Busy like a noun that is also busy.

When I get really tired and am with someone I’m comfortable around I start singing back to them what they are saying or my answers. It’s one of my multitude of quirks. It’s probably one of my more annoying ones, but I figure if you’re around to hear that you’ve dealt with quirks of mine that are far more irritating and have resigned yourself to a lifetime subscription of my brand of crazy. Kudos to you.

I mention my weirdness because it shows in my work. I suppose it would be more succinct to say goofiness, but I think you get the gist. Right before I fall asleep I tend to think of new ideas for pottery designs. Last night a few of these came to mind, so I made them today….

Yarn bowl with hand-built flowers.

Sunshine bowl. I'll carve in a swirl on the bottom and glaze the rays yellow and orange.

Large serving bowl to go with my set of bowls.

Batter bowl.

Ok… I saved this one for last because you’re going to need your future-glazed imagination goggles on for it to not look completely weird/ridiculous/ugly etc.

Yarn bowl with sunglasses.

I’ve been told I should make a yarn bowl with a nose or ears on it where the yarn comes out of. I might just do it. ;-D

I’m so very excited for the Street Festival on Saturday. I love the atmosphere of it. In the afternoon I’m going to get on the wheel so if anyone wants to watch it going on they can. Most of the time it’s a pretty abstract process. I always love being on the wheel when someone comes in who has never seen it in real life since they tend to be rather tentative. I implore them to come close and feel the clay moving. It’s not about the prospect of a customer; it’s about discovery. I wonder if they will have something awaken in them to delve deeper into art.

It may seem completely contrived or corny, but my chosen career path involves teaching little ones and it has had such an impact on the utter importance of the arts for both a developing and established mind.

So maybe I like to put ears on my coffee mugs. So I like bright glaze colors and smirking lips made out of clay. Perhaps I want to giggle or think of a meadow in the morning with my bowl of cereal. If that love hadn’t been nurtured and I hadn’t been encouraged to be myself I wouldn’t be doing any of this. What a sad thought that some people never even get the chance. It can always be changed, however….and maybe that change could be through touching clay or paint at some random festival… ;-D

❤ T

Pictures

I realized I haven’t compiled all I’ve done thus far! So, for now, I’ll try to keep it up to date here with pictures. If they’ve been sold or donated they will be marked that way, otherwise they are for sale in the Gallery at 16 Main.

If you have any questions/comments/philosophical advice/interesting life stories please leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

Tisa

Steady as she goes

I never intended to sell what I make. I was just going to make it and give it away as gifts for the holidays or Birthdays. I genuinely started and continued doing this because it just felt right. Does that make sense? It’s as if I finally realized the square block goes in the square cutout.

On Saturday I was at the front desk in the Gallery and had just pulled some of my new stuff from the kiln room so that I could price them.

Don’t they all just look shiny and happy? I took pictures because I was going to go home and make proper cards for them. A student came through and claimed the gent in the center before I had it tagged! How fun. I love when I get to experience something I made going to its home.

I had actually giggled aloud because I was enjoying the fact that I could make my kind of pottery and only be encouraged and uplifted in my pursuits. The buttons are my favorite part… X-D

On to the new stuff since I’ve been busy…

Another ring holder but with a carved daisy pattern. I think I’ll glaze it as a wash so it goes into the crevices of the design, wipe it off, and then use a sheer color over it. Something delicate and girly. I think listening to Sara Bareilles while making that had a bit of an influence. 🙂

The hint of Fall has had me craving hot soups and chili. I made these little bowls to appease my desire. I can just see curling up with loved ones and having a bowl of something hot and yummy with these cuties. Or, if you’re a man, these hearty vessels of future nourishment. Good?

This was a plain vase; 9 1/2 inches tall to be precise. I was smoothing out the outside with a metal rib and had a little of the excess wet clay come off and back on to the vase. I could’ve easily taken it off, but I liked the stucco look of it so I continued. Glazing this will be fun since it’ll concentrate in some areas and stay sheer in others.

I can’t believe I get to do this.

If you’re in the Northern Alabama area you should come to the Madison Street Festival this Saturday, October 1st. The parade starts at 8:30 but you can come earlier and there will be a few HUNDRED vendors selling all sorts of crafts and goods. It’s on the street of the Gallery so we’ll be open and so very happy to talk to and meet everyone!

Tisa

Can pottery be beaten with an ugly stick?

When a new batch makes it out of the kiln without a problem it’s like Christmas. Opening the door of the giant heat monster you see these little happy objects filled with potential. I realize I’m personifying like a beast, but I grew up on Disney movies so blame them.

