Wednesday, December 14, 2011

now I just want to stay home and take pictures of buttons

tomorrow my family is going to Sterling, Colorado to celebrate with my in-laws. we will have limited internet access, and so these buttons won't be added to the website at least until the 21st. Also, all shipping will be delayed until the 22nd.

Monday, December 5, 2011



see it LIVE at

I was surprised, when I had the shop critique, how many people didn't like my logo. I didn't think people cared that much. but here-- I now have the company name spelled out in three mugs. and then I painted it. woo.

the wiggly from my tremor makes me happy in this context. it's the wings on my heart.

there are a couple other really big deal kind of things going on right now.

the happy one is that I am in the process of taking out our basement shower and the wall between the bathroom and my studio. in this newly annexed studio space, I will move my kiln. I will be able to vent the kiln directly out ductwork we already have in our house.

my oh-so-romantic birthday, anniversary, and giftmas present from my husband is the retrofit vent. heck yes.

the one that is mostly happy except also kind of sad is that my garden is no longer my own. the abandoned house where it was is being gutted and rebuilt as a demo for a construction company. apparently they work for an entity that manages abandoned properties.

I'm not exactly sure how that works.

anyway, my garden is gone. poor thing. it got mowed, two trees fell on it, and now I lost custody.

it's good for the neighborhood. the garage is a nest for feral cats, and in general people can take more pride in their neighborhood when there is not a house whose outsides are crumbling next door.

on the plus side, I did get to see the inside of the house. there is standing water in the basement, the staircase to the ¼ story loft is rotting out, there is a hole in the ceiling beneath it (although I did not see a hole in the floor through the curling carpet), the beautiful oak hardwood floors through the entire place are swollen and grey, and something fell in the bathroom and broke the mirror and toilet. it is in surprisingly good shape given that it has sat empty for over four years. The workers cleared away organic debris around the garage, showing that the bottom 18" (aboutz) are swollen and discolored.


work is being done.

my wheel is disassembled so I can clean my studio well and then put it back up somewhere else. the paneling, dry wall, and shower liner that was glued to the drywall (is that standard practice?) are down. an entire six foot-long wall of studs that didn't actually reach the ceiling or joists is down. now I have to solder off plumbing. I've never done that before.

I like doing things I've never done before.

in summary, we conclude:
1. new logo woo!
2  bathroom space annexed for studio woo!
3. new kiln vent woo!
4. green house no longer rotting away woo!
5. aw but that means I lose my garden. maybe.

smile a lot!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Today I did something that I am EXTREMELY proud of: I replaced the elements in my kiln. All by myself.

The kiln is the piece of equipment in my studio that would be most expensive to replace. The type of kiln I would use starts around $4,000. I fixed mine for under $200.

What feels coolest to me is that I am so much more a “real” ceramist; I can maintain and repair my own equipment. I know how to make the stuff to put in the kiln, how to fire it, and now how to fix it.

It’s okay if you’re not as excited as I am.

My next bisque fire will be on the 28th of November, and the corresponding glaze fires will be on the 5th and 8th of December. Now is the time to make custom orders. I will be using two new glazes: Rovin's Bright Ice Creamy Crimson and Grape Fizz.

Snowflake buttons based on the artwork of Wilson Bentley will be available in limited quantities on December 10th.

For February, I will have “special edition” heart buttons based in part on the artwork of Jon Collier.

These buttons will be available for sale on January 11th.

Buttons will also make an appearance in the January Phat Fiber box. Samples in the October box were a single Mighty (larger than 2.5 inches) button. Samples in the January box will sets of two Bitty (less than 1 inch) buttons. The bitty buttons are my favorites, just so you know.

Eastern Market Artisan Village is winding down for the season. We will pick back up mid-April on the south side of the recently-renovated Shed 5.

You don’t have to go to Eastern Market to gaze upon my ceramic splendor. Most items are available for sale through my website, In a recent shop critique, many people said that they wanted more specific dimensions. The process to provide that information is a long one. In the meantime, please contact me with any questions at

With regard to the buttons, items will be individually listed instead of just by price, size, and glaze. I currently have 26 glazes and an average of 26 buttons per glaze, though, so posting each individual button is not a quick job. The effort has been worthwhile. Thank you for that.

