Summer has officially come and gone, but for me it never really ended. This was the first summer in a long while that I wasn’t going back to school to teach in the fall. It was a bittersweet decision, but in the end a choice I felt I had to make. My winter and spring were emotional, to say the least! But when summer came I felt a release – a weight had lifted. Happiness started to creep back in. I was accepting and looking forward to the change.
I have taken up listening to The Potter’s Cast. It’s a podcast for potters. I know right??? Anyway, just the other day, I was listening to this artist from South Africa, John Newdigate, discussing ideas on building a foundation for an art business. He said the primarily goal of the artist is to express yourself honestly, and to take yourself seriously. Simple but powerful! Then he said something that surprised me, because I could hear my teacher self saying this kind of thing to my students – if you’re comfortable with what you are doing, then you’re probably not doing your best. Wow.
It’s all about risk.
When I began teaching 16 years ago, I loved finding quotes about and by artists to have nearby to inspire and motivate students. Risk-taking is an integral part of art education. This one was one of my favorites by Mark Rothko. “Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take risks.”
I am a bit behind for posting! After a busy fall, and a great holiday season, I decided to take a break from social media and my studio in January and February. Heading into March, I am itchy to start making new things and am trying to resist the urge to smash all the pots still sitting in my porch shop. That would be silly, as I only recently picked up new glaze pieces that were left behind at Mudflat! (and I love them!) Here are some images that ended my year, including what may have been my last Holiday Open House with Blue Hoot! (sad!)
glazed petal bowls
lemonbee/bluehoot porch shop
small batter bowls
French Butter Dish for Quin
It’s been a very full summer, in the studio and out! Almost time to say goodbye, but not quite yet… I plan on working outside for as long as I can. And make another ice cream cake, or two. 😉
It was probably less than 5 years ago when I decided to start selling my pottery. It was exactly four years ago this weekend that I set up my tables and tent for the first time at the Strawberry Festival in Westford. I was reminded of how much Lemonbee has grown since then…thanks to several genuinely sweet and loyal, returning customers. I am so grateful for the support of this community, on that day four years ago when I put myself out there for all to see, and for every year since!
Thanks for loving Lemonbee…
and then I ran out of clay! Pausing at 85. Once I started throwing up to 3 pounds of clay, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to finish with the recycled clay I had left. This will give me time to trim all the bowls hiding under plastic and make room for the last 15 bowls to complete the challenge. I am going to need a lot more clay to finish what I started…
Adding 18 brings the total to 64…maybe I shouldn’t have taken Friday off! 2 more days to go…
Some people love this stage. I do not! Making, yes. Adding buttons, or carving into a leather hard form, yes. Firing the greenware, unloading a bisque kiln, love. Waxing and glazing absolutely. But turning a pot over and trimming it is bottom of the list. It is an essential step, and can take almost as much time to trim as it did to throw it. And it makes a HUGE mess on my basement floor, which is one of the reasons it bothers me so much. I love to procrastinate, but then you have to be careful not to let them get too dry otherwise all that throwing is for nothing! So throwing a 100 bowls in a week also means trimming a 100 bowls too…what was I thinking?!
ready to dry
centered and stamped footring
Day 3: I threw 13 small bowls, starting at 3/4 pound but then increased it to a pound for the last half thrown. After I cleaned up for the day, I went back to photograph and saw the pile of clean tools sitting on the still dirty wheel. Can’t clean everything every time!
day 3 results, 13 more
the essentials, clean
Day 4: The day was quite broken up: an hour before school, squeezed in a half hour after school and before pick-up, and snuck in another hour or so before dinner (that never happens!). I increased to 1 1/4 pounds for each, and had to wedge a lot more recycled clay before I could throw. With the larger size I decided I should alter a few more, especially the taller ones I plan on carving once they set up and are trimmed.
day 4 results, 12 in total
day 4, getting close to the berry bowl!
day 4 favorite
With the morning delay I had some extra time to warm up the studio and throw for an hour. This time I used 3/4 pound balls of clay, and made 11 bowls before I had to clean up and go to work. Two things I noticed…it is hard for me to NOT alter the round bowl shape, so after the first four I decided I wasn’t allowed to do anymore of this set. The second was that structurally these bowls felt better – and I didn’t want to crash them as much as I wanted to crash yesterday’s bowls!