Monday, November 29, 2021

More cat stuff

Since I've visited my blog here, I've been continuing to make ceramics and GUESS WHAT MORE CATS.

I was jokingly/cynically trying to make a fast/cheap thing to sell, and as it turns out, that's impossible.  Even a form I can make relatively quickly is a canvas for a drawing that I can get overly involved in.  

This was one of the first ones:

Kitten vase
stoneware, glaze, underglaze

 Simple, yes.  But even a line drawing needs to be done to a certain standard, so these took a little more time than my original goal.  (A big part of the time factor is that underglaze really looks best when it's applied in three layers, so I had to go over lines multiple times.) Then I got addicted and decided to make a few dozen, because that is how I do everything.  Some of these are available in my online store, and some I'm holding back for the KC Clay Guild Holiday sale happening Dec. 3rd - 5th.  I'll be set up at the Mother Ship (the Guild itself, 200 W 74th St, KCMO), as opposed to cleaning my own space at home and hosting there.

The pieces are still affordable, but not, like $15--you want stuff like that, go to a big box store and buy junk made by a robot or underpaid labor.

Cat vases
porcelain, underglaze, glaze

porcelain, underglaze, glaze

I started out just making drawings from my memory of what a cat looks like (I'm pretty familiar), but then I started looking at cats I know and using their markings as inspiration.  Prepare for cuteness:



Tilly (foster)

Bruce (foster)


It's been a while, hope you come around my many digital neighborhoods and reach out if you ever feel like it.





Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Shop Update

 I've finally taken a look at my shop and realized I haven't updated new work since the Clay Guild Sale. 

So I updated it.  All newest CuPu stuff is on there (that I've been able to photograph, that is...).

These are all gotta go to my shop to see the whole thing.

Big Vase With Scallops

Icy Creamy Patterned Vase

Little Blue Scaly Vase

Toothy Planter

There are more!  Thanks for looking and spread it around.

Also: INSTAGRAM!  Check it out.

I have been making videos of my cats, so that's new.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

So I Think I Can Draw Now least, I'm happy with my style, or my "handwriting" as my terrible-except-for-a-couple-things first drawing teacher called it.  I'm most comfortable with flowers, of course, because that's what I've been focusing on.  But I think I could pull off other still lifes (lives?) competently.  I have never, and doubt ever will be, the kind of person who can draw what I see in my head.  Reference materials in real life, please! are some of the completed drawings from the last year.  After I went back to ceramics in the fall/winter, I neglected putting lines on paper for a while, but they ended up on clay, which I'll share more of soon.

Big Dogwood
34 x 23 inches
ink on painted paper

Big Dogwood detail

Titles for these are hard because I could just name everything in them (long), pick and choose (simple but boring), or make up something esoteric and thought provoking (would be a lie somehow??). 
Big Iris
19 x 15 inches
ink on painted paper

Big Iris detail

Iris, Salsify
22 x 9 inches
ink on painted paper

Peony, Hyacinth, Spiderwort
22 x 9 inches
ink on painted panel

Cinquefoil, Coreopsis
34 x 23 inches
ink on painted paper

Cinquefoil, Coreopsis detail

Spiderworts, Peonies
42 x 9 inches
ink on painted paper

Spiderworts, Peonies detail
Due to the nature of painting paper and the non-flatness of my materials, the drawings are hard to accurately photograph, and I am also not very good at that skill to begin with.  I'm not set up with a big wall in a light-controlled area (nor do I ever think I actually need a tripod), so I'm going to spring for a professional one of these days to do that.  I know my limits.

In September I'll be in a show with the flower pieces at the KC Artists Coalition!  Pretty excited to have them up together.  Now, to figure out how to present them...

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

KC Clay Guild Spring Sale

Last year at this time we were wondering if we'd be able to have a Spring, it's a likely chance this whole Covid thing will blow through by that time, surely!?


Anyway, with proper safety precautions, widespread vaccinations, and careful planning, we ARE having a Spring Sale this year at the KC Clay Guild, and I am ready. for. it.  Even though I took six months off from producing ceramics, I have more than made up for it since we got access back to the Guild, and I'm excited to share my work with more than just my humble social media circle.


