Monday, December 29, 2008

January Studio Schedule

I'm only partly in studio this week with another short holiday break coming up, then another move (hopefully the last for a good while!) over the weekend. I thought it was the post-holiday eat fest that had me moving slower, but now I think it's this toothache. I've had several interesting conversations on how nice it would be if dentists bartered...if you know of one in Asheville who does (or if you are!), I'd sure like to meet you!

But in the spirit of getting ready for the new year, here's the January schedule. Subject to change as always, but planned with the intention of keeping it just as presented. For those of you early birds, please note that the Monday schedule now starts at 10am. A little owner self-indulgence and preventative care in the form of an early morning yoga class will keep me from opening earlier!

And for anyone else still pondering studio membership, there are spaces available and just a few days left to take advantage of 2008 prices (and keep them through June '09).

Happy New Year - I'm looking forward to many adventures and invite you to join me! peace.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Everything!

Whether it be Hannukah, Yule, Christmas, Solstice, Kwanzaa, Bohdi Day or any other seasonal festivity, I hope you enjoy it surrounded by love and filled with happiness!

I'm feeling very grateful here in my studio, looking back on an incredible year and looking ahead to growing the studio into the community and building a place for all sorts of creative discovery. Lissa the Wonder Dog is thankful for the cooler mornings so she can roll around on the frost cover grass, and for the growing stream of friendly folk who come see her at the studio.

The studio will be open in and around the holidays, and I'm here in town if anyone has a last minute gift need (or just needs to come in and commune with the clay!). During the relative calm of the holidays, I'll be rearranging furniture, testing new glazes, planning some fun workshops and making a few pots, so in the new year there will be all sorts of new excitement here at Crazy Green Studios! As always, stay tuned to the blog for all the updates, but if Santa grants me a little extra time, you may also see (dare I say it!) website updates as well!

A very happy holiday-of-your-choice to all. Peace - Lori

Monday, December 15, 2008

life after the holiday show

I didn't mean for more than a week to go by before another post, and I do still have other pictures from the holiday art walk to share as well...and if you've been keeping an eye on the art walk blog, I'll post more there too.

It was really crazy leading up to the show, and it was a pretty busy week last week in spite of the deadlines having passed, and after a day or so of bumping into studio furniture in a slight haze, I'm back into a working mindset, catching up on paperwork and today, finally, getting back on the wheel. My only goal was to throw about 25 pounds, so I split it up among three pieces and had some fun with some larger versions of the new cut rim form I've been playing with.

fun with new forms, with my favorite mascot at my feet

My days are different now, as I've picked up some part time work to help with all the recent moving expenses and recession effects on the studio, so I really do have to schedule my wheel time now. And it always takes a bit getting back to it after a heavy deadline, glazing and firing schedules. But it felt good, both to be throwing and to be back on my wheel. In my mad rush to get more work done for the holiday show, I spent a good deal of time on the Whisper wheel (the speed-demon!), and it was nice to start back at the pace my kick wheel demands I keep, and finding the rhythm with the clay again.

This week will be a more intended juggle between outside work, studio work and planning for new and wonderful things in the studio. And as I get more into that rhythm, I'll find the right zone for getting on the blog and share the developments - we have new members here I need to grab pictures of, new helpers, and on occasion Lissa even has a play date show up!

And lest I miss the chance for shameless self-promotion, remember that the studio is still open through the holidays for those last minute purchases of fabulous, hand-crafted, locally made pottery! Or check out the list to the right to see where else you can find me through my work.

Lissa now demands more attention than the keyboard, so it's time for a walk! peace.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Art Walk Rocked!

It was a chilly day, but what a wonderful sight to see people walking up and down our little stretch of Haywood Road, and finding their way back to the little red building on Domino Lane! Thanks to all who came out, it was great to see the familiar faces, and even better to meet so many new ones! In addition to having a good holiday sale, our hope in putting this all together was to bring more attention to our growing group of businesses and the incredible talents that have been hidden in plain view for all to enjoy. I think the day went a long way toward bringing that focus to East West Asheville, and now that more people know we're here, I hope they tell several friends!

Here at the studio, 'Santa Bunny' was our welcoming beacon, and Shane, Jennifer (and Lissa and Shane's dog Ladybug!) and I had a nice stream of friends old and new into the cozy and unusually clean studio. I am as always extremely grateful to all who came, for their friendship as well as their support.

