Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, I did get to throw some pots last night.  Working on getting some pots ready for mountains, as well as a few more of the mountain jars with lids.  But I'm a schmuck and didn't take any pictures.  And by "schmuck" I mean that I try to clean up efficiently and quickly and by the time I realize I've forgotten to document my work, everything is covered in plastic and back on the shelf.  I thought about taking a picture of all my covered work for your entertainment, but thought that a shelf full of grocery-bag-covered shepes would be less than fascinating.  So I have, instead, for your enjoyment this gem which seems to be popping up everywhere online today.  And by everywhere, I mean that at least 2 aquaintances have already Facebooked* it.

So there you have it.  The Muppets do Queen. Up next on the agenda (sometime in the next few weeks) is a healthy dose of The Muppets do Dickens

We've got Krystal's folks in town for the holiday weekend, so there won't be any studio updates until next week.  Just turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, more turkey, and pies.  Oh, and the giving of thanks.  This year I'm thankful for the another year of relative health, for a warm home and stocked pantry, for family and friends and those in between who are so wonderful to us, for my wonderful wife Krystal who supports my artistic ambitions and shares me with the studio, and I'm thankful to God without whom I don't think I could count these blessings.  What are you thankful for?  Leave a note in the comments, if you feel like sharing.

I wish you and yours a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day (weekend), and to my non-American readers, have a happy Thursday (and feel free to be thankful as well).

*I debated "Facebooked" vs. "Facebook-ed," but it's a real verb now.  Kinda.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Threw some pots this weekend.  Nothing too exciting.  Another vase that should receive some mountains.  A couple more small Christmas gifts and special orders.  One I'm particularly looking forward to is a plate for fellow Guilder Patrick Reddick that will be specially decorated to feature a sgraffito-ed squirrel.  I'm not entirely sure how we got to this point, but while in the studio last week I think we had a situation of boys being boys and discussing ridiculous pottery and he said he'd really like to see me put a squirrel on something, and I said, "I think that can be arranged."  So he will be getting the one and only limited edition run of one squirrel plate.  Unless it turns out spectacularly, in which case there may be more squirrels in the future.

But that's unlikely.

So that's it for now - no pictures from the studio work, but I should be in there at least one more night this week before the holiday is upon us.  Since I have no pictures from this weekend's studio time, I'll leave you with a photo from our trip down to The Springs and Garden of the Gods.  It was a brief little jaunt in the afternoon with Krystal and our friend Katie, but it was fun and enjoyable.  So here's a picture.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Show Review and Back in the Studio

Well, I went another week between posting.  But sometimes that just happens. 

First off, I'd like to thank everyone who came out to the Northern Colorado Potters Guild 6th Annual Holiday Show and Sale, and a very special thanks to those who took home a piece of my pottery!  It was a very fun event and I don't think anybody let the weather get them down.

Here are just a couple photos from my display - it turned out that I never got a chance to take any more than this, as I stayed relatively busy all weekend.  But I have here for you the top-shelf of the display, after Krystal's help, as well as a sample shelf with my artist's statement, and a close-up of some vases hanging out together.

I think my favorite part of these sales is the opportunity to meet new people and talk about my work, and art in general, and experience that exchange wherein I am more excited to know a little bit more about just who is taking my art home, and they can feel even more attached to the art knowing a little more where (whom) it came from.

A Brief Lesson in Grammar: Whom is correct, by the way.  The simple trick to know this is that "whom" corresponds to "him/her," while "who" corresponds to "he/she."  To say, "The pottery came from he" would be incorrect, therefore you would not ask "From who did that pottery come?" (Though nobody I know really speaks like that, given the proclivity of midwesterners to leave prepositions hanging at the end of their sentences - just see the end of the above paragraph.)  The correct question would be "From whom did that pottery come?"  However, it would be appropriate to say "Who made that pottery?"  Because were really changing the nature of the question there.

Many apologies for that interuption.  So, as I was saying, I enjoy the interactions, and getting to talk at length about my pottery, and my process, and my inspiration, and why don't I glaze the outside of your pots?  Being my second year participating in this sale, it was also fun to meet folks who took home a piece of my pottery last year and came back looking for me specifically.  First of all, that just makes a guy feel good.  But it goes deeper than that to a feeling, however superficial, that there is some longevity to your connection. 

When you spend an entire weekend hanging out by your wares, you also develop a stronger sense of what people are really drawn to.  I can think of several pieces that sat out all weekend and were not once touched.  Not too many, but more than a few.  Other pieces were picked up and handled over and over again before the right person found it.  And some people are immediately drawn to a specific piece, pick it up, and hold it in their hands for five or ten minutes while asking me about it.  Those are the pots that never get put back on the shelf.  It was a no-brainer that these were the pots to fly off the shelves this time around:

Colorado, mountains, vases, and the holidays right around the corner: did anybody else think these would last long?  I started out with only 6 of these mountain pots: two little lidded jars, and four vases of assorted size.  And they were all sold by 10:30 on Saturday morning.  I'm going to be making more of them because they were fun, different, and apparently the sell like hotcakes.

