November 24, 2009

Fun Front Page of Etsy Today!

With my Tsunami Sushi Set pieces!!!
Happy Thanksgiving!

November 17, 2009

Great New Online Gallery

The Laurel Tracey Gallery in Red Bank has just open this online gallery called ...interestingly enough : Laurel Tracey Online !

It is so great because it has small works available from FABULOUS artists and once you buy a taste of them in a smaller size like this:

Elwood Howell. Red Bird
Elwood Howell
Acrylic on Panel 7 x 7 in Framed
Price: $350.00

You may be interested in in a larger piece...Like this... at
The Laurel Tracey Gallery

Green-Blue, 2009. Acrylic on linen, 40 x 38 inch (Call for pricing)

They are launching the on-line site with a gallery opening:
This Saturday: November 21st.
6pm -9pm
10 White Street
Red Bank, NJ
Check it out!

November 14, 2009


I was contacted by a lovely ETSY person to tell me that I was featured in her Treasury!
It is so beautiful and cheery during this INCLEMENT weather...that I just wanted to share... And of course show you my Lidded Vessel!

November 13, 2009

Always nice to get a little press...

A little something in the news...
My sushi Set is in the Asbury Park Press Magazine 4074 Nov/Dec issue scroll through to find my sushi set...

You can find the whole set to order on ETSY .

Or a small portion available now!
Also on Etsy!

A little something on this dreary,rainy day...

November 09, 2009

Something to put your liquid in?

I posted some new drinking vessels on Etsy.
What I like about this is the way I played with strontium crystal magic spraying it with my glazes and how i have started to develop some crystals and blush reminiscent of a gas kiln firing... I'm not saying its the SAME... just interesting....

November 06, 2009

New Eye Candy from the Kiln.

Just thought I'd share...
They are all on my ETSY site!

November 03, 2009

Back in the swing!

Getting back in the game my friends...
I have a bisque fire going and plans to glaze fire...
Yes... I am back...
Frankly, I never left.
I've listed a few new pieces on ETSY ...

October 19, 2009

Boy Oh Boy...Where to Begin?


I don't want to get TOO personal here as it's "inappropriate"...HOWEVER....(I always have a "however",) I have had an overwhelming experience over the past 6 1/2 weeks and occasionally my fellow bloggers blog a little about "life lesson" stuff... So...I am tempted.
My dad(who shall remain NAMELESS) suffered a heart attack and stroke...Well...first the stroke and then the heart attack about 16 hours later...he had SEVEN stents put in the arteries leading to his heart... I flew (in my car...)from New Jersey to Baltimore when I got the call... and over the past few weeks I have had to take on a huge new project... it's my DAD: his care,his heath,his LIFE...etc...needless to say....IT HIT ME LIKE A TON O BRICKS....
Let me start by saying...he is doing well physically.... and his speech impairment is the main problem(generally speaking)...BUT he is getting the much needed therapy and hopefully will continue on that path....(Let me add the disclaimer that my dad was a VERY independent guy and did thing HIS WAY...his whole life...)
ANYWAY this is MY blog...SO....

I speak about his situation(with lack of detail) just to put into perspective where I am coming from. This has been HARD. My life, my family, my work/MY ART has definitely taken a backseat to the issues at hand...I'm not exactly sure how to transition back "from whence I came"...
I've had VERY few hours in the studio(oh... and I've been continuing to plan my 12 10/12th year old's Bar Mitzvah...which is sort of a big deal....).
Back to the studio part....
So ...I get in there to work on things for people that had already place orders... I try to get productive and BAM!...
Either the time runs out...or I have to run out...ya know?
I've told myself..."This too shall pass" and I try to hang in there...
But, my fellow potters and artists...YOU's "easier said than done"...I am itchin'...and I CAN NOT scratch appropriately...
I have also, internally, started to question my work and its direction and wonder "if this whole shaking up of things" is supposed to shake up my work as well...
Is this happening to change my whole direction... I had JUST(that morning 09/09/09) pulled out a batch of new glazes with subtle movement in the direction I was striving for...crystals were forming(subtle crystals) by layering the crystal strontium matte recipe under and over my my ELECTRIC KILN...I was ready to take it further and...BAM!
So, lately I have reassessed my work... My "technique" that I basically developed over time... it's "clean" in it's nature...BUT it take A LOT of work to create those "clean" lines (if you know what I mean....)
There have been technical issues...trying to make the clay do things, well... things, it really doesn't want to do...
I have become more and more focussed on the refining of the process...
I am torn about logistically getting things done(being on the rundown to and from Baltimore(3 hour drive), a lot, makes it hard to make things with attachments as the drying synchronicity is ALL screwed up....
I have ideas but....I'm not too proud to listen to your thoughts..and I can't help but wonder if all of that refining takes the "LIFE" out of what I am doing...I am tempted to feel more "free" in my work(of course I'm not sure if I can handle that from a "personality" standpoint)
I have wondered (for years) if I should take my focus away from the glazes...working with more "naked" surfaces rather than DRESS them in glaze...
I have even wondered if I should explore more of my sculptural interests(really still the same body of work though) and let go of the functional work a bit. Needless to say... I feel like I'm in a blender, all shook up, on a daily basis...
All of this has made me feel rather alone... my sweet friends reach out... but as any of you know who have dealt with various's really up to YOU.
HOWEVER...I follow ALOT of your ceramic artist blogs(and other creative artist blogs) and I have followed YOUR ups and downs.
SO, I can't help but reach out to you NOW in my "Time of Need" and ask for your comments on this....Unless of course, you have all given up on me....
You are my friends( most cases but none the friends).

