Saturday, April 25, 2015

Celebrate Clayton

As much as I really wanted to participate again this year, my obligations to my family's business has taken much of my time and energy.  That has made it difficult to create enough pottery for the show.

I will miss all of my fabulous customers and the hospitality of the Clayton community.

May all of you have a successful show.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Fitting Tribute

Dogwood trees and blossoms were a favorite of my mothers.

While growing up, we lived in an area that Dogwood would not grow.  When my father retired, they moved South and Mom was finally able to enjoy Dogwood in her own yard.  Although the photo does not show it, in addition to the large pink Dogwood in the yard, up closer to the house are several young white Dogwood that were no longer in bloom when I took this photo (a few years back).

Pink Dogwood in the side yard... Mom's favorite tree in the yard.

Mom passed away nearly 4 years ago.

In our area there is the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail.  A group pf people create quilt "squares" out of wood (or now aluminum) boards & paint to copy a fabric quilt that already exists.  They are then mounted on buildings and added to their web site with map coordinates so people can find them.

Fabric quilt made by Sue Congdon (my sisiter).

I noticed that there was currently only one such quilt square in our downtown area.  (Since then 7 more have been added with 2 more to come, that I am aware of.)  I talked to my sisters (I have 3) and we all decided that it was a great idea to commission a quilt square to mount on the side of the building that our store is located in.  And we all decided it needed to be Dogwood blossoms.

I scoured images of Dogwood quilt patterns and nothing really "spoke" to me until I saw this one (design by Annette Ornelas).  The fabric quilt pictured above was made by my oldest sister Sue.

We raised money through family (I also have 2 brothers), including my father, one of my mom's sisters and a close family friend.  Then, I filled out the paperwork and sent them a check so they could begin the production process.

They borrowed the fabric quilt to use as a guide and they chose paints, drew templates and started taping off areas to paint.

 The painting was done once a week (or so) at a facility about 15 miles from us.  Because of work, we were not able to make it to their painting sessions, although we (and anyone else) were welcome to help.  But they were sure to send photos of the progress.  (See the fabric quilt on the table in the background?)

Once they had put marine grade varnish on all surfaces to seal it, they delivered it to us and we waited a few days until the installation crew could come by.

Blue Ridge Electric - you guys know your quilt installation "stuff" - Thank you!

With my sister Terri Brooks on the day the square was installed.

Once the installation was complete, the 4' x 8' copy of the approximately 2' x 4' fabric quilt looked quite small...

We know Mom would have loved it.

Creatively, all I did was find a pattern I liked & asked if my family agreed.  The rest was completed by others.

Here is the wooden quilt :

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A bit of progress

More work on angels today.  It was rough because I was not feeling in the creative groove.  But I was persistent and completed 10 more for a total of 16 so far. 

When I started working on these, I had orders for 21, it is now up to 24!  That is good!

These angels are hand-built out of a ^6 stoneware clay.  No two are alike. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Let's give this the old College try...

Here are the not-quite-finished ceramic angels I made for Christmas 2014.
They were so popular from their photo-op, that I received orders for more.  (Those are currently in progress.)

My poor blog has been neglected, yet again.  This year, I have joined a group to help me kick-start my blogging again.  This is important to me. 

Now these angels have their heads & halos... plus a touch of gold.

Here is to a blog-tastic 2015 & beyond!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

One step at a time

It is cat & house sitting at the lake time again... it is so peaceful out here.  Especially compared to the festival I had my pottery at today.  The photos are from before the crowds arrived and the group at the food booth featuring foods from Bangladesh was packed (they were right next to our booth.).

I had a very successful firing of the new Red Silk Porcelain pieces.
Red Silk Porcelain Sake Bottles with & without glaze on the shoulder, roly sake cups and a scalloped pin/sauce dish.

Red Silk Porcelain Sake Bottle with clear glaze on the shoulder & neck.

Red Silk Porcelain Sake Bottle and 2 roly Sake Cups with no glaze on the outside.

