December 12, 2008

Open Studio December 13 -- NKB Holiday Art Market

My studio (#394) will be open this Saturday, Dec. 13, from noon-5pm for Northrup King Building's Holiday Art Market. Stop by for snacks, cookies and hot tea. This is a wonderful, relaxed shopping atmosphere a far cry from the mall. Our studio features my pottery, tiles and ornaments, Lucy's whistles and Claudia's terra cotta sculpture and jewelry. Find lots of other unique locally made gift items throughout the building.

As a special treat, my father-in-law will be stopping by to add to the festivities by playing accordian music for your enjoyment. He'll start playing at around 1:30 and play 'til he's tired!

Also, put your name in a drawing to win one of my handmade ceramic globe ornaments. I'll be drawing the winner after the shopping hours on Sat., Dec. 20. Hope to see you!

December 03, 2008

A Little Bird Told me...

that studios will be open in the Northrup King Building this Thursday, Dec. 4 from 5-9 p.m. as well as Saturday, Dec. 6 from 12-5 p.m. Stop by my studio (#394) to do some holiday shopping in a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere away from the malls. I'll have a good selection of dishes, ornaments (including these sweet little birds) and some of my new tiles. Find lots of other great gift ideas throughout the building! We'll have snacks, cookies and hot tea.

November 28, 2008

New Tiles!

Just out of the kiln and I'm really excited about them! They'll be available at my open studio tomorrow.

Holiday Art Market at Northrup King Building

Tomorrow afternoon is the first day of the Holiday Art Market at the Northrup King Building. A number of studios throughout the building will be open for special holiday shopping hours on Saturdays in November & December. Find unique, locally-made items in all mediums and price ranges. Stop by our studio for great clay gift items. I will have a great selection of dishes, holiday ornaments and tiles. Claudia Poser will have terra cotta sculpture and jewelry. Lucy Grantz will have an assortment of her whimsical ocarinas.

Saturday, November 29th, 12 - 5 PM
Saturday, December 6th, 12- 5 PM
Saturday, December 13th, 12 - 5 PM
Saturday, December 20th, 12 -5 PM

Special: Saturday, November 29 only! Receive 10% off any purchase over $50, plus sign up for a drawing to win a gift certificate (no purchase necessary). Specials apply to purchase of my work only. I will be having some kind of one-day only special during each Saturday event. Watch for details on my website.

For a list of artists/studios that will be open during the Art Market, visit:
Hope you'll stop by!

November 23, 2008

Minnesota Monthly Pick!

I was thrilled to find out that one of my bowls is included in the December issue of Minnesota Monthly magazine as one of Elizabeth's Picks, a gift guide featuring Minnesota-made gifts. They found my work at Gallery 360 in Minneapolis, where I have a five-foot show up (this is like a featured artist) through mid-January. I have a really nice selection of work there for this show, including pots, ornaments and some brand new tile designs. By the way, this is one of my favorite gallery/gift shops in the twin cities! My husband has learned that when he needs to find me a gift, he can't go wrong buying me jewelry or art from this cute shop.

November 17, 2008

Made in MN Gift Guide

I've been included in the Made in MN Gift Guide 2008 put out by Minnesota 2020! This seems like a great resource for spending your holiday gift dollars locally and supporting local businesses and independent artists (even locally and handmade!). A picture of my snowman ornament made it onto the cover of the accompanying report on boosting MN's economy. I haven't had a chance to read through the report yet, but I'm pretty interested in what it has to say. Visit Minnesota 2020's website to read more about the report and download the Gift Guide.

November 12, 2008

Holidays at the Good Life

If you're in the Lake Minnetonka area be sure to stop by the upcoming Holiday Showcase at The Good Life in Wayzata. It opens next weekend and runs through the holiday season. I'm delivering a lot of ornaments for this show so there will be good selection available. I also have a nice selection of work in their shop on an ongoing basis. Happy shopping!

November 08, 2008

Art Attack - today and tomorrow!