I'll post more about the days events soon (gotta get some pictures of Santacon!), and if anyone missed the Walk, you can still come by Crazy Green Studios and take advantage of my Recession Busting Prices for the rest of the month! More on that soon too, for now Lissa and I are calling it an early night. Thank you, and Good Night!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


That's the sound of me exhaling, which I feel like I've been doing for the past day. For those of you following the drama and saga of Lori finding a new place to live, fear not for I shall continue to have a roof. Two roofs really, but that's a longer story. I'll just say that I am extremely grateful to have found a lovely home for the next month with two very lovely people who I feel will become friends. And in January I'll move again, but to another lovely home that's actually walking distance to the studio! And another lovely roommate that I look forward to becoming friends with as well.

So phhhhhhhhhhhhhhew! Sure there are those who will say the best of all possible things has happened, and it might not have if I didn't go through what I did to get there. I usually believe that as well but there's a big part of me that really doesn't appreciate the 'lesson' that must be buried somewhere in the torture of the past five weeks.

At any rate, a huge weight is lifted, all that's done, I'm moved into new home #1 and now I have a good day and a half to focus solely on the Holiday Art Walk that is this Saturday!
One kiln is fired and the other is cooling, but I had enough ornaments out to start decorating my mini tree for the show:

In spite of the 10,000 things on my to-do list between now and Saturday morning, it all feels very attainable and even exciting to tackle, and there are plenty of other challenges to deal with after the show, but between now and Saturday it's holiday prep time!

If you're in the Asheville area, I hope you'll stop by. In addition to my new work, I'll have huge deals on older pieces I'm finally ready to part with, some loving 'seconds' and sample and one-off pieces. And some fun stocking stuffers too, which you'll just have to come by and see for yourself. And of course gift certificates for pottery or for open studio membership for those of you (or those you know) who want to get their hands in clay and have some fun.

I'm also hosting area potters Jennifer Hoolihan and Catherine Shane, and they're putting together a tasty table o' goodies as well. I have my own goodies to add, and if you bring me a can or two for Manna Food Bank, I'll have a very special treat for you as a thanks.

So if you haven't already officially opened the holiday season, come down to the Art Walk - it's going to be a beautiful, clear, cool day just perfect for strolling the neighborhood. And as I've said before, you can take care of just about every holiday need for yourself, friends, loved ones, upcoming events, you name it!

this message approved by 'Santa Lissa'

Friday, November 28, 2008

December Studio Hours

I hope everyone had/is having a lovely holiday, and looking ahead to December (yikes, it's Monday!), here's the studio schedule for the next month.

Of course always subject to change, but I'll try to make sure any adjustments are posted here as they happen, and take note that we will be closed for regular studio use Friday afternoon, December 5, so we can get ready for the big East West Asheville Holiday Art Walk on Saturday!

This is one of the ornaments I'll be featuring in the special 'holiday' wares, and here's a peek at some of the work from the last firing. Still planning one more firing to unload just before the show, so come early to get the first peek and first pick!

these are the small plates...bigger ones to be fired next week!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Holiday greetings! As much as I've enjoyed many non-traditional holidays in my life, this one will be a new version, as I'm not traveling nor receiving travelers this year. I'll be in the studio, getting as ready as I can for the holiday show next weekend, and yes still looking for a place to live. I'll be joining some friends for dinner later if I get enough done (or I'll enjoy the leftovers after that!), but the work rules the day! And while some may look at me and shake a concerned head for my being 'alone', I certainly don't feel it. I am surrounded, if not in actual proximity, in spirit, by a very large circle of love and support. It frustrates my mom that I can feel 'being there' without actually being there, because, well she'd just rather I be there. But I can - I know it's a holiday and all, but for me the true holidays come whenever I'm with family or friends, so when we see each other it's always a sort of Thanksgiving! But as I've said before, I'm recommitting myself to being thankful every day, and today I am indeed thankful for the nice, quiet day ahead in the studio (anyone who does what I do will pang with envy for that!). And for the leftover mole pumpkin pie from the Chocolate Lounge that's in my fridge. And for all the good energy being sent to me by those I can't be with today (keep it coming till I get that dang housing thing figured out!). There are plenty of challenges ahead, and every day is a day to be grateful for the opportunity to face them anew, and perhaps find some interesting delights along the path. But since today is the official day of Thanksgiving, I'll focus on all my people, my cozy studio awaiting, my big snoring dog that I'll have to drag off the bed then run through the woods with...oh and yes that pie! peace and many thanks to everyone, and a very happy day to you all! xoxo

