Whoops - missed my mark! I wanted to do my "Friday Favorites"! Would anyone be offended if I gave it to you today? I know it is Sunday - better late, than never! It has been a long week - a very fast review of it....
My son totalled his truck and walked away with a few scratches (thank you, God!), and we had to replace our refridgerator (which means I had to clean out all the spoiled goop). Let's just say, not a week I want to remember! There, now onward to my better side of my week!
Friday Favorite! Podcasts! Do you listen? I have a few favorites, but the one I am now addicted to is, "The Potters Cast" with Paul Blais. I am late to the Podcast movement - my husband has been begging me for several years to listen to some. He listens to some each day on his drive to and from work (80 miles round trip!). I finally decided to see what all the hub bub was all about, and boy I am glad I did! There is sooo much out there! You can find about anything you want to listen to! I started with my interests ( Pottery being my favoite now!). There are actually several pottery ones out there, but Paul Blais' The Potters Cast is the one I really enjoy!
This podcast covers everything "pottery" from techniques, business practices, marketing, as well as Potters! Potters like you and me! I think that is what has me hooked - listening to the interviews of potters who may have started out like me and learning about the paths they took, the successes they have had as well as lessons learned. I really take away so much information listening to his interviews - sometimes I feel like I am almost easedropping on a private fun conversation! I listen to hime as I work in my studio and driving to Johnston to our new co-op! I am putting all that I have learned to work creating our co-op with 4 other of the best people I know - talented beyond belief! I am so lucky in this life to have crossed paths with these folks. Maybe one day, we will be able to tell Paul about our success in our new studio!
Give him a listen! You will enjoy it! I promise!
Do you belong to a Pottery Community? I can tell you, it is the best part of what I do as a potter! Often times, working alone at home is so isolating. Being a part of a large Pottery Community has been a life saver for me! Being able to gather and share what you are doing with other like minded folks, feeds my soul!
Recently, I have taken a leap of faith with several other potters to create a Co-Op. When news broke that our local pottery studio was closing, we gathered over a meal (by the way, potters are the best cooks - more on this subject another time!), and decided that we would join together in a partnership and our Co-Op was born! We are calling it The Ridge Clay Arts!
As you may already know, our new place is located in Johnston, SC (within the historic pottery community of Edgefield County, SC!) - 402 Calhoun Street. Our new space needed some "tweaking", and we hired a young man named Dustin Powell (jack of all trades!) to handle our carpentry needs. He has whipped this place into shape in a matter of a week! He is amazing! You will be able to see all of his hard work when you come to visit the studio! I highly recommend his services if you are in need of any home maintenance! I understand he also does yard work - I know I can come up with a looong list of things at my house to keep him busy......get in line! This fella is going to be busy! Just in case you need his services, his number is 803-508-1795. Here are some pictures of Dustin at work removing some walls to open up our gallery and studio spaces!
More about our awesome community! We are like a large extended family where you can get advice (whether you ask for it or not, someone always has an opinion!). We all have our strengths - some of us are experts in glazes and knowing the chemistry, some of us are Sculptors, some of us are Masters of the wheel throwing process - we all bring something to the table that we all can draw from. We also have a guild - The Edgefield Area Clay Guild. Our members come from as far as Aiken, Augusta, Ninety Six, Saluda, Greenwood and even Columbia! We meet once a month for Pot Luck, social time and the planning of our annual event, the Heritage Trail Pottery Tour and Sale (which will be held the first weekend of may this year!). Here is a great picture of our guild during our annual Christmas Ornament Exhange Party (all of the ornaments are made by our members and we play the crazy gift exchange each year - so much fun!).
Well, time for something new (new to me - all of the blog thing is new to me!). Each Friday I am going to feature my "Friday Favorites"! I have so many clay favorites - as a "hoarder of all things clay oriented", I thought I would share! I welcome your comments on your favoites as well! This week, during the coldest weeks here in the US, I am going to tell you about one of my favorite products for potters! It is something that I discovered last winter when looking up how to care for my cracked, dry fingers due to the cold and sticking my hands into CLAY on a daily basis! I found Potter's Skin Butter made by a local potter out of North Carolina! This lotion is incredible - you apply it before you work in clay to protect your hands and apply it again after washing your hands! I even use it on elbows, knees, and my feet....this stuff is "the BALM" (puns - cannot help myself). If you are dealing with chapped, cracked hands this season, give it a try! Here is her website (and you can now buy it at most any pottery supply store now -fyi!):
Yesterday, I stepped into my studio space - what a disaster! I had left it a mess before and during the holidays - we were also doing all of the moving out of the big studio because of the closing as well, so things kinda got out of control in my little space here at home (does not take much!).
I took some pictures so you can see my mess. Embarrassing, but hey, I am owning up to the mess - do not judge! I always start with a list that I can check off (notice the very last thing is cleaning.....turns out, it should have been number one on my list!).
So, yes, that is my work space and the last (eh-hem), is my desk......you are judging! It is okay, though, looking back, I am sure I could have almost been on an episode of "Hoarders-for-small-spaces" (whew!).
Now, I cleaned, organized and even weighed out 8 1 1/2 pound balls of clay (Highwater Speckled Brownstone - my favorite!), and wedged them all up! I sat down at my wheel and attempted to throw my first mug. Turns out, my wheel decided to act "wonky" - sounded like a car driving with a flat tire. Not a happy potter! Well, long story short, I decided to hop on my other trusty 30 year old Brent C ( my "wonky" acting wheel is also a Brent C, but only 10!). I am saving the "wonky" mess for my sweet hubby, Rob to help me with.
Just like riding a bike, I threw 6 out of the 8 balls into mugs as well as one 4 pounder into a bowl (my first bowl collapsed!). It felt great! I haven't thrown in months....a better part of a year, actually! I think I will attempt a few more!
Oh! Below are my "after pictures" of my cleaning....and a happy me!
Well, so much has happened since I last posted.....where to begin! The studio I managed in Edgefield, SC closed at the end of December. Onward and upward! Several of the potters I worked with there and myself have formed a Co-Op! We are on a "pottery adventure" in Johnston, SC (which, I might add, is still in Edgefield County!).
Pictured above is our new Co-Op space - a great location for us all! Here we plan on selling our pots (which I will still sell here in my online shop!), teaching a few classes for adults and children, and as a co-op, will offer a space and memberships for local potters to work.
Hey, hey! What's happening clay community? I am new to the blog community - bare with me while I get my feet "wet"!
A little bit about myself... I am a potter, wife and mother of 4 (not counting all of the fur babies on the farm!). For the last 3 years, I have managed a pottery studio in Edgefield, SC. Just this last week, we got news from the owners that we would be closing. I have been so sad over this information! I have decided, though, that I am just going to think positively about this! We have built such a wonderful clay community in Edgefield and we will just take that with us where ever we end up!
We are currently looking for a studio to "plant" ourselves in Edgefield. Until then, I am working out of my home studio space - my clay "closet" - an 8 ft x 12 ft closet space located on the side of my screened porch. Hey, you use what you got! I am currently working towards my upcoming show this December 9th in Columbia, SC...Crafty Feast! So, until then, I will not open my online store - saving inventory for that fun event! Check out their site for more information - so many talented artists in one place for one day! www.craftyfeast.com