In summary:
1. I am awesome.
2  Custom orders placed by November 23rd will be available for shipping or delivery on December 10th.
3. Snowflake buttons go on sale in December and heart buttons go on sale in January.
4. Detroit Eastern Market Artisan Village winter recess is nigh, so do your shopping online at
5. Improvements continue on the website. Do you have suggestions? I could use them!

Monday, October 17, 2011

all of zen wants you to shut up (o:

This past weekend, my new button search feature went live. Gaze in awe upon its design glory.

Marty has done the code for my website as well as a good amount of the design. He makes *me* look professional. He also undercharges, but I can't guarantee he'll do that for you. If you need any web work done at all ever you should get in touch with him at Starkiller Interweb Design.

The buttons that necessitated the search function are for sale, and you should buy them! They are completely functional. Each is unique. Every fingerprint is mine. The leaves all came from either my yard or my parents', and the sea shells came from the beach by their house.

For the snowy seasons, I will make a stamp based on the intensely impressive work of legendary Wilson Bentley. Ideally, these will be for sale early November.

However. (huge sigh) During a recent bisque fire, my kiln released a fantastic haze. We suspect that the elements are consuming themselves. We had already planned some involved renovations to properly vent the kiln, and now we plan to include replacing the elements. Replacement elements are surprisingly inexpensive, but removing several yards of coiled-- electrified-- metal wire from firebrick is not exactly a quick job. I'm less intimidated about installing the new ones, in large part because they will be less brittle.

I had planned the October / November firing sets to start two weeks from today. There are custom orders delayed, actually, already. The sadness.

I'm not going to take custom holiday orders until I have that all sorted out.

On a more positive note, in terms of holidays, I'm making globe ornaments.

They are a long way from perfect, and so I have about a year to get them down and ready.

 In summary:
1. Marty of Starkiller Interweb Design made a really cool update to my website.
2  My buttons are neat.
3. My kiln wants a lot of my time and energy.
4. #3 briefly precludes my willingness to take custom orders.
5. For the love of cupcakes, I'm throwing SPHERES.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

name dropping

my art in his heart
Donald Calloway, Jr., a friend and very talented artist, has started using my buttons in his work. Pretty neat, huh?

if you haven't been by my booth at Eastern Market, then you have not seen how beautiful it is.
The Delicion at Eastern Market
Tuesday, September 27th is the last of Eastern Market's Tuesdays for this season. You should come by and get some delicious food.

I am still working to raise money for my Art Prize project via Kickstarter. Your pledge can make this work possible AND buy you cool goodies.

Earlier this week, I sent in $350 worth of buttons to Phat Fiber headquarters for the October box. The ideal outcome for this effort is a retail placement. Also awesome is if you and your loved ones buy the buttons through my website. The button-purchasing-dealie will be improved very soon. Your feedback as to how you would like it to work would be greatly appreciated.

so... my garden....
the green house yard
This garden is in the yard of an abandonned house in our neighborhood. The individual who owned it died something like four years ago, and no one has lived in or cared for it since then-- with the exception of a lawncare service hired by the township to mow lawns of abandonned properties.

This spring, I planted a vegetable garden. Within a matter of days, said lawncare service mowed it. A reasonable amount survived, but nowhere near as much as if, you know, it hadn't been mowed. Several weeks later we had a nasty storm that knocked down a tree. The majority of the weight of the tree was held by the power lines, and so I did not give up hope!

Monday, when I went to dig up some delicious Detroit beets, I discovered that my garden had been completely crushed. A huge limb of another tree fell, and this one brought the phone, cable, and electric lines with it. They actually seem to be tangled in the branches.

so no beets. no tomatos. no carrots. no fennel. no peppers. they are now part of an eight twelve-foot row vegetable casserole. maybe once the wires are moved I'll be able to find some survivors.