Drawn flowers on mugs and vases

Hand drawn with brush in underglaze on B-Mix
CuPu series
Hand built cut and pushed vases, bowls, and planters in B-Mix with heavy glaze

Cat planters
Hand built cat planters in various clay bodies
Nubby things

Hand built vessels pushed out with a nubby motif and experimental glaze combos

I got my vaccine over a week ago, so by the time the sale is here, I'll be basically as protected by science as I can be. We will all be abiding standard safety guidelines and the artists won't be hanging out at their displays as in years passed.  Small price to pay to be able to share!

You can browse and still purchase from my online store until Thursday, when I'll be blocking sales until after I can take inventory on Monday.  The Guild only receives 20% of each purchase price--a good deal if you've ever sold consignment anywhere and a way to support both the artist and the facility that makes our work possible.


Friday, April 23, 5-9pm (this is when I'll be working the sale)

Saturday, April 24, 10-5

Sunday, April 25, 11-3


KC Clay Guild

200 W 74th Street, KCMO


Facebook Event Page

KC Clay Guild website

My Instagram

My Facebook

My Online store

Tell your friends!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

CuPu Series

 I'm jumping all over the place, as is my way, and I jumped into a new technique a couple months ago and went crazy making...

CuPu vases and cups

The Cut and Push Series, aka CuPu, involves me handbuilding (by way of pinching and smoothing), cutting a design through the wall, and pushing it out to form a relief.  I wanted to explore glazes and how they perform on deep surface changes.  Some designs are free-form, some I measure out and try really hard to make even, and some start one way and end up being made another.  I get too excited to stop and take action shots, but below is a bit of an inside to stages of one particular piece.

First I make the vessel, let it set up a bit, and decide on a design--usually I go from one element of the design to the next and fill in along the way.  With this one I made a stencil and played around with spacing and layout for some time before committing. 

Planning stage.

I use an Xacto knife to cut through the wall and push from the inside out to create a relief.
Boy, that escalated quickly.

Smoothed out but still in the green stage.
After the bisque fire, I sanded the surface and glazed the hell out of it.  Due to the conditions in the kiln, glaze ran down and puddled around the bottom, but the kiln loader was able to salvage the piece in whole so at least all my hours of work weren't destroyed, just a little ragged along the bottom.

Planter with Reitz Blue and Yellow Salt

I will not have this particular piece available at the KC Clay Guild Spring Sale, but everything in the first photo will be there, and many are already available online in my ceramics shop.  I have a lot more of these in me, but I am making an effort to cool it for a minute until I can clear some work out from under me.

See my process on Instagram!  I love to share.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Learning to Draw III + some ramblings

 As Spring sprang, I kept drawing and felt pretty good about my progress.  Especially as new flowers and trees started blooming, I'd be inspired to run home and get right to my brush and ink.  It was fun to see how my hand would render the flowers or if I could even be happy with the outcome.  Here are two early but large studies...

Crabapple blossoms details

Serviceberry sketch details

both sketches in full
46 x 9" each

I like being able to see the rough, curled edges of the paper, but this creates the problem of how to exhibit the work (these were meant to just be sketches but sometimes sketches turn into full blown pieces).  Also, taking pictures of the rumpled, wavy paper isn't easy.  This is why seeing art in real life is so much better than looking at or buying a reproduction (not always possible, yes I know).

Several years ago I was able to see Van Gogh's "The Starry Night" (after missing it twice before due to it being loaned out--MoMA!  Always sharing!).  This is said about many famous art works, but it was much smaller than I expected, and you know what?  I could see the raw canvas at the edge of the frame.  Same with Dali and many more.  This is not something you can appreciate learning from a text book, and it made it so much more real to me.  "A person made this and this is where he chose to stop painting."
You can see a bit of edge in this image, but that was all cropped out in the textbooks of yore.

That tangent was brought to you by my current struggles on presenting my work for exhibition.  It's one reason I love working with aluminum and panel wood--no need to frame, just set it and forget it.  In addition to my pieces being in very non-standard sizes, it's expensive to frame a piece right and who knows if that's even the best frame for the collector?  These are roadblocks I give myself. 