Happy Thanksgiving from Lissa-the-wonder-dog!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I've been thinking about gratitude a lot lately. It's been much easier to stay focused on lack and want, between my own personal challenges and those we all hear about on the news and from everyone facing the current economic realities. In a recent post I mentioned how I finally ran into my more preferred state of 'living in gratitude' and it's been on my mind since then. It's almost been a life-saving mantra, to focus on that rather than the want or lack, and to drive from a place of that energy toward more of a thankful state rather than reacting to a need state. I really believe in the whole 'law of attraction' on many levels, and while I was pondering how to articulate my desire to get back to a full state of living in gratitude, I got one of my regular e-newsletters from Christine Kane. If you don't know who she is, you can find out at a link at the end of this post. As she often does, this articulates my feelings not only beautifully but even more thoroughly than I realized I felt them. The timing is a nice bit, but I do believe this would be a week where perhaps lots of folks are thinking about what makes them thankful. If so, there's a lot of good energy in the air, but for me it's a renewal of how I want to live every day. Here's Christine's article, tomorrow I'll have more to say about my own specific gratitude:

Why Gratitude Makes You Happy and Wealthy

Gratitude is more than being thankful one day a year. Gratitude is a practice. For some, it's a way of life. Why do some people swear by this practice? Why do these people seem to live happier and more abundant lives than everyone else? Because gratitude is about presence. It's about waking up in this moment and being here - really being here - and noticing what's around you. Most people are so busy thinking about the next thing, or about their horrid past, that they don't wake up and look around at their present moment - the only moment there is.

Because gratitude is about honoring your life.
Do you ever compare your life with someone else's? Do you ever wish your life were better and more like [Insert Famous Person's Name]? Sometimes we can lose ourselves in wondering how we "measure up" to some standard set by our families or by the media. Comparison is the mind killer. And the antidote is gratitude. Gratitude requires you to validate your own life. (And you really don't have any other life, do you?) It forces you to say YES to the gift that is you. The choices you've made and the changes you've gone through - they have brought you here. Even if here is a place that needs a little adjustment, that's okay. There are always gifts in any present moment.

Because gratitude is about attracting.
It's difficult to attract abundance and joy if you are constantly saying "no" to what IS. You say no each time you focus on the future or past, or when you criticize something that is in your present moment. Attraction is about saying Yes. When you say Yes, you shift. Gratitude says, "Yes, I love this!" And then more of this is attracted, because the this is what you're focusing on.

Because gratitude is about choice. How you translate any situation is the situation. What you choose to see is the truth (for you). This isn't proposing that you live in denial or phoniness. It's reminding you that your translation of any life situation is your own choice. We've all heard stories of people who have ignored others' translations of their talent, their projects, their art, their looks, their lives. These people chose their own translations and succeeded. You always have a choice when it comes to how you look at things. Choose to choose gratitude.

Because gratitude is about wisdom.
I think people believe they're being smart if they criticize, complain, and focus on the problems of the world around them. Smart? Maybe. Clever? Sure. But not wise. It is wise to look for and find the knowing place in your heart. It is wise to choose joy. It is wise to honor your riches. It is wise to focus on and grow the blessings of your life.

Because gratitude is about recognition.
Use your power of focus to hone in on beauty and on what makes your heart sing. Recognize the spirit in your life. It's all around you waiting to be noticed. In the words of Franz Kafka, "It will roll in ecstasy at your feet."

Because gratitude is about receptivity.
Gratitude makes you receptive. It makes you concave. It makes you a vessel, waiting to be filled. I carry a tiny notebook with me everywhere I go. In it, I write down song ideas. I write down quotes I hear. I write down ideas for stage stories. As I do that, I become more receptive, and more ideas and songs come to me. It's a tool that says to my subconscious, "Send more my way!" And the subconscious always responds. Gratitude is the same way. It says, "I am receptive! Send more!" And more arrives.

