Category Archives: Minneapolis

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!

gratitudes

Even though I am perhaps a week later for this… I just felt the need to express how thankful I am feeling. For so many things… I really want to thank you for the outpouring of support that I felt after my last post about my nephew Ayrie. It can be so hard to put yourself out there so fully. But it was so wonderful to be received with warm, open arms by so many people. I am now getting several emails a day with folks sharing their stories of their journeys through their grief. So thank you. It’s so wonderful to be able to connect with folks all around the globe.

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This weekend (Nov 30 & Dec 1) will be the first time that I have opened up the door of my Minneapolis studio for a sale. You can get more info on my holiday sale  here and you can view the Facebook event here. It has really been fun and energizing to share the images of my new work, and setting up my studio (like this photo I posted of my wrapping/packing station that I posted on my FB business page – something that maybe only other potters would be excited about!). Before moving to Minneapolis, I had a studio at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago where I had a whole community of potters and other artists right in the same building. It is so different having a studio at home. But having such a great community online through this blog and Facebook makes me feel like I’m still in a big building full of artists!  So in honor of your support and encouragement, I’m sharing this coupon for 20% off all full priced items this Friday and Saturday *in* studio only.  Just mention it when you’re checking out (no need to print it out).

If you’re trying to figure out how to balance holiday shopping with the kids this weekend… We have a play room in our basement next to my studio. We’ll have holiday movies on and lots of toys to play with where they can hang out. And kid-friendly snacks and drinks (as well as grown-up drinks and snacks too!). And there is a good chance that Shiya and/or Ada will be there hoping to play with some friends!

Here are some little dishes that I made just for this sale. (And had so much fun making!)  They are small (4.5″ – 5+” in diameter). Perfect for a small snack, a spoon rest, a place to put your tea bag or ball. Just the right size (and sturdy weight) for a kid. Or maybe you could toss the change in your pocket or your jewelry at the end of the day. An infinite number of uses…

And below is what the bottom looks like. I cut them off with a stretched out spring when I took them off the wheel. A nice, simple surprise on the bottom of the pots. By the way… I am dabbling in Instagram as you can see. Here’s my page– a mix of pottery and family.

One more note about the sale… My sister, Nora, is organizing a great project this holiday season – Gift Bags for Homeless Youth. We’re going to put together (at least!) 30 gift bags that we’ll give to the organization Face2Face to distribute to local homeless youth. I will have a box at the sale to collect items for donations- toiletries, gifts cards, etc… If you have anything you would like to donate, we’d love to have you be a part of this! More information can be found at the event page on FB.

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 I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Hopefully you can make it to a pottery sale or art fair this weekend no matter where you are. Or if you’re having one, best of luck! I think I am missing about a dozen here in the twin cities since I’ll be busy with mine! ‘Tis the season!

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!

inspired!

One of the best things about living in Minneapolis is the incredible clay community here. It’s not a coincidence that we ended up living here! Every September the Northern Clay Center puts on the American Pottery Festival. It’s a weekend full of pottery: an amazing exhibition (featuring over 1200 pots by 23 ceramic artists!), demonstrations, slide lectures, panel discussions and lots of fun talking shop with all the potters there!

One of the highlights for me was (finally!) meeting Michael Kline in person. We’ve been communicating through our blogs, email, Facebook, and even a phone call from back in 2006 (yes- both our blogs go back that far and then some!). So it really was about time to connect in person.

I had intended to photograph much more of the show than I did, but I was too caught up the the moment didn’t end up taking very many photos. There is really nothing like seeing pots in person! Here is one that I did take of Michael Hunt and Naomi Dalglish of Bandana Pottery‘s work. They weren’t up for the festival this weekend, but they were in town in May for the Upper Saint Croix River Valley Studio Tour.

I wish I had taken some photos of Birdie Boone‘s work or Kip O’Krongley or Sunshine Cobb to name a few. You should check out their pots!

The Northern Clay Center did a great job at getting the demos from the weekend online quickly. This video of Michael Kline and Steven Colby demonstrating their surface decoration techniques was up by the time I got home! It’s great to see Michael do his brushwork. And I have never seen anyone approach glazing the way that Steven does!

Another APF artist that demonstrated was Chandra DeBuse. I wasn’t familiar with her work before- but now I’m a huge fan! If you watch this video of her showing her handbuilding techniques- I guarantee that you’ll learn something new!

I don’t think there is a video of Kathy King- but if you ever have a chance to see her, go! She showed a variety printmaking and image transfer techniques. I have so many things that I need to try now.