In summary:
1. I totally get to brag about my work being a part of another, more widely-know artist's work.
2  The last Eastern Market Tuesday of the season is this coming Tuesday.
3. Please back my Kickstarter project.
4. My buttons will be included in the October Phat Fiber box, if you are able to get one. They are also available for sale on my website.
5. My vegetable garden, mighty in spirit though it may be, is not strong enough to handle this second tree's weight.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

is it worth it?

Having money means having the ability to spend it. Having the ability to spend money means having the ability to acquire goods or services. Are we all together here? Within a closed system (that is, there is no more or less money), when an individual or collective has more money, that individual or collective is able to acquire more goods or services. To put it more simply and a way that is much easier to misconstrue, having more money means being able to buy more.

In the field of medicine, having more money means being able to do more research, produce more medication, and maintain and staff expensive equipment. Sports medicine is a perfect example. Because so many people are eager to see a player back in the game, most parties involved are willing to spend exorbitant amounts of money to make that happen. Kevin Everett may not be back on the football field, but he can walk.

Let’s not worry about whether prices are reasonable—money has gone into medicine to such a degree that people can *expect to* recover from severe injuries and illnesses. Many diseases that used to be as life altering as common, like polio, are considered third world. Most Americans who get influenza take some time off work, eat some soup, and move on with their lives as if nothing happened. Infant mortality is less than a third of what it was 50 years ago. As a society, we have shown with our dollars that medical technology is worth paying for.

We would not have these advancements if we didn’t have the money to put toward their development. You want lower premiums, lower copays, and more coverage—a bigger slice of every pie, as it were. The questions are who will pay for these miracles of modern medicine, and who gets to have them.

I’ll be your example, because in most respects I’m of a demographic that a lot of people like. I am a 28 year-old woman. I’m married, and we have a 10 month-old infant. I “work from home” as an artist. I don’t make a lot of money, but I love what I do. My husband has been employed in a skilled trade at the same employer for the past seven years. One of his benefits is health insurance. Like most families who are insured through an employer, we pay only a portion of our premium.

My husband and daughter are healthy enough that they only need regular check-ups. Our insurance plan covers all but $20 for these routine visits.

I have brain damage caused by a series of transient ischemic attacks and possibly a full stroke. These neurological events, as they are called, were caused by a lack of oxygen and possibly a blood clot. I had a 14mm hole in my heart (a patent foramen ovale) that we didn’t know about until significant damage had already been done. The diagnosis for the collection of symptoms I have, including a resting tremor and aphasia, is Parkinsonism.

The –ism is important; my condition is not degenerative. It is, however, chronic, and so it can’t be cured and won’t go away on its own.

Miracles of modern medicine have provided treatments that make people like me able to function almost normally. One medication is the reason I am able to function. Without it, the communication between my brain and body happens slowly enough that several minutes pass before I am able to react to things that I see or hear. I’ve been on it for several years except during my pregnancy and intermittently since February.

My insurance company won’t cover it any more.

UnitedHealth has a bright-line policy against the medication specifically, actually. It was the reason cited for not covering the drug in the first place and the only reason the appeal failed.

Over the course of a year, we pay about $1,000 more on our premium than this one pill per day costs. The retail value of all of my medications is close to $20,000 per year. That number does not include appointments, tests, and other treatments.

I’m young, too. It’s not unreasonable for a mother who had a child before she was thirty to hope to live long enough to see that child graduate from high school. Over the next 18 years, assuming no change in price or dose, my current medication cocktail will cost $355,762.80. Within a matter of a thousand dollars, that money could buy an apartment in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City or a 2,560 square foot home near the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and Hollywood Freeway in Los Angeles-- and you can get a 30-year mortgage for those.

If the insurance company pays it, other people who are insured contribute. If the government pays, then really the taxpayers are the ones paying. If the responsibility is on me to pay, I will bankrupt myself and anyone else who would like to keep me on the anti-epileptic for one more month. So who pays?

Do I deserve it?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

a lot!

hm. Clearly a post that should have happened did not. How have I not written about my Kickstarter project?


