Showing posts with label stoneware. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stoneware. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Down to Earth....

As we are closing in on the last few days of bringing the construction phase of our "little project" to a conclusion. I am beginning to think in earnest about all the details of what, where and why in setting up the Studio and Gallery.  We have made some last minute changes, and I am thinking that the changes will work well and allow for lots of interesting opportunities.

First up is the actual layout.  We decided that in order to better use space and keep the actual creation processes on tile surfaces (think muddy here), we will be adding some additional Gallery space.  This will serve several purposes, first to encourage visitors to feel welcome past the first two rooms and encourage them to go "behind the scenes" into areas of the Studio where work will be in progress. Second it will allow for additional area for sales of both work by our Studio Artists, as well as some of my favorite non-pottery art work which I have discovered along my journey into mud.

Having participated in many Fine Art Shows over the past 7 years, I had the joy of meeting and getting to know several artists who create phenomenal work, and yet like me they strive to keep their prices down to earth and affordable.

Yes, there will be a few items that will be in higher price ranges, but overall everything in the Gallery will be affordable art for everyday, or for that special day when something unique is needed. All of the pieces that I create will be available for custom order with choices of text, impression, clay base and glaze colors.

It is my hope that the Studio will be a welcoming and friendly place where people look forward to come and explore being creative, or come looking for unique creations.

In the meantime, we are setting up all the needed "number things" book keeping, scheduling, ordering, and ultimately, very soon  MOVING IN AND SETTING UP !!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Unique Gift for Wedding, Anniversary, Retirement, or Any Special Occasion

Lace Tray made with handmade Italian 
Wedding Lace

When I first started working with clay I had some "big" ideas about projects I wanted to try.  This tray was one of them.  It is a favorite piece for me to create and I am always surprised with the results.  These trays are made by impressing wedding lace and then individually glazing each and every petal.   They are wonderful as a wedding gift, anniversary present, retirement, or just to have and to enjoy.

These are wonderful for any season.  I have created this in fall these, spring, summer, and even in winter shades using wonderful pastels.

It takes me about 2 hours to glaze a single tray.  Some of my pottery friends think I am "nuts" to make these, but I just keep making them.  I love how the lace appears after the final firing.

 Yes, these are not your average pottery run.  There are normally an average of 4 runs per tray to achieve the final result.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

2012 Lessons Learned.....

Santa Hawaii Style
Who knew that 6 years ago I would be blogging about pottery.  6 years ago I was far from where I am now, but I am so thankful for the wonderful opportunities pottery has brought into my life, and for the whole range of new people it has also brought to me.  You know who you are out there, and I sincerely appreciate you, thank you for all you do!

2012 has been a year of expansion and learning here at Big Dog Pots.  I entered into several new retail venues, and am in discussions with a few more to come online in early 2013.  As a result of my new found brick and mortar locations, I have cut back on the number of shows that I attend.  2013 will see even further pairing down of my show schedule to 3 shows total, perhaps even less.

Being able to leave the show circuit has been a learning experience.  It is wonderful to interact with customers in the show setting to get their feedback and ideas on my pieces, and also to receive new ideas from people who stop by my booth and ask "have you ever seen one of those....." or "my grandmother had a ...." and the ever present "can you make me.....".

In exchange for this valuable feedback, I have been able to save wear and tear on Me!  Shows are exhausting to participate in.  Crafters arrive at 0-dark-hundred, spend about an hour and a half setting up, sit throughout the entire day, (or two, or three), then carefully pack out making sure they are ready to set up the next time, and are able to inventory what they need to create what has been depleted. Also saved is working on someone else's schedule of when you have to arrive, leave, and how to participate.  Most of those are not really issues for me, but occasionally you are placed next to the noisy vendor, the vendor with the wafting perfume, or the vendor who thinks they are a superhero and sets up their booth with such a flurry you are terrified that they will take out half of your display in the process.  For the most part, I have met lovely vendors, and have been lucky enough to be situated near some very nice people.  Many of whom have now become good friends.

What I have learned this year also extended in to the "World of ETSY".  I had tried to create a shop on ETSY about 3 years ago and found the programming not user friendly.  I always say "I am mud savvy, not computer literate".  So after being encouraged by many, many customers that "you really need to be on ETSY", I took the plunge again.  I found this time around that the minds behind ETSY had taken numerous steps to make it more user friendly.  I still have problems figuring out the details of some aspects of how it really works, but I have a shop, I have made sales, I have made custom orders, and I now have an ETSY presence.  The down side to ETSY is that it is time deceptively time consuming.  Photographing, editing, posting, monitoring, communicating, shipping, all take time away from not only making pottery, but living an everyday life.  For now, I will continue my efforts on ETSY, but am reconsidering they types of things I offer and will continue to alter various types of items available.


Something I have avoided.
I do see the value of making multiples.  Time saving, work saving, money saving.  I will begin to make multiples, but in a "Big Dog Pots" way.  My multiples will be unique.


Something I must do for next Christmas.
As the stars aligned, I was entering into various retail venues in late October.  The pieces I had made all year for the Holiday Season were all downloaded into brick and mortar stores.  So, come Christmas, I was really depleted and did not have enough items that were ready to ship.  Next year will be different, and hopefully as a result more successful.


As I am expanding, I have found that it is becoming more difficult to donate 100% of my proceeds to my favorite animal rescue groups.  While my level of giving to these groups will remain constant, or in some instances will increase, I now find that I do need some funds to maintain my equipment, pay electricity for the increased number of kiln runs, purchase basic materials, and the gas needed to drive the hour each way to the nearest pottery supplier.  As a result, my website, ETSY site, and everywhere else now says that I "donate a portion of my proceeds to animal rescue groups in my hometown."  I wanted to be honest, the past 6 years I was able to donate 100%.  From this point forward, that percentage will have to fluctuate.

So, as I enter into my 6th year in this endeavor, I continue to learn, continue to be inspired, continue to create and be passionate about making pottery.  All in all, it has been a very good year!

Happy Holidays 2012

Elf Daisy

Santa Max
Happy Holidays From Big Dog Pots!
Wishing you all the best this Holiday Season and in the coming New Year.
We give thanks as we end enter our 6th year
for the friends and family who have graciously supported our efforts.  We give thanks to all who give their time, energy and spirit
to the protection, care and love of animals everywhere.
Consider adopting your next pet, 
change a life forever.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Don't know about you, but September means everything and everyone is back where they belong. My two kids are snuggled into another year at school, my husband is at work, and I have my space to breathe again. I really did not have much time over the summer to work on pottery, which bothered me. But, I did keep a notebook of ideas I wanted to try and also glaze combinations I wanted to test.

I brought back some HUGE leaves from a trip to the ocean, and made a number of free form trays out of them. I already have found a glaze combination that I love to use to highlight leaves, and now, I perfected a multi-layered blue glaze combination. I was so excited to see tray after tray emerge from the kiln all looking like they were supposed to!

Now that I have "mastered" blues, I am moving on to greens! It took me about a year to come up with the "perfect" blues, now I begin on the search for the perfect greens.

Wish me luck.

My first show of the fall is this Saturday. The weather doesn't look like it will cooperate, and I have a firm rule of NOT doing outdoor shows in the rain. The foot traffic just isn't worth all the effort of set up. So we will see if this Saturday is a go or not.

I am enjoying seeing patches of bright red in the woods around me. Although the days are still warm, the red reminds me of the cool and cold that is just around the corner.