La Capretta Studio in Berryville, VA
La Capretta Studio in Berryville, VA

2009 was a year filled with new experiences: my very first solo show, a move halfway across the country, experiments with my artwork, and firing with a new crowd!


Scan through the year below or check out what I was up to by season by narrowing your search to the right.  --->

 

Click the title or 'read more' to view the full blog post.

Sun

30

May

2010

busy beaver... I mean potter!

 

I recently applied and was accepted to show and sell some of my work at the Fire House Gallery in Berryville. They are having an open house next Friday, so it's been quite the push to fill the kiln and fire before then! 

 

Here are some stamped plates in the greenware stage that along with coil cups and doily tripod cups, I hope to sell--or at least show--at this local gallery.

 

More pictures soon as I make work, fill the kiln, FIRE, mix glazes, and FIRE again! All hopefully BEFORE next Friday!!

0 Comments

Sat

15

May

2010

rediscovered drawings from the past

Read More 0 Comments

Wed

12

May

2010

remember that nest?

that bird is perched on the INSIDE
that bird is perched on the INSIDE

Upon my return to the farm about a month ago, I had noticed that some creature had started to make a nest on one of the shelves in the studio. Slowly but surely, it has been revealed what kind of creature(s) live there. You guessed it: birds! I'm not exactly sure what kind, but La Capretta is home to a mama, a papa, and 3 baby birds. While mama and papa go in and out through a system of holes in the stone wall structure and the rain gutter, the babies are left to the comfort of the indoors, free from predators and protected from the elements. It has been interesting watching them get used to their wings as well as observing the process of mama and papa finding where in the studio to deliver dinner. 

0 Comments

Mon

10

May

2010

having fun/testing glazes for a commission

my unfired bowl, freshly painted with underglaze
my unfired bowl, freshly painted with underglaze

I was blessed with another visitor this weekend: Jessie (yes the inspirer of my most recent set of greeting cards)! We kept each other occupied with conversation as well as a few crafty projects. Tie-dying proved to be very successful and time will tell how our painted pots will fire. 

 

Three reasons for the paint-your-own-pot activity:

1. Nancy has LOADS of blanks in the studio from her past life of majolica.

2. I need to test the underglazes for an upcoming project: a commission to make free drink chips for my mom's bar in Des Moines.

3. It's fun!!

0 Comments

Tue

04

May

2010

presenting: La Capretta Gallery

Nancy and I realized that there was something holding us back in the newly renovated meditation space/gallery... a hanging system. Instead of nailing artwork into the wall which would be more work in the long run in terms of maintenance, we decided we might as well invest in a permanent system from the git go.  A plane ticket and two trips to Home Depot later, we had something to work with!

Read More 0 Comments

Wed

21

Apr

2010

done! well, almost...

I spent the afternoon out at Joy Bridy's. I meant to make it out in the morning to help with the front arch, but alas I was feeling under the weather and missed all the excitement. I did stick around to help with the LAST two rows of bricks though. THAT was pretty exciting!

Read More 11 Comments

Mon

19

Apr

2010

sending some love to pittsburgh

 

I started this back in the fall... can you tell? When it was cut up in 5X5 squares and ready to be mailed, it definitely had a fall feel to it because of the browns. I think it's going to make