Showing posts from 2017

Storage Policy (for pottery left while taking a break from classes)

Good news : I have many new students joining us to Studio Together ! Challenge : Having space in the studio to store work-in-progress for all students when students who haven't taken a class in a while have unfinished and finished work sitting on shelves (indefinitely). Due to above, I need to put a new policy into effect: If a student needs to take a break, for up to 3 months, I can store unfinished and finished work if I know they will be back within 3 months ( within reason...I understand some students have situations why they can't return within 3 months...if they just communicate the reasons to me, I can be flexible ). There is no guarantee that wet work-in-progress (left in a plastic bag) will be wet enough to be trimmed if they leave it for over one month. Generally, students have a future date, or two, planned for returning for classes. If I haven't heard from a student a month or more since their last class, I would like to hear from them soon to se

Studio Together: new name for classes

A few months ago, a student (Kim) suggested the name "Studio Together" for our classes. She thought it better expressed what is important to me...about what we do in our classes = work and create together . Earlier this year, a student (Janeen) had surprised me with a gift of 2 hand-routed wooden signs that she had made with my initials and website URL: Dag(works). This month I added some more to one of them and hung it out on the gate that students come and go through. I decided this was important after trying to visit home studios in Maine and not being sure where to go. Thanks for the suggestion and signage students!

Cooking Together

After our monthly time making pottery together on a Sunday, Travora, Stacy, Scott and I often cook and eat lunch together because months ago, Travora casually mentioned she wanted to learn to cook. Today we made rice with stir fry veggies and tofu. After eating this out on the deck, we blind taste-tested and discussed favorites of 3 kinds of apples: Macs, Cortlands, and Honey Crisp from the Ashland Farmers Market. It was fun.


Scott started the trend to make small animals last year. The younger students followed his lead. These are all an inch to two in height. More have been made too. Very cute! Mia's turtle, elephant, whale  Mia's lion Clara's duck Scott's cat, shark, and tiny cup

Fun Demo

Phil took this, last summer, of Clara, Kim, and me at the Ashland Farmers Market. I just came across it and it makes me smile, so I thought I'd share it with you.

Mudflat: open studio & pottery sales, field trip?

Want to go to this together? The studio is big with lots of student work to inspire, compare, and motivate us. The next Open Studio & Pottery Sale is May 5, 6 & 7, 2017 . 10 am - 9:30 pm Mudflat Studio: 81 Broadway Somerville, MA 02145 At this time, I could go anytime Friday, or Sat. AM, or Sat. evening. We could get a meal together too, if that works out for all of us. Let me know if you have any interest, Deb see their website for more info

Youthful Artists at Work

My young friends came out from Boston again today to create with me. I did some surface decoration work while they worked on their unfinished projects. Stacy is glazing her coil pot here. She did lots of other cool things too. I'll get a picture of her dish she doodled drawings onto. Nice stuff. Inspiring. Travora is carving her unique piece here. It is really interesting how this is turning out. It changed a lot more after I took this picture too. I'll post the finished result when it is done. Scott is painting the background images of ghostly figures on a dish for the skull to the right which he later glazed white; it will be fired onto the middle of the dish. An idea to inspire others!

More Things in Use in Homes

Elaine worked hard to get the measurements correct for a french butter dish (a water seal keeps the butter fresh out of the frig so the butter is always soft and easy to spread). Here is her successful use in her home. She reported that it holds a whole stick of butter. Yay! Here is my 12 year old niece's, Ananda's, recent creation... a holder for her hair elastics . 

New Students Joining in the Fun

I will post pictures here of the new students as I take pictures of them working. This is Linda throwing for the first time (today) since her college days when she took 5 semesters of pottery classes.  She felt she had a learning curve to tackle, but I could tell she had experience.  Linda's sisters gave her a gift in December of pottery class time with me. How generous! Here is Drew and his mom, Marci, on 1/14 (both doing well and having fun). Marci gifted her two adult children with classes that they can enjoy taking together. This is Danielle and Joanna on 1/30.  It is Danielle's 2nd class. She is doing great! Joanna came to classes with me with ceramic skills she had learned a while ago in the past.  She is here for refresher skills and play time with adults...she has a toddler at home.

Product vs. Process: Pottery in Use

There is a lot of fun involved in making pottery (the  process ); it isn't all about product . And it is really fulfilling to use what one makes too. Here are some pictures of our pottery in use: Tonya's Carrot Bowl with Ashland Farmer's Market yummy local carrots! One of many orchid planters that Olga has made. She taught me that orchids like to have their planting-medium dry out between waterings. So I have made some planters with holes in the sides too. Tonya too. Phil loves my coffee mugs . This is one he uses daily. Tonya made lots of buildings (representing ruins) that she uses in her planting arrangements. Handmade soup (that I buy) in my bowl with a soap rest I made to keep the soap dryer. This is a container I made for my sister's cooking utensils (in Iowa). By chance, it completely matches her tiles on the walls!   Students, if you want, please email me  more  favorite shots of your pottery in use so I can add them to this p

Throwing Big Bowls

Kim has been throwing big bowls and inspiring other students to try that challenging task too. Here is Mia and Elaine doing their biggest bowls yet in class today. First tries for today... Look how proud they are of themselves!

Field Trip Anyone?

