Sunday, December 12, 2010

Open House wrap up - awesomeness:)

I had a blast at the Beech Grove open house last night! We had a fantastic turn out, and everyone's work looked really great. I met lots of new people, and got to spend most of the evening geeking out about pottery with everyone, which was pretty cool. I thought I'd be nervous being the demo person all night, but I really enjoyed being at the wheel and talking to people about what I was doing. I remember the first time I watched someone throw, and how beautiful and mesmerizing it looked to me then. It was awesome seeing other people have that same experience watching me. Best part was, I got 4 new bowls and 2 new jars thrown, and a new bag of clay for my trouble! I told Mike he could ask me to be his demo person anytime.

I forgot my camera, so the only pics I have are from my cell phone from earlier in the day while we were setting up. There was a photographer there, so hopefully some better pics will surface pretty soon.

My stuff, before set up.

Catherine Schlebecker's giant slab platter. Cathy is one of the artists in residence, and my instructor on Saturdays.

Dee Schaad's figures. Dee is a faculty member of University of Indianapolis's ceramics dept.

One of Dee's platters.

Allen Reinhardt's iguana tile table. I am desperate to learn how to do tile work like this!

This coming Saturday is my last fair of the year, the Handmade Promenade Last Minute Market. Check out the Handmade Promenade blog  to see all the crafters that will be selling work. It's gonna be a fun night, so I hope to see you there!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Beech Grove Clay Works Open House

Come check out Beech Grove Clay Works grand re-opening and open house tomorrow from 6p-9p! There will be work on display and for sale from the Artists in Residence, William Jamieson and Catherine Schlebecker, as well as the students. I'll also be demoing on the wheel all evening, and my birds and a few other items will be available for purchase. Check out my Facebook event page for more info!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Things I'm making right now

I've got so many irons in the fire right now, it's hard to keep them all straight. Two shows coming up in the next three weeks, my 50 bird ornaments, the two sculpted jars, a commission of children's hot cocoa mugs for Christmas, and I haven't even started making work for the group show proposal my friends and I just submitted. Whew!

Here's some pics!
Here's the 50 birds, dried and waiting to be painted. They'll be Christmas ornaments or decorative hangings when they're done.

I've been scouring bird identification books for inspiration for painting all of these guys.

Here's the first 7 out of the glaze kiln. I just have to add ribbons so they can be hung.

Btw, I am having a contest on my facebook fan page, and I'm giving away one of these birds. To win one, just click "like" on my page to become a fan, and then find the post I made this past Saturday about the contest. Suggest my fanpage to your friends, and then leave a comment on my post saying you did, and you're entered! My fanpage is also the best way to keep on top of shows and other things going on with my work on a more regular basis (I'm much better about updating there than I am here!)

The contest ends this Sunday, and Monday I will begin listing birds on Etsy. If you live in Indianapolis, you can also purchase one at the Handmade Promenade Last Minute Market on Dec. 18th. I will be donating five of them to charity, and the proceeds from those will go to a local spay and neuter clinic, Face.

My jars in progress. I haven't started painting the cat girl yet, and the creepy girl is half done.

The cocoa mugs I've been asked to make as Christmas gifts. I think they're gonna be cute! They're kid sized, so a little smaller than I usually make.
 This last thing I'm making is a collaborative effort, and it's still in progress...

I got my first ultrasound today!

Our little punker in progress, Baby Maddy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bloomington Handmade Market and BABY FEVER

It's been ages since I've posted a blog. I was getting so bummed with not making any money this craft season, I sort of lost enthusiasm for keeping up with all the online stuff. I figured no one was paying attention. But someone was! I just want to say, Holly, if you're still keeping up with this, thank you for buying that cup and reading my blog. You sincerely made my day:D

This past Saturday, I had a booth at the Bloomington Handmade Market. It was, by far, the best craft show I've done yet. I actually made money! It was really well attended, and people were wonderful. I enjoyed watching them get a good laugh from some of my pieces. I never know if the things that amuse me will amuse anyone else, so it made me happy to watch people pick up the Godzillas in Love mug or the What's with all the robots? mug and start laughing out loud. The best thing that happened all day, though, was meeting a really nice lady named Holly who came to the craft show just to find me (!) and check out my stuff. She told me how much she loved my work and was really excited to see my Birdeater tumbler still available for sale. I was floored when she told me she'd read my blog! Not even just an entry or two, but pages of it. I have a fan! She kept apologizing for stalking me, but I thought my head was going to explode with happiness:D

Well anyway, I need to send my sincere thanks to everyone that came to the market, and also to Sally, Mia, and Nicole for organizing an awesome craft fair. I'm definitely applying for the next one!

