Spring Going into Summer - Maybe

The weather has turned cold here in Cincinnati...

Saturday was my second Oakley Fancy Flea or OFF.  They take over Oakley's esplanade on the last Saturday of each month.  It was cold and spitting rain and the wind was blowing.  I didn't quite make my quota, but I can overlook it since the day was so gloomy.  

My young neighbor, Jocelyn, was having her first show ever.  the weights on her tent were hardly weights at all and her tent blew into the alley behind us.  Her tent bent to the point that she had a miserable time folding to get into her car.  I felt for her.....

I do love how some people set up especially the beard guys!!

I did get some nice shots of my work.  I love the purple trim on the building behind me.

I also got set up early and had the opportunity to eat pick up a wonderful geotta, apple, arugula and egg sandwich at a local breakfast shop.  Yummm...  It was across from St. Cecilia.  I plan on having some new work with that church on it.  

Bittersweet Endings

The past couple weeks has not had a whole lot of pottery in it.  There was the Wyoming Art Show on the 17th.  It was a beautiful day and the show was very well attended.  I won an award and several of my good friends stopped by to check in on me.  I always like that!  Towards the end of the day, Nadine and Valerie (fellow lax (lacrosse) moms) came to help me break down my booth.  

Most of the last part of this month has been taken up with my son's high school graduation.  It has left me in a pit of dropped balls.  I passed up the opportunity to participate in Art on Vine on the 16th because it was his senior night for lacrosse.  I wouldn't have missed that for anything.  I got to be an honorary dad that night when the dads got to speak to their sons in the locker room before the game.  I wanted to go first and get it over with - I think I'm allergic to speaking in public.  I had to keep my speech humorous for fear of losing it like I did when I practiced my serious speech in the car.  The other dads were very touching and there were a few tears as we looked back on their years in lacrosse and how far they have come as players and men.  I will truly miss this page in my book. Now I'm crying - again.

This week was spend doing what you do before any big event - CLEANING till you drop.  Thursday was the baccalaureate and Logan's 19th birthday.  Saturday the boys came over and road to graduation together.  I think Logan had one of the loudest cheering sections.  This entire class is so dear to me.  I spent Saturday night and all of Sunday party hopping.  I'm going to miss this class of 2015.

Spring shows and Graduation

Well You can tell I've been busy, because it's been a couple months since I have sat down to write something.

I've had a very good run of Spring Shows.  The Clay Alliance Spring Fair was very successful.  I had a line of people pretty much thru the entire show and the weather was perfect.  I made some special ornaments and small plate with the St. Francis DeSales Church on them and they went over very well.  I intend to have something special depicting the local icons for each show.  It's a great event - all pottery with demonstrations, cool music, raffles, food trucks and a beautiful historic setting.

The very next day was Madiera and even though this show was lighter in attendance, I was still slammed with buyers.  My uncle Don and Aunt Susan stopped by with there entire McLennan clan and that was fun.  Another beautiful day but with all the sales of the weekend, I felt I had not enough inventory to be able to be ready for Summerfair!  I call on Monday to let them know.  There were plenty of people on the waiting list and she said she would be able to refund most of my money.  I also gave them enough time to adjust for the program printing.  whew!

Mother's day weekend was a bye week for me.  I was able to play a little catch up on pottery and enjoy my family.  Logan had a Lacrosse game at Summit Country Day and there was a clay alliance seconds sale nearby.  I was able to get a steal of a deal on one of Dennis Allen's huge urns with a wonderful ash glaze.  I also stopped by Indigenous for some Mother's day gifts.  Mother's day was one of the most memorable for me.   Rob used to make Mother's day a real treat.  Breakfast and very thoughtful gifts.  The kids have really stepped up.  I slept in a little, and as I was going down the stairs, Logan was coming up with coffee and flowers.  He made geotta and eggs with pancakes and cantaloupe.   later that day, we went to my sister in laws for the McLennan mother's day feast of steak and king crab.  There was swimming and canoeing as well as plenty of babies to pass around.  Logan of course had his buddies over that night and they took me out for ice cream.  I was feeling the love.

Still lots more to say, but I have to move on to the rest of my to do list.  Graduation is in 4 days!!!!

