Monday, June 29, 2009

studio schedule adjustments for this week...

Just a bit of tweaking to this week's schedule, in case you were planning to stop by:

Tuesday, 6/30: closed
Wednesday, 7/1: 2-10pm
Thursday, 7/2: 4-10pm
Friday, 7/3: 11am-5pm
Saturday, 7/4: closed
Sunday, 7/5: 12-6

Apologies for any inconvenience the switcheroo causes - gotta juggle a bit to see, be seen and still fill the kilns! peace.

Friday, June 26, 2009

playing in the mud...

Faithful readers will remember meeting Lily, one of my new studio assistants. Lily is the UNC art student who loved her clay experience in high school and is here to learn more. For my part, I am gleefully telling her only half jokingly that I will in fact ruin her by filling her with all my learned and self-devised techniques, studio rules and happy to pass it on!

Yesterday Lily was here helping out, and anyone who spends time in a studio knows the immense value of someone running the shop vac, wiping down shelves and generally putting things back in order. And now she's been making plugs for my mug handles, which is a huge help as I rush to the finish line for yet another firing cycle. thankyouthankyouthankyou.

But her favorite part so far, as it turns out, is also one of my most favorite parts. Yesterday I introduced Lily to the wet, sloppy, muddy part of reclaiming clay. I think you can tell a lot about a person in how they approach a big bucket of wet clay, and how they handle the request to go elbow deep into it and mix it up then lay it out on plaster slabs. Lily comes from good stock I can tell, because she embraced the experience (I think her words were something like "this is cooooooool!"), and I think if she had the option she may well have gotten into the bucket completely!

After rollicking in the muck and laying out the clay (which I just finished wedging and will soon pug), she got to play with the product on the other end of the cycle and made some good progress with her cylinders on the wheel.

Now that's a good day of playing in the clay!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Crazy Green Studios is finally on a map!

If you've read a blog or two here, you know how happy I am to be in my little corner of East West Asheville. Excited as I was when I opened my studio, I couldn't wait to let people know, so I registered my address with Google maps... all went well until I hit the final 'submit' button and found out that for some reason the mapping powers that be think my studio is in a totally different part of West Asheville, not at all on Domino Lane. For that matter, Domino Lane doesn't even exist on any online map or GPS search engine ... please remember that if you're coming by for the first time and please use the directions on my website!

click on the image to go to the online version

As fun as it can be to hide in plain sight, I'm happy to report I've finally made a map! The new West Asheville maps are in distribution, and if you find one of those around town you'll be able to find me! You can also find me in the online version, along with all sorts of other great West Asheville locations. The map also lists ongoing events and has contact info for everyone listed.

shino plate, as featured on the back of the West Asheville map

If you're planning a trip to Asheville, or if you're planning a crawl around town yourself, make sure you add this great map to your pile o' resources, and stop by if you're in the 'hood!

Monday, June 22, 2009

word of the day: create

Every morning I start the day with a little laundry list of intention - what I want for the day ahead, in attitude, emotion and action. I could easily have an ongoing list that repeats each day, but I try to hone it down to a handful so I have tangible things to focus on through the day, rather than overwhelm myself into a fetal position. So the list varies: grace, balance, humor, love, abundance, gratitude, flexibility - a small grouping with one 'word of the day' matter what 'word' I choose, the meaning will apply across the day and into many parts of my life that I probably wasn't thinking about when I started the day.

Today the word 'create' popped into my head when I woke up. I don't often remember my dreams, so I'm guessing it came from whatever was last night's dream. Yes, you could say I 'create' each time I come into the studio, but it's about more than the pots. Each moment of every day is a creation, much of my own making and some from the responses I give to those of other people's making. So part of my focus today is to stay in control of my end of it. I'll be creating work in studio today, creating opportunities for more work to be made (and the word 'work' has way more than one meaning too!), creating new relationships and new aspects to existing relationships to keep the whole ship moving forward. And when I look at each seemingly mundane choice, right or left hand turn I make today, and pause to consider how it will contribute to today's word, I'm sure I'll find new creations along the way.

And now that I've created this blog entry, I think I'll go create some lunch...I hope you're creating a good day for yourself too!

Friday, June 19, 2009

family fun and a little weather...

It's another busy week in studio - cranking out bowls & platters, cups and mugs and hoping the rain stops long enough to let things dry!

A happy respite in the normal craziness came with the arrival of my cousin Marcy and her gorgeous family - they're vacationing in the area, and came to the studio for an afternoon of clay play.

Marcy, Bruce, Noah & Rachel: pre-mud!

They each got on the wheel and made great work - Marcy has those pics and I'll share them when I get copies. Thursday they were to come back and decorate the work, but mother nature had another plan...

Lily and I were working away in the afternoon when things started getting darker and blowier ...

can't see the debris, but this is just before the big 'CRACK!'

...and then out went the lights. Happily, my wheel is powered by me, and Lily was helping prep some handle plugs, so we were able to keep working while cows and old ladies on bicycles blew around us outside.

