Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Snagged an Etsy Treasury

I haven't snagged a treasury in forever but I got one today. If you'd like to give a look see it features Christmas in Florida. It'll only be live for a few days then its gone.

I'm also in someone else's treasury with my mosaic ornament, its a Fest Team Treasury. Thanks lazydayz.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A New Squidoo Lens

Some of you might know I make some lenses on Squidoo. Most of them are clay or pottery related. I just made a new lens on packing pottery for successful shipping. So please give it a look see if you want to know how I pack my breakable creations or want some advice on how to pack your fragile items(great to know as Christmas approaches): Shipping Pottery on Squidoo.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Another Show

This weekend I gave shows another try, finally one not a disaster. This time it was a one day indoor show. I got a 6' table space. I arrived and checked in, only to be told I was in the 'back room', now to me the words 'back room' are omminous, the back room at any show is never a great place to be for sales but there i was. I brought my Christmas table cover and lots of stuff. The day started out slow people come and look, give nice words but no purchases, lots of dead time between customer to get to know my fellow vendors(all 5 of us in the 'back room'). I started to lose heart...noon came and sales. 12:30pm a past customer arrives spots a bowl she likes and snags it, yippee a sale. She tipped the tide and more sales followed. So the show went ok.

I'd do the show again but only if I am not in the 'back room'

First Bowl that Sold at This Show
A funny observation:

Parents with children would stop in the doorway and kinda cringe at the array of sellers in the 'back room' and pull their kids closer...of us 5 three of us were me the potter, a stained glass artist, and a glass wine goblet seller. Not child friendly wares at all.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Brrr from Florida

Florida's first cold weekend. It went from the 90's to the 40's and 50's over night. Brrr its a bit chilly for this Florida native. But hopefully this finally signals the start of fall. Soon it will be time to drag everything out of the studio and give it a good cleaning and reorganizing...its too hot and rainy to do it during the other season. Also cooler weather means more mosaic work as I only mosaic during the cooler months as I work outside when I work with concrete. I do love fall in florida.

Monday, October 5, 2009

In Everyones Life a Little Dog Pee Must Fall...

I don't know if this past show was the worse I've ever done or that one in August was. This show I did make a sale...a single small sale...and it wasn't quite as hot...and I didn't have as far to carry my pots to my booth site but instead of rained on like the last one my booth was peed 3 different dogs...right on my table covers. I don't quite get it how you don't notice your dog with its leg lifted on someones lovely table covers and I don't quite understand not offering to try to clean it or offering funds to help clean it. Mumbling 'oh sorry' and just walking away is kinda rude (yes I am talking to you with that leaky poodle). I was wanting to institute a 'If your dog pees on my booth you must buy a pot policy.' The vendor next to me kept shaking his head as each dog walked by. The event was to help a no kill shelter but with hardly any sales and puddling poodles the event for me was a 'wash out'

The organizers asked if I wanted to do another no.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Show Flyer

Here is a thumb of the flyer for the show I am doing Saturday. If anybody is local to me stop by and say hi the show is in Englewood. I hope the show does well.

Monday, September 7, 2009

An Upcoming Pet Themed Show

I've signed up to do a show that is being sponsered by EARS, a nonprofit no kill shelter, so i thought some pet themed items would be good to have. I don't have much time to get the work done as the show is October 3rd so I have been racking my head for so quick to dry items to make. I was thinking pendants, dog tags, trinket dishes with pet themes, and treat plates for cats. If anyone has some idea I'd love to hear them.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bad Bad Show

Last weekend I did a small first outdoor show in a very long time. My first outdoor show I did in August in Florida. The booth cost me nothing for my space but sadly that is the only good thing I can say about it.

Set up time wasn't specified, the show started at 10:30am, I figured there would be at least 2 hours for set up and then i hoped maybe they'd maybe even allow early set up if vendors were there early. I arrived at 7:30am in hopes for early set such luck...oh well...I headed to the local walmart to spend some time in their air conditioning.

