About The Artist

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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!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Preparing for Christmas

So has anyone else failed to notice that Christmas is only a month away? No? Well I did...until this week, and now I'm rushing to stock galleries for Black Friday and the Christmas season! Last night I spent several hours making bottle cap jewelry for Pura Vida since those seem to be my best sellers in the downtown Asheville shop. I can't seem to make pieces fast enough for that gallery!

I ended up trying out a new design idea last night too, which turned out better than I could have hoped for and I'm totally psyched! I haven't made jewelry in so long it was exciting to have pieces come out so well.


I decided to put the pop tabs to use by using them as the chain for bottle cap charms. It took several attempts before I found a weave that worked but once I got the right pattern there was no stopping me. I was on a roll and by the end of the night had made two necklaces like the one above, a macrame necklace with bottle cap charm, two bracelets and four sets of earrings. 

Unfortunately the next step is recording the new inventory and pricing everything, two of my least favorite parts of running this business. I got everything organized though and will hopefully be dropping off the jewelry tomorrow.

I'll also be selling my pottery in Affairs of the Heart in Waynesville after this weekend. I spent some time pricing and organizing inventory I don't have listed on Etsy to bring home Saturday. I hope to get rid of some of my older inventory to make room for my newer pieces.

I am still hunting for a kiln but will be looking at one in Waynesville on Sunday. I had to bring my two special orders to be fired at the Odyssey though and will glaze them there as well to have them ready by Christmas. I am determined though that they will be the final pieces I will have fired outside of my home. 

So I am slowly feeling prepared for Christmas. I feel that after the weekend the galleries will be better stocked with my work and hopefully I'll have some decent sales through the holidays. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Shop Local

SilverWear ClayWorks made the top line of the Etsy "Shop Local: Asheville" page today when I listed six new items for sale!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Special Orders

Lately several special orders have been made and I've had so much fun filling them I thought I'd share a few pictures of the works-in-progress:

This is a cute little teapot with a mouse on the lid. Its the first teapot I've thrown in a while, and the first in the new house. I'm really happy with how the mouse turned out and I can't wait to get it glazed and fired!

The second order is for a Christmas present for my friend Greg's new girlfriend. He requested I make some Calla Lilies. I've never thought I was very good at hand-building but they're fairly simple flowers so I figured it was worth a try. I cannot begin to express how happy I am with how they've turned out! They're currently drying in the basement and these are another project I cannot wait to finish to see how they turn out!

Oh, and of course throughout my entire creative process, my trusty sidekick was there to support and encourage.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Inspiration and New Techniques

This past Saturday I went to the Dillsboro Pottery Festival. I love going to craft shows and festivals with local artists to get ideas and admire other artist's work. It always motivates me to create and inspires so many wonderful ideas!

The memory card in my camera was unfortunately nearly full when I arrived on Saturday and I did not take a lot of photos at the festival. There were so many wonderful potters I was disappointed I did not get more photos but I still thought I would share these two photos I did take of some of my favorite pieces:

The photo on the left shows some simple coffee mugs with adorable little frogs on the handles. These remind of my some of my "Clay Mates" and were right up my ally! On the right are pieces I admired last year and saw Friday night in Twigs and Leaves, one of my favorite shops in downtown Waynesville. I knew the artist, Michael Lalone, would have his work at the festival again this year. I was able to speak with him for quite a while last year and he told me the texture he has on these pieces is from a special glaze he buys online. I really want to try using this glaze and may experiment with it once I have my own studio complete and learn a little bit more about glazing.

As I said, there were many wonderful artists there. I recognized Joy Tanner, a local artist who's blog I've followed for a little while now. I also saw the amazing Terrance Painter and his incredible work that I have admired even before having ever become a potter myself.

But it was not just the artists and their work that I go to see at this festival. Unlike all the other shows I go to see throughout the year, this festival offers something more. At the Dillsboro Pottery Festival there are demonstrations going on all day long. I get to see potters throw, glaze and fire their work and learn new techniques and tricks.

One of the demos I thought was fun to watch was this potter has he used a kick-wheel to throw small pots and vases:

One of the demos I enjoyed so much last year and got to see more of this year was the Raku firing demonstration. My family and I stood and watched nearly the entire process of a Raku firing. I love Raku and am amazed at how beautiful horse hair and feathers look burned into a pot.

And like last year, the demonstrator throwing near the front entrance showed techniques for throwing an decorating that I have never seen before. Last year the man showed how he cuts into the rim of his pieces to make them look like waves, a technique I have used on many of my Sand and Sea bowls. This year a potter from California, Trent Berning, demonstrated how he decorates the outside of his pieces by manipulating them while they are still wet and on the wheel.

It's hard to explain how he did it but I was able to watch him throw for quite a while so I got a good idea of his techniques and plan to try it on a few pieces of my own soon.

So the trip to Dillsboro was well worth it again this year. It was a beautiful day, I learned some new throwing and firing techniques and found some inspiration and motivation to create some new pieces of my own.