The Dreaded Booth Shot

My friend Annette came over this weekend and we worked on our booth shots for the jury application process.  We set up the tent in the barn to give it that outdoor feel without having to endure the elements of the weather.  This way, we could also leave everything up and tweak it for a day or two.  There's nothing like setting up for hours, taking the perfect picture, packing everything up, and  then coming home to look at you picture on the big screen and finding something you hate about it.  Here's some of mine from 2014 and 2015 taken exactly one year apart and then some of Annette's.  I'm still not happy with the lighting, but I still have it set up, so I can work on that today.

This year - I want to get the colors brighter.  It looks too washed out

This year - I want to get the colors brighter.  It looks too washed out

Beth helped out with the shelves and curtain rods and then Logan helped tuck that cabinet in the corner without knocking everything over - while I stressed over the rug getting dirty.

Booth shot from 2014 - notice the wrinkles!!!!  

Booth shot from 2014 - notice the wrinkles!!!!


Annette setting up her booth on Sunday

Annette setting up her booth on Sunday

She tweeked it some more so this is not her final shot

She tweeked it some more so this is not her final shot

On a final note, I had a ton of visitors at the studio yesterday.  My sister-in-law, Beth, came over to help sand and glaze.  Her 2 dogs decided that they were being left out and ended up walking over to the studio to play with Duke too.  Then Annette stopped by to take more pictures in better lighting and take her things home.  We had a delivery of wood and my mother-in-law stopped by.  Finally this little guy, Mason, came over to deliver his sister's Girlscout cookies with his mom and dad and check out everything including the tractor.  He is my cousin's son and just a cute an curious as he can be.  Adorable!!

Let it stop, let it stop, let it stop...

Good lord, this has been a trying week!  Logan had a 4 day weekend from the 13th to the 16th which turned into a 10 day weekend for all the snow and cold that we have had.  He's sleeping in again today because they now have a 2 hour delay.  I don't know about you, but when I was a kid, It took a lot of snow to call off school and I never remember missing because of cold temps.  As soon as they call off school, I have a house full of teens - at least I can retreat to my studio.  If they can all make it to my house, then why not school????  Just a thought....  The boys have been working on the barn, so that's good.

So it snowed again on Saturday and I thought I would take Duke out for a run in the woods - bad idea.  She ran ahead of me and chased a duck into the unfrozen part of my brother-in-law's pond!  I was so freaked out!  I called Aaron and he brought the canoe from the barn.  Fortunately by the time he got there, she had made it out on her own and was running back to the house.  Geeze - that took some years off my life!!!  Kids and dogs will take a toll on your nerves.

Sunday was the 2 year anniversary of my husband, Rob's, passing.  I was very fortunate to stay busy that day with friends and family.  Logan and I went out to breakfast, we had a lacrosse luncheon to start off the season, I had a nice sushi dinner with Rob's parents and a couple of his sisters and their families, and topped it off with a meeting about the school board.  The best thing to do on anniversary days like that is to just keep swimming.  

Well that wasn't a very happy post and there was nothing about pottery, but next week's will be better.  Lauren is coming home on quarter break and I saw a 40 degree mark on the forecast.  Stay warm everyone!



New Cincy work - new show in OTR

I've been working on getting some slab work done since getting on the wheel has been a little daunting.  I'm looking forward to see how they sell - especially at some of the urban shows like City Flea and Art on Vine.

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I dropped some of these off at Indigenous in O'Bryonville and will have them to sell at the Art on Vine show on February 15th.  This is going to be a new show for me.  It's held in the Rhinegeist Brewery.  It's a fun place with awesome craft beer.   

Back To Work

I got back to doing some actual studio work this week.  The first order of business was to sweep up after Duke.  She has had complete run of the place and doesn't seem to know how to use a broom - imagine that.  After I tidied up a bit, I was able to finish up on the Fairy houses that the Brownies started in December.  Little kids always impress me with their vast imagination that seems to wither away once they become self conscious pre-teens.  There were ponds, balconies, patios, roof top pools and furniture.  

Most of the rest of the week was spent getting some inventory together for spring show applications.  Due dates are approaching and I need to get my act together - QUICK!!!  I stopped by Michael's to pick up some drawing pens.  I want to do some line drawing of OTR and the skyline as well as some icons to add to the cincy platters.  The facebook page "Old Photos of Cincinnati" is a great place to get inspiration as well as learn more of my Cincinnati history.  I might come out a little smarter after this year!  I should have some pictures to show next week.


