Friday, September 28, 2007

cake dreams

The dogwood cake plates are getting lots of play lately. They are kind of a nightmare to make because so many elements have to come together: the plate part, the stand part, the flowers part, and of course, the glaze part. I have many many dogwood cake stands that have not come out. When people ask me why they cost so much I want to tell then it’s because only about 75% of them come out perfectly. Since I can’t say that without sounding a bit grouchy, I usually keep it simple and tell people it’s a complicated piece to make. Anyway, the picture here to the left will be making and appearance in December issue of Sunset magazine, perfect timing for Christmas! ! I think this picture looks so good, I know lots of people are going to order because of it. We’re going to get cracking on making them right now so we’ll be ready.

Speaking of the Dogwood cake stands here is some eye-candy for you courtesy of Veronica from Veronica's Test Kitchen:

Friday, September 21, 2007

open studio

Today is the day when I have to pull myself away from my work and clean up the joint for my Open Studio. All you Bay Area types should hoof it on over to my place because it is going to be a major clearing out sale. Everything that isn't gone by Sunday is going to be put up on Etsy so you non-Bay Area types can score on some of my pottery too. Go to my website for details on the where and when! Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

success can be dangerous

I really like horoscopes, palm readers, tarot cards, and numerology. I know most people think these things are kooky. The homepage on my browser opens up to Aquarium Age Astrology so that everyday I can be reminded of the forces outside of myself. This helps me to focus my energy on what I believe is my higher spiritual calling—art—and not on the things that hold me back from my calling such as stress, anxiety, and my fears of what’s going to happen to me when I’m an old lady and I got no retirement fund.

I read two horoscopes a week, the other being Free Will Astrology. I often get a kick in the pants from Free Will, and I keep thinking about one I got a couple of weeks ago. I think this is actually a message for all artists:

"Success is dangerous," said Picasso. "One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility." Sorry to start your horoscope with a warning, Leo, especially given how much beautiful success you've generated recently. But the astrological omens suggest you may soon be tempted to turn your spontaneous outpourings into pat formulas. And that would be a shame. There's still a lot more fresh hot mojo brewing within you, and it'll reach its highest expression if it keeps surprising you. Trust what's fresh, uncategorizable, and at the frontiers of your understanding.

I keep thinking about this as I go about my work, because right now I’m going through a period of transition in my work and I’m feeling a bit lost. It is tempting to re-interpret old designs into something new just to keep myself busy. I’ve had several weeks now of low production, and I keep telling myself that it’s okay, and to give myself the time I need to make new work. I think every artist needs to hear Picasso’s message, and I’d love to hear from people on how they resist – or don’t resist—the temptation to copy themselves.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

the universe listens

I’m feeling slightly perkier today; the kiln problem was finally fixed without having to call in the kiln doctor for a house call, and I’m leaving for Atlanta tomorrow morning with my husband for a big all-out, no-holds-barred, over-the-top wedding. Naturally this required a new dress, which always makes me happy. And I made something new today:

I know lots of people have this same thing happen to them: When you are open to a new experience, somehow that experience is delivered to you. I had my new slabroller set up for exactly 24 hours when someone walked through the door and asked me to make a ceramic house. 6 Months ago I would have said “no”, because I don’t handbuild work. But now I can say “yes” and bam, an order for a ceramic house. It’s very strange how this works and it happens to me all the time.

By the way, Universe, if you are listening, I’m ready for another gigantic order now. Five-figures, please!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

more kiln dread

My zen-like approach has been challenged in the last couple of days as my kiln craps out on me. We changed the elements in the kiln and then the kiln was not heating up. So I changed the relays, thinking they were burned out. Nothin’. I called around for a new transformer and found one on the other side of the Bay but I wouldn’t be able to get it till the next day. Rrrrrrr. Meanwhile, work has ground to a halt and there is a shelf of bisqueware that was supposed to be glazed and shipping out this week.

Things rarely go as planned, as usual. I went to my meditation class yesterday (yes, I finally took Hector’s advice and started a meditating class) feeling very pre-Japan: angry and frustrated. I came out of class feeling… better, but definitely in need of a large glass of wine. It's so easy to be calm and centered when things are going well, so difficult when they aren't...

I just got off the phone with yet another kiln tech who has his own theories on why my kiln isn’t doing its job, and I’m about to go test it out and see if he’s right. Cross your fingers.