This weekend is Art Attack, Northrup King Building's annual studio crawl. Over 150 artists will be showing and selling their work over the next two days. I have lots of new pots, new designs and holiday ornaments for sale. Studiomate Lucy Grantz is showing her adorable ocarinas and Claudia Poser is showing ceramic sculpture and jewelry. It's a great way to spend a cold fall day wandering the building. Be sure to wear walking shoes and bring a stroller if you have little ones.
Hope to see you! Visit website for event details and directions.

October 28, 2008

"Made in Minnesota" Ornament Show

I am once again participating in Clay Squared's 6th Annual Made in Minnesota Ornament Show and Sale. The sale opened on October 18 and runs through December 23 so there is plenty of time to get over there to check out the multitude of great handmade ornaments. The show features unique interpretations of the ornament by more than 25 locally and nationally recognized artists from Minnesota working in ceramic, metal, fibers, mosaic, polymer, fused glass, paper and more. Every year I go home with a few ornaments by other artistst that I just can't live without! I have both my flat cutout ornaments and my larger ball ornaments in the show. There is an Artists' Reception on November 1st 11am-5pm during which customers will 10% off their ornament purchases! Eli and I will try to stop by although he is a terror around so much breakable art.

October 27, 2008


I think having a toddler is the best reminder to be in the moment. I tend to get stuck "in my head" worrying about everything I have to get done, worrying about whether my pottery is good enough, whether I will have enough work done for my shows, will I ever make any money or will I have to go back to a "real" job (although in this economy, what does that mean anyway?), etc. It's easy to forget to appreciate all the things that I should feel lucky about. I've got a healthy kid, a husband that puts up with my business/obsession, a cute (albeit tiny) house, and I get to go to the studio and do exactly what I really love. Eli constantly reminds me to be in the moment as he gets excited about the little things that happen every day. We recently went to the farm to pick pumpkins and he's been excited about it ever since. Every time he sees his pumpkin in the porch he yells "pumpkintime!" I'm going to try coming into the studio and everytime I look at my happy pots, yelling "potterytime!"

October 08, 2008

Holiday Sweets

My first batch of round globe ornaments are out of the kiln and while they're an amzing amount of work for such a tiny piece, I just love them! I strung them today and they are pretty darn cute. This batch is already pretty much spoken for, but I have more in various stages of completion. I will definitely have them available in early November for Art Attack (our fall open studio tour happening Nov. 7-9) but hopefully sooner.

October 07, 2008

Discover Tomato Red Turquoise

I've been listed on a gorgeous treasury on etsy curated by Vintage Embellishment. This is the first treasury that I've been included in. I like how it makes you see the piece in a new way. It also makes me think about how people select the items in their homes and closets that make them happy. I always hope that my pottery brings a little bit of happiness into people's days. I'd love to be sipping coffee out of my bird mug, wearing some of that great jewelry.
Meanwhile, I've been busy posting holiday ornaments for sale on my etsy page so be sure to take a look. Lots more to come as I get time to take photos and list items.

October 06, 2008

Serve it up...

Here are those new trays I posted about earlier after decorating, glazing and firing. I am really happy with how they are turning out and I can't wait to make more! There are a couple of sizes that would make really cute butter plates. I have some adorable tiny round ones in the next batch that would be great ring plates or teabag holders. I hope I can get a bunch of them made before the holiday sales hit. I'm also still up to my neck in ornament production. I posted a few to my etsy page so be sure to take a look.

MARQ Magazine

I was really excited to see one of my platters featured in an article in the October 2008 issue of MARQ Magazine (a local Twin Cities style publication) about "Playful Pottery." The piece in the photo is currently at FiveTwoSix gallery in St. Paul. Fun!

September 13, 2008

New ideas...

I've been spending some time in the studio this past week trying new techniques and working on new designs for fall shows. I'm ready to try pouring molds for my round ornaments and make my first attempt at slipcasting. It feels really intimidating, but I'm hoping it will make them something that is actually reasonable to make and sell. I had been throwing and trimming each tiny little ball and it was impossible to make them in any quantity. I've also been playing around with some new slab forms and I'm really excited about where they're going. I'm not sure yet how I'm going to decorate and glaze them but I'll post pictures as they develop! I'm also hoping my new technique will eliminate the warping that has plagued my slab work.

