Friday, September 24, 2010

Pottery at Fall Festivals and Events

Today is a packing day. I have to locate bags and tissue, crates and tags and the like. Because, tomorrow is the Pumpkin Festival.

Then on October 9th and 10th I'll be at the Shelton Vineyard's Harvest Festival.

And October 14th at Feather The Nest A private open house shopping event benefiting Red Bird Mission and located at a home in Longview Country Club (south Charlotte, Waxhaw, Weddington).

Whew! Glad the kiln has been repaired.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Pottery at the Downtown Statesville Art Crawl

Friday, September 17th, is the night for the Downtown Statesville Art Crawl. GG's Art Frames and Gifts on Broad Street is the first gallery to carry pieces from the new Babbling Brook line. Wine goblets, mugs, platters & more will be available at the crawl from 5:30 until 8:30. Join us there for wine & munchies and meet visiting artists as well as gallery artists.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Grape Vines

The grape vines have been well used in the pottery studio this year, and now it's time to use them in the kitchen. We harvested the grapes and made grape jelly. And, we harvested the pears and started making pear butter. The canner is in high gear and there is another bushel of pears mellowing in my garage waiting to meet the same fate.
Today's project, amending garden soil and adding fall vegetable plantings.
Farm life....

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pottery on the Work Table

The last week proved very productive in the studio. After facing issues that kept me away from my wheel much of these past two months, I finally found time to delve in deeply. The kiln is full and firing a load of bisqueware and this greenware, along with the rest of the countertop full, is waiting - or drying - for it's chance to face the fire. Several of these pieces are of the hand-built grapevine series, and platters for watercolors, bottles and lidded pinecone jars join them.

It feels very satisfying to spend my days with muddy hands!

Next week, a repeat.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Custom Pottery Wine Goblets

It's always fun to be given a request for something special. A gift to be presented to one on behalf of another.
To be trusted to create something that will honor both the giver and the recipient. Something that captures the feeling of the moment and the occasion.
It's just a little sad when you aren't there to see the faces and know if your efforts met their mark. I gather from the email that this set did, and I thank the giver for the opportunity to share in their celebration!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Glaze Series

This is one of the new glazes I've been working up this year. Sarah named this series "Babbling Brook". Deep brown, glossy, smooth and nearly wet on the body, it has overlapping foamy colors of soft white to pale green/blue. Click on the picture above for a close-up.

When you test a glaze it takes many months to be certain it marries well with your clay body and firing techniques. We've been working on this a while and it's definitely a keeper!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Pottery Studio

The studio is finally done.
When we started this project, nearly 20 months ago, we didn't realize all of the life issues that would get in the way.

But, now, it's an easy place to just be. Wonderful windows and light, plenty of pot lights for late evenings, shelving and cabinetry to spare (today) and air conditioning...I even have running water again.

The only thing you can't see here is my wedging table and scales under the front window. The kiln area is in the next room - through the french door.

There is a double glass sliding door on the front leading to a small patio with table and chair - simply heaven. And flowers. Trees, flowers, grapevines and blueberry bushes...just through those doors. The only thing left to do is the pull-out bins in lower cabinets for glazes. And, that can wait. Right now I just want to create in this beautiful space...thanks, honey, for all the hard work!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Loss and Gain

Wayland Myers McGuirt went home Tuesday to be with the Lord.

He was born in rural Waxhaw, North Carolina, in 1923. He was raised on a farm and lived in an old wooden house where he could see the chickens underneath through the floor boards. He worked hard all of his life and shared the stories with those of us who remember him.

He served in World War II as a member of the 345th/87th Infantry Division, a Golden Acorn. He marched through Europe and faced cold worse than the mornings on the farm when he awoke with snow on his blanket that had come through the roof during the night.

He married his wife, Sally, in December of 1943 and they gave life to four children; Brenda, Judy, Charles and Alan. He worked at a cotton mill during the day and on his small farm at night to feed his family. And he proudly worked to buy a modest brick home and his own piece of America.

He lived a simple, quiet life in the country as an outdoorsman. He hunted and fished, and he raised and trained hunting dogs that were the talk of the south. He sang in a gospel quartet and traveled to churches around North and South Carolina. And he grew some of the best tomatoes you ever tasted.

