Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Optimistic

 Welcome 2021! I am feeling optimistic as we start the new year. We have a vaccine for covid-19, which means there is hope for an end to the pandemic at some point this year. We will have a new president on January 20th. A president who believes in science, can keep his ego in check, and will behave as a leader should. 

I had planned to finish all the pages in my small art journal by December 31st. I didn't quite meet that goal, but I am okay with it. There were too many pots that needed to be made! I usually take a break once the last pots are shipped by the holiday deadline. This year orders continued to come in and Christmas day was my only full day off. I will admit to taking a more relaxed attitude for the last two weeks. The flow of the day has been an enjoyable one.

Here are two journal pages that I completed during this time.

The entire journal was made using gel printed, mixed media paper. I sometimes have to work hard at how to incorporate the backgrounds into a new artwork. This was one I struggled with and just decided to practice a figure painting on it. Once I got started I liked how the background became the print in her gown as well as her tangle of black hair.


I wanted to explore circles a little more and incorporated them into two different spreads. I painted a thin layer of gesso over the gel printed pages before I began. This added a little depth to backgrounds. The small circle pattern in the spread above is a raised texture. I created it using a stencil and molding paste. The spread below was created with the old photo in mind. The photo is of my sister and me, taken in front of my brother's mustang. I am quite sure we were headed to his high school graduation. My mother made our dresses. Mine was a knit material that had a rick-rack trim. I remember that it was itchy and that I never really liked to wear it. Anita's dress was madras plaid in orange, yellow, and blue. It was way cooler then mine.


I have just one full page spread left to create, and this little book will be done. Time to start binding another. This time with plain white pages.


Thursday, December 17, 2020

Letting Go

 


Last night I finished another spread in my art journal. I needed to relax after a few intense days of glazing and loading the kiln for the final firing of holiday orders. I downloaded the new YoYo Ma and Kathryn Stott album, Songs of Comfort & Hope, and it was perfect music to listen to while painting. I didn't have a plan when I started, I just let go and this is what happened. It may be my favorite spread in the journal.

I worked on another spread over the last two weeks. I went in with a plan and it just didn't seem to work. I left it for a few days, mulled it over, then when in and reworked it a bit. I am still not happy with it. Not sure if I will share it here. Art journals are like diaries... there are somethings that you are not comfortable sharing with the world.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

The Countdown to Christmas Deadlines

 We are in the final push to get orders out in time for holiday gift giving. The post office has been doing a dismal job with deliveries. Once a package leaves our studio, who knows how long or what route it will take to get to it's destination. I keep my finger crossed and keep an eye on tracking. I can't even begin to count how many missing package inquiries I have made in the last few weeks.


While I haven't had any piggy banks or salt pigs in stock for months, there are still lots of nice pots in our gallery.


We have been open by appointment only since the end of November. It has been working out well. Shoppers have the gallery to themselves, everyone is wearing a mask, and we have contactless payment through Square.


I decided to run a report on the Square app and compared sales from the first weekend in December of 2019 to the first weekend in December, 2020. We sold more in 2020 than 2019! The people who called and made appointments were either past customers or people who saw our work online and were very interested in making a purchase. It felt so much safer than dealing with people in and out all day, sanitizing the door handle, if the door couldn't be left open, and reminding people that our emergency occupancy was only three.
Jeff and I have been very thankful that our online sales have sustained us over the last nine months. We are hopeful it will continue and that we can all get through this winter safe and healthy.




Thursday, December 3, 2020

Art Journal Escape

 


Your probably wondering if I am still a potter? I guess you could say I am a pig making potter, since that is pretty much all that I have made since the pandemic hit. In between there have been a few mugs, cheese stones, and spoon jars. The spoon jars have been glazed and on a shelf since summer. One of these days there will be room for them in the kiln!
This week I managed to finish a spread in my little art journal. I worked on it in dribs and drabs over a period of three days. I loved building up the background with layers of gesso, old book pages, acrylic paint, and my new neo-color II pastels. This is also the first time that I experimented with modeling paste and a stencil. That is how the textured circles were created. I am definitely going to do more with that on the next spread. I already have a plan in my head.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

The Holiday Season Begins

We usually host Jeff's family for Thanksgiving. We've had as few as eight and as many as seventeen.
This year, it was just the two of us. We felt it wasn't safe for a family gathering. Especially when you consider the ages of the majority.


Still made two pies. A pecan, with nuts from our own trees, and a pumpkin pie. 


Since it was just the two of us we opted for an evening meal, which meant we could have an appetizer lunch! Brie en croute and grilled figs from our trees. Jeff popped a bottle of champagne and we made mimosas.


We have a friend that lives alone so we packed up his turkey dinner and he picked it up curbside. While we enjoyed a quiet Thanksgiving for two, I know that isolating is harder for people who live alone. It hurt my heart that my father spent the day quarantined in his room at the nursing home. He has always gone to my sister's house and enjoyed the day with them. They have a covid outbreak at his facility which means he can't leave his room for anything. I hope he doesn't have to spend the whole winter that way.

Orders have been steadily coming in. I had to cut off Christmas orders on November 16th. New orders will ship mid-January. I am hoping to make something other than pigs after that!


I hope everyone who celebrates, enjoyed their Thanksgiving day.