderful. I love him! He arrived from the company at the perfect time to cheer me up.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sad Day In The Studio

My boy Odin

It is a sad day today in the studio. Odin, my most favorite little rattie, died today. I knew this day was coming, but wasn't there when he passed. He was still warm when I came to his carry case to help feed him. The studio seems odd without him. I had grown so attached to him during my father-in-law's illness last year and our bonding continued up until today.

Goodbye sweet Odin. I will miss you.

Monday, January 19, 2009


More snow!

As suspected, my son's illness on Friday hit me yesterday!


So, I am here sniffling, sneezing and coughing. It will be a day of tea, movies (more Wall-E), homemade soup and a bit of backing up files from my computer. We will probably go out later and play a bit in the snow. It's hard to resist the fresh snow especially when it looks like its good for making snowmen. I love the winter. I especially love the snow, but hate the sickness that comes along with the long winter months.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Alone Time

Ideas for hand building

I needed a bit of alone time this weekend. Just me, and my thoughts walking in the cold. When I lived at home with my parents in PA I would walk every day in the woods. I walked when it was sunny, when it was snowing and I even walked when it rained. I loved to walk and take in the smell and sights of my woods.

These days I rarely get home to PA and I find that when I haven't had time outdoors, even if it is walking on concrete, I seem to get cranky. So yesterday I took my sketchbook with me and headed out for a nice walk. The wind and cold didn't bother me. It always feels great to just walk. I eventually found myself at the sushi restaurant and penned a few new ideas for vessels.

More ideas penned out

I plan on exploring hand building this week. I want to become very comfortable with adding pieces to leather hard clay since I will be doing more of this when I cast my porcelain pieces from porcelain slip. I want hand building to become second nature and I want to make all the necessary mistakes with my pottery. Pottery seems to be so forgiving.

Chips of the new glazes I received

It just wants to "be" and doesn't care if its floppy or straight. It doesn't care if the glaze runs or if it stays right where you anticipated it to stay. Pottery is beautiful even as a simple glaze chip. I believe that is why I am enjoying it so much. There are rules, but those rules can be broken and in many cases breaking the rules produces even more beautiful pottery.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Slow Kinda Day

One stamp design for my pottery

A whole week of school ends with....(drumroll)....a fever and cold for my little one. I suppose its best to get these things out of the way early on, huh? Unfortunately, I suspect that both hubby and myself will be enjoying the fun sometime next week.

So, today proved to be a very slow day of puttering around with some stamp design ideas and getting my reference book for my china painting and ceramic ware up to date. Stuff that I could do at my leisure as water boiled for tea or while cartoons were on. The tons of magazines that arrive at our doorstep are like gold.

Keeping my reference books filled

I scour through all of them for inspiration. Its great to see what companies are producing for the house and home and I especially love anything ceramic. The colors and shapes always spark ideas.

The weekend will be a quiet one. I anticipate making more headway on updating my ceramics website. I'll be sending out advertisements soon so I want to make sure the site is tidy and up to date.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


In the drying room

This week was a very productive week both in the studio and family-wise. Family-wise our son is learning how to print his letters and has been engaged and excited about learning. His enthusiasm is totally infectious.

Studio-wise I was able to FINALLY begin molding my rattie sculpt "Listen". The use of Legos as mold boxes has made things so much easier and has helped me to visualize how to tackle more complicated molds. Granted, a tail (or long coil) is not too technically advanced, but without the proper tools and experience moldmaking it is a shape that can overwhelm. As you can see, its molded and I'm jumping into the body of the rattie next week.

Plaster mold (for ceramic production) of a tail

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wall Hangers

Wall hanger with lace impressions

I tend to hoard things. If something rips or breaks I can not throw it away. I have a special area in my storage room for items like broken china, ripped jeans, and old pillows with lace coverings. You just never know when you'll need that special "something" to complete a project.

Recently I saw some hand built clay items online. A few of these pieces had every day objects like baskets and leaves pressed into the clay. A fascinating idea that I decided to take even further by pressing an old lace pillow into my clay. The lace left gorgeous marks that were the perfect addition to a few vessels that were less than spectacular.

Another wall hanger

Lace impressions

This afternoon I have two more of these wall hangers cookin' in the kiln with a few other items. I'm excited to bring them to finish fully with the new glazes I acquired. I'm really getting inspired by hand building and have set aside just a little bit of time after working on the visiting Mini Scarlett tomorrow for more hand building with clay.

Just a quick aside...."Listen" the rattie had her tail molded in plaster this morning. I'm very happy to say that it came out brilliantly with the use of those Legos! I'm so fired up! So very fired up about mold making right now. It's making me want to finish all the wax sculpts I started.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

First Week

Cone 6 firing early in the morning

The week was the first week of school for my little one. I still can't believe we are at this stage already. I'm happy to report that he LOVES school and has been the very last student out of the classroom two days in a row 'cause he is enjoying himself. He is filled with excitement and has been chattering away about every aspect of his new routine. I love it. I'm so thrilled he is so happy.

Of course, the three hours he is away in school I have been down in the studio. I haven't had this much time to myself during the daytime in....well, I really don't remember when! I don't even know where to start my conversation since I have so much going on in the studio this week. Let's see....test strips are being made for all those wonderful new glazes I received for Christmas. I'm also testing colors on my porcelain clay. I pulled about 5 new vessels this week too and have more clay wedges ready for Thursday's session. Today and tomorrow are horse days. I'm hunkerin' down and making progress on the Mini Scarlett that is visiting me and am finishing up the Taboo. He's lovely and I wish I didn't have to give him up. But it's ok, both are going to great homes and will be enjoyed I'm sure.

