About The Artist
- I am a jeweler, a potter...an artist I suppose. I have been creating hemp, glass bead and wire jewelry since 1996 but have only been throwing pottery since the Spring of 2008. I plan to open my own gallery and workshop within the next five years but for now I make my work out of my home and sell in galleries and online. I sell my work to feed my hobby and because I am running out of room for my creations in the house. My art, like this blog, is in it's beginning stages and I hope that as my reader you will join me in my journey as an artist and enjoy it as much as I know I will!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and enjoys this time to be with the ones they love, as I am. See you in 2009!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Thanks for the support guys!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
This is the lidded jar with the snake handle. I wasn't too happy with it at first but once I got it glazed and painted the snake, I think it turned out really well!
Here is the snake mug that's small but has a great design. I mixed some glazes and they ran a bit but I like the green and black I ended up with (though it was supposed to be green and blue).
Here is my first gecko! I loved the piece when it was green ware and I still really like it glazed, its so bright! I think the purple was a good choice, though I wish it had gone on a bit smoother.
And finally, my little turtle bowl! I loved him from the start and was upset when he came out of the glaze firing all patchy green. So once I started experimenting with the acrylic paints and liking the results, I decided to paint him!
So these are my before and after pieces! I love how they all turned out and I really like the comparison, I think I'll try to this more often.
Monday, December 15, 2008
I recently collected a massive amount of new work, thankfully many are Christmas gifts. I do have some work I will list on Etsy though, check out my new pottery:
The first mug was glazed with a matte black glaze I experimented with, glazed over a matte green. I painted the snake with metallic acrylic paint. I think its a fun piece and my roomie David says its a very comfortably shaped mug.
I did another Sand and Sea Turtle bowl and used a technique I learned at the Dillsboro pottery festival a while back. After throwing the bowl you slice away pieces of the rim and then spin the bowl and smooth the edges with a sponge. I think it kind of looks like waves so I thought it was fitting for the design.
I did a bowl with a turtle and glass but no sand, just to mix things up a little bit. I'm really liking the metallic green paint on the turtles too, in case you couldn't tell.
I did a lidded jar a while back and it ended up taking on the appearance of a mushroom so I went with it. I let Michaela glaze it the bright colors and I think its fun.
I recreated my turtle bowl to make sure I could do it but it looks very different from my original. I don't think I like the new one as much, but he's still cute.
And finally, I got back my other Frog Jar! Isn't he adorable? He has legs and a tongue! I LOVE him!
So those are the new pottery pieces, now here's the jewelry:
I went a little bottle cap crazy but all of my bottle cap pieces have sold at Pura-Vida so I figured I should go with what works.
So that's the new work! Thanks for taking the time to check it out and if you want to see more photos or are interested in buying, check out my Etsy site!
Monday, December 8, 2008
I think its funny that Brad's piece is still unfinished though. The thing has given me nothing but grief! I threw it the first time, got it fired and glazed and the glaze was so thick is ruined the piece! I attempted to throw the thing numerous times after that and they ended up wet wads of clay only to be recycled. Two attempts became different piece entirely and are now just lonely, pathetic bisque pieces I don't know that I like enough even to glaze! The, I guess forth attempt really, yielded an awesome result, I loved it...then I broke it trying to take it to the Odyssey for firing. Once I got the final piece thrown and assembled and safely to the Odyssey I was so happy! Now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that it makes it safely out of the kiln and I can glaze it without a hitch and finally get it finished!
But anyway, a great weight has been lifted now and I'm so happy its done! And my first experience glazing at the Odyssey was wonderful! I was surrounded by friendly people and yet had plenty of room to work. The glazes were amazing, with a great variety of colors and all mixed so well! It reminded me of glazing during my class at Mars Hill and I loved it! Now I can't wait to see my results!!!
I have sold all but maybe three of the pieces I put into the gallery and once December has passed I feel the owner will decide to keep selling my work since that is when my trial period is up. I'm so excited! This could not have come at a better time!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Isn't he adorable?!? I'm so happy with how he turned out, especially after I painted his features with some acrylic, bake-on paint I've been experimenting with. He's everything I've wanted my work to be: unique, fun and an eye-catcher. I love him!
Now I just can't wait to get my other one back cause it has legs and a tongue! I have the lid of it and painted its features already and next week I should be getting his body back from Waynesville (it was fired yesterday). I'm so excited!
And even better, I sold another piece on Etsy! I decided to list a couple bowls that I was originally saving for Pura-Vita. I figured why not, if they don't sell I'll put them in the gallery and if they do, I'll just make more. Well one sold the day I listed it!
So I'm really excited now, and in a much better mood than I was last night. Now I'm just ready to get more pieces finished! I picked up my first bisque pieces from Odyssey last week and dropped off more green ware for firing. Monday night I plan to go and spend an hour or so glazing all of those pieces. I have three Sand and Sea bowls in that mix, as well as two more snake mugs, a snake vase, my lidded "apple" jar and lidded jar with coiled snake handle. I'm really anxious to get those pieces glazed and possibly show some work to the owner of New Morning Gallery. She buys work out-right and I would love to get some work in there for Christmas. I know I'm pushing it for time but I can always dream! And now I'm finally getting work back that I'm really proud of and I'm ready to show off!
