I love what I do. I am currently surrounded by 80-100 pots that came out of the kiln this week. I have lined them all up on my studio tables so that I can sand the bottoms smooth, price sticker and pack them to take to my show this weekend, Handmade Harvest. I can't tell you how satisfying it is to see the fruits of my labour and to have three back-to-back, super successful kiln firings. The past three months have been heavy in production for me and though it has been stressful at times (including the kiln needing expensive repairs and our beloved cat passing away after 17 glorious years) but this practice of keeping my hands busy has made it all manageable. It's been a minimum of 12 hr days, 6-7 days a week and through this hard work my pots are made and my sculptures for the mentorship group show are complete. Sigh of relief...
With ceramics, your hands are always busy but at times your mind can wander. One thing I always carry in the back on my mind is that being able to do this work is an incredible privilege, yet I'm doing it during a time when the world is pretty much in shambles. Perhaps not the earth, it will prevail over us in the long run, but civilization might be. I sometimes have to laugh nervously when a customer says, "Cute pots!" because my mental response is sometimes, "Thanks, I was thinking about what an uncertain future the human race has while I made that!"
Hey, are you still reading this? Ok. Good. Moving forward, the big, bad questions of: Does the world need more stuff? Is there a way to make this work without burdening the planet? How am I preparing or helping my community to deal with hardships to come by making art?
It's a crunchy subject that no one enjoys. I had to block it out for the past few years to be able to actually make art, but many of us are pondering this as we work away. What I've found that there aren't always good answers to these questions but I'd rather think them than keep creating mindlessly. Of course, life has a funny way of giving you answers if you pay close attention. Just this morning I saw that NCECA posted Malcolm Davis' 2010 lecture in which he touches on this very subject. For him, clay was inevitable but his belief in social justice work was always there behind the scenes. If you've been pondering how your tiny studio art practice relates to the larger (pretty scary) issues of today's world, listen in around the 36 min mark (then go back and take in the entire thing. It's fantastic!)
Real talk. Art talk. Let me know if you're also working your way through these big questions as you grow your art practice.
"Art restores hope." Malcolm Davis
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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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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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Welcome to my new home on the Internet! A lot has happened over the past few months. My husband, cat and I uprooted from Toronto and moved a wee bit south-west to Hamilton, Ont. This city is pretty damn remarkable. First off, I am terrible at moving. I get super attached to houses, neighbourhoods, places, and people, so after living in Toronto for eleven years, moving away felt like a sucker-punch to the heart. We moved because we were itching for change and wanted a place to call our own. When we found our house, in the dead of winter, complete with a pottery studio, we knew it was time to make the jump. We have received such a warm welcome from our Hamiltonian friends and new neighbours. This small city with a big heart is charming, gritty, and is the kind of place where you feel like you can actually make an impact. It's not pretentious, is surrounded by the lush, green escarpment, and is already a host to many artists & craftspeople.
I am in the midst of setting up my new studio. Here's a picture of what it looked like this spring. I can't tell you how happy I am to have my very own, dedicated space to make new work. Right now the studio is bursting with pots in all stages of the making process as I prepare for the Christmas One of a Kind Show
. As most artists do, I started producing work for this show in the summer, so I'm itching to show you all what's taken shape. Hope to see you there! Stay tuned for product sneak-peeks, discount coupons to the show & giveaways!!
Plus, very soon you'll be able to shop directly from this site!
Thank you to all the lovely people who have welcomed us to our new city & hi-fives to Miro Wagner for all his help launching this new website!
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