I arrived back by 8:15am...still no action at the location of show..."How odd" I thought. So I parked across the way in a small park, 2 lovely sandhill cranes flew down and waded in the water filled ditch entertaining me for a bit. The birds wandered off and again i grew concerned at the lack of anyone at the show location, I confirmed that it was a Saturday with a phone call to my mom, so I had the right day. Now it is past 9am and I know I will not be able to be fully set up in time for a 10:30am start time.

Finally some action on site, 9:30ish a dunk tank arrived and then another vehicle. I pulled up behind the van with the dunk tank. Talked with show organizer got permission to set up, while waiting for dunk tank to be off loaded 2 more vendors showed up.

No spaces were assigned it was kinda set up where you will but don't block access to this, this, this and this. So now it was quite hot being almost 10am and set up was horrible in the heat. The organizer said a group was coming in at 11 so we needed to be ready.

I finally got set up tho I was on a down hill slope and my tent was walking away so i ran and got my tent anchors(fancy water filled bleach bottles). So my tent was fairly stable now, my work half in the sun and getting to hot to handle but nothing to be done about it, me guzzling the water I had brought trying to rehydrate. It was very hot.

11 came and group appeared, a few people arrived to eat lunch and left not looking at the work. Finally about 1pm a large group arrived and the place started filling up. They sat down to eat, talk and enjoy the music. All us artists figured after eating they would browse but sadly instead they all mostly just got up and left passing my booth with not much of a glance. Throughout the next few hours a few patrons stopped and chatted and I handed out a mere 3 flyers to some interested people but not much other interest was to be had.

Finally clouds raised their ugly heads on the horizon and we all rushed to pack. Me, the potter, with all my wrapping to make sure the work would make it home was last to finish and of course the storm broke and soaked me and all my stuff before I could get it packed in the truck. Two of the guys in another vendor tent took pity on me after they finished packing and helped me carry my stuff to the truck.

It has taken me about 4 days now to dry everything out so i can pack it up again. I was very sore and slightly sunburned(even tho i was wearing sunscreen) for about 2 days. It was a sad, sad show. I don't think I will ever do another summer show in Florida ever, ever again.

BTW 5 years ago today Cat. 4 Hurricane Charley blew thru my town ruining my house, studio, and kiln. My studio is nearly back to normal, the house still getting there, and I have another kiln...but i swear it seems like it happened just yesterday even tho I traveled that long road back to recovery.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Show: A Summary

Can you call a show a success and a nonsuccess at the same time? Did I sell lots? No, barely enough to cover booth fees, so the gas to and from every day, my time, printing costs for cards and tags was not covered. So salewise...not a success. But I did meet lots of people interested in pottery. I filled a whole class for next session. So class promo was a success. I even got a photo in the paper.

I can't fault the venue. They brought people to the event. It was fairly busy most the days. I was talking pots and throwing pots most of the day. But the people seemed to have a tight hold on their wallets. The economy still is pretty bad here and it shows in the willingness to part with $ even on stuff they like.

I might be doing a show on August 8th at a different venue. We'll see how that goes, this other show has a whole different demographic. Summer shows are so iffy here in Florida.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pre-Show Jitters

I have a show next weekend. They always make me a bit nervous. I don't think you can tell when talking to me but I always have a few jitters. This show, I am going to be throwing clay in public, three days of throwing.

I am ok at throwing in front of people, always have been. I remember in college having the campus cops come watch me during after hours labs. I remember this one time that I was throwing, I might have been in my second semester of pottery class, in walks a group of about 50 firemen. They were there to learn about the kiln. After they got a good look at the kiln and their lecture on when to try to put it out and when it was just still glowy from a firing and in no danger of setting the building on fire they wandered over to me.

I was sitting alone in a line of about 15 wheels throwing but now I was sitting in a line of 15 wheels surrounded by 50 firemen, 50 manly firemen all watching me... me nervous?... no lol.