Scalloped Red Silk Porcelain Pin/Sauce Dish.

It was a breezy & sometimes windy day, luckily, I had nothing break.

My small display at the International Festival at Clemson University.

My new Deep Purple glaze on one of my scalloped Ebonyware Porcelain bowls.
I have had a bit of a creative block lately, working 6 days a week is not allowing me the time to create.  I love my job & my customers and I cannot think of anything I would rather do.  But, the creating of my pottery is something that re-charges my soul.  I am so exhausted in the evenings it is difficult to create then.  My only day with any time at all, is Sunday, my only day off, and the only day I can run errands I cannot get to during the week.  Do I stay home and create?  Do I run the necessary errands?  I only wish that business at the store was strong enough to hire someone two days a week so that my sister and I can each get a day off.  We both work hard.

I think that I got past the creative block for now, which is good, I have a big show in Clayton, GA at the end of April... I need to get a lot produced between now and then!

Next weekend is Spring Jubilee here in town, we will have the store open on Sunday as well... that means no day off until the 2nd Saturday of April.  I can do this, I have been doing this, I will do this... one step at a time...

Thanks for visiting my blog and thanks for listening.  I hope you are all well.

Til next time...

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hopeful for Spring's Warmth

Spring is on it's way, honest!
The Lenten Roses are blooming fervently. The buds on the Tulip Magnolia are getting plump.  The Crocus are blooming.  And the Iris leaves are about 8 - 10" high.  All in our yard.
The daffodils across the street are in full bloom & the Star Magnolia by NY Pizza is just covered in blooms.  Our yard is usually a little behind the times because there are so many old growth trees shading it.
The mosses are growing nicely, I know Mom would be happy, she definitely encouraged them to spread.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Has it really been THAT long???

I guess I have been sucked into the easiness that is facebook and not taken the time to come over here and blog...  that is not good.

In the year and a half that I have been absent from here, I have been still creating my pottery, the most recent addition has been the Crimson Velvet Porcelain.
Crimson Velvet Sake Bottle $85.00

This extraordinary color is quite expensive and I will only do small pieces.  The Sake Bottle pictured here has just a clear glaze inside and on the top portion of the bottle, ending just below the shoulder.

I am still teaching a variety of classes at our store along with my sister and a few talented friends.

We painted the inside of the store this summer...

As well as re-arranging the floor plan a bit.  We are quite pleased with the results, it gives us a more open space and more flexibility.

My ex-husband passed away unexpectedly this past summer and I made a quick trip to Alfred, NY for the funeral and to visit with the Higgins side of my family.  Yes, a divorce severs legal relationships, but it cannot sever the feelings of family.  I wish I could afford the time and money to visit them more often.  I just do not want it to be for such a solemn occasion and I definitely do not want the flight headaches I endured on this trip.  (Another story for another time... maybe.)

Dad retired from the store this past Spring, leaving Terri & I both working 6 days a week.  I am glad he has the time to do the things he wants to do.  It does, however, make it a little harder to get work done on projects that require longer amounts of time than an early morning or an evening.  Our friend Phyllis was so kind to come in and work on Mondays through the Christmas & Holiday shopping season so Terri & I could alternate Mondays off and get some things done.  We are ever so grateful!

Speaking of friends helping out.  We have the most wonderful group of customer/friends who come to our aid when one of us is sick (Terri got hit hard with a stomach bug during the holidays) or needs to be someplace (for me, one of the 2 shows I do each year, or this weekend, Terri was at a retreat.)  Our friends who are like family step in to help man the store.  We can only say that we are blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives.  And to all of you, thank you for all you do!

I designed some beaded pieces for classes...
Abstract Narcissus Square Stitch Pendant

Ornament Cover 2013
All in all, It has been a busy year and a half.

I am not going to make any promises about blogging more often.  Let me just say that I will try.

May 2014 be off to a positive start for you and may it continue to the end.