Counting Down

Installation Day

Installing wall pieces

Still too high? Yes, but I do love them!

Spirits Rising, an exhibition of my work, opens April 3 at Red Earth Art Center in Oklahoma City. This is wildly exciting for me so I hope you will bear with my exuberance. Installation day was Friday, March 31, […]

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So I Had a Breakthrough

A sneak peek: Spirit Sister wall sculpture in progress. ©2016 Carolyn Bernard Young

The first weekend of November, something close to 100 artists descended upon Golden, Colorado for three full days at Art Biz Breakthrough. Hosted each year by Alyson B. Stanfield, well-known and well-loved business coach for artists, it is truly a life-changing […]

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You Asked...I Made It Happen

© Carolyn Bernard Young, Transforming Grace, 8×5″, stoneware, $475

Over the past several months, many of you have asked if you could purchase pottery on my website. So…I’m delighted to announce…NOW you can!

Free Shipping! And because I truly value your support, I am offering free shipping in the US on all Lidded […]

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Springtime Road Trip

“Tiny Warrior” received Honorable Mention at the Trail of Tears Art Show in Tahlequah

Earlier this month, Sam and I drove up to Muskogee for the opening reception of the Trail of Tears Art Show at the Cherokee Heritage Center. We also wanted to visit the

Five Civilized Tribes Museum show where two of […]

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Oklahoma or Bust!

Honoring the Spirit of the American IndianFor the first time, I will be a part of the Greater Tulsa Indian Art Festival in Glenpool, Oklahoma February 5-7.  The theme this year is “Honoring Our Veterans and Code Talkers”, and I am so excited to be… […]

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A Trip to Golden

Just a week ago, I was in the beautiful town of Golden, Colorado for ArtBiz Breakthrough – a gathering of artists like none I’ve ever seen.  Alyson B. Stanfield, author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio, led us through a marvelous adventure in the business side of art.  You can find out more about her at www.ArtBizCoach.com.
 
Alyson is a no-nonsense coach for artists who are serious about building a business around their art.  She is funny, inspiring, and just fun to be around.  But make no mistake, she is serious about helping artists build a business in a fun environment.
 
I made some new friends from all over the country and got to know some acquaintances who live right here in my neck of the woods!  The trip home allowed me time to process what I learned and develop a plan for the next year.  With Alyson on my team, I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings. 
 
As a bonus, the lovely and talented Regina-Marie Mountjoy of www.recherche-photography.com was on hand to take new head shots of the attendees.  I have to say, I think she might be a wizard!  What do you think?
 
Carolyn Bernard Young                            Photography by
 
 

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Making Lemonade From Broken Pottery

You know the saying, “When life gives you lemons…” – it’s a saying I try to live by.  I recently read a blog post by a potter who emphatically stated that when she screws up a pot she immediately trashes it, screams, cries, and says a lot of very bad words.  I know the feeling.

Years ago I had the pleasure of hosting Ellen Shankin in my home while she was giving a workshop for our Texas Pottery and Sculpture Guild.  She is a fabulous potter, teacher, and all-around wonderful person.  One of the things she taught was about screwing up a pot you made, especially one you spent a lot of time creating.  She said, don’t throw it away – take a deep breath, then take a second look.  Whether it is while you are throwing, carving a leather hard piece, or unloading a kiln to find a disaster – see what you can learn or where the mistake might take you.


It’s hard! But, every time I mess up, I hear her words and try to obey.  This has led to some really cool new work for me over time.  Once, after spending hours carving a platter, I picked it up carelessly and broke off part of the rim.  Eeek!  I really wanted to throw that thing as far as I could, but Ellen’s words rang in my ears, so I gently put it down and walked away.  Later, when I took a second look, I saw beauty in the broken part and decided to go with it.  Now, those platters with a section of uneven, cut off edge are my best sellers!  So I tried it with bowls.  Who wants a perfectly round bowl or platter when you can have something unique?  My customers love them.

 
 
This platter is a great example.  The cut edge was intentional (lesson learned long ago), but when I took it from the kiln, there was a blob of red glaze on the yellow.  NOT intentional.  After looking at it for a while, I decided to add more red glaze to make the shape of a heart, re-fire it, and title it “For the Love of Horses”.  The customer was thrilled!
 
So, whatever your mistake – in life, in business, in art – stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and see just what you can learn from it. You may discover something wonderful!
 
I’d love to hear from you about mistakes you’ve made and what you learned from them.  Leave your comments below.
 
Yakoke! Thanks for taking the time to read.  You can see more of my work on my website:
 
 
In gratitude,
 
Carolyn Bernard Young

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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 a… […]

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About Coffee Mugs

1st mug in the seriesOver 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… […]

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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.&n… […]

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