August 30, 2010

A New Addition, Coming Soon!

I'm trying to wrap up all the loose ends both at home and in the studio in preparation for the arrival of my second child in early September. I can't believe the summer flew by without any new blog posts. I guess I found out it was much harder to make pots, do art fairs and basically hold everything together while pregnant and with a 3 year old at home. Somehow I did it, but a lot of stuff fell through the cracks. I'll be out of the studio for the next few months on maternity leave. In the interim, my studio in the Northrup King Building will be open for building events (First Thursdays and Art Attack) thanks to my great studiomates and you can find my work there! I will try to stop by as I can, hopefully showing off my new little man. I will also have new tile work at the Minnesota Tile Festival in Minneapolis on September 18 (thanks to my amazing studio assistant)! My etsy shop will be closed temporarily, but I plan to start posting again in a few months in time for holiday shopping, and I hope to be back in the studio making new work by the end of the year. I will not be taking any new custom orders until January 2011. Feel free to contact me, but know that I may be slow getting back to you as we adjust to our new addition.

May 14, 2010

Art-A-Whirl • May 14-16, 2010

Join us in our studio for Art-A-Whirl 2010, the country's largest open studio tour sponsored by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association. Here at the Northrup King Building, Art-A-Whirl is a chance to gain free admission into the working studios of over 200 artists working in nearly every art medium. You could spend a whole day in our building and still not see everything. Free parking. Plus, studios and galleries will be open throughout Northeast. Come get to know this rich arts district.

Friday, May 14th – 5:00-10:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 15th – Noon-8:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 16th -Noon-5:00 p.m.

I have lots of work on the shelves as I've been stocking up to get ready for summer shows. Stop by to see what I've been up to! Also in my studio, #394, terra cotta sculpture and encaustic works by Claudia Poser, whimsical ocarinas by Lucy Grantz and mosaic work by Linda Mix Yates. Also, see a series of new collaborative mosaic works that Linda and I have been working on using my handmade tiles.

Most studios serve refreshments, and the Magic Bus will be outside the main entrance of the building for more serious food! Or, try some of Northeast's amazing eateries.

Northrup King Building
1500 Jackson St. NE • Studio #394
Minneapolis, MN 55413 for directions and building info. for event details.

Hope to see you there!

May 05, 2010

First Thursday Open Studios • May 6 • 5-9pm

What's Inside?

Come to the First Thursday Open Studios tomorrow night and find out! Right now my kiln is too hot to even peek, but I'll be opening it tomorrow just in time for First Thursday. It's filled with the first batch of flower pots, my new flower garden trays, and some other exciting new pieces and forms! Also, lots of mosaic tile pieces for new collaborative mosaic works with my studiomate, Linda Mix Yates. Come and see what we have in the works!

And, luckily First Thursday is just in time to do your Mother's Day Shopping. I have a huge inventory on the shelves as I stock up for art-a-whirl and summer shows. A bud vase, wall tile or new tray would make a perfect gift.

First Thursday at the Northrup King Building • Studio 394
1500 Jackson St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Thursday, May 6
5-9 pm

April 29, 2010

Foot Fetish

It's not what you're thinking. I've gotten obsessed with footed vessels in the studio this week. It started with a new mold for a hand built serving platter that I decided to put a low thrown foot on, and now it has grown into cake stands, tall footed candy dishes, and I'm even attempting a giant "flower" shaped bowl form that will sit on a tall thrown foot. I'm having a lot of fun with them and will be interested to see where it goes. I'm really enjoying combining hand built forms with thrown forms—surprisingly a new direction for me. My work has always been mainly wheelthrown with a secondary line of hand built slab trays, but rarely have the two met in the same piece. I better stop making and start decorating or I'm going to overwhelm myself with pots waiting to be finished.

April 15, 2010

Starting from Seeds

Eli and I planted seeds this week. While vegetables rarely enter his mouth, he seems to be fascinated with the idea of growing things from seeds. Hopefully, this summer he may even try the veggies when they come out of the garden? We planted pumpkins (his choice), tomatoes, herbs and cucumbers. I would love to have a bigger garden, but we're nowhere near getting our yard to the point where we can set up a real garden and between art fairs and being pregnant I don't see it happening this year! As well as starting seeds in trays, I snuck a couple of flower pots home from the studio that were left from last summer. I started basil and oregano in them and they will look adorable in our red and pink kitchen.