September 10, 2008

Midwest Home Mention

I was excited to see that my pottery was mentioned in the September 2008 issue of Midwest Home Magazine. The issue features their list of the 70 Twin Cities' "Best." Northrup King Building was selected as the best "art gallivant" and several building artists were highlighted in the write-up, including this comment about my work..."Emily Dyer uses motifs from folk art quilts--polka dots, tiny red flowers, blue birdies--to make her nursery rhyme-esque bowls, platters and cups." My mosaic making NKB friend, Sheryl Tuorila is listed as best garden sculptor. And, in the same issue of the magazine another NKB artist and friend, Jan Bilek, was featured in an in-depth article about her amazing pottery. It's fun to get some press! And, it reminds me how lucky I am to be working in such an amazing studio building with so many talented artists.

September 07, 2008

Cut, decorate, repeat...

I'm ushering in fall with an ornament making frenzy! This year I swear I won't be frantically making hundreds of ornaments a few days before I need them for an event. They seem to take on a life of their own. I sat down the other day to tally up how many I might need for all my fall/winter events and I started to feel a bit panicked. 12 to this store, 24 to that gallery--all of a sudden it becomes a LOT of ornaments. I was surprised how many I even sold at my summer shows. I've started with the cut outs first because I'm trying to come up with a better way to produce my wheelthrown ball ornaments. They are adorable, but a huge pain to make. I lose so many at every stage of the process. I'm working on prototypes and am planning to make an attempt at making molds and slipcasting them. I have a few new shapes for the cut outs...I'm excited about the new birds and butterflies! I've also been working on filling orders and getting pieces out to galleries. I just dropped a load of pots off at The Good Life in Wayzata which seems like a cute little gift shop and gallery.

August 13, 2008

Finally...a day off!

Finally my art fair season is over and I can remember that I have another life outside the studio. It always seems that in about mid-August I come up to take a breath and wonder where the summer went and why I spent the whole thing in a hot studio firing a hot kiln. I also always hit a point in the summer when I start wondering why I live in the city...urban life starts to feel a bit grating. Enough of the screeching tires, firecrackers in the middle of the night, too much traffic and urban violence happening a little too close for comfort. There was a shooting only a few blocks from our house last week on a corner that Eli and I walk by on our way to the playground. A 5-month old girl was hit by a stray bullet. It's scary and it definitely makes you remember what's important. On a brighter note, my husband and I decided to take advantage of an opportunity for a day trip outside Minneapolis to the CSA farm that we're getting produce from this summer. It was nice to get out of the city and see where our food is being grown. It also reminds me why I make functional pottery...I love the connection of my work with preparing, eating and sharing food. Eli was thrilled to get up close and personal with some goats and to take a hay ride behind a big tractor. I'm trying to let go of my manic production schedule to enjoy my family and the remaining good weather before I get into the thick of preparations for fall events.

July 31, 2008

Uptown Art Fair...ready, set, go!

Sorry it's been so long since my last post but I've been working basically without rest since Madison Art Fair to restock for Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis this weekend. I've never gotten in to this show before, so I am really excited to be there and wanted to have my best work for sale. Despite exhaustion, guilt about neglecting my child (and husband) and summer heat and humidity I've managed to impress even myself with how much new work I've gotten done. The last load is cooling in the kiln now so I'll stop by the studio to pack everything up on my way to the booth tomorrow. I'm crossing my fingers for a good firing! Wish I could share pictures but unfortunately my camera took a swim in the lake up at the cabin earlier this month and I haven't had a chance to replace it (hence my also sadly empty etsy page). Hopefully I'll remedy this after this weekend. Stop by my booth (#2408 on the mall) to say hi! Fri., Aug. 1 (noon-8:30); Sat., Aug. 2 (10:00-8:30) and Sun., Aug. 3 (10:00-6:00).