The plan is a series of 13 porcelain nesting bowls. Each bowl will be decorated in such a way that it illustrates 13 levels of life: the atom, cell, organ, organism, family, community, population, habitat, biome, planet, solar system, galaxy, and universe. I plan to display the project for the 2012 ArtPrize competition.

Yes, I am working to raise money so that I can upgrade my kiln. I'm not asking anyone to give me money for nothing, though. The "from the atom up" project is something I wouldn't otherwise do-- I certainly would not have the means to do otherwise-- and hopefully I will bring value to the lives of people who support me by exhibiting the work. I'm also giving out good "rewards," and so people who support me will get an actual product. the prices on these products aren't much different than what I would charge just to have them at my table at Eastern Market.

Speaking of Eastern Market-- there are only three Tuesdays left! Unlike Saturdays, where it is hard to move, Tuesdays are very laid back. Most of the vendors sell prepared foods and baked goods. The artisans are between Sheds 2 and 3 for your pleasure. Come see me! Lucia and I will be there each of the next three upcoming Tuesdays.

I have buttons! Fifty of the sixty most fabulous buttons from this load are going to the Phat Fiber box. More details to come on that part.

I still haven't 100% sorted out how to sell buttons on my website.

it's a secret!
This is a custom work I have in process. It is a wedding bowl for some people that I love very much.

I want to make custom work for you! I can do names, dates, pictures, and all kinds of fun glazes. I do cups, mugs, bowls, plates, wine bottle chillers, jewelry bowls, yarn holder bobbin bowls, buttons, beads, magnets, and many other things. The biggest challenge I've faced yet in terms of custom work-- and the piece I am most proud of-- was a 1 gallon dutch oven. People who have custom-made pieces tend to say very nice things to me about them.

email me at for more information.

Super awesome:
Ally's yarn
I am now selling Ally's yarn. It is beautiful yarn hand-spun by a beautiful woman that I love very much.

In Summary:
1. please consider backing my Kickstarter project.
2  Eastern Market Tuesdays love you.
4. Now is a good time to place custom orders for the holiday season.
5. Ally's yarn is awesome.

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

who's got the button?

I do!

I used about fifty pounds of clay making buttons and magnets recently, and I just unloaded my kiln a couple of hours ago. I still haven't entirely figured out how to sell such unique items on my website without having to photograph and list each one individually. NONETHELESS! An upcoming beloved Phat Fiber box will be loaded with my buttons.

I decided to sort my stuff by color.

Very neat thing:
As soon as the USPS delivers it, I will be selling Ally's yarn at market and possibly also on the website. She gave me a 41 yard sample that will be a part of my sock yarn blanket. This sample was out on my table, and a yarn-store employee wanted to buy it. she said, "this is good stuff."

I agree.

Spending so much of my time making things that people will want to buy is... well, it's that: it's spending my time making things that people will want to buy. I love being able to spend my days in my studio and with my daughter. she is awesome. see exhibit A.

(exhibit A)

I would like to do more than production pottery. I want to get some more use out of those 0/5 brushes. I have a project in mind that has been brewing for quite some time. Actually, my plan was to do it for the first year of ArtPrize. Life doesn't always care for plans, does it? Over the past few years, I've been able to nurture the idea and, more importantly, improve my skills.

Because this project won't fit neatly under my 10'x10' canopy tent-- especially its price tag-- I'm looking to raise money up-front. I've submitted the basics of the project to the Kickstarter people. I will probably do the project regardless of whether I'm able to raise money through Kickstarter, but it will be all the more fabulous if I am properly funded. Importantly, I would like to upgrade my kiln. Yes, Kickastarter people, I do intend to spend some project money on a kiln upgrade.

In the meantime, I have hundreds of buttons to glaze. I have a new glaze, frit for my steel grey shino, and aftosa's black wax resist. Next week I will have two glaze firings. On Saturday, September 10, I will have more stuff than will fit on my table and it will be AWESOME.