Because gratitude is about creativity. Creativity is really all about attention. (So is genius.) When I write a song, I build a relationship with that song. I spend time with it. I get to know it. I pay attention to it. Artists do the same thing with drawings. They spend time in rapt attention and the drawing is born. Gratitude is how we Live Creative. It is a creative act to notice and pay attention to the moments of your life. Some days it's an enormous act of creativity to find things for which to be thankful. Start today. And have a Thanksgiving of presence, creativity, and gratitude!

(From Lori: "....what she said!")

Performer, songwriter, and creativity consultant Christine Kane publishes her 'LiveCreative' weekly ezine with more than 4,000 subscribers. If you want to be the artist of your life and create authentic and lasting success, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to LiveCreative at

See Christine's blog - Be Creative. Be Conscious. Be Courageous - at

Saturday, November 22, 2008

rally cap

Attitude is everything. It's one of my personal mantras, and it's something I truly believe. And not just 'fake it till you make it', which has its charms and uses. For me, when I have a belief or intention and truly feel it from my core, well then things just seem to happen to make what ever goal I have come closer faster. And when I let those naggy little voices, whether they be from inside or outside my head, put doubts or fears into my attitude, and then THAT's what seems to manifest.

And nowadays you can't turn around without hearing about the tanking economy and how bad it is for everyone. I don't dismiss that, but if that's what I focus on, it's only going to get worse, work won't get done, then things will get worse!

So I've been working hard to keep my own focus and intention on the things I want, not the things I fear or don't want. It's been a lot harder lately, but now I have a new rally cap!

My dear friend Heather offered to knit me a hat with ear flaps a while ago - I've always wanted one, and if I wait until I actually learn how to knit I'll always be ear-flap-less (I started to learn about ... six years ago and have a half finished wash cloth to show for it). Well she finished it and even sported it on her own blog, but we didn't meet up for it to land on my head until today. And this is a good time to have ear flaps!

So I love it, it's 'power' purple with a 'crazy green' stripe, beanie top point and braided fringes...and once on, I felt the power of the joy that comes with simple pleasures, and remembered the feeling that comes with the attitude of living without fear and just a whole lot of gratitude. I've decided this is my rally cap for my attitude - I'm going to get all the work done I need for the holiday show, I'm going to find new marketing outlets for studio members and clients, and I'm going to find a place to live. It was all going to happen either way, but my attitude about it all is much stronger now, and I swear in the short time between getting this hat this afternoon and taking a break in glazing to post this, I'm already seeing the results.

Now, back to glazing, happy to have the ear flaps in a cozy but not completely warm garage studio! peace

ps - just had to share these other shots of LissaTheWonderDog in her winter wear. She scoffed when I put this on her, but I think she enjoyed it romping in the slightly frost-crusted park this morning!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

work is good

It has been a rather frantic time in Lori-land of late. Rushing to get a kiln fired for the Studio Stroll exhibit with the other Odyssey Residents, losing a good portion of the load to a very silly glaze mixing oversight (but still gleaning some good stuff from it even so), working feverishly to get the studio up on its feet in spite of a lot of financial clenching from clients and students (understandably, but if one more person says to me 'wow you picked quite a time to start a new business!'), and also trying to find a place to live. The last two weeks have been full of it all, and the next couple of weeks include finding the perfect home for me & the wonder dog, filling yet another kiln, getting the studio on stronger ground in its new open studio format, planning the workshops that are gonna rock in the new year and getting more work out so I can have work to show/sell/represent, and of course the much anticipated East West Asheville Holiday Art Walk.

So today it's a quiet day in the studio as far as member activity, and I just realized I must have left my phone at home, which adds to the peace. This morning I did some work on the marketing, did some new home searching and communicating with potential roommates, did some work on new show/grant/client submissions. good. But for the past few hours, I've just been working. Cleaning up the mugs I put handles on yesterday, trimming the platters that finally dried enough (using my new 'WCT' tool and loving it!), finishing up an order for ornaments and getting things ready to load into the bisque. This is the good work that makes everything else worthwhile. Got my music up, the dog is snoring in the corner behind the wheel, until the wind blows and she barks at leaves falling past the window, and there are trim scraps just about everywhere.
having fun with the new trim tool

love it love it love it!

