Monday, August 23, 2010

Worst Blogger EVER!!!

Yup. that's me. the worst blogger ever. i've been so busy lately i just can't seem to find the time to actually type out all those blog entries i write every day in my head. i probably write 3-4 a day i swear, just never get around to actually putting them down.

So lets see, i've been quite productive lately and have managed to have 2 shows in the last month. can i just say i'm addicted to actually selling some pots!?! I've been scouring the festival sites for shows in the area and have about 10 possibilities for the next few months. of course there's no way i'll have all the inventory but i definitely want to get out there and meet some people and sell more pots. it's so much fun! and this coming from a confirmed anti-socialite lol. i've been hiding in my little cave for so long it's a major shock to actually get out there, but i've had so much encouraging words from so many people my confidence has definitely gotten a boost.

I must tell you about the disaster at my first show though. i got a booth at the county fair. it's literally right up the street and i can see the fairgrounds from my house. i decided on the spur of the moment to sign up for a 4 day show. WHAT?!? but yes, that's me, jump right in with both feet. so i quickly found a cheepie pop-up tent, built a nice looking display out of shuttered bi-fold doors, and i was ready to go. my set-up looked great. so bright and cheery. nobody could have guessed i built it out of scraps lying around the garage. i had the corners weighted with 5 gallon buckets of water, what could go wrong? wind. duh, i'm in montana. of course there's going to be wind. and lots of it. a gust of wind came out of nowhere, blew in the walls of my tent, buckling the framing and toppling one of my shelves to the ground. the crash was heard through out the fairgrounds. people appeared out of nowhere and held down the tent. we saved all the intact pots and moved everything under an awning where things were much more protected. i probably lost over $500 worth of work. mostly stuff that just came out of the kiln that morning, and most of my anemone vases as i've taken to calling them now. ouch! but i learned a valuable lesson. STURDY SHELVING!!

i did sell a whole lot of stuff and have since gotten a few orders from locals who met me there. i mainly went there to get my name out, and ended up selling way more than i ever thought i would in my little town.

so i built a new set up, returned the piece-o-crap tent and bought a better one. i made some weights using 4"PVC filled w/ concrete. i decided to try it out in Livingston, MT. a city KNOWN for being windy lol. (both feet again). i'm happy to report that the worst wind barely shook my tent. i had people commenting on how sturdy it was and  how good it looked. no pic sorry, but it looked very similar to the picture above.

and i sold lots more stuff! now i'm addicted. so i'll be at the Bozeman farmers market this weekend. i went there about a month ago just to scout it out and it was hopping. everybody kept saying how slow it was though, i guess there was a big festival going on that weekend that i didn't know about. wonder how busy it'll be this weekend?

and here's a few pics of my more recent work, some of which you may have seen. well, this is the most recent work i've actually photographed. i need to get a permanent photo setup if i ever hope to keep up with the photography. can't stand breaking out everything and fiddling with it till i get it right. the vase at the right was entered into the county fair and won a blue ribbon and $5! lol. looks much better in person, it's hard to see all the detail in the picture.

And of course i haven't been reading the blogs i usually follow so i have no idea what's going on out there. i promise to try and be better now! so check back and see if i keep my word. ;)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Christmas in July Sale!

Many members of the Etsy Mud Team have joined together for a Christmas in July sale. For a list of participating shops click here.  Now's the time to buy some great pottery at a great price! I've got some ornaments in the works, they should be up by this weekend. I'm also offering free domestic shipping on orders totaling $50. International shipping will also be discounted. so Check it out!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fired up the kiln last night for another glaze load! Thats probably the 2nd glaze fire since you've heard from me. I've been really busy lately. Lots of new work to show you. I decided to get a sitter for all day on thursdays so my sanity has been restored lately and i'm getting lots of work done. I'd love to do a 2nd day but i have to get selling more pots first! Kylie does well at the sitters house and i've got a full day all alone. I've got 50 items in my etsy shop and probably just as much more work to photo and list. so today my husband is taking the kids and i'm headed to the studio again. I'll write more later, i'm on the tiny little keyboard on my phone and the buttons are really small!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

my computer bites the big one

i took a ton of pictures today. probably at least 200 maybe more before the battery died on my camera. so i'm sitting here uploading all sorts of pictures to my facebook page and my flickr page and all the sudden my computer shuts off my browser. grrrr.... some kind of security feature. guess i really had the data flying. so now i have to figure out where the downloads left off and pick and choose the pictures again. i've said it before, i'll say it again. can't i just make pots!??!!

