Category Archives: Emily Murphy’s studio

Holiday Sale at Emily Murphy Pottery :: Dec. 5, 7-8 :: Minneapolis

If you’re in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area this week, I hope you’ll stop by my Holiday Studio Sale!  20% off everything, including Seconds, Samples and Discontinued Items that are already marked down 50-75%! (and if you’re not local, you can still participate through my Etsy sale!)

Thursday :: December 5 :: 5pm-7pm
Saturday :: 
December 7 :: 10am-5pm
Sunday :: 
December 8 :: 12noon-4pm

I thought I’d give you a little tour of my studio; it’s nearly all set up for my studio sale

When you get to my house (3015 10th Avenue South, Minneapolis), you’ll be greeted by my Pottery signs! You can enter through the front, or the back (there is a parking lot across the alley from us that you can park in), and then find your way to the back door.  Enter there to go down to my basement studio! There will be lots of extra signs too!Emily Murphy Pottery Studio Signs
I’m located near the Midtown Global Market in the Powderhorn neighborhood of South Minneapolis.  There is plenty of street parking, as well as easy access from the Greenway and public transportation.  There is a craft fair, No Coast Craft-O-Rama, happening on Saturday at the Market, so you could stop by my studio sale and the craft fair and get all your shopping done directly from independent artists!

Once you get down to my studio, you’ll see shelves and shelves of pots! And they will all be 20% off!  I’ll have plenty of yummy things to eat and if the kids come with you, there is a hang-out area for them next to my studio with toys and Christmas movies playing (although they’re welcome to hang out with you too!).
Emily Murphy Pottery Minneapolis Studio
Lots of handmade porcelain dinnerware, glazed in celadon. If you’re one of my customers who collect it, this sale is the perfect time to add some new pieces to your collection!

I’ve been having fun adding some new colors into my work.  And some new forms like the travel mugs on the top shelf with silicone lids!DSC01559
These vintage seed packet mugs are a great gift for your favorite gardener!  (and yes, this display is set up on the top of my kiln!)
Next up on the tour… The wall of mugs! A little something for everyone! I love making a huge variety of mugs in different sizes, shapes and colors so everyone can find one that they feel like is really “their mug.”
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I have some soda and wood/soda fired pieces too!
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And the final photograph (although not the end of the sale!) is my “Etsy wall.” Everything here is up for sale on Etsy, but you can still buy it from me during my studio sale! I just keep them together, with a piece of blue tape on them to denote that they are listed online.  I want to take down a listing ASAP if someone purchases it in person! I have to keep nice and organized when I’m selling items online and in my studio.

What is NOT photographed yet (because it isn’t set up yet!), is my Seconds, Samples and Discontinued items! They are already marked down 50-75% off, and then you’ll get another 20% off on top of that! They are priced to move… because I am ALWAYS making more!

And back to the topic of Etsy… my online sale is going on until December 18th! I’ll continue to add new pieces to my shop until then, but just know that things are moving quickly! Use coupon code JINGLE to get 20% off your online order (excluding custom orders). Plus $5 shipping for each address!

So that is the tour of my Studio Sale… or at least the part that is set up! Feel free to share this with friends and family who live in the Twin Cities even if you don’t! I sell online and through galleries throughout the year.  But this is the one time of the year where I can connect face to face with folks and I really love it!  I hope to see you this weekend, in my studio, or online!

Holiday Studio Sale! November 30 and December 1

Are you in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area? If you are, I hope you can stop by for my Holiday Studio Sale! Or maybe you have friends or family in the Twin Cities… just forward them this post with some hints about wanting some handmade pottery for a gift ;)

When::

Friday, November 30 ::: 4pm – 7pm
Saturday, December 1 ::: 10am – 5pm

*For more information, updates and reminders- you can rsvp on Facebook. There is a chance I will extend the hours- and this is where I will update it!

Why::

Stop by my pottery studio for some (discounted!) handmade holiday shopping! I have lots of new work to share. A few of my favorite soda fired pieces are available too.