A New Year, Some New Goals

I love the new year.  It's a time to reflect on past year - some goals you achieved, others were failures, and hopefully there are ones you totally knocked out of the park.  It's also a time to reset those goals and make new ones as well.  

2015 GOALS

1.  This website: It was a success and a semi fail.  I need to get on more of a schedule of posting regularly and I need to figure out how to sell my pottery from here.  Part of the problem is my ADHD.  I get soooo easily distracted and I need to set a time to do this and just DO IT!!  Square Space has a new format so maybe it will be easier for me to set up an online store.  Or maybe not.  I wasn't very organized with the orders I took this year - need to work that one out too.

2.  The barn:  Also a partial fail.  I have the thing up but still need to work on the interior and get it ready for classes.  The next step is to get the electrician back out and then I can put up some insulation and drywall.  I'm so close....   Everyone is excited about getting back to classes.

3.  Shows:  2014 was a year of change.  It was the first year I was accepted into Summer Fair.  Hopefully I will be able to do that again this year to learn from mistakes.  I need TONS more inventory for a show like that.  this was also the first year I got to experience the urban shows like City Flea and Art off Pike.  I enjoyed these type of shows the most.  I loved the funky vibe that was created.  There was such a huge variety of patrons and people watching there was the bomb.  I'd like to get into the Crafty Supermarket this spring as well as Art off Vine.  As always, I need to do better shows, less often but that is easier said than done.

4. New inventory:  I have all kinds of ideas floating around in my head that I need to get out this month if I want to include them in my applications.  I really want to focus on the Cincinnati images and include 3 different themes - recognizable icons, things that are no more and nostalgic nerdiness.  

5. Glazes:  Last year I focused on a handful of glazes and I think that helped with the production.  I want to stay with that theory.  I am going to a class at Cornell Studio Supply in Dayton that is being taught by John Britt.  I'm pretty excited about it because he is one of the gurus of glaze development.  

Ornaments, Ornaments, Ornaments

I've obviously been too busy to post.  I coming close to my last school show after a very successful fall season.  

Now is the time for ornaments and I came up with some nice Cincinnati ideas that have been keeping me hopping. 

They have been very popular on facebook and with these and the Knights of Columbus ornaments, I haven't been able to do much else.   

Last City Flea - and other unrelated things

My last City Flea was on October 11th.  After a rainy and miserable Friday, it was another sunny Saturday for this event.  Logan agreed to help me out with set up in the morning which was good because my knee has really been talking to me lately (putting off surgery till after my last show).  He honestly needed the money for Homecoming that night so he was a willing participant.  I can't say enough about how much I enjoy this event.  The people are fun to watch and my booth neighbor, John from Bud Whitley's Garage, brings in some very talented and entertaining customers.

some of the music playing at Bud's

some of the music playing at Bud's

fuzzy pic of a wire shelving unit that I want.  Need to check out some markets for booth displays like this

fuzzy pic of a wire shelving unit that I want.  Need to check out some markets for booth displays like this

I broke down and bought a t-shirt that I couldn't live without but the were a lot of tempting buys there.  There were welcome visits from returning customers and friends and Lauren came ( the first time she has been to any of my shows) to help me break down.  The Biedenharns also came back around at the end of the day and pitched in which made me break down in record time.  Awesomeness!!!  A noteworthy new patron was Bridgette from 365 things to do in Cincinnati.  She was interested in some mugs and ornaments, Cincy style, for their new shop.  If you  get a chance, like that page on Facebook.  It is a continuous supply of fun things to do in the area.  Another person that stopped to chat (and buy) was Jim Robinson.  He is a glaze chemist at Rookwood.  It filled me with pride to know he was very impressed with how much I have learned in my 4 years stint as a potter.  It's always nice to get a pat on the back.

Andrea and Lauren - part of my breakdown roadies for the day

Andrea and Lauren - part of my breakdown roadies for the day

I came home with a lot less than I started with, and I'm sad the Flea season is over but I will definitely be making this my place to be next year - very impressed with the media coverage and the crowd.