I pretty much spent the entire day obsessing over babies and little kids. I haven't mentioned it here yet, but Nich and I are expecting a little mohawk baby. We're due in April, and I'm not even showing yet, but I'm already having imaginary conversations in my head with our future child, thinking of books I'll read them and things we'll get to do together. Our baby is going to kick ass, I just want you all to know.

So all day at the market, I made goo goo eyes at every cute kid I saw, which was pretty much a constant stream. The cutest child of the day was a little girl named Ruby, who's Mom had the booth next to me, Ruby's Slippers. Ruby is only 2 1/2 years old, but I swear she spoke like a little adult. Listening to her explain how she liked cupcakes better than bagels (though she really liked bagels as well) nearly had me on the floor. Best start of the day EVER. Also, I had never paid much attention to baby clothes or accessories at craft fairs in the past because I never had a reason to, but I adored all of Ruby's Slippers cute little baby shoes and blankets. I was suddenly enthralled with the idea of my baby wearing little panda slippers, all swaddled up in a ROAR! Dino baby blanket. They've definitely won a customer, because I MUST have that dino blanket. I just hope our kid is half as cute as Ruby.

That ought to be the last bit of baby related gushing I do for a while. Not that I'm not excited, but I promised myself I would not turn into one of those Moms whose kid takes over her entire brain. This is a ceramics blog, dammit. But, you know... Dino blanket. That's all I'm saying.

In closing, here's a few pics of things I've been up to lately. Thanks again to anyone who's paying attention! You are so, so, so appreciated:D

50 little bird ornaments

Josie Cat bowl - this is an accurate depiction of Josie Cat. She approves of NOTHING.

Some little birds, freshly painted. Not sure if I like them painted better than I liked them plain.

4 tree tumblers, which sold in less than an hour at the Market. Can't believe people liked them so much!

Some "kokeshi" jars and a vase in progress.

Night, all.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Argh argh argh!

Anyone got a used kiln they want to part with? I'm about to give up on mine.

I am so frustrated right now. I have an old Duncan kiln with a snapped connecting wire and a rusty u-terminal that broke off. They don't make Duncans anymore, so I have to order parts from Paragon in Texas, which still carries Duncan parts. I ordered parts from them two weeks ago in hopes I could get my kiln up and running in time for Oranje 2 weeks from now. Not only did it take way longer to get the parts because they sent them by UPS, which does not believe in actually knocking on the door before leaving a slip on your door saying they missed you, but now I'm finding out I still don't have the parts I need. Upon opening the packages today, I discover they were out of stock on one part (but failed to tell me that - it was just hand written on the packing slip), and the other part is not the one I needed, but some totally unrecognizable thing. Now I'm not sure what to do about this kiln load of stuff. I usually bisque at home, and then bring my stuff to Amaco for cone 6 glaze firing, but they're so unreliable if I'm in a rush, since I'm the only one who asks for cone 6.

I need to find a better solution for getting my stuff fired, and fast. Just my luck that I'm signed up for 4 upcoming shows, and now I'm not sure how I'll go about finishing work. Ugh.

I should have stayed a painter.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things

I don't usually do posts like this, but I was skimming my massive Google reader list for a little inspiration before starting to make work today, and saw way too much that was pure awesome. I figured I would share.

Here are three posts from the Slipcast Blog, which never fails to delight me:
Un-Bear-ably Cute (get it?)
I really, REALLY love the NOMSKULLS.
This balloon stuck in a tree is also a functioning birdhouse. Slipcast Blog always finds the greatest stuff:)

Monday Morning eye candy - Ruth Ann Reese

This set is from Ruth Anne Reese featured on Musing about Mud blog. I'm a sucker for Memento Mori stuff.

And I love these pieces by Scott Rench featured on the (Mud)Bucket blog. Especially those ceramic wall Geta shoes!

That's all for now. And don't expect this to be a regular thing, either. I can't be doing this whole daily blogging thing - you guys know I'm lazy!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Like you care.

A belated Feast of Lanterns post, for those of you wondering how it went. Actually, it went really well, but I'm too busy freaking out about the deadline for Oranje booth set up which is less than 2 weeks away to feel too pleased with myself right now.


Here's some pics.

My husband Nich and his sister Mariah helped me set up and sell things all day long, and were even pretty enthusiastic about it.

The dollhouse that I painted to be used as a display. I think it will look better if I raise it off the ground a bit, somehow. It needs a base, or some legs. And maybe a design painted in the space at the apex. Hmm...

