Thursday, February 28, 2008

love, love, love Rick Mercer

This man is so brilliant. The one and only reason I would consider getting a television again. But thankfully, I can watch his brilliance on youtube. Here is his take on the liberals and the budget. It is very, very funny.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

glazing day number two

Hard at work glazing a heart-shaped mask.

An inspired stegasoarus.

Now a blue, black, red and green stegasourus. It has been another full day of glazing here and I have enough work for about 4 glaze fire loads. Did I mention that this group has been really prolific?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

glazing day

Today and tomorrow are student glazing days. I enjoy these days most of all of my teaching days. Everyone is excited and eager to make beautiful things. The process is relaxing and you can always fix any mistakes (at least if you catch them before the firing). It is always so much fun to see people's faces when they look at their finished work. They are just so EXCITED!

Sushi plates that will be a finish fired colour of white/variegated brown. I will post photos when everything is out of the kiln on Friday.

Monday, February 25, 2008

casseroles and grant applications

Here are the casseroles that I threw the other day. I like the chunky handles, it suits the heavily grogged and speckled clay.

This is the fabulous book that I am reading. It is so fabulous that I brought it with me into the studio today. I am reading it while I am waiting for the clay to dry out enough to make handles for lids.

Here are the lids with their chunky handles. Some of them seem to be too small for the bottoms which is weird because I used my beautiful calipers to ensure a good fit. I am hoping that this is just because they are drying at different rates and that they will be a perfect fit when they are completely dry.

This is what I am going to be spending the rest of the afternoon doing. The CKCA grant applications are out and I have an idea. The application process is good for me as I have to really focus my thoughts and intentions and explain what I am planning to do. This provides me with a lot of clarity and although my ideas seem to change slightly during the creation process, I usually stay quite true to the initial concept. Wish me luck.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

renovation sunday

We have 6 bags of this stuff to get rid of now. Thankfully garbage day is Wednesday although I think we may have to just slowly distribute it as we are only allowed two cans per week.

We are renovating the bathroom, slowly. It started last year with a new wooden countertop and mirror frame that Matt made. Now due to the fact that the old tile in the shower/tub is falling off of the wall we are putting in new tile. We don't really have the money for this, but we can't really afford a rotting house either. So white subway tile it is - yay Visa! I refuse to part with the matching turquoise tub/toilet/sink so that saves a lot of money.

Matt's tools all laid out and ready to go. He is an incredibly handy man. He can figure out and fix all electrical, plumbing and carpentry issues. It is messy and takes a long time, but eventually it is done.

Because the faucet fixtures have to go in at the same time as the new tile we purchased the shower set that we liked. Sort of a cross between the rainshower version and the old fashioned wide spout. I am pleased. The final steps will be putting in the white square tile for the flooring and getting the high arch faucet that matches the shower version for the sink. Slowly but surely, one room at a time.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

there is no more room

Student work, drying prior to a bisque firing tomorrow night.

The rest of the student work. It will be glazed Wednesday and then popped into the kiln as soon as possible. I am really looking forward to all the space in the studio again. I have exactly one month to get a bunch of new work done before classes begin again. So here I sit in my studio (open because I need to keep regular shop hours) with nothing to do. I literally do not have any space to put new work. I have dusted and re-organized my gallery shelves, I have unloaded and sorted the last bisque firing and I have set out all the new work to dry. The casseroles I threw on Thursday are still too damp to trim so I have run out of things to do. Perhaps I will catch up on my Ceramics Monthly magazines.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

orchids and sunshine in the studio

I seem to have a theme these days, it involves the blue, blue sky. I am ridiculously excited for spring. New flowers and plants, getting rid of all of the dingy, dirty brown in this town. Soon, soon, soon.

The orchids love me, they especially love my studio, which they shouldn't. It is dry, dusty and alternating between too hot and too cold. However, they thrive and bloom endlessly. Lucky me.