Now it is time to move on to the next set of shows - the school shows.  There is a not so heated debate in the clay cult about ornaments.  Some potters seem to feel it is stooping to a lower level to make a $5 ornament for the masses of Christmas crazy patrons that are also carrying around a Styrofoam piece of candy wrapped in celophane on a piece of PVC.  Not me - I need money so here I am making hundreds of ornaments for my next shows.  I like them and I like making them and I like that I can have something in my booth that anyone can buy.  I understand the other argument and that's cool, more ornament customers for me!

ornaments - pre glaze

ornaments - pre glaze

And now for kid news.  Lauren turned 20 this week.  I really can't believe it was 20 years ago that she came into our lives.  She is as good of a kid as anyone can hope for.  Granted, we have our share of stupid kid incidents that everyone goes through in order to get to adulthood.  She has also tested us in the emergency room visits.  She has been there for jaundice, she inhaled a bean, she had a double hernia from coughing for weeks (from said bean), she had tubes in her ears, she had a stick that impaled her eyelid (one of the worst days of my life), she had an infection in her ankle that landed her in hospital overnight.  She has also made me as proud as I could be.  She swims, pole vaults, runs, plays the bass in orchestra and jazz band.  She tries very hard in school and has very easy on my pocketbook to send her to a top notch engineering school for chemical engineering.  It's very bittersweet that I am celebrating all of this without Rob.  They were tight and I know she misses him dearly.  Gotta get off that thought before I turn into a puddle.

Last note before I get back to those ornaments.  I had a great trip with Logan yesterday at my favorite place, Athens, OH.  I went there my freshman and sophomore year as a Chemistry major, took a year off to make some money, went back as a elementary education major, then graduated from Cincinati state in Mechanical design.  5 year associate's degree in partying and poor planning and now I'm a potter.  The moral of the story kids is this, when you are paying an outlandish amount of money for an education - STAY THE COURSE.  Don't freak out over a C.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun going down memory lane at OU with Logan.  He liked it a lot and hopefully it will jump start his motivation to do better in school to achieve his goals.  He's an incredibly bright kid who just doesn't care to impress anyone with intelligence.   Especially in the form of homework.  

My phone battery died before I got a lot of pictures.  This is a spot by the art building - I did take an art class there.  I was disappointed by all the graffiti covering the art on the stairs.  There are other places for that.  Logan spent the night with a friend the night before and I got stuck in the rain walking there.  I stepping into a very cool bookstore on State St.  On of the shopkeepers, Kate, gave me an umbrella to use for the day and I was so grateful!

Fall shows

I've been doing pretty well on the fall shows this year.  It has been a busy season and I'm about to finish up with City flea on Saturday.

Bellevue Art in the Park was my first show of the season.  It is set on the Ohio river in a park that used to me a beach.  I need to find some pics for next year to go on my mugs.  I've been researching cincy history and want to add a lot more of that sort of thing to my work.  So far it's been paying off as I found that I did triple the sales of last year at that show.  I met a new person at this show, Nadine.  She is a silk painter and does wearable art.  We bartered pottery for a beautiful black and white scarf.  She is easily in her 70's and is a shining example of one of my favorite quotes.  When asked when she's going to retire, her response is "I'm just getting started!"

The next weekend was the Art Alliance show in Mason.  It was the same weekend as Octoberfest and I think the crowds were not as great as they could have been but it was and enjoyable day.  The music was great (I love my bluegrass fix) and the kids activities were fun.  This show seems to go about and beyond in this department.  Meredith and Glenda are top notch in this department.  This is the show that the instructors from take pArt are at and it was good to regroup with them a bit and see what they do one their own.  I also ran into my son's Engineering teacher - his wife, does letter press and I bought some of her sweet cards.  My friends, Nadine, Annette and Greg, stopped by and Nadine stayed till the end to help pack up.  I'm always grateful for that!



Cori working on the kid activities

Cori working on the kid activities

finished masterpiece - great group effort!!

finished masterpiece - great group effort!!

The third weekend of this crazy month included 2 shows.  The first was Milford's Art Affaire at the Promont Museum.  This is a tight show in every way.  Mary spends an enormous amount of time organizing and the space is limited so there's not a lot of room to maneuver.  One of the husbands ran into some art trying to book his way out of there in the end.  Patience is the key word at these kind of things....