In summary:
1. Phat Fiber is going to get Full of Delicion! very soon.
2 I'm experimenting with new layouts for my product at market.
3. The product line will soon expand to include Ally's delicious yarn.
4. I want to do a project that doesn't have to be an easy impulse-purchase.
5. Lucia is awesome.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Presumptions in Detriot

I didn’t accidentally misspell it as DetRiot. I was speaking to the particular type of lawlessness in which I take part: urban farming. I was not speaking to race wars. I did not mean it as a token of survival for those on ruin tours. And no, I did not just make a mistake. Guh.

Eastern Market is now open on Tuesdays. I’m there most weeks. Give me your cash money so I may continue my oh-so-worthwhile endeavors.

Recently, while browsing my booth, a woman explained to me that she is an artist, too. Except, unlike me, she is a real artist because she only does it when it comes to her. I love this formula: I am a real [job title] because I only [primary job function] when [I really want to].

For the sake of argument, I’ll gladly grant that the whole Eastern Market thing is me having gone crafter.

I’ve been filling the blanks with various titles and functions, and I’ve decided that the only other one who could get away with saying it is a student. A person can be a real student and only study when she feels the need.

I used to be a real taxi driver, and I picked up fairs even when I was not deeply inspired. I used to be a lender, and I reviewed loans regardless of whether I was particularly moved. Somehow, though, I am not a real artist when I get up at 4am to start my kiln.

When people say stuff like this, I am grateful for the parkinsonian delay in my response. My brain fires off a million responses but my face and mouth do nothing.

Speaking of the Parkinsonism: I’ve been capable of transporting what is in my mind out into reality fairly successfully lately. If you really want to get into it, check out some of the research on creative and emotive skills of people who have aphasia. If not, just take my word that the process from pattern to product involves a great deal of modification. I have a new AMAZING granola recipe. I am also knitting an octopus inspired by the blabla knit toys. I plan to make as many of these toys as I can and sell them for way expensive.

Bad news, though! I scratched my cornea. The experience is less awesome than traipsing about the Badlands nude. Because my vision is already so compromised, I thought I had relinquished a great deal of dependence. As it turns out, large print and text to audio do nothing when it comes to the glint of light coming through the window at the top of the staircase. The light from my husband’s computer screen was more than I could really handle.

I’ve had to take a break from pretty much everything, but I’m still on track in terms of firing.

As I’ve written before, my kiln is getting too small. It is three cubic feet. I am doing a cycle of bisque and glaze firing every four weeks. Having the product turnover is nice, but the inability to fire more than one large piece per batch is downright obnoxious. I am currently in search of a larger kiln. My husband and I are evaluating whether it would make sense to erect an outbuilding. I’m looking in to kickstarter projects.

I have a cute picture of Lucia that I will post soon. She is awesome.

In summary:
1. Starting on August 5th, you can buy magnets that have Detroit spelled correctly.
2 Detroit Eastern Market is now open on Tuesdays from 11am until 4pm.
3. This whole pretend-artist gig is a racket.
4. I make awesome granola and knit goodies.
5. I am human and have needs. One of those needs is money.

yes, I am granola

I’m sure those of you who are gluten-free have heard of Carol Fenster’s “1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes.” People seem to love this book, even though the meals themselves are often gluten-free anyway. More annoyingly, when a recipe calls for a gluten-laden ingredient, such a Worchester sauce, she blithely calls for a gluten-free version of the ingredient.

Aside from my discontent with the book in general, there are some good starting points. This granola recipe is altered enough that I wouldn’t have to give Dr. Fenster any credit at all anyway. However, like I said, her recipe was my springboard.

Dry ingredients
3 cups rolled oats (the gluten-free kind)
1 cup coconut flakes
1 cup raw sunflower hearts
1 cup cooked quinoa
¼ teaspoon salt
X cups of dried fruit, nuts, etc

Total cups of dry ingredients, T = 6 + X *

Liquid ingredients for each T/3
½ cup honey
¼ very hot water
¼ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons loose-leaf hibiscus tea (yes, I know it is not currently liquid)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 300º F. If you are slow like me, it is okay to wait until the very end to turn on the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, mix the liquid ingredients until the honey dissolves and the hibiscus begins to steep.