I'll end with a little about serviceberry.  Two years ago I learned of this delicious tree from a landscaper working on Main Street in my hometown.  It was the end of May or early June and the berries were ripe and ready and he encouraged us to take as many as we wanted.  They are quite tasty and have a bit of an apple flavor, but small like cherries.  Turns out there are serviceberry trees all over and I'd just never known.  They bloom in April.  Keep an eye out.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Shop Update

Saturday, March 20, at noon, I'm going to have a shop update--my first this year.  

I've been making a ton of new work.  Here's preview!

Hand drawn flower pieces...
Dogwood mug

Queen Anne's Lace vace
Some mug experiments...
Cinched-waist mugs
Always have to include cat heads!
Small and medium cat planters
Nubby planters for the upcoming plant season...
Nubby planters

And a new series, titled Cut and Push (CuPu for short) includes versatile vessels that can be used as vases, cups, or simply art pieces...I'll have a post about this process soon.
Turquoise CuPu vase

Large mouth CuPu vase

I will be sending out reminders all over social media, especially my Facebook and Instagram pages.  Let me know if you have questions about anything.  As always, thanks for your support.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Missouri Art Now

 This year, 2021, is Missouri's bicentennial.  As a native of Kansas, I learned next to nothing about the Show Me State growing up, and I continued that ignorance for the fourteen years I've lived here. (Sorry!) However, I do know that we have a plethora of talented artists and the Missouri Art Now exhibit is showcasing a few of us.  My work from 2019, "How Soft the Hazy Summer Night" was selected as one of sixty pieces to celebrate the bicentenary in a traveling exhibition from March to November.  

How Soft the Hazy Summer Night
36" diameter
aluminum, vinyl, acrylic
From the call for art:
On the occasion of its bicentennial, it is important to recognize that Missouri has and remains a significant site for visual artistic production. The Arts Council of Southeast Missouri in Cape Girardeau, Hannibal Arts Council, Post Art Library and Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin, and the Albrecht-Kemper Museum in Saint Joseph are collaborating to create Missouri Art Now, an exhibition featuring sixty works from artists throughout the State of Missouri, together demonstrating the vibrant visual arts culture in the state.

You can see it hanging at the opening March 5th in Cape Girardeau.
photo credit: @Missouri2021 on Instagram

And now some detail shots...

I slathered on the paint really thick and scraped an old mop brush through it before drying, adding texture.  Then I sanded and did it again with a different color.


After all that was done I went to town with the vinyl orzos.


The title comes from the fourth stanza in a poem by Ellen P. Allerton called "On The Farm,"

How soft the hazy summer night!
On dewy grass the moon's pale light
Rests dreamily. It falls in town
On smoky roofs and pavements brown.
How tenderly when night is gone,
Breaks o'er the fields the summer dawn!
How sweet and pure the scented morn.
(Get up! Old Molly's in the corn!)

And, as it is a traveling show, here's where it can be found throughout the year:

March 5-27, 2021

Arts Council of Southeast Missouri in Cape Girardeau

April 9-May 15, 2021

The State Historical Society of Missouri in Columbia 

May 29-July 17, 2021

Post Art Library and Spiva Center for the Arts in Joplin

July 23-September 6, 2021

Hannibal Arts Council in Hannibal 

September 17-November 7, 2021

Albrecht-Kemper Museum in Saint Joseph

More info at 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Drawing on Ceramics I

 Around the time I started to relearn to draw (500 years ago?  no...a year ago but still In The Beforetimes), I made a few test pieces with underglaze and sgraffito techniques based on saved dried flowers and seeds from summer 2019. They didn't trip my trigger at the time, but I kept running across them, so I'm going to share.  That also means I can throw them out!


That one is based on my first round of abstract Queen Anne's Lace drawings and paintings.
Pretty sex-organ-y.

Based on river oats

These were only about three or four inches tall, so the nuance I could get from larger drawings, as well as from ink flow, just weren't there.  They're called sketches for a reason.  I let these ideas marinate for my time away from the Clay Guild and during my summer of collecting flower images and drawing on traditional surfaces...