Monday, November 30, 2009

Last Week.....

Holy FIRE Batman!!!
My brother in law lit the cake...
....he has a healthy sense of humor!

Last week enjoying my 30's. On Saturday the big 4 0. The week will be spend scrambling to get wares ready for the fair on Saturday and Sunday. Because I'll be busy with that affair we decided to hold birthday celebrations for me yesterday. I am tickled with the gifts of new glaze from Georgies and a new book. There were also some lovely "girly" goodies like perfume and a much needed "spa day" complete with deep tissue massage! Ahhh....I am so looking forward to that!

Now....a big scramble to the studio to get stuff done.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Candy on a Table

NEW clinky ornaments!!

I have been busy this past week. It's only Wed but it sure feels like a Friday! I've been making and glazing and firing ceramics like crazy this week! Look at all those shiny pretty colors on the new ornament! I love seeing all the finished pieces together. They remind me of candy and I can't wait to send them off to new homes.

In the mists of all this ceramic furry I also managed to create another new ornament. This one is a smaller piece and in the shape of a little fish. It was one of those sculptures that just screamed to come out. I literally dropped everything just to get the image out of my head. The idea was something flat and small and very sweet. It was pure fun.

Monday, November 23, 2009


The mess that is the studio

Whatta mess!

Yes, that shot is of my very messy and very disorganized studio. Getting ready for this show has proved to be extremely challenging. I've been literally firing all hours of the day except when I sleep. I've even started using the little Quickfire to fire up small flat pieces. I've never regreated bying that extra kiln. It's so nice to have on hand.

My photography area has turned into the "everything" section and I'm pouring molds, glazing, cleaning greenware and even painting acrylics in this station. I've also never regreted having another drafting table. It's always managed to be of use to me.

Well, back to the studio.

The "everything" section
of the studio

Friday, November 20, 2009


8 foot banner ready for the fair

10, 9, 8....

Just a couple more weeks before the Christmas Fair. It's all I've been focused on. It's all I'm working on at present. It's gonna be great this year. I have so much stuff ready to sell at the fair. I decided to splurge and purchase a banner. It was a sweet deal through Vistaprint after I ordered a ton of notecards and business cards. A definite impulse buy that I now am happy I took the plunge on cause it's a sweet lookin' banner and I can just imagine it hanging from my table.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ups and Downs

New ornament design
in the green ware stage

A day of ups and downs.

That's the description of today in a nutshell. Had some ups and had some downs. The best "up" was most definitely cleaning my new Christmas ornament because I have struggled for weeks with this design and I finally have the mold in working order. I had to let go of the lovely flow-y mane for a choppier one, but it's ok. I'm just happy to see the piece come to fruition. I hope to have at a few fired by tomorrow and at least one glazed by the weekend. It should prove to be a lovely piece for the tree.

Another "up" was receiving the first Christmas presents from one of my dear online friends. I took this shot before I opened it. It was wrapped so pretty and I sat and just enjoyed it fully. The piece inside (a ceramic) was gorgeous. I'm totally inspired! I've also solved a few problems I was having with pin designs through this gift. I will treasure it not only for it's beauty, but for the knowledge it afforded me. Thank you! You know who you are! It totally made my day.

I love that tag!

The "down" part today was having to turn down another job for 2010 because my kiln is too small. I could not, in good conscience, go forward with accepting something I know I could never produce. Even if I do get a kiln in early January I couldn't commit knowing that right now I don't have the equipment to fulfill the order. This "too small" issue needs to be resolved within the first quarter of the new year. No matter how painful it might be now. It needs to be tackled.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chicken Lady

Woaha! I need to clip some wings!!!
I had no idea they could fly up that high
without much effort!

"The chicken lady who plays with clay."

If anyone would ask me to describe myself that is what I would say. Without a doubt I have officially become the chicken lady this week. Perhaps it's the pressure of the upcoming fair and my kiln being too damned small to make a dent in all that I have made that is driving me loopey, but I've found myself just sitting about the garden petting my chickens. It's soothing. It's meditative. It takes away the thoughts that I really, really, really need to spend that money to upgrade my needs in the studio. I can't ignore that any longer. I need to get a bigger kiln.

Newest Raku sculpt

Perhaps that is why I am really enjoying the raku firing process as I've come to know it in my little world. I fire electrically with the Paragon Quick Fire then plunge the red hot pieces into metal coffee cans. It works. It's not traditional, but it sure as hell works. Check out that sculpt! I love it! I almost don't want to sell it. There is something so satisfying about it to my eye. There is something "chicken" about the shape too. I can see a head...a tail...some legs....a chicken!