In May of 1983, when I married his youngest son, he stood beside my husband as his Best Man, and they always were best of friends. My husband called him Pop and my children called him Grampa. And he stayed with us long enough to make a lasting impression in how we live; in how my son holds his gun when he hunts, in how my daughter sings love when she speaks his name, and in who my husband simply is.

He waited patiently these last few years to go home and be with his God, his parents, his sister and his wife. He waited patiently these last few months when in the hospital. He waited very patiently these last few weeks when under Hospice care at his daughter's home. And now, his waiting is over, he is absent from the body and at home with the Lord.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Perfect Day on the New River

We spent many days like this when the children were younger.
Days where breakfast is a slow process, loading up boats and packing a picnic lunch are followed by a quiet, lazy trip down the river.
Where breaks for fishing, watching wildlife,
picking through river rocks, finding an island for lunch
and climbing trees break up the day into small and memorable pieces. Where the sun and the wind combine to form perfect temperatures and only mild sunburns on the spots that aren't exposed when we aren't in our river clothes.
With the children now grown, and a daughter in law paddling along, things haven't changed. Behind our mountain home there is a deep and quiet section of river that allows us to spend a whole day without seeing signs of civilization. Instead we watched hawks and herons, ducks and kingfisher, katys flies and log cabin flies, clams that opened and shut for us in the sun, and trout both at the end of our hook and swimming gently beside the canoes. Our youngest even showed us how to catch fresh water snails and judge if the water is clear or polluted.(Okay, after about four hours we did see a few cows, but...that's to be expected.)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pottery Grape Leaf/Vine Pieces - Vineyard Series!

Pieces fresh from the kiln this time include those, pictured here, created from real grape leaves cut from the vines I overlook sitting at my wheel. Glazed in a matt black and stained a natural brown, the vase measures over 17 inches tall and the platter is approximately 13x15 inches overall.
My husband is pressing me for a day of building/throwing more - the vines need to be trimmed again! Everything here is growing rapidly this year.
These pieces, as well as much of the kiln load, will be available tomorrow night at Abbigail's Gallery in downtown West Jefferson, NC. Tomorrow from 5 until 8 they will throw open the doors and serve wine and food to the crowd, as we enjoy the first gallery crawl of the summer in Ashe County. Join us every 2nd Friday there for great art and lively conversation!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Squash Woes, Part One

Why is it every year we look so forward to those first beautiful squashes from plants so lovingly nurtured...and when they come, they come in an overabundance! We limit the plants each year(due to limited space), carefully counting the mouths to be fed and numbers of fruits required. And yet, the crispers are full, dinner every night includes squash, and bags are being sent home with visitors already. And, it's only the beginning of June - YIKES!
Ooo, I mean - YUM!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

God's Beautiful Creation, Farm Style

Mother called a few days ago to thank me for her veggie delivery
and, I must admit I was a little disappointed. She said, "Wow, you must have grown a different beet...we had some nice sized ones this time." Hmph. I grow my beets for the tops. Generally, I choose Big Top seeds and enjoy the greens with very little beet. Well, the last were pulled this morning (see picture) as well as the last of one patch of spinach (in my favorite baking bowl in the same picture). And, I intend to enjoy those beet greens steamed in a little cider vinegar. along with the beets that did seem to grow a little larger this year. But, I can deal with that.
I love farm life! Strawberries have been frozen this morning, and dill is nearly dry - having been dehydrated in my oven and having filled my house this morning with the most wonderful odor! (Want to try that - fine herbs dry quickly in your oven when set to the convection setting at 150-175...just open the door every 15 minutes or so until you have no moisture left! Time depends on the herb. This is also the way I dehydrate my tomotoes.) Lavender will by drying by day's end and the fridge is full of salad stuff, snow peas, carrots and the like. This time of year I visit the grocery store very rarely! PTL!
I love that the Song of Solomon refers to My Beloved as He with cheeks of balsam - banks of sweet-scented herbs. With lips of lilies, dripping with liquid Myrrh. He knew all of us couldn't relate to the gold and ivory that describe Him so often. But, here, on the farm, I can relish in this creation He shares with me and thank Him that He is like the best of His beautiful creation!
Sorry, the lilies are in bud, but not bloom...but the roses - now that's another story! Ahh, farm life!
Okay, the sun is high. Off to feed the chickens the scraps from the morning (they love the garden, too), and hit the pottery studio! More work to be done....