Don’t miss out on a studio sale exclusive: Seconds Sale! I’ve been doing a ton of experimenting this year – which means lots of ‘flawed yet functional’ work marked down 50% (or more!).

Porcelain mugs, platters, bowls, plates, platters, serving dishes, soap dispensers and more! Just about everything will be on sale! Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted.

Where::

My pottery studio: 3015 10th Ave South, Minneapolis, MN – please enter through the orange back door and head to the basement where my studio is. Follow “Pottery” signs (like you see in the first picture). We’re located basically a half  block away from the Midtown Global Market on Lake Street.

Parking::

  • There is street parking on 10th Ave if you enter from 31st street.
  • Or there is a parking lot in the alley directly across from our driveway that you can park in! You can enter the alley from 31st St between 10th and 11th or from 11th Ave between Lake St. and 31st St. (our alley makes a right angle)

*If you cannot make it at these times, let me know and we can try to figure out another time that would work for both of us!*

And here is just a little sneak peek at some of the pots that I will have for sale:

I am planning on having some work for sale online in early December and will be sharing that info on my Facebook Pottery Page. I’m trying hard to make sure I don’t take on too much at once this holiday season. I’m not able to do as much as I once could with a one and a half year old at home!

a pottery studio tour: my sunny basement studio

My studio is really clean at the moment. So before I started making a mess again with throwing, trimming and glaze mixing, I thought I would snap some photos and share with you. I absolutely love looking at other potter’s work spaces, and I know I am not the only one! I’ve been sharing some studio photos here and there on Facebook, but I realized it would be nice to have them all together.

And so our tour begins…

My studio is in our basement. But it really doesn’t feel like it, it has lots of light and plenty of space. We bought our house 3 and a half years ago. It was a condemned duplex that was a foreclosure that had been empty for years – but the reason why we fell in love with it was the space… and also that it is a brick house. How could I resist a house made of clay. Even though we saw the house in the middle of a bitter Minnesota winter without any heat or lights, we somehow we saw the potential in it. And long story (very) short: we renovated the whole house and built my dream studio. Every pipe is new and 51 of the 54 windows (yes, you read that right!) were replaced. There was no surface untouched. The studio was the last space that was built out. And I’m still making changes here and there. After renting studio space for so many years, I had been planning my dream space in my head. And it is such a joy to be able to work in this space that is actually mine.

That was a slight side-track. Back to the tour. You have to walk past the laundry room and our pantry and then you’ll find my studio door. Right inside of it is a wide hallway that I turned into a display area. As you might have seen in a recent post, my display just got a make-over. I still have some more to do on it, but you can get the idea. This hallway leads into what I call my “clean room.”


The clean room has my display, my kiln, my desk, my photography set-up and packing/ shipping area as well as a sink.


The kiln (an L&L which you can read more about here) came with 1 more ring on it, but when I was pregnant I couldn’t load it so I took off a ring to make it a little shorter. It’s still quite large. And now that I am working fewer hours than before (life with a 1 year old!), the slightly smaller kiln is great.


This weekend my husband helped me put up some new shelves in a couple of places in my studio, including above my desk. It’s awesome to have this additional space. I recently got a laser printer to start printing some decals that will go on my pots (more on that in a future post!) and I finally got it out of the box this weekend so I can start printing!


I usually refer to these shelves as “mug shelves.” My glaze test tiles/ samples are on the top shelves. The rest are filled up with pots fresh out of this weekend’s kiln!

And this area is my photography area, packing and shipping area and, of course, the sink. The photography set-up folds flat against the wall and then opens up when I use it. The next photo shows it opened up. I’ll write a more detailed post on the set-up soon. It’s pretty great being able take photos so easily. When I was building the space the 2 things that I knew were easy to overlook or cut for lack of space was photography and packing and shipping. I tried really hard to incorporate good set-ups for this. I wish I had even more space for boxes and packing materials- but there were limits. I’m still trying to figure out ways to stash extra bags of peanuts and bubble wrap.


