Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Catherine White Visits Asparagus Valley

Artist and potter, Catherine White, came to teach a hands-on weekend workshop to the Asparagus Valley Potters Guild this past weekend. She inspired us with so many new techniques - and had us roll up our sleeves right away on Saturday afternoon. The first day we focused on painting, drawing and writing exercises - and created collages from our new found skills. The group of 18 potters had a total blast with a huge table full of paint.
On Sunday, we tried our new cut out, collage, writing techniques on clay - with slip, wood ash, porcelain, and gravel dust. I especially enjoyed trying a technique on my plates called Hakame - in which we used a broom to make sweeping marks in the surface of wet slip. I can't wait to fire up some of these experiments!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

cone 10 down - 7th glaze firing

After a weekend glazing marathon I loaded the kiln yesterday morning before work, came home after work and lit the pilots at 9pm - woke up today and fired til 6:25pm. I usually haven't candled the kiln overnight - simply because I don't sleep well when I'm worrying a pilot might blow out. But I wanted to move the kiln along today so my new apprentice Amy could experience much of the firing.

It was a wild ride - with a brief power outage (I have forced air burners) and a 20 minute hail storm - but the kiln chugged right a long and I will look forward to unloading her on Saturday.

This was my perch for most of the day - watching the sky and staying tuned in to the kiln. I am firing with more confidence each time.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pumpkin Love

I need to explore my love of pumpkins. Sit down and sketch their perfect little bodies. I love this time of year when the farm stands are blazing orange. In this photo - I am the 3 1/2 year old hugging my pumpkin.

In a recent interview with friend and fellow blogger, Melinda Baughman - you can read a little more about what I'm working on these days:
Autumn Olive Blog Interview

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Home Thrown

There is a lovely exhibition at Pinch Gallery in Northampton, MA that opened last night. Twenty four local potters have a dinnerware display on one long 24' table. Come see what the Asparagus Valley Potters have going on! Quality, variety, wood, soda, porcelain, stoneware, low fired and high fired. All made with love.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


“A good teacher must not only know what she teaches, but also be able to set afire her students’ interest and dedication. Such a spark does not generate itself alone; no, the teacher has to be aflame herself. She must not only know but must love her profession passionately.” – Marguerite Wildenhain
“The Invisible Core”
Thanks to Kit Cornell, I recently had the opportunity to teach an afternoon, hands-on workshop at Kit's studio in Exeter, NH. I apprenticed with Kit back in 1997-2000 and felt right at home in her studio. It was a great opportunity to try teaching a short workshop, rather than the usual 2 or 3 hour class that meets one a week.

Eight women gathered around as I threw and altered a rectangular casserole on the wheel, and then onto two hand-building projects. After a quick demonstration of my hand-built trays and soap dishes - the students then tried some new techniques using paper templates and texture to work on a small tray themselves.

I really enjoy teaching and look forward to making my way back to a classroom someday. I used to teach at the Amherst community arts center, but unfortunately they closed last year. For now, my home studio can accommodate one or two students for more of a private lesson. Students do make a lot of progress with one-on-one attention - but the energy of having a full class of 6 or 8 students is really fun.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Fuller Museum Trip

The Asparagus Valley Potters' Guild took a day trip to the Fuller Museum last week for the Warren MacKenzie traveling exhibition. My good friend Kit Cornell, whom I apprenticed with many years ago, joined us for the trip and spent a few days visiting with me. We really enjoyed time to talk on the bus and back at home over a bowl of soup and a glass of wine.

I will be taking this weekend, the first of a new year and new decade - to reflect on my work from the past year and set some intentions for the coming months. What pots will I make? What shows will I apply to? When will I make time to play in the studio and let my forms evolve? What new glazes will I discover?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hunting and gathering

I am SO excited. Tim and I went hunting today for winter berries and it was the first time I've found some. Every year before my holiday open house I gather greens, hemlock, pine, holly...and usually buy some winter berries from a florist. Tim and I found a swampy area with plenty for our display. It was a nice break in this beautiful 50 degree day...from the glazing marathon I've been running. By Tuesday I will have fired 5 kilns in 7 days...tonight is the fourth electric firing this week...two bisques, two glaze loads...and Tuesday will be the next firing of the gas kiln. I will unload the pots Thursday and load them into the car - warm and ready for our show. Join us in Wakefield for our 9th annual Deep Blue holiday open house with friends Marianne Snow and Mary Taggart. Saturday, December 5th from 10am-4pm. 4 Salem Street, Wakefield, MA.