I had a table filled today and I glazed them all. At times it makes me feel like a mad scientist because most glazes don’t resemble the coloring that they ultimately end up as. Is the mixture right? Is Apple Green over Spring Green with Hunter Green a good combination? Will it drip or stay still? Will I wreck the shelf and have it adhere in the firing? It’s fun to open that door and see that things worked out. I’ve never had a blow, but I’ve had some ugly color mixing. Dearie I shall never mix Sunflower and Deep Firebrick together again. Epic ick.

Then you have a bowl like this. I put Pink as a base and then dripped Lavender and Hyacinth over it. The Hyacinth was supposed to be this lovely light purple color but it turned to this icky brown. I’m not happy. It’s ugly to me. I wanted to re-glaze it or use it for skeet shooting, but someone else saw it and really liked it. I always make things that I like and as a result I don’t think someone else might like something even if I don’t.

<3T

It’s a dirty, messy dirty mess!

 

I’ve been working on a commissioned piece of pottery today, and after 4 failed attempts on the wheel I’ve decided to do it differently. The piece is really pushing me to get better, but at the same time I’m a perfectionist. I left the studio today a complete mess and feeling frustrated after going through about 20 lbs of clay and only getting to about 10 inches tall instead of the 12.5 I needed. I’ll slab roll a chunk of clay and build it that way, but I’m not going to stop trying to get to 12 inches high on the wheel. I will not be bested by dirt and water!

Before the experiment in madness I finished and trimmed a lidded jar. It’s now left to dry.

The pieces I’ve donated to a silent auction to raise money for my church’s missionaries.

 

T

 

Dry clay and dry bones

I threw a few pieces a couple of days ago that I was pretty excited about. Unfortunately I was unable to get back to them while they were leather hard for trimming and all that good stuff. I came back today and found them all bone dry. There is nothing to be done with it at that point but to break it into tiny pieces and add it to a big bucket of wet clay, or ‘slip.’ It’ll all re-saturate and be of use in some time but for now I must wait.

It makes me think of the story in Ezekiel 37 of the valley of dry bones. The Spirit of the Lord brings Ezekiel out and asks him to prophesy and tell these bones that He will give them breath, put tendons on their bones, and cover them with skin. He calls them from their graves with His WORDS. This is my favorite story in the Bible. I love other parts, but the one that always pierces me is this one. Especially when I’m going through hard times. So this evening, as the sun was setting and emitting this lovely orange glow, I stood breaking something that I put a lot of time and work into in tiny bits so that they could eventually become something new.

“Son of man, can these bones live?”

“Sovereign Lord, You alone know.”

It gets me every time…

On to other creations: The things that survived.

Ring holder

Kristy and Andy Stewart of 16 Main create these beautiful rings from antique flatware and I thought it would be cool to make something to show them off in another way.

Bowls get boring

I had thrown another bowl — they are indeed my favorite thing to make for some reason — but I kept looking at it and felt like it wasn’t done. So I smushed it. I smushed it this way and that way until I liked the shape. I punched some holes in the side and now I’m going to make it into a dispenser of some kind. Maybe ribbon? Who knows.

I think that affordability in chain stores is good in ways, but it leaves you with this expectation of “perfection.” I like things a little off. Yes, I could make another seemingly perfect bowl or cup and try my hardest to remove all signs of my touch but where is the heart in that? I don’t want it to look sloppy, but I like seeing the work reflected in it. I like seeing the brushstrokes in paintings, etc.

I like to see the human in the handmade.

-T

Use, reuse, reuse, and reuse some more

Mess up once shame on me. Mess up twice shame on me. Mess up three times and…well, shame on you for walking in on me while I’m having a clay-induced hissy fit.

 

I love how forgiving clay is before it has been fired. It doesn’t matter if I wreck it on the wheel or wreck it after it’s dried, it can still be reconstituted before the first fire. I spent the day at my favorite place: 16 Main Gallery. I had some wheel time and made some things that turned out well and some things that turned out like…this.

It’s a little more abstract than I prefer, so I rounded the mound of undisciplined mud and put it back in the bag for another time and battle.

I sold another piece today to a lovely woman. I was at the desk when she placed it there and asked me to hold it while she looked around. I wanted to do a happy dance right then because it was MINE!! I refrained… because I’m just super-awesomely cool like that. As I checked her out she asked if I knew the artist and I shyly replied, ‘I made it.’ Her face lit up! She said she usually never gets to meet the artists and that she really liked my stuff. It’s so fun to get to see that. It made me feel impossibly good and encouraged.

I’ve started a chess set, a butter keeper, 2 yarn bowls, and an object of uncertainty. Pictures will come soon. I’m trying to be a blogger!

❤ T

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