This is the photo set-up opened up. There are lots of adjustments that can be made depending on what’s being photographed.

The next room (just past my desk) is the glaze room. It’s where I store dry materials, mixed glazes and my homemade spray booth.

The countertop is nice and easy to clean when I make a mess when glazing or mixing up glazes. It was just stock countertop from Home Depot. I got it during a 20% off sale. All the shelves were built to fit my buckets. The buckets on the right usually are under the counter, but I’m in the middle of replenishing my glaze inventory after the last 2 firings.

This is my homemade spray booth. There is usually a filter over that opening, but I threw out the last one that was clogged up with glaze. I’m hoping that I can remember the details of things like the exhaust fan enough to share with you a bit of a tutorial on a DIY spray booth – it’s been 2 years since it was built! It’s not fancy – but I like it so much better than the commercial booth that I used to use (which had such a weak exhaust fan). And it was way cheaper to build than to buy!



There used to be a wall that split this space into two separate rooms, but it’s so much better opened up. Lots of light and great cross-ventilation. The other room is where I make pots. Throw, trim, decorate, hand-build…


If you look up on the left, that’s the top ring for my kiln! It has a nice place to, literally, hang out until I decide that I want to go back to the bigger kiln. Below it is a ware cart. The canvas covered countertop is 14 feet long, if I remember correctly.


And this last space also got some sweet new shelves this weekend! On the left is my throwing wheel and on the right is my trimming wheel. It’s great having separate spaces so I don’t have to clean up when switching back and forth between throwing and trimming. I ended up being offered to buy a used Brent C from another potter for next to nothing. At the time I didn’t even have space to use it, but I knew it was a deal that I couldn’t pass up. So I bought it and stored it until I had space to have 2 wheels.

You can see the bat storage under the wedging table- I love how organized and accessible they are. And I just put up some hooks on the wall to store my foam trimming bats.
If you want to see how to make a foam bat, I have a tutorial on how-to make a foam bat here. And here I wrote about making the splash pan for my trimming wheel.

And that’s my studio. Thanks for joining me on the tour! I feel so lucky to have this space. It’s really a joy to work in. Having a studio at home has made it possible for me to work while I have a little one at home.

rejuvenated

I’ve been out of the blogging loop for a few weeks now. We were on vacation visiting lots of family out east (photo at the bottom of this post).  Even though I haven’t been blogging, I have a long list of posts in my head waiting to come out: review of  the RZ respirator mask; my homemade spray booth; my photography set-up; follow-up on my sink trap, using Pinterest, venturing into decals… just to name a few.

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My mind feels a bit scattered with all the different things I’ve been working on- but in a good way ;).   I’m almost done with the revamping of my studio display. My shelves have been refinished to better go with my new body of work. Originally I had stained the Ikea Ivar shelves a warm reddish-brown. It was a nice and warm stain that went with my soda-fired stoneware.  It just didn’t really work with the porcelain. I wanted to really make the work pop. Plus, it had been 10 years since I had originally stained them so it was time for a change. And I love how they turned out!

I don’t have a ton of space for “permanent” display, but I’ve taken advantage of an extra wide hall leading into my studio. I still have some more work do do to finish it up and add some more display space, but I’m off to a good start. I  am hoping to have people stop by to shop and visit more often than I have previously in this space. At my studio in Chicago at Lillstreet, there was a constant stream of people so it’s a been an adjustment to having a home studio! I’m glad that I stopped neglecting my studio display. It makes me extra happy when I go down to my studio now.

 

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I finally started glazing  yesterday. I’d let the bisque build up for a while. Now my studio is transitioned into glazing mode. I’m already giddy to see the results. It’s been so long since I have fired a glaze kiln- I’m really excited to have some fresh work! I have a couple of shows coming up, as well as some orders. And I am starting to work with some decals (more on that in a future post!). I was reminded yesterday how much I love my homemade spray booth – and I realized that I haven’t actually shared it on my blog yet. Again, that’ll be another post. (I told you I was scattered… didn’t I?)

