Monday, December 30, 2013

Trouble with sharing posts on Facebook

Ok, this is just an example of the hoops I feel like I have to go through to get something out there. First I couldn't get the blog post to take my wording until I added an image. Didn't really intend to have to do that, but there you go. Now I can type what I want in here.

When I go to share a link on Facebook, I have run into the problem that Facebook is using a photo on my page layout instead of the photo in the blog post link I want to share. It is not consistent, because sometimes it gives me a choice of photos and sometimes it just does whatever it wants. To handle this hoop, I realized I could change out the image on my layout page. Of course, that is quite more trouble just to share a link.

If you have any suggestions about this, please let me know. It may be my settings or how I choose to open the blog, which is through Google.

But, all of it makes me a bit crazy. If I alot 10 minutes to type in a quick post, it will take 3 times that length to get it to do what I want. Ughhh! Glad clay doesn't react like that most of the time. Off to get my hands dirty!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A little spice in life

A variety of the salt and pepper sets that I make also went to Menage Gallery. I love the architectural shapes of the spice holders and deciding on the texture to apply. Then it's fun to decide on a similar or complimentary texture for the tray that holds them. They have opening in the bottom and I send an instruction sheet on how to fill and use. The fact that there are no holes always perplexs people. Love that little mystery!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Work in New England

Large Textured Leaf Bowl

Green Textured Leaf Bowl

These were some shots of work recently sent to Menage Gallery in Gloucester, MA. They have been carrying my work for over a year now. I have sent a lot of fish work to them but for the holiday season they wanted some of my leaf work. I love texturing these big pieces and adding the details of the brown slip and the splattered spots.
In my effort to be more organized this year, I began entering invoices into Quickbooks and creating new folders for images on my comptuter. Of course there is a learning curve for everything, which I was reminded of last night as I attempted to juggle my old way of entering payments with the new one. And moving things over from the camera to the computer in an organized manner takes a lot longer than the drag and dump everything. No more Scarlet O'Hara, "I'll think about that tomorrow" mindset.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Look to the sky for great joy

The sky after the rain last evening

What a joy to see this while stuck in a car line.
It lifted my heart.

I felt like I was in an impressionist painting.
Merry Christmas to all. May the sky open for you and be filled with the gift of joy.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The life of a studio dog

My name is Cherokee. I am an 80lb rescue Greyhound. I came from the racetrack in St. Pete, FL. My job is official greeter at Bluegill Pottery. I will jauntily lope up to the front to see you when you come in and gracefully ask for you to pet me. I love attention. My fur is very soft and many people comment on it. I do not lick but I enjoy getting close and smelling what you may have had for lunch. I ride to work in the car with Vicki every day. She has to lift me in because I have a hitch in my back and I can't jump up high anymore easily. We work pretty hard but I tend to sleep when no one is visiting. This photo is with my zebra toy, which is dirty from being thrown around the studio and dragged across the floor. Vicki is threatening to wash all my toys but I find they just don't smell as good when that happens.
Happy Holidogs and Merry Catmas from the studio!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Bluegill Cheers

An evening view of the shop, decorated for the holidays. If you are shopping locally and want something that is finely crafted, made with spirit and love and can be enjoyed and used in the home, office or even during your morning commute, drop by and see the selection of great pieces.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Why Bluegill?

Why Bluegill? I get asked this question a lot. It is second only to "Are those real leaves still in there?", a question I get when people see my maple and ginkgo trays.

Well......I worked at an advertising agency and got indoctrinated with the idea of a catchy phrase. When I was trying to think of a name for my pottery, I had ideas that I didn't want to limit the future with just my name. I was thinking of a partner or maybe even one of my artistic children that might desire to follow in the dusty footprints of their mother. 18 years later, neither the partner or the 2nd generation potter has materialized. The kids followed other art pursuits and I work with a dog. Literally--a 4 legged retired greyhound who only touches clay when he is frustrated with me. Then he tends to destroy it.

