Monday, December 29, 2008

Bittersweet December

Between the holidays and a tragedy in my circle of friends, I haven't been able to pay much attention to the creative side of my life lately. However, I can happily report a very healthy holiday season of sales, which kept me busy and flattered with each sale. I have a few new items to list that I hope to get up this evening, featuring a few new coaster designs and a few other things I have made over the last few weeks.
I can also report that the shelves are DONE. They aren't in "display" condition yet, but part of that is due to the next impending project - tearing the carpet out of the studio and laying down (guess!) slate tiles. This will not only serve as inspiration for me, but will get me one step closer to putting a pottery wheel in the studio. Clay+carpet=coughing dusty mess. As a move towards embracing my "life is short, don't wait until it is perfect" aspiration, I will post pictures of the shelves and studio - home decor magazines may not be calling as a result, but you will at least get to see how very cool (and full!) the room is.
The top, leftmost shelves in the room.
The middle shelves on the left side of the room.

The shelves on the right side of the room. Note all the shipping supplies for orders, and above that shelf, my mom's photo portrait of my dad from before I was born.

A few projects in progress:

These are four shutters I was able to salvage from an historic house in Maryland. If I hadn't rescued them, they were going to a landfill. They have been a bit of a pain, between transporting them home to Virginia, worrying about the lead paint, moving them to a new house, and storing them (I have numerous shutters that are not pictured, as well as a number of windows), but I do think it's been worth it. The sage green ones here will probably turn into a hinged screen for the studio. I figure I can hang things on the slats, etc. As I am able, I plan to clean up the rest of them, and make more home accents from them. I might mosaic glass on some of the windows... way too many possibilities.

These are some mosaic items patiently awaiting grout. A beachy sea glass and starfish panel, lightswitch covers, and a cabinet door.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

When Inspiration Strikes

The other day as I set about packaging a set of coasters, it occured to me that they could be improved. I didn't like the way the bottoms looked; they were a bit too plain. Certainly not up to par with the really cool coppery topsides.
I sent a message to the purchaser and she kindly indulged my request to decoupage something on the bottom. These are pieces of pages from a 1960 Readers Digest Condensed (it was already beyond help before I started using the pages).
Much better.
I hope the gift recipient enjoys them as much as I did making them. I think I'll be trying similar themes in the future.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Establishing a Baseline

I thought I would post some pictures of the very first pots I made, so that when I post pictures of the newer pottery creations, readers will have some idea of how far I have come. This is the first pot I ever made. Not to throw her under the bus, but my teacher at Manassas Clay dropped it, which made an already crummy pot worse. I mention it only so that folks don't think I was that bad at first... I glazed it Weathered Bronze.

This is the second pot I made, photographed before I glazed it but after it had been bisque fired. I glazed it Black Lapis, and it now holds paperclips on my desk at work. I think it looks like an inkpot. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had food poisoning while I was throwing it. I worried for a week that I had some allergy to clay or glaze, but luckily it was a one-time sickness...

This is how I sign my pots.

Finally, here is the first group of little crummy pots that I got to take home, minus the inkpot which went straight to work.

Soon I'll post pictures of some of my progress.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cork Feet

Getting ready for the next round of stone coasters and trivets...

Silver Leaf and Shelving

One of the most popular items in my Etsy shop has been the copper leaf slate coasters (and trivets). I'm pleased that it's one of my ideas that actually worked as well as I could have hoped, and other people seem to agree. I have silver leaf as well, and I finally am able to begin making silver leaf items (with new designs, too!), just in time for the holidays. Those will be among the next new listings I make, in addition to plain slate to replace those I've sold recently.
Joining the Interior Design Team has also inspired me to think bigger. I have some ideas percolating...
In other news, we're making progress on the shelves in my studio. There are two built-in shelving units from floor to ceiling on either side of the studio. There are eight squares per unit, giving me sixteen glorious shelves for storage and display. We built them ourselves, and again, I'm pleased that it's an idea that worked out. I designed them down to the routing measurements, and I am happy to report they're quite sturdy. They match the theme of my project table, and once I have things cleared out enough for the room to be photogenic, I'll take more pictures. The walls are Benjamin Moore's Saybrook Sage, and the shelves will be a semi-gloss black. The project table is also black with square shelves on either side. My theme for the studio is black and white - and the fruits of my labor will provide the color for the space.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Thanks for stopping by my blog! I started this blog to not only show the products that I sell on, but to give insights into the thought and process that goes into those items. I also want to highlight other Etsy shops that have caught my eye, since I have so much fun digging into the creative treasures on Etsy. The kinds of posts I plan to make will provide glimpses into my work, progress I am making on my studio and pottery skills, and sharing the best of the other shops I run across. I recently joined an Etsy team, the Interior Design Team. I'm still figuring out how to participate fully in the team, but the shops and seller associated with the team are all really great. I welcome comments, suggestions, and inquiries.