I'll have to go get the phone, get back to work on these submissions, work out some new marketing ideas, get another mailing ready and perhaps even settle on a place to live. It's all gonna happen and keep happening, but this time of actually doing the work that I work so hard to be able to do...I am grateful.
getting lined up for the kiln

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

getting ready for the Art Walk - give Hand Made!

Crazy Green Studios is gearing up to join others in our little Domino Lane Studios and in the neighborhood for the East West Asheville Holiday Art Walk. The event is one day only, but the holiday festivities will continue through December at my studio with Empty Bowl decorating days, discounts for those who bring canned food for Manna and year-end specials on studio membership and early orders for the new year!

For the Art Walk, I will be hosting fellow West Asheville artists Jennifer Hoolihan and Catherine Shane at Crazy Green Studios. Mimi Strang Design (my studio neighbor) will be hosting Leslie Fay and Simone Wilson/Pleasant Hugh Studio. And that's just us! There's also good eats right across the street, plus everything you need to fulfill your holiday shopping needs, yens and other creative desires. And when you shop the East West Asheville Holiday Art Walk, you're not only supporting hand made artisans, you're also supporting small business owners and for many your neighbors. The creativity and passion of these small businesses is evident when you walk in their doors (even when you walk BY their doors!), and the combination of great art, craft and locally-owned business is what makes Asheville, I think, a place people want to be. Here's your chance to support that and to get some great deals on pottery, tile, ornaments, sculpture, clothing, decorative fixtures, hand made books, holiday cards, prints, unique gifts, great food, personal beautification, home decor, good music...only the tip of the iceberg!

Click the card below to see more information about the whole event and other participants, as well as a very cool map that will help you find us tucked away on Domino Lane (hidden in plain sight, we are!)... and we hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Party Time in the Capitol City!

Ok, first off, I'm so happy and proud to have moved to NC and be able to feel that my presence, my vote did matter in not only making the change we need nationally, but more importantly here where I live. That being said, on watching this I did have major pangs of wanting to be back in DC the night of the call, having lived there through TWO calls for Bush and the ensuing depression and doldrums of being in the city where they all lived and worked, having to skid my bike to a stop every time one of their friggin' motorcades closed off traffic, and worse yet working as an Innkeeper and hosting a house full of high-money Repubs who came for the Inauguration. They were all really nice enough, it just wasn't how I would have chosen to spend that time if I didn't have to work - I had another party in mind.

I tried to see if I could recognize anyone in the crowd shots, but I think they all look like good friends at this party! peace.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A day of YAY!

Well today is a day of celebration, and I was going to add to the multitude of Obama-raising blogs crying out our joy, pride, relief...well I guess I just did. But another part of me is saying 'back to work', even though I was working through the never-ending campaign, I admit it was a growing distraction as election day drew near, and while I'm proud and happy of the volunteering and ready for more, there is this whole issue of actually keeping the lights on, continuing to live indoors, all that good stuff along with my own joy and elation in the making of all things clay. So today was a bit slow moving (as I allow myself to be on my day off, at least in name), but starting to get moving again at a more fierce pace as there's the goal to fire yet one more kiln before the holiday Art Walk early next month, and pack up for this weekend's exhibit fun.

On that note, I want to help celebrate a little extra spotlight on some fellow area potters-extraordinnaire who are on the cover of Mountain Express this week, just in time for the Studio Stroll:

To see a collective of potters on the cover with a really nice spread/interview is thrilling on its own, and even moreso when it's friends and colleagues who are so deserving individually and collectively. And in a world where sometimes you think you're the only one who thinks this is worthy of such shout outs, it's nice to see that others are going to see it too!

So pick up a copy, hit the link on the image and read all about Josh, Kyle, Matt, Melissa, Heather and Eric. And better yet, go check out the studio and all their ware during Studio Stroll this weekend...

...which you'll be coming back to after attending the Stroll Kick-Off Festivities at the Opening Reception for Transitions: An Odyssey Resident Artist Exhibition at Odyssey Studios on Friday night! You see, promotion's not so shameless when you slide it in with some for others!

Congrats to all the great folks at Clay Space and Yay for Clay!

Monday, November 3, 2008

If you're voting tomorrow...