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This next part will *also* eventually be its own post. But I just wanted to mention another project that I am working on. I am hoping to start a parent group/ play group for moms and dads who are potters (or other makers) and have young kids. It’ll be in the Minneapolis area, of course. I’m lucky enough to live in a clay/pottery/ceramics rich area that we can form a group like this!  I’ll get more into it later and share the MeetUp group when I actually create it. But I just wanted to start putting out the word and see if anyone else is interested. I have a couple of moms who have expressed interest with kids ranging from 3 months – 4 years old.  I’d love to have some dads join in too.  I’m envisioning meeting up during the day and doing the usual playgroup stuff like meeting up at a park. But I hope that the group with grow and evolve.  Also- I need a name for the group! Pots and tots? Wheels and squeals? Other ideas? It needs to be descriptive and catchy since it’ll be listed with all of the other “mom group” type listings on meet-up. And if you have any other thoughts, ideas or experiences you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them!

(Note: my daughter Ada is not a pottery prodigy…. yet. Just playing around on the wheel with a piece I threw for her amusement.) 

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I will end this post with this family photo taken earlier this month in the Shawangunk Mountains in New York. We had a great time visiting both sides of our family. Spent time at the ocean, hiking in the mountains, going to a island wedding in Maine and lots of time relaxing, reading and exploring. It definitely left me feeling rejuvenated and excited to jump back in!

I hope you got some time out of the studio, office or house this summer too! Now it’s back to the studio for me!

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My new L&L kiln

Can you tell I’m excited?

After being without a kiln for the last 11 month, I finally got my kiln! It’s an L&L Davinci x3236-D Automatic. I have been asked many times how I chose my kiln. It is a huge decision to make, so I wanted to share my thought process and maybe it’ll help someone out there make their choice a little easier.

First decision: What kiln manufacturer did I want to go with? This was the easiest part of my decision. I’ve long coveted an L&L. They have a number of design features that strike me as both brilliant and completely logical. The big ones are:

  • The element holders are hard brick. Makes sense, right?
  • The electric controls are separate from the kiln. Sensitive computer parts are kept far away from the heat. Again, very logical.

The other thoughts I had about what manufacturers to go with.

  • I have had a lot of experience with Skutt kilns. Lillstreet had a ton of them. The 2nd floor set of kilns didn’t get particularly high usage, but it seems like there was always one down for one reason or another. More often than it seems like they should have. I’m sure there are lots of people who swear by their Skutts, but based on this experience, I didn’t want to go in that direction if I didn’t have to.
  • Any kiln is going to run into a problem at some point. So the question is- how are you going to fix it? If you’re super handy, it might be something that you can tackle yourself. If not, then who? A friend of mine, Donovan Palmquist of Master Kiln Builders is a dealer and repair person for L&L so I knew I had that covered. Plus I was able to order my kiln through him. You can also contact your local ceramics supply place and ask them if they have a repair person for a particular manufacturer. If you don’t have a supplier nearby, ask other potters in your area. Or you can also call a company directly and ask them to give you the name and contact information of a dealer/repair person in your area. Hopefully it’s not something that you’ll need for a while, but it’s good to know ahead of time so when the kiln breaks right before your last firing before a show, you’ll know what you need to do in the midst of your state of panic. Also, L&L has a 3 year warranty.

Second part of the decision: Size and shape.

My long term plan: Sometime next year, I am planning/hoping to build a soda kiln in my back yard. But I want to progress with making work right now, and not just wait until the soda kiln to happen. So I wanted a kiln that I can take up to cone 10. Even after I build the soda kiln, I want to be able to high fire non-soda pieces. A couple of years ago, I started making a lot of c.10 (reduction) dinnerware, or sometimes designed place setting that were a mix of soda and straight reduction (specifically tried to avoid dinner plates in soda). I wanted to build that option into the kiln I got. For the interim, I want to be ready to fire work in friend’s kilns- soda, wood, salt, etc… and not worry about clay bodies, etc… And hopefully there will be some glaze overlap too.

