Monday, December 1, 2014

Riverview Station Holiday Market

The Village Potters will be taking part in the First Annual Riverview Station Holiday Market, and we hope you'll come kick off the holiday season with us! Our Feature Gallery will feature wonderful holiday gift ideas, and we'll have our festive best out for you, along with some light refreshments and holiday cheer. And Santa himself will be there too! Join us at The Village Potters and wander throughout Riverview Station on Friday, December 5, from 4-8PM!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What a Summer, and What a Fall!

I was amazed to see my last post here was in June, and more amazed to think about all that's happened since then:

Glaze testing continues on the Potters Mark glazes. I may have mentioned it's a slow process. I may never match the glazes, but I'm getting close to getting ... something.

recent tests for Potters Mark Red
I feel grateful every day that I am working at what I love to do, and even more so that I get to do it in a studio with people I love and respect. Studio traffic has been steady and Gallery sales continue to grow as we prepare to celebrate our third anniversary at The Village Potters, I am happily working hard just to keep up with inventory demands. It gets even better when I look through the work I make for my clients, who are all inspirations as business leaders and as people. If you're in my area, you should check them all out:

These little piggies are on their way to Cúrate!

New design for Biltmore Village Inn! (photo by Camilla Photography)

Asheville Bee Charmers, where you'll find an incredible honey tasting bar,
along with some of my mugs, honey pots, and even these sweet necklaces.
Can't wait to see the new boutique at the new
French Broad Chocolate Lounge location!

Have a nice cup of tea after your mass-aaaah-ge
at Sensibilities Day Spa!
And add to that, The Village Potters have been named Finalists for Martha Stewart's American Made Awards in the Crafts Category. It's an exceptional opportunity, and we are humbled to be considered and thrilled to be among so many fine Makers. Did you know you can vote six times a day

You know I believe "homemade tastes better on handmade", and I've been fortunate to have some good experiences on the 'homemade' side a bit more lately. I cook regularly at the studio, to a ridiculously receptive crowd, which only makes me want to do it more (hmmm... I see their plan!). And I was honored to cook a love-filled special meal for a good friend, and with a good friend. It got even better as we got to pick from the absolute cream of the crops and design the entire meal around what was fresh from the Farmer's Market. Watch the homemade tastes better food blog for recipes from that.

And now I'm off on another culinary adventure: I'll be cooking for private groups of eclectic folks gathering to study the hammered dulcimer, and I'll be doing it for three weeks at Virginia Beach. A reasonable question would be 'why am I leaving the studio for three weeks?!' In the final analysis, I tried out two statements: "I got to cook for folks for three weeks at Virginia Beach" and "I passed on a chance to cook for folks for three weeks at Virginia Beach". Adventure wins. And this wasn't a bad motivation either:
Sunrise at Va. Beach (photo by Laurie McCarriar)
And when I get back to Asheville and back in the studio, I get to dive into crazy production to make pots for the holiday season and refill inventories. It will no doubt be highly stressful, extremely exhausting, and at times a tad bit frustrating, but I still wake up every day and think "I get to do this!"

Monday, June 2, 2014

Continuing a Legacy

I have been given an incredible honor - Marty & Eileen Black, who have recently retired The Potter's Mark studio and gallery, have given me their process and glazes/recipes for their signature line of pottery, in the hopes that I will be able to continue the legacy they've built over the past 30+ years.

I am indeed honored and very excited about what possibilities lie ahead with this opportunity. Currently, I'm in the process of testing two of the most popular glazes, their signature 'Red', and the 'Spirit' glaze. The first tests of using these glazes on my clay body in a different kiln were very encouraging, but I won't begin regular production in any of these glazes until I have consistent results in several firings. After I nail down these two glazes, I'll test through others. While I may not carry items in every glaze, my plan is to be able to fill replacement orders for long time collectors in any glaze they have. I will only produce bodies of work in 2-3 glazes for show and sale in The Village Potters' gallery and in other regional galleries, all under the name "The Potter's Mark Line". 

