Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best of 2011

Another year over. To be honest, I never get too excited about the new year, other than that it's another holiday, therefore an excuse to party and overindulge in food and drink. (Being from New Orleans, anything is justifiable as an excuse to party:D)

This year is a little different, because it's the year a new baby girl came into my life, who is quietly sleeping beside me long before midnight. I feel a bit sappy, but there's not a bar in the world that beats spending the evening reflecting over how wonderfully changed my life is because she's a part of it. This might be the quietest New Year's eve I've ever had, but it's just lovely.

A lot happened to me this year, and I accomplished a lot, and I am ever so grateful for it all.

Here's a few highlights of awesome things that happened:

I got my Josie cup published in the upcoming book Humor in Craft. It's coming out in April, I can't wait!

 I got work juried into three art shows! Three! And I have to thank my new friends Rachel Bleil and Andrew Davis for their support and encouragement. I never would have bothered to apply at all without their prodding.

 I had a gorgeous baby girl, Madeleine Calliope.

 I started making mini jars!

 I started teaching kids classes, and got the Artist in Residence position at Beech Grove Clay Works.
 Maddy gets more and more awesome by the day! She's 9 months old now.
I've been setting up this awesome three woman show with two fellow artists whose work I adore. I am so very honored that Vanessa Monfreda asked me to be a part of this show! (Btw, I hope to see all you Indy people there, bashing the piñata with us!)

Finally, I got a real honest to goodness logo, designed by fellow artist and awesome person Brandon McDonald of Brandon with Glasses design! How sweet is that?

I get a little stressed around the holidays, but when I stop and think about everything that happened this past year, everything I have going, and this awesome little family I've got, my heart just swells. I've got so much to be grateful for. So here's to 2011, and the start of a new and prosperous year for all of us. Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kid's Clay Class

I did a kid's clay session the week before Christmas, and we had a freakin' blast. What great kids! They were fun, sweet, geeky, weird, and crazy creative. I was amused all week by the bizzaro stuff that came out of their heads!
Clam with sombrero, mustache, and exploded cigar. Totally unprompted, he just came up with this on his own.

Megan's dinosaur, who is a GIRL, for your information.

The kids all got to do some throwing too. They impressed me with their skills.

I impressed me with my skills too.

Megan painting a heart shaped bead. With the latex gloves, she thought it looked like she was holding a bloody heart. I told you these kids were awesome.

Ryan's vampire mask, before the addition of blood.

Painting the blood on the vampire. No sparkles here, thank you.

I made another bunny jar while they were sculpting.

Megan's adorable elf mask.

Cash splatter painting his alien bug mask.

I am so proud of them, I really am. I can't wait to take pics of everything when it comes out of the kiln!

I had a lot of fun coming up with lesson plans for this class. I just gotta say, thank god for the internet, and especially for Pinterest!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Criaturas - First Friday Art Opening at Earth House

We have sent out a press release for our show in January. I keep joking about how I feel like an adult now, but it seriously is a little weird to be doing something so grown up and... I don't know, responsible? Professional, maybe? For some reason, no matter how long I'm at this whole trying-to-make-a-living-at-my-craft business, I always feel a bit like I'm just playing pretend. I'm really just a 12 year old who has no idea whats going on 90% of the time in the adult world. 

Anyway, here it is in all its press release-y glory.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                        
FROM:                                    E
arth House Collective
                                                237 North East Street
                                                Indianapolis, IN 46204

CONTACT:                            Vanessa Monfreda
            (317) 946-9365
DATE:                                    12/10/2011
Criaturas - First Friday Art Opening

Earth House Collective will be hosting Criaturas, a three woman show by artists Vanessa Monfreda, Lori Leaumont, and Beatriz Vasquez-Schlebecker. Each artist will present work interpreting the theme of "criaturas", or "creatures" in Spanish, using their respective mediums of paper maché, ceramics, and papel picado to create monsters, animals, and grumpy little girls.

Artist Vanessa Monfreda creates colorful paper maché sculptures she calls "my imaginary friends", first inspired by her own children. Hot pink mustachioed pigs, larger-than-life cats, and 3 eyed monsters immediately attract bright eyed kids, something Monfreda aims for in her work. "First Fridays shouldn't just be for adults," says Monfreda. "Kids get bored at art shows. We need more art events that are interactive and fun for them."

