Thanks for visiting!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Soon! Promise!

Hi world! I have lots of new and not-so-new work I need to post up on my Etsy shop, but there simply hasn't been time to take photos and create listings with all of the changes quickly approaching. So....I promise soon after moving for June 1 I will get all those goodies posted, including the rings and pendants, small yarn bowls, other colors of the XL yarn bowls, cups, trays, and other various odds and ends. Promise! And if there's something we spoke about at a show that hasn't posted up yet please contact me so I can help you before then!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

One week until moving time!

This week I finished up the last of my shifts at The Potters Shop, this weekend I am packing the apartment, next week I fire my last kilns and pack my studio belongings, and then I move! Hooray!

I'm very excited for sooooo many reasons about my new space. I keep imagining my new space much larger than it actually is (".... a clay table, a paperwork table, a bistro table with chairs for visitors...."). Reality will set in when the giant pile is in the center of the studio, waiting to be organized. But until then, my mind wanders out of the second bedroom reality and into a warehouse dream.

I'm certainly not getting carried away with my dreaming. I'm considering different ways to make my new, smaller studio more efficient and simpler. Changing/eliminating multiple clays and only using one clay body is one option I've considered, but am not quite ready for that leap yet. Plus I've got plenty of bags of recycled clay I use to keep me going for a little bit. And while a multiple bucket rinse system sounded like an option before, plunking down the money on a sink trap to protect plumbing is sounding more and more like a better option. There's going to be a lot of little things to figure out along the way and lots of little things I'm giving up by leaving  a studio, but I'm very excited to take them on and I can't wait to get there.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sand artist Kseniya Simonova

My husband has been watching America's Got Talent recently and it made me remember an artist I heard about from the Ukrainian version of the show. It was artist Kseniya Simonova whose performance brought the audience to tears and their feet giving her an ovation at the end. She creates drawings in sand over a light box and the images are projected for the audience to see. It's really unique and interesting and she won the competition.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dedham Open Studios this weekend!

This weekend is the 2nd annual Dedham Open Studios. I'll be participating at the Dedham Community House with Boston Handmade members Kerry Hawkins, Nancy MacCallum, and Jessica Burko. Other artists will be at the location as well, and also in other locations across town. This year the event will be selling reusable bags for $10 to help raise funds for next year's efforts, available at Endicott Estate and in Dedham Square.

Hope to see you then!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Some new pieces

I've made some pieces of ceramic jewelry here and there and recently made a few more, some pendants and rings using my signature rope texture. I have a handful more that I'm going to raku, I can't wait to see those, they should be gorgeous! Sadly, I have a metal allergy and can't wear the pieces myself which is a bummer, so I'll just have to live vicariously through my customers. I still need to get the work photographed to put up on my etsy shop, but my dry, cracked hands coupled with my obsessive nail biting and I'm far from a hand model, so I'll have to find some creative ways to shoot the rings. Until then, the rings are getting carted around with me to my upcoming shows. Find me and say 'quit biting your nails' for $3 off a pendant or ring, sound good?

Monday, May 14, 2012

A true hidden treasure- Martini Junction in Needham Town Forest

Out in Needham Town Forest there is a really fun location if you can find it. Martini Junction is tucked away, but when you find it you'll be glad you did.

Follow the orange mini birdhouses that mark the trails through the trees. Walk out a bit and you'll see it. A mini train track in the woods. It was built by a town resident, Jim, who took picnics with his wife to the waterfall nearby. He thought the trips would be more fun if he added an actual working mini train, so he did. And what would be even more fun still? Martini's of course! Hence, Martini Junction.

The area is decorated with small toys visitors have contributed over time. There are tiny plastic sharks and whales in the birdbath's water, a small herd of ferocious dinosaurs keeping an eye on the path, and one of my favorites, a little cow standing in a patch of moss on a rock so he looks as if he is grazing in a field. There's tons of little figures out there, enough to keep you busy searching for them all for a while.

If your timing is right you may run into Jim, who regularly comes out to maintain his site. I was lucky enough to see him there and he was friendly enough to show off the train running it's track. The gears are located in a locked box, so Jim is the only one who is able to turn the train on, which he happily did. It chugged around the track, complete with the classic train whistle, chugging noise, and even a conductor's voice yelling "all aboard!". It was so fun to even find the location, but even more special I got to see it at work.

Friday, May 11, 2012

City by the Sea Ceramics! Moving! New Studio! OMG!

There's big news in my life coming soon, three weeks actually. I'm moving to North Grafton right next to Worcester and am super excited about it! Not only am I getting away from Boston (sorry Boston, but you're not the city for me), moving to a quiet town, saving money on rent, ridding myself of side and downstairs neighbors, being welcomed to my new town a week later by my favorite band, getting back a yard, going to be across the street from a bar with good beer, and going to get the best of both worlds living in a quiet town next to a busy city, but....

I'm getting my own studio!!!

I will be working at home in my own space, which is much roomier than the little nook pictured above I currently hold at The Potters Shop. I've worked there for just short of six years and it's where I really learned and grew as a potter. But, after that time I'm ready for changes and to move on, taking the next step towards the greater goal of having my own studio in a barn or garage of a home I will own someday. I'm not quite there yet, but this is a big step. Working out of home will be a challenge and an adjustment. I'm going to need to keep the place in immaculate condition to avoid clay dust. I'm going to be using rinse buckets instead of a sink with a trap on it. I'm going to have to transport my work for firing at The Fire Works. Things will be tricky. But good god, what do I get in return....

Well, first of all since I no longer will be working for The Potters Shop I will have more time on my own hands. Not having to work shifts for someone else is going to be huge and I'm really excited to have that time back. I have the luxury of working at home so when I'm having a lunch break I can do some laundry and watch some Wendy Williams (how YOU doin?). When I leave a tool, piece of work, or other item I know I will come back to it still intact, clean, and where I left it. I will be able to more closely monitor my work and it's drying. I can listen to my ipod dock at my preferred volume on my preferred music until the cows come home. There's sooooo much more.

I work for myself, 100% for myself. Three more weeks and it's mine.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Massachusetts 6.25% sales tax chart

My husband is amazing for a number of reasons, but one particular plus of his that helps me with my business is his ability with spreadsheets. He works with them constantly at his job, so he is really talented with them. As far as I'm concerned, they are a tool to make columns and rows. Yup, I'm that useless. He has helped me on more than one occasion with my business by building me an awesome functioning spreadsheet. One simple-to-him/mind-blowing-to-me spreadsheet he made for me was a list of the taxable amount by dollar for the standard Massachusetts sales tax, currently 6.25%. It's been super handy to have at shows, not needing to bust out the calculator to figure fractions of percentages. All of my work is priced by the dollar, so it works well for me as there are no change amounts to figure in, only whole dollars.

I like to share things that have been helpful for me, so here it is, the 6.25% sales tax chart on Google Docs, ready for you to print. I took a highlighter to every other row after I printed, making it even easier to read when things are chaotic at a show. I hope you find it as helpful as I have, I'm glad I can share some of my husband's awesomeness with you!