Sunday, June 29, 2008

Guthrie's first pottery excursion

Today we headed out to lovely Shelby, NC to check out Ron's summer pottery sale. It was Guthrie's first mini road trip and he handled it like a champ.

Ron had lots of great pots- new grandma Debbie especially liked his earthenware line. It looks like Ron has a new fan.

Guthrie picked out a nice mug for himself with some scary fish- although he told me later that he would've preferred a ceramic boobie.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

And now, INTRODUCING........

Mr. Guthrie David Sanders!!!!! Our sweet little guy was born at 12:27 pm on Monday afternoon-weighing in at 9lbs, 1 oz. and a whopping 22 inches long! He's quite the cuddly mellow fellow so far and we can't believe how much we love him (and his super long feet!). Thanks to all for the prayers, well wishes and visits.

Brand new Guthrie!
Happy new family:
My sleepy guys:
About to go home...
Total cutie pie:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Studio on stand by.....

Friday was my last day in the studio for a while- being a week overdue, I'm now mostly resting up and anticipating the baby's arrival. Friday was spent glazing and finishing up some loose ends of pieces on which I've been experimenting. Below is a set of matching serving bowls with a design based on a kimono pattern I had sketched from a book a while back. The glaze crawled just a bit, so when I get back I'll touch them up and refire. Thanks too all for the encouragement and support during my pregnancy. I'll be sure to post pictures of the little one once he/she is here!

Should be a good one

Our first outing with the baby just may be this opening- we'll see when the time comes!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More handmade for the baby's room

People have asked us, "what's the theme of your baby's room going to be?" And my only response could be, "good artwork." Brian and I really like the idea of surrounding our little one with beautiful handmade items- hopefully instilling the value of creativity and working with one's hands in our little one from the start. Heck- we've gotta get him/her trained early so we can put them to work in the studio asap!
A little about each piece: the tree print is by a designer friend of ours, David Stanfield -it was originally from a series of prints that he had in a show at the gallery in our church. The bird and dimensional tiles are by Melissa Cadell. Sandy Snead made the little felted flower collage.

My grandpa made the wooden shelf and dresser. Although he's no longer with us, I'm often comforted when I see these items he carefully crafted. I'd have to say that he and my grandma were some of my first influences (along with my mom and dad) to enjoy working with my hands. They always had something crafty going on when we came over to their house.

The little owl drawing and poem was made by our friend Erin Dennison, and the cool mirror was made by our friend Kathi Graves.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


A goal of mine recently has been to spend a little more time sketching- thinking about form, surface and pattern. Today I spent a bit of time in a coffee shop (drinking decaf of course!) looking through my world ceramics book and a textile pattern book for inspiration. I really tried to let go of the insecurities I have with drawing and just get something down on paper. The random pattern designs excite me the most right now, mostly because I need to refresh my selection of stamps, which is long overdo.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Studio piddling

Since I don't feel like I can commit to any large scale projects or production right now, I've just been taking a little time every day to piddle in the studio. I've recently really enjoyed experimenting with some large terra sig tiles, so I thought I'd work on some more.

Here's a couple of giraffe tiles that will find a home in some friends baby's room. Early in the process, I cut out a silhouette of the main image, paint terra sig around it, and then apply a pattern of acrylic medium resist:
The tile after wiping with water (the bird pattern was what resisted): Color, drawn detail and spots added to the tiles- ready to fire:
Here's a look at some sketches of birdcages I made before working on my first tile. I looked at a lot of vintage cages and found some good vintage fabric swatches online as samples.Arranged paper cut-outs to help determine the composition.

D-Day and the sign of summertime

Happy Father's Day to all you dad's out there! Today was to be the first of Brian's (hence the D-Day- which stands for due date, not dooms day!), but it seems its just not meant to be. This little rascal wants to hang out with just me a little longer.

