Sunday, April 17, 2011

Situation Wanted

Over the last week of job hunting, internet browsing and general boredom, my mind keeps going back to one place. Being a potter. It's hard work. I know. I worked for potters. It's tough to keep the production line going, there's always something that needs to be done, should have been done yesterday, and a solo potter is a tough life. But I still miss it. I miss having my hands in clay. The wet spot on my jeans from where water drips down to my elbow braced against my leg. The clay in my hair because I kept tucking a stray piece behind my ear.

The only problem is that I really need a benefactor, or a grant. I need studio space. I need clay. I need glazes. I need a kiln. I need to find my clay tools and assess them. I probably need (want) more tools. I want a slab roller. These things cost money. I'm searching for possible places that will give me money, or a place where I could rent studio space and kiln space, but that also involves having a full-time job that will enable me to afford those things.

For a long time I pushed down the way I missed working in clay. There wasn't anywhere to fire, so there was no point in making things. In fact, I think I have a box of greenware somewhere out of a clay that I don't remember if it's Cone 6 or lower. I loved school, and I'm really glad I got my graduate degree. But I'm ready to go back. Ready to use my hands and my skills again. Ready to try some new things and break away from what I did before. I'm ready to challenge myself.


The teapot is part of my dinnerware. Not the best picture, but it's a great little teapot! (I like earth tones in my pottery.)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Craft Show Update

I loved the craft show. True to my normal self, I was drawn to the ceramics, but I can't help it. It's what I know. There were other things, but mainly, I collected postcards from potters. It's ingrained in me.

I met Elizabeth Kendall, mentioned in my previous post, and she was an incredibly nice person. Her pieces are more beautiful in real life than in pictures. And she also does large installation pieces that are pretty amazing. Check her out at You'll be glad you did. She also has a few pieces with a bit of applied color, not every thing is black and white, but the color is sparse, yet fun. There were two little cups that I'm kind of wishing I'd bought. The work above is her's.

I liked the work of Betsy Williams, also a ceramicist. My favorite thing that she did were wall installations of cups. She makes other functional forms, but the rows after rows of small cups, each with a different glaze or patter was so visually stunning. I could stare at it for hours. I was drawn in at first by the copper red glaze on one of the cups and then it went from there.

Felt jewelry is becoming bigger I think. Or felt as a medium is taking off. Or it's always been popular and I've just now noticed, but Danielle Gori-Montanelli makes large, colorful, fun pieces that I'm sad I couldn't afford. She also was willing to let me know when she has non-post earrings, since I usually wear fish-hooks. Isn't that great?

One of the more fun and whimsical potters I saw was Beer's Pottery by Paveen "Beer" Chunhaswasdikul. He makes grenade coffee mugs, lanterns that look like engines and a teapot with a million little parts that I admired for quite a long time. He uses a matte metallic glaze, giving all of his work a look that he refers to as "metal ware." Really fun and innovative. Sadly, he has no website to link to, but you can look at his pieces on the show website.

There were plenty more exhibitors with wonderful work. There was even live music! Here's hoping that next year I'll actually be able to buy something!

Image from Wall work titled, Cascade.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Smithsonian Craft Show

I'm going to the annual Smithsonian craft show tonight, and I'm very excited. Since I missed the American Craft Council's Baltimore show, I look forward to seeing what new craft shows up this year at this craft show.

I'll be honest, this will be my third time at this particular show, and sometimes I worry that I'll see the same things as before. But in looking at the website, I'm looking forward to seeing these awesome creations:

In Wearable Art, I look forward to seeing the bright colors and patterns of Sonya Mackintosh and Steven Seward.

In Ceramics, I'm intrigued by the altered forms and straight-forward color scheme of Elizabeth Kendall. I really like altered vessels, and the graphic quality of her designs works so well with her forms.

In Jewelry, Andra Janosik's leather pieces caught my eye. I like big, chunky jewelry, and this fits the bill.

In Glass, I was first captured by the color and then held in awe by the designs and beautiful lines of the work of Dan Mirer.

I'm very excited to see all of these--and more!--tonight. I'll report back tomorrow with my findings and if anything new and exciting catches my eye. The only drawback to this is I'm pretty sure that I can afford none of these. (Student discount anyone?)

Apologies for no photo. Didn't feel super ethical to take any from the Craft Show website, even if I gave credit.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Missing the South

Since I moved to the DC area a few years ago, the small things I missed about the South have been available, slowly but surely. In fact, we just got a Bojangles in Union Station. Now all we need is a Cook Out.

But there are still things I miss and walking around in the beautiful weather today reminded me how much I miss azaleas. The pink, purple, red, white, multi-colored flowers on their dark green bushes always say SPRING! to me. More than lilies, azaleas are an Easter flower to me. There are a few bushes around here, but not nearly enough to satisfy me. I use to pick the flowers and keep them in a bud vase in my room. Or pin them in my hair.

The other thing that I miss are long leaf pine trees. Yesterday, Greg and I were in a park and walked between two short leaf pine trees and the damp pine straw smell instantly took me back to my childhood. But short little pine trees have nothing on tall, sturdy, long leaf pines. In my mind I hear my dad starting, "Here's to the land of the long leaf pine..." That amazing piney smell brings on a flood of happy memories of running around in the woods.

Even so, I'm planted here now. And I'll just find a yard that will support azaleas. And maybe built a sand pit for my pine tree. Now, back to job hunting.

Image from