some good news today though! i got the number for a lady who has a daycare in her house from a friend. i gave her a call today and she's going to be watching all 3 kiddos all day on thursdays! more studio time for me! yeah! plus my husband takes the kids for one full day on the weekends so that's 2 full days for me to make pots! no computers. no cameras. just clay. woo-hoo!  now lets just hope kylie cooperates and doesn't have a complete and total meltdown.

if it works out and i decide i want more time she can take them for a 2nd day, but not sure if i'll do that or not.  my kiln is only so big and the spinny thing in the electric meter spins like the tazmanian devil when i've got my kiln going. the electric company probably thinks i'm growing pot or something.

so now i'm off to re-upload my pictures. check 'em out and let me know what you think!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

anybody interested in a mug swap?

for those potters out there, i just signed up for this mug swap on facebook. i've never done a mug swap before but it sounds like fun!

new work

in a bit of a rush so just a few quick shots...

this was started out as a yarn bowl but it dried out too much for me to cut into it so it's just a bowl now :)  I think i finally got my firing schedule figure out, at least until i can get my hands on a kiln controller. my matts turned out great!

this is an order for soup mugs and plates. i think i made these probably 3 different times. glazes messed up the first time, 2nd time my husband dropped a tool on one of the bowls and i didn't see the crack till it was glaze fired. i guess 3rd time's the charm, these turned out fantastic! 
this is an idea i had for a wall hanging. they're all separate pieces, i'm trying to decide if i should mount them in a frame or leave them be. i kind of like them as they are but can't make up my mind.

here's my fish platter. didn't turn out exactly how i was hoping but i think it still looks nice. i'm loving the blue glaze on the background.

new mugs, forgot to rotate the one pic there, oops!
 i can't get these next pictures lined up right. just some misc things...more planters and a tooth bank. my tooth box and a few other things also turned out good, just haven't taken pictures yet.

and finally the death of a good friend. not really but i sure did love these shoes! i think i got them when i was pregnant w/ gracie, over 7 yrs ago! they've been glued together more times that i can count, but now the cork footbed is coming apart. i was walking in them this AM and one just fell off my foot, turned around and this is what i found... SOB!!

Monday, June 14, 2010


just a few quick shots of some new greenware. lots of it is in the kiln already so you'll have to wait to see the finished work.

i'm rather proud of this one. it's a whiskey flask/shotglass set. wheel thrown and hand built. hope it survives the fire. this is the first set like this i've made, will make a few improvements on the next one but i'm pretty pleased w/ the 1st attempt.

these are my new mugs. some of them anyway. i've got about 20 of them, some are better than others but i'm liking where these are going. have i showed you this picture yet?? can't remember. they're in the kiln though...

here's a big bowl i made but darn it! it almost flew off the wheel head when i was trimming. tore a huge chunk out of the rim of it but i was determined to save it and i did! i evened out the chunk, cut a matching piece from the other side and added the handles. i'm rather pleased w/ this one too. the handles are pulled and each end is split so it attaches inside and outside of the bowl. i jsut hope there are no unseen cracks. and what the heck do i call it now?? bowl? basket? whatchamacallit?

here's my flower vase/swamp vase/ whatever they are. i have no idea what to call these things. seeing all the parts together in the bin reminded me of a bed of sea anemones (i think). most of them are in thrown bowls, one is in a slab bowl. i think i like the slab one the best. although the altered thrown bowls are ok too.  next time i'll leave the tubes simpler for the thrown bowls i think.  one bowl also has a split rim, man those things are fragile! must be more careful w/ them next time.

i've had a few sales on etsy lately and i'm pretty excited about that. i've been working the shop though, relisting like crazy. takes a little time but i think it's paying off. still trying to build my inventory, but man! photography. computer stuff.  i wish i could just make pots! 