When the power didn't come back on after about 45 minutes, I figured we were in for the long haul, so I sent Lily home, boxed up the cousins' work, took it home and they decorated by candle light - I didn't think to take those pictures as we were trying to race to finish before sundown, and of course when we went by the studio later for them to pick out some other prezzies, the lights were back on there!

Not so at home, and Lissa and I spent the rest of the evening just listening to the post-storm breezes, and I got to put my new Shawn Ireland candle holder to good use. Sometimes it's nice when all there is to do is just be quiet...and just be.

The aftermath around town is mixed - I am very grateful that the worst damage at the house is that the tomato plants fell over - all the recent rain has made them come up like a beanstalk, and the wind did some damage, but I've got them more or less re-staked and stabilized.

At the studio, a large tree behind the studio was hit high, and it fell mostly on the building next door and between us - since I was sitting on my wheel right where it would have hit the building at the time it happened, I am extremely grateful that it didn't (although I feel quite secure in my little cinder block studio - safe from wolves and trees!). There is damage to the building next door, but that too could have been much worse, so I think we're all grateful as a whole.

some of the tree that fell

I'm camped at Clingman Cafe as I'm still without internet and phone at the studio, but that just means less distractions when I get back to the studio to finish those mugs! There are still some roads closed for all the debris, and Lissa's favorite river access at the park is now under fallen trees, but all in all things are moving again (and she was quite happy to go romp in the swamp).

Hopefully, Marcy & family will have a smooth trip home, and with a little sunlight, I may get their work dried out for bisque by the weekend! Sun's out again so it's time to get to work and take advantage of nature's dry-box!

Monday, June 15, 2009


That just about says it all for now - from me and Lissa.

For me, it's been a very busy past ... well just the recent past I guess would cover it. It's still busy, but having had another 2nd Saturday Artist Market weekend, I've been spending part of the day catching up on book work, part in putting the studio back from basic discombobulation. It was a hot weekend, and even staying inside or under the tents, I got a bit of color and a few new freckles. We knew that our Market falling the same weekend as Studio Stroll would work one of two ways for us, and looking at attendance, well it didn't work very well. But looking at the caliber and attitude of local small business artists who see potential and understand growth, it was fabulous. I continue to be filled with awe and gratitude for the good people around me, and that includes new friends I make each month at this Market. Next month we'll rock it!

As for Lissa, she's just been feeling a bit under attended this weekend as I was busy with Market or marketing, and she's just been very woof-y today at every given opportunity. We had one good, long walk this morning, and perhaps a nice stroll in the rain tonight if the clouds keep forming.

Time to get back into the rhythm of the studio life, barky dog and all!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Crazy Green Studios at 2nd Saturday Artist Market this weekend!

Things seem to be almost literally cooking in the studio, with warmer weather and the kiln heating the place up...and instead of slowing activity down, it's busier than ever!

I was hoping to do another slightly experimental kiln at cone 7-8 for this weekend's 2nd Saturday Artist Market, but the timing just didn't work out. The challenge in commission work keeping me so busy is carving out that time to keep developing my own work, but you won't hear me complaining for lack of things to do! That's the nice thing about the 2nd Saturday market - since it's the 2nd Saturday of each month, I've always got next month to present something new!

I'm really looking forward to this weekend's 2nd Saturday Artist Market. The area will be a buzz, as we're right down the street from the River Arts District that hosts Studio Stroll over the weekend, and the weather looks encouraging for lots of people out on the streets! I love live markets - it's funny, I don't enjoy the whole 'marketing' aspect of running the business, but I do love the live market. It's great to have the opportunity to watch people interact with my work, get to know them and help them get to know the process and the person behind what they see. And not just my booth, I love the whole interactive community dynamic of a live market and watching all the connections that happen. And... this month's Community Booth is Mountin' Hopes - the therapeutic riding center - very cool!

The Crazy Green booth will feature some new work, along with more of some of the popular sellers from the recent show at Clingman Cafe. In addition, we'll have a decorating station set up once again for anyone who'd like to decorate a bowl for Empty Bowls, and you're welcome to bring canned food and other non perishable donations for MANNA FoodBank as well. And the studio will be open as well as what you'll find under the tent, and I'll of course be there to talk to anyone about studio membership and the summer workshops.

Check out the 2nd Saturday blog for profiles on some of the participating artists, and come and check us out! And when you do, be sure to go over to Christopher's Garden for additional exhibiting artists, and there are lots of other cool small businesses in the 'hood you'll want to visit. East West Asheville has a lot going on, and if you haven't taken the time to check it all out, come by and see us on Saturday!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

it's been a Rosetta kind of weekend!

And a delightful weekend it is! I just finished uploading some photos from weekend fun, and realized one of the nice threads running through it...

Friday after hitting some of the First Friday openings, friends and I ended up at Rosetta's Kitchen for dinner...and it was good.

another for the one-armed gallery o' photos...

