Oh the Suspense

Shame on me!  I left you hanging in November without a follow-up after the mugs were fired.  Well…they turned out fabulous!  The size is generous – 10-12 ounces and they feel so good in your hand.  I’m still tweaking the handles and the shapes, but these guys are my new favorite thing to make and use.  The bright colors inside make them such happy little mugs and me…such a happy potter!

Share

About Coffee Mugs

1st mug in the series
Over the years I have made many coffee mugs.  I even won a coffee mug show with one of my designs (years ago).  Lately I’ve been obsessing about how to make mugs that show off my new carving work.  My dilemma was not about the carving, but how to prepare the mug for carving.  Picture this…three coats of black underglaze is applied on the potter’s wheel. Now, if the handle is attached…hmmm…spinning wheel, protruding appendage – recipe for disaster.  Two choices – attach the handle after the underglaze, or do it first & apply the underglaze by hand.  So I tried it both ways – either will work – not sure which I like best. Carving the line at top & bottom is almost as tricky, but I did it without knocking the handle off, so I’m happy.  And I LOVE these new mugs! Can’t wait to get them fired & drink some of Sam’s fabulous coffee from one.
Series of 4

From the back
Share

Carving my Bottoms

For some years, I made a point of carving a little drawing on the bottom of my pots. Then I changed to just carving my “dancing lady” on the bottom.  I got away from it when I ordered a professional stamp with my signature and Earth to Art logo.  Now, I’ve decided to do both – at least on some things.  Has anyone EVER admired a piece of pottery without picking it up and turning it over to see the bottom?  I love the element of surprise when they find more carving on the bottom.  And then,  there is the adage I recall from other art endeavors such as embroidery, stained glass, etc. “The back needs to be just as beautiful as the front” (is that my mother’s voice I hear?).

So, here is a picture of a platter in progress and a large bowl.  On one I carved in the raw clay and the other I added black under glaze for that stunning contrast that I so love.  I like both effects, so maybe I will just do what I’m in the mood for at the time. Do they all need to be the same?  Which do you like best? 

Share

Beautify All Things

Saturday was Fort Worth Gallery Night, and I was thrilled to have work in two places.

  • “Spirit of Home” was at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center in the Best of Texas Clay show.  What an honor to be among such gifted artists and spectacular art – all made of clay.
  •  “Beautify All Things” was in Art in the Garden at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens.  It was a small show, mostly paintings, with a small number of 3D entries and only a weekend show, so I wasn’t expecting much.  So, imagine my surprise, when I went to pick it up yesterday and was told I couldn’t have it – it was SOLD!  What a great feeling to know that piece that was so special to me will grace someone’s home.

As I’ve said before, I love what I do and am grateful daily that I get to do it! 



“Spirit of Home”
“Beautify All Things”




Oh What a Beautiful Morning!
Share

Glaze Quest

When we moved to Weatherford, more than a year ago, I knew there would have to be changes in the way I work.  We are in the country and get our water from a well.  A few weeks ago, I mixed glazes for the first time since we moved and I used distilled water because that’s what the experts recommend and I was not sure how the well water would affect my tried & true glazes.  Well… they all turned out AWFUL! 

My husband is a mechanical engineer and I was a quality engineer for 32 years, so analysis is just what we do…about everything.  So, we began to analyze (I know you’re yawning now but it gets better).  We tested using all three kilns and every combination I could think of. Yesterday, I decided to study the recipes & see if I could come up with anything I might have done differently that would have caused these glazes to go so horribly wrong.  The worst glaze was my precious Pumpkin Matt, which I’ve been using for at least 15 years with great success.  So why did it turn out like dried mustard on a stick?  Hmmm…well, while studying the recipe card I noticed that the amounts listed for the 3 gallon batch were larger on some ingredients than for the 4 gallon batch.  Eureka!  Of course, that’s the problem.  So I re-mixed a batch and fired a test last night and it turned out beautiful!!!  Not just pretty, but yummy, yummy beeyewtiful!

So today I’m a happy potter!  And tomorrow and I will begin my quest anew to find the problem with each of the other glazes that just aren’t themselves. 

By the way, here’s a picture of the new studio – my little piece of heaven on earth.

Share

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Sam Young

 

 

Yesterday I married my best friend, Sam Young.  We fell in love 33 years ago – when we were young & stubborn.  Fate brought us back together and we celebrated our joyful marriage at the beautiful Weston Gardens in Fort Worth.  Enjoy some of the photos and make note of my new name, Carolyn Bernard Young (I will never be old!).
Share

Getting Hitched!

In a couple of months I will marry the man I fell in love with 33 years ago!  We were young, stubborn and let outside forces direct our paths.  He returned to my life this year with the most exquisite timing, taking my breath away and recapturing my heart.  Each day is filled with love, laughter, and plans for our new life together.  I’ve never been happier in my life.  

Share

Morning Coffee

I love mornings!  Drinking coffee at dawn, listening to happy little birds chirp outside the window – it’s my favorite time of day.  The only thing that would make it better is to be in the mountains, sitting on the deck under a blanket, looking out over a fabulous view & watching the critters scurry about their morning duties.  Blissful.
There is a long day ahead – but it is a day in the studio doing what I love.  There are pots to be trimmed and more pots to be glazed – always work to be done. It will be exhausting, but at the end of the day, I am so grateful for the chance to live a creative life.   As someone once said, if you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life.  Well, I worked for 32 years at a high-stress job, and it makes me ever so grateful for this phase of “not” working. 
Time to get started, but first…can I pour you another cup of coffee?
Share

Couples

The Couples Pottery Experience has been wildly popular and I’m so happy about it! I love introducing people to clay, but it’s even better when a couple learns together. For many, it was a Valentine’s Day gift; others are celebrating birthdays or anniversaries; still others have always wanted to sit at the wheel and spin some clay. Yes – there are always the giggles about “Ghost” but they are truly joyful in their experience and I get all kinds of postive feedback – who wouldn’t love that?!

Thursday through Sunday it’s all about the couples here at Earth to Art. With 315 couples signed up through Groupon, I had to get really organized. It will take a few months to get them all in, but I’m having a blast doing it.

What a lucky girl I am! Thank you Maa’to!

Share

In My Heart There Lives a Potter

In my artful quest I have tried many things, but pottery is my true passion. Standing at my wheel coaxing the clay to do more than it is willing, gently stretching, guiding the clay – this is my bliss. I lost sight of that for a while – listening to the call of other things, other people. An old and very dear friend recently returned to my life – with the most exquisite timing – and he gave me these words, “In my heart there lives a potter”. Plain & simple, yet deeply touching my soul, reminding me who I am and – dare I say – who he is to me. Thank you Maa’to.

Share