June 21, 2008

Throwing Frenzy!

Wow. After two weekends of Art Fairs I'm exhausted. Both shows went well, so now I am back to work throwing to get ready for Madison in the middle of July. Because the process of decorating my pots is so time intensive, I need to get things made quickly to allow time for that and to get everything fired. No matter how much time I spend in the studio, I can never seem to get ahead. I'm hoping to spend the 4th of July weekend in Northern MN with my husband's family so I'm trying to be focused now so that I can actually take a mini-vacation! I NEED IT!

June 11, 2008

One down...and it's crunch time!

Not the best photo, but here is a pic of my booth at Excelsior.
Thanks to my husband for the great new shelves.

Excelsior Art Fair this past weekend was really great! The crowds were large and enthusiastic. My booth did happen to be about 50 feet away from the bandshell which featured live music all weekend and it was REALLY LOUD! You just never know what you're going to deal with when you do an outdoor show. Still, despite not being able to hear anyone, I sold a bunch of pots and saw a lot of family and friends. And, luckily the weather cooperated and we didn't get the storms that kept threatening us. I was happy with how my new booth display worked out too. Now, I've been working like a crazy woman in the studio all week to get another load of pots glazed to restock for Stone Arch Festival this upcoming weekend in Minneapolis. It seems like there's never enough time to get everything done. I'm crossing my fingers for a good firing! If you didn't make it to Excelsior, stop by this weekend and see me at Stone Arch in booth #140. It's a fun Father's Day weekend outing. That area of Minneapolis has undergone redevelopment and there's a lot to do. Walk by the riverfront, take a walk across the Stone Arch Bridge and see the lock and dam. On the downtown side of bridge stop by the Guthrie and walk out on their lookout deck or visit the Mill City Farmer's Market (Sat.) or Mill City Museum. On a side note, they may start stocking my work in the Mill City Museum store later this summer or early Fall!
Hope to see you!

June 05, 2008

Sneak peek...

I just unloaded my glaze kiln and was happy to find that most of the work came out well. I'm really happy with the big bowl towards the back of the kiln. It has a fun bird image similar to the bird platter in my lost post. Plus, tumblers and small bowls that I really needed for my inventory. There are a few pots that I need to refire...I just can't seem to completely get rid of pinholes in a couple of my glazes. Still, overall a success and more pots to pack up for the weekend. Time to clean for tonight and run a few errands.

June 04, 2008

Art on the Lake this weekend

Fired Bird Platter. This was shown in process in an earlier post.

I have been a crazy lady this past week trying to get everything ready for my first Art Fair of the summer this upcoming weekend. I wish I could find a way to get ready for shows without getting so stressed out. I have a kiln full of glazed pots firing right now, and am trying to remember everything I need to take with me. It always SEEMS like a good idea to apply to a lot of fairs, but when they arrive I always wonder why I am doing them--it's just really hard work plus takes so much time away from the studio. My husband built two new shelves for my booth (these construction projects are always agony during the process but always turn out great) and I made new backdrops and signs, so we did a test run last night setting everything up. I think it's going to look really nice! It was a challenge trying to focus on it with our crazy 17 month old running around getting into everything, but we managed to do it with only one pot broken in the process.

Stop by the studio on Thursday night from 5-9 for our monthly First Thursday event ( and have first choice of pots fresh from the kiln (assuming I have a good firing). Or, come out to Excelsior Art on the Lake this weekend and stop by my booth #01. It 's a fun show, right on Lake Minnetonka. This year they're having live music as well as the usual good art and good food. for more info.

May 20, 2008

Take a breath...

Pots waiting for new homes.

Now that Art-A-Whirl is over, I can take a minute to catch my breath before I jump right back into high production mode to get ready for June art fairs. I can't believe how many people came through the studio over the course of the weekend. I sold some pieces and had lots of interest in my work and process. People seem to love seeing where we work. It was fun to see friends and family. Overall there seemed to be a lot of excitement about what is happening in the NE Arts District and over the high quality of art exhibited this year.