So back to the name story. I liked fish and my last name was Gill and Bluegill Pottery seemed the perfect match. Lately I have begun signing the backs of flat pieces with blue underglaze, to provide a real tongue-in-cheek rendition of the name. Blue       Gill. This is what happens when you work by yourself a long time. You get all your own jokes and irony and think they are really witty. And that's the rest of the story

Monday, December 9, 2013

Holiday Pottery

I'll be in the studio throughout most of the holidays, and you are welcome to drop in during regular hours ( about 11am to 5pm ). I have old favorites, new work and hope to get some Braided Baskets done (another series I haven't worked on in a while, but have loads of new ideas for).

Being a one person show--can't seem to get the dog to do anything more than greet people, whine for treats and signal bathroom break times and "Quitten' time!"--I may have to run out to ship a direly needed pottery gift for someone's special gift. So, always good to call to see if I plan to do that when you are contemplating a trip to the studio.

Ask for a quick view of the back area. That's where all the "creatin'" goes on. Hope your holidays are really fun and creative!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Painting for the auction

This was the painting I did earlier this year for the NC Pottery Center fundraiser. Life got rather complex for me about late spring so all the things I had planned to say or show on this blog remained silent. But that makes for lots of ideas and a backlog of images.........Not so bad, I suppose.
The teabowl is a Ruggles and Rankin (Rock Creek Pottery) that I bought during a visit to their place while taking a class at Penland. I use this teabowl so often that I have a chip on the edge now. Have to position your lips just so. But it makes the morning really special and brings back lots of good memories from that class well over 10 years ago.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bag of Gold

As my sister would say, "The wind blew". That is our family code for a change of plans. I didn't intend to be picking up leaves but the wind blew and it was important to save these golden gifts that find their way into my pottery before they took flight to Mexico, or something like that. They'll spend the winter in the deep freeze, waiting to bring life to my trays and plates. Love how the yellow just pops out at you!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Llama Bowls

These Llama Bowls will have a new home at the Cleveland Co. Arts Council during their Holiday sale. I haven't made this style bowl in a while--usually that means 5 years or more.........It was fun adding the sculptural elements and trying to get a funky grouping of these curious creatures. Of course, they are offered separately but you can keep the family together if you desire.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Life unexplained

I was looking for a photo of some llama bowls I had recently made to post to this and realized they were on the OTHER computer. This has been the operating mode recently. Many things are on the other device, which is not handy or with me at the time I want it. So eons of time is eaten up with looking for a file, checking the camera, checking the tool box, etc. Because this phenomena happens not only with technology, but with piles of papers, hidden tools, my favorite texturing rollers, etc. My husband would say it happens because I have too much stuff and it is not sufficiently organized. He is right. I'm hoping that the end is in sight soon. Recently I've been involved with a move of in-laws and the honing down of their possessions. It has made me look at the many things I surround myself with and the idea of what someone else might have to handle in the future. A jeweler friend of mine had a similar conversation with me at the beginning of the year. It involved her trying to find a home for some pottery that a dear deceased friend left and whose children didn't want it. She was saying that her daughter had different tastes and all the artwork the jeweler had collected over the years might have the same fate as this friend's pottery. All these beloved possessions that might not be appreciated by future generations. Sometimes it makes me think that big funeral pyres are in order. Or maybe just more trips to the consignment store or goodwill place while one is living. So my 4th quarter resolution is to get more organized and pare down some. Beginning with creating a better filing system for my images.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bluegill plates, a new addition to my fish line

 Teal/light grey with saffron stripes
 Dark grey/blue/saffron with red spot
Blue/aqua/light grey with red spot 
 Dark grey/greenwith red spot
Bluey-green/goldish saffron with red spot
These are some new fish that I am adding to my wholesale line of work. They are based loosely on the Bluegill, which I chose for my pottery name back in 1995 or so. People often ask if I fish, which I don't, but I really admire fish. My grandfather, Nolen, took me with him in his boat when he would go fishing and to check his trot lines. I've always loved the sleekness of their skin, the startling colors some of them display and the way they just zip around in the water. Very happy with the way this line is progressing.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Tree Mask

This is a large mask made by a young man in one of my Create in Clay classes. His mom contacted me earlier this year and sent me photos of these great faces he had made on the trees in their backyard. He just dug clay out of the ground and had a great time. He told me that he dug some holes several feet deep. When it rained, though, the artwork washed away. So, he wanted to have an opportunity to work in clay in a more permanent way. Can't wait to see it fired. I love teaching because of the excitement that people bring to clay and how accessable it is to work with.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Renewable impressions