Well I entertained them and humored their recollections of the potter's wheel scene from the movie Ghost. Smiled and managed not to ruin the pot I was working on. Finally their captain decided they had enough fun and called them to the trucks and off they went.

So I was introduced to throwing in public early in my throwing career and can carry on a conversation and center, lift a wall and shape. So I do fairly well demoing in nervous? no lol.......

Monday, June 29, 2009

My Wheel Throwing Class Made Enrollment

The local economy has put a severe pinch on my class enrollment the last couple of sessions, so severe that they didn't meet the needed enrollment to run...sadly. But happy day, I got word that my Throwing Class has made enrollment so this week I again will be teaching Wheel Throwing at the center. I hope this the start of a upturn in the local area. Here is a photo of some work made in past sessions of my classes, there might be a few of mine in there too.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Featured Again

Two more blogs have featured my work. The first convo'd me on etsy to tell me she featured my Sunny Sunflower Stoneware Bitty Bowls on her blog Vida de La Pistolera.

The second was a blogger I met in etsy chat. Their blog Less Than Three Designs is just coming back from very long hiatus. Some very nice words are said about my work here...makes me blush a bit.

I'd like to thank these 2 bloggers for their appreciation of my work and their time spent writing about and showing my work. I so love seeing other people enjoying my creations.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Making My Mark(s)

I lost a bead. Now this for most people is not a big deal, lots of other beads out there in the stores. But this was a particular bead, it made a particular mark when pressed into clay and now it is gone.

I hadn't realized it was missing til i needed to make that particular mark again...a request for something custom based on a previous creation. I searched high and low for that wooden oval bead, turning out shoe boxes full of odds and ends and bric and brac that make up my shelf of mark making tools looking for that bead. The bead is gone. Perhaps it rolled on the floor and was swept up as trash by someone not as understanding that a single bead can be an important tool to a potter. Perhaps it was borrowed and never brought back.

Losing a tool is like losing a friend, I'll never be able to make that exact mark again. Please a moment of silence for my bead and for all the marks it can never make again (insert silence here).

Here is a pendant that features the mark made by my was such a nice impression. So has anybody seen somewhere selling an oval wood bead that would make such a mark? I'd love to find a new bead to tuck into my shoe boxes of texture tools.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Week of Being Featured

Wow, this week was interesting, 3 different sites featured me with three different pots in three days. I received convos on etsy from 3 different people telling me about them featuring my wares.

The first one was saying I was featured on their front page in somebody's wish list. I wish i had grabbed a screen shot of the page but it didn't occur to me til the next day when I was no longer featured but if you go here you can see the pot that was featured.

The second site to send me a convo was the FoundHandmade blog. I haven't found a way to permalink to the entry but it is the entry on 'Perfect Triangles.' Here is a partial screen shot of my feature piece, its the sage green triangle shape bowl:

And finally I received a convo from the owner of Innocence Jewellery Design blog telling me I was part of her featured etsy sellers with my purple serving plate set. She had asked in the etsy forums for people to show her their purple items from their shop for potential inclusion to her blog.

I'd like to thank all three sites and their owners for featuring me and my work, it is so cool to see your own work being appreciated.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Falling for Clay

Back when I was in college I had planned on a degree in Communication and a minor in art with the goal of entering into the world of advertising. Then at some point I decided a double major in art and communications would work better. To get my degree in art I had to take a 3d medium but because of my late coming financial aid that semester the sculpture class I wanted was full. My adviser suggested ceramics as that was the only 3d class that semester with openings. Frankly I really did not want to take the class, handmade pottery was alien to me and my only memories of clay was some clay i found in my Grandma's driveway that I squished into some shape and gave it to grandma as a gift.

My teacher that semester was an adjunct as the regular professor was on sabbatical. We first covered handbuilding techniques but my eyes kept being drawn to the more advanced student on the wheel making pots, like magic the clay would rise and take form...I was hooked...I wanted to make magic too. We finally finished the handbuilding section and we got to go on the wheel. I got to admit, looking back, the first afternoon on the wheel there was very little magic made but at the time it was amazing. Clay was my calling I could tell.

