Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friday, June 24th National Take Your Dog to Work Day

There has been a lot of discussion in pottery circles about having a dog, or other pets in the studio with you. There is a great deal of concern about having our fluffy friends spending so much time on the floor of a potentially caustic environment. Although, I do not use leaded materials in my studio, I am sure that just based on the amount of dust and dirt, and general mess that accumulates in my studio in an average week, there is room for concern.

Now with two new puppies in my life, I am readdressing the issue. I spoke with a potter in North Carolina while in her studio, and I was struck by how CLEAN everything was! Now, I am not the cleanest potter in the world, but this was SUPER clean. I asked her how she did it, how did she keep the environment SO CLEAN.

Being that I was not asking about POTTERY secrets, but CLEANING secrets, she "came clean" with ALL the information (you potters out there know EXACTLY what I am talking about here).

She used a wet/dry vacuum and then a steam cleaner for the floors. So wanting to be just like her, I purchased a steam cleaner. I must say, it has done a great job of helping me to keep the studio floors cleaner.

I am not as anxious to have my wonderful pups in there with me now. I have great cross ventilation, an air purifier running 24/7, and I am not steam cleaning my floors in addition to regular vacuuming with a HEPA filter.

So, I feel confident to post, that on Friday, June 24th, my two wonderful puppies came to work with me. Of course they come everyday, but I thought I would be like everyone else, and have them come on the one day that they are socially expected to be there.

Do you bring pets to your studio? How do you prepare the area for them? Do you have concerns about materials in your studio? How do you clean your studio? All comments, suggestions, concerns are welcome!

Saturday, June 4, 2011



This word just does not sit well with me. I know it has a particular meaning, and when mentioned in "pottery" circles, those involved know right away what you are referencing. But to me, it is just a "too much" type of word. Maybe ostentatious would be more like what I feel when I hear it. I just get that "turned off" feeling.

Yes, I know it is an ancient word, with many and varied meanings, but I just don't use it. It isn't a comfortable word for me to use about my work.

There are several other similar "pottery" words that I do not feel comfortable using like "ceramics", "artist" and others. To me, I am a potter. Plain, simple, no big words, just mud.

Here are some holders that I made for my niece's wedding. In some circles they are vessels, in my world they are holders. They hold air, food, flowers, or whatever someone would like to put into them.

I was generally pleased with how they turned out. They were all first attempts and as such, ALL of them I would do differently a second time around. But all in all they held the flowers well.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The New "Big Dogs"

Here they are! Max and Daisy joined the Big Dog family the first week in May. They are litter-mates and are ADORABLE! They came from western Virginia and all of us here at Big Dog Pots are completely in love with these two Schnorkies (Schnauzer/Yorkie mix).

It has been 20 years since we have had a puppy. So even though we are a bit rusty, it is all coming back to us.

These two are keeping us busy and entertained.

We just completed a 1200 mile trip to a family wedding and they came with us and did very well.

We are lucky to have a professional dog trainer close by and will begin our "puppy training" with her later this week. We have never used a professional before, so we are hopeful that these two pups will have an extraordinary beginning.

More on the adventures of Daisy and Max will follow.

For now, I will say that Max appears to be settling in as a perfect Studio Dog. He follows me everywhere and when I am in the studio, he curls up next to me.

It is wonderful to have a new buddy in the studio.