Thank God for my weird, goofy-ass husband. I love him - he keeps me laughing and sane. If he and Mariah hadn't kept me giggling all day long, I probably would have been too grumpy and anxious to even speak to people, but they kept my spirits up so high I forgot to be worried. 

Mariah, trying on mini pillbox hats at our neighbor's booth. (Incidentally, I forget the hat shop's name, but they shared their space with Body Eclectic Skincare, which is my friend Jess. If anyone knows the name of the shop, please let me know.)

My friends Erin and Anthony stopped by, and were even kind enough to buy a cup for their new place! Erin has an adorable craft and photography blog at, where you can see more Feast of Lanterns photos, as well as her Eef character doing all kinds of crazy things like drinking coffee and eating brains on cute little mini cards. She also does crocheted plushies, blankets, handstitched books, and has made her own fabric, and she's also traveled pretty much the entire world. She's one of the most interesting people I know.

Our booth, all lit up at dusk. At one point, the power went out, and we were really happy to have our string of bell jar lanterns with tealights in them to see by.

The Spades Park gazebo, all lit up with lanterns, some of which were handmade by local artists and up for auction.

The coolest thing that happened was that I sold my big carved and painted bottle to a really nice couple, and the wife is a still life painter and asked my permission to use the bottle in one of her paintings. Naturally I said of course! You can check out her paintings here. I'm pretty pumped that I might see one of my pieces beautifully rendered on canvas, especially since I started out as a painter myself. She liked my bottle because she's been putting a lot of birds in her work as well, so I like that her painting and my piece will echo each other.

To my surprise, the event turned into a pleasant day sitting in the park, talking to people about pottery, art, and robots, and hanging out with friends and family, instead of a 12 hour shift, which is what I expected it to feel like. Nich and I got ice cream and Caribbean food, held hands, and danced in the lantern light together. It couldn't have gone any better, and I can't think of a better way to spend the anniversary of the day he asked me to marry him:)

That's all for today. I'm going to try to channel a little zen with a cup of hot chocolate and some music, so maybe tomorrow I won't feel so harried. Thinking back on Saturday, though, I feel a lot better today.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Just feels like spinning plates

For those of you who don't know me personally (and some of you who do), I have bipolar disorder. I have bipolar II, which is kind of like bipolar lite; bipolar's annoying and less intrusive kid sister. People who do know I have it tend to think there's really nothing wrong with me. I seem to function just fine, I don't make impulsive and utterly life changing decisions at the drop of a hat (I do, actually, but many of them tend to work themselves out, occasionally even to my benefit), and I don't spend rent checks on a whim. I manage to hold a job, I have a small business on the side, and I even have a husband that hasn't run screaming from our relationship after the first year of marriage (yet). I don't drink in excess (this is debatable), I don't do any drugs, and I don't engage in any other serious self destructive behaviors.

It sucks having an illness that no one really thinks you have. It makes you feel like a liar, or a drama queen. Makes you think you really could handle life if you'd just pick yourself up and stop feeling sorry for yourself. It also makes you think you're fine well past actually being fine, and makes you feel stupid for seeking out help or therapy. However, I started seeing a therapist again this week. I had to admit to myself that I'm not doing so great, and that life shouldn't feel as unmanageable and overwhelming to me as it does.

I wake up in the morning, think about the laundry list of things I need to accomplish, and I'm filled with dread. House cleaning, making new work, writing a blog, taking pictures of finished pieces and updating my Etsy, submitting resumes and craft fair applications, paying bills, going to my evening job... Just thinking about all of it puts me in a panic. I know how hard it will be for me to stay focused and do it all. I know it will feel like a struggle to remember it all, to keep on task, to not doubt myself when I'm making artwork and give it all up for the day. It's easier to sit in the armchair and browse the internet. It's effortless. It is a major struggle to finish washing a sink full of dishes without feeling... I don't know, restless, distracted, annoyed. Simple tasks shouldn't feel like Herculean endeavors, but they do. And I feel like I should be enjoying making artwork, but most of the time I'm too busy worrying about whether it's any good, whether I'm making enough, or whether the idea I have has been done before. I sit down and make a couple pieces, and then pat myself on the back for having been "productive." Then a deadline comes up, and I realize I should have been working everyday on this, making 5 times as much stuff as I have been. I just can't seem to make myself sit down for that long everyday. I don't know why it's so hard for me. I don't know why there's this constant lack of energy, why the day just wears me out so easily. I do know why, it just annoys me that I can't overcome it by sheer force of will. I hate that I can't just MAKE myself better.

