Saturday, December 10, 2011

holy hummingbirds!

yes the hummingbirds have been buzzing busily about searching for nectar. the fuchsias really just finished a week or two ago (really!). i managed to sketch a few before they were done and combine a sgraffito version with some hummingbird stencils. having fun with it. the white bowl was the first piece i made, and some of the underglazes burned out a bit, weren't think enough, so i made sure to apply 3 or 4 coats of slip and underglaze on the platter.

i am hoping to play with some basic washes over the winter. try them as a kind of watercolour over the slip. been using a mix of 1 part stain or oxide with 1 part gerstley borate, mixed with water, and they come out nice and vibrant. keep you posted!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


i haven't done any shows this winter, so i decided to have a festive sale!
come on by the studio gallery
5321 Old West Saanich Rd, Victoria BC
on Saturday Dec. 10, 11-4.
all stock will be 25% off, and maybe i'll even bake some cookies!
see you there....

Sunday, November 20, 2011

a few small experiments

sometimes at my job (as technician in the ceramics studio for the camosun college visual arts program) i get time to do a little experimenting (i call it professional development) and play around a bit. the students are selling art and goodies at the upcoming college craft fair, so i said i would contribute a few mugs to the cause.
just played with a little sgraffito, and basic images. i have been using more sgraffito in my own work and trying to become more confident with freehand drawing. although i still often trace images on over the slip and then incise through the tracing. i'm attempting to be more playful, as sometimes i feel my work is a little tight. it's easier when it's not work that i am expected to ship to a store or gallery!
here's two of the mugs. i'm really loving the handle on the squirrel mug:

Friday, October 21, 2011

computer limbo

my "antique" (7 years old in apple land is considered antique apparently) computer has died and my harddive is being held hostage by the computer store until my new one will be posting soon from my shiny new machine in a week or so....

Sunday, September 25, 2011

apples on the brain

well aside from dodging space junk freefalling through the atmosphere, this week also heralded the beginning of Fall. The equinox brings to mind crisp air and cozy sweaters. darkness at bedtime (for little ones). more baking, harvesting, preserving...that natural instinct to stock up for winter. and, well, one of my favorite fall things, apples! apple sauce, apple cake, dried apples, baked apples, apple and beet salad, apple juice warm and cold...and so to celebrate all things fall, we had a party. it was lovely, musical, and i'm still full 24 hrs later....
for this party i made little books with a great apple recipe - apple spice loaf. diligently used Nova's nap time to cut stamps from safety-cut block, ink and print. she helped with the collating. and i sewed a stitch in each to keep them together while she fell alseep the night before the party. and with all that i didn't get a chance to bake a sample loaf! (i must acknowledge here that my mother, finding out i had no loaf, only two very rich chocolate tofu cream pies, went and picked apples, bought raisins, and whipped one up faster than you can say "autumn apple spice bread")
all that being said i have a couple of leftovers (not only potato salads but a few recipe books) - so if you would like to have on for yourself....leave a post here by friday and i will draw one name from a hat and you might get it in the mail!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

feast on the fruit of life

continuing to work on ways to combine image making on the functional ware. here we have stencils with the finger dots, mishma branches, slip trailed lettering. a fruit bowl for the season. should be full of apples, but we keep saucing all the ones we pick!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

new old stuff

well i started on this quite a while back, the beginning of a portrait project, which looks like it will be a longer term project then i had originally thought, seeing as this is the only one i've made since the spring.
spent most of a stitch & bitch night cutting the stencil. used paper clay, slips and underglazes. not super happy with the frame, probably should have made it a plain oval, but for some reason am always drawn to these curlicue things...have to temper that tendency.
it's actually been out of the kiln awhile now, just took me a couple months to dig out these photos!

Monday, September 12, 2011

city hub voting

Vote for your favorite arts and culture businesses at city hub victoria. vote everyday!

