Tuesday, January 17, 2017

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 page. Thanks! (Tonya, can you take a picture of that large sculptural piece that you made that you hang jewelry on...in use? Thanks!) More images of things in use on the pottery process page of my dagworks.com website.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

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!

Friday, January 13, 2017

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.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

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:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

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."

Sunday, January 8, 2017

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!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

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.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

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 dagworks.com site.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

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 too...it 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 you are looking for. To get to that list, you have to hover over the little black rectangles in the upper right. Not the best tool, but I haven't figured out a better solution yet...that is what Blogger gave me to work with for this template. I love the look of the thumbnail views in polaroid-looking frames.

What do you think about it?

Monday, January 2, 2017

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: www.philslens.com.
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 future...as you make things that stand out...now that I am blogging about pottery.

Olga is not the only one who makes "cool things." I am proud of all of you!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

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?