Hey Ho

Ho Ho Ho.  One week till Christmas!!  Yay!  I guess, I mean it's a crazy time of year right? : shopping, eating, spending money, seeing family, avoiding family, decorating, cooking, drinking, drinking more to cope, over doing it, stressing out, passing out, worrying, being thankful, staying off the naughty list, traveling, taking photos, wrapping presents.   You know, all that and MORE.

 I have pots in the kiln tonight.  One last order of cups and a few dishes and gifts that will go out in the mail this week.  I don't think I've ever had pots going out this close to Christmas.  It used to be that after the first weekend in December I was pretty much finished for the year.    I'm happy to still be getting pots made and fired.  I may just stroll on through and keep working for the next few weeks before diving in mid-January.

Right, so what else?  I've not been really sure what I want to write about on here lately, so I've just been skipping it for the most part.  Hopefully all my readers haven't left me for the more exciting blogs.  Maybe I'm due for a change in 2012.  New content, not the same old boring pictures of pots in progress, me in my socks, and how to videos.  Any suggestions?   I need to poke the box a little here.  We'll see.  It could get weird.  That would probably be fun.

Okay, so no more for now.

PS.  Saw this artist perform on Austin City limits last night. Wow!

Pots. Socks. Whatever.

Hey Y'all.

Just bopping along here.  Making a few pots and shipping some out.


I got some new socks last week.  Italian no less.


And this next pair was given to me by Hannah.  Bought at Howies I believe.

I was in heaven when we wondered into the Tabio shop in London a few years ago.

 If they only shipped to the US!  Sadly my orange and yellow Tabio socks have seen their better days now.

Guess what? I'm up to my 199th sale on my Etsy site!! Yay! Hopefully I'll reach 200 by Christmas.  I've actually sold over 200 pots already from the site.  Sometimes folks don't like the whole online ordering thing so they call and order and I ship out the pots.  I'm pretty excited to have sold over 100 pots online this year.  I'd like to set a goal and double that in 2012.

Well thanks for taking time to check in.  I know it's not that exciting, but I wanted to get something up here before the blog shriveled up and blew away in the wind.

Studio Sale was Great!

The Studio Sale went very well this past weekend.  It was so great to see folks and catch up as well as to talk about pots.  Many pieces left the showroom and I hope they are being enjoyed in their new homes.

I'm always touched by those who come out to the studio and our home to get pots.   These folks sometimes drive for an hour or more to get here.  It's an honor to me that people put forth the time and effort to get here.  For me it's rewarding to get to talk to the people who are interested in handmade pots and to put out a selection of my very best work for them to choose from.

It's a relief to have the last big event of the year behind me now.  I still have special orders to fill over the next few weeks so I'm back in the studio today throwing.

I'm also stocking up the Online shop with some really nice pots.  I'll be adding 4 or 5 per day over the rest of the week.  I've had some orders already and I'll be packing those up today. (I have to scrounge up some bubble wrap somewhere).

Thanks again to everyone for their support, patronage, and encouragement.  I'm so thankful for all the friends I have that I see at shows and here at the studio, as well as those here on the interent.

Pots in the Showroom

It's been a busy day but I'm finally all set up for the Sale.  The showroom looks great w. all the pots and the studio got a pretty good cleaning too.


Thanks for watching.  Hopefully by Monday there will fewer pots.

Studio Sale and Photos

This weekend is my Holiday Studio Sale.
Saturday 10 am till 4pm
Sunday  Noon till 4pm
757 Wallace Grove Road Shelby, NC 28150

I still have a bit of cleaning and set up to do but should be finished by the end of the day.  Here are a few pots from the last firing.

The latest possum pots have been a big hit.   This little guy is on his way to his new home.


I'll try my best to get a video shot of the showroom today.  There are loads of good pots in there.  It's nice to see it all stocked up.

The Etsy shop is well stocked to and I will  add a few new  things as soon as I can get them photographed.  Here's the LINK to the shop.

Okay that's all for now.  I know many of us potter's are having some kind of event this weekend and through Christmas.  Good luck to all of you out there. Let's get some hand made pots out into the world and share our passion and excitement of what we do with others.


I got bored cleaning today so I shot a few videos.  They are just fun stuff.  Short too.





Just a bit of a Ramble about being an Artist

I recently wrote about good I am feeling these days and how happy I am with my work.

I want to comment more now on how much I feel priviledged to be working as an artist and how I'm so thankful for those folks who buy my work and for those who give me moral and emotional support.