This has inspired me to start a big batch of flower pots in the studio. I have one gallery that specifically requested them since they did well last year. I threw them yesterday, and hopefully they'll be glazed and ready to go in a couple of weeks. I'm also focusing on other garden inspired items...bud vases, taller vases and trays with garden motifs. I can't believe how early the MN growing season is starting this year with all the warm weather. Guess next I'll have to get going on berry bowls!

March 31, 2010

Top Ten Pitfalls of the Pregnant Potter - Part 1

I've come across other articles and blog entries about parenting and pottery, how to balance family and work, the challenges of finding studio time with young kids, etc. But, I don't know if I've actually seen anyone address the reality of pregnancy while making pottery. It seems like maybe it's time. So, here is a partial list of the unexpected challenges pregnancy brings to the studio.

1. Not being able to reach the bottom level of the kiln anymore because your stomach is in the way and having to go begging artists down the hall for help.

2. Sticking your stomach into the side of a large bowl or platter while throwing it. I guess this could be a benefit if you go for the "mark of the artist" in your work. In my case, it just ruins the peice.

3. Crushing the rim of a freshly thrown pot with your newly burgeoning bosom. Again, could be a new decorative technique.

4. Can't get your elbow to your hipbone to brace yourself when trying to center a large lump of clay. I know it's back there somewhere!

5. Can't lift a box of clay. My doctor recommended not lifting more than 25#. You've got to be kidding me! Again, the embarrassing need to go soliciting help.

And, I'm just in my fourth only gets better! I'll post the rest of the list later on in my pregnancy. Of course, by then maybe I'll be in that "serene" segment of my pregnancy with a "peaceful sense of wellbeing" and "radiant glow" (never happened with my first kid!) and won't feel like complaining anymore. Or, maybe I'll come up with the other 5 points in the middle of July when I'm standing outside in the heat and humidity doing art fairs in my 7th month. If you have personal experience, please feel free to add your comments if you feel I've missed anything important!

March 28, 2010


I've finally gotten around to making a new set of test tiles for the studio. I've been meaning to do this forever and it's going to be so nice to have a set that I can hang on the wall instead of digging through boxes looking for mismatched bits and pieces. These are the underglazes that I use for painting the colors on my illustrations. I've tried a lot of different products, but these are my favorites. They are Amaco Velvet underglazes fired to Cone 5. Some of the colors aren't as vibrant at this temperature, but I've found a nice color palette that fires bright and consistent. I apply them to bone dry greenware (I use Laguna Bmix5 clay), then bisque fire and cover with a clear glaze before firing to cone 5. The nice thing about the velvets is that they can be fired without a cover glaze, so I sometimes use them that way for detail on the bottom of pieces. I usually use them at the consistency they come out of the container, but occasionally thin them with water to get a little more of a watercolor look (they are translucent when thin, opaque when thick.) These just came out of the last firing and when I laid them all out they look so tempting, like an amazing box of candy. Next task is to make tiles for all of my glazes.

March 27, 2010

Inspiration to Play!

I just finished watching Kristen Kieffer's new DVD: Surface Decoration: Suede to Leatherhard and loved it! Trying to balance being a mom with being a working artist means that every second I have in the studio is crucial and I don't often get the chance to attend workshops or classes. This dvd is like sitting in on a demo session with Kristen and seeing lots of great tips and techniques. Most of the techniques are things that I am familiar with, but it's always great to be reminded of them and to see how another artist uses them in their work. There were also a few great tricks that I hadn't seen before. Just the section on how she makes and uses stamps in her work was worth the price of the dvd! I have always loved Kristen's work and it was great to get a glimpse into how she works. The way her forms and surfaces work so seamlessly together is very inspiring to me. And, I love the richness of her decorative patterning, so elegant and fluid. I often get stuck spinning so fast on my "hamster wheel" (my husband's description of my work pace) trying to get enough work made that I don't allow myself time to play and have fun with my work, and this video is a good reminder to do that!