Thursday, April 30, 2009

May Clay at Clingman Cafe!

How can it be the end of April already?!?!? Well it is, and I'm very excited for what May brings. To start us off tomorrow, May 1 is the opening of May Clay at Clingman Cafe (it's fun to say!). Trip Howell at Clingman Cafe has always been a great supporter of the many artists who surround him in the River Arts District and some from just beyond his 'hood, and if you're a regular reader here you know that he's hosting a three month exhibit of work by clay artists. You have one more day (er, that would be today!) to see the 'New Spring Work' exhibit and sale that has run the month of April.

And I'm very pleased to be a part of the May showing: May Clay. Starting tomorrow and running through the merry, merry month of May, you'll find some of my new work in the company of some very talented clay artists (see below for who they are). We're having an opening reception on Friday, May 1 from 5-7pm. There are a lot of great events on Friday night, and I'll be making some later stops myself - come start your First Friday fun with us at May Clay at Clingman Cafe! (really, it's fun to say!).

A taste of what you might find at May Clay:

tiny boxes by Becca Floyd

bonjour vases by Holly deSaillan

'Among Us' by Cassie Ryalls

vase by Anthony DeVito

shino vases by Lori Theriault

May Studio Schedule

I'm having a deja-vu-all-over-again moment as I could swear I posted this yesterday...but computer says no...

So once more, with feeling: greetings! Here is the much anticipated May open studio schedule for Crazy Green Studios! Click on the image for a larger view, and you regulars please take note of the highlighted days that show a change in regular scheduling. This includes tomorrow, May 1 - I originally had us on a regular schedule, until I realized I really should be at the opening reception for May Clay, and that would be hard to do while holding open studio. My apologies for any inconveniences - still working on the cloning thing.

Other adjustments for May: I'm closing Memorial Day weekend. It's also my birthday weekend, and while chances are I may be firing a kiln, a little open time will be good for body, mind and soul. And at the end of the month, I'll be closed on May 28 as I will be attending and vending at the Women's Business Conference.

There are many fun and exciting things brewing at Crazy Green Studios, and more updates and the seemingly erratic not-really-monthly newsletter will be back shortly, barring any more computer hang-ups, to enlighten, inform and entertain.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

quickie for a test

Well they say the 7th time's the charm, right? It's been crazy busy at Crazy Green, but I've tried several times (let's say six) over the past week to put up a new post, share some updates, a few images ... technology was not in the mood to play along.

First, I had images stuck in my camera. I could see them in the camera, but they wouldn't upload to the computer. I did have a few other random images of getting ready for the kiln I'm about to load tonight, but when I tried to post, no images would load and even a text-only post just didn't want to go. I took that as a sign from the universe to step away from the computer and get back to studio work.

Yesterday I closed the studio and spent the day in the glaze studio - thanks to my visiting friend Karen sitting the studio on Thursday night, I was able to move all the bisque over to the glaze studio and get set up. I had waxed most of the pots at my studio, so after set up and waxing the pots that came out of the last bisque fire, I was ready to glaze. A full day and into the wee hours was almost enough time to get it all done, and this morning saw the last of the wax resist and cover glazing. I'm back at my studio for a few hours for open studio, which is kind of a break, but for loading another bisque so I can also fire a cone 7 before the Clingman show load-in. Later this afternoon I'll head back over to the glaze studio and clean up my pots as I start the load.

So this is kind of a test - so far so good, and in other good news, I finally retrieved the stuck images from my camera. I'll close with the pictures, just so I can see if this posts.

Caroline & Matthew came to the studio for a Weekend Pass, and they made a couple of lovely bowls and some other small fun pieces. If you're reading, Matthew & Caroline, your pieces just came out of bisque, and I'll be loading them with my cone 7 glaze load on Tuesday, so they'll be ready for you this week!

This one is just because. I thought I had deleted it from the camera, as it was one of those random shots taken while I was fiddling with the settings on the camera. I've cropped it for dramatic/artistic effect.

Yes, this confirms both that I'm very tired, that perhaps I need to get out of the studio more often, and most definitely that I need to remember to put the shea butter on BEFORE I start working with the clay. This is part of my hand.