A bonus to the clay filled weekend was a visit to my home and studio on Monday by Michael. It was fun totally geeking out – talking about blogging, pots, family and trying to balance all of them. We traded pots too. The chunky dish on the right is now lives in Minneapolis and the mug on the left is headed back to North Carolina with Michael.

I’m now overflowing with inspiration now. I have so many things that I want to work on right now.  I’m back into the studio and I’ve started filling all the horizontal surfaces up with pots again!

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I just had to share this photo that I took photo of my *fabulous* daughter this morning. She’s quite a character and definitely an inspiration!


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 pottery studio, so far.

Thanks for the warm ‘welcome back’ and all the congratulations and well wishes! All the comments and messages make me feel like I’m at a reunion of good friends that I haven’t seen for a while! I’m full of warm fuzzies.

As promised, this post is all about my studio build out. A few months ago we finished the walls, ceilings, lighting and flooring in my studio, but more recently, we’ve been building out the space: customizing tables, shelves and storage to suit my needs. The project is still a work in progress, but you’ll get a sense of the space from the tour below. Enjoy!

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The tour starts off in the hallway that leads into my studio. The studio consists of 3 rooms: the first one is a “clean studio,” the next is the glazing/ chemical room and the last one is throwing and decorating room. The studio will be closed off by a pocket door (which is in process of being installed). The left side of the hall is a display area/ storage for finished pots.  I have some fun ideas for display that I’d like to do at some point, but it’s lowest on my list of priorities. For now, I’m using Ikea shelves from my show display. Straight ahead is where my electric kiln will go.

studio-entry

My “clean studio” is home my studio office. I’ll be using it mainly for doing photos and updating etsy, etc… Right ahead is my electric kiln area (around where the tool bucket is now). The walls have cement board on them (with an air space behind them) and the ceiling has 5/8th inch drywall.  The shelves you see to the right will be for work waiting to be fired, kiln shelves and furnitures, etc…  This room used to be a kitchen, and the tile floor are left over from it’s previous incarnation.

electric-kiln

Another view of my desk. I’m trying to set up an area that is well set up for photographing pots, listing them online and packing for shipping. I’ve never had a good space to do this before, so it always made it much more of a chore than it needed to be.  Across the room is a table for photographing work, as well as packing up boxes. I had conversations with a ton of potters as I was designing my space and I asked “what is the one thing that you wish you had in your studio” and everyone’s answer was to have a better space for photographing and packing up pots.

studio-office

This next photo will get more of an explanation in a future post. This is the start of my photography set-up, but since it’s not done yet, I’m not going to explain the contraption just yet! The table is on casters has space under it for box storage. There is also a leaf that opens up to make the table larger, but stays out of my way when I’m not using it. This table will be for both photographing work, and also for packing up work.

photo-and-wrapping-table

This next area is just to the right of the photo table, and directly behind my desk. The utility sink is getting a trap installed under it (another post coming up about that). Suspended from the ceiling is a big roll of packing foam (which I forgot neaten up before the photo, oops!). The counter will be more area for staging work for photos and wrapping/shipping. Below the counter is space for both boxes and wrapping paper. There is also a spigot below the counter, where I can fill up bigger buckets without having to lift them in and out of the sink.

sink-and-wrapping-area

The next room: this is my glazing area, as well as clay storage. The shelf building is still in progress, but I’m pretty excited about this space. The counter top in here (and by the utility sink) is just “in stock” laminate counter top from Home Depot, which were also 20% off when I bought them which made them a great deal.  For the floor in the glazing room and the throwing room, I did an epoxy coating over the cement floors. I’m really impressed with their durability.  To the right of this will be where I eventually hope to have a spray booth just past the window. The clay storage is a pull out dolly so I don’t have to awkwardly reach to get clay out and put clay away.  The wheelie things the 5 gallon glaze buckets are on are actually plant holders from Ikea. Much cheaper than ones from hardware stores, and definitely durable enough. I’ve been using them for years.

glazing-area

The next set of shelves are across from the glazing area. These shelves will be for dry material storage, and the bottom part can be more clay storage (also pulls out). The glazing room & throwing room are separated from the clean room by a door to help keep the dust from migrating too much.

dry-material-storage

Our tour continues into the next room, which is where I’ll do my throwing, trimming, altering and decorating. The 2 rooms used to have a wall dividing them, but I opened them up to get more light, cross ventilation, and generally more space. There will be another table built that will roll between glazing and throwing rooms whenever I need more horizontal surface, but that won’t happen for another week or so. These shelves will hold greenware and work in progress. The shelves on the right is a full cart that I inherited from a previous studio that I altered to fit my needs.  There is another rolling dolly for more heavy duty storage at the bottom of the shelves to the left.

