Monday, November 14, 2011

I am dusting off the shelves in the Green Swamp Gallery, and adding a line of pendants, and ornaments to my shop this week. As I write, the wood fire is being unloaded, and I am trying to figure out how to get my shoes and coat and car keys without waking the sleeping dogs.  Yeah I know it is impossible. They can hear me thinking about getting up and going!  Here are some snap shots that I took at the kiln site. It was a very nice load. The little rabbit pitcher was made with mid fire white clay from Continental Clay, and it was fired to well over cone 10 in this firing. The vase looking pieces below, are actually lamp bases that were special ordered. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

When the frost is finally out of the ground, there is a flurry of activity around the gardens in Minnesota.  When I first moved here and started my own gardens, I had this vision of an English country garden, or closer to home my mother in laws garden, with perfect rows and raised beds, and no weeds!  But I learned early on that the forest will keep taking over, and there was good reason to embrace the "weeds"
For one thing I did not  want to use any chemicals , herbicides, fertilizers on my gardens, vegetable or flowers.  Our land was  wild when we moved here, and I wanted to be a good guest.  The weeds were here before we were, and as I have learned over the years, each one has it's own purpose.
This pink and purple area is made up of iris in the back, chives in the middle, and a petunia basket in the foreground.
  So today I have pictures of my co existing front garden that also provides some herbs for my kitchen.   I used to use a purple only theme, because by August every thing will be covered with Grandpa Ott purple morning glories.  But there are so many beautiful colors out there that I have added a full spectrum this year.

the wild columbine are out now

Filling in is the greenery of dandelions and plantain. both are beneficial plants.      
Well I am off to use my new eco friendly lawn mowing program. I will have pictures soon!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Blossoms of spring

This was a huge surprise today! I found it on one of my houseplants. This is on an orchid cactus, but I have only ever had red and pink varieties and when I saw the bud on this one, I thought it looked yellow, but up until yesterday it had enough pink on it for me to think it was just another pink one. I am just mystified as to where it came from. I am wondering if they can change colors or what.
I hit the greenhouses early this year and got these pinstripe petunias. I went to get more and they were gone already!  Our vegetable garden is in, and the new section of raspberries is looking good.  We have had a lot of rain this spring, and I am looking forward to a stretch of dry days so we can make some hay. There are baby bunnies and one of my banty hens is sitting on a clutch of eggs.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Domestic Goddess Day!

I got my new sheets today and I cleaned the whole bedroom and beyond getting ready for them! I got a great deal online at Herberger's.  I have a soft spot for Herberger's  , They had a department store in Albert Lea, when I was a kid, and we got everything there.  Now I check their website when I need things and I find some great deals exclusively online.
My daughter and I were talking about how it's uplifting to give your room a cheap facelift, and add that fresh line dried sheet smell and a clean room and it doesn't get much better.  And for sure the cleaning binge is going to go on and spread to the rest of the house.   It must be spring!!
This is a good way to stay busy while I wait for the kiln to cool. The firing went well on Monday. We got done about 11pm.  I can't wait to see the new projects Paul is working on.
I will post pictures tomorrow.

Friday, May 13, 2011

New work, with colors galore!

This is my first paisley plate.  I started doing these just for fun, and now  am making myself a set, still just for fun, and just for me!  This one required an extra bisque firing because I used wax resist on the bisque along with some underglazes.  Then I layered more underglazes, glazed with clear, and fired to cone 6 oxidation.  I work on one at a time, in between my regular studio duties, and I just get hypnotized adding details. On  a sandwich plate today, I let myself get carried away with the resist, layering many colors , can't wait to  fire it, and  layer on some more!
   Okay! So blogger was working on some issues yesterday , and I lost part of this post. I added the works in progress to show the process.  The slab piece shows the first layer of wax resist, and some areas that I put yellow under glaze.  My next step will be to wax wherever I want to keep the yellow, and then add my next color which will be just a bit darker than the first.  Adding layers can go on indefinitely, as I will be painting smaller details within the pattern, after these are bisqued to remove the wax.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I had a very educational weekend at the Minnesota Buffalo association.  I had some buffalo/bison pots on hand for the Creative Drive in May, so I took those and some other pottery and set up at their meeting. There were other booths there, and some really interesting materials, and lectures about raising those magnificent beasts.  I am planning a trip to Jamestown ND someday to see the National Buffalo museum there!

I am looking forward to our summer season of shows.  Most of them consist of pottery tours where we are hosted by someone. Of course we will apply for Stockholm again this year and hope to attend that wonderful show.

Something new for Paul this year will be a workshop held in New London, MN with his longtime colleague Bill Gossman.   This two day event will be held May 13th and 14th. Bill will be demonstrating large scale vessels, and Paul will be concentrating on "Anything but round"
Click Here for more information about the workshop.  I will be giving two mini workshop April 30th at the Pine Center for the arts   One will cover beginning drawing, and the other will be about marketing your work in online venues.
So things are about to get very busy it seems!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A surprise with my soap!

Well, the Green Swamp road is down to one lane at the bottom of the hill with the water creeping over the sides. I have seen so many birds this week, robins, Sandhill cranes, swans,Canadian geese, it seems to have happened all at once! Soon I will be spending my days outside in the garden along with my studio work!

I got the nicest surprise in my most recent order from Britewerkz  

I am addicted to handmade soaps, and Brite makes the mildest soaps with the most wonderful scents. I was thrilled when my order arrived packed in these cool round sponges.  I have been having fun altering these sponges for use in my glaze and underglaze applications.   I used scissors and an exacto knife to cut the shapes.  They work great left whole as just sponges too.  I can't wait to try these in the studio tomorrow!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mid winter work schedule

I have my winter studio set up at the house. I do get down to the actual studio once a day, but I am sure Paul enjoys some daily private work time as I do.  I can monitor the phone up here and watch movies while I work if I want.  Last night I watched this one" Exit through the Gift Shop" Banksy film     . See the website here 

Having to do with street art and some of the main figures in the field,  this one had an ending that surprised me, at first, but then as I thought about it, was so typical of the way things sometimes work in the art world..

I have some works in progress that are taking over my area,  Here are my two latest. I was inspired to make a dachshund after out visit with friends and their three wiener dogs.  The opossum is a newer resident to the north. It is North America's only native marsupial.  They are very ancient animals,  and are beneficial to a garden in that they eat slugs and other grubs that are pests.   Most people don't like them, but I find them fascinating, and wonder how they are doing this winter.  These two got accidentally left out last night because I conked out, so I am adding finishing touches before they dry any further.