For a little treat, today I made some zucchini bread muffins. Growing up in Ohio, this used to be the true sign of summer for our family. My mom and dad would always grow an amazing vegetable garden that included corn, tomatoes, green beans, peas, and zucchini (and probably other stuff I don't remember). Like most children, I assume, I remember whining about snapping beans and peas and having to help out with canning tomatoes. Of course now I wish that I had paid more attention! But the one part about having a great garden was all the bread we would make with the zucchini. My mom had this giant silver mixing bowl that could fit triple batches from which we'd make 4 loaves, sometimes to share with my grandparents or we'd just eat it all! So even though I didn't grow the zucchini for the bread, it still feels good to carry on a summer tradition from the good old OH.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

And so goes the life of a very pregnant potter....

What I did yesterday (in case you can't tell, that's a thoroughly cleaned studio and newly organized bisquemold shelf):

What I did today:
(Black Mamba is my alter ego...)

One last belly photo:

Monday, June 9, 2008

New in the studio

I've found myself in unfamiliar territory in the studio this week: I have no commitments or deadlines and have complete freedom to experiment. It's a great feeling, but, crazily, also a little intimidating as I have so many ideas I want to explore and don't know what to choose!

Recently, I completed a piece for an upcoming show at Lark and Key Gallery in NODA in Charlotte. It'll be opening in early July- my potter friends Ron, Jen and Julie will also be participating. Here's a shot of my piece (it's a large wall tile) before firing: Here it is after the final firing- it's made of earthenware with terra sigillata, copper patina and a borax wash.
I think I'll be spending time this week working on some additional pieces in this same manner, taking time to do some sketching and planning new compositions.

Greatest friends ever!

This weekend was a bit of an eventful one outside of the studio for the Sanders family. Brian and I spent some time organizing and getting things in line in anticipation of our little one (I cleaned out our bedroom closet floor that probably hadn't been touched in 6 years- oh the shame!). I found some interesting "treasures" and funny pictures from back when we were dating in high school (think junior homecoming):
On Saturday morning Brian and I got out early to play a round of disc golf, and I had the shot of a lifetime: I totally hit a squirrel. It was stunned for a short period of time and then ran off. Maybe it was a sign- for what? I don't know.
Now, the reason for the title of this entry, on Sunday six of the greatest friends anyone could ask for came over and cleaned our house from top to bottom- we're talking ceiling fans, windows, floors, the refrigerator! Thank you so much Erin, Ryan, Jess, Timmy, Carrie and Mike. You guys rock! Thanks also to Doug and Barbara for the meal that wrapped up this cleaning frenzy. 
On a final note, here's our little buddy Gavin trying out the chair that Brian's cousin made for us- he's so smooth.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pottery zoo

While I was doing some dishes this morning, I realized that many of our recent pottery purchases have featured a variety of animal characters. Here are a few of my favorites:

A squirrel tumbler by Bernadette Curran:
A mug with a cute little cat (?) in a carriage, by Kirk Lyttle:
A toad teabowl by Ron Meyers:
A fish bowl by Greg Scott:
Little owl family (by me)- I guess this doesn't technically count as a purchase...:
A bug bottle by Laura Zindel:A fishy teabowl by Ron Philbeck:And, finally, the monkey plate by Ayumi Horie:
How could one not smile while using any of these?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Glazing and reflecting

Recently my days have become less and less routine. Time in the studio is broken up with doctor's appointments, teaching, nesting, meeting friends for lunch and just plain napping! As glamorous as I realize that this may seem to some (believe me, I love having a job that allows me so much freedom), I'm having a hard time reconciling my "potter brain" with my upcoming "mom brain." Several months ago my new mom persona planned accordingly to greatly reduce my commitments this summer due to the coming of our new little one, but the potter in me wants to be fulfilling orders, building my inventory, experimenting on new forms, and just plain playing in the studio. As I read my last blog entry's title: finishing up....for now, I felt a little melancholy, as though an "era" in my life is passing. Life as I know it (just plain life and studio life) will never be the same. It goes without saying that I am completely ecstatic about meeting this little one who's been with me constantly for the last nine months and being a mom, but a small part of me is admittedly mourning my past potter's life in the face of some of the upcoming changes. I am encouraged by the fact that I have some great examples of potter mom's to look up to and an incredibly encouraging and supportive husband, who's behind me 100% to continue working as a potter.

That being said, I'm off to work- first to fold and put away the diapers I just washed and then to the studio to finish up the glazing I started yesterday.