And on that note, time for some lotion and a little studio clean up here before heading over to load the reduction kiln. Since I'm firing both kilns at the same time, it's also time to make a new kiln god. My cone 7 god, Fred, is doing good duty here, so it's time to make a new one for the reduction kiln. peace.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

some week!

It feels like each day there is an increase in energy and activity all around. It's here in the studio, it's in the lives of my studio members, my clients and certainly starting to be all around town! Maybe it's just a bit of spring fever, but it feels like a good vibration to hang onto!

A few of the highlights of the week past...

Got a good jump on making work for the kiln that will be fired at the end of next week. Still need to crank out more, but it's looking good, and after a couple of good client meetings, I have more ready to go and more to make! Also got all the bowls decorated at the Empty Bowls event glazed and fired. With the new zinc-free clear, we get the greens now, but some of the other underglazes still burn out at our slightly higher temps. Still a good looking batch of bowls (that I have yet to photograph...).

I finally got to join a work crew for Habitat for Humanity, and joined a great group of women who are building a house in West Asheville for a young family. It's been a lot easier to find and join a build group here than it was in DC, so I know I'll be doing that again! Click on the image if you want to join an Asheville-area build crew.

This week HatchFest is in Asheville, and while I've only been able to attend one panel discussion, it was a good one: Marketing for the Creative Professional featured a panel of very talented professionals (Erin Scholze, Greg Vineyard, Paul Van Heden, Karen Hemphill, Jenny Bowen and Jonas Gerard) from many disciplines who all spoke eloquently to a number of topics and answered questions and gave me good stuff to think about! This panel was presented at HatchFest with the Asheville Artist Alliance and Mountain Biz Works, both groups I'm a member of and both groups a perfect match for what HatchFest has brought to Asheville. There, I've just implemented one of the tips I learned at the panel!

I also delivered my 'Carolina Wren Houses' for the Bountiful Cities Birdhouse auction - this will get mentioned in the 'weekend ahead' section below too! These were very much from my imagination, but now that I've actually looked at some wren houses, I may make some more functional attempts, but I may also make some more like these, which I think also make fun lanterns.

Today I tried to sit out in the sun at the studio, since I'm now trying to finish up the rack cards for the Artist Market and new studio PR, but the plants are attracting all sorts of buzzing neighbors, so I'm in the cooler studio finishing up the keyboard activity before heading back to the wheel to make more for the kiln.

So it's been a fun week so far, and the weekend holds just as much fun ahead:

It's the return of the Howard Street Handmade market! If you missed the first one last month - get over there and check it out this weekend!

Bountiful Cities Birdhouse Auction! Downtown Saturday - go early to see all the great birdhouses, then get there in time for the live auction and support this great group!

New show opening at the Flood Gallery at Phil Mechanic Studios in the River Arts District - reception Friday (tonight!) from 7-10pm.

Tailgate season opens, including the Asheville City Market. Check out ASAP for the tailgate near you!

HatchFest continues, continues through Saturday and ends with a big bang of a party at the Orange Peel.

And now I'm back to a bit more computer fun, then elbows deep in clay! Next blog is an answer to a dare, and it's right up my alley! Happy weekend to all - get out and see some art, visit your favorite brick & mortar small business, make a purchase, support your local economy, eat your vegetables, leave it cleaner than you found it and play nice with others. xoxo

Monday, April 13, 2009

Asheville Artist Alliance Workshop: Jonathan Frappier to tie clay into this post....well if we're doing six degrees, it's easy and less than six! As a member of the Asheville Artist Alliance, I'm interested in supporting and promoting all the arts, in Asheville and elsewhere! And having worked in theatre a couple of lifetimes ago, I know it's as challenging to make a living in that craft as it is in my pottery studio!

This informative workshop will help at all levels: those thinking about it and those doing it, students and professionals. Mountain Biz Works is the location - April 22 is the date (click on the image to go to the event site) - pass this on to anyone you know who might be interested, and tell them to RSVP to Naomi at Mtn. Biz Works by April 17!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thank you for supporting Empty Bowls!

Well it was colder and less sunny than I had planned, but many hearty souls made it to the studio to donate food, decorate bowls or purchase pottery in support of MANNA FoodBank. Thanks to all who donated their talents and imaginations!

Thanks to the talented potters who donated finished work to sell - if you come by the studio you can still make purchases that will go to MANNA, and the work will be available at the Crazy Green Studios booth at the 2nd Saturday Artist Market next month.

