Slumbering 13

Good morning from a partially sleep-deprived, crazy, glowing & giggly… and still-silly-slumber party, for a freshly-minted 13 year old. That’s how we roll… time well spent with the ones who mean the most. And how lucky am I to have each of their moms as dear and amazing friends. Love you all….. ❤

So let’s just dive in to some pottery while I munch on cold, leftover pizza from last night… and listening to a little Sinatra… sigh…

I’m so excited!!!!!

First I’d like to share some awesome news! Our first pottery is officially on display at the Corrine Drive Counseling Center in the Audobon Park district here in Orlando. Sending a huge THANK YOU to Joe for inviting us to share our artwork.

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Pele the kiln is running a bisque fire as we speak. I’ve got a few test tiles in there with some new clay I’m trying, as well as a number of mugs in the Laguna bmix I use the most. Looking forward to finishing off a couple custom orders and getting them delivered this week, hopefully. Cross your fingers… no really… cross them!

Onward.. and upwards…

We’re researching and planning for what we’ll need to set up a booth so we can start getting ready to apply for shows later this year. We are hoping to do a little open house closer to the summer when we have our booth designed and prepped… there might even be a few things available for sale. We will keep you posted.

In the meantime, thank you for hanging with us on our artventure! Your support and motivation is just amazing! ❤

m

 

Glazed New Gratitudes

Happy New Year everyone!

The last few months have been extraordinarily crazy on our side of town, but good nonetheless. I’m super grateful and appreciative of everyone, that’s ALL OF YOU GUYS… for being by our side and being super and amazingly supportive while we set the course to pursue the path of our #artventure.

Yup, that was a hashtag… I’ve been using that a lot as we navigate the art/business world. Feel free to use it when tagging photos from our studio. 🙂

Something I work on with the kiddos, particularly the oldest, is what I call Gratitude Attitude. It’s got a snazzy little ring to it and when I combine them, it becomes #gratitudes. It’s important to be thankful for something everyday, even if it’s the fact that traffic was good on the way home or you didn’t have a substitute teacher in your favorite class. Gratitudes can encompass big, huge items to the very littlest of things. The things that may only be important to the gratitude giver. Either way, it’s important.

I have a few gratitudes I’d like to share for the beginning of this glazy, new year.

  • Best life partner, like, freaking, ever…. the cream to my coffee and the yin to my yang… he gets me.
  • Family & friends ….. Friends & family
    Have you ever noticed how the lines of family and friends are so blurred you can’t really tell the difference? Yeah… that..
  • The motivation and support that comes from the previous lines.
  • My job-job that allows me to be flexible to be where I need to be, when I need to be.
  • The ability to create art-like things… and use my imagination on a daily basis… and let’s not forget clay splatters across the walls and smears of clay in my hair!
  • Sunshine, beach time & sand in my shoes

These are the things that came to my mind first, and yet there are so many more, but I think that’s a good start for now.

Oh and the glazed part? Everyone feels a little “glazed over” after the rush and craziness of the holidays. I might have also been testing new glazes in the studio as of late…

This year of 2018 is going to be amazing. Exhilarating. Exciting. Stupendous. Bombdiggity. ( I could keep going here…)

Many blessings to you and yours.

❤ M

 

Express Yourself

Hey, hey, hey, heeeeyyyy….. WAIT! It’s true, I’ve been listening to a lot of Madonna lately. Moving on…. lol

Self-expression is vitally important to our daily existence. It’s who we are; what we do and how we interact with others. Self-expression is a statement of our existence, one that’s not finite, but one that is fluid and ever-changing.

The past few weeks have presented some personal challenges that I have been pondering on. I have been trying to find ways to combat that awful “feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when something is bothering you” ick to go away. Sometimes, while waiting to work through such things, you find catharsis in the things of everyday life. Right now, my catharsis has been words. I love words and I love vocabulary. Poetry is one of my favorite things to write. I love creating big, jumbled lines of words, in no particular order, just to see what they show me once their written.

But wait….

Art is self-expression… hey. I’m one of those artist types, right?

This is how I got here…
I am currently working on a custom order for an urn. The client had asked about the possibility of adding words to the piece. So after some sketches and client/artist talks, I came up with a recessed lid that will hold small, ceramic medallions. All of which will have the various names of the individual who passed, as well as a series of terms of endearment.

Expression… words… the words with which we refer to our loved ones… and then this all turned into words of empowerment and the words I like to hear and say and read out loud, because they become more powerful when spoken. And when spoken with a purpose, well, there’s your self-expression. Or my self-expression.

So I took this little experiment to Facebook by asking my group of ‘everyone’ what their favorite word was. Wow! What an amazing response.

Where does the art part come in you ask? The pictures below will tell the rest of the tale.