The overall list of items that will be offered will be less than what Marty and Eileen originally carried, as  they, working together full time, were able to carry over 50 items, many available for wholesale as well as retail. I will have to pare down that list as I will be working solo. I'll also be carrying on my own work - if you check out my website 'Portfolio' link, you'll see that I've added a section for The Potter's Mark. As I continue the tests and achieve consistent results, I'll begin posting samples of the glazes that will be available. But testing is imperative, and cannot be rushed! If you'd like to keep up with my progress, I invite you to join The Potter's Mark mailing list for monthly updates and opportunities to win very special, very one-of-a-kind test pieces during this process. You'll also get first dibs on placing orders once that time comes!

The standing bowl, above, is The Potter's Mark signature Red Glaze. On the right, first test firing in my kiln. Encouraged to get red at all, but still some work to do!

For those who have been collecting The Potter's Mark wares, I will be carrying the most popular forms, and while I will make every effort to stay true to the spirit of Marty & Eileen's forms, they will be different as different hands are making them. I would never attempt to copy their style - indeed, one of the reasons I have been given this great honor and opportunity is because our styles, while different on the surface and in our decoration, have much in common when you look at the base forms. I believe that when current collectors see the range of forms available, that they may not have or may not have considered, with Potter's Mark glazes, they will be very pleased to add them to the collection.

Stay tuned for more!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

Just a few thoughts on Mother's Day, about my own gorgeous mom, my lovely sister who is a super-mom, and so many other women in my life who exemplify what it is to be a mother, whether they have children or not. I count many as dear and vital friends, I've adopted many of them, and I admire them all (and if we know each other and you're wondering if I'm talking about you, I am!). But my own mom is the one who gave me my first and lasting definition of 'mother', and I have found myself 'mothering' in many times/parts of my life, and if I do it right, it's because of what I learned from her. 

Happy Mother's Day Mom! I Love You!

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” 
Washington Irving

“No language can express the power, and beauty, and heroism, and majesty of a mother's love. It shrinks not where man cowers, and grows stronger where man faints, and over wastes of worldly fortunes sends the radiance of its quenchless fidelity like a star.” - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

Allegria & Don, my 'rents
“Behind all your stories is always your mother's story. Because hers is where yours begin.” 
Mitch Albom

"A mother's arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them." - Victor Hugo

Generational moms: my sister Becky & Mom
“In a child's eyes, a mother is a goddess. She can be glorious or terrible, benevolent or filled with wrath, but she commands love either way. I am convinced that this is the greatest power in the universe.” 
― N.K. Jemisin

More generational love - me ... a few years ago ...
with a picture of my mom's mom, Hannah.

“If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been.” 
― Robert Brault

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pop Up Spring Cleaning Sale

I'm cleaning the studio and making room for new production, this is true. It's also true that winter is a bit slower, and I've got some piles of pots that are just lovely, but they really aren't a part of my regular inventory for one reason or another. Some were glaze tests, and progressions of firings as I work through glaze tests. Some were demo pots for various occasions, some were duplicates made when filling commissions. Some were just for fun - trying something new but not intending to continue, and some just haven't found their forever home yet and are of a style I might not continue. All lovely pots, looking for a new home so I'll have room for all the pots on my current production list, as well as the ideas swimming around in my head.

Seems the same is true for my studio-mate Judi, so we're having a little pop-up sale in the new Feature Gallery at The Village Potters. Our sale begins Friday, March 7 and runs through Saturday, March 22 or when we run out of pots, which ever comes first. Pots, both functional and decorative, are priced to help motivate their transition to good homes.

Come and get 'em. All sales final, and no wholesale purchases on sale items.

The Village Potters is located at 191 Lyman Street (Riverview Station), #180, Asheville, NC, 28801. Winter hours are Monday - Saturday, 10am-4pm.

Hope to see you there!