Holiday Fair Season 2014

October 16th, 2014

I am finally settled and committed in my shows for the upcoming holiday season, and it starts sooner than you’d think! I’m looking forward to extra space in the car since I won’t be needing a tent for the indoor shows. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and I’m a busy bee in the studio getting ready for it.

At the first two fairs, I’m debuting my new luminous porcelain series, very exciting! However, if you’re looking for my functional pottery, it won’t be making an appearance there.

Best of the Northwest – Oct 24-26 **luminous porcelain** Out in Seattle’s Magnuson Park, this show is a staple for the arts community. The $5 door fee is well worth a peek at what 110 artists have been up to this season. Be aware, I’ll be at the Oct show – so many artists, they have two dates!
Renegade Craft Fair San Francisco – Nov 8-9 **luminous porcelain** Road trip! Coming from Chicago, I’ve always wanted to do a Renegade, so we’re making the trip down to the Bay for a weekend with some super creative folks.
Pratt Holiday Sale **functional pottery** – Nov 21-30 Pratt, an art center in the Central District, is located a mere 5 blocks from my house and studio, so it would be a travesty to not spread some playful potter love to this event. Heads up, this show has a central checkout, so only some of the artists will be there at any given time, allowing my work to be in two places at once!
Oddmall Holiday Bazzar **functional pottery** – Nov 22-23 Heading up to Everett, Oddmall is a showcase of some of the… less traditional crafty work in the Seattle area. It’s a great time with fun activities for all!


Fair season 2014

June 12th, 2014

It’s that time of year again. As I’m just getting settled into the new studio space, it seems completely appropriate to bring on the summer fairs. For those of you not in the Seattle area, it has been a glorious spring. Seattle is known for it’s dreary days of indecisive raining, but this spring has been more sunny and dry than most. The rain has come, and we’ve had record inches, but it’s come in bouts, dousing us for a few days, and then rolling off leaving a week of sun. As this weekend approaches, and my first fair of the season, the forecast proclaims!… rain all weekend. Oh well, I’m still quite looking forward to spending some time outside of the basement studio, displaying my wares, and meeting the lovely fair goers.

2013 Anacortes

To the dates!

June 13-15 – Edmonds Arts Festival – North of Seattle in Edmonds WA, come see over 200 artists at this lovely festival. I’ll be in booth #825 on Renoir Blvd.
June 21-22 – Fremont Fair – It’s the solstice, and Seattle knows how to celebrate! If you’re looking for a festival in a variety of colors, come find me here! I’ll have both functional pottery and jewelry at this one, and, if you plan your day wisely, you can hit up the Solstice Parade and check out the naked bike riders in the same trip! I’ll be on Canal, close to the water.
July 12-13 – Wedgwood Art Festival – In Seattle’s Wedgwood neighborhood, this one should be a much more chill event.
July 19-20 – Alki Art Fair – In West Seattle take in the art in a lovely beach front setting!
Aug 2-3 – Artburst NW – Road trip! Artburst happens at Marylhurst University, just south of Portland. That’s right, Portland friends, I and all of my ceramic creations am coming to you!
Aug 16-17 – Fresh Paint – I’m back out on the sound in Everett, just north of Seattle. This art festival features demos by the artists displaying their wares, complete with glass blowing hosted by Shack Art Center.


Settling in

May 11th, 2014

With a new studio space, I’m making a renewed effort to make the occasional post, showing a little of my process or dispensing valuable information.

A new studio space? Well, do tell!

new studio!

My husband, the two cats and I packed up all our belongings and moved across town into a lovely house which we own and, therefore, are able to make any changes I might need for my work. The timing couldn’t be better as, not long after, I learned that the Resident Ceramic Artist program at the Kirkland Arts Center was being dissolved, affording them more space for their growing student population. I am in complete support of this decision on the part of KAC, however, I am also so very grateful to have been on my way towards having a stable space of my own prior to this news. So, new house, new basement studio.

trusty wheel nestled in its corner

The new space – the basement is mostly finished, affording me the amenities of heat and bathroom – there’s actually a second kitchen, giving the option to rent the space to a tenant, if only I didn’t need it for my clay work. The kitchen area has a cement floor that’s been treated in some fashion to make the cement more attractive. The important thing here is that it’s still cement, which is a wonderful floor for studio space – durable and easy to clean and, most importantly, kiln-safe. I’ve been gradually moving bits of equipment and tools from KAC to the new studio. My wheel came over a month ago, and I took the all important step of building a wedging table not long after. For those not completely familiar with the clay vernacular, clay that comes straight from the store, fresh from the bag is, strictly speaking, ready to go without any prep. Once you’ve used that clay, though, scraps go into a bucket to be rewetted and reworked. We call this reclaiming. Reclaimed clay must be dried out to a workable state, and plaster is the best surface for this – it’s very porous and helps to dry the clay evenly without molding. Wedging tables are typically made of plaster and used both for drying clay and then reworking it or wedging it. Wedging is similar to kneading dough in the motion, pressing the clay into the table with your palms, turning, pressing, turning, pressing, and so on. The clay needs to be smooth and consistent in water content. Also, wedging works any air bubbles trapped within the clay out. Air bubbles can be disastrous, especially when working on the wheel as they mess with the centered, evenness of the clay.

the newly made wedging table

But I digress…

The main, final, necessary piece to making my studio truly functional is a larger kiln and matching electrical hookup. My little kiln has served me well, and continues to be just perfect for small batches of bisque-ware, but it is sadly inadequate for glaze firing. But hark! I have located and acquired a second hand kiln via craigslist! What luck! Now, this kiln does need… a little work; the kiln brick has seen better days. So parts have been ordered, how to videos watched, and I look forward to updating my new-to-me kiln in the near future. For the time being, I’m back to my old habits of making pieces at the home studio, firing, and then hauling them to KAC for glazing and the second firing.


The frenzy of the summer art fair season

June 1st, 2011

This year marks my first season of fairs, and  I have committed myself to 3 fairs in the Chicagoland area… all in the month of June.  Go big or go home.

I have a borrowed tent to use.  I purchased a few shelving units from IKEA.  My nights have been scheduled out for the past 3 weeks with product goals.  My square (to run credit cards via my phone) has been registered and sits in its little padding on my desk ready for the big day.  My paper bags have been ordered (and arrived 2 days later!), and I have organized the explosion of wrapping materials in our attic.  I’ve boxed all my current stock, filling over 3 rubbermaid tubs.  Artisan-made chopsticks are on their way from Hawaii to Chicago.  I started the layout for my booth banner.  I have lists upon lists (inventory goals, things to buy, things to bring, current inventory…).  I have 6 noodle bowls, 3 ring trees, 3 nesting bowls, and 10 tumblers waiting to be picked up in Highland Park; there are also 6 mugs and 2 chip and dips being fired at Penguin Foot.  And there are officially 3 days until my first fair.

The to-do list:  clay, clay, and more clay (followed by lots of glazing); sew together pieces of booth banner; purchase more tubs for product storage; create a proper inventory list of the artwork; pick up glaze fired work; assemble my booth kit; breathe.

Although I don’t think I’ll really feel ready ever, I am very excited to start, and looking forward with great anticipation (and a good amount of trepidation) to the first fair of the season.  I would love to see my friends and family while I’m manning my booth; I’ve been told that photos don’t really do the glaze justice – come see the physical products of this labor of love!

To the dates!

June 4 & 5 – Do Division, Chicago – I’ll be sharing booth space with Alexandra from MAKA designs

June 11 & 12 – Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival – All on my own, this is my solo space

June 24 & 25 – Highland Park Festival of Fine Craft – Natalie Steinmetz, one of my favorite folks at the art center, is my boothmate at my last fair

As mentioned, I’d love to see any of you at any of these.  Outdoor fairs in Chicago show off some of the lifeblood of the city, so I’m looking forward to adding to that lifeblood by displaying the products of my passion.