Thursday, April 28, 2011

Here's the Answer!

Remember these?

Now they look like this!

Nekkid sheep banks!

They are looking fancier now.  (The OPPOSITE of shearing.) So will post pictures again when they are finished.

Did anyone guess right???

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Patron Show Project Delivered

Hey all!  The big annual Patron Show at LibertyTown in Fredericksburg is coming up FAST! (The fast is in all caps for those of you still working on your pieces???)  Mine was delivered today:

(the other side)

(another view)

(more details...)

(the cow field)

I'm really pleased with how well they nest.  They seem a little primative to me...but I am beginning to think that maybe that is what comes naturally and that it works?


Everyone who buys a ticket is GUARANTEED a beautiful piece of art.  Maybe if you're REALLY lucky you will pick my set of bowls. :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Both Feet Back on the Ground

After the fantastic weekend away meeting Doug Fitch and Hannah McAndrew it was hard to focus on the work at hand.  I have lots of new ideas, but they will have to wait until after my shearing deadline.

So below is an embarrassingly fuzzy picture of the growing stock for all the Juniper Moon Groupies.

The design for the yarn bowls below has been hanging out in my head through the Winter.....

I LOVE these little tea cups, for all the bee lovers out there....

And do you have any idea what the forms below will become??  Take a  guess and next time I will have pictures of the finished pots!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It Felt Like Christmas!!!

A few years ago I discovered the blogs of Doug Fitch and Hannah McAndrew.
I've always loved the traditional looking slipped redware, or earthenware that you can see at historic sites, like Williamsburg or in museums like Wintethur.

And here are two artists that are still carrying on that tradition!

Dougs work truly mirrors the English country style of pottery that you would find in working homes.  He digs a good bit of the clay he uses from the land around him.

Hannah's work is a bit more refined, but she is practicing the sliptrailed tradition seen in the Staffordshire area of Old England.

After one of his annual visits to England Dan Finnegan decided that it would be a great thing to bring these two potters to America to teach some workshops.  After lots of talk and planning this past weekend was finally the big event!

(I will apologize now for the phone quality pictures.  Between my own excitement and the fact that Doug does not sit still for long there are some blurry ones here....but they still tell the story of a great weekend.)

There was alot of blow torch use...trying to get pots thrown, handled and decorated in just a matter of hours....

Doug working on a puzzle jug.

Doug's "leaf resist" technique in process.

Proof that Dan Finnegan HAS tried throwing with earthenware clay.

And TONS of laughs.  Hannah has an awesome sense of humor and Dough had her (and us) giggling ALOT.

But not enough to effect her steady hand while she sliptrailed away on the puzzle jug that Doug had made.

Doug's harvest jug.  Thrown, (torched!) handled and then slipped.  The design is loosly worked in the wet slip.

Hannah used a technique for a large (16 total pounds) platter that I had not seen before.
First she threw the base with 8 pounds.

Then she attached a LARGE coil (another 8 pounds, that at her studio at home in Scotland she would have gotten from her pug mill but at the workshop she rolled by hand) around the base.....

When it was finished, a fantastic canvas for her terrific sliptrailed design.

Now I have more pots in my collection!  The large jar on the left was actually purchased from Doug last year by mail.  I LOVE the weight of it, the looseness of the design and the warm brown of the local Devon clay.   My new Doug Mug is on the far right.

The two mugs to the left by Hannah were gifts in the past, but the pitcher in the center and the beautiful pitcher to the right of it are my new purchases.

It was such a whirlwind.  I feel like have made two new freinds and  I can't wait to get into the studio and apply some of the things I learned from them!

But today I was faced with the ignored yard work (it's officially lawn mowing season.....) and I still must finish the pots for the looming Spring Shearing at Juniper Moon!

However the ideas are churning away........

Monday, April 11, 2011


YOU are the WINNER! I will mail off your mug and sheepy as soon as I can!

Meanwhile I have been working away to keep up with all YOUR WONDERFUL ORDERS...and for Shearing.  I promise a more interesting post, with PICTURES (because the secret is FINALLY out!).


Friday, April 8, 2011

The BIG Secret.....


 SOME of you anyway are waiting to see what I have been busy with ..... working away in my new studio, nose to the grindstone...slogging away trying to accomplish what I have happily agreed to do....



I hope the wait was worth it.  These things take some time.....and I am not a production potter.  There are ceramic artists out there who easily throw 50++ pots in a day....I am more of a plodder.

The Plodding Potter.

BUT I love having my fingers in clay, and am so HAPPY to be involved with Juniper Moon Farm!  This Farm is such a welcoming place.  The animals; angora goats, cormo and baby southdown sheep, LOTS of chickens, 2 potbelly pigs, three maramma guardian dogs and a mule, are treated like family.

When you visit the farm you are treated like family too.  It's just that kind of place.

So NOW you will find these pots available on the Juniper Moon website. 

While the mugs are all relatively alike (they ARE handmade....) each yarn bowl is a little different.  The Juniper Moon lamb is on the front of each one...and the back has a picture of something from the farm.  If you order one, you will be surprised.

Because I have given away one of my yarn bowls before...My Friday Giveaway this week will be......

A mug and one of  my little sheepys!

IF you want to enter to win this pair....just leave me a comment telling me who (living or dead) you would like to sit and share a hot beverage with and why....then leave a comment on the Friday Giveaway post on the Juniper Moon Blog to let them know you entered.  Jenny at JMF will draw the lucky winner on Monday!

Good Luck!

And don't worry, I'm always plodding along in my workshop making more.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I need some help.....

Ok.  So I did my first glaze firing in the new kiln.  So, new for ME and new for the KILN.

It's an L&L, I used the computer setting for slow glaze, cone 6,  BUT.......

The cones show just how hot it was..........So where do I go from here?

Luckily the pots are all fine, a little shinier then usual but that is all.  The manual mentions a factory set calibration....that in some cases that needs adjustment.  What do ya'll think??????

Monday, April 4, 2011

Are There Really 24 hours in a Day???

The last couple of days have been a whirlwind, and I don't think its gonna slow down anytime soon.....

(I'm sorry about the poor quality of these pictures, DROID.)

Saturday and Sunday I spent the day at Piedmont Valley Community College for a clay workshop with Allan Nairn.  He's an Englishman, who now lives in Cinncinati Ohio, and works for Rookwood Pottery.  But the skills that lead him there are amazing.  We learned about mold making,

 (the human press.....)

and the idea to "use the mold, the mold does not use you."  I had always thought of molds as the easy way out....but his work shows how to use molds to form tiles, then to embellish each one to make them individual.  This is definitely percolating in my head....

He also threw pots, transferred them to molds and pushed and pulled them into hanging planters....

His take on sgraffito was inspired by a book on African fabric.  Again, my brain is contemplating....The biggest tip I got from this was the idea of spraying on the initial underglaze.  The thinner coat is so much easier to mark through, especially with a groggier clay (terracotta in Allan's case).

After two days of clay, (followed by yummy Mellow Mushroom Pizza), I spent this morning at my first book binding class.  Something I have ALWAYS wanted to try.

Tonight, my pottery class at PVCC.  Followed by firing my first glaze!!!

TOMORROW.  A quick visit to Juniper Moon Farm.....and soon an amazing opportunity announcement....

Stay tuned!