...wear comfortable shoes. Go early. Take a camp chair, a book, something to drink and a poncho or umbrella just in case. Make friends with those around you and enjoy the fact that although you may have to wait in line for a while, you're all a part of something truly historic. I can't wait to see the numbers on just what percentage of the country voted. It's a start - and we've got to keep the momentum of participation going after the election, but for now the focus is on tomorrow.

I could retype everything here, but check out this great post at the Clay Club blog for good information.

And if you have voted, check with people you see tomorrow to make sure they do to! Or check out the political office and/or staging office for your preferred candidate(s) - I'm sure they could use a hand, either getting others to the polls, answering phones, making soup.

Friday, October 31, 2008

TRANSITIONS: An Odyssey Resident Exhibition

I've given myself the evening off to make soup and fend off a throat tickle, so while I'm catching up on catching up, I thought I'd throw a shout out for an event sure to be the highlight of the Studio Stroll kick-off! "Transistions: An Odyssey Resident Artist Exhibition" will have its opening reception on Friday, November 7 from 5-8pm at the Odyssey Studios Gallery. There are many very cool events in the 'hood on Friday to kick off Studio Stroll, but only this one will feature Joey's Pasta Salad (if you've been to one of our receptions, then you know you want to come!).

Once again, I'll be opening a kiln, unloading and taking pots directly to the show, so if you come early, you may still feel the warmth of the kiln! Along with me will be recently former Resident Artists Joey Sheehan and Suzanne Hobbs, and current 'senior' Residents Courtney Murphy, Sarah Danforth and Robert Francis. Rounding out the group is newer (but no longer even the newest!) Resident Artist Beth Flanagan. Together, we represent members of the Residency program over the past two years, and among us we well represent the theme of 'Transistions'.

If you'd like to see more information about each of the artists, along with event details, etc., you can check out the blog - go now and then go back as it's constantly being updated with new artist profiles.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

November Schedule

Click to enlarge for details, and if you want a copy, just drag the image to your desktop. As always, subject to change, but here's the class and open studio schedule for November. The TBA's will be filled in as soon as I know when I'll need to be at Odyssey as the Resident Artist show opens over Studio Stroll weekend. And of course, if you ever get here and I'm not here, you'll find my number on the door!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunny Sunday...

Another beautiful fall day in Asheville. This weekend was to be a final push to make ware to bisque for upcoming firings in both my kiln and the Westfire reducition kiln, but I found myself in kind of a haze getting as much done as I'd planned. The weekend's actual production output didn't match the list I made, but work did get done. It's still quite a dance to move from making work, teaching, keeping the studio in shape for which ever activity is next, keeping up with marketing & books, upcoming events, unknown opportunities. Still seems whenever I'm doing one thing, I'm thinking about something else, and distractions abound. Gotta work harder to stay in the present and give my attention to what I'm doing at the moment. Scheduling helps, but I gotta work harder to keep to my own schedule!

I set up a table outside to let the sun help my pots dry - after the rain earlier this weekend, nothing much was drying inside. The other plus to this method is it got me outside several times to take a stretch and soak up a bit of vitamin sun. Toward the end of the afternoon, I was chasing the last rays of sun by moving the wettest ware to the car. It's amazing how much faster the sun seems to go down these days!

This morning I took Lissa for a hike in the woods, and wished I had my camera to get some of the beautiful fall colors and morning rays of light through the diminishing tree cover. In lieu of that, on one of my outdoor stretches to check pot butts, I snapped a picture of the local fall color right outside my door.

And speaking of Lissa...all day I prodded her to get outside and enjoy the weather, but she was happy to snooze in her corner behind my wheel. When I finally dragged her out and shut the door behind us, she thanked me by finding every rotting, disgusting, thing-I-don't-even-want-to-know-what-it-was...and eating it. This is her defiant smilin' mug when we got back in the studio:

I have a feeling our walk later this evening may see some regurgitation of earlier events, one way or another!

Time to lay out clay for pugging, clean up the studio and get organized for class tomorrow morning. Oh and then maybe just throw a few more things....peace

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Workshop Series!

'Finding Your Own Voice' is a special series of workshops pairing some of the area's finest teaching professional potters with advanced-skill students and emerging artists for focused critique, discussion and development.

I'm very excited that our first workshop in this series will be lead by Mars Hill potter and extraordinary teacher Becca Floyd.