July 27, 2009

Back Safe and Sound...

And MY BACK is safe and sound...phew.
So the workshop rocked!
Here is an Etsy friend chatting with Chris....

Michelle Swafford- So cool to meet my "cyber-friends" in real life:
Chris Gustin is a phenomenal potter and artist and an amazing teacher...
Here he is working on a giant bowl form...that's about 30 pounds of clay:

I raised my wheel about 2 bricks higher, thanks to Aaron, our workshop assistant.
That DEFINITELY helped my back from being terrible...
I did get soreness but it was generally manageable.
The workshop was heavy on theory and although I made and bisqued about a dozen pots, I threw them all out because it was really about being a learning experience for me and I really felt that photos would suffice!

The group was great... very DIVERSE... and I also got to meet and hang a little with my buddy from Etsy: Felicia who was working on a hand building workshop!

Her workshop continues through this week... she was able to join us as my new friend Susie (this is Susie!)

drove us to Paul Soldner's home and studio(so exciting!!!!) and I only got us a little lost... just a little...
Here is his studio... unfortunately he hasn't thrown in over 2 years (He's 88 and in a wheel chair...)

We made it to the Harvey Meadows Gallery and we were able to see wonderful examples of Chris's work... as well as many others...
Here he is:

I managed to purchase one of his gorgeous tea bowls...WHOOT!

The workshop was a lot of fun as the people were great...III I orchestrated this Charlie's...make that Chris's Angel's shot:

(Megan,Cara,and Jolee)
But it was also extremely intense as he was able to really get us to think about what we do and why and how design interacts with the process, etc...
I must admit...a little draining as well as exhilarating!

I left to fly from Aspen to Denver on the most NAUSEATING small plane flight at fly out of Denver to Newark at 7:12 and landed at 1am on Saturday... I checked in to a Holiday Inn right off the Turnpike to get 2 Hours of sleep and my husband picked me up around 5:45am so we could head up to "Visiting Day" and my kids' camp... It was a crazy 24 hours BUT.... it was worth it to see my boys!!!!

Now I am in SEVERE organizing mode as they return home a week from Tuesday and the summer is moving fast... The legs for my wheel won't get here until Thursday(I am meeting my mom in Philly that day and staying over with her to give her a little "get-away"... which will be great but again... tick tock....) so I am trying use my time wisely....Wish me luck!

July 18, 2009

Heading West Tomorrow!!!

Leaving on a jet plane tomorrow to Snow Mass/Aspen, Colorado tomorrow for
Chris Gustin's workshop
The Architecture of the Pot at Anderson Ranch.
Very excited! Hope the back can take it!!!
This man makes BIG vessels.... bigger than my kids...of course well... they aren't that big....for their ages... I digress....
I get the feeling he really incorporates hand building with wheel throwing so perhaps this could be just what I need right now...or not.
I'm wide open and ready to just...EXPERIENCE...

July 15, 2009

Back Problems

Need I say more?
This is the position I am USUALLY in at the wheel... Doesn't matter what I do I am bent over like this... Honestly...

Well... that is all going to have to change because on Friday I ended up FLAT (and I do mean FLAT) on my back on the studio floor... I woke up early and wondered in and was removing work from the kiln... not heavy stuff.... until I lifted a full shelf...felt pain, quickly put it down and started heading back to my bed...SEVERE Pain... It took over me... I tried to sit in my chair... still felt overwhelmed by pain.... got to the floor and thought I was going to toss my cookies and/or pass out.

Remember... I birthed 2 babies so I understand pain but... I'm telling you... I seriously didn't know what would happen next.