The other part is that I didn’t want to outgrow the kiln in 6 months. I want to make larger work- wide platters and tall bottles. Especially once I have the soda kiln- so I need to be able to bisque larger pieces. At this moment, I plan on having the footprint of the soda kiln be two 14″by 28″ shelves. The interior of my new L&L is 30.5″ square and the height is 36″ which will allow me to make the size pieces that I want to. I ended up getting a larger, more expensive electric kiln than I had originally planned, but it would ultimately be more expensive for me to buy a 2nd kiln in a year or two. So I had to wait a little longer to get the kiln that I knew would fit my needs now, and in the long term.

Shape. The square makes sense to me. Whenever I load octagonal kilns, I often get frustrated. Do I need to say more than that?

Below I’ve included the specs of the kiln (from L&L):

Specifications

  • Internal Size: 30 1/2″ square x 36″ high
  • Number of Sections: Four
  • Brick: 3″ of premium select K23
  • Max Temp: 2350F, 1287C, Cone 10
  • Control Panel Mount: Floor Standing, Plug-in, separate from kiln
  • Control: Handheld DynaTrol with Dynamic Zone Control, 4 preset programs, 6 user defined programs
  • Industrial Thermocouples
  • Hinge: Spring Loaded Counterbalance
  • Stand: Heavy-Duty Welded Angle Iron
  • Power Hook Up: Direct Hook-Up
  • Heavy Duty Elements
  • Three Year Warranty
  • Listed to UL499 Standards

And this is the vent system for the L&L kiln:

VENT-SURE KILN VENT SYSTEM


  • WALL MOUNTED VENT BLOWER

The vent blower motor is mounted on the wall. This keeps the heat of the kiln away from the motor (for long motor life) and keeps the motor vibration away from the kiln (which can cause ware to move, damage to the kiln, and misfiring of cones on a Kiln Sitter).

  • VACUUM IS SAFER THAN PRESSURE

The vent tubing is kept under vacuum instead of pressure (unlike competitive brands). This insures that any leak in the tubing does not blow noxious fumes into your room.

  • EXTERNAL VENTING IS BETTER

External venting is safer and surer than venting to the inside of your kiln room with a filter.

  • LARGE CAPACITY

The blower vents up to 130 CFM (cubic feet per minute). This will handle up to a 20 cubic foot kiln (and usually larger). More than one vent can be attached to a kiln. Only 1.37 amps.

  • SIX FOOT POWER CORD WITH ON/OFF SWITCH

The blower motor features a 6 foot long 120 volt 15 amp power cord. An On/Off switch is located on the cord.

  • ADJUSTABLE VENT CONTROL

A vacuum bypass on the kiln bypass/collection box adjusts the amount of venting from the system. Don’t waste heat and energy by venting more than you need. Adjust vent to kiln size.

  • 15 FEET OF FLEXIBLE ALUMINUM DUCT

15 feet of flexible expandable aluminum 3″ diameter duct is included along with necessary hose clamps. Longer lengths or lengths of 3″ stove pipe can be used as well. Length can be as great as 60 feet horizontal or vertical with up to four 90 degree bends.

So there is still some work to be done. We had our electric service upgraded so it can handle the kiln. Every kiln manufacturer website has these specs listed.

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I have taken a lot of safety precautions since my kiln is in the basement of my home, and I have a couple more that I’m going to add in before I do my initial firing. I know all about being overly cautious of the out-gassing, etc… But if you have any specific safety features that you have taken in your space, I’d love to hear about them. I will do a future post on that part of the kiln installation since I think it deserves it’s own post.

I’m going to spend some serious time reading the manual now. It is a very full 3 ring binder. One caution that’s in the book is not to plug it into an extension cord. That totally cracked me up. Seriously, though, there is a little more electric work that has to be done before I can fire. We just did a major service upgrade to accommodate the power draw of the kiln. Before you actually purchase your kiln, look up the kiln on the manufacturer’s website and look up the electrical specs. Print out the info sheet and have it when you have an electrician come do a bid. And get at least 3 bids. Really.