so gracie has a friend over tonight, kylie and cooper are both zonked out in their beds. i really should go down to my studio, but considering i have to get up at 4am on mondays i'm kind of pooped! plus kylie was a bit of a screaming meanie today. well. more than a bit actually, but she's so darn cute! so... i already got some good studio time in today, the kiln is cooling, so unless the girls come bug me i'm off to bed myself. 'night!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

cameras, peeing in public, pottery, and evil eyes

i've been a busy girl this last week, hadn't had a chance to write about it till now. my camera died the other day so we went out today to get a new one. can't wait to try it out, i think i'll be able to improve on my pictures of my work. while we were out we decided to take the kids to the children's museum and the carousel. between the 2 we walked around for a bit an let the kids play on the rocks, it's all clustered right there together. the kids were running around and i hear Cooper say "Mom....... pee!" I turn around and the boy has his shorts around his knees, hiney shining, and he's getting ready to pee in the bushes! That boy is something else.

a few days ago my friend's daughter came over to watch the kids for a bit in exchange for me teaching her how to use the wheel. it went well, but it's weird trying to teach someone something that you basically taught yourself to do. i know i do things different than the accepted norm. my hand positions are weird, i do things w/ my left hand that i know i should be doing w/ my right. but i can't help it, that's just how it works for me. she's a bright girl though and prefers for me to show her a little and let her figure it out on her own. she's not looking for a career in pottery, she just wants to learn a little and make a few pots and she'll be happy. she made a little miniature goblet/vase looking thing that she was happy with so it's drying now and i'll put it in the kiln w/ my stuff when i fire next time.  i hope she likes doing it and wants to keep it up. i could use the baby sitter and it was nice not being in my studio all by my lonesome.

fridays are turning out to be my all-day-uninterrupted-studio-days and i got a lot done yesterday. i got the kinks out of my french butter dishes and i'm very excited about them now.  figured out how to get the lids to fit perfectly every time. also made a bunch of new flower vases. actually more of a swamp vase i think, but i'm not really sure. i'll have to look it up to see exactly what it is i made lol.

that's all for now. there's more going on here, but for the life of me i can't think of what it is right now. and my husband is giving me the evil eye so i better get off the computer. i'll get some pictures of my new work and show off it and my new camera in my next post.  :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

studio progress and an etsy treasury

just found myself in a very nice etsy treasury, wish i could get a picture of it on here but can't figure it out. here's the link if you'd like to see for yourself.

 i've been a busy girl this weekend. my husband came home and took pity on me, so saturday i had the whole day to myself to tinker around in my studio.  i didn't even have to cook lunch for everybody! of course a fried weenie sandwich isn't the healthiest thing in the world but that's the extent of my husband's cooking abilities lol. i also had a few sales this weekend which is always a confidence booster so i'm feeling better about things the last few days.

so here's some pictures of some of the stuff i've made in the last few days. i've also got about 20 mugs sitting out there in a bin just waiting for handles.

here's a pic of my new improved tooth box design. this one was made on the wheel then carved and sculpted after it dried a bit. i think it looks much nicer than my previous ones, and there's plenty of room for the tooth fairy to fit the $$ in there. i also gave a try on a larger tooth bank. had an inquiry about one so i thought i'd give it a try. turned out pretty good i think!
 here's a custom wedding platter i made for a wedding gift for a friend. notice the date? talk about waiting till the last minute! of course i let it dry too quickly and it cracked in the middle but oh well. besides, after i made it i seemed to remember something almost exactly like it on etsy, though couldn't find it when i looked for it.  i'm not one to directly rip off someone's ideas so i suppose it's just as well. i've got a few ideas for improvements though so i'm excited to get to work on another, more original piece.
 i had some extra scraps from handles so i twisted them up and made some kiln fillers. uh, pendants i mean. i don't know, they just look like christmas ornaments to me. i also made a ton more from scrap slab bits, forgot to get pictures of those though. lots of pendants, earrings, and bracelet parts. i'm trying to make the most of each firing so filling every little gap lol.

here's my drying rack, not full but it's a start.

now kylie has decided to climb all over me so i better go before she turns into the screaming meanie. it's been a good day today so far (except that fit when she first woke up, she's not a morning person at all!) don't want to push it! think i'll try to take her out to my studio and see how that goes. keep your fingers crossed for me!