It's official...I'm the chicken lady!

Close up of raku sculpture

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Free Range Monday

Chickens free rangin in the garden

Monday.... day. I've come into the habit of cleaning my house and getting things organized on this day. I've found that doing these menial (but necessary) chores at the start of the week helps me focus better on my artwork. I get it out of the way and know it's done. Nothing more to worry about.

Near the end of the afternoon I took some time to enjoy my chickens free ranging. The sun coming in, the willow tree loosing it's beautifully colored yellow leaves, and the warmth of an unseasonally warm November afternoon made me feel very happy.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Even MORE!

OOAK Hand painted
Mouse Card
(Acrylic on Bristol)

Day three....I'm a painting fool. I can't stop. Images and critters and horses galore are all bursting to come out. I guess it was only a matter of time before the illustration side in me was going to explode. I've only been ignoring it for a long time now. Every so often I draw my mice on porcelain, but haven't done an all out illustration on canvas in several years. Needless to say, I'm having a lot of fun.

All those years of painting 3-D pieces really helped me build more confidence when I paint on a flat surface. I know each artistic endeavor helps all others, but when I stopped illustrating I did so because I was frustrated with the business and frustrated with my skills. I had plateaued and didn't know how to get to the next level so I turned to painting what I loved: model horses.

"Start of Winter"
2" x 2" acrylic on canvas

It feels great to get the paint from my head onto the canvas just the way I envisioned it. It feels great to be off that plateau I have been on for so long. Now, I wonder, how will my 3-D pieces be effected after this grand explosion of the flat surface? It's a very exciting time and I can hear my portable easel whispering to me. It might be time for new, but familiar adventures.

How sweet are these mini canvases?
Shot showing sides

"The Dancer in Purple"
2" x 2" acrylic on canvas

2" x 2" acrylic on canvas

Friday, November 13, 2009


More paintings. Still on a painting high.

Draft painting
Acrylic on Matte Board

Stock horse in the snow
Acrylic on Matte Board

Hairy horse trotting in snow
Acrylic on cardboard

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In The Paintin' Mood

Quick shot of Acrylic on colored matte board
approx. 6" x 4"

Had a painting fit last night. It was like a fever that came over me. I can't stop thinking about moving paint on board. I fear I will loose another day on my wheel to pushing some paint around. Best to get this fever out of my system now. Although, I have to say that I love the results I'm having. The artist high this time around is mighty powerful and dare I say, YUMMY.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Office Day

Penny my pet hen


Today was an office day here in the studio. Invoicing, paper work, designing new business cards and general organizing was needed and completed. Although I feel I have a better grip on the office aspect of my little business I feel empty and missing my art. I hope to get onto my wheel tonight and spin some new mugs for the Christmas Fair which is FAST approaching.

Until I can show off a few new ceramic wares though, I'll show off my chickies! They are approx. 6 weeks old now. I have grown very attached to them and they have just discovered how tasty bread can be. Sure helps that they like it when it's time to coop them up.

Lucy (Goosey) enjoying a lounge in the sun

And finally a quick video of them running to gather their treats. I love how they look against the green of the yard. Yes, the yard is still green and it's been rather warm out. I must admit I'm lovin' it! I'm not looking forward to snow yet.

Monday, November 9, 2009



Look at that mold!

Man, it's almost perfect. Perfect like the molds Lesli makes when she is churnin and workin the plaster. Proud. Man, was I proud when that puppy came out from the Legos. I couldn't believe that after 2 years of struggling with moldmaking (and having success with the INSIDE of the molds) that I FINALLY...FINALLY....F I N A L L Y....made a somewhat decent looking mold. Man, it's something I could actually store gracefully and neatly in the storage room. Its somehting to write home about (and I did!) and I'd even go as far as saying.....yes, its Kathman-worthy. I pulled out my perfect and beautiful Kathman stock horse mold and let it sit next to it. It sat proud. I made a nice mold. My teacher, Lesli, would be proud. If it werent for Lesli taking the time to explain a few simple things to me about plaster and mold making a few years ago I would still be floundering about the pavement.


Of course, there is also Joanie B's words floatin around up in my brain. Wow, how they are whippin about today. "It doesn't matter what it looks on the outside....its what comes out of it that counts." And, as you can see, there aint NOTHIN coming out of this pretty, perfect pristine mold!