So, one more time, a very special thanks to everyone that came out, and especially to those who were able to take some pottery home.

I got back into the studio right away on Monday night, althought it is time to slow down my production.  While I sold very well in this sale, I had even more pots leftover (mostly because when I get throwing, I can really crank them out).  Maybe I should feature a daily pot on here in hopes that someone online will want to buy it from me?  It may have merit...

So, I'm back in the studio, at a slower pace than normal, with a focus on Christmas gifts and special orders.   And maybe some things that will just be fun.  I'd like to do another couple of larger vases this winter, perhaps nice, mountainy ones.  Here's a peak at what I've had going on this week: 

Bowl, and a dog dish.  Hopefully Dolli hasn't learned to use the internet, because this would really ruin the element of surprise that makes gifts so special...

Small vase form.

Larger (medium) vase - this one will get mountains.

So, that's it for now.  If I get on the ball, maybe you can look forward to featured pottery for sale.  Have a great weekend!

(p.s.: I still haven't stopped listening to Hello, Hurricane.  I'm thinking it's officially my album of the year.)

Friday, November 13, 2009


It turns out all my pictures of the set-up for the sale were from before Krystal came in and gave me some much needed advice on display.  Sometimes I just get too close to my work and have trouble sorting some of the visual issues out.  Her input is invaluable, and that applies to the creation/direction of my work as well as display issues.  Darling: thank you!

Instead, here's a preview of some of the work that came out of the last few kilns, mostly some vases and a couple big plates. 

And just for fun, here's a snippet of one shelf of display... now, off to the sale!  Hope to see you/hope I saw you there!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sickness and Woe...

Well, I've been a complete and utter (read: dismal) failure when it comes to keeping this thing updated.  Of course, for me that means it's been almost two weeks since my last post.  In real blogging terms, that's not failure so much as minor negligence.  I've known people to go eighteen months between posts before.

And this one wasn't even my fault.  I was ignoring this space because I didn't really want to post an update on my experience with the Lincoln Center's show (read: not the greatest), which accounts for days 1-5 (October 31-Nov. 4, for those keeping track with a calendar).  Wednesday is never a good blogging day for me anyway, as that's the day that Krystal and I go out for lunch together.  Wednesday afternoon I found myself increasingly ill.  I wanted to call foul play and food poisoning, pegging all responsibility on the Indian place we tried out, but as my affliction generously avoided my digestive tract, that argument was sketchy at best.  I stayed home sick for two days (6 & 7, or Nov. 5-6).  Then came the weekend, and we all know I don't blog on weekends.  There go days 8 & 9 (Nov. 7-8).  Monday and Tuesday I found myself without lunchtime available for blogging on account of playing catch-up at work (Days 10 & 11, Nov. 9-10).  Yesterday (Day 12, Nov. 11) we did lunch again.  No Indian food, but rather Chipotle, because that's always reliable.  And today makes day 13 of the blogging fast, which is now broken.  Thank you for staying with me on that self-indulgent rollercoaster of excuses and justification.  All that to say, it hasn't been entirely my fault.  And that the Indian food was quite enjoyable.  Now, let's see if I can make up for lost time.

Lincoln Center's Mugs, Bowls, and Casseroles: I was mostly disappointed by my experience with this sale, but I'm not sure what the central issue is there.  I don't do a whole lot of sales events, so when I do, I always appreciate it when they're exciting for me.  I would do it again, though.  It's low stress, and low work, so if I do sell a half-dozen pieces, that's worth it.  But it could have been more exciting...

Since the last post I've had (three?) batches of work come out of the glaze fire to some gorgeous results.  All this, of course, in preparation for this weekend's big Holiday Sale at the Guild.  I've spent most of this week setting up my display area, with a few hours here and a few hours there.  I'm quite pleased with it, and have plenty of pictures, none of which are on my person.  But if you check back later, I may update again with pictures.

At this point in time I'm quite overwhelmed by the amount of pottery that I currently have in stock, and I'm hoping to reduce that significantly this weekend.  So we'll see how that goes for me.

In other news, I received my copy of Switchfoot's Hello Hurricane on Saturday and I haven't listened to anything else since (with the exception of a little Miles Davis on Sunday night, but one can always make room for Miles...).  I'm not sure that I'm prepared to say it's their best album to date, but it could be.  If you'd like to experience it, they are streaming the album in its entirety here.  And you can read more of my general thoughts on them here.  In summary: the album is phenomenal, and currently ranks as the highlight of my week.  So there you have it.

Since I can't provide pictures of my display, or of the new pots, or anything that useful, here's my artist statement that will be on display at the sale.  And if you live in Northern Colorado, I'd better see you there, or else!

(or else I won't see you there, I guess.)

Click to enlarge, if you really want to read the words clearly...