Monday, May 31, 2010

The End of May, and My Favorite Pottery Communion Set

May brought joys to the farm that were stifled all winter long. Green things and baby animals have brightened the month beyond belief. There wasn't a table that lacked eggs, greens, herbs, asparagus, onions, snow peas and the like. The last of the carrots and beets will be pulled this week, but we won't mourn them - cucumbers, tomatoes and squashes will ripen before the week is over! Spring things will be set aside as summer rushes in!
This month included a visit to my sister in greet the newest member of her family and love on the family that already lives within the walls of her home. We enjoyed several mountain visits and time with Nana and Grandpa and our children as we visited them and they visited the farm.
This month also included studio time that included testing several new shapes and two new be revealed after more use. My favorite pottery this month would be a communion set, glazed in the soft white glaze that I used on my everyday coffee mug. I tested this glaze on my favorite mug shape nearly a year ago, and in the hustle and bustle of the last year...I forgot I had gallons of this mix sitting in the studio! I love it daily, and throw it in the dishwasher and go to the studio to work, rarely thinking about it again. So, now, this set is available in my etsy shop, see it here:
May, is also the birth month of my baby girl. Today to be exact...May 31st. She's 20 today. No longer the parent of a teenager, both of my children are 20 something. And, I can't wish her a happy birthday until next weekend...she's in summer school in the wilderness, in an unreachable area. Hope she's enjoying the experience and the day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pottery Wine Goblet Exhibition

I am pleased to have been chosen by The Bascom, of Highlands, NC, to exhibit wine goblets at their center for visual arts from May 15th until June 6th.
To check out The Bascom - click here:
The goblets will be part of a display that coincides with the Collective Spirits Wine Festival held on the grounds May 21st and 22nd and will help benefit the visual arts center's fund drive.
For information about the wine festival - click here:
A gorgeous place to visit, a great center for art study and a wonderful wine festival...thanks for the honor!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wedding Pottery, Stoneware Chalice & Paten with Unity Candles

Wedding season is here, and along with it comes orders for custom pottery to enhance the service. This set is off to Sara and her fiance in Nebraska. Additional sets will be posted on etsy in a matter of days (my kiln is fired up as I type!).

Friday, April 23, 2010

Downtown Statesville Art Crawl, April 23rd

Tonight is the first Art Crawl of the season in downtown Statesville. Join us from 5:30 until 9:00 and enjoy art, artists, wine, nibbles and conversation.
I'll be at GG's Art, Frames and Gifts - come by and visit!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Springtime is for Planting...and Harvesting....

The garden shed is full of seedlings that spent the long winter on heat mats, under grow lights, and are now ready for planting in the garden. Most of the cool weather plants have been moved out of the garden house already. Above are the wee ones that weren't ready to brave it just yet.

But, out in the
vegetable garden,
some plants are
ready to move
on to the dinner plate. Every night is salad night, and asparagus will soon follow. Young radishes and many herbs are being enjoyed, and strawberries are full of bloom and promise! Up until this year, that would mean the daughter and a hand full of nieces would soon arrive to sit and chat on the garden house porch, within easy reach of the strawberry bed and juicy ripe fruit. This year, everyone is scattered around the world. We should be able to see how much the bed actually produces (although I would prefer the laughter of lovely young women enjoying the season and the company of one another). This year, I will have to put up jam so they can taste spring on the farm from a distance!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring is Here....

Well, Monday was the day. I posted items from the kiln, and I bumped Auntie Jo from my front page. I'd been logging in and signing out and never posting, I didn't want her to leave the front page. I know, I could have extending the number of posts per page, but that would have prolonged the inevitable. So, I prolonged the inevitable by procrastination. It felt different, somehow.

But, it is written "the leaves on the tree are for the healing of the nation." And every spring brings new life and new hope. And so, the long winter has ended. The farm is springing to life and everything looks somehow different....

Monday, April 5, 2010

Kiln Opening!!!

This morning's work: unload the kiln, photograph, inventory, fill orders and post extras.