Vote for Dirty Girl Clayworks on CityHUB!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

a festival, survived and enjoyed

so FolkWest happened and the weather was so fine, and the energy was great and the music was wonderful and danceable, and the kids area was well, awesome of course!
my amazing team of volunteers helped reaffirm my faith in humanity by showing up with enthusiasm and smailes, with thoughtfulness and talents, and provided me with a stress-free weekend. it's really true that volunteers MAKE a festival. we had had them facepainting, blowing giant bubbles (i made this bubble wand, and it didn't take much practice to get the hang of it, and the bubble recipe i used was 8c water, 1c dish soap, 1/4 c glycerine), getting messy with art, and constructing an awesome box fort. we had clowns, and we had sawn lake nature sanctuary (wow, a great naturalist is a beautiful thing).

Monday, August 8, 2011

Folked UP!

on top of the usually craziness i have been helping to put together a brand new folk festival here in our fair city. i am on the board of directors and in charge of the children's area and also jurying vendors. this has meant A LOT of loving support and understaning by my family and pleanty of meetings (weekly! late! lots of treats and tea!). i'm so excited and happy to be apart of making this happen, and getting to know my fellow board members. and i must say i will be happy not not have weekly meeting after the festival, which is, ahem, in about 10 days...
so i am trying to be as low stress as possible. my mission is to have a fun and creative kids area with activities for all ages and all free! art and facepainting, a box fort, soccer, hoola hoops, bubbles, water play....and shady space for kids and nursing moms. nature area by swan lake nature snactuary. it hope it going to be great.
so as i don't yet have my volunteer crew, i have started getting stuff tracing 150 mini guitars (ukeleles) to be painted

and chop-sawing cardboard tubes into drum frames....

so come check out the festival, FolkWest! it's going to be lots of fun, gosh darn it!

Friday, June 10, 2011

upcoming show June 18: Clay Connects

Well I don't do many shows, but I will be at this one next weekend, along with over 30 other members of the South Island Potters Guild. Should be quite a day, come check it out if you can....

chance to win!

hey friends
have you been thinking...hey i sure wish i had a new piece of pottery from Dirty Girl Clayworks....?
well here's your chance to win - yes! free!
check this fabulous site tomorrow (june 11) and leave a comment and maybe you will be the lucky one!

good luck!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

another studio tour survived!

well mothers day always marks the annual Saanich West Studio Tour, and so was spent eating tea and greeting visitors in the grey & cold weather that descended. it was made all the better by sharing space with a good friend, Madelin Emery, & a new friend Paige Coull. and we got a descent turn out too!

Another great thing about the studio tour is that it motivates me to fill up the gallery instead of just shipping things out... always feels good to walk into a full gallery! here's a sneak peek into the new work i've been doing too. you may notice some polka dots, some stripes, and some multi-coloured stencil layers here & there...

filling up the mug rack, the bowl shelves....

fresh tumblers

getting dotty

and dottier

my herd of wild horses....

* * * * * * * * *

Paige Coull does great , hip, work with lots of decals, mishma, stamps, and other fun add-ons and small alterations.

and funky jewellery too!

Madelin and i have known each other over ten years now. we met sharing studio space at Xchanges Artsists Collective... she does raku.

some fabulous juicy red raku

a fleet of polar bears - Madelin makes bears as a fundraiser for bear research.

cheack out that awesome crackle!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

something new

here's a few new pieces. both have things i am happy with and not so happy with. some good learning came from them.

i've been wanting a nice water pitcher for our family table for some time. mulled it over, but didn't, in hindsight, think enough about form. really like the way the decoration cam out in this. i also did another one with swallows which is in the Spottery show in Vancouver...
but the spout is a bit too much for me, and the top not quite narrowed enough. it functions fine, but we do have to pour slowly...

and this large plate (about 14-15" diameter) i worked for quite awhile on, layering the slips and stencils. and in the end, some fine hairline cracks in the slip along one side! ack! guessing slip is too thick. so am layering stencils differently on the new ones (one base colours, negative stencils added in other colours...). will see how they turn out. really like the look of the plate, gosh darnit! and was surprised by the change in colour - that final layer is my sky blue over the green. usually the layered colours don't effect each other, but this really did.

last little note - next week is the Saanich West Studio Tour - lots of great potters & art! and beginning of my "regular" open hours for the rest of the year! come check it out, there will be cookies...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

earth day: a day with no pictures

yesterday we celebrated many things - earth day, a one year old's birthday, the warmth of the spring sun (finally!), being with good friends and meeting new ones, our children, and the joy of community.

