The 2015 craft show season kicked off for me last weekend with City of Craft! We had a great turn out and gorgeous spring weather. It was nice to see some familiar faces, both vendors and shoppers, returning for this year's show. It was also the 8th year that City of Craft events have been happening (do I have that right? incredible!) based on the tireless efforts of founding members Becky, Leah and Jen, and of the very sparkly dynamo, Kalpna and volunteer coordinator headmistress, Michelle. Big ups to you guys!
Next up, I'll be in Kanata, just outside of Ottawa, for Handmade Harvest Spring. People have been raving about this high quality show and there are often lineups out the door, so I'm really looking forward to being there as a first time vendor. Hey, Ottawa! Come say hello!
My online shop will be re-opening at the end of this month! New pots are being photographed this week and will be added very soon. I am so excited to debut the new spring items!
In other news, I am happy to report that I'll be adding a new stockist this spring in my hometown, Port Carling, Muskoka! More details on that to come. After hibernating in the studio all winter, this spring season has already brought some amazing things my way. Here's to dusting off the cobwebs and getting busy!
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Slowly but surely, I'm getting to an interesting place with the sculptural work for the mentorship program. Here is a quick "bouquet" I arranged from greenware & bisqued elements (some slip trailed, some hand built). This week I mixed a quick batch of paper clay, using old Laguna Frost casting slip and some paper slurry (water, toilet paper, immersion blender). I've never used paper clay before, but have watched other artists sculpt with it, and I knew it would enable me to build & join the porcelain with more ease. I was definitely able to work the paper clay more aggressively. I treated thin slabs of it like fabric and cut it with scissors to create petals. These are just the first efforts -- blossoms and greenery roughly based off the memory of the plants in the floral nursery where my mom worked when I was young and where I was lucky to spend time every day (our house was right beside the nursery, so essentially I grew up in a flower bed...think 80s bedding plants -- lots of geraniums & petunias).
My second experiment was to create a hybrid of the Laguna Frost casting slip & the paper clay mixture, so I could still draw quickly & gesturally with the bottle of slip, while taking advantage of the strength of the paper clay. This allowed me to make flat components that I could sketch out and then slip together later on & build into three dimensional forms (pods, layers of flower heads). The possibilities of this method are really exciting. I keep veering between wanting to work in a very free and intuitive way, yet all my drawings/concepts are more uptight. When I went back to my sketchbook I saw the words WILDNESS vs. RESTRAINT and yelled, "AHA!" That's my theme, 100%
Pictured above is a quick study of what the original elements (just Frost slip, no paper clay added) look like when presented on a bold, painted wall surface (gauche). I'd love to create a whole wall like this, with many porcelain elements integrated onto a wallpapered pattern. Again, wildness vs. restraint.
Since I have resolved that 2015 is my year of creative & professional development (shouldn't they all be?), alongside the mentorship program, I'm starting an exciting new e-course tomorrow with Molly Hatch & Ben Carter: Think Big! A Branding Series for Ceramic Artists
Happy New Year, everyone! What creative goals are you pushing for this year?
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We're into the home stretch now...it's almost show time! Are you planning on visiting the One of a Kind Christmas Show this year? It's their 40th year. The hard work that goes into producing a show of this scale is pretty crazy. The organizers and the artisans work year round to create this magical production -- do not miss it! I can't believe I've been making pots for this show since July (said with equal parts excitement and trepidation), and I truly can't wait to show you my new work. Things I am most excited about this Christmas: new espresso cuppas (shown above), little pourers/jugs for cream/milk/maple syrup, stacking "ice cream" bowls (great for anything really, but they do fit the perfect scoop!), redesigned coffee mugs, ornaments (in singles and beautifully packaged gift sets) ...
As well as large statement pieces like the bowl above (left) which is one of my favourite pieces I have ever made & serving trays (top right) for holiday entertaining. I love what I do and am really looking forward to launching these new pieces. If you haven't already RSVP's to the OOAK Show, you can do so on their Facebook event page. Okay, time for me to put on another podcast and glaze, glaze, glaze! See you at the show!
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