So... I'm on the floor using every bit of strength to wake up my 9 year old who was the only one home, asleep in his bed... I think my scream sounded more like a BARK! But he was phenomenal. I told him "If Mommy passes out, call Daddy. If you can't get Daddy, call 911...".
It never had to happen thank goodness!

I had him bring me some clothes (because in the moments between the pain, I had decided if I was going to be rushed to a hospital or DIE... I needed proper clothes on, not a sleep night shirt... )and he helped me get dressed. Needless to say, I'm sure he is scarred for life...

Then I managed to eventually sort of get up to this chair with wheels and he helped/pushed me to the nearest bed(my studio is actually on the second floor of our home). He continued to be the best helper... bringing me everything...
Boy, I was feelin' the LOVE! BUT, I was still in so much pain.

I later got in to see an acupucturist and she was extremely helpful... but getting down stair and out the door and into my car was crazy... My husband had returned home and was very helpful...
The acupuncture definitely helped and over time that day, I appeared to improve..
I went back the next day and she had me have a 30 minute massage before the acupuncture. I feel all of this definitely sped up the healing process.

In the days that followed I improved. It seems the soreness gets worse as the day goes on. I am just taking Ibuprofen and Naproxen as needed....oh... and a little the end of the day/night. Heating pad stuff too...
I am calling to get more acupuncture though...before I leave...

In the midst of this I need to to pack up my kids for almost 3 weeks of overnight camp... they leave tomorrow and Sunday I am headed to "CAMP" too... I am going to take Chris Gustin's The Architecture of the Pot Workshop which I have been SO excited to do... and now... I am worried... Throwing is going to be different...

I have already decided to raise my wheel and bought extension legs that should be on their way...

so that I can learn to throw standing up...
I am really hoping I can do it!
Any advice is appreciated!

I have already checked out Kristen Kieffer's Blogpost on this...after taking her workshop last summer when she talked about it, I should have seen that it was just a matter of time... She refers to John Glick who wrote several articles on this... I am just hoping I can figure it all out...
I will need to move some things around in my studio... which is doable... but I will need help...
Lifting 50 lb bags of clay and chemicals may not be so smart right now.....

So... I will move forward and be thankful that I am HERE to worry about such problems...
It beats the alternative!

July 03, 2009

WOW...what a day...

So much has happened...
Nah nah nah nah
Nah nah nah nah
Hey hey hey...

...and it couldn't come at a better time...
$4 off ANY item in my shop 'till 11:59 pm (EST) July 5th!
I will credit the money back through PayPal after the purchase!!!

June 16, 2009

A collection of mugs

Here are some mugs I made for a special order... that pale pink is new... I really either need intense deep color or even paler color...
Boy am I picky... Still developing glazes...

June 12, 2009

WELL...No real glaze results yet... but...

I have completed some custom orders...
This 6 person sushi set:

It includes:
1 Large Serving platter,6 personal plates, 6 noodle/rice/soup bowls,6 dipping bowls, 6 chopstick rests, 1 soy bottle and 6 prs wooden chop sticks(they are purchased-I did not whittle them!)Wrapped and ready for Fathers Day!
and this custom vase..(I fired it THREE times to get the texture and glaze variations to make any sense to me!

et voila!

June 02, 2009


Well...there is STILL nothing really new for this post...
I continue to develop test amounts of glazes and see how they react to each other... and just after I pull together 5 more... I think of another scenario to try....I have all of that bisque ready to fire and I just can't bring my self to just use the glazes I've been using when the opportunity for a new palette/or subtle texture(matte with glossy) variation is a possibility... I know I won't sell much during this time but I just HAVE to keep playing.... I've thrown a bunch of new mugs and some little bud vases(to give as teacher appreciation gifts) so... I'm getting closer. but not yet.

There is a whole other post about who I the retail world... artist vs potter(or both)that we've been discussing in our Etsy Mud Team forum but I just can't do it now. That will need to come at a later point... I feel really reluctant to go down the wholesale route...I am curious what my fellow artists/potters have to say about the various selling feel free to comment. Perhaps my next post will fill you in on where I'm coming from...

May 07, 2009

Gettin' Ready...

So... I've been plugging away at some commisions...although I was pretty useless the 1st part of the week... rather FLUISH!!!!

I bisque fired a bunch:

And glazed a bunch(note the scraped and reapplied kiln wash on the shelves...that's truly a favorite activity...NOT!):

And now I'm "GETTIN' READY" to make some new glazes with this boatload of mason stains that I bought and had... DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT expect miracles.... But I sort of have some ideas... and then comes the application.... so I want to test some in this Glaze firing.... so this kiln will WAIT...Until I am GOOD AND READY!

