We finally had snow today.  We expected 2-4 inches, and well, the missed, we got 10.

If your not a snow lover, this winter has been perfect.  Below is a photo of one my Garden Totems, with the little bit of snow we had gotten until now.


Yours, Mine and Ours Exhibit

It has been a few years since Peter Bloch and I collaborated in creating 4 beautiful lamps.  Each lamp base was comprised of the clay beads that I use to make my garden towers, and his beautiful wooden lampshades.

Oct 2 – Dec 18 there is an exhibit at League of NH Craftsmen Headquarters showing the work of many collaborations and the work of the individual arts and their own work.  It is spectacular.  Amazing things happen when artists work together

This is a photo of one of the lamps that Peter and I made.BarryCollab_1


Not always am I aware of where my inspiration comes from. Sometimes sketches, but more often the sights and images I observe during my day and life.  Visits to the beach are always filled with shell hunting and perfect (in my opinion) beach stones. Sometimes I pick my head up long enough to take in other sights. I was fortunate enough to notice that some of my work mirrors or imitates some really great works of art, by nature and man.


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Summer distraction

We wish for summer all year long, and when it comes I am completely distracted.  I have taken two trips to the beach already, and find myself lost in my gardens.  I am finding my to-do list growing by leaps and bounds.

  I continue to create work for the League of NH Craftsmen fair in August, but I have given myself a deadline concerning the fair as June 30.  Firing an electric kiln during our summer brown-outs quite annoying….and who needs that.

  Castles, toad houses and some new owl pieces are in the works.  Keep an eye on my Facebook Page to get the most up to date happenings.

My favorite distraction.



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.