Friday, January 30, 2009

27 days to AltCraft/ACC

I am working away in the studio preparing for my upcoming show at the end of February, just 27 days until I pack up and head to Baltimore. 27 days is not much time in the world of pottery, there is still making to do but I have made a big dent in my list and hope to have everything made and in progress to a certain point by this coming week. I declared studio lock down in a joking way but looking on the calendar I think it is important to focus. My new production schedule is working out, I need to edit it each day but it is serving it's purpose of keeping me on track. Since I work from home it is easy for me to relax and while I might appear to be working myself a little hard, it's just the studio groove that every artist enjoys kicking in. And trust me, I need to keep at it while the groove is so groovey!
I am heading back into the studio, it's all about thrown forms; dinner plates, platters, tea cups and mugs. And if I can get everything etched I just might start on the vases - the clay is prepped and ready to go!
Have a lovely weekend, if I can make it out I want to go see Slumdog Millionaire - it looks so good!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

talented friends!

My very talented friend Sue (of EcoLeeko) wrote a great article for her local paper and it was published! The Article Hubbardsville artist says country living helps art is about her equally talented husband Tom. Happy reading!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

wear your heart on your wing

I am trying out the "blog this" feature on flickr!! So please bare with me : )
I just listed a few valentine bird tags in my etsy shop, I only made a few for fun, each one is a one of a kind.

It's snowing here, finally!!! We even have a few inches right now, there is nothing like waking up to snow, at least for me, it calms my heart, ahh snow...

Monday, January 26, 2009

getting ready for AltCraft

Sorry I've been so quiet, I am quietly in my space getting ready for show season. This is not my normal show season so I am feeling a little off. I am happy to have 2 big shows coming up, it's keeping me quite busy in the studio. I have a few new designs I will share in the coming weeks - I decided that the best way to make the most items with the most care was to focus on forming and etching, then move into glazing so for the next week or 2 I will only be starting objects, in case you wanted to know how I get ready for shows! I will share this as I prepare for AltCraft (in just 4.5 weeks!)
Above are my current favorites, and a focus for the AltCraft show, I LOVE doing the trees and have expanded that pattern onto vases. The vases are going to be so lovely. Every once in a while I can just feel a pattern will be loved and the tree vase is sure to be one of those!
To get ready and keep up with orders - from now until February 26th I am on studio lock down!
But don't worry, I love what I do!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

help save handmade toys

When I want to buy a special gift for someone, I think handmade. When I remember all of the special gifts I received as a child, nearly all of them were handmade - they are also the ones that I have kept into adulthood! I hope you feel the same way too. If you do, please take a minute to read the excerpt below from then vote to help save handmade toys.
The issue: In 2007, large toy manufacturers who outsource their production to
China and other developing countries violated the public's trust. They were
selling toys with dangerously high lead content, toys with unsafe small part,
toys with improperly secured and easily swallowed small magnets, and toys made
from chemicals that made kids sick. Almost every problem toy in 2007 was
made in China.The United States Congress rightly recognized that the Consumer
Products Safety Commission (CPSC) lacked the authority and staffing to prevent
dangerous toys from being imported into the US. So, they passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August,
2008. Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in toys,
mandates third-party testing and certification for all toys and requires toy
makers to permanently label each toy with a date and batch number. All of
these changes will be fairly easy for large, multinational toy manufacturers to
comply with. Large manufacturers who make thousands of units of each toy have
very little incremental cost to pay for testing and update their molds to
include batch labels. For small American, Canadian, and European toymakers
and manufacturers of children's products, however, the costs of mandatory
testing will likely drive them out of business.A toymaker, for example, who
makes wooden cars in his garage in Maine to supplement his income cannot afford
the $300 - $4,000 fee per toy that testing labs are charging to assure
compliance with the CPSIA. A work at home mom in Minnesota who makes cloth
diapers to sell online must choose either to violate the law or cease
operations. A small toy retailer in Vermont who imports wooden toys from Europe,
which has long had stringent toy safety standards, must now pay for testing on
every toy they import. And even the handful of larger toy makers who still
employ workers in the United States face increased costs to comply with the
CPSIA, even though American-made toys had nothing to do with the toy safety
problems of 2007.

You can go here to vote.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

list maker

I'm quite the list maker. I like crossing things off the list, adding new items on, reading and rereading what I wrote. It's nice to put it all down in pen, then I officially need to do these things I come up with. In the studio the list is ever changing and quite honestly, unrealistic. The list is a mile long, well pages. This year I was a little slow on buying a planner so I had to get the one I wanted a little larger then usual... such is life. I am hoping to fill it with schedules for wedding registries, shows, orders and of use the daily pages for lists! The first thing on my 2009 list was to finish up 2008! check! Now for 2009.

Monday, January 5, 2009

happy new year

Happy 2009!
Today is my first day back in the studio for an official 1st work day of the year. It's been a long holiday season but one that I enjoyed very much. I did 7 holiday shows, pictured is my table from the Greatest Trunk Show on Earth on black friday. That seems like forever ago now! I'm still finishing up a few 2008 orders which sets my 2009 work schedule a little askew, but in quite a welcomed way. This year is starting off with a busy January and February, a time when most makers are quietly designing and organizing for the year ahead. I am excited to prepare for AltCraft at the end of February, this will be my first show at a convention center and my first step into the world of doing the "bigger" craft shows. My focus right now is dinnerware, and if everything goes as planned I will be bringing a few full sets along, as well as new vases and platters.

In the studio my big news is that I have a NEW kiln of the automatic variety!!! I bought it back in November and haven't had a chance to set it up - we're working on it this week. Pictured is my old kiln packed full and cooling. And you can see the top of my new kiln to the left. Life is going to be so much easier with 2 kilns, if you're a fellow potter I'm sure you know. Also in the making life easier realm, I've reorganized and rearranged my packing area, all I can say is ahhh!

Over the holidays I've been pretty low key. Just spending time with my mister and our famlies. We spent time shopping for new clothes!!! and watching dvd's. My parents have a huge dvd collection that we've been making our way through, fun! Oh and we finally tried out a mexican restaurant that is new to us - Tequilla Joe's, they have the best margarita's, it's definitely going to be a new favorite for us! Then we made a trip to Longwood Gardens to see the holiday display, it was insanely crowded but full of holiday cheer, we had a great time and will definilty go back.

I hope you all had a great holiday and wish you a fantastic 2009.