This intimate class of no more than five students will work as a group to help each other while each student will also be working on their own 'personal voice'. Students will bring work for an initial critique and group discussion, with an eye toward their own ideas on the forms they want to resolve. Becca will design the specific focus of the workshop based on a pre-registration questionnaire and what each student brings to the class. This workshop is designed for the advanced student, and prospective students will be screened to make sure they are up for the challenge. This is not a workshop about learning technique. It is assumed that each student has abilities in technique and is looking for a way to bring their work to another level through personal challenge and in a supportive group environment.

Based on interest by many students and emerging potters, we're trying to put a workshop together that will start in early November and run into December, taking a break over the Thanksgiving week holiday. If schedules don't work out for these dates, this workshop will be moved to a post-holiday start, but early registrations will be honored first.

So if you're interested or know a potter who would love this type of workshop, contact me right away!

Go Vote!


Third time's the charm. I tried to vote a couple of times last week, and while usually I'm happy to stand in line to vote, last week there were too many other deadlines pulling me. My first attempt, the line was out the door, the second time, I was in line for about 15 minutes and realized I had to duck out again. Back in town with far less time crunch, I went in and out in less than 20 minutes. It's great to see such a strong turn out early, and now I'm free to help out on election day.

A note about straight-ticket voting. Make sure you make your separate selection for President, even if you're voting straight ticket, or your Presidential vote may not count. The poll workers at my precinct were careful to point this out, but not all places in the states that have straight ticket voting are telling voters this, so to make sure all your votes count, vote each candidate, it doesn't take that much longer!

And another note - even if you're opting to vote on election day, take a few minutes and confirm your registration, that way you don't get stuck with a provisional ballot on the 4th.

back to the clay...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Back from Atlanta

Feeling much more alert now that I've caught up on sleep, and ready to hit the studio and start another frenzied production schedule for another firing in a few weeks, but first a recap of the weekend's events!

Friday I opened the kiln and shot a few pictures of the new work as I unloaded, sorted for orders and packed for the show.

(some of the new tile tests)

The firing overall was great, although I still want to work on the copper green glaze and/or the application of those we have. The glory of that glaze for me is the range it gives in firings, depending on the clay body, place in kiln, firing, etc., but I want to set the parameters of that range a bit more to my liking. The new brush work and glaze combos were good again in this kiln, and again I ran out of time and wish I had done more, but it just gives me a good starting place for what I'm throwing when I get in the studio today!

Once loaded and deliveries made, I finally hit the road around 5pm. A few traffic slow downs and my usual confused navigation through I-285 and missing my exit, and I was finally at my host destination around 9:45. I did a little car re-arranging and organizing, but realized that I might as well just wait and price when I unloaded at the show. I did go through my tent-mate's goods to make sure I found everything she left for me, and got that packed into the car.

I meant to take some pictures of the town square that hosted the event - as much as the continued build up all around Atlanta always confuses and confounds me when I try to make my way around areas I used to know so well, the development of this little Village Market in Smyrna has the opposite effect - it's really lovely, and I think it has the potential of really being an event destination for this area if they can let more people know it's here.

The set up went pretty well, considering I'd never dealt much with gallery set up construction. I need to tell my potter friends who make wall hanging pieces that they should look into this for shows - the cables holding Anne's pictures hold up to 40 pounds each, and it's so much easier than transporting fake walls and dealing with hardware and tools! Luckily, the set up time 'officially' ended about two hours before the show started, so I made sure everything was out by the end of set up, but then spent a more leisurely time pricing and organizing back stock.

Crazy Green Studios with tent-partner Bark Photography

So all the elements of the show were in place for a great result - the backdrop of the Village Market was beautiful, the weather was perfect, the booth looked great. Now just for the people! Ah well, that's where the road takes a turn. From what I could gather from the people who did come through, nobody seemed to know about the event, other than those I had invited on my own mailing list and a few others attached to the other artists. Nearby Dobbins Air Base was having an air show that rattled the ware every few minutes, but it ended in the early portion of our show - only it didn't seem to bring any of that crowd our way. Based on the number of people who did come through the booth, sales were great, which does make me think that if people actually knew about the show, they would come and it could be a good show worth traveling for. Otherwise, it was just a nice vehicle to see old friends, but I'd rather do that without the hassle and stress of filling a kiln, loading ware and setting up a booth!