Pour the liquid mixture over the dry mixture and mix it into a colloid mixture. Pour the mixture of mixtures into a thin layer onto the baking sheets. This is the time when I usually turn on the oven.

Bake the mixture for 15 minutes and then stir. Repeat this until the granola is as brown as you would like it.

You can freeze or refrigerate this. I suggest freezing part so that you don’t eat it all in one sitting.

* For example, if you do not add anything further, double the liquid ingredients. If you add a cup each of almonds, dried blueberries, and tiny pretzels, triple the liquid ingredients.

Granola is one of my favorite foods. It is also one of the most treacherous in terms of allergens. Make your own and decide what should go in it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

More Faster Better

My daughter is asleep next to me. She doesn't like to sleep during the day. She wants to be a part of everything that's going on. Her swing is in my studio, and this past week she's spent a lot of time there supervising my work. On the days when she absolutely needed to be held, I worked while wearing her in a Moby wrap.
Lucia is a very good helper

A glaze fire is currently in process-- the batch that was bisque fired on Monday. Mostly the glaze-work is dip-and-pour, otherwise I never would be able to work so quickly. Both this most recent bisque and this glaze load did not fit into the kiln; each time a few pieces were left out. In this batch are six mugs, three bobbin bowls, and two regular bowls as well as a boatload of buttons and magnets.

The buttons and magnets are new additions, as are the earrings. I love the buttons, by the by. They are perfect for knitters and crocheters (as opposed to crotchetiers, spell-check) who want a unique accent. I'm trying to expand my price-range for Eastern Market; both of the former sell for $3 each or two for $5, whereas the latter sells for $5 or free with a bowl or mug. These items are not yet available on the website.

On the high end, I am more aggressively marketing custom work. I have done pieces for weddings, a graduation, and band art. The pieces can be as intricate as desired and as big as twelve inches in diameter. To start work on an order, I require a fifty percent deposit. Please contact me with the information you would like to use and I will give you a quote.

I am also changing clays. I had been using Amaco's White Stoneware #38. At the beginning of this year, the clay body was poorly mixed and significantly deflocculated. After returning an unusable batch, I gave up and used it as a base to recycle my old clay. Near the end, I was adding a great deal of borax. I decided that I may as well work with kaolin and just switch to porcelain. Porcelain was what I worked with primarily while in college.

Enter local clay arts supplier Rovin Ceramics! If you work with clay and are in southeast Michigan, check them out.

In the next few weeks, I will be making a full new set of test tiles. Also, Eastern Market's Artisan Village, which is where I sell, will move. I'm not entirely sure of details, but I do know that we will not be just outside Shed 5 while it is under construction.

In summary:
1. Newish cheapish stuff is available at Eastern Market.
2 New awesome stuff will be available next week both at the market and on-line.
3. You should place an order for custom work.
4. My kiln is getting to small to keep up with me.
5. Lucia is awesome.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


The only time I don’t like being a vendor at Eastern Market is between 4am and 6am on Saturday mornings. Artisan Village is back, and The Delicion is an enthusiastic participant. The topple popple, who oversees all work done in my studio, supervised this weekend.

I love the sign that reads, “No grumpy people.” I love watching people carry out flowers I had never seen before. I love the produce and freshly baked bread that my husband collects while wandering. I love the little old ladies dressed to the nines. I love the musicians—good and bad! I love the insanity, like when the man we call Shower Cap Guy shouts about not having enough bubble gum. I love the shiny, well-maintained old cars parading about. I love the vehicles that have plywood parts, windows made by cutting a hole in the sheet metal, wheels that don’t move or have a bit too much of a wobble, or make a sound that probably should stop once the engine has been turned off. I love observing the politics of navigating the parking lot from the outside. I also like guessing which niche of Christianity will be proselytizing for the day. Yesterday, we got Harold Camping.
Not a Bus I Would Willingly Ride

Some of the stuff I make feels a bit slutty; I’m gluing magnets to test tiles so that people can buy something inexpensive. Yep. That’s the biggest disadvantage to being a ceramist who sells at farmers markets.

