the not so long lost blogger

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. Nearly two years, to be exact. It’s funny, because even though it’s been that long, I still consider myself a blogger. I finally decided that I should just dive back in and write. I’ll fill in some of the blanks now, but some of them later. If I tried to fit 2 years into a single post, it just wouldn’t happen. Actually, that has been part of the problem. So I will mostly go ahead as though my last post was just a few days ago. Thanks for still being around to read this.


My time in my studio has been quite regular lately.  I haven’t been the most prolific potter (more on that later). I still feel like I’m finding my way in a new world (porcelain…oxidation…electric kiln…new glazes…). But I am also loving the feeling like everything I do is a choice. There are no default answers. I’m trying to really let myself be in that moment for a while.

Mostly I have been on the wheel, but I have been venturing off a bit lately to do some handbuilding. I’ve been trying to keep the timing of things pretty reasonable, not throwing more than I can trim/handle/decorate in a timely manner. Sometimes the pace of handbuilding fits right into that schedule.

I can’t seem to make too many mugs. I can make mugs for months and still manage to not have any in stock. So I make more…. I am not complaining at all. I absolutely love mugs. Making them and using them.

I seem to be stockpiling bisque right now. When it’s time to glaze, I really take over my whole studio (who doesn’t?). So I decided that for this round I will have enough for 2-3 glaze kilns full of work. I am also working on some decals for some of my pieces. So when the time comes for that, I can focus my energy there.


I know that one of the reasons why I still feel like a blogger is because of Facebook. I have been keeping up my Emily Murphy Facebook page pretty regularly with updates, photos and sharing things that I think you might find interesting. And it’s been a great way to have a dialog with other potters, bloggers and lovers of clay. I have really appreciated this outlet over the past few years. Facebook has been making changes lately to try to get people with professional pages like this to pay to have our content reach more than a handful of people. I know that I can’t see myself being able to pay for that, so I’m hoping that you’ll try to work around the system a bit. There are a couple of ways that you can make sure that you’re getting updates from pages like mine. One is that when you “like” a page, you have to make sure that it also has the “show in News Feed” setting (see image below)

The other way is to interact with the page. The more you “like” or comment on something, the more likely it is going to show up in your newsfeed. And a bonus is that it makes things more fun for everyone! Part of what prompted me to resume blogging is because this reminded me that blogging is a better way to make sure you’re reaching people who want to be reached. And for having content that is archived and searchable. For me… for now… there isn’t going to be one outlet or the other. I’m going to keep blogging and keep updating things on Facebook. And I hope that you’ll come with!


And on a personal note…

This is my daughter, Ada. She was born on April 9, 2011 and has been the most amazing distraction from writing, making pots… sleeping.  (although now she is a champion sleeper, hence the time back in the studio and on the computer…)

Is it ok if I add one more?

Me and my girl


13 thoughts on “the not so long lost blogger

    1. Thanks Lori! I have missed writing it too. I have actually written quite a few posts, just haven’t finished and posted them. It’s great to be reconnected. The online community of potters is wonderful to be a part of!

      1. Emily,
        Came across your square plate tutorial 4/20/16. Instructions and goals well stated. Love your teaching style.
        Looking for the glaze process and out come of all your mugs etc.
        Blessings to you and yours!

  1. Emily, I feel that you and I are boat-mates! Mine is an Emilia now just over 2 years old, and my blog is a sadly neglected space on the interwebs. My Facebook page has been easy and wonderful as I am just getting back into the studio, and yet it nags me in the back of my brain “I need to post to my blog!”

    Ada is so cute, and I know that you, like I, am enjoying the heck out of being a mom to a fabulous girl. Your new serving dishes are wonderful and I always love seeing images of your new work. Best of Everything to you!

    1. Thank you Page! We’re definitely in this together! The world is awfully fun through the eyes of a toddler!

      I know about that nagging voice. I think what got me over the hump was to (finally) not over-think it. I have over-thought it a lot during my hiatus. But when it came down to it, I decided about 5 minutes before I wrote it to actually write it! Having the house to myself helped too. Actually- having a *clean* house to myself helped. No distractions. Whatever you end up doing will be great! How can you go wrong with Emilia by your side ;)

    1. Thanks Patricia! I know that Facebook hasn’t made things easy to figure out. I really do think the most effective way is to interact with a page, so the more conversations we all have on various pottery pages, the better chance we all have for them to show up in a news feed. And that will just help increase the quality of the content too. And that’s not a bad thing. That’s my silver lining spin on this whole thing!

  2. You’re Back!

    I’m so delighted that you have time to resume both your potting and blogging. I’ve tried to keep up on facebook, but I haven’t found a way not to make my time spent there not seem like a phenomenal waste. Blog posts can also be hit or miss, but I typically only have 20 or so new posts in my reader each day, and I can easily skip over the ones I don’t care to dig into.

    Michael Kline asked a question on facebook the other day about whether blogs are a relevant form of communication. I think this is a question that has had a less clear answer during these past two years that you have not been blogging. Your blog was always the shining light of what a pottery blog could be. The wisdom and generosity you shared in almost every post left most of us in awe, I’m sure. It did me, at least.