The show also features the work of Lori Leaumont and Beatriz Vasquez-Schlebecker. Leaumont makes colorful, hand painted porcelain sculptures, "doll" jars, and tableware that are heavily inspired by children's book illustration and "girlhood". Schlebecker uses a traditional Mexican paper cutting technique to create lacy, intricate images that reflect her bi-cultural upbringing as a first generation Mexican-American originally from South Texas, as well as her training in children's book illustration.

The show takes place on First Friday, January 6th, from 7pm - 11pm, and will feature a piñata bash at 7:30 with a handmade piñata by Monfreda, as well as music provided by DJ Kyle Long, and monster cakes and cupcakes by food stylist Ellen Nylen.

For more information, contact Vanessa Monfreda at

Jonathan McAfee
Program Manager
Earth House Collective
237 N. East St.
Indianapolis, IN 46203

Mother and Child by Beatriz Vasquez-Schlebecker

Gato by Vanessa Monfreda

My mini dolls.

Hope to see you in January! It's going to be an awesome show!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Another photo mega post - raku, new doll jars, and Jeanette Zeis spoon trade

I've got too many pictures of ceramic related things not to do another blog post. That's pretty much my motivation anymore -  a lot of backlog of pics on my iphone and camera = time to blog. Maybe one day I'll commit to a more regular blog posting, but in the meantime, here are pretty things to look at.

We had our first raku firing at Beech Grove Clay Works today. It went really well, and we got some excellent results. I even mixed up a raku glaze recipe from Tracey Boone's pottery blog, which got a lot of reduction and did exactly as she said it would. I was pretty excited about that. Thanks for the recipe, Tracey!

Raku firing is so exciting! All the smoke and flames, and getting to see the pieces red hot like that. I can't wait for the next one, I'm hooked!

I made some cute mini doll jars that I'm going to fire at a friends house tomorrow. I'm pretty excited about them, and I'm dying to make more.
I'm also firing some new test tiles tomorrow with a base glaze and varying amounts of mason stains. I did some yellow, and some that are either blue or violet (the mason stains were old, and not all of them were well labeled.) I'll post more on those later if they come out looking halfway decent.

Remember those spoons I made? And the ones Jeanette Zeis made? Jeanette liked my spoons! And I adore hers! So we agreed to trade. I am so excited about getting to trade with her. I now have a ceramic spoon to add to my collection of lovely handmade ceramics from other artists. I admit, I got the better end of the deal, as her spoons are a lot nicer than mine. But I'm happy that she liked mine! She chose the green superhero girl spoon. I hope she enjoys it as much as I love mine!

Finally, here are some pics of Maddy, just because. She is adorable, and she's getting so big! I am dreaming of the day I get to bring her to the studio to throw with me.
Grandma took a huge tutu and added ribbons so she could wear it as a big fluffy dress. She likes to play peekaboo by pulling the tulle up over her face.

Her aunt Mariah made her a huge leaf pile to play in. She wasn't terribly impressed, though.

Bear baby.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Things that are happening

So much going on! It's been a busy couple of months, and the fun doesn't stop! I'm just gonna dump a lot of happenings here, so my apologies if this post becomes bloated and tl;dr.

Last weekend I did the Bloomington Handmade Market Holiday Show, which is by far my favorite craft fair to participate in. It's well attended, profitable for me, and seems to draw a crowd that appreciates my work. Also, the volunteer staff is super helpful, and it's always well organized. The icing on the cupcake is that they provide coffee and noms for the vendors, which pretty much means I'm sold on the whole thing:)

There were some really rad vendors there this year. Here are a few of my faves:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Handmade Promenade recap

I was going to do a blog post about the craft fair this past weekend, but my friend Erin at eef-ink went and did all the work for me (even recounting the amusing anecdote about the drunk guy who gave me money! Hah! Drunk guys.) So go check it out, so that I don't have to do any more work.

Eef ink - Handmade Promenade

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Spoon with a View

You may remember a while back (though probably not - who reads this thing, anyway) that I posted a link to Jeanette Zeis's spoon tutorial, and that I tried making some spoons of my own. Those spoons did not turn out well, but I made some more, and I just got them out of the kiln this past weekend. I must say, I'm pretty pleased with them.

 I did a little bowl, too. I did a couple, actually, but the other one cracked, unfortunately. Maybe I'll take a pic of it later, as the drawing is pretty awesome. At least I get to keep it now:)

Has anyone else tried making ceramic spoons? I'm dying to see more of them! I think this could become an obsession...