May 15, 2008

Last minute rush...

Today was crazy trying to get everything ready for our big studio event this weekend. Somehow everything always takes longer than I expect. I could hardly wait to get in so I could see how my last kiln load of work turned out. You just never know until you actually open the kiln. I was thrilled with the results and have lots of new work to put out! The kiln gods must have been happy because my glazes looked great and it seems like I've resolved some of the problems I've been having my firings. Here is a vase that came out today. I'm hoping to get photos of a bunch of the other pieces before they leave to find new homes.

May 12, 2008

Art-A-Whirl this weekend!

I've been working like a dog trying to get ready for Art-A-Whirl this upcoming weekend. This is a huge studio tour throughout NE Minneapolis. Something like 500+ artists participate and crowds of people come through over the course of three days. We've been redecorating our gallery area to freshen it up and really make our new work pop! We painted (we somehow managed to find the wonder color that seems to look good with anything), bought and put together new shelves, are working on new signage and will be busy this week cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. I pulled a load of work out of the kiln last week, have a bisque in now and will hopefully get one more load of glazed work fired before we open on Friday night. I'm really excited about some of my new pieces and can't wait to see them finished. I'll be debuting new designs and new glaze colors. My studiomates will have new work out too. If you're in the Minneapolis area, be sure to stop by the Northrup King Building during the event this weekend. Tons of great art, great food and a LOT of fun.

Mother's Day

As show deadlines loom over me, it has felt really hard lately to try to be a mother and an artist and hold it all together. No matter where I, home, playground...I feel guilty about what I'm not getting done somewhere else. Some days I'm not sure it's worth it! I watch other ceramic artists moving forward more quickly, getting more pots made, doing bigger shows and find myself feeling jealous. The days are gone when I can just live in the studio to meet deadlines. I feel in many ways like my career has been put on hold. What I can get done in my studio time is what I can do. My kid obviously is my number one priority. On the other hand, having a child is a truly amazing experience. It is so much fun watching his personality emerge. He is learning more and more words every day, and getting more independent. I never thought I would be getting teary on Mother's Day over my 16 month old eating a bowl of cheerios by himself with a spoon for the first time. Finding a balance is hard, but I know I wouldn't give up being either a mother or an artist. So, I'll keep trying to make it work.

March 31, 2008

New designs in progress

Summer art fair acceptances are coming in, and I'm realizing how fast events are coming up. I'm moving into production mode, trying to make sure I'll have enough work ready in time! I'm really excited about the new designs I'm currently exploring. I've been pulling bits and pieces from antique applique quilt designs and re-interpreting them to use on the surface of my pots. The most recent series includes lots of fun birds, leafy sprigs, berries and dots. Here is a group of bisque fired pots fresh out of the kiln. I can' t wait to see the work glazed and finished!

Repeat and repeat again...

Watching my 15 month old son obsessively practise climbing up on a chair, turning around to sit, get down and then do it all over and over and over again has reminded me how important persistence and repetition is to learning a new skill. It's so easy to get frustrated in the studio when work doesn't come out right the first time. Or the second time. Or the third time. Problems with firings. Problems with glazes. Sometimes I want to give up. But watching Eli struggle and fall only to try again reminds me that this is the only way to grow. One day he's climbing up a short step, a few days later it's the chair on the porch. Today he climbed up the steps to the big slide at playgroup and slid down all by himself yelling wheeee!!!! I'm going to try to remember this as I make new work and start getting ready for summer shows. Just keep trying and remember that someday what I'm struggling with today will seem easy, to be replaced by new challenges.

March 26, 2008

Am I a blogger?

While I have been intrigued with the idea of blogging, I have been resistant to starting one. I already have enough trouble keeping my website updated with current events and work. However, with a napping baby upstairs, I have become obsessed with reading blogs of other ceramic artists and have been thrilled to find people like me facing the same kinds of issues trying to make a living and be creative. It has given me a strong sense of not being so isolated to hear about other artists challenges and successes. So...I'll give it a try!