Intersection and Small bits, coming soon . . .

Modified Thumbs Up

Modified Thumbs Up, the thumb goes to the splash pad.

It’s been an interesting summer here in Potterville. A bike mishap coupled with my normal activities (biking, pottery, weightlifting, knitting etc) has made a masterful stew of inflammation with the oh so glamorous name Intersection Syndrome**. It’s a painful condition, and I’m immobilized with a splint.

Unfortunately this has all sorts of everyday repercussions. Mine is largely a life led one handed. One of the more frustrating challenges has been no wheel work. I have not been actively throwing, trimming or carving for a few months now. This has been quite the challenge. My hand therapists assure me I will be back to work soon, and so I remain positive. Somedays I am more succesful than others.

This has unfortunately affected my fall schedule and I am unable to attend one of my favorite events, The Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival early this September. The event organizers have been kind enough to save my spot for 2016, and so I’ll be back next year. This schedule change will help me take some extra time to resume my work s l o w l y. I’m typically a bit of a tornado before a show, and my studio work will be more of a drip than a proper storm when it resumes.

It’s mind numbingly  s l o w this soft tissue healing. Most days I look forward to going to bed in the hopes that the following morning I’ll wake up and my hand will feel better. It’s an odd mental shift as I typically relish my first morning thought of, “What can I make today” Instead it has been,  “What can I do to safely mark time until I’m better?” There have been some silver linings, mostly more time with the kiddos and some longer than expected vacations. It’s really been mixed and has made me even more aware of how challenging it is for me to be idle.

pile o' pendants

pile o’ pendants

I have been amassing quite the selection of small bits, buttons, pendants and stitch markers in the studio. I’m in the process of prepping some of these for online sale. The photography has been slow going. Did you know this ENTIRE WORLD seems to be created for right handed folks? (All my SLR buttons and toggles are on the right.) Photo editing is also a hoot with your non dominant hand. Try it. It’s soo fun. (by fun I mean frustrating) We’ve taken to modifying most everything these days. Including my thumbs up.

I’m almost finished with the editing, and the posts will go live on my Etsy shop this Sunday after 12 noon Central. I’m not sending out a email notification for this small bits sale, as there will not be pots. I’ll be announcing it on Twitter, Ravelry and Instagram too!

intersection syndrome

**For those interested in the pathophisioloigy of Intersection syndrome here’s an excerpt from MedScape

“The condition has long been held to be caused by friction from the overlying extensor pollicis brevis (EPB) and abductor pollicis longus (APL) tendons.[8] Tensile and shearing stresses in the tendons and peritendinous tissues may lead to thickening, adhesions, and cellular proliferation. Subsequent swelling and proliferation of tenosynovium may cause pain, as these tissues are compressed within the unyielding second extensor compartment.”



Every now and again I do something that makes me take my palm to my forehead and do my best Homer Simpson impression, “D’oh!” Why haven’t I done this before? This design is definitely one of those moments. Easily executed, and awfully pretty if I do say so myself, this new birch motif is sure to be on every form I make! They’ve always been amongst my favorite trees, and now I’ll be seeing them in my sleep.

Ps… I’ve been asked a lot lately what my next show is, and it is Wisconsin Sheep and Wool in September. My current studio work is being earmarked for an online update. I’m in the throes of summer revelry with the kiddos, so the date and time haven’t been scheduled yet. So, TBD! 

Wahoo! Green things!!

Tilling and grading

Coming back from Maryland Sheep and Wool is always the unofficial start of Spring around here. I leave Minnesota when its almost Spring, drive to Maryland where it is most definitely Spring and then drive back in time for Minnesota to bust out the blooms. After long cold winters I always want to shout, “Wahoo! Green things!!”

Last year we were fortunate to lease a community garden space a block from our house. We have always grown veggies, but as our trees mature in our yard we have less and less full sun for the plants to soak up. The community garden space is in full sun most of the day, score! We leased a plot again this year and the kids were super getting all the manure tilled into the space.

Lily and her rake
Our plants this year will include many many tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, onions, shallots, summer squash, beans, collard greens, cucumbers and lots of herbs. I’ll post pictures of the garden throughout the growing season, it is fun to watch it grow!

Bennie the digger


It’s late, and I really should be in bed as I’m scheduled to leave Minneapolis at 5 am tomorrow. Both Maryland and Rhinebeck are solid two day drives for me and I need to get an early start to bypass the joy that is Chicago traffic. I always seem to hit a back up of one sort or another, typically its prime time rush hour by the time I get to Chicago. I’m hoping that’s not the case tomorrow. Fingers crossed for a swift drive through.

I wanted to make sure I wrote a brief post about my last minute change of location. I’m still in the main exhibition hall, but I’ll now be at booth D-21. The festival called today to inform me and there’s a chance the information on their end won’t get updated in time for this weekend’s event. So, please take note. I’m in a new location, near a side door, on the right hand wall in the middle of the barn on the north east side of the building, main exhibition hall D-21.

I love a good deadline, so I’ll be opening the last glaze kiln around 4am to let the pots cool enough so I don’t melt my bubble wrap. Fresh hot pots, coming your way. So now off to dream of all the things I’m certain I have forgotton to pack.





 Studio time lately has been filled with crabby crustaceans, a Maryland Sheep and Wool requirement. Each year I make a special design and this year I decided to bring back an element from a popular design I did a few years ago for this show. 