Also, I got my business cards in the mail and they turned out darker than they had looked online. They still catch the eye but I'm not very happy with them and will have to find another printer after they've run out. I need to buy some card holders and go to some restaurants downtown and ask if I can put my cards on their counters and what-not. I'll see if I can talk someone in to walking around downtown with me one night this week or next weekend to do it. This way I can get some last minute advertising done for my Etsy before the holidays.
So that's my good news and general update. I'm to the point where all of my Christmas presents are safely bisque fired and now just need glaze so I'll finish those up Monday and can begin to focus more on inventory for galleries and Etsy!
I brought the piece to Waynesville for firing and glazing and have finally gotten it back! Problem was, I had put polka-dots on it and painted a light blue glaze on the dots and handle and I didn't paint the glaze on thick enough. So I decided to test out acrylic paint, the kind you bake in the oven to seal it. I painted the dots, handle and the inside of the teapot and this is my final result:
I told my grandmother about the teapot and she decided she wanted to buy it from me to keep it in the family. She said I would inherit it once she's gone and I liked the idea of keeping it around. So I'm giving it to her for Christmas and I'm happy it'll stay in the family. I feel like it was a pretty big accomplishment, though I look at it now and can think of a hundred ways it could be better. Still, I was really proud of myself for trying it again and happy it turned out. There will be many more to come, as with all of my pieces, but its nice to know this original will be around to look back on and see how far I've come.
Monday, December 1, 2008
So I was venting my frustration to an old friend the other day (his dad, Terance Painter, is an amazing potter) and this is what he told me about my imperfect art:
"As far as the pottery is concerned it isn't perfect but it is the uncontrollable elements that make it so amazing and beautiful. You don't force pottery to do what you want, you experience the pottery and let the pottery do what it naturally wants to do."
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
This bright green necklace set is my favorite, though I feel like the pictures I took just don't do it any justice, especially the color.
This necklace lays really nicely on the collar bone and the beads shine nicely in the light
I love the way this necklace turned out and it looks so good on, it lays perfectly on the neck
So those are my new pieces. It seems that because of the time of year you will mostly likely be seeing more of my jewelry too, since I can make it from the comfort of my own bed. Hope you like the new work!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Dawn sent me to Bob yesterday who showed me how to fill out a firing form and walked me through the whole process. Its really easy and I feel pretty comfortable with everything now. He was the one who ended up loading all of my pieces into a kiln and he helped me estimate their measurements since I hadn't written them down Saturday.
I won't be going back until next Monday because of the holiday but I will be picking up my bisque pieces and bringing in more green ware for firing then. I would show you pictures of my latest work but its all Christmas presents and my family reads the blog occasionally so I don't want to spoil any surprises. They are awesome though and as long as they survive their firings, I am finally finished with Christmas gifts! Of course I said this over a month ago and have since needed to re-create at least half a dozen pieces so, once again, I'm probably speaking too soon. Oh well. Just keeping my fingers crossed that these pieces survive.
That's it for now! Tonight I'll be making some jewelry and will write a short blog and show photos. I made one awesome necklace the other night and plan to make at least two more this evening and put them on Etsy so check back soon!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
A little over a week ago I had called the Odyssey to find out what I needed to do to get some pieces fired in their studio. I talked to a woman and told her I would most likely come in on weekends and she told me that all I needed to do was bring in my green ware and find an RA (resident's assistant) to help me. She said I would need to fill out a firing form for my pieces and leave credit card information and that was it. Simple.
So this morning I started out taking 12 pieces for bisque firing but 2 broke in transit (one being a Christmas present that I have attempted five times now!) So things started out rough and didn't get much better. I arrived in the River Arts District and carried a box into the studio where I found a woman who appeared to work there and asked if she was an RA; she said she was not but would show me where the RA on duty was. She proceeded to lead me into the kiln room and to the RA (who shall remain nameless) that was loading a kiln.
This guy had "stoner" written all over him, from his dreads to his blank stare I could tell he was a little, shall we say...out of it. He pointed to a shelf and told me to sit my pieces on it, not even asking what cone firing it was or anything. There was only one other piece even on the shelf and it looked like porcelain, not clay...comforting. The good thing is I think with a bisque firing its at a lower temperature so maybe different cone pieces can be bisque fired together...hopefully.
So needless to say I was hesitant, but did what he said and unpacked my pieces, then went back to the car for my second box. When I went back inside the guy was leaning into the kiln, just staring at a piece; he had a small lump of clay in his hand. He looked at the clay and then looked at me and then looked back into the kiln and finally said he needed to go tell someone that he'd broken one of their pieces! Oh dear God...could this get any worse? The RA broke someones pottery! Great!
