NCECA the National Council for Educators of Ceramic Arts is a huge event that brings together galleries, exhibitors, ceramic artists. I have wanted to attend this conference for as long as I remember and this year I did. Perhaps I finally decided to attend because not teaching full time allowed me the time and schedule flexibility or that my family made it possible or maybe it was just because it was held in Tampa, FL in March. What every the reasons, I know I had my timing right. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the work presented, listening to the demonstrators and learning from everyone. The work I viewed was amazingly beautiful and inspirational, but I also realized that I am worthy of representation too. One of the best things I learned from this venture is that galleries are always looking for new work, but they don't know your out there if you don't contact them. So I have returned more determined than every to make art, to put together several packets of my work and send them to galleries so that I may make some more connections. I also have to thank my wonderful traveling compnaion, friend and amazing potter by her own right Malley Weber. I am hooked, see you next year in Seattle!
Well I am rebuilding my website and attempting to link my blog onto to it. I haven't yet figured out how to get you back to my web page logically without having to use the back buttons. Ideas and suggestions welcome. I realize I have long neglected my blog, but perhaps it is the long cold winter here in Maine, the isolation of working long hours alone and/or the need to connect to other but I am feeling the desire to get back to it. I have been busy making many new forms and some old familiar ones too, add to that mixing large buckets of glaze and some new glaze experiments.
Bear with me while I work out the glitches on this blog and my website, but please visit and feel free to offer suggestions. Lizproffetty.com
Have you ever thought about your coffee mug? Perhaps not. But I do. I stop and think about what cup I "feel" like using every morning. Color, size, fit all calculated before I even pour my first cup of coffee. Early this morning I noticed myself doing this while getting ready for my weekly classes. As I went to get some coffee, I stopped and looked at my rather embarrassingly large collection of handmade pottery mugs created by numerous artists, but the mug I wanted to use today wasn't on the shelf. Fortunately my still caffeine deprived brain was able to send a weak signal out telling me to look in the dishwasher, which is where I found my mug of the day--a mug I made. But why this mug? I am not even sure how this mug has found its way from the studio into my home and now finds itself being chosen on a regular basis for use. When I first pulled it out of the kiln I wasn't even sure I liked it. I thought it was too dark. I designed the colors and pattens based on drawings and impressions from Pemiquid Point. The top for the mug has strong diagonal lines made from a black textured glaze and areas of a chartreuse green that are reminiscent of the bright green algae that collect in the still pools set against a watery turquoise glaze on the bottom of the mug. This mug has grown on me. I am captivated by the way the colors blend as they meet with subtle shifts in texture and I feel that it truly does capture the feeling of the striated rocks plunging under the frigid Maine waters and the strangely beautiful flora and fauna that make their home there.
To me it is just right size, it holds 12oz of coffee. You see I have a theory about coffee cups and sizes. Almost every one says, "I like a nice big mug for my coffee." But I realized that I like to grab a large mug on those mornings when I am flying out of the house early and might not have a chance for another refill but on days that I am at home working and feel a little more at leisure I choice the medium size; I mean I can always refill and who wants to drink cold coffee when they don't have to? There is also the very small mug, often overlooked, but I call these the Sunday Morning Mugs. The days when you can make a nice pot of coffee, sit down drink coffee fresh and hot and refill as often as you would like. No rush, no need to pour more than you will drink in those few quiet moments.
There are other qualities I look for in in my daily mug. Like shape and fit. The shape of this mug works well for my "at home but busy days" because it has a slight belly on the bottom. The coffee stays all warm and snug down there, but it rises gently up the slightly sloping sides as I lift it to drink. The subtle transition from belly to shoulders forms a comfortable waist where I can wrap my hands to feel the coffee's warmth. Yes, the right mug--this mug in the morning does make me happy.
So what mug do you choose? Is it a travel mug because your always on the go? Is it big or small? Does it fit in you hand just right? Do you reach for the same one everyday or are you like me and change it up? Why? Are you in need of a special mug? If so let me know and I can fix you up with something that will suit your lifestyle.
My first week of self-employment was not glamorous, but it sure was constructive. I spent days unpacking materials from school, setting up shelving and organizing everything from pencils to files. But now I am ready. My studio now encompasses two floors. The first floor is the pottery studio, which has received a very through cleaning this week and the second floor is now the drawing and painting classroom. Open shelving loaded with materials, a huge wonderful work table (made by by husband--thank you very much), a time-line of art and a cozy sitting area ideal for relaxing and socializing after a class completes the room. My hope for this space is to teach art lessons linked to art history and world culture to students of all ages. I also envision it to be used for parties like birthdays and "Girls Night Out." Wouldn't it be fun to get together with a few friends, make a project as a gift or for yourself, then relax and have a glass of wine (byob) and a few snacks? I think so! Give me a call and we can set something up.
I now have my first week of pottery lessons in full swing. This week's theme is Nature. We are making vases and garden tiles from the impressions of leaves and flowers and maybe a little garden gnome? We will see what the rest of the week holds. Week 2 should be fun as well as we are doing a favorite of many--Egypt! So many wonderful objects and designs to draw inspiration.
Last but not least (I hope) I have cleaned and orgainzed my own pottery work. My limited shelving space is brimming with pots full of seasonal colors inspired from landscapes both seen and imagined. I am so excited to finally be able to make pots on a more regular basis again. If you are interested in purchasing something let me know and we can make arrangements. Eventually I hope to have a few good stores to sell my work as well as an online source. But that will all come in time.
Tomorrow morning I will wake up early as I do most mornings, but instead of racing out the door to drive to work I will walk a few feet into my studio. This I hope will be my new commute for my days and weeks possible years to come. For while I have made pottery for years, this is the first time I have attempted to make it my full time job. I am really looking forward to the consistancy and the solitude that comes from regular time spent creating, but being that I am also a social creature with a strong desire to create other passionate and successful artist I will also offer art lessons to children and adults. Please contact me if interested. Stay tuned!
So this is it...my blog. I am far more comfortable and content slinging mud in my studio, but I feel the need to connect and share my creative experiences with others. My hope is to add my thoughts and pictures of my work as a way for collector of my work or students to understand my work and process more fully. For today lets just say that instead of struggling with the technical process of clay or enjoy the creative flow I usually feel in the studio I am attempting to set up all the avenues I need to make those connections. Stick with me though, promise I will try to get the hang of this.