As an artist/craftsperson we each put our hearts and souls out there for the world to see.  That's a very brave thing to do.  Many times what we care about gets over looked or mis-understood.  Sometimes people step on it or cut it down or turn their noses up at it.  It's hard as hell when that happens.  I have felt crushed when I have gotten rejections to shows, or to craft schools, or to galleries.  I have cried, and been depressed and looked at myself in very small ways over the years for various reasons.  It's not easy being an artist.  We are often sensitive, unsure, lonely, self abusive, and have the self confidence of a maggot at the bottom of a trash bin.

But we get to do what we love!  We get to draw or paint or make things or write or play music or whatever.  We get to be serious, or playful, or goofy and we get to make up things and to push ideas and boundaries all over the place.  Sometimes we even get paid for doing these things.  We get to teach others too!  That's totally cool.

I had no formal education to go into the arts.  I can't really talk about art history or sound intelligent when I see a painting I like or say what exactly makes a good pot or a beautiful piece of music.  I can however draw on my experiences and what I've learned and try my best to make some sort of difference in my life through that and maybe in some others lives too.  A handmade cup is pretty much my gift to whomever will take it and use it.  I put all I can into it and then go and make another one, maybe better, maybe not.

I feel like I've really been focusing on my marketing over the past few years.  I know many artists hate this part of it and say they don't care if they ever sell anything.  That's fine, and I do feel sort of strange posting all my Etsy listings on Facebook all the time.  Still, I want to make a living from my work.  I don't want to go back to the DOT or the deli or landscaping.  If I have to do those things so I can buy more clay I will though.

No matter what I've been through that's been crappy and rough and depressing, I've continued to make pots over the past 19 years.  It's the one thing I've found that I love to do and I go out there everyday and work on something.  Usually in my free time I'm thinking about pots or drawing pots or looking at pottery on the internet or whatever.   It's my life, I'm surrounded by all the great pots in our house and I can't even go on vacation without seeing pots in windows or going through our hosts cabinets looking for a special bowl or mug.

Anyhow I need to wrap this up, but I wanted to say how grateful I am to be able to do what I want and that I have seen some positive movement out there in the retail world of craft shows lately.  I am so thankful for the people who have bought my pots over the years and those that continue to.  I hope my work is enriching their lives.

I also want to thank those who have commented here on the blog and have sent me messages about my work.  It's so amazing, this online family that I have.  It's great to log on each day and read what folks are doing and see what they are making.  It's cool to be a part of each other's journey.

Okay that's all for now.  Sorry that was a bit of a ramble.

Getting ready for my Holiday Sale

The bisque is loaded with a week to go before my Holiday Studio Sale.

I worked on some new deco on a few of these pots and I look forward to seeing them fired.  I have about 10 more pots that could potentially get decorated and fired before next weekend too.  These are high end jars and a few plates.  I'd really like to get them through the kiln but I felt like I needed to focus on the bread and butter pots first.

Some of you potters out there may wonder about that photo above.  I don't stack pots in the bisque like most folks do.  This is because my slip fluxes a bit at cone 04 and if the pots are stacked they may stick together and pull the slip off.  So I just stack like a glaze load.  It's no big deal and it actually helps me to see how I'll get the next load set up after glazing.

Here's the info on my upcoming Studio Sale

Saturday Dec. 3rd.  10 am till 4pm
Sunday Dec. 4th  Noon till 4pm

757 Wallace Grove Road Shelby NC 28150

I am going to have some really nice pots so I hope to have a good turnout.  The first weekend in December is when every potter in NC and his brother (also a potter) has their Studio sale.  I'm hoping my locals turn out as well as folks from afar.

The showroom will be open through Christmas by appointment or by chance.  It's a good idea to call ahead as I may be taking a nap or gone to the grocery.  704 480 6046

A Good Place

I've done several shows this fall and I have to say I've been really pleased with all of them for many reasons:

1.  Customer turnout has been very good.  Even at one show where it rained off and on all day.

2.  People are buying pots. Not just coming to look.

3.  People seem to be genuinely interested in what I am doing and in the pots.

I'm thankful for all these things.  I've been wanting to write about how much I have enjoyed taking my new work (yes, I'm still calling this earthenware my 'new' work) to shows and how folks react to it.

These pots with the images get people in the booth.  First off my pots are not like anything else in any of the shows I do.  Granted, some people just walk right by booth.  My work is not their taste and that's fine.  But many, many people are drawn into the booth to get a closer look at the images on the pots.  This is really exciting for me.  I love when they come in, take a look, and then smile, or laugh or turn to their friend in the asile and say, You have to see this.

These reactions allow me to start talking to folks about the pots.  We usually start off talking about the imagery, but I lead them to looking at the pot, the form, the foot, the handle of a mug or whatever it is.  We talk about what they will use it for, or if they'll hang it on the wall or give it as a gift.  I share my passion for making handmade pots and how Sarah and I use pots in our home.