Then the next thing this guy does is explain to me how he loads the shelves into the kiln, telling me he does it a "special" way so the shelves don't block the heat and most people don't do it this way (I wonder why). None of this was even relevant to me but I listened patiently as he told me his technique and how he loads the kiln, all the while wondering if he even knew what he was talking about. Then once my meaningless lesson had ended, and once all of my pieces were unpacked, I asked him how to fill out a firing form. He said I didn't need to fill out anything, all I do is put my stuff on the shelf. I took a deep breath and explained to him that this was my first time ever firing there and told him about the lady I'd talked to earlier in the week and all she's said. Surprise, surprise, he didn't know anything about anything I was saying. So I told him I would just come back Monday and talk to the woman in the office. I then asked for his name, introduced myself and got a "hey Mallory" in return before I left the building.
I did leave my pieces there but only because he told me he would most likely NOT get a chance to load them into the kiln today. I'm hoping a different RA on duty will load my pieces tomorrow or Monday. Fingers crossed! So they are just sitting on a green ware shelf, nothing but my initials carved in the bottom of each pieces to show that they even belong to me, and I am still nowhere in the studio's system! And I actually thought this was going to be more organized that bringing my things to my mom's friend's house. Oh well.
So this was my first experience with the Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts. Monday I will have to leave work early and go talk to the woman who runs the office, see if I can get some more information. I have a lot of questions that I didn't even bother asking the clueless RA and I'm just hoping the office lady can answer them for me and get things in order. Pray for my pieces, because at this point I'm not even sure I'll ever see them again...
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I'm off to throw now. I can't spend a lot of time blogging or I won't have any time to throw, and Samantha is so demanding when I'm home and not doing anything she deems worthy of my time (like being on the computer). This is what she does while I blog:
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Mom and I have a problem though. We go to craft shows and walk through galleries and everything we see we say "we can make that!" So we make it and add our own touches, our style, we love it and want to make more. I want to do things a little differently from Mom though, I want to choose one or two mediums to be great at. Mom has never really wanted to sell her work so she has tried a little of everything and enjoys it all but I want to find a few things I really love to do and be great at them. And I'm excited now because I think I have finally accomplished that with jewelry and pottery. I have tried a lot of other things, like my mother, but these two mediums seem to fit the best.
Recently I have been engrossed in my pottery though, and jewelry has fallen by the wayside...until now. I finally sent my Etsy site out to everyone I work with and within the hour one of the ladies wrote me a check for one of my necklaces (the blue one on the right). So that's technically my first jewelry sale on Etsy.
I also started a Facebook group to get my Etsy and Blog sites out to friends. I invited all 507 of my Facebook friends and my group currently has 93 members. One of my friends, Chelsey, has even special ordered a necklace that I made last night.
She wanted a Superman charm, in memory of a friend of ours and a boy she loved. Its here on the left. I think I may still add yellow material behind the S, we'll see what she thinks once she sees the picture. RIP Phillip.
I also finished a necklace for Tenzie that I started a while ago and we've been continually improving. I think it's finally finished and I'm really happy with it.
So its been a productive couple of days with the jewelry and I'm happy about it. Now I'm off to work in the basement on some pottery I threw last night. I'll post pictures soon so stay tuned!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Swamp Turtle Clay Mate Mug
Soup and Cracker Bowl (crackers not included)
So there are my new pieces! To see more photos, check out Etsy page!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I am finding a little discouragement in reading these blogs though. These potters really have their work together, they are so well established and really know their trade. I feel so far from that its depressing. I don't even know how to load and fire a kiln, let alone mix glazes. Sometimes I feel like I could really do this for a living and other times I feel like I would never make it. I also feel like I'm only good enough right now to make the cutesy stuff, the turtle mugs and bowls and frog jars and stuff that people will like but not consider art. But do I even really want to be an artist? Sometimes I'm not so sure. The pottery scene here in WNC is amazing and is a perfect place for me if I want to continue to be a potter, but I don't know if I care to be apart of that scene. Honestly I think I just want to keep having fun with my work, the hell with how its viewed by others. I don't need to be known as one of the great potters of the area, I really just want to make what I make and enjoy making it. Does that make sense to anyone but me?
I really think my work will fit well in the galleries I have spoken with and on Etsy so maybe I will just stick with those venues for now. Making money off of my work is really just to feed my hobby at this point anyway, I'm not trying to make a living like the area potters I've been reading about. Maybe when I get to that point I will start to care about being well known and being considered an artist, but not right now.
And to answer your question, where are the photos of you throwing last night? Well I don't like to make excuses but yesterday when I posted my blog my back was hurting a little bit and it got worse as the day progressed (sitting at my desk all day did not help). So by the time I got home I didn't think my back could take leaning over a pottery wheel for several hours. Its all my fault, I went to softball practice Sunday and it was the first time I'd pitched in two weeks and of course I over-did it and my muscles were just letting me know that. A good night's rest did help though, so I should be ready to throw tomorrow.