I have been having issues with my clay recently. I have used Amaco’s white stoneware almost exclusively for a matter of years now. I did have a stint with Rovin’s low-grog stoneware, but it wasn’t low-enough-grog. Amaco sells this particular clay pugged and de-aired, in two 25-pound bags per box. That is, the clay is ready to use. I generally buy 100 to 150 pounds at a time quite regularly.

In January, I bought a batch that was completely deflocculated. It wasn’t clay. Working with it was like working with some kind of quicksand Jello. I hate blaming my tools, and so I was determined to make it work. So what if it won’t hold its form? So what if it doesn’t dry? HOW DOES CENTERING AND WEDGING CREATE AIR BUBBLES?!

 I took it back and exchanged it for another batch. It’s clay, but it is still lacking flocculants. In order to get the clay workable, I added old dry clay. I cut the blocks in to little pieces and let the pieces dry a bit. I wedged and wedged and wedged and mixed and wedged. I was, essentially, using this new ready-to-use clay to reclaim and extend the old clay from failed pieces. I was grumpy.

My current experiment is borax. Anhydrous borax is a flocculent, and the laundry booster might just work. The small amount of clay I’ve tried it with has oxidized quite a bit, but I’m not convinced that’s it’s a good enough reason to stop doing it.


If you know anything about the Amaco white stoneware situation, I would love to hear it.

In the meantime, I’ll see you at the market!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

In The Loupe

A website that has been a favorite for years is InterfaceLIFT. My computer desktop changes every five minutes (not an exaggeration-- it's a setting), and several of the images are from this site.

User-submitted images are posted in "The Loupe," where other users can vote for them. These images are available for voting for two weeks. If they get enough votes, they will be posted on the main site.

I currently have five images in review. Please vote for them!

Have a Cookie
Deep Firebrick Red
Frabjous Fiber

Yes, I took each of those photos. And yes, I made the cookie. It was delicious.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


"That which achieves its effect by accident is not art." Seneca
"Just stick the right formula in-- a solution for any fool." Indigo Girls

"Socrates said, 'I think, therefore I am.'" Koho

Monday, February 28, 2011

Please Work!

After the kiln trouble I've been having, I've been getting too attached to recent works. Last night, I broke these pieces for the cathartic release of gravity’s effect in action.

I was pretending that I couldn’t see the small crack in the lip.

Adding a vent was much messier than I expected.

Cutting the bottoms off pieces is a disappointingly common phenomenon.

Aren't these pieces pretty? Couldn't I have saved them? Can I possibly make others nice enough to replace them?

I'm currently five months behind on a commissioned piece. That beautiful lid was part of the project. I can blame the kiln trouble and pregnancy for part of the delay, but those wouldn't have been factors without the initial faulty math. (π * h * r^2) ≠ (π * [h * r]^2)

Below is my first attempt on the project at the correct size:

The current version:

Dramatic improvement, wouldn’t you say? and I was heartbroken that the first didn't survive the firing.

This one needs to work, though. A severe discount makes up for only so much lack of punctuality.

By the by, is anyone interested in writing a small amount of php for me for a small amount of money? Or barter?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

getting a handle on the handle thing

another use for kiln stilts


I was pregnant and didn't entirely fit behind my wheel. everything I had fired in a bisque load exploded or was otherwise ruined. my daughter was born via c-section and I had massive activity restrictions. (she was so totally worth it) I had another equally successful bisque fire. I got a pyrometer and new cones-- and it made a difference!

and then I got a batch of deflocculated clay. seriously?

so really I haven't been very serious in my studio until about a week ago.

several people have asked why I don't make mugs. we get so many promotional mugs that I generally just considered them annoying. then I made a few and people got excited.

woo mugs

so I'm making mugs now. as many as I can. hopefully I'll have some good ones for Eastern Market when I go back on April 15. you can also provide cash money in exchange for a mug via my website,

three other things:
1. you cannot add water to slip.

2 my sock yarn blanket is currently four by six feet big.

3. Lucia and Palmer are very good friends.