Category Archives: Uncategorized

Special Project

rack of cups

a rack of cups in progress. Yes, my wheel is always this messy.

The studio has been busy since I returned from Maryland getting things ready for a special project. Those pots will be available later this month. I’ll post more about that later.
I’m planning on a very large ready to ship July update, and will be sending out an email to my list this week with details for all the remaining updates of 2016. There will be no online update for June, as I’m going to put all the pots toward the July update. We’ve dubbed it Christmas in July around here.
If you have previous designs or forms you’re especially hoping for, please pop over to my Facebook page or Ravelry group and post your ideas there. We’ll be on the look out for some great ones to put on the studio list!

D-21! 

   
 Coming to Maryland Sheep and Wool? Stop by and visit me at booth D-21 in the  Main Exhibition Hall! I have many, many wonderful pots, new designs and some classics too! Be prepared to enter the shark tank…

All the colors

 

Bike buttons!

Bike buttons!

I’m working on another collaboration, this time featuring the ever popular bike button. Here’s a  peek at some of the colors that will be available in the kit, online, and at my booth in California at Stitches West. I’m a sucker for a good rainbow. Maybe my next sweater should have one of every color?

Methods

New method

I’ve been making pottery for many years now and like anything you’ve spent years doing, I’ve become quite entrenched in my method of making. The character of my pots in large part comes from my way of carving the designs and motifs on my hand thrown pottery.

After my forced rest from clay work this summer I had to reassess my method of making and find ways to reduce the amount of carving I had in my pottery.  Immensely frustrating to begin with,  eventually I found I could add designs and motifs in different ways to the clay surface. I  broke down each motif into smaller elements.  I used my carving time to create hand carved lino stamps to impress into the clay surface while freshly thrown. The color on these pots comes from a different layering of underglazes and glazes too. I think the spirit of my work is the same, the result is different.

Building stock for this show was a dance between throwing and carving for a bit and then switching to the new method.  I’m quite smitten with making these new pots. It’s brought back some play to the act of making pots. Many of these are coming along to the show,  along with many in the traditional method and style I’m known for.  I do hope you all like them.

 

 

 

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.”

 

D-21

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.

 

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! )

Collaboration

 

Troika

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

Guest Post from a (semi) retired Booth Babe

After yesterday’s post where I answered the questions I have been asked via email or social media I was quickly chided for my hurried post. My dear friend suggested I go back to the beginning and answer questions that first time visitors and Rhinebeck newbies might have. Juggling the last minute show prep and family life I nicely jested she write the post. Well, she did! What follows are helpful hints and tips from a (semi) retired booth babe, an amaze ball knitter and one of my all time favorite people. 

Oh, Jennie Jennie Jennie.

 

Those are only the “essentials” of how to navigate the craziness that is JTP Booth at Rhinebeck.

 

Here’s a true “insider helpful hints guide” from Not the Potter, for people who come clamoring for your ware, especially at Rhinebeck.

 

  • If you REALLY REALLY want a show mug, come early Saturday morning. Jennie has historically NOT held back inventory of show mugs for the second day so whatever there is, it is sold first come first served. These are limited edition, so unless you nab them at the festival, you can’t have one…

 

THAT BEING SAID,

 

Special orders are available (in limited quantity) at all festivals Jennie goes to, and you can order a 2014 Rhinebeck mug/yarn bowl/tumber at them. SOMETIMES there is even special orders available on Etsy (hint hint: Holiday time, stay tuned to this blog). Or…did Jennie tell anyone she will be at Stitches West in Feb 2015? Just saying.

 

  • There are usually a couple of specials on Sunday. These are very limited, usually, but Jennie does sell some seconds if she has them (and I bet she has some given how many mugs she threw for Rhinebeck) for a bit of a discount. Usually a Sunday special. No promises, I’m just guessing. (But if there weren’t any of these, Jennie would have deleted this bullet point since this IS her blog.)

 

  • I know the focus is one the show mug, but she always has several of her Classic Sheepie mugs/vases/yarn bowls. So….if you have your heart set on one of those, they will likely be there and if you wanted a particular yarn color or sheep color, and it’s not in the middle of the crush for the show mug, ask! There may be inventory that’s not out on the shelves yet and sometimes, though the booth babes are efficient and hard working, not all the inventory gets out there.

 

  • Hint: From what I saw (and just photos, mind you, I live in NYC), it looks like there are a few pieces from “the archives” making the trek to Rhinebeck this year. No, not antiques from Jennie’s attic, but she’s bringing back some classics.

 

  • If you want to chat up the Potter, there are several strategies. She’s quite friendly, actually, but what I’ve noticed in my time with Jennie…
    • Wear a killer knit. I’ve never NOT heard her comment on a beautiful piece of knitting that someone is wearing. Jennie is a knitter (and a good one at that), and I’ve noticed that she will always have something to say about a killer knit. In fact, I’ve seen her chase down someone wearing a great shawl across the show floor.
    • Come to the booth in the afternoon when the booth is not so crazy.

 

  • And at this point, may I highlight 3 items that I always seem to buy (and not be able to keep because they make good gifts):
    • Buttons!!!!! Buttons are organized (USUALLY) by how many buttons are on a card. It’s also worthwhile asking one of the booth babes if you’ve got some button that you’ve seen before or a swatch…they’ve seen the inventory. In fact, I’ll probably be there Saturday afternoon looking for buttons.
  • Little “saucy bowls”. Great gift for tea drinkers to put their used tea bags or strainers in. Or knitters for notions. I don’t know how many of these I’ve bought so far, and I have managed to keep only one. If you see one with a border collie on the inside, THAT’S MINE. (Just kidding, it really is worth looking at what may be peeking up at you from the bottom of the bowl. I am personally hoping there’s a version that features this year’s show design….because….YOU’LL SEE.)
  • Stitch markers! They’re nice and light (in weight), and who can’t use more stitch markers? (These also make a showing in her Etsy shop now and again so I would check to see if she lists some after Rhinebeck).

 

Well, I hope that helps. I hope you come by Jennie’s booth. I’ll be the one hogging the button boxes.


(Kei is a retired but sometimes resurrected booth babe in the JTP Booth.) Her antics, and pups, can be followed on her blog twisted and purled (nyc)

All hands on deck

 

Rhinebeck 2014 Watercolor

I thought I would take a break from the studio to reply to a few questions I’ve had regarding sales at Rhinebeck.

The event is Saturday October 18 9am – 5pm and Sunday October 19 10am to 5pm.

My booth is located outside near the 4H gate. The area is 27-A , my booth is number 9. I’m hosting the fabulous Jill Draper again this year.

Here’s a map.

I do NOT presell my work. It’s a bear to prepare for the show, pre-selling and reserving pottery for people seems unfair and frankly makes my brain hurt just thinking of it.

I will have a handful of special orders available for people to place at the show. These will NOT be available before noon on Saturday. I am unable to take any email or online orders at this time. (I’ll be sure to let you know if and when that changes)

It’s the last push to Rhinebeck. The kilns are chugging away and I have loads of extra help in the studio trying to squeeze every last pot out before its too late. I think we’re going to have more pots than ever before for this show. (Yippeeee!!) The potter mobile leaves on Tuesday morning to make the 2 day pilgrimage to the lovely Hudson Valley! I’m excited to see all of you.