we spent the day at twisted vine farm, helping, along with many others, to get the walls of there earthern home! and the day was such a busy, engaging day, we didn't manage to pull out the camera (but i'm sure gen will pos some photos on her site soon).

they are building mainly with light clay (clay slip and wood shavings) and cob.... a clay persons dream home! we are blessed with being able to be apart of such things as building friends home!

and while i have gotten dirty during other work-parties at twisted vine in the past, this i day i got to hang out with my girl! A spent the day filling walls, and he looked so happy and contented to be doing so, that i left him to it. N and I ran around with the other wild kids, spent a lot of time taking turns on the swing (only one swing, many children! lots of patience and communicating about turns...), went for a walk along the trans-canada trail looking for turtles and frogs & finding lots of nettles (yum!), eating cake, snuggling for some quite reading time, sitting by the fire roasting veggie dogs (N's first one!) and just taking it all in. fun day. tiring day. lots of pictures in my head, brief sketches drawn here for you

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hump day!

Well I've been back in the studio for a few weeks now & it feels good!
you know as much as i needed a break, i do get pretty antsy when away from the studio for too long....maybe that would be different if my hiatus was spent somewhere slow & tropical...instead of here waiting for the pipes to defrost...
in any case i'm making making making with deliveries scheduled in april and some new things up my sleeve (photos as soon as they are out of the kiln!)

here's my studio shelves today as they fill up with work (and a full load in the kiln to boot!)

today was making what i call dipper bowls, and i generally throw them "off the hump" - meaning i don't measure each ball of clay out individually like i do for most things, but simply toss a large lump of clay onto the wheel (usually between 6-8 lbs) and throw each bowl off the top of it until i run out of clay. it takes some practice to get each piece the same size, but once you get it & are in the flow its a great way to make small things, or pieces of things (spouts, lids, etc...). you don't have to centre the entire lump of clay, just the top part that you are using. it's not a radical new way of doing things but i sure like it when it's time to throw dipper bowls

here's the hump looking down from the top

here's the hump from the side, i've already thrown about half of it, glistening in the sunlight (yes it was sunny today and still i stayed in my studio!)

here's the bowls that have already come off this hump

Thursday, March 10, 2011

spare time? part two

well spare time seems like a thing of the past all of the sudden, now that i am back in the studio with many pots to make & orders to fill. but i do have another long time project that i am picking away at.

this fall is was gifted four bags of raw wool. i was so excited. i had no idea what kind of work (whew it's a lot!) would be involved in getting the wool to the stage where i could use it for felting or spin it for knitting... so i did get it all washed over about two months and am starting to card it. knotty by nature is that super fabulous store in town that rents time on their drum carder! it took me two hours to make my first 15 batts...but feels like progress. in the meantime between the next session (who knows when that will be!) i am hand picking it (basically fluffing it before carding it.) and experimenting with dying.

some picked wool, some dyed some au naturel

i have been loaned a variety of drop spindles, but have yet to get the hang of it, so that i can hopefully spin it into something that resembles what one would knit with, i.e. yarn.

drop spindles

N has already requested a maybe i will have the wool (or at least some of the wool) spun up for the end of summer and get working on some winter hats...

And being back my studio does feel good, i just getting back into the old juggling act. i am working on some new fun stuff, lots of layers of colour, images, and polka dots! will show some photos when they come out of the kiln.
also working on some portrait pieces, something i've been wanting to do for awhile...also give you a peek when they get out of the kiln...stay posted!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

spare time?

well yes time for other things does exist! as i have reminded myself this past month or so, on hiatus from my chilly, damp studio...
finally finished the quilt i started for N's birthday (which was in, well, november...). i like to quilt, or i like the idea of quilting, but don't do it often. was fraught with sewing machine woes, the snapping of many needles, and the extra time it takes to try and make it work with what material is at hand rather than head to fabricland for that final 2 metres... many old pajamas and shirts and scrip scraps went into this quilt... really freed up some storage space!
here's the finished product! snuggly! and really cozies up N's room.