Spring had sprung when I looked up from my pinched pots; the hills and shores are alive. Millie, my mother-in-law a.k.a personal florist, brought me this beautiful bouquet picked this morning from her garden and I knew exactly which vase it should sit in.
Spring is here on Orcas Island and the pace in my studio has been fevered. I have been working on a new flock of birds that are awaiting their first firing and jewelry for the studio mixed media/ceramic line. One project I am really excited about is a small-batch collection of tableware for a local retailer to be launched this summer. Sneak preview soon, maybe 😉
And, very special thanks goes out to Outlook Inn on Orcas Island for featuring our very large mixed media wall piece, Collaboration I, by Christa Smith and I, in their restaurant, New Leaf Cafe – the must-do dining spot on my Orcas list for visiting family and friends. Heading out for a walk in the spring sun now, see you on the shore!
I still say Happy New Year to people at this time of January to stoke a little of that fire of good intent that, I believe, most of us begin every new year with, even those among you who have sworn off resolutions. In the shop, the front table and the window display has been refreshed. I’ve started on a series of black clay vessels and a line of photo cards I’ve been working on are in print as I write this. Come visit soon and wish me a happy New Year in return.
The mud smells dark and rich; the bird call is frenzied; the wet leaves and twigs glow like embers in the fast fallen dusk. Hello Fall. My favourite time of year is digging in and the palette of the season is a personal refresher for where my aesthetic choices are mostly rooted.
Taking stock of the body of work I showed at this past summer’s Artists Open Studio Tour on Orcas Island, it felt good to discover an aesthetic consistency running through my ceramic work. The forest floor, ocean find and woodland imagery are repeatedly used, and so are the organic textures and my tendency to leave or reveal the natural colour of the clay body. The show was really the first time I had all my recent work displayed together and it was gratifying to see how the individual pieces, whether functional, wearable or wall art, could come together to form a cohesive tableau.
Participation in the Studio tour provided the motivation for me to finally write an Artist’s Bio, and to explore various ways to display work, label displays, create visual flow, and other nitty gritty aspects of putting up a show that is not always a top priority because it takes precious time away from making stuff! However, the best thing for me over the three-day tour was getting practice in talking about my art to absolute strangers. Many thanks to Sharon Schmidt who hung out with me on opening day! Just hearing her introduce my work to guests helped me experience how a gallery visitor would encounter my creations for the first time. I realised how basic and crucial a skill it is for any artist to be able to talk comfortably about her own work, and, at a level that resonates with the viewer. I have been a docent many years and led many a gallery tour, but talking up my own work is an ongoing challenge. I know it comes with practice and I am working on it.
These turtle dishes put a smile on my face, and I hope it brings a smile to you too. Maybe it is the colour in bloom all around me that’s inspired me to explore tones that are not in my usual glaze selections. Fun to be out on a limb and hanging on for a bit. Enjoy the sunshine everyone!
Hello! From two summers ago, a memory of a tangled seaweed necklace studded with rocks inspired this recent work. I named this ‘Walk with me’ because I think of the person wearing it as a collector who picks up bits and pieces on long meanders on the beach or in the woods and strings them in her memory.
This is one of the artworks featured at the annual Edge Arts Collective show at the Orcas Centre Gallery on Orcas Island. The show is one of the most anticipated of the year among island artists and collectors, not least because of its swinging opening night party. It opens this Friday October 4th, party starts at 5.30pm. All invited.
I’ve had a long busy summer, and Fall (my favourite time of year! featuring my favourite colours!) signals my time to hunker down in the studio and translate my summer’s travels and inspirations in new work. Off I go. Won’t you walk with me?
This one’s available too at the Annual Salmonberry Silent Auction and Dinner – the school’s main fundraiser event – that takes place this Saturday evening, May 4th on Orcas Island. The details are in the description in the photo caption above. This beautiful piece measures 2.25″ x 3″ and comes with a 16″ black cord, all beautifully packaged in a giftbox. Mother’s Day gift? If this one speaks to you, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your bid (any amount) BEFORE 3pm Pacific Standard Time, Saturday, May 4th and I’ll put your name on the bid list. I’ll contact you with delivery details if you win!
Three of my latest cow pins/pendants/bagtags are available for bids this Saturday at the Salmonberry School Silent Auction and Dinner on Orcas Island – the school’s annual fundraiser. Each pin measures 2.5″ x 2″ and is handstamped and carved from brown clay that is then glazed in iron oxide and satin white. If there’s one you like, contact me at email@example.com with your bid (any amount) BEFORE 3pm Pacific Standard Time, Saturday, May 4th and I’ll put your name on the bid list. I’ll contact you with delivery details if you win!
My first showing of work on Orcas Island! I exhibited two sets of ceramic jewelry in keeping with the show’s theme of Wearable Art. I was surprised to find myself the only artist to show jewelry (not a bad thing on hindsight), which serendipitously complemented the sumptuously handmade, hand beaded cloaks, costumes, fabric, masks and puppets on display. The costume works of Judy Tepley was astounding in their detail and intricacy, and I felt humbled thinking of the effort I spent in the mere bits of beading and threading I incorporated in my set of ceramic pendants above.
The show opened on Dec 1 with a warm reception that was perfectly family-friendly, with artists on hand to help with mask making and sock puppet creations, not to mention a delightful spread of pre-Christmas bites. My boys thus occupied, gave me time to chat with other artists and guests I have never met. It was a nice low-key debut personally.
I love the custom-framed box above and want to give special mention to its designer and maker – the very creative Andy Troxel – who used seasoned wood reclaimed from the humble pallet, and pulled it all together at a week’s notice. Thank you, Andy!
I agree, the title for this post needs reworking, but it’s the newest game Sammy picked up at preschool and he has been walking around saying “Duck, Duck, Goose”. In any case, this waterfowl pitcher is a different form I am experimenting with. It has a more elongated base and a wider mouth. The effect, to me, is a bird on the water. The combination of form, texture and glaze recalls the style from a couple of decades earlier. Don’t you think?