Monday, September 29, 2008

Changes and Challenges, Part II

I'm happy to report that our Garage Salein' was a success. Great deals and lots of fun! We're already looking forward to this Saturday. Especially because our friends Nigel and Cheyenne of Rudolph Pottery will be joining us.

In defense of "Super Consumers"...

One of my very best friends is a Super Consumer. She's my dear friend - no judgments made. Maybe we need people who buy "everything" just as much as we need people who buy "nothing." There's a balance. Buying new things stimulates our economy and drives technology. I just hope all purchases are made with informed, conscious decisions. "Vote with your dollar", the saying goes.

I think the hardest part for me will be applying the "buy nothing new challenge" to the studio and my business. Is it ok to buy some materials new? clay or sterling silver wire for example. But a lot of my glass and steel are recycled. So, I've decided that there will have to be some exceptions. And I will still buy other handmade work - new, used, or otherwise.

Well, those are the ramblings for today. It's time to get to the studio. I have a bisque kiln cooling and some cleaning up to do.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, September 26, 2008

Changes and Challenges

I feel like there are a lot of changes I'm trying to make right now. Some of them drastic, some of them more like fine tuning and focusing on things we already do.

I guess you could say that it is all an attempt to "Live Simply" and the various forms this can undertake. But what exactly is living simply? How exactly do you live simple? How do you eat simple? How do you reduce your carbon footprint? Where is the line between being frugal and self deprivation?

Constance Humphries, a painter/web designer (she does my site) had a link for The Non-Consumer Advocate posted on her blog today. I checked it out, and loved it!

So, I'm inspired to try the Buy-Nothing-New-Challenge. Though I think its going to take a lot of work, I'm still excited.

It did feel good to pick up my shoes from the repair shop today. $8 fixed a pair of cute black strapy heals, instead of tossing them and searching for another. (Besides the fact that I have wide feet and finding shoes in the first place is always a challenge.)

And Ben and I have a Garage Sale/Farmers Market "Date" for tomorrow morning. I've started looking forward to these Saturday mornings. Quality time together searching for deals and feeling a bit more green.

I'm also in the middle of reading Michael Pollan's, The Omnivore's Dilemma, and it's got me thinking about food in an entirely new light. (Though, I'm noticing that its made me a bit paranoid and frustrated with food right now, and will need to find a balance somewhere or there will be nothing to eat.)

And the studio? How can I be more "green" there?

Anyway, thanks for listening to my ramblings. I'd love to hear any suggestions you have on ways to Live Simply.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Just a little Hello

Thought I'd stop in for a quick hello.

Today I'm going to start work on another batch of "minis" for the November Studio Stroll. I've got another 3-week run of travel coming up in October, so I need to have the majority of my work for my fall shows finished within the next 2 weeks. So, with the firing schedule I set out for myself, Friday is my last day for greenware.

I also hope to finish up my online ETSY shop soon. Still in the process of determining my policies, etc.

There's always something to do isn't there. So, off to work for me.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Blogs, Clay and Community

It's been a while since I've posted! I think I've been less motivated to post since I don't have a camera and cant share pictures.

But that doesn't mean that I haven't been following your wonderful blog entries and photographs. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading about everyone's experience at Arrowmont's Utilitarian Clay V Conference. It brought back fond memories of my artist residency there in 2004 for UC IV. My primary medium then was glass, but remember being wowed by all off the fabulous potters I met and ceramic works I saw.

Lately, I've been thinking about my work and how my focus continues to shift more and more toward clay. Sometimes, I'm startled by this evolution and then I try to resolve how I got here. Maybe being around all those influential "clay people" in 2004 had something to do with it. :)

More later. I seem to be having trouble organizing my thoughts this morning. Maybe I just need to let the ideas marinate a little longer.

Happy Autumn to you,


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Home Again and Back to Work

I love to travel, but there really is nothing like sleeping in your own bed with your own pillow!

I spent this past weekend in Kure Beach, North Carolina celebrating the upcoming marriage of a good friend. We had a great time! Sometimes I feel a bit out of place being the only artist in a group of women with more "traditional" jobs and careers. But I'm learning to appreciate this difference more and more. And I think I can say with certainty that I was the only one not dreading the return to work.

I love working in the studio! And thank goodness, because I basically have one month to crank out work for all of my fall shows. Time to get busy!

Still in search of a new camera, so no pictures from this weekend, but thought I'd pass along a few pictures from California.

San Francisco Airport waiting for the BART to take us downtown.
Ben and I at Presidio Park with the Golden Gate.
The Tamales Point Trail at Point Reyes National Seashore.
Stunning views the whole way. This is one of the last shots I was able to take before my camera died.

Hope you're doing well.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Back for a Bit

Whew! I just got back from a fabulous 2 week trip out to CA! Thank you everyone for your travel itinerary suggestions!

Ben and I spent our first weekend in San Francisco before heading up to the Point Reyes National Seashore. We stayed in an amazing little cottage and spent all week hiking the area. Absolutely gorgeous weather and amazing views and scenery! Oh, managed to fit in a day trip to Sonoma for some wine tasting. Spent a couple days driving down the coast on the Pacific Coast Highway (again, absolutely beautiful!!) Then a couple nights visiting friends in Santa Barbara and onto LA. For my first trip out to California, we sure were able to fit a lot in!

I'd post pictures, but... my camera broke!! It worked the first weekend, so I have a few pictures from SF that I can share later, but then it just died randomly! My husband had his nice SLR loaded with black and white, so we will still have some pictures from our hikes, but it will be a while before he's able to get into the darkroom to develop them.

So, my question is, does anyone have a great point-and-shoot digital camera that they can recommend? something smallish and affordable, but with good quality photos because I'll also need it for portfolio pics.

Lots of catching up to do! (Especially because I'm heading out of town again on Friday.)

Gotta go,

Monday, September 1, 2008

John Britt's Basic Ceramic Glaze Workshop

I mentioned this briefly in a earlier post, but wanted to tell you more about it...

John Britt is again offering his famous

Basic Glaze Chemistry and Raw Materials Workshop

October 27-31,2008 in Bakersville, NC

Learn basic glaze chemistry of clay bodies and glazes.
Covering low, medium and high-fire glazes.

These pictures are from a previous workshop, but I cant wait to take this class in the fall. And class size is small (only 5-7) so you'd better sign up early!

Here are the results from the glaze tests I ran in my studio a few weeks ago. The flash washed things out a bit in this picture, but overall I was happy with the results. Even the glaze with the strange crustiness on the container seemed to fire ok.

Happy Glazing,