And thanks to other gracious and generous folk who loaned tables, donated underglaze and helped set up and take down (Laura, Mimi, Karen & her very sweet daughter, Sarah, Micah, Zen & Helen...sorry if I've forgotten anyone!).

We gathered a nice tub of canned food, sold some pretty pots for cash that will go far at MANNA, and have a good start on bowls for the October event. I always have bisque fired bowls around the studio, so anyone who didn't make it today is welcome to come decorate a bowl!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Empty Bowls Event to benefit MANNA FoodBank SATURDAY!

Come on over to East West Asheville this Saturday, April 11, and help spread a little love to MANNA FoodBank!

Bring canned food or other non-perishables. Decorate a bowl for the Empty Bowls luncheon. Purchase beautiful hand made pottery to support MANNA FoodBank. Learn more about MANNA and how much they do. Learn what more you can do!

Where: Crazy Green Studios, 15B Domino Lane, West Asheville, NC
When: Saturday, April 11, 2009
10:00am - 3:00pm

Hope to see you there!

Monday, April 6, 2009


I took some shots of work out of the last kiln in a rather quick and dirty fashion, and see that they reflect that lack of care and attention quite well. I'm still learning how to get the best results out of this camera, so these are some better attempts.

the shino jar

the copper jar

this was a plate from the previous firing

Carolina Wren House in progress (liberal use of artistic license, but all for a good cause!)

Back to it - no nice sunshine to dry out the pots today, but a workhorse of a little heater with a couple of shelves above it will do almost as good a job!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

happy asheville-versary!

I just noticed that this weekend marks three years since my arrival to Asheville, and every day I've been happy and grateful to be here. And to celebrate, what better thing than spending the day in the studio! Granted, it's the way I celebrate just about every other day, which is probably why I'm so happy and grateful!

Today was a mixture of some computer updates, some picture taking, a wee bit of bookkeeping, fun with studio members coming in and time on the wheel and in cleaning up work. And yummy leftover catfish/succotash stew for lunch, hot out of the ol' rice cooker.

This is a pretty good representation of most of the day. It was beautiful and sunny (stay tuned, snow is projected for Tuesday!), which was great for throwing bowls (for the Empty Bowls event here next week, in case you haven't been tuning in!) and then trimming them an hour or so later. The table holds vases that were cleaned up, a few straggling mugs that got handles, trimmed bowls getting another sun kiss, a couple of member bowls and the early stages of what will be 'Carolina Wren Houses', for the Bountiful Cities Birdhouse Auction.

Oh, and against the wall of the studio in the back is my make-shift photo studio, taking advantage of the natural light. I shot pictures of the work out of the last kiln, but shot them too quickly and only now that I've posted several do I see how out of focus and rather icky some are. One of these days, I'll make it to one of the digital photography workshops and I shall then be the master of my wonderful camera!

The pup will soon need a walk and then out to get her some food, so I'd better get back to the table, the wren houses are just about ready to be transformed. I hope everyone is celebrating the day, for any and every reason. If I may borrow from friend ht's voicemail: Happy Holiday of Your Choice! peace.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Results from the recent kiln...

Unloaded both the reduction kiln and a mid-range kiln this week, and had some good tests, some great tests, some continuing frustrations, some pleasant surprises, and still some that just make you go 'hmmmm....'.

And then there was also the sagger test:

The nekkid cup on top of the sagger. Actually there's a honey celadon liner inside, you can see a bit of it on the rim.

The 'after' upon opening. The overhead lights and unfortunate flash kind of blur the interior, but the honey celadon looked good...

The wadding got a little to flattened out, and some of the salt oozed up onto the foot. Unfortunately, I broke the cup when trying to grind off the excess, but it was still a good test overall. The clay body was the Laguna B-Mix w/helmar, and the earlier tea bowls were zelastone. As I do the shot cups, they may be a variety of clays, and some will be glazed in saggers, others will have their own little thimbles of salt.

Other things in the reduction kiln:

A new way to play with shino - ribbed slip on the pot, then my regular shino layers with the underglaze brush work between. I'm working on a series of smaller vases to play more with this...