I use Japanese maple leaves and Ginkgo leaves in my work and I'm always so glad to see the soft green baby leaves sprouting on the branches of my trees in my yard. That means fresh new leaves for impressing into the clay in just a few weeks. Oh, I've learned to make due with preserved leaves, worn-out leaves, frozen leaves.......but there is nothing like  pliant, unmarked, unfrayed edges of flexible nature to roll into clay. It's kind of like having to use preserved apples or dried apples at the end of spring to make apple pie.
Just for the record, freezing your leaves is the best way I found to get a supply through the winter. I gather them when they are green, when they are just turning colors and,  in desperation, scoop them off the ground before the first frost. It's best to lay them flat on top of one another so they don't get a lot of wrinkles, then pop the bundle into a freezer bag and press out the extra air.
To use, you just thaw them out for a few minutes. However, don't let them sit out for days on end in the freezer bag at room temperature or they will begin to grow mold.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The moon and paintings

I have been invited to do a painting for the North Carolina Pottery Center's 2nd annual Potter's Palette event. Flowers have been on my mind and this striking view of the moon through my Bradford Pear tree's blossoms caught my eye the other night. There is just something magic about the night and the way things look in moonlight. But, probably won't be doing this image. I wanted to incorporate a piece of pottery in the painting and I think I am going to use my most favorite teabowl. Whenever I need a pick me up, I turn to my Ruggles and Rankin (Rock Creek Pottery), chipped though it is. It's even more valuable to me now, because they aren't making work that I could replace it with. Check back to see how it's going. The painting is due at the Center on April 16th. Best get those brushes moving!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A really green vehicle.

I am just fascinated by this vehicle. I've seen it sitting at a McDonalds and this photo was at a KFC. Those little donkies are pretty patient. I've even seen it out on the road once, clip-clopping along. Makes me want to burst into a verse of "The Surry with the Fringe on Top" from Oklahoma.... chicks and ducks and geese better scurry!

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Clean Up Sale

Bluegill Pottery Spring De-Clutter and Space Creation

It’s time for the clean out of the studio to make way for creation of more pottery. And no, I am not “quitting” pottery, just shedding some of the material baggage and duplicates I no longer need.

Mark Saturday, March 9th from 2:30 to 5:30 on your calendar for the Bluegill Studio Cleanout…………4522 Wilkinson Blvd., Gastonia, NC 28056. For questions about what’s going, call 704-824-9928 or 704-678-6195.
A minor list of the things I’ll have for purchase:

• A slew of books, much fiction and philosophy.
• Artbooks and some ceramics books
• Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated back issues
• A tall director’s chair with khaki seat and back cover
• A small kiln which has potential as a raku container or a test kiln if you want to do repairs.
• Some handbuilding and wheel throwing tools
• Acryllic and metal plate stands in various sizes
• A push mower, muscle powered for the green minded
• Wooden table shelving
• Stained, hollow core doors
• Jewelry beads and stones
• Used canvases
• 16 x 20 frames with glass (no mat board) suitable for drawings, prints and watercolors
• Handmade Bisque stamps and spring molds
• Wooden stools (great for throwing)
Cash or checks accepted.

Call before just “dropping” by, except for times listed above.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

India Inspired

 Peacock Tray
 New Impressed Designs and Colors

These are shots from my display set up at Treasures of the Earth Show, Cleveland Co. Arts Council, Shelby NC. The show will be up until the first week in March. I did something a bit different  in that I limited my work to a theme. For this show I wanted all the work to reflect the new glaze colors I have been exploring and the exotic textures of India. To do this, I used wooden stamps normally used in the printing of cloth, other stamps I had made and carving. The carving was limited to a peacock feather design which has fascinated me since last fall.
The exploration of color started last summer with a base glaze I have been using since 1995. To it I have experimented with adding Mason stains in various combinations. The colors I have been most pleased with are  turquoise, teal,chartreuse, saffron and reddish purple.
While this work is a departure from my "normal" leaves and organic designs, it is an extension of my love of texture and color.