In the Details

One does a whole painting for one peach
and people think just the opposite —that particular peach is but a detail.

~ Pablo Picasso, (Spanish Artist and Painter, 1881-1973)


A man’s accomplishments in life are the cumulative effect of his attention to detail.
~ John Foster Dulles, (American US Republican Secretary of State (1953-59).

This is all brand new work unloaded just last week!  Some have already sold, others are in boxes in or on their way to Philadelphia awaiting installation in exhibitions for NCECA, and still more will be packed up today for a drive down to Philly for another conference exhibition.  (Details on all next week’s conference shows are on my Schedule page here.)


We think in generalities, but we live in detail. ~ Alfred North Whitehead (British Mathematician and Philosopher, 1861-1947)

So, this is a teaser post, a glimpse of form and detail.  I wanted to share some new work with you to show the underglaze dots and stripes I’ve been working with and mentioned here, but am saving the full reveal for those of you who will be able to get to some shows in person at NCECA next week.  Consider this an enticement (whether you are able to attend Philly or not), to seek out ArtAxis, La Mesa and the Studio Pottery Invitational in Philly, or check back here in early April for more pics in their entirety, and pieces to purchase at my online store.


Only the poet can look beyond the detail and see the whole picture.
~ Helen Hayes, (American stage and film Actress, 1900-1993)

Deco DVD is Here!

It’s here, and ready if you are!

As some of you know, in late spring of ‘09 I spent about five days demonstrating in my studio for my first how-to/instructional DVD for ceramics (pottery and sculpture), Surface Decoration: Suede to Leatherhard.

I believe this to be a high quality video with fun and informative techniques.  Indeed many on my emailing list had the chance to purchase first, and have left some glowing comments (below).  I thank all of you for your patience, interest and strong support for this project.  And without further ado, the link to both see the trailer (if you have not seen it here yet) and to purchase my new video is here!  Enjoy!

Fan Comments:
Received my DVD. Patiently (not) waited for my family to go to bed and stayed up til 12:50 watching. It was like eating really exquisite chocolate, and I can do it over and over. Thank you so much. ~ L. W.

Thank you so much, there is no doubt I’ll use some of your shared techniques and advices in my works. Very particular, full and interesting information. Once again – thank you :) ~ L. B. in Lithuania

Got my DVD today and I must say its wonderful. Its like sitting next to you and having a private tutor. But being able to rewind to any part and relive it again. Great video. Worth every cent. ~ T. vD.

I just finished watching your DVD ~ LOVE IT!!! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and expertise. It’s extra special that you did this project with your father :) ~ K. C.

Wow I received my DVD this afternoon!!!  I have watched it through and am so inspired to try all of the techniques out.  I am new to pottery and have admired your work on line for some time, have tried to make stamps, but was carving them in clay, not very successful.  I can’t tell you how thrilled I am.  Thank you sooooooo much for making this great dvd,  I look forward to the next one you make. ~ S. A.

About. This DVD includes techniques I use and some I enjoy but don’t currently incorporate in my own work. All are “suede” to leatherhard decoration techniques mostly using slip, including stamp-making and stamping, slip-trailing, sponging, paper resist, water-etching, sgraffito, mishima, carving and sprigging. Eleven techniques are covered.  My goal is to show techniques with which you may not be familiar, offer a new take on the traditional and generally excite interest in the potential of the ceramic surface.

P. S. I strongly feel that in-person instruction is best, and a video by anyone is no substitution for classroom interaction, workshop question-and-answer or one-on-one discussion. I know not everyone is able to take a workshop or class, and I realize that many of those who are able to attend one of my workshops may like a video to review some learned techniques.  I hope to see you at a workshop sometime in the future.  This DVD is just a taste!

Click here>>> Link to buy DVD <<< to purchase.

The Economy Hits Home

wccclayclassToday (1/6) I received a phone call that the Worcester Center for Crafts —which has been open for 152 years and where I have taught for almost 8— is closing for a “strategic pause”, and without a serious infusion of cash, will close permanently.  This is very sad news for the metro Worcester community, Massachusetts, New England and the craft world as a whole, and very hard news for those of us who depend on the income from teaching and working at the Center. I, my husband and our WCC friends and colleagues, as well as our students, will be deeply impacted by this.


Information from today’s (1/7) local online paper:  “Almost all the center’s staff of about 45 people, most of them part time [instructors like me], have been laid off… To reopen, the Center needs about $1.2 million, to retire debt and finance a restart, a steep challenge in the current economic climate.”


There is more information about the Center at the WCC website where you can check for updates and make donations:

“Sustaining craft as a vital part of our world.”


Pictured: Obamaware by Beth Lo, Janice Jakielski, Julia Galloway, Jason Walker, Ayumi Horie, Garth Johnson, Shoko Teruyama, Michael Kline, and Andy Brayman.

Pots That Can Take the Heat: Obamaware! Ayumi Horie invited 27 great ceramic artists from around the country to make work for an online exhibition and fundraiser featuring Obama-Biden specific pots in limited editions. In just seventy-two hours (10/19-22, 2008), the sale and auction of these highly thoughtful, collectible and poignant Obamaware pieces raised $10,000 in donations for the Obama/Biden campaign. Click here to read Sarah Archer’s interesting article on pottery’s history in politics and action.

“Potters often talk about the intersection of art and everyday life and functional ceramic’s power to impact people on a daily, intimate basis. Through Obamaware 2008, we [expanded] this dialogue by generating a timely conversation and by supporting a candidate who is brave enough to promote a hopeful, humanistic paradigm.” –A.H.

Buying & Giving Handmade

I am in the process of glazing, and have been thinking about my customers and collectors, my supporters (that would be you), during this process and over the last week.

The image left is about a third of the bisqued (fired once at a lower temp) ware from the my last six weeks of making, sorted and ready for glaze. I will be loading two, maybe three glaze kilns soon to fire work for upcoming shows, workshops and for my own store, but some of the pieces I’m glazing right now are commissions. In this last making cycle, I have received requests for two cups as gifts from FL, one yunomi for a gift from TX, a bowl for a gift from NJ, three cups from NYC and a covered jar and two cups also from NYC. I’ve also just had a customer from IN contact me to purchase a vase as a gift for a relative in GA, and two local friends/customers come by to buy gifts for weddings.

I can’t relay how happy it makes me when someone calls or emails me to buy something I’ve made for themselves, let alone to buy for a friend or relative. It is truly flattering they think of my work to purchase and/or give, and wonderful when folks choose to buy from an artist instead of a retail store. I agree with fellow potter Ayumi Horie’s comment in the summer ’08 issue of CM, “Choosing to support individual artists has become a political choice, as is choosing to value their work by paying higher prices.” A $56 handmade cup lasts a lot longer and has intrinsically more value than a $56 meal.

When asked if I do commissions, I tend to widen my eyes, raise my eyebrows, shake my head and say, “Uh, no.” I think commissions have gotten a bad wrap, including by me. The requests (maybe that’s what I should call them instead) I mentioned above are by people who know, like and/or own my work, and who make general or specific preferences based on the forms, colors and surfaces I have. I am happy to do this. The orders have been as simple as wanting a Cornflower blue, medium covered jar to wanting a stamped cup in Honeycomb with that one peacock stamp I use.

So, right now, while I’m glazing, I’m thinking of you.

Thank you for supporting artists,
buying local (your city, state, the U.S.)
and giving handmade.