May 03, 2009

ALS: Lou Gerrig's Disease.... A little off topic.

My friend who was diagnosed with ALS 2 1/2 years ago,Pam, showed me photos yesterday.
She had an opportunity to spend 15 mins with Jane Fonda after her Broadway performance in 33 Variations . Pam told me that she and Colin Hanks(Tom's son) spent a half hour and Jane was crying at the end. Jane Fonda wrote about Pam in her BLOG. Please click on that!

If you know me, I bring her up quite frequently because since she was diagnosed, it has been a huge part of our (me,mike,our kids) lives as we have spent a great deal of time with the family... and continue to see them quite frequently. It's been a huge part of our existence and has definitely had a huge impact. The boys are 6,almost 10,12 and 14 and the 2 older ones have a "band" with my son, Jake.(They are very close friends)

Jake who is now 12 1/2 has taken on the role of educator and fundraiser for the cause ... He is currently raising money and awareness for ALS Research with a bike ride that he has spearheaded (it's a national event...his part is local)with the help of his "mentor" Michele Dupree! You can learn more and donate HERE.
If you prefer to send a check, please write it out to ALS-TDI and email me for the address! I'm trying to give Jake a little "help" here...
Jake has written essays about Pam and ALS and he has also writen music that is about Pam... I can't begin to tell you how fired up he is about this...

Years ago...

Here we were for Halloween one year...I think Sam was about 5 months old so Jake(in the photo) was almost 4!
Pam's an Angel... I am the WITCH!(shocking, I know)

Here we are on a ski trip years later She is pictured with my 2 boys:

This was 2 years ago this coming summer...She is in a wheel chair and her breathing was going...

When you check out Jane Fonda's blog. You will see photos from Wednesday.

This disease is horrific.
Enough said.

April 28, 2009

Here is to a great new year on Etsy!

Cheers. Well I may as well treat this as an opportunity for freshness. In my work and my life. Centering the clay AND becoming more centered and present. Ok. That's the plan. Are you in?

April 27, 2009


Today is my 2yr ETSY-VERSARY!
Monday APRIL 27th
(also my mom's bday!)
See shop announcement in MY SHOP!

For example:
This was $ $25.

April 24, 2009


I was asked if they could use the photo of my teapot when you click on Baltimore Clayworks...
Check it out...:

First click on baltimore on the map...then arts and entertainment... and then the photo slide show on the right shows it...Hey...
I'll take all the help I can get...right?

April 23, 2009

Do you ever get that feeling?

You know... it's time for a change?

I have this concept to try something new with my work and in my is the greatest thing... so I start playing with it and I think.... what is the big deal???
Stay focussed..develop glazes... my forms continue to evolve... but I wonder if the "fashion" thing makes me feel look...
The thing is... I really don't want my work to become a PRODUCT... I guess all object are... but it is also my art and that's ok...Right?


April 20, 2009

TWO Great features!!!

I am so excited about these cool features:
first Sandra of "Re Bop Shop" and her ETSY SHOP
featured me on her MELLOW TONES BLOG!

AND THEN.... the fabulous artist
"Cinnamon Soup" who is in HAWAII tweeted to me that she featured me on her Cinnamon Soup BLOG she does great work as well which can be found on her website
and her Cinnamon Soup ETSY SHOP !

How cool and nice is that????

April 14, 2009

ALL DONE!!! Finally.

Don't get too excited.. it's just the place settings that I have made for a favorite customer, who, incidentally ,has been quite patient... I didn't like the 1st ones, I felt they were warped and too flat, so I remade these, then the kiln was under firing etc... and so on...So... here they are... IF she still wants them....

I am trying to catch up on custom orders/requests as I really want to move on to some creative endeavors... We've been doing a spring cleaning in the house...redoing the boys rooms, painting, etc,,, PURGING... and NOW I'd like to IMMERSE myself in clay...

Who am I kidding?
This is not my life right IMMERSE...
I keep thinking I will have a chunk of time to do it and well...
I am not going to "wait for godot"...ya know?
I've got to accept my other responsibilities and realize there is no "IMMERSION" happening currently..
That workshop will be a brief immersion... I'll take what I can get...

I LOVE my family.
I do.
I'd be miserable without them.
I'm always torn.
SO....the art thing just is so hard... this creative desire...the DESIRE TO MAKE is great...."a blessing and a curse".
But if it's a curse... I will take it because the blessing is far to intense for me to let go of it.
And so it goes.
I'm sorry for the rant.
Just know that I know that I am a very lucky chick.
I get it. But many of you get it too.
That's what really helps to know...I'm not alone in having these feelings.
I thank you.