work-in-prgress-shelves-and-cart

This next part is my favorite part of my studio! It’s a canvas covered counter that is 14 feet long and 2 and a half feet deep. There is a space for me to sit at right in front of the window. All the tools and slips are right at my reach. I can’t wait to spend hours sitting here, decorating pots! The throwing area is to the right of this photo, directly across from the shelves/cart.

slip-and-altering-work-area

There is still some building to do in this next area, but you can get the basic idea of the space. I use one wheel for throwing (on left) and one for trimming (on right). The wedging table has some pretty slick bat storage built in. I’m going to build a big catch-all splash pan for the trimming wheel and room storage above each wheel.

throwing-area

So that completes the tour of my studio, so far.  I’ll be revisiting some of these spaces on my blog as I finish them and start to use them. I’ve been having fun building out the space that is customized for my needs. I’m not planning on moving anytime soon, so I can really settle in. I’ve had 4 studios over the past 10 years so I’ve always been hesitant to build too much that was not movable and was too customized. But now that I’m more or less permanently settled, I can customize away! It’s taking a little longer to get set up, but it’s definitely worth it. With that said, I’m so glad that the end is in sight!

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When I finished writing this post, I was talking to Ian and telling him how I had just written an overly detailed (and very long) post about my studio build out, but I knew if I didn’t write all the details, I’d get a lot of questions about the parts I skipped over, so I just went for it. I know how much people love details about studio design! I soak up every blog post, book chapter and magazine article that is about setting studio set up- no matter the size or location. Ian pointed out that it was like HGTV for potters. I think he put it perfectly!

And don’t forget to become a fan of Emily Murphy Pottery on Facebook!

The case of the missing pottery blogger: solved!

Well… after a loooong hiatus from both blogging and making pots, I’m back. I never intended to take such a long break, but the rest of my life kind of took over. Thanks to all of you who inquired about my whereabouts! I kept meaning to write a little update, but it’s been a whirlwind of time the past six months.  I thought I’d share with you what I’ve been up to in this post.

As many of you know, I recently moved to Minneapolis after 10 years in Chicago. The move was crazy, but the real crazy part was that we bought a duplex last winter that was condemned, and we brought it up to code through months and months and months of intense renovations. The house had a total of 4 units (2 original, 2 illegal units)- which included 4 kitchens and 4 bathrooms and not a single part of any of them was salvageable. The house has 54 windows, and only 4 of them were worth keeping. The house had been empty for 2 years when we bought it. I’m sure much of the deterioration happened during that time. Minnesota winters are rough! But we saw past all that and we fell in love with the house. It’s brick, after all! And the raw space and layout were perfect for us. So we dove in head first and have learned a lot along the way.

our-house-1

Ian and I live on the 2nd floor, and my sister Nora, and her two little boys, Ayrie and Shiya live on the 1st floor. The attic is Ian’s office, and guest space. The basement is my studio and a shared family room. Lucky for me the basement has tall ceilings and full sized windows. It’s the perfect space for me.

For the construction, we tried to hire people that were friends, family, friends of family and friends whenever possible. Most people commuted to work on bikes, so this is what our yard looked like on a busy day:

our-work-crew-1

This picture will just give you a little idea of what the house looked like when we bought it. Our Realtor thought that we were crazy, but now thinks we were brilliant :)
old-kitchen-1

This is what our kitchen looks like now. It’s a pretty dramatic before and after!
new-kitchen-1

We designed these shelves to hold our pots for every day use.  As they were being built, everyone kept saying: what are you doing? These are super engineered to be incredibly sturdy. There are no worries about overloading them! I’ll do a blog post at some point in the future so you can see the interior structure of the shelves.

open-shelving-1We live right in the middle of the city- but we have a barn in our back yard! It needed quite a bit of work, being over a century old, but we’re glad we did it. There is a great loft space that I hope to turn into a showroom someday.

barn-minneapolis-1

Of course I have tons more pictures of our renovations, but I just picked out a handful to give you a sense of what I’ve been up to. If anyone wants to see more photos, I could post a slideshow of the rest of the house.  My next post will be of my studio progress so far, so there will be some more house photos to come.

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Then, just as we were nearing the end of our renovations, Ian and I decided, after 13 years together, to make it ‘legal’, and we got married! We had a tiny ceremony, in our living room. It was perfect. We’re planning a larger celebration in the spring in our back yard after the snow thaws but before I begin construction on my soda kiln and kiln building.

ian-and-emily-1

So that basically sums up where I’ve been.  It’s been a great year with a lot of exciting changes. I’m anxious to be back to blogging, and back to the world of clay! I have a ton a blog posts lined up in my head, and even more ideas for pots! Thanks for checking back in with me.