Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My new mug

The mug and hand made brush arrived yesterday. It came all the way from Brandon Phillips in Texas. I had a mug of hot chocolate in it and it was GREAT! The brush is going to the studio with me tonight. If I leave it at home, Lucy (the poodle) might think I got her a stick with a delicious deer tail attached to it.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Now showing...

Some of my newest pots (as well as a few less than newer) are on display (for the next 8 weeks) in the Sunlife Plaza downtown (144, 4th Ave. S.W.). These photos are not the best as I took them with my iPhone and they are under plexiglass, so there are a lot of reflections and hot spots. Anyway, If you are in the area, and want to have a boo, they are scattered throughout the lobby. It is quite a nice lobby, lots of tropical plants and water features etc. Here are the pots I took down. Sorry for the poor image quality...

Monday, January 20, 2014

Blogger won’t let me reply today.

So this is my response to a comment left on my post regarding to an upcoming opportunity. Hi Isabelle, Thank you for reading my blog. I am never sure if anyone out there is actually reading this thing, or if I am just talking to myself :) As to your question about how ceramics is doing over here in Canada, I can only comment on Western Canada and then only as it relates to Calgary, Alberta. Canada is big… Also, my opinion is narrowly focused on functional pottery. I have found that there is definitely a perception that functional pottery is not an art in and of itself. It is considered a craft, and as such does not qualify as ART. This then means that potters are not fully fledged artists, but are categorized as artisans. This makes it hard, not impossible, but still difficult to get represented by galleries. I guess if you can’t hang it on the wall, it’s not ART. Don’t get me wrong, there are really well known and well represented potters out here. But it does seem to always be the usual suspects that get the attention. However, that being said, if a region has a long history of clay, then the public and the galleries have a better understanding and more respect for it as an art form all on it’s own. This is probably most true in the Eastern United States where the tradition of pottery has been around for much, much longer. Alberta does have a clay history, but it is no where near as long as places like North Carolina etc. Alberta is only officially 109 years old, so we are mere babes in comparison. Hope that sheds some light on the ceramic art situation over here. I am by no means an expert on this, so this is only my very humble opinion based on a very limited perspective… Thanks again, Ashley

New addition

Well, it's official, there is a new member of the family... no name yet, hopefully one will become evident.

Friday, January 17, 2014

New Opportunity on the Horizon

I was contacted recently about showing some of my pots in an exhibit space in one of the buildings downtown. I am not going to say anything more until I know more and when, but I am meeting on Saturday to hopefully send the work off to be displayed. This would not be a selling opportunity (an honorarium will be paid instead), but my business cards will be displayed along with the work and the public will be able to contact me directly regarding purchase if they want. Once I know when the exhibit will be up and running, I will post the info. This is my new(ish) business card for lack of any pottery pictures worth posting...

This is the front

and this is the back

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2013 In Review

We are now 1 week into the new year and I thought I would do a little recap of 2013, as I saw it.
Way back in January 2013, I was getting ready for a salt and soda firing in Medalta. The firing was not until April, but I was making pots in preparation for it really early.
I think I was done making for this firing by mid February. These are most, if not all of the pots I was to take with me.
A group of students and instructors at Fairview Studios were also in the middle of organizing the 1st ever studio OPEN HOUSE in the hopes of attracting new students as enrollment levels have not quite been what they used to be since we moved to the new location. So at the end of March, in preparation for the June open house, I threw a few groggy tea bowls to be raku fired on the day of the open house
.  I also made some really, really good ribs and served them up on one of my sgraffito plates.
and the amaryllis plants that I started from seeds that I had pollinated by hand many years ago, decided to bloom too.

My pal Susan and I trundled off to Medicine Hat in April and fired off the salt and soda kilns
. We were very tired puppies by the end of it all.

Not much happened in May. I was exploring more with the sgrafitto, trying to come up with unique designs for every pot (almost). That taxed the brain and I have since pared the patterns down to one or 2 good ones.

I  got a new photo cube) and in June, I began seriously documenting all the new pots that were coming out of the kiln.
But then came the flood and washed it all away on June 21st. All the rain we had gotten over the spring had saturated the ground and when some parts of the mountains received over 108 cm of rain in 24 hours, the ground couldn’t hold it and the water surged into the little creeks that became raging torrents and they cut swaths of destruction all the way down into the foothills and the prairies beyond.
This first pic is looking down on the elbow river where it winds around behind Lindsay Park and is just 2 blocks north of my street.
This image shows the vastness of the flooding in the Victoria Park and Mission neighborhoods and is looking south towards my part of Mission.
. This one shows Macleod Trail looking North from Cemetery Hill. If you were able to turn left at the bottom of the hill, my condo is 2 blocks west and 1 block north of this image. The water kept going all the way over to the Stampede Grounds and Saddle Dome that are just to right of this picture.
I got my first up close look on June 24th and this is what I saw
. The next day I was floored by how many people came out to help. There were roving groups of people in rubber boots with shovels ready and willing to lend a hand. All of the people I know that were able to come out did, all of my sister’s friends came and helped, local businesses helped with food, water, supplies and even beer. Everything I have ever owned is on the lawn in this image.
 The next day we all came back and began the process of moving all of the mud caked and water logged mounds of garbage into the back of the garbage trucks that were there at 8:00 in the morning.

As soon as I was able to get back in the studio, I started making these flood mugs and gave them away to fellow floodies and selling to any and all that wanted to buy them.

The year progressed as it always does – in a blur. Fairview had it’s Christmas Sale, and I had a couple more of my own sales at the end of November and throughout December. I also kept scratching away on my sgrafitto pots. Just before the Christmas/New Years break, Ceramics Canada moved to a new location and I was there helping with some painting and unloading of trucks.

So things have changed a lot for me, but they have also remained the same in many respects. I started the year out living in my condo and have ended the year living in my parent’s basement. I am still making lots of pots (no change there). I still work for Ceramics Canada, just at a newer location. Calgary also saw lots of change, there was the flooding, there was a train derailment over the bow river (no leaking of oil or explosions thankfully) and there has been record breaking snow falls.

So 2014 has a lot to live up to. It can’t be much worse than 2013 was (knock on wood).