Pottery Clearance Sale!

As moving day draws closer, my studio gets a little emptier. I’m officially past the point where I could make any work. My wheels, tools and (most importantly) clay are all packed onto our first Pod. It feels very strange to be without a studio to work in. It’s been a long time since I’ve been without. The house renovations and getting ready for our move to Minneapolis is keeping me plenty busy, but I’m seriously missing making pots.

I’m excited about starting fresh with a whole new body of work from my new studio and (future) new kiln. So I’m selling off most of my inventory. I’m having one last (last minute) Moving Sale this Friday, June 5th from 4pm – 7pm. Everything is at least 50% off. Much of it is marked down even further. I’m finding new gems as I clear off my shelves during the packing process.  If you’re in Chicago, swing by on Friday  after work and say hello and maybe pick up a pot or two. One for yourself and one for that wedding you’re going to this summer!

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The Details:

Moving Sale – Final Clearance
**everything must go!**

Emily Murphy’s Pottery Studio
Friday, June 5
4pm – 7pm

studio 205 west – Lillstreet Studios
Chicago, IL 60640

A tour of my studio and new work for the holidays

The opening reception for my holiday sale (and throughout Lillstreet & Lillstreet Studios) is tonight, Dec. 5, from 6pm – 9pm. But if you miss the opening, you can stop by throughout the month of December. Or if you’re not in Chicago, you can take a tour here. As promised, here are some pictures of my studio and new work for my holiday show:

This is what you’ll see when you walk into my studio.

And this is me enjoying my sparkling clean studio. I’ll be back to the wheel on Monday, so the clean shelves and floors won’t last too long. Well, I’ll still be enjoying my studio, just not the cleanliness of it!

I have been making tons of soap/ lotion dispensers this season. I resisted making them for a long long time because I didn’t want to use plastic pumps. I finally found beautiful brushed stainless steel and brushed copper pumps and I’ve gone a little crazy with them!

This is a new wall display that I’ve set up outside my studio door. The shelves are bamboo shadow boxes and they’re quite fun to arrange little groupings in.

I have spent the last year making mugs. I LOVE designing and making them and the demand for them has been higher than ever. Mugs are so personal. Everyone’s idea of the *perfect* mug is different- so I make a wide variety of shapes and sizes. People are also quite opinionated about the interior glaze color. Some want something light so they can see how steeped their tea is. Others want something dark that will hide the coffee stains. There is a mug for everyone :)

I have been making more ceramic pendants. I’m more excited than ever about this newest series of necklaces. They are made out of a variety of clays, with different slips, glazes and textures that are enhanced by the soda firing process. They’re finished off with hand dyed silk that is knotted onto the pendants.

This is one of the serving bowls that you’ll see in my studio. Each side is totally different from the others. I feel like I should have put up a series of images to capture all the details.

You might remember this series of tea bowls that I have been making this year.
peace. hope. change.

These shallow bowl-plates are part of a dinnerware set that I’ve been working on. I love using this shape of plate at home for most meals. Some might call it a pasta bowl but at the Murphy-Bicking household we call them bowl-plates. They’re perfect for salads, stir fry or a good mid-western casserole.

In addition to finding my work on the 2nd floor of Lillstreet Studios, you can also find it at Lillstreet Gallery on the 1st floor as part of the Dinnerware Show. The show is beautiful. I’m happy to be sharing the table with Kristin Pavelka.

Happy Holidays!

Ravenswood Art Walk – Chicago (Oct. 4 – 5)

The air is a little crisper with a cool edge to the breeze here in Chicago.  Autumn is upon us and that means that it is time for the Ravenswood Art Walk!