    But I think Michal’s question is a good one. The pottery community has this wonderful opportunity to connect with each other and to share our collective wisdom. Are we taking full advantage of it? With many of us off on our own geographically it seems an indispensable path for any sustained and widespread community building. If this is the information age we are now living in then the internet has put so much possibility at our fingertips, and it would be a wasted opportunity not to take advantage of it.

    But communication comes in many forms. And in the scramble and distraction of our daily lives we have seemingly shortened a majority of our online communication to the quick one liners, zinging snark, and half baked leaps of thought that facebook and twitter seem to demand from us. But that is only a habit. We can do more than just that. And as with all habits we can also ask ourselves if it is a habit that is good for us, merely expedient, or is something that in the end does us no favors. The truth is, with all this expectation for brevity we no longer have enough role models for what it means to have pottery posts with substance. Some try, but I think we all would acknowledge your blog as the high water mark.

    I don’t know what your plans for the new installment of your blog are (and I don’t want to put any pressure on you!), but once upon a time in the not so distant past you set the bar awfully high. I sincerely hope that you get to aim that high again. Your blog has been the best of what potters have had access to. It has been an incredible resource. And, frankly, it has been missed.

    Glad to have you back!

    1. Boy Carter… you sure know how to make a girl blush! Thank you for the kind words. I have been an admirer of your blog too. I appreciate how thought provoking your posts can be. I’ve been sharing them regularly on my FB page.

      I think one thing that has really drawn me to your blog is that you’re really writing content and having a conversation. You’re not just posting a quick thought or a snapshot. You’re writing something that you have to sit down and ponder. I have rarely been the kind of blogger to write a single line post accompanying a photo. I have always felt like this (the blog) is a place for content that can be archived and looked back on again. I want to write things that are not out of date before most people read them. I don’t know if I actually want to ever do this- but I have thought about turning a collection of posts into a book someday. I don’t know if I’ll actually do that- but having that in mind has definitely influenced my approach to blogging.

      I think the quick posts on FB, twitter and the like have a place. I love visiting in person with friends that I haven’t seen for years. But because of Facebook updates, we generally know what has been going on in each other’s lives. So when we get together we can skip over the small talk and have a deeper, more meaningful conversation. Maybe that is what the blog can be. But the other parts are important too. And there is nothing like Facebook to crowdsource the answer to a problem. After being part of a larger community of clay folks for 10+ years at Lillstreet, I missed having someone to talk to about technical stuff: “…what’s a good substitution for…?” But I really feel like I have that now even with a kind of isolated studio.

      Part of my plans for this blog are to continue with what I have been doing. Tutorials, sharing what I’ve been up to, etc… I have always intended to have a column that is sort of an “ask the potter” thing. I get lengthy emails from people every week asking pretty in depth questions (do other people get these?). I have been bad about responding. But I feel like if I started answering them online, I would be able to spend more time answering, and other people might benefit from the questions and responses. One other part that I have trying to decide how to fit in is some non-clay content. I don’t want to keep a separate blog. But there are other (usually how-to) things that I’d like to share. I think it’ll fit in well, but I also don’t want to put off readers either. I think I’ll just give it a try and see what feels like.

      Thanks for your comment. I’ll follow up on Michael’s post too. It’s a good conversation to have!

  3. Whoo hoo! Nice response! And sorry it took me ’til now to get back to you. Maybe there’s hope yet that a good blog post can continue a conversation long after its first been posted. I’d love for that to be true!

    Well, you got me blushing now too! Thanks for those kind words! I try!

    I absolutely love your idea of putting a book together from our posts. I’ve been mulling that one too. But then I remember the rampant insanity that drives my posts and I realize that no traditional publisher would touch it with a stick. I think your old posts would be the perfect model for a publishing house to put something together. I hope you do it. My hold out dream is this self publishing phenomenon. That and the whole e-world has seemingly made both our dreams a lot closer to reality. Fingers crossed!

    I’d say go with it. Your readers will stick or fall off according to their own inscrutable calculus. I’m not convinced that anything we do on purpose really matters, except perhaps that most people seem to like pretty pictures and not a lot of words. But as the great Scott Cooper likes to tell me, he’s really only writing his blog for a handful of serious followers. The casual passers by may bump up the stats every so often, but you just can’t expect everyone to get what we are doing and to then come back for more. Seems reasonable to look at it like that….

    Thanks again for getting back on the horse! Can’t wait for the oodles of wisdom to start flowing!

    Peace, and the best of all!

    Happy potting!

  4. I too have been anxiously awaiting your next post. I found your blog quite a while back, and started following in anticipation of more. It is good to see the wait was worth it!

  5. You’re still in my reader! Welcome topics include all lovable things: kids, pets, pots, and anything so ugly it’s cute.

    Can’t handle the zoo of facebook, so always delighted to see valuable nuggets in the blog reader.

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