Another covered jar, part studio demo, part me playing with a carved facet I haven't done in a while, but I love what this copper glaze does on it. The lid is a hollow form with bits of clay inside. Why does this lid need to be a rattle? Well why not! Actually, this is a demo of a pet urn I've made before, I just needed pictures.

A bit of a side-track. I've been working with a copper green glaze in our oxidation firings. I'm not trying to replicate or replace the reduction 'crazy green', but I did want to get one for mid-range that made me happy. This cup came out of the recent cone 7 ox kiln:

it's become a very popular glaze for the members...

a new mug form I'm doing for the Sparrow Spa, that I quite like. I've been wanting to do the 'dancing brush' design on other forms, and this was one of the pleasant tests.

Another in the series of unending tests to get that gold shino back. This is still a bit more orange than the original firings, but it's closer.

I'm not posting the ChoLo mugs - they were both a frustration and ones that made me go 'hmmmm....', but I'm going to try something else and I'll hold off on that little series of trials and errors (mostly errors lately!) until the next firing.

Another result from the cone 7 kiln - this is studio member Matt's sweet tea bowl. He's layered glazes with a black underglaze, and got a nice result...

...I'm tempted to post pictures of Scott's cups, as he hasn't made it into the studio in far too long, but I'll just leave this mention of them as a teaser to get him in here to see for himself (then I'll put pictures up later!). :)

Back to the wheel - saw the wonderful opening at Clingman last night - it looks great, get down there and get something before the red dots completely take over! The show is great, but it also showed me there are a lot more shelves than I remembered, so I better get more stuff into the next kiln! peace.

Friday, April 3, 2009

First Friday Fun!

This is more of a public service announcement, because if you haven't started getting out to the First Friday gallery events, tonight is a perfect time to start!

I'll be in the studio till 6pm, so of course anyone who'd like to start at my studio, we're not having a show, I'm just saying I'll be there and you're most welcome to stop by. But once the doors close, I'll be checking out as many openings and exhibits as I can before they close - here are a few that are on my list, I know there are more - add to it if you want!

New Spring Work - opening at Clingman Cafe, 242 Clingman Avenue in the River District.
Work by Heather Tinnaro, Courtney Murphy, Patty Bilbro, Julie Covington & Jennifer Hoolihan
Opening reception 5-7pm
(insert plug here: I'll be among the exhibiting artists here in May!)

Ceramic Artists: Perfectly Paired opening at Woolworth Walk, Haywood St, downtown
Featuring the work of Heather Knight & Dawn Dalto
Opening reception 5-7pm

Ariel Gallery: Seventh Anniversary Celebration - 19 Biltmore Avenue downtown
new works by cooperative gallery members, and anniversary celebration from 5-8pm!

Others I'm going to try and hit:

American Folk Art & Framing - 64 Biltmore Ave downtown - celebrating their love of framing this month

Gallery Minerva - 8 Biltmore Avenue - new paintings & sculptures. One of the featured artists, Cassie Ryalls, is a good friend. Opening Friday 5-9pm.

And if you end up downtown, a great compliment to crawling around and soaking up good art is to crawl into the French Broad Chocolate Lounge for a nice brew, some incredible chocolates all hand made with love and lots of other good stuff. They also have a new cheese plate, featuring lots of local products, and they always feature an area artist on their walls (oh, and my mugs on the shelves!).

Lots of great work to see, and with the opening receptions, you also often get the chance to talk with the artists. Oh and yes there's usually a little refreshment action happening too. Get out and have an art walk!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Schedule!

click schedule for larger image

My apologies for not getting this up before the first - it snuck right up on me it did!

For the regulars, please note a few changes:

- The first Friday of the month hours are adjusted to 12-6.

- Beginning April 13, Monday hours will be 4-9pm.

- The studio will be closed on Saturday, April 25. This is tentative, but I didn't want to spring it on anyone, so check with me when it gets closer to see if we're open.

- The studio is REALLY closed on Thursday, April 30. This is because I'll be loading in a show at Clingman Cafe. If I get a suitable studio sitter, we'll stay open (and while I'm at it, plan now to attend the opening reception on May 1, but more on that later!).

Lots of things going on at Crazy Green Studios - for those of you on the mailing list, a member newsletter (the not-so-monthly, monthly) is in the works detailing all the excitement, and you'll see a string of new posts here as well, so stay tuned!