Our Cups Runneth Over Info from the museum website: "Every other winter, the Society of Arts and Crafts presents the much beloved exhibition Our Cups Runneth Over . After a rather eventful year, we are thrilled to get back to the basics. The 'Cups Show' brings together 30 ceramic artists, both emerging and established, in celebration of the clay vessel. The form and function of each piece remains similar; yet the aesthetics and techniques are as varied as their inspirations. Cups is a cash and carry show. All cups are sold on a first-come, first-served basis." 100 Pier 4 Blvd, Suite 200, Boston This show ends Feb. 4 Let me know if you are interested...we can see if we can find time together to go! And if not this time... another . Let me know if you hear of anything going on the pottery show area.

plate inspiration

Olga went to Jackson Hole in June 2015. She took these pictures that inspired her...and used them as she made her animal plates. She told me the sculptures (below) were outside the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole and the metal cutouts (above) were on a wall on the street. Here are her finished plates:

solving winter blues bowl

Tonya showed me this bowl today that she is working on at home from scraps of clay. I thought it was so neat I had to share it with you. She explained: "Winter makes me miss warm weather, Cape Code and ocean. Making barnacle bowl helps with winter blues."

studio back in business!

It has been somewhat quiet in the studio over the holidays...some students were too busy with holiday things to come play with clay. But many of the regulars are baaaacccck! Yay! I teach 9 pottery classes this week; a good portion of them are new students ready to join the fun! Above are regular students: Kim and Clara (throwing and trimming), Mia and Elaine (glazing). They were all so engrossed in their projects. Nice work ladies! Can you see the big bowl Kim is throwing?! And it isn't her first big one. Go Kim! Below is Drew getting his first throwing lesson. His sister is on the wheel next to him (not pictured) and his mom is behind the camera...she was working on hand built bowls until her turn on the wheel. Nice to have another family group learning and creating together. This family is full of laughter. Fun!

I found a way to use the dice!

I have had some little dice I knew would go into a piece of pottery some time ...sitting in a box on the main work table. Maybe you saw them there. I just didn't know when I'd use them and what I'd make. Last week I threw this vase and dented in areas of the top to hold the dice. I trimmed it this evening. The dice will not be on the vase during firing...they are just sitting in the dents for now. I will glue them in after both firings. I think I will use a dark glaze, especially at the top near the dice.

kiln unloading bisque fire

It is always exciting to open the kiln after a firing...not knowing how things did during the firing. It is rare , but things have exploded in the kiln. It takes 8 hours to fire, and almost 24 to cool the kiln after firing, then I can unload, which I did today. A kiln is loaded from the bottom up...stilts get placed on each level for the next shelf to be placed above the pieces. Here is an image of the four layers from this recent firing, being removed one at a time. Everything came out great! I am sure my students with work in this firing, will be excited to glaze in their next class! Here is a link to more info about kiln firing and other process notes on my site.

new dag pottery display updated with new things

It is hard to keep up with photos of all students' work and my pottery: we have a Flickr page for our pottery with their glaze notes so we can search and see glaze results, new students start taking classes often and I want to keep current with pictures of students working on my website , and I showcase my favorite finished pottery, both  my students' and mine, in two different displays on my website is overwhelming. Since I started this new blog, I find that posting pictures to Blogger is much easier and faster than writing code for my website (including manually making thumbnail and larger images for each piece of pottery). So I made a new page today for my best pottery display  by starting a new blog. This is how it looks: I organized everything into groups. If you click on any image, you see all pieces of work in full with their titles in that group, ie. mugs. I also tagged every group with keywords for items in that group so you can easily find what y

comfort pottery

Young friends of mine, holding pottery I made, show how good it feels to hold handmade pottery: As Tonya wrote in her testimonial: " I feel accomplished to see how far I have come in three years. It is nice to use what I make too. Food tastes better in my pottery, even if it's an illusion. " I agree!


Last April, Phil and I went to Zion National Park, and Bryce Canyon for a day trip. Phil blogged about this trip and showed his wonderful photos: . This cropped picture of his, is of hoodoos , a unique land formation. They were so inspiring to me, I made some hoodoo vases afterwards: I have to say "hoodooooos!" every time we talk about them. ;) Some of them are currently for sale at uni-T at the Natick Mall .

past show of student work & planning for next one

In March and April of 2016, we had  a group show of our pottery at the Ashland Public Library . Long time students, Tonya and Olga, had their own shelf, and other students had 1-2 pieces each on display. Photos of all students working, and words capturing their thoughts about their experiences, were with the pottery display. Thinking ahead for this year, this is what I plan to do: In May or June, we will have an open studio. Students can demo throwing on the wheels. All students who want to, can have anything they want to sell on display, and show separately their favorite pieces "not-for-sale." We will set up a nice gallery in the garage and have it open for two afternoons of one weekend we pick. We will have refreshments. So students, let's pick a date so you can invite your friends and family!

olga makes cool things

Tonya and Olga got us some great pottery books for our in-class library. Olga often gets inspiration from them. Yesterday, my sister (visiting with her 13 yr old daughter for pottery time together) got an idea for a neat dish from one of them too (I will post pictures later). I have also been trying some new things inspired by the books. For now, here is an inspired dish Olga finished recently: I will be featuring all of my students' work in the you make things that stand that I am blogging about pottery. Olga is not the only one who makes "cool things." I am proud of all of you!

reminders and listening...for the new year

Today is New Year's Day. Happy New Year! Here is a picture of my popular  reminder stones . The pile below includes the racial justice stones I make to remind me of my commitment to show up for change , a wish for equality , that I will act for change, and hope to inspire others to act too.  There is also a BKAG stone in that pile for Boston Knapsack Anti-Racism Group that I am a part of, and peace signs. My sister told me about this Chinese character today: listen . It comes from the 5 other words/characters shown in the image below. It is a good reminder about what it takes to truly listen, including undivided attention and you,  a good reminder for all interactions when we want to learn and grow. What do you want to remind yourself to do this coming year?