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Monday, November 29, 2010

~*~*~*~CYBER MONDAY SALE~*~*~*~

Yay! Cyber Monday sale on my Etsy shop. 12% off all purchases! Enter coupon code 12DECEMBER to get the discount!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Needham Holiday Open Studios

The studio and building I work out of, The Potters Shop inside the Gorse Mill Studios, is having a Holiday Open Studios event Saturday, December 4, and Sunday, December 5. That weekend in our building visitors will have the opportunity to see demonstrations of glass blowing, a reading of a new children's book by its author, pottery throwing, digital photography, and storytelling. Guests will also be able to meet the artists of the building.

The event is one of the many happenings to celebrate Needham's 300th birthday in 2011, and there are more artists throughout Needham participating for the weekend. The Jared Branfman Memorial Gallery at the Gorse Mill Studios will have various works created by the artists of the building as well as a collection of photographs of the historic 19th century knitting mills of Needham, including Gorse Mill.

This is a wonderful opportunity to find a local, handmade gift this holiday season. With so many types and styles of art inside Gorse Mill Studios, you will be sure to find something you love for someone you love. Support handmade!

Gorse Mill Studios
31 Thorpe Road
Needham MA 02494

Friday, November 05, 2010

What's in a name?

It never fails that at some point every time I show my work, someone asks about my business name, City by the Sea Ceramics. I'll hear "Are you from Manchester by the Sea?", or if they first ask where I'm from they'll reply confused, "But Needham isn't by the sea...". I always have to explain how the name has nothing to do with my actual location. So how exactly did I get my name and what does it mean? I'm so glad you asked!

When I chose to focus on pottery I decided I needed a business name to sell under rather than my actual name, Karen Mahoney. My name is pretty average, nothing flashy or unforgettable. There are many Karens out there and even more Mahoneys. I needed to stand out. I needed a shop name.

Next I decided that it was important that my name didn't pigeon-hole me and my work. I didn't want it to reflect anything specific, should I decide to take a drastic turn with my work at some point. While right now I want to make pots forever, you never know what the future holds. Some day I may just decide I need to make giant sculptures. Karen's Cups wouldn't cut it if that turned out to be the case.

So where did that leave me? I started thinking about what inspires me. While I've always loved Asian art the most, I've definitely been influenced by so many artists, time periods, and cultures beyond that. The Greeks, French, Romans, Inuits, I could go on and on. All of them have offered something notable to art that I enjoy and admire. This idea brought me to the next idea, that all influential cities throughout time have been near some form of water, be it a lake, river, or the ocean. I decided to work this angle into my name.

Using the word 'sea' as a general term for water, I decided upon City by the Sea Ceramics. I was able to honor the art history that the world has offered, keep the name broad enough so it doesn't focus on one specific thing, let people know it was ceramics I was offering, and still make it easy enough and catchy enough to remember. Perfect!