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend! Don’t forget to check out the Etsy store!

xo Melanie ❤

 

PS .. totally guilty on the Instagram filters here…. and get out there and expres YOURself. 🙂

 

Have Clay, Will Throw

That’s right! I’ve got clay to throw… and we are!

Hello all!

I hope this note finds everyone well. We will be getting ready to launch a limited selection of pieces on our Etsy store in the next week or so.

In the meantime, we’ve created a campaign on bonfire.com to add some snazzy new t-shirts to YOUR wardrobe. We need to sell at least 11 shirts to get them printed. For each shirt, the studio will get a little money back to put towards our continued growth.

Each shirt is $15 and with shipping it will come to $19.97.

https://www.bonfire.com/welcome/1a35234c0d144/

haveclay

So, if you would please, take a minute and check it out.

Thank you again for following along! Stay tuned for the officially official Etsy Shop debut!

 

Like Christmas Morning

Do you remember when you were a child, how excited you were to wake up on Christmas morning so you could rush out of your room to see what Santa left under the tree? Or maybe you ran to the living room with your stocking in hand so you could dump out all of the contents to see what was there?

That’s like me when I can open my kiln after a glaze firing. Really… it’s like freakin’ Christmas when I was 8 years old. You see, Michael’s alarm went off at 5:45. I opened my eyes and thee was like this jolt of energy in my brain. I said “I’m going to check the kiln”. I then sat up and went to the garage. I could hear Barbra Streisand saying “Hello gorgeous” as I slowly opened the lid.

Like totally rad, dude.

There will be pictures to be posted and commentaries are yet to be made, but this was a good fire. Thank you Pele!

*Side note… kitchen lighting at 6 AM is terrible for taking pictures. It doesn’t do the pieces justice. There will be better pictures later today, after a few cups of coffee and one kiddo is dropped off at school.*

Love & hugs people! ❤

Creativity

So, I’m not a production potter. Every piece of clay I throw has its own potential, from start to finish, all processes of which are from my creative brain. Therefore, every item I make is unique unto itself. The pieces are made in the moment.

I make things out of clay because it brings me joy with a healthy dose of accomplishment. Mostly. There are those moments of frustration or challenge as I work through my self-imposed hurdles. There is great satisfaction in being able to take a chunk of clay and turning it into a functional work of art, all glazed and fired (food, microwave and dishwasher safe, might I add). But, there’s even more than that, it is an amazing feeling for someone to pick up something that you made, blood, sweat and tears (literally), and that person says, “I love this”.

I realized my clay mission last year after visiting a local art & craft show. I think it’s pretty simple. I want my future clients to:

  1. Love the item they find from my stash of wares.
  2. Use the item. It’s art and functional, people!
  3. Look at the price and say ‘I can so totally afford this’.

Lofty goals for an artist? Perhaps… but I am up for the challenge. I want the pieces I make to bring joy to someone, whether it’s the purchaser or the receiver.

I’m working with some new stoneware clay that we picked up from Stone Mountain Clay. It’s called Speckled Owl, appropriately. It has a lot more sand than I’ve been used to, and my hands are showing their wear.

The clay and glaze testing will continue in the coming weeks.

More soon!

xo
mel 🙂

 

 

Coffee with a side of WordPress…

…another side of Sunday morning paper and ads, kid drama and more coffee…  lol

A good Sunday morning to you!

We unloaded our first mid-fire glaze batch earlier this week, and I have to say I’m quite tickled with the results. We tested 3 glazes, a matte white, a satin black and a floating blue, the later of the two were both from John Britt’s book, The Complete Guide to Mid-Range Glazes. The white glaze recipe I had picked up somewhere online, but it was a little too matte for our needs. I need to find a solid satin white. We were trying different techniques and ideas anywhere from single to multiple dips and everything in between. But then, there were the…

CAULDRONS

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a certain level of love for Halloween and everything about it. (Ok.. moderately obsessed…)

And a black cat…

In the meantime, we did a weekend trip to Virginia to stay with my sister-in-law. On the way, we made a pit stop at Stone Mountain Clay company in Georgia to pick up a few stoneware clays to try. The idea to order clay from here stemmed from looking for a black clay body that had low toxicity. Their Black Raven fit the bill and I can’t wait to start using it!

With the variety of items we’ve been testing, the question of ‘what’s for sale’ has been coming up more recently. Unfortunately, we are not quite ready for sales of items and I wish we were! I am still testing glazes and the clay bodies while working about 30 hours a week at the job-job and being a mom and a partner to the best guy ever. ❤

That being said… I am hoping to have a few items available to sell by the end of October.

Thank you for hanging out! Here’s a few pics of our other fun glazed items…

 

xo
Melanie

Ready, Aim, Medium Fire!

Hello friends! I am hoping this publication finds you well this steamy, summer night. For any of you following along on our Facebook page, you may have noticed the post regarding our transition to mid-fire clays and glazes, and what the heck does that mean anyway?