Of course, all of their bits are beautiful, not just the blossems. I have been in my studio all day, doing the studio shuffle. This is an intricate dance that involves moving many, many pieces of work by various people in various stages (the work, although probably the people as well...) all around the studio trying to find room to continue working. My last class for this session happens Wednesday and that is glazing day. I have had a very prolific group this time round and I have a lot of stuff in my very tiny space. I (and all the pieces) survived the dance today and I still had space to put the 5 casserole dishes I made in the drying rack. I will post photos of those after I trim the lids and attach knobs.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

sunshine today

Beautiful light in my studio today. It illuminated my students all day, made us happy.

Turquoise buddha tea light, special order.

A rattle snake coming to get you!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

coffee mugs, teapots and the things I need to do

Really big mugs with freshly attached handles. I like the shape, I want to cradle them in my hands. Except that they are sort of cold and damp now and now the warm cozy they will feel when finished and filled with tea.

Teapots drying really, really slowly. Agonizingly slowly in my opinion. I would like to get a bisque going today but even with a pre-soak, I think I need to wait until tomorrow.

Things I need to do related to my business:

1. Update my website - I would like to have individual photos of pieces with pricing and ordering infomation. I am going to try to get this all up before the open house in mid-April.
2. Join the local Chamber of Commerce.
3. Re-visit my business plan and organize my goals.
4. Add Google Analytics to my webpage to track all the visiting.
5. Get the ads designed to run in the Force Magazine and The Golden Star in preparation for my open house in April.
6. Get cracking on all the new work that I have in my imagination but not yet in my studio.

Things I want to do un-related to my business:

1. Make a list of 39 things I want to do before I turn 39 (although this may be unrealistic as that event occurs in a few short months). Maybe 40 things I want to do before I turn 40 is a better idea.
2. Major spring cleaning and then re-painting of all of the kid's bedrooms.
3. Re-tile the bathroom tub/shower.
4. Go through all my winter clothes, toss stuff and switch over to the summer clothes (not even remotely possible yet as the temperature this morning was -12).
5. Cut my dogs hair. Yes I am actually considering doing this myself. I have steady hands and a good raport with Taz. There must be instructions on-line somewhere. I feel like my friend Tracy when I think of this; Why wouldn't I be able to cut his hair? I think it will be fun, I don't think it's possible for him to look any more raggedy.

Oh, you should all know that I (and when I say I, I mean my fabulous friend Kirsten the wonder-librarian) have added a program to this blog that tracks how many visits, for how long, from which cities etc.. It is completely cool and I have become quite obsessed with checking it. I have been wondering if many people were visiting. Not many people comment, but aparently a lot of people do read it. Even people in France and England. How exciting. Now I (and I again mean Kirsten) need to figure out how to add this to my official website.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I do actually work in the studio...

Getting ready to apply decals to the Frost porcelain tea lights.

Applied decals. I purchased some large sheets of full-coverage decal paper. I bought them because I liked the pattern, not with any real plans for them. While wandering around a scrapbooking shop with my friend Vanessa I found this cool paper-cutting shape. I have ordered a plain circle and I will be searching out more shapes. I think these look lovely and I am looking forward to seeing them out of the kiln.

let loose my consumer desires

If the camera faeries were to visit me, this is the camera I would like them to bring me. A Leica, and not just any, but a new digital SLR. Of course at $5500 US for the body and then about $1500 starting for each lense, this isn't going to happen. I just don't know those kinds of faeries.

This is however much more realistic. So much so that instead of waiting for faeries, I am actually setting aside money. My little digital just doesn't seem to be cutting it for my work and my lovely vintage Pentax SLR isn't digital. Enter the best of both worlds. For $600 I can buy this digital Pentax body and all of the lenses for my original Pentax (I have about 10, thanks Dad!), will fit. Who needs faeries.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

and now for something completely different (and about my hair)

This is the hairstyle I am aiming for. I already have the super-straight, super thick part naturally. My friend Samena helps with the change from mouse brown to chocolate brown and my job is to just wait around and let it grow. This is not a job that comes easily to me. I figure I am about 6 months away from this length. We shall see (*note to friends, no laughing and no waging bets to see if I actually go for 6 months without radically changing my hair). I like the way this style looks, not in my eyes, no need for any 'doing' in the morning, very simple, very chic.