  I love finding these abandoned type pieces at thrift stores and architectural salvage shops.  Text isn’t a common element in my work, but I do like shaking things up a bit every now and again. I’m incorporating some other different techniques in this year’s design too. Stay tuned. 

California Dreaming . . .

It’s been head down, all hands on deck time in the studio as we prepare for the trip to Stitches West in Santa Clara, CA. I’m bringing LOTS of pots, stitch markers, ornaments and buttons. (Oh! SO many buttons! Bring your swatches and yarn samples along to the market )

I’ll be in booths 933, 935 & 937.

picture of packaged buttons!



Here’s a few studio shots to whet your whistle. I have one more kiln to flip before I depart on Tuesday morning. The last kiln gets to accompany me on the plane. (Delta please be kind) As the temperature here in Minneapolis has been pretty arctic lately I’m very much looking forward to the warmer weather out West!

picture of cups in progress

cups in progress



Miss Babs

Knitter's mitten Hamsa

Knitter’s mitten Hamsa

I’ve been hard at work filling orders from this year’s shows and making a few special pieces for a collaboration with Miss Babs. She asked me to design a Hamsa “ornament” to coincide with a mitten pattern kit she was working on. It was fun researching and designing this talisman. I’m quite pleased with the finished design and really enjoyed the process of this project. The final kits look amazing, and are sure to sell quickly. All the Hamsa ornaments I made and the limited edition mugs are available through Miss Babs shop today at 12 Eastern.

Hamsa inspired mitten and mug

Hamsa inspired mitten and mug

Ornaments and Yarn pairings

Ornaments and Yarn pairings

Its been months in the making and today is finally the day the ceramics are available! Here’s a few pictures of the progress of this collaboration as I was working on them in the studio. Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have seen some of these pictures. It’s hard to be excited about something and unable to share it fully, so I may have been a bit obscure.

fresh stack

fresh stack

Hamsa Mug limited edition for Miss Babs ready for glazing

Hamsa Mug limited edition for Miss Babs ready for glazing

Hamsa lineup ready for glazing

Hamsa lineup ready for glazing

Glazed and ready to fire

Glazed and ready to fire

Psst . . . I’ll have a bunch of little gift items available in my etsy shop today at 11 Central too.

November, really?

little hands and lots of feathers

little hands and lots of feathers

There’s a time warp that happens after a big show like Rhinebeck. All of your energy has been channeled to getting all the things ready for the show, and all the things ready at the house for you to be gone at the show. The show happens and then bam it is done.

Months of prep and it’s over. A blur of places, people and things, and all the hard work come to fruition. After the long drive, the exhaustion sets in and there is the homecoming re-entry, no small task with little people. Even though it’s been a week total from leaving to returning it feels like an age has passed. Life is all discombobulated and it takes a bit of effort to put things right again.

All the long nights and early mornings are replaced with a little well earned sleeping in and staying up late on other non clay pursuits. Oh yeah, and Halloween. As soon as I return it’s costume making time. This year only L requested a special costume. B was happy to borrow a Spidey Suit from a neighbor pal. I love refocusing the energy on my family after a big event. We’ve been relishing that time.

Owlet and Spidey on Halloween

Owlet and Spidey on Halloween

The studio sits dormant while I’m away, and getting that pump primed and running takes a long time. The mess you left must be cleaned, and things re-set to begin. Clay must be weighed, pots thrown, trimmed and painted. Finally I feel like the studio is back. The pistons are moving again, things are being made and projects are underway. I’m excited to have another project coming your way at the end of the month. I’ll leave you with a sneak peek of part of it.

Project closeup

I’m hoping to have a small update before the holidays are upon us. Please sign up for the Update list  so you can be notified of the date and time new work will be online!

(The update list is on the tippy top of the right side of this very blog! )




In my adventures I’m fortunate to meet some wonderful like minded creative souls. Most of us in this industry are largely self directed solo acts in making.  I love the inside head space I fall into while working, sometimes though it can be a wee bit lonely. I use various social media to bounce ideas, voice frustrations and share life with others of the same ilk. I like to think of it as taking a break at the water cooler. These breaks a rewarding and I’m amazed at the friendships I have grown online.  One of my favorite parts of attending these festivals is meeting those folks whose work or wit I have admired online.

Last year I was able to attend a retreat where I was able to do so, but without the stress and chaos that accompanies a fiber festival. Spending a few days with Kim (Indigo Dragonfly)  and Bristol (Bristol Ivy Designs) we decided to collaborate on a project. Over the last year we have exchanged ideas, emails and samples and we’re quite pleased with the finished result! Troika will be available in kits in each of the two color ways in my booth at Rhinebeck. The kit will include enough of Kim’s yarn to make the cowl, Bristol’s design, and four buttons in either porcelain or copper as desired.

Here’s my contribution. I can’t wait to knit one myself!

Troika buttons




Once again I’m lucky to share my space with Jill Draper. We met a few years ago at Sock Summit and I just knew she was great. Over the years that has been consistently reinforced. I could gush, but I’d rather have you drool a bit. She’s kindly provided me with some great photos of her offerings this year.


A new kit for this adorable hat, pattern by Kate Atherley.


This year’s Rockwell naturals. I love the dark brown. (I’m expecting a scrum over it)


Here’s one of my favorites. A sweater both Jill (in red) and her mom (in blue) knit with her yarn. The pattern is Jenny at the Fair by Mary Jane Mucklestone from the Rhinebeck Sweater Book.  Looks mighty familiar. Just have the button band to go on mine . . .


My Jenn(ie) at the Fair

My Jenn(ie) at the Fair