There is a ton of other stuff going on too, most of which involves clay and wax. Lots of hand building with clay going on here and I have to confess that I'm loving it.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


My victim for the latest JAH article
coming soon!

Damn....those Legos are sexy things!!!!

I've never, till this weekend, created such a clean and lovely mold. It held together wonderfully and was perfect in every respect. I'm a very happy gal and am totally, 100% ready to tackle the rattie mold. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you Lesli Kathman!

Other things that have been inspiring me this weekend are some amazing lidded vessels by Kristin Kieffer. Man, those are gorgeous! Also jazzin' me up is the Bollywood inspired pieces by Charan Sachar. Aren't they cool?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Creative Roll

A newly finished Vixen resin

I'm totally on a creative roll right now. I'm finishing up projects and diving into the mold making process for these projects. After seeing Lesli Kathman's use of Legos on her blog I finally felt the little light bulb go on and realized that this mold making monster could be harnessed and controlled here in my own studio. I feel much more confident molding the more difficult pieces I've sculpted. I have no idea if I'm cutting the molds correctly, but I suppose I will learn through trail and error. All I really know is it really stinks not to be creating and I'm so very glad the holidays and sicknesses are over with because I feel lost without busy hands. I found the following quote by Pearl Buck in my travels recently:.

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanely sensitive. To them....a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create-so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off... They must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating."

No truer words were ever spoken! Without art and creativity I think I would shrivel up and die.

"Harriet" a hedgehog mate for Hedgie
and their little ones together

Large mouse on pillow

Flat equine medallion/plaque

Small medallion

Diving into mold making

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Half the Week....GONE!

Basket of award medallions

Wow! Half the week is almost over already and I've hardly blogged!

My main focus this week has been my son. We have come to a crossroads and have felt that he is ready for school. He talks about going all the time now and after meeting with the principal of the school I want to send him to, have decided it will be most beneficial for him to be social and involved. He is so excited about starting on Monday. I'm not as excited. Even though I'll have studio time again during the day my heart sinks. He is really growing and I never thought this stage would be here so quickly. It's here. I need to keep tears to a minimum on Monday....and today...and for the rest of the week.

Ornament from my Secret Santa.
I LOVE this ornament...the drawing,
the color and that touch-o-bling...perfect!

Work will keep the sappiness from invading me totally. Seventy award medallions for the Midwinter's Night Ball have been keeping me on my toes. It took about six firings in my little kiln Starbuck to get the job done. More and more I'm coming to realize that I truly need a new kiln. I need to breach this subject in 2009.

Best steal of the holiday. $2 at the local Rite Aid

The house will also keep me focused. The Christmas tree comes down today and I get to hold and admire my favorite ornaments one more time until next year. Normally I leave the tree up long after the celebration of the Epiphany, but this year I want everything Christmas out of my life. Except for a few new ornaments I acquired this holiday, the actual holiday was awful. I want to forget it.

I'll be back tomorrow with photos of all the sculpts I'll be focusing on next week. For the rest of this week I'm being held captive by a JAH deadline.....hopefully this will keep sappy thoughts at bay too.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Without at Mezcal's

Crayon and graphite sketch
of Mezcal's in Bay Ridge

We went out last night for drinks and a few laughs with close friends. The 80 minute wait for Outback was unreasonable so we found ourselves cruising the Bay Ridge area for eats and we found ourselves at a Mexican restaurant called Mezcal's.

I'm game for anything and I especially love a good margarita so waiting for a table wasn't an issue. The whole placed smelled wonderful and the servers were really very polite and kept us updated on the status of our table as we waited. I specifically didn't bring my sketchbook or camera last night because my sketching, when we go out with close friends, really bothers my husband. My attention wanders off and I get caught up in colors and form and I tend to retreat from the conversations and it becomes annoying for everyone. So, I left the art goodies on my night stand.

Boy, was I wrong for leaving those items home! Not only was this place full of life with so many different types of people enjoying their meals, but the place was the most colorful restaurant I have EVER had the pleasure of dining in. There were tons of fun things to look at on every inch of the walls. The tables had a myriad of hand painted tiles to enjoy too and the big chili pepper heart that hung from the ceiling was a trip. That heart totally directed you to the bar which, I must add, made the very best frozen margaritas I think i have ever tasted. The moment you asked for a drink it was served.

Every bit of food that was placed on the table was fresh and delicious and we wound up ordering doubles of a few items like the guacamole because it was just so yummy. The food and the fun atmosphere proved to be a perfect pair for a night out with friends. We will return, but next time I WILL bring my camera and sketchbook, although I think I captured some of the "flair" of Mezcal's with crayons fairly well this morning.

Find or review a restaurant in your area at: Urban Spoon.

Mezcal's D'Os Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, January 2, 2009

Shoes & Clothes

What Santa brought

Most women I know are shoe and clothing hounds. At our own Christmas celebration there were at least two pairs of new boots circulating. Squeals were heard when the boots were lifted from the boxes. I was unimpressed. My oohs and aahhs came when my sister-in-law handed me a heavy shipping box. Ooooh...I could feel the weight of the glaze jars inside. Ahhh....I couldn't wait to make my test samples and try out my favorite glazes on vessels from this shipping order from Georgies.

For this woman nothing makes me drool as heavily as color. Rich, vibrant and varying color neatly contained in little jars. Everyone knows me in my family by now. I ask for the most odd gifts when we exchange. This year it was 37 jars of glaze samples from Georgies. I have only six stoneware sample chips ready for glaze. I should have made more and should have been prepared for today. My fingers are itchy to use the new glazes. So, today I spent some time making a slew of sample chips. Glaze, here I come!