Friday, June 4, 2010

why does it take so long for you to get things done?!?

i ask myself that all the time. i know the answer of course, but not many other people do. 

some days i just don't know what to do.  i find my studio is just calling to me and it's hard to concentrate on much else. That could be a good thing, only my youngest child is quite the challenge lately.  I've written about her before but i do try to keep this blog mostly about clay. but kylie is having a direct impact on my work and my sanity in general. she's 18mos old and only has a handful of words. i can handle that, my son has apraxia and has been in various therapies 1/2 his life. but he was easy compared to kylie. she has undiagnosed medical problems, nothing life threatening thank goodness. but after going through so many tests it's possible she may have the same 'unknown' problem as a kid in boston. i'm talking about her being case #2. but that doesn't really impact our daily lives like her sensory problems. the kid screams 1/2 the day. the smallest thing sets her off for hours. often i get nervous trying to take her anywhere. she doesn't want to be held. she doesn't want to be put down. she throws herself on the floor and thrashes. i worry about her hurting herself when she's like this so i put her in her crib and let her scream it out. i've recently set up a little tent in her room where she can go for some quiet time. i've bought her a pressure vest to see if it will help. i'm setting up a therapy swing in her room. i've tried brushing, deep pressure, joint compressions. nothing really makes a difference. she goes to OT (occupational therapy) every other week, and i'm trying to get it upped to weekly visits. her OT is stumped. her speech therapist is stumped. nobody knows what's going on with this little girl. we've been to the genetics hosp in helena and they haven't been any help at all, of course they're mostly looking at her medical issues. she's as smart as can be and understands just about everythign we tell her, i guess since she's not mentally impared it's not their area. our doc is supposedly trying to find somebody we can see aobut all this but i haven't heard back from her yet. some days i jsut don't know what to do. if it wasn't for my studio i think i'd be a stark raving lunatic.

i know there are other parents out there in the same boat, some have it much worse than i do. but it's still hard some days. this is one of those days i think. she's finally cried herself out in her crib and i'm pretty sure she's asleep. i'm honestly afraid to look, don't want to disturb the quiet. hopefully she'll wake up and be the happy little munchkin we all love. but if it's the Screaming Meanie as i've come to think of her when she's having a fit i'll still love her too. 

so now i'm going down to my studio for my own 'therapy'. i've been staying up pretty late the last few nights, it seems to be the only time i can get anything done. if things go as planned i'll be bisque firing a load this weekend. i've got soup bowls, mugs, a gorgeous custom wedding platter, couple of planters, that teapot i made a few weeks back, and something that was supposed to be a yarn bowl but i let it dry out too much so it's just a bowl lol. maybe i'll post some pictures if i have the time.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

etsy treasury

made an etsy treasury w/ nothing but mud, check it out! it's my 1st one!

also, incase nobody noticed i have a facebook fan page now, the link should be over on the right. :)

not a whole lot going on the last few days clay wise but i'll be back to work tomorrow...

Friday, May 28, 2010

New photos!

just a few quick pics of some finished pieces
spoon rest

new mug design w/ funky glaze pattern

garlic graters

footed slab plate

large round caserole

carved french butter dish

so whatcha think??

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

heebie jeebies and neglected glaze firings

I had a glaze load going last night and i went out to check on my kiln. my studio door is in the garage, and our little air compressor was sitting right in front of the door to my studio. i mean right up against the door, i had to move it to get the door open. I didn't put it there.  it's usually a foot or so to the side of the door. the kids hadnt been out there, dogs either. even so they probably couldn't move it if they wanted to. my husband wasn't home. i promptly got a case of the heebie-jeebies! i mean big time.  i slowly moved it and opened the door to my studio expecting the boogie man to jump out at me. no boogie man so i plugged up my kiln and high tailed it back in the house, leaving all the lights on. i had to go back out there when the kiln reached temp to set it to cool slowly.

all sorts of scenarios went through my head. some kid trying to give me the willies. if so it worked. serial killer hiding in the loft above the garage waiting to come in and slaughter us all. not likely i know but still... a ghost. i know, i know, but ghosts scare the crap out of me, real or imagined. (kyle loves making fun of me when we watch a ghost movie.) i ended up creeping myself out to the point that i couldn't go back out there. no way no how. screw the kiln, it can shut off on it's own and cool naturally, i don't care!

so after a very restless night and not alot of sleep i still have the creeps this morning. i get the kids ready for school and head out the front door to take the kids to school. and my truck doesn't start. i instantly revise my thoughts of the culprit to a pshcho serial killer who doesn't want us to leave the house. (we're in the country, but do have a couple neighbors) i open the garage door to see if the battery charger is charged up so i can jump my truck and the air compressor is moved again. ACK!!!!!!!