The north side art walk takes place this weekend, Oct. 4 -5, 2008 from 11am – 6pm in Chicago. There are over 30 participating venues and over 150 artists.  
The art walk takes place on the Ravenswood Ave. industrial corridor (by the Montrose stop on the Brown line). Lillstreet is part of the walk as well as other ceramic artists. Most of the studios that will have their doors open this weekend aren’t regularly open to the public so you don’t want to miss it! 
My studio will be open this weekend as part of the artwalk, and as I posted yesterday, a show that I am in, Collective Conversations in Clay is also opening up in conjunction with the artwalk.
If you’re around, I hope you’ll stop by!

 

Peace, love and leather hard pots.

One of my favorite moments when I’m making pots is that moment in time when the clay has firmed up enough to handle without distortion. The moment when you can take a trimming tool to the bottom of the pot and you get nice long ribbons of trimmings that don’t gum up your tool.

Normally, the moment in time when the pots are perfect for stamping, carving, slipping and trimming is a moment that I experience in solitude with my pots. But I thought that I would try to share a bit of this moment with you. Below are some images of cups that I made today. They are freshly stamped and awaiting a second trip to the wheel for trimming.

You can see in the image (below) on the left that the soft clay is impressed deep enough that you can see the stamping on the inside of the cup. I hope that you can get a sense of the depth of the stamping from the image on the right from the pictures (click on them to see the image larger). The clay has to be dry enough that the stamp doesn’t stick to the clay, but soft enough to get a deep impression without cracking. More to come on this series in future posts!

 

I know that I am not alone in my love of leather hard clay. I see lots of freshly made pots in the posts of my fellow clay bloggers! I have put together some pictures (and links) from their sites to share with you.
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Eleanor Hendricks of Fenelon Falls, Ontario, shared some great pictures on her blog last week illustrating her love of the process of making. She ended her post with this question:

Does anyone else sometimes treasure the process more than the finished products? 

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Amy Sanders, of Charlotte, North Carolina, shared this image on her blog of her carved plates. What beautiful lines! As usual, with pots, it’s all about the timing!
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I love how these drying beer cups from Euan Craig caught the sunlight in Mashiko, Japan. The perfect moment of leather hard met the perfect moment of sunlight streaming in his studio.
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Cheryl Alena Bartram of Golden, British Columbia, shares this great image of tumblers on her blog. I can imagine the board of cups going on and on and on and on…. I have been known to base the amount of pots that I throw in a sitting based on the length of a board or the size of the table.
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Douglas Fitch makes pots “in middle of nowhere, north of Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom,” far from my studio in Chicago. But when I see these images of the rough leather hard pots I think I can smell the mustiness of the clay… and that’s a great thing.
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I find that there is little more satisfying in a day’s work that a table covered in finished pots.
John Zhender (from my home state of New Hampshire) posted this satisfying image of finished banks and lidded cups on his blog:
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Look at these gorgeous plates that Ron Philbeck made at his studio in Shelby, North Carolina! I think I have to throw some plates tomorrow…
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One of my favorite clay books is A Potter’s Workbook by Clary Illian. The images in the book are almost all photos of leather hard pots. The focus is on the forms without any distraction of decoration or firing technique. If you make functional pots, I highly recommend adding this book to your collection.

A Holiday Tour of Lillstreet Studios

I thought I’d give a little tour of what some of the studios are offering this holiday season at Lillstreet Studios in Chicago. It’s truly a unique shopping experience to be able to shop directly from the artists in their studios. I’m including photos of just a sampling of the studios. There are over 50 artists under one roof – and that’s not including Lillstreet’s Gallery!

ceramics by Emily Murphy

 

 

ceramics by Lisa Harris

pottery by Karen Avery

pottery by Gary Jackson

porcelain by Joanna Kramer

porcelain by Karen Patinkin

ceramic and glass beads by Amy Lemaire

 

porcelain by Deborah Schneider

agricultural art by Cathi Bouzide

Photography by Guy Nicol

pottery by Mike Szostak

jewelry by 2nd floor metals artists

Many of the studios are open daily…
check in with individual artists for their hours 
Monday – Friday 12noon – 6pm
Saturdays 10am – 6pm
Sundays 12noon – 5pm