Monday, July 28, 2008

Refire blues

These were a set of bowls that I had made just before taking a break from the studio to take care of Guthrie. They had a little bit of crawling in the glaze, so I thought I'd just stick them back in the kiln this week when I fired the little birdhouses we had made. Well, evidently the bowl didn't feel like being that hot again and protested by cracking, bloating and pinholing! Sheesh. If I had known that beforehand, I would've just left the little crawl spots and used it in my own kitchen.

I certainly need to figure out what's going on with this- I've refired some of these pieces in the past without problem, but on a few occasions this has happened. A normal firing schedule and temperature was used and the crack was on a side that was not near the elements.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Aesthetic experience

I can't remember where I heard this (whether it was at a workshop or I read it somewhere, whatever), but someone described a sketchbook/journaling exercise their teacher had them try to churn up some creativity. He had asked his students to try to recall their very first "aesthetic experience." One person remembered his first experience to be white sheets blowing slowly on a laundry line in the wind. When I heard this, it sparked memories of a very similar vision from my childhood.

Ron recently had a posting about seeing and having visual experiences all day long. I feel like their are definitely times when I do have my blinders on, and then others when I seem to have really strong glasses. A couple days ago Brian, Guthrie and I made the drive from our hometown of New Richmond, OH to Charlotte. Every time we make this drive I marvel at the views: corn, tobacco, and soybean fields in OH; the rolling hills, fences and green meadows of KY; and the green mountainscapes of WV and VA. While much of the ceramic work I make is influenced by textiles, patterns, sewing and quilting, I can't help but recognize that these landscapes greatly impact my finished products.

Well, my most recent aesthetic experience occurred this morning as I was hanging out some laundry (such a domestic diva I am!). While a row of diapers hanging limply on a windless morning doesn't quite seem as, let's say- romantic, as white sheets blowing gently in an afternoon breeze, I still can appreciate the vision: the repetition of the white blocks of cloth, the patterns in the little wrinkles. Not to mention the cute little behind they were recently covering!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Return to the studio with a few friends...

After a week-long trip home to Cincinnati last week, we have family in town visiting- two of my sisters April and Leslie, my grandma Martha, and niece Addie.

We decided to have a clay day in the studio and invited over our little friend Aidyn. What a great way to spend a couple of hours in the studio for the first time since Guthrie has come along. We made some bird houses and our little ladies had a great time. They were very focused- I think there may be some budding potters in our midst!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Guthrie has a new home

No, we haven't kicked him out for waking us up or anything....I just decided that Guthrie needed his very own place to himself. So, for those of you who want to indulge a smitten mama, you can check out

Otherwise, this site is gonna be back devoted mostly to pottery news- when it picks back up again.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Handmade for Guthrie's room #3

Things have been going well in the Sanders' household, and we've been so blessed with the generosity of our friends and family during this time of newness with our little Guthrie. We've had lots of visitors; gifts of food, time, goodies for Guthrie, and more beautiful artwork to adorn his room. I'll tell ya what, this guy has some of the best artwork in the house in his room.

I've posted before about some of the great gifts and purchases of handmade works in Guthrie's room. If you would like to see prior postings with more handmade goodies for Guthrie's room, you can find them here or here.

Here are a couple more great gifts we've received:
A hand-woven basket by artist (and ceramic student of mine) Bev Nagy. She's currently an affiliate artist at McColl Center of Visual Art and is currently working on some sculptural woven pieces.

This is a beautiful drawing of an eastern screech owl (aptly identified by my bird-loving brother-in-law Tom) by another ceramic student of mine, Betsy Birkner. As if one couldn't tell by her amazing detail, she used to be a scientific illustrator.
And, finally, an absolutely incredible painting by my good friend and favorite painter, Duy Huynh. He so thoughtfully painted this specifically for Guthrie and told me that the colors and patterns were inspired by my pottery, which makes this piece so special to us.

And it looks totally stunning on the orange wall!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Oh, it's so hard to be Guthrie

After a hard day's work of eating, pooping, sleeping and entertaining all, Mr. Guthrie often zonks out hardcore. 

Fully limp body, especially arms, is a requirement.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


So, before little Guthrie came, I had a foolish idea in my head that even though I wasn't going to be spending time in the studio for a while, there would be sketches or at least something to share on my blog that was pottery related. This was Guthrie's response to that thought: Ha! We've been enjoying short visits from friends and extended visits from family over the past couple of weeks and can't believe that Guthrie is almost 2 weeks old already! He's really incredible and is so much fun to be around. So, so what if there's nothing remotely "productive" happening around here as far as clay goes, we're hanging out with our little guy!