Funny things happen

Many times (more often than we wish) odd surprises occur during a firing.

Sometimes a test glaze comes out really great, sometimes a test glaze that expect to be great turns out horrid.

Sometimes a test glaze comes out great, but the record keeping has much to be desired, so one really doesnt know how to recreate that wicked cool glaze.

Sometimes bad things happen, but in the name of jinx, I wont say a word.

Sometimes equipment gets old and you know it needs replacing but its going to cost money or you havent just sat down and ordered what you need – in time.

Recently I would walk by my box of kiln stilts (little three legged supports for pots that have glaze on the bottom), and I would say, hmmmmm, they are looking pretty lousy, I really should order more… Stilts tend to weaken over time, due to the heat of the kiln and weight of the pots.


stilt malfunction

We now have a birdfeeder duplex!  Stuck together until the end of time, OR a hammer gets close enough.  🙂

Its okay, stuff like this happens, and I am greatful for how infrequent.

I ordered more stilts yesterday!


Input from other artists

As most already know, garden totems are a successful piece of art I make.  The customers love them. I love making them.  Each bead is a small piece of art in itself.

Ceramic beads
Ceramic beads
Top view of a totem.
Top view of a totem.


Some folks have mentioned that some of the beads look a bit like sea urchins.  After hearing that a number of times, I decided to do something about it.  I cleaned up the studio in order to switch over to porcelain and I got to work.  I made only a few of these but they do look great.  I think I may be on to something.   But what to do with them….more totems, or the wall.  Stack a few together?  I asked my facebook followers for ideas.  I got some wonderful input.  Yup, totems, shadow boxes for wall mounting, place a grouping on a wall-free of frames…..I cant wait to hear your opinions.  Stay tuned for more photos as things progress.

small urchins-grouping of 3.stacking Urchins for the wall

If you have any ideas, I would love to hear about them.  As things progress over the next few weeks, I will keep you posted.  I will also focus on trying to figure out how to make this blog look a bit better. 



Its far to warm in the studio today for me to work, so I decided to work on my website in my air conditioned house.  Life has changed a lot since I was a kid….air conditioning?!  Fans and hanging out in the basement were the way to stay cool….unless you knew someone with a swimming pool.  I am fortunate to be where I am today.

This also got me thinking about how things have changed since I started working in clay.  I did not have a computer.  I had to go to the library – a good one, or purchase books and magazines to stay connected with the clay world.  Classes and being with potters was the best way to stay in touch.   One had to learn how to photograph their own work with film or this new very expensive gadget, a digital camera.  Today, I have a computer, I have my own website I control (poorly), an email address, a blog, a facebook page, and now I find myself lost in the time sucking world of Pinterest, Google +, Linked In, and oh, did I mention facebook….yikes.  My photography skills are still poor.  Our daughter that  went to school for photography still shakes her head at my efforts.  So….I purchased a smart phone!  Yup, its the greatest toy I have ever purchased for myself.  Great photos and staying connected while on the go.  I am eyeing those really cool tablets too….

My work has evolved and changed as much as technology.  Words of encouragement and overwhelming  inspiration and ideas have taken me from one form of pot making to another.  First I started out making traditional cups and bowls, while trying to find a direction to go in.  I dont think I have any photos on my computer of my earliest work…which is probably a good thing.    As my work improved I had a huge goal, to be come good enough for the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.  It was very important to me to find my voice, create artistic work that would be accepted by the jury.  Here are a few photos of what  I offered the jury and through many reviews, was accepted into the League.

I still make some of this work, but not as often as I used to.  I do the sgrafitto as a means of relaxing, I really look forward to it.  The ugly part about being a craftsperson is the selling.  As stock builds up, one tends to feel they need to sell their work in order to move on to make more and different work.  This happenes to me as well, so I had to learn some small business practices.  Speaking to gallery owners and applying to shows has become part of the norm…its kind of fun, in a scarey sort of way.  Over time, I found that I wasnt selling as well as I wished, so it was time to start thinking of a new direction to go in.  I love gardening and plant growth, I love the beach, the sand, the whole thing….I am starting to love glass, glass beads and other pretty things…..One day while lost in ciberspace, I came across a totem created by a potter, made of clay birds and other shapes.  It made sense to me.  I love the idea.  I started dreaming and drawing and came up with something that just took all my favorites and put them together, creating my garden totems of large beads, with texture reminding me of the ocean and seashells, and plants.

The totems make a great partner with the Castles I have made over the years, as well as bird feeders, toad houses and other outdoor items I am creating this year.













Happy New Year.

Happy New Year!   Great ideas are brewing in my studio.  I thought it would be
fun to look back at some of the events and creations of 2012 as we look forward
to a new year of great ideas and a lot of art in our lives.

toad house that live at Betsy's house

The photo at
the top of this post is that of one of my Toad Houses that found its new home
in the garden of a friend of mine in Nashua NH..
I just love the spoon placed
nearby adding even more fun to the space.


MVA show-12 Paula-a

Here is a photo of how my booth appeared at the Merrimack Valley Artisans show in October.  It is the first time I offered the new Wall Pieces for sale.  I enjoyed the process of pressing flowers and creating tiles.




159One of my castles will be displayed in and exhibit called A Child at Heart, at
the Craft Center of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.

The exhibit
runs January 11 – April 13 2013.

Gallery hours are  Monday – Friday,
Saturday 10- 4:00p, during exhibits only.

The Gallery is
loated at 49 South Main St., Suite 100
Concord NH



BarryCollab_1This is a beautiful lamp that was created by Peter Bloch and myself.  We displayed it at an exhibit called
Living With Crafts.  It is the first time I have collaborated with another
artist.  I hope it wont be the last.  Peter is a wood turner  who creates
stunning lamp shades as well as other pieces.









015These wonderful Garden Totems were displayed in the sculpture garden at the
League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Fair, at Mt. Sunapee this past August.
found a new home in Maryland







I certainly am looking forward to a creative 2013, and I wish the same for you.