but wait...something is going on here. i make myself think logically and notice a piece of wood wedged under the side of the compressor and it's plugged in. looks like it's kicking on and vibrating itself across the floor. ahhh.... back to reality. i must stop watching those scary movies and keep my nose out of the creepy books.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I am such a BAD blogger!!

well, not all that bad i guess but i just can't seem to find the time to write anything lately. it's been pretty busy around here, i've been working pretty hard trying to get my studio in order. drywall and insulation is up, heater is in, wheel and extruder is in place, now i'm working on getting some shelving and countertops in place, pics below. both shots are on the same wall to either side of the door. i still need to tape and mud the drywall but i want to get to work, i figure i'll do that later.

all this while trying to get some work completed!! right now i've got a glaze fire going, i'll probably be up 1/2 the night tending the darn thing. i'd have waited till tomorrow but tuesdays are therapy day in our house and i'll be headed to helena for various appts and errand running. plus i've got a few orders in there that i want to get shipped out ASAP. and i need to get some things listed in my etsy shop. sooo much to do and so little time. one new developement that i'm looking forward to is a friend of mine has a daughter in 8th grade that wants to learn more about pottery. i've been asked to teach her in exchange for her baby sitting for me!! perfect transaction as far as i'm concerned. i've made it very clear that i'm no teacher nor a master potter by any means, but i can get her though the basics easily enough. and she can watch the kids while i get in some studio time. can't wait!!

so i'm trying to expand my online presence a bit. i made up a fanpage on facebook, but can't figure out how to link it up w/ everything. oh well... i'll get it eventually. i also joined the etsy mud team a couple weeks back. such a nice and helpful group of people, i've already learned so much from them and i'm looking forward to the challenges. i can already tell i'll be modivated to step out of my comfort zone which i'm looking forward to. you should see the platter i'm workign on for the blue challenge lol. and i really need to work on my website. it's pretty pathetic and has a bunch of older stuff on it. yet one more thing to put on the list. maybe i'm tryign to do too much at one time. duh. you think?!? lol...

off to pick up gracie at the bus stop. hopefully i'll post some pics later in the week.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Gracie's ingenious idea for a plate

just had to put this on here. this morning i went out on the deck and there was a big stick that one of the kids found in the yard yesterday. I of course instantly think pottery (it was a cool stick!) and want to know where it came from. gracie waves her hand around and says "oh, out in the yard somewhere." i should say here that we have 3 1/2 acres. i tell her i want to know because i think it'd make a cool handle for a pot. she says, all excited "OH, i've got a great idea for some pottery mom! you can make a plate, and put a big hole in the bottom! that way any liquid or greasey stuff can drain off!" (must discuss functionality w/ this child some time) "THEN, when your not using the plate you can put it on this big stick!!" all said just bubbling w/ enthusiasm lol. gotta love the girl. now off to fire the bisque kiln.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

First thrown teapot

Not sure why i've never made a teapot before. Well, not on the wheel anyway. dont know if i like the knob or not but i'm liking the pulled handle. What do you think?

Monday, May 10, 2010

how come i can never come up w/ a catchy title?!?

just a few quick pictures. i finished up this square caserole today, i love how it turned out.

playing around w/ a new mug design, not happy just yet, but i'm getting there

and here's my 1st attempt at goblets. they're a bit tall i think, kyle says they look more like a chalice and i need to get out the gold overglaze lol.

lots more stuff on the ware rack, seems i'm not keeping the promise i made to myself not to let the greenware build up. i just can't help myself though, i get an idea and i have to go w/ it. after exploring the Bray over the weekend now i have yard sculptures on the brain lol. too bad i don't have a huge kiln to put the stuff in...

i think i've figured out the secret to working w/ kylie around. everything has to be up above her level, esp whatever i'm working on. i still can't throw w/ her around since my wheel is set up to throw while sitting. but when we move it out to my new studio space we'll put it up on cinderblocks and i'll start standing up to throw. the only thing on her level will be stuff she can't get into, and i'll put something out to keep her busy. today it was a small bucket of water and a couple of tools i don't use very often. worked like a charm! next time maybe i'll give her a rag w/ the bucket and see if she'll clean anything lol.

so the kids are in bed and it's time for me to get to work.