As the semester continued I fell more and more in love with clay. After securing an after hours pass to the lab I could spend hours and hours on the wheel. Soon the communication degree I started out wanting became less and less important. Now I wanted that all important BFA instead of the normal BA in art. And so I finally got my BFA with a concentration in ceramics and a minor in communications. Now I one day want to head back and give grad school a try but that is going to be one day in the distant future.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Bitty Bowls

While playing with some cut clay shapes and creating an on the fly demo for one of my handbuilding students I created my first 'Bitty Bowl.' So what is a Bitty Bowl? My bitty bowls are small bowls in the shapes of flowers, animals, etc. that are in a bowlish shape. I use the word 'bowlish' because my bitty bowls are all round on the bottom, kinda like the weebles wobbles but not falling down toys from childhood. The bitty bowls themselves won't hold much but make a nice place to put a your rings or a chain when washing dishes or showering so they are in a safe place that you can find easily. They are food safe so you could serve a small item like a mint or maybe a hot dipping sauce out of them. You could add a few felt feet to the bottom of them and you could use them to burn incense. Or you could just sit them around and just use them to decorate a side table. My mom uses one to serve my dad's after breakfast pills to him so he can find them before leaving the table in the morn. I can think of quite a few uses for these little bowls, paper clip holder for the office, a place to stash your flash drive on your desk so its always where you can find it, fun bowl shapes to use in a centerpiece, wedding table decor or favors and so much more. They make a great gift for a neighbor, boss, or coworker and of course for yourself. Take a look in my etsy shop to find flowers, fish, bats, and stars, if you don't see a color you like just convo me for a custom order. Custom orders take about 6-8 weeks for completion.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Searching for Myself (a micro blog)

Lol, no I'm not talking bout some inner look into my soul but a Google search to see who links to me. Awhile ago I found this blog that featured me. The bowl she featured was sold at a show back in march but there is still the little link to my shop so that is just so cool. Most of the searches for my self turn up pages that I created myself but it so fun when you get notices by someone else.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My New Ads

I have started to promote my pottery shop thru ads on the blogs and pages of other like minded site. Here are the first 2 ads I created to advertise my shop. This first one would link to my whole etsy shop:
And this next one will link to only the jewelry section of my etsy shop for better targeting customers that are interested in accessories and or fashion.
I hope these ads will draw attention to my shop and bring me more shoppers so look for them when you are surfing your favorite blogs. I hope you see and click cause that means they are doing their job :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tough Kiln to Crack

The last couple of days I have been tearing apart an old kiln, mining it for parts, etc. The switch box was a particularly interesting configuration and very tough to get apart. The image to the right shows the switch box after I finally removed all switches and wiring and any fastners I saw holding it to the kiln, 4 screws on the outside of the switch box, 24 screws that held the switches in place on the switch box(6 switches 4 screws each), 3 nuts in the center of the switch box holding the plug wires in place, and 3 nuts under those 3 wires, 24 nuts holding the switch wires in place and a washer for each nut, also 2 very strong screws that hurt my hand while unscrewing, i heard a pop in my right hand and it hurts a bit now...hope it wasn't something important. But after all that notice how the box is still attached to the kiln. I have no idea what is holding the switch box to the kiln still. There are 3 metal straps that hold the kiln together I suppose if I removed them I will find out what is holding the box on but for now I want the bricks intact as I haven't decided what I want to do with this kiln.

Its a shallow wide kiln, I was told an old glass kiln, it has no kiln sitter, no peep hole, no place to stick a parameter so I don't know how this kiln was fired to temp. The 6 switches themselves looked like light switches with on/offs. I'm not really sure about the kiln except I was not going to plug it it. I am looking into maybe turning it into a raku kiln or a small gas kiln perhaps. If neither of those options work out I will use the lid as a surface to braze copper and brass on. Right now it is wrapped in a tarp under a sheet of hardy board in the backyard.