Back to the drawing board.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What's up

Peasant Stomper in silver bay


Well, this week came and went fast. I've been trying to get online and get bloggin' for days now and it just hasn't happened. Every time I tried I was interrupted. Also being without my little pocket camera has made capturing images rather difficult, which, in the end puts my desire to update the blog at an all time low. I really need to get a new battery for that camera. Jump starting the dead battery with a 9-volt didn't give it enough juice to make it work properly.

China painted porcelain egg

As you can see things have been movin' and groovin' in the studio. From commissions to painted porcelain pieces I've been rather busy. I guess not being online is a good thing in retrospect. Anyhoo, the Peasant Stomper was a commission. I ruined one side of his magnetic base and decided to create a nice wooden one for the owner. I just felt badly that I ruined the original base. I rather like the way he looks on his new ground.

I've also been working hard on china painting. I began experimenting with my little kiln "Spanky" (the Quickfire from Paragon) and I LOVE the results I'm getting when I china paint small things. I can fire up in 15 minutes and the colors stay. The blending is smooth and nothing comes out with a matte look. It's all shiny like it suppose to be. From these kiln tests I was also able to begin testing some new painting techniques that feel more at ease with my illustration style. I honed in on a water color look and feel this works very well for florals and organics. I just love how this teapot is coming along. My idea transferred perfectly from sketch to porcelain. From here on out I'll be doing more sketching before I approach a larger piece of porcelain. Having that guide was totally beneficial. I know better than not to use a sketch but some days it's just easier to skip this step. Lesson learned.

Sketch for porcelain painting

Painting on porcelain teapot for one

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Harvest

China painted Harvest piece
Currently for sale: $65ppd

The harvest....

Can it really be upon us already? Can Thanksgiving and the whole holiday hullaballo really be right around the corner already? It was just January wasn't it? A good friend asked what goals I had accomplished for 2009 and what I was thinking to accomplish in 2010. The question made me stop and think. Then I said aloud, "IS IT REALLY ALMOST 2010 ALREADY!!!!"

My art and mind has been pulled in many directions this year. At times I had difficulty keeping up, but I believe that every success and every failure taught me very good lessons. From Raku firing to building a pit kiln (which I never did use) to sculpting just a little bit better to china painting a ton of things to watching my son grown just a little more into his own little person, its been an incredible year of mostly good things.

In this last month I'll be focusing on lingering commissions. I'll be creating new china painted pieces for some wonderful repeat clients and hopefully watching Lil Pumpkin become a resin reality. I'll also be participating in my church's Christmas Fair again this year. I'm all paid up and trying like MAD to get a 8 foot table filled with pottery and beautiful raku things people will want to purchase. Again, all good things. Although it's so hectic it's all good. The end of 2009 watch out...I'm flyin down the hill top sPeED!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Morgan Mare in buckskin

Recovery from the horse show has been slow and dare I say, difficult. I feel like ever since I came back from PA my feet, hands and head have been stuck in mud....and not the "turnin on a wheel kind" of mud either. LOL

This week I made a serious effort to settle down into my studio and work hard on tidying up any loose ends and prepare for my church Christmas Fair. There were several distractions including meetings at church, phone calls and a disaster of a house to clean. Oh, and the worst distraction of all.....finding the chicken coop missing yet another chicken and feathers everywhere. Not difficult to put two and two together and come up with an answer on that one.

Needless to say, I went into a real funk over loosing a chicken to (most likely) a stray, mangy cat. Yes, I said mangy. I like little cute beady eyed critters and I love wild birds so naturally my affections for cats are (sorry cat folk) very small since they like to gnaw on cute beady eyed critters and birds. I grew up with cats and that was fine, but they were always breaking things. Our cat Cricket loved to break porcelain. Every chance she got she would break it. We decided to hide all of it after she broke a 100 year old basin.


Despite the sad setback I still have four lovely hens who have all grown very fond of me and affectionately sit on my lap anytime I go into the garden when they are free ranging. They have grown used to our Collie being out. She patrols the yard and is getting fat with all the treats I have been giving her for her good work. I never thought I'd gather such joy from a chicken, but alas they have inspired me in new and exciting ways and have brought such a sense of calm and peace to my daily life. I have become very protective of them and hope to sculpt something "hen-like" in the new year. That is, after I have completed all the lingering 2009 projects.