This bag is being posted again because someone I know looked into it and told me that it was sold, but me being the intrepid bag desirer that I am found another one that is not sold. So there you go. My birthday is in May, the beginning of May.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

spring, spring, spring, yes! finally spring

A little sneaky peak of some of my new work. I am loving the fresh colours. They remind me of the new spring flowers. Of course, living where I do the new spring flowers are probably about two months away. On days like today though it seems like spring is here. The sun is shining and the snow is melting at a rapid rate. It is supposed to stay like this for the week which means that we should lose most of the snow (yay, oh yay, oh yay!).

Now I am going to box up all of these lovlies and hide them away until the middle of April when I have an open house planned. I am currently envisioning my entire studio painted turquoise and tissue paper lanterns lining the driveway to the studio. The lanterns have been on my to do list for about a year now. First I neet to find wire for armature so off to the hardware store I go. In the sunshine.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

pretty damn exciting

All bisqued up and ready to go!

A lovely green glaze (exterior only) being sieved. Hmmm making glaze, must be honest here, not my favorite thing to do. I usually put it off for as long as possible. This was no exception as I mixed the ones I was low on just before one of my students came to do her glazing.

Teapots drying ever so slowly along with little bits of childrens sculpture. I think it makes the teapots happy to be drying alongside such happy pieces of clay.

New colours for me. Glazed but not yet fired, this is a sneak peak of my new collection. I am very excited about these.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

weekend in Edmonton

Interesting conversation at the Sugarbowl.

The Malbec was divine, all the many bottles we drank.

Checking out the exhibit.

Great conversation.

It all started with a very long and draining bus ride (is there any other kind?). Wonderful Kirsten was waiting for me and we took a cab straight to the Sugarbowl. We met friends and had a delightful time drinking our way through bottles of wine and lots of conversation. The next day was designated 'art day' and we made sure it lived up to its moniker. Latitude 53 for a very interesting sound cube installation (AGOG take note, the gallery was very sparse and NOTHING was for sale). Then off to the Alberta Craft Council showroom (INSPIRATIONAL) and then on the the temporary home of the Alberta Art Gallery where we saw three different shows and met a very interesting (although puzzling) artist who had an interactive show about WOW (world of warcraft). Then on to a yummy dinner at Hawali and then back to the house for more drinks and a lovely evening with Hayden (we stayed home and discussed him and many other things which was preferable to trekking to the venue in the -30 cold. Sunday saw brunch at the high level diner and then a visit to Allison's sweet new home. She has the greatest taste in neighborhoods, houses, furniture, and oh my goddess, the woman has great shoes! We spend the afternoon hanging out in a cafe drinking Stella and talking about politics and the state of the world, discussing how 'low to the ground' we really are (note Prada glasses and fabulous new shoes). We had a family dinner with friends and then played a few hardcore games of pictionary before we grabbed a cab home. I had a great time, we seemed to be busy a lot yet always relaxed. Really, it was the perfect weekend. Check out the photos on this shutterfly album.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

a mish mash prior to a fabulous weekend away

A fabulous student hand-building a fabulous teapot.

The almost finished teapot. Beautiful things can be made through hand-building.

A dragon in the making. What a talented child!

Another wonderful child creating a lovely mask.

Edmonton - the destination for my wonderful weekend away visiting friends.

Hayden - no, not my boyfriend...the musician from Toronto that we will be swooning over on Saturday evening. I will be posting again on Tuesday with photos from my weekend.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

big round teapots

These are what I have been working on between students. I have been having a lot of requests for teapots and like mugs they always, always sell. I am LOVING making lids right now and think that just about everything should have a lid. This is new for me as up until a few months ago I HATED making lids. I still don't love making handles but they don't torment me anymore.

I love how round and sturdy these are.

I think I will call them my bowling ball teapots.