Usually it comes back around to the Goat or the Rabbit or the Laundry Line that the person was attracted to when they came in to my booth.  They may tell me about when they were children and helped their mother hang out the laundry, or maybe they'll ask what my favorite animal is or why my Dogs have so many teeth.  It's really nice to make this connection with people and the fact that the pottery that I make speaks to them and brings up a reaction for them, or a memory.  Most of the time it's a smile or laughter.  I can't tell you how fun it is for me to stand there and smile at people when they look at my work and have them smile back.  It's really rewarding and satisfying.

Most of you who have read this blog for years have heard me complain about finding my way, worrying about being a certain kind of potter, or just getting depressed in general over the state of my work.  I'm glad to say that right now I truly feel like I'm making the pots I want to make and I find meaning in them and I feel like others do to.  For many years I thought that the meaning of my work should only be found through it's use.  I'm now happy to say that I'm content with being useful and decorative.  Most of all I'm glad that it makes people smile and laugh and that I can share the fact that life doesn't have to be so serious all the time.

Don't Rush

Black Friday.  Sarah and I are relaxing this morning with tea and enjoying being at home on a Friday together.  No crazy early morning shopping for us.  No shopping at all actually.

Typically I begin my Holiday Sale on the day after Thanksgiving.  We decided to start a week later this year.  It's just so much of a rush to get everything ready and still enjoy the holiday with our families when we are working at setting up for a Sale.

It's a beautiful day out and I am going to spend time out on the porch drawing on pots.  I made just over 50 pots on Monday.

 I made the mistake of trying to rush dry some of them in the kiln and cracked two of the tall footed bowls.

 I know better than to do that, but sometimes lessons have to be relearned.  Anyhow, it's okay, I probably have more pots than I can get fired before next weekend anyway.

I am looking forward to getting tucked into some drawing today.  I'll start with mugs and work up to plates and bowls.

I have been thinking about a couple blog posts that I want to write. I may do a video later today that will talk about my experiences at the last few craft shows I've done.  For now, more tea and out to work.

Have a good day everyone.


Yay Monday!

I sort of mean that.  I'm having a hard time getting going today but maybe after another cup of tea I'll get rolling.

It's good to be home and settled.  I think it took me two good days to recover from NYC.  I do love living out here in the country.

Today will be a big making day.  I have less than 2 weeks until my Holiday Studio sale and I need certain pots to finish filling the shelves.  I've made a list and hopefully I can knock a chuck of it out today.

I've been posting new pots in my Online Shop.  There will be 4-5 more going in today.

I feel really good right now and excited about the last few shows I participated in.  It was great to see folks and to get my newest pots in their hands.  I'm going to do a little post on that later probably.  For now, I'm off to get my hands in the clay.  Have a good week everyone!


Home from NYC

Sarah and I spent the last few days in NYC having fun and pretty much walking our feet off.  It was our first time there and we had a blast.  Sarah did her masters work at Appalachian State University here in NC.  ASU has a loft space in the Flatiron district that is available for alumni, their family and guests.  It's insanely cheap to stay there so we took full advantage of it and certainly plan to go back.

Sarah and I in Central Park


We met up with Hannah McAndrew there after she had been in Philly for a week as an exhibitor in the Philadelphia Craft Show. Hannah's partner Paul flew in from Scotland to join us too.

Having lunch at Katz's Delicatessen

I'll do a few posts over the next few days.  For now I'm happy to be back home in the slow lane of country living.  My brain and body put their selves into restore mode today so I spent it on the couch sleeping and reading.


Getting Mobbed

This was the scene outside of the building at the Carolina Pottery Festival yesterday morning as a mob of pottery lovers crowded to get in the door.

They were chanting ORN-A-MENTS, ORN-A-MENTS over and over.  When the doors opened I was rushed, knocked down and trampled as crazed shoppers reached my booth and stripped the shelves of my cookie cutter ornaments.

After getting patched up at the paramedic tent, I went back inside to see the rest of my pots all intack on the shelves.  As the day wore on I sold a few Rabbit dishes and a Laundry Line mugs.  It ended up being a good day, a very memorable one for sure.

Next year I think I'll hold off on the ornaments, I'm just not ready for this sort of fame yet.

Getting Ready for Two Shows this Weekend

I'm doing two shows this weekend.  Tomorrow will be a busy day as I have to set up for both of them.  Here's a video showing the pots ready to be packed up.  There are still a few pots being fired and will come out late in the day on Friday.


For more info on the shows click the following links.

Carolina Pottery Festival, Shelby, NC
Sat. Nov. 12th 10 am till 4pm
I'll be at this event selling my work.

Henhouse Sale, York, SC
Sat. Nov 12th and Sun. Nov. 13th
10am till 4pm both days
I may be here part of the day on Sunday.

Both of these are great venues and both are indoors some come on out if you are in the area.