Category Archives: flowers

throwing, throwing, throwing: my love of pottery keeps growing

I’ve mentioned before that I’m hooked on pottery, but this weekend it reached a fevered pitch as I tried to replicate vases and mugs from my last batch.

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My lovely teacher Lois Hinman (click to see her work!) in Ridgecrest, Calif., always told me that she started selling her pots (decades ago!) because it’s an expensive hobby and she couldn’t take the money from her family. I’m starting to feel that way, too — each firing (including bisque and glaze) is close to $100, not to mention the clay and the glazes. And we don’t have enough cupboard space for all that I’m making!

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So, now I’m thinking about how to sell — where, what that means, coming up with a plan, etc. Of course, I’m also 28 weeks pregnant  (entering that third trimester, yeesh!) and slowing down physically, so that will keep me from doing it anytime soon.

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But, I like the idea of creating a plan and having inventory for when I’m ready to enter a show or put pieces up on Etsy. Maybe I’ll do it sooner than later, but given how tired and achy I’m starting to feel, I doubt much will happen before baby boy no. 3 is at least three months old.

IMG_7025What I love about the process is not only the physical act of throwing and creating useful, beautiful things, but also the challenge — starting a “business” is scary. And entering a show is scary. And I don’t even have a kiln yet. Once I get a kiln (after we move out of our rental) I can start to mix glazes. There is always, always more to learn with this craft. And I have a long way to go to be really good.

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But the bottom line is I love it and that passion isn’t going away.

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If you are a potter or artist with a small business and have any tips or suggestions along the way, I’d be grateful!

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quiet moments and creative inspiration

On Friday after a Mexican dinner out — once C. was asleep in his crib — A. and I migrated to our bright yellow kitchen. A. stood and painted lettering on hand-held signs for our friends’ wedding in Soho in NYC in two weeks. I sat cross-legged on a chair and crocheted a hat for my niece. The table was full of paints and paper and water and yarn and we worked in the quiet, enjoying each others’ company and the warm night breeze through the window screens.

I find I work best in quiet, whether I’m writing or photographing or throwing pots. It’s in the quiet that I can really focus. It’s true for A., too, who never wants me to interrupt him while he’s wood-working.

Here are a few things we’ve made out of our recent quiet — plus a cool sewing project from my MIL. All of these things make me smile.

Purple flowers in our backyard. I love photographing flowers (and I need a better macro lens). On Friday, the after-sunset splash of color — like a painting — surprised me.

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A hat I crocheted a few weeks ago with yarn I bought in L.A. It gives me the urge to throw on a thick wool sweater and go to Nova Scotia and look out at fishing boats while sipping steaming hot cocoa. (I must be ready for a cold-weather vacation.)

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Wedding signs A. made for friends on request — he bought and cut the wood, painted the pieces pink, put on the dark gray border, sanded off spots to make it “shabby chic” and then wrote the script. I can’t wait to see the stunning bride (who’s marrying this guy) holding them. (Also, maybe A. can have a side business?)

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This photo that I took about a month or two ago of C. wearing a robe that his nonna sewed for him. It fits him so perfectly that it makes me consider pulling our sewing machine down off of a shelf in our closet. With zero shopping in our quiet desert town, maybe I should make myself a skirt or two. (Hmmmmm….)

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What has inspired you lately?

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a plum (or apricot?) tree

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On Saturday afternoon, I was enjoying the quiet on our patio while C. napped — reading “Bringing Up Bébé,” drinking espresso, legs reclined — when I noticed flowers blooming on one of five trees in our backyard. Curious, I got up to inspect further. And I saw a piece of old (rotting) fruit. A fig tree! I thought, excited. (I knew we had two pomegranate trees, but those don’t bloom till the fall.)

I plucked the fruit off the tree and waited till A. got home to show him.

“You have to see this,” I said.

He looked, and said, “A date tree?”

We looked at each other.

“Wait, I think dates grow on palm trees,” A. said.

(We’re clearly not well-versed in our fruit trees.)

A. snapped his fingers and pointed at me: “A plum tree!”

“You think?” I said. “I’ll go look up the flower.”

I did a Google image search, and the plum tree flower looked closest to the flower we had.

When I returned, our neighbor, who was working in his backyard filled with old canoes and a tipped-over wheel barrow, peeked his head over the wood picket fence. Just like the neighbor on Home Improvement, I could only see his mustache and thick round glasses.

“That’s an apricot tree,” he said. “That tree bears a lot of fruit.”

I guess he would know since he’s lived next door for more than 20 years. A. still thinks it’s a plum tree. (Do any readers out there know?) I guess we’ll find out when the fruit appears this spring. Regardless of plums or apricots, I’m excited to discover another tree that C. can help us pick.

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