Saturday, after streaming through Lexington Bazaar and Howard Street Handmade's Craft Sale & Swap, I managed to get some work done at the studio before attending MANNA FoodBank's annual Blue Jean Ball ... where much to my delight I find THE Rosetta, with Jack dishing out generous helpings of the Family Favorite...and it was good.

And this morning, before opening the studio and getting back into the clay, I streamed through the inaugural People's Market, hosted by the afore-mentioned Rosetta herself, surrounded by an army of young helpers dishing out lemonade and other yummy goodness from the Rosetta's Kitchen, conveniently located right across the street.

Rosetta & little man, just after he doused them both with lemonade

A beautiful day for a Market, and the people were just arriving as I was there early, but it already looks like it's going to be a favorite Asheville Sunday tradition!

see more pictures from the Market at the Asheville Street Markets blog

Friday, June 5, 2009

First Friday Fun

There's always a little transition, after a firing cycle, where I spend a small amount of time bumping around the studio, getting things in order for the next cycle of work. This time I feel like I've been bumping around a little longer, maybe because I did several firings pretty close together, stuck in a show, some deliveries and a few other 'out of studio' distractions...and the past two days have been an earnest effort to get back into a 'making' cycle. But there's still some bumping...meetings, bookkeeping, marketing, working with one of my fab new assistants and finally getting the studio to look like it wants to be dirtied up again.

This morning I've still got fun 'business' stuff to take care of, but I've got Nina Simone on Pandora, a nice curry brewing in the rice cooker for a cooler, rainy day, and I've just made my 'do' list. So it's off to pick up some printer toner, a bit more clay and then hands back into the mud!

All that being said, I'm motivated to get it going because today is the first Friday of the month, which means gallery openings and events. Just like I try to keep one day a week where I'm out of the studio, I try hard to make this one night a month one that I'm out of the studio and in as many galleries or other studios possible. Here's my punch list for tonight, and I expect I'll find other events along the way:

Clay Space Coop returns to Clingman Cafe - I just closed out a group show at Clingman, and tonight officially opens the third month in a row of clay work in the dining room gallery space. I know I'm biased, but I really do think clay work looks the best in there! The Clay Space show has been up for a few days, but the reception is tonight from 5-7pm.

American Folk Art Framing & Gallery downtown has a special show for Shawn Ireland and Ann 'Frantic' Morley. This pairing looks amazing, and I've usually gotten to this gallery after everything's been sold and gone, so I'm looking forward to the chance to see and fondle! Opening reception from 5-8pm

The Asheville Area Arts Council is celebrating doubly tonight, as they cut the ribbon on their newly expanded space and present a show of 'New Work' by four artists. One of the artists, Katherine McGinn, also exhibits at the nearby French Broad Chocolate Lounge, who will have some of their sweet treats at the opening reception. So when you're done checking out the great new work, you can go around the corner to the ChoLo for more chocolate, because I guarantee what they put out at the reception will be gone fast!

I also just got word of an event at my neighbors, Harvest Records - an art showing and reception tonight I believe from 7-9...can't put my fingers on the details but if you're in this area and go there, you'll find out and have a great time!

If I keep looking through emails and announcements, I'll find more, but if I want to get out the door to see any of it, I need to get the fingers in the clay! Happy Friday - and don't forget all the great Market action this weekend - check my other posts or the link on the right to Asheville Street Markets for all the details!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Asheville Street Markets is buzzing!

Just in time to show off our shiny new logo, MountainXpress has a lovely feature about Asheville Street Markets in THE BUZZ this week!

A million thanks just don't begin to express all of our gratitude to Suzy Millions for her support in helping us create not only our logo, but also a hip rack card that's soon to be somewhere near you.

And all this times perfectly with LOTS of activity in the world of Asheville Street Markets this weekend!

Smart workshops for those artsy and crafty start the day at Howard Street Handmade: learn how to take better pictures of your work, learn a new craft, and later that afternoon the fun continues with a craft sale and swap that features incredible materials, supplies and equipment. click the image for more info at the blog.

And Lexington Bazaar is back, in the downtown courtyard on Lexington Avenue, and in addition to more great art, craft and design offered to you by the makers, you can again find yummy crepes and frites from Bouchon, and music by Ras Berhane of Chrystal Kind! click this image for more info and details.

And it doesn't end there! Sunday is the inaugural event for the Asheville People's Market!! It's the flea-market style place to buy art, crafts, and homemade items from Asheville artists as well as bartering for and haggling over for yard sale items, lost treasures and other peoples un-loved functionals. And did you know the whole thing is a fundraiser? click the image and get more details at the blog, and if you're looking to make a find, or if you're looking to make a sale or trade, go down there on Sunday!

I'll be buzzing around to each event before hitting the studio, but won't be able to linger as we have weekend hours and our own fun with clay, so if you're venturing out this weekend, be sure to hit one of these fabulous events...and then come by the studio and let me know what you found!