Well.. let me share some info with you.

I’d learned all about high fire clays while studying pottery UCF, and that was what I was used to using. It was familiar. While researching the feasibility to have a studio in the garage, mid-fire kept coming up in the topics, but not having used it, I started with what I knew. We made things and tested glazes based on high fire methods, but in an electric kiln. We completed 3 rounds of glaze testing and our results were pretty good, but we weren’t quite where I wanted to be.

After reading some more and researching more we made the decision to transition for a couple reasons.

  1. Affordability – Cone 10 is typically the most expensive to fire, as the kiln needs to reach about 2350º for a glazed batch. Cone 6 tops out at about 2190º. You may say that that’s only about 200º difference, but it can be quite an impact. It’s all about the amount of time the kiln needs to reach that maximum temperature. Lower temperature, means less time. It’ll save us a few bucks in the long run and every little bit helps!
  2. Color – Many colors don’t make it to the high fire range, as their compounds simply can’t take the heat and burn out, leaving mottled streaks and messy spots on vessels that you want to look *good*. Switching to mid-fire products will allow us to use color and not worry about losing any of it during the firing process.
  3. Did I mention COLOR ?!?!!! I love working with colors and mixing colors to see what I get when I paint. I want to be able to create works with colors that put smiles on the faces of the patrons eyeing our stuff.

We decided to go ahead and transition before we became incredibly attached to the glazes we were working at testing. Today was the first day I threw with a new clay body I picked up from Axner. It’s a stoneware blend and OMG.. does it throw amazingly! And it is so forgiving as you work with it. I’m looking forward to making a few of our little sculptural animals with it as well. The description on the order page says it ‘throws like a dream’. They weren’t lying!

Over the next few weeks between school starting and our job-jobs, we’ll be continuing our tests. I’m going to loosely say that we’re hoping to have some items for sale between the end of October and Thanksgiving.

That’s the plan. I’m crossing my fingers. Cross yours too!

As always, thanks for keeping up with us!

Glazed & Shiny

Good morning friends!

Much has been happening in our studio these last couple of weeks. The first glaze fire happened on July 3rd and we’re super stoked at the results thus far. I took a bit of an unconventional approach, as each piece I’ve made is becoming a test for glazes.

This has allowed me to continue honing my skills and make a variety of items as I go. I’m not trained as a production potter, so each piece I make is different and unique.

The next glaze fire is scheduled for this upcoming Saturday, July 15th. We will be testing two additional glazes including a black and what I’m hoping turns into a speckled yellow. If the tests are successful, that will give us a palette of blues, greens, and yellows as well as black and white. Tests will happen from time to time, but I’m looking forward to having a simple yet vibrant variety of colors to choose from.

I am off to make handles now! After spending the better of 8 hours at the job-job yesterday, I came home and spent almost 6 hours in the studio in the afternoon/evening. I’ve got 15 items awaiting their handles so that they may become an eclectic mix of drinking vessels.

Until next time…

Melanie 🙂

Time

Time is a funny thing. We work so hard to spend time with loved ones, yet it feels fleeting when times are good. Time seems to move slower when we are anticipating something or if we just want something to finish so that we can take the next step forward. Some days, there isn’t enough time. Other days, we have way too much time on our hands.

Time makes us choose between the things we want to do and have to do. One of my favorite phrases I’ve picked up is ‘trading time for money’, and that’s certainly how my day job can feel more often than not. It’s these moments that we have to remind ourselves that there IS a bigger picture and that these lateral steps we sometimes have to take will still keep us on the same path and going in the ‘right’ direction.

Lots of things have been going on in our lives lately, most of which have taken a small toll on our focus in creating our studio space.

But it’s all good.

We are constantly working for the greater good, and that my friends, is our kids; our family. Although we sometimes struggle through the mundane of the Monday through Friday, we haven’t forgotten our goals. We haven’t lost sight of the dream and the next steps we are planning to take.

The words of a specific song have been resonating with me for the last week or so.

I won’t give up, no I won’t give in… Til I reach the end and then I’ll start again…
(Written by Sia and Stargate, recorded by Shakira, from the movie Zootopia)

It’s been on auto-replay on Spotify lately… just sayin’ …

Sometimes we need a reminder or some form of encouragement to keep the motivation going. These words have stuck with me, but not only for me, for our kids. This helps me remember to keep trying. Keep working hard and moving forward, because I can do this huge task that I’ve put in front of me, or the huge task we’ve put in front of us. It’s so important for our kiddos to see the effort it takes to get to a goal. They need to see the hard work it takes for dreams to come to life, and see us making it happen so that they know they can do it too.

It’s a family thing. It’s a team thing. It’s an OHANA thing.

I have to say how much I appreciate those of you that are keeping up with our studio. We’re getting there… really!!!

We pick up the kiln on Friday!

xoxo
melanie