The show was heavy in ceramics so it was nice to talk to the other potters at this show.  The judges came around several time and Diane, the ceramics judge, was familiar with me.  I have some pieces in her shop at Indigenous.  I didn't have any expectations of winning anything since there were a ton of potters that were more experienced and, to be blunt, had more talent in their little finger than me.  However, I won second place and that's always exciting.  I also had a lot of friends that I don't always get to see come visit.  Sarah and Jim stopped by as well as Laura and her husband, Chris and Tara and Barry.  Dennis Allen came by as well and we talked pottery for a bit.  

Sunday's show at Covington's Art Off Pike was just as fun to see the people as it was to see the art.  I really dig the urban shows and I think I will try to gravitate to those more next year.  Covington is being renovated in some of the same way as Over the Rhine and the businesses we very appreciative of the people the show was bringing to the district.  I was set up in front of 4 Season's Catering.  Micheal and Melinda were the best hosts - they let me use their bathroom and watched my booth.  Always a plus.    

performing recycled art

performing recycled art

This weekend was the first of the school craft shows.  Lakota West was better than last year, but it's never the atmosphere as the art shows.  The best part is meeting new people, making new friends and seeing old ones that I only get to see at these shows.  I AM almost out of inventory again so it will be nice to have a break to work on some new things for November.   Ornaments are always the biggest seller at the school shows and I need to get my Santa hat on and get  busy.  Here's an example of something in the works for this season.

this is unfired and unglazed.   

this is unfired and unglazed. 


Workshop results

I had scheduled a workshop for a book club in March with the full intentions of the barn being fully operational by the end of July.  We are at the end of August now and I still need quite a few things finished before I would be ready to schedule classes for real.  But by the end of July, I did have some lights and a floor, so here we go.  I contacted Barb to confirm but she was sorry to inform me that only three of their members were able to make it.  No problem - I'll just open it up to the public.  Within 4 hours of posting the workshop, I had 9 more people signed up and 2 crashers!

The workshop went pretty smoothly.  Next time, no crashers.  12 is the limit of my vocal skills.  The assignment was to bring in a quote and we would put it on a garden plaque to hang.  Everyone did a wonderful job and had a lot of fun.  We have some very creative ladies and I can't wait till classes start for real.  It's very therapeutic for everyone. 

Here's some of the finished pieces.  I'd post them all, but my patience with uploading photos is short and I have a lot to do this morning.

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City Flea - August

What a show!  I tried really hard to work to my audience and it paid off in spades.  This show is relatively young and in OTR.  This is a part of town that you did not want to get caught in during the brightest part of the day 20 years ago when I was a co-op for Kenner and had to walk from the parking lot just south of Washington Park to the Kroger building just a block away.  It is now a hip neighborhood with an abundance of activities, restaurants, breweries and shops.  I love seeing this beautiful architecture and history being cherished instead of forgotten.

City Flea is such a fun and different show.  It is a party in the park with local beers, music, food trucks and eclectic vendors all in the front lawn of the majestic Music Hall.

The day started out strong and didn't slow down until close at 4:00.  I always had a steady stream of people checking out my quirky pottery.  Some of my best sellers were my Music Hall mugs, one of which went to a french horn musician in the Cincinnati Symphony at Music Hall.  The Alice mugs and pre-prohibition Cincinnati brewery steins were also a big hit.  I had several friends stop by and that always makes me feel good, especially when they support me by buying pottery, bringing me a beer, or giving me a potty break.  THANKS Y'ALL!!  

A great friend will buy you a beer, an incredible friend will stand in the bathroom line for you and call when she is close.  A special thank you to Kim and Michelle!!!

I got to Washington park to start my set up bright and early at 6:45 to find out that the street I normally unload on was down to one lane.  It took me a while to lug everything across the park, but with all new challenges comes new ways to make your life easier.  Gotta get a better cart!  I was able to save a spot next to me for my fellow Kings parent, John Fonner.  He sells ukuleles in his booth, Bud Whitley's Garage.  It was a nice draw of customers and the uke is a pretty soft sounding instrument so I could still talk over everyone trying out his cool products.

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I won't be able to make the September Flea, I will be at the Art Alliance Art Fair at Cottell Park in Mason.  I have 3 additional shows in September and need to stick to a steady schedule of making new work.  Next show is Saturday, September 6th  on the riverbank in Bellevue, KY.  Come see me at Art in the Park!