But friends did come! I didn't have my head on to get pictures of everyone again, but here's one gang of high school and college friends:

Good friends Anne, Ginny, Lee & Edie

It was so great to see everyone, and next time maybe no show so I can take more pictures and just hang out more!

Sunday I took some ware over to MudFire Gallery for their upcoming holiday show, and got to visit a bit with Erik and Luba while they were on a workshop break (and then Luba kindly let me steal her to go rummage through my boxes of pots!). Sunday night my hosts Anne & Steve joined me in meeting my 'god-family' Nancy, Gordon, Anna Lori & Alex for dinner (again forgot the camera!!!!), and yet another friend was dining a few tables away.

Monday, I was able to have a lovely brunch with more gal pals then hit the road back to the mountains. The colors are starting to show, and it was a gorgeous day for the drive. Now everything is dumped in the studio and waiting for my organizing and cleaning, so it's back to the daily show!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

October 16: World Food Day

I don't think this is in the official 'Hallmark' calendar of celebrated special events, but today is in fact World Food Day, and it's also the day of the annual Empty Bowls luncheon to benefit Manna Food Bank.

I got off a couple of snappy photos, but then the doors opened and it's all a fabulous blur of people streaming by and bowls streaming out. I'll report the official numbers once I get them, but we estimated starting the day with close to 800 bowls, and when I left the number of bowls left fit on one table, and the Collector's Corner had been run through faster than a blue light special.

Some quick highlights, then I'm off to bed for an early rise and packing. Tomorrow I open/unload/pack the kiln and head down to Atlanta. If you're in that area, come by and see me at the Smyrna Fine Arts Festival on Saturday!

Some of the day:

These sporty aprons feature artwork by Asheville potter Paul Frehe, who also donated many, many bowls with the same dancing bowls that quickly danced out of the room. A special note about the aprons - these aprons were given to the volunteers who helped keep the event running smoothly, and it was thought they had a sponsor to cover the costs, but as it turns out Manna will be billed for them. Because everything (bowls, food, space) is donated for this event, all proceeds go directly to Manna so they can do what they do at the food bank, and funds were not allocated for the aprons. So if you missed the event but still want to help out, you can send Manna a donation and designate it for the 'aprons' (you may even be able to buy one if you want, they're quite nice!) - if you do, Manna will send you a thank you letter for your donation. Bring it by my studio and you can pick out a bowl!

You may recognize this bowl from my open house, it's the one decorated by Sam Rattigan. I wanted to make sure his mom got the bowl, so I 'borrowed' it to have my lunch in before the doors opened. It nicely held the lentil soup from Corner Kitchen, and as the spoons weren't out yet, I can also attest to the slurping quality of the lip (she said with no modesty at all, realizing it's a bowl she made herself).

More pre-show slurping, with Heather Tinnaro, who was one of the Bowl Project guest potters as well as event day volunteer, and John Hartom, our fearless if not somewhat sleepy leader (both sporting much sought-after bowls by one J.Hartom).

In a rare, dual public appearance outside the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, both Dan and Jael Rattigan came to support Manna and claim their prize! This was pretty much the last picture I could take - the crowds just didn't stop and I didn't look up till it was time to go!

I left the lunch, sped downtown only to take a leisurely drive around the block several times to find a parking spot so I could run (almost literally) through the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands at the Civic Center. The Odyssey booth looks great, and while all too fast, I did get in quick hellos (but no pictures darn it!) with several friends and just enough time to wish them well before dashing back to the studio to get ready for the afternoon class. My students are most patient and accommodating as the studio continues through its growing pains and close quarters - today we did hand building demos and putting the slab roller together does all sorts of interesting things to the space! The poor studio does look a bit ransacked right now...and no there are no pictures of that, thank you! If you want to see nice studio shots, check out Kyle Carpenter's blog - he came to the open house and posted some pictures from his visit. While you're at it, hop down to Clingman Cafe to see Kyle and is Clay Space Coop (including the above mentioned Heather Tinnaro) studio mates in a wonderful show in the Cafe. I ran down tonight for the opening reception just before it closed - the show will be up for the rest of the month, and while you're there grab a bite, the food and coffee are great!

The laundry is churning and I'm soon to catch up on some sleep. Tomorrow has an ever-growing to-do list, but I'm only thinking about opening that kiln! peace.