Too early for swimming

Just a quick post to share this photo with you.  On a somewhat gloomy Saturday morning I took this pot to the park to take some photos — hoping for something more interesting than typical studio shots.  I ended up wading into the Willamette, freezing my toes for just the right shot.  I love this one.  It may not show every detail of the pot, but it really captures its spirit better than any perfectly-lit and back-dropped photo ever could.

Here’s another that made me happy:


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February is my favorite month.  In Oregon, it’s the beginning of early Spring.  Trees start to bloom, crocus and daffodils start poking up.  We usually get a week or so of beautiful, sunny weather.

Winters are hard here. Not physically — it rarely snows and only occasionally gets below freezing — but emotionally.  Between the clouds and the short days, we sometimes go weeks without seeing the sun.  In December and January, I leave the house in the dark, leave work in the dark, and often it’s too drizzly out to bother leaving the office at noon.   It starts to feel like winter will never end.

Then February arrives, and we get a week of glorious sunshine! People lace up their hiking boots and jump on their bikes. We brave the muddy forest trails and the cold that makes my nose run like a fountain. We take pictures of blooming things and post them to our facebook pages and blogs.

February is the real beginning of the year.  It’s time to start coming back to life. Time for spring cleaning and starting new projects.  Time for inspiration and list-making and big ideas that may or may not ever see the light of day.

Then March comes, with more rain, and it feels like January all over again, except that the days are a little longer and the rain a little less cold.


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Done! (for now)

I wrote this weeks ago and just realized that I never posted it.  Here you go, slightly out of date:

Done with the holiday sales season.  As you know, I spent yesterday at Crafty Underdog.  Sales were not great — less than my studio sale the previous weekend, which makes me wonder why I bothered packing and hauling all that stuff around.  But I met some nice people, especially my booth neighbors (Tara and Lyle).

Two years ago, I wrote a post On Selling.  Re-reading it now, my feelings haven’t changed, but I have more insight into what it takes to sell, what I ought to do and what I’m willing to do to make it happen.

I did two sales this winter, and currently have work in two stores.  I haven’t talked to Pistils since I dropped off my pots two weeks ago, but Lisa (Oko) consistently sells my hand built work — rocket planters and pots with feet.

She occasionally sells a cup or a teapot.  Sake sets never, ever sell.  She doesn’t sell them, I don’t sell them.  I love making them and I love the way they come out of the anagama (I fire them in place so each piece leaves shadows on the others and the fit together just-so).  People always admire them but never buy them.  They ask what they’re for, and I tell them sake, whiskey, anything you drink in small cups.  But who takes the time to pour their beverage into a new bottle before serving?

So…in 2012 I need to make some decisions and take action based on those decisions.  I can focus on making pots that will sell in the market I am currently serving (hand-built planters and footed things), or I can find a market for things that I really like to make (sake tasting rooms? tea shops?).  I’ve fallen into my current market with little effort, so actively pursuing other avenues for sales is scary and will take work. But if I want to move forward, I think it’s what must be done.

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Holiday Events

Please visit my new studio in St Johns this Saturday, 10-6pm. Many artists and vendors in Cathedral Park Place will have their studios open, and it’s a great opportunity to wander around a cool and weird old building. Or, if you prefer beer and live music with your art, come by the Mission theater the following weekend for Crafty Underdog.  Click the posters below to expand.

Cathedral Park Place Open Studios
6635 N. Baltimore
Saturday, December 3, 10am-6pm
Over the bridge, left at the light (Ivanhoe), left at the next light (Baltimore) and almost to the river. My studio is through the front doors, through the next set of doors, down a few steps and to the left.

Crafty Underdog
McMenamins Mission Theatre
Sunday, December 11, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Oko Gallery/Thurman Street Studios
2774 NW Thurman.
I’ve moved out of Thurman Street Studios, but Lisa is still carrying my work in the gallery. Thurman St will have it’s big open studios event the weekend of the 10th-11th. I won’t be there, but there are many great artists who will have their studios open.

Pistils Nursery
3811 N. Mississippi Avenue
Pistils will be carrying some planted pieces starting this week!

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Done and making pots

Finally, the studio is mostly done and I’ve spent about 5 hours actually making work.  Here are a couple more pictures.  Note the absence of giant piles of stuff.  Also, the pegboard (I love pegboard) and the brilliant solution to my “I could use another table and where do I put this cart” problem.  The top is removable.


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