I was working on my ceramics today, thinking about all of this while I worked. I'm listening to Radiohead, which is my official "Life sucks and I feel sorry for myself" music. It's 4:50p, and I have 5 more hours to get pieces painted and ready for the kiln. And I just don't want to. My shoulders ache, my head hurts, and I just want to call it a day. I feel like such a whiner. I know that anything worth accomplishing in life should be hard. It should take effort. I just wish everything didn't feel that way.

There really wasn't much of a point to this post, was there? I just needed to get thoughts out today so I could work.

TL;DR - Here's some pictures of stuff I've been making.
Soon to be carved lantern - It has a candle holder place inside, and will have a wire handle when it's done.
Thought cloud

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A blog post? Seriously?

I wish I could say I haven't updated recently because I'm so crazy busy being successful, but truth is I'm just lazy, and it's a hassle kicking my husband off the computer when he's playing Starcraft or Team Fortress 2.

I have been making things though! I'm working on some little cloud mobile things that I'm pretty excited about, as well as several new sets of emoticups. We'll see how that goes soon enough.

I'm just waiting for a part for my kiln to come in the mail so I can fix a wire that snapped, and finally get a bisque fired. I'd like to have at least a few new pieces for the upcoming Feast of Lanterns.

So, yes! Upcoming events! The Feast of Lanterns is coming up on Saturday, August 28th. It's in Spades Park on the near east side of Indy. I will have a booth there, along with Sunday Afternoon Housewife, maker of lovely scrabble tile pendants and other accessories, and Body Eclectic Skincare, maker of awesome handmade soaps with seasonal ingredients. I'm really excited to be a vendor there this year, because my husband and I have gone every year, and it's where he proposed to me! So if you see us giggling and making out in the booth behind the pottery, don't be alarmed;)
The other big exciting thing going on is preparing for Oranje. Monday night is the first time I get a crack at building my booth. Our goal for the evening is to get walls painted and take some measurements for where to hang dividers, lights, and where to put shelves and displays. We have been encouraged to make our booth more than just a gallery or a display, but a work of art in and of itself. I'm excited to see what we can come up with! I can already tell it's going to be obnoxiously colorful by the time we are done, which is AWESOME. I'll try to take pics of the building process so you can see what we're up to as the month progresses.

Alright, I'm off to put handles on mugs and prepare my lovely singing voice for tonight's karaoke session;)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Handmade Promenade recap

Well guys, my first real craft fair came and went, and sadly did not go as well as I'd hoped. I told myself not to get my hopes up too much - I'm just starting out, and it was on a Tuesday. I told myself I'd be happy just to get out there and get my stuff seen. But I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't very disappointed that I didn't sell anything except to three friends of mine. I got a lot of compliments on the work, but every time someone walked by without even stopping, or with only a cursory glance, I felt wounded. After working so hard to make ceramic designs that I was really excited about, I started doubting myself and all my hard work. I started doubting my pricing. I doubted my display set up. I definitely have some doubts about the appeal of my business cards. I really started doubting the ceramics themselves. *sigh* As my husband is fond of telling me, I'm really good at beating myself up, and this was a perfect opportunity.
My husband perfectly expresses my feelings here.

But I'd also be lying if I said I didn't have a good time. I really did! We were lucky enough to have a booth next to Talia of Conduit Press (whose handmade journals and secret stash books are AWESOME), who is an acquaintance of my husband, along with her husband Jim. I'm so bad at introducing myself to people I don't know, so it was cool having someone to talk to that I'd already met.

And man, there were some amazing crafters there! There was not a single booth that didn't have stuff I would buy if I weren't broke as hell. I felt pretty honored to get to show my work along side such talented folks. Most of them I've seen at other events I've gone to as a shopper, so I was already an admirer of a lot of them. It was very cool to meet them as a fellow crafter, and give them all a mustache sticker.
Nich's Dad, who doesn't need the sticker, but was a good sport about it.

In the end, I feel like it was a good trial run. I got to test out a display arrangement, and I know what I'd like to tweak next time. And having this deadline got me going on a banner and a new kiln load of stuff, which is excellent. Yes, my bank account is on it's last legs, and I'd like to make a little money, but I know that will come in time if I just keep at this. I'm reminded of how many people's work I've admired but couldn't afford at one fair, but saw at another and finally got to make a purchase. Hopefully people will begin to recognize me and my ceramics if I just keep it up. It's worth it to get to make things I love.

To see pics of the whole thing, with links to all the crafters that were there that day, visit my facebook page.