I've been so busy in the studio, and in life! I have been traveling a lot to be with mom, whose health is becoming a bit challenging. She's a trooper though, and I'm amazed at her resilience and grace. That said, it's emotionally and physically draining to be with someone who has always been your rock....who is now handing you and your sister the rock.
So....the remedy for emotional stress is to call in the holiday elf (me) to make lots and lots of things to add beauty and delight to the world. Then the social media elves - also me... (who photograph, post, and tell of the releasing of said lots of things) sort of muddle through and forget to even post much about YESTERDAY's wonderful pop up makers market at Capers Home - a wonderful home store in West Seattle. Side story, when we first bought our home here, I went on a walking tour of the neighborhood, and fell in love with this store 11 years ago. It is always my go-to for gifts, and I absolutely love to visit it during the holidays.
Here are some photos of the lovely day. I posted a couple of reminders on my Instagram page
and fortunately, so did Capers...so there were so many lovely West Seattle folks who came in to meet the woodland friends and ceramic houses, and take some home for holiday gift giving.
I always love to visit with people who are enjoying the things I have made, and yesterday was no exception. Great-grandmothers who remembered the Beatrix Potter stories, then took home woodland friend bunnies for their great-grand children. Folks from my generation talked of Stuart Little when they saw the mice in cigar boxes (our inner children gleefully coming out to play)....
But by far my favorite interaction was with the aunties who purchased a baby mouse in a pouch for their niece. When I presented them with the Certificate of Adoption, they shared that their niece was also adopted, which prompted tears all around. Connections that are made by sharing lovingly handmade items are always such a gift to me!
Also, I just can't get over how cute it is when the papa mouse is carrying its little tiny baby in this tiny baby carrier pouch.
Here is where I post about UPCOMING events - that you can actually attend....because they are in the future!
I am so excited to be included in the ceramic show of over 50 ceramic artists at Rain City Studio
The second December event will be taking place on some of the same days - December 1st from 4-8 pm and December 2 from 10am - 4pm at Keller Williams - 5446 California Ave. SW. I am thrilled to be part of this 10 artist market. These artists are so warm and lovely, and their work is incredible! There will be hand made pottery, stunning jewelry and home goods, and even a children's book author whose beloved character teaches about self-love and positivity. Friday night will be an artist reception with wine and snacks to enjoy while browsing the one-of-a-kind pieces of holiday art. We will be back on Saturday for a festive day offering more works of art for those who are looking for personal hand-made items for holiday gift giving.
Here are the details with some "Meet the Maker" photos and sneak peek photos of some of their work. I have also included links to their websites or social media pages. SO much beautiful, creative, magical art!!!
I am so very excited to be making lovely holiday gifts and joining these artists to offer so many gifts for everyone on your list. I am planning to do my holiday gift giving with as many handmade local gifts as possible. I really do feel like the hand of the maker adds a special touch to a gift. So....off I go to elf it up!
How did that happen? Seattle has given us such a beautiful summer, and I have been playing in the sun and having fun. I'm starting to think about what I will be creating this fall, and I feel it's time to let go of the artwork that is filling the studio from previous seasons. It's time to send it into the world (with some pretty lovely discounts).
Tomorrow I will be joining my good friend Brigida - the artist who is behind the wonderful Yardia brand of beautiful Pacific Northwest watercolor gifts at her studio. We will be selling artwork that would be perfect for holiday gift giving (I'm not that organized, but some people are, I've heard!)
Wow - it's been a LOOOONG time since I've tended to this blog. So much has happened in the last few years - retiring from teaching, a global pandemic, lots of time to learn new things, practice old things, let go of lots of things.....
The year I retired (2020), I waved goodbye to my sweet students from a screen, and went into rest mode. I also chose a word of the year that really fit the year 2021 for me - meander. Not only did I walk (many, many miles) during the time we were all staying home because of Covid, I "meandered" through art and creative processes that I had either set aside, or had always wanted to explore. I PLAYED! It was a wonderful time of diving into new things, and quite a departure from the way I had always needed to squeeze in my own creative time around my teaching schedule for the last 20 years or so.....
Here are some of the ways I played with new and old creative processes...
While I was walking, and walking, and walking....I was inspired to create linoleum blocks, which I use to print onto linen fabric that I sewed into useful things like zipper bags, placemats, coasters, eyeglass holders and quilts.....thank you YouTube for countless tutorials.
and did I mention that I created soft and cuddly stuffies? So many stuffies. I don't know what came over me....I just had to make sweet and huggable things while the news was filled with so..... much......well, so much of everything scary and sad.
So many ceramic artists that I admire offered online courses. And I enjoyed learning MANY new techniques, and being inspired to look at the world in new and different ways to find inspiration.
All of the meandering was fruitful. I carved new bisque stamps for impressing in clay that were inspired by the fabric printing linoleum blocks - and have been using them on new slab built designs. It is so lovely to have the time to develop new work. I am excited to be joining the West Seattle Studio event in September to share some of the work in the world!
I am looking forward to the new year with a new word of the year (actually words). My word(s) of the year are Perfect Imperfection. I am inspired by the Japanese words Wabi Sabi. These words are so intangible and I'm honored to explore this kind of beauty and way of looking at the world. As I was discovering how I would embrace my word of the year, I found a most beautiful book by Beth Kempton.
I am going to quote some of the wisdom about wabi sabi she writes about, which is urging me to embrace "perfect imperfection".
"Wabi sabi is deeply connected to the kind of beauty that reminds us of the transient nature of life. She goes on to suggest that the lessons wabi sabi can teach us are rooted in the following ideas:
*The world looks very different when you learn to see and experience it from your heart.
*All things, including life itself, are impermanent, incomplete, and imperfect. Therefore, perfection is impossible, and imperfection is the natural state of everything, including ourselves.
*There is great beauty, value, and comfort to be found in simplicity. "
Words to consider as we go about our daily life.
I am loving the simplicity of the new "flower stones" that I pulled from the kiln on Friday. The are mostly sweet and tiny - small enough to hold in your hand. I want to place them all over the house with a tiny blossom to remind me spring will come!
It has been a LONG, LONG time since I've blogged. I have been working and growing in my studio, and have spent the last year growing new curriculum for my wonderful students in my new school. The past year has been one of exciting professional changes. I am teaching at Forest Ridge High School. My classes are small, the students (all girls) are engaged and excited to learn, and I couldn't be happier.
I also made a commitment to my own artistic self to expand my horizons. I was able to attend my first NCECA Conference, which sort of blew my mind. I met lovely people, saw inspiring art and innovative artists, and came home with a plan to celebrate the Greenbranch philosopy. I have been taking workshops and weekly classes to encourage myself to try new things, and work on rusty skills.
On October 13th, I am hosting an Open Studio and Sale from 10am - 3pm. When I work towards a sale, I am furiously working and firing until the day before. I have given myself a deadline of this weekend to create anything new - for the sale. Anything I work on after that is work in progress. I am hoping to provide sanity for myself and my students and family.
My favorite pieces for this sale might be the meditation bowls that hold the wishing stones I love to collect. I have glazed these New Zealand Porcelain bowls with lines that reflect the markings on these magical stones. My lovely pottery pal, Laura Romanelli, saw them for the first time and said the most poetic thing... "It is like the stone is the wish or thought, and the bowl is witness to the thought".
Yes! The bowl reflects the wish into the world!!
It is almost time to ring in 2017. I forget to blog. I forget to mention on my website that I am having a pop up sale (which was two weeks ago). My word for the year has not been decided, but it will have something to do with creating and learning. Or maybe with doing less. In any event, here are some photos of my work that my good friend Laura Totten shot this year. The holiday photos show what a magical time it was to celebrate the creating that happened all fall and early winter.
Spring Show in Woodinville
Holiday Pop Up Sale at Greenbranch Studio Dec 10-11. 2016
Cheers to celebrating the growth I have experienced over the past two years... First, in learning to create jewelry and glass design by exploring all sorts of new techniques. I have so loved learning to enamel metal, and sharing the quotes and heart thoughts that have touched me with so many others....and now teaching students to love expressing their artistic voice through clay and glass design. In all of this, I am learning new things every day. The excitement never ends! The New Year is filled with promise of creating new things to share.
I have been away. Learning new things. Changing direction. Going with the flow (my word of the year).
I am now teaching high school classes in Graphic Design, Metal/Jewelry and Glass Design. Loving it. Learning SO many new things.
This is what happens when a Holiday Sale is planned at the studio. I wake up and start thinking of the hot cider and snacks, and kiln firing and bell making, and glazing to be done....and then I remember that I have to post something on social media so that folks will know about the sale ~ and then I'm posting a blog at 4:45 in the morning. It's a good thing I'm doing this on a 4 day weekend, and not on a school day! I'm getting ready for RAKU firing next week at Seattle Pottery. I've been making some sweet organic spheres to fire. I hope they will be ready in time! Here are some photos of them when I finished them yesterday....
There are lots of holiday ideas floating around in my head too! Some of them are even making their way into the studio, and today....into the kiln for a bisque firing!
Check out these fun "holiday banners" to be ~ stay tuned for the finished, ribbon strung version! I'll be making these (or a version of them) with my students this week.
I think I'll crawl back into bed for an early morning nap before I go back out into the studio. There are bells, birdhouses, and beautiful platters calling my name ~ this is what the elves must feel like.
This is what the studio looks like these days. Just about a week to go before the big POTTERY AND MORE SHOW AND SALE! Pretty excited (and a little bleary eyed). Even though the summer was full of studio time, I have been percolating new ideas and can't wait to share them!
Here are some of the finished pieces
There are so many more things to share...but it's time to sleep so that I can finish glazing and firing everything before next weekend! Hope to see you there!!
I've been spending time in the studio and...at the beach. I think there is a direct correlation between the work I do and where I am enjoying my 'down time'. Summertime is my favorite!
I will be hosting an open studio and sale this Friday from 11am - 3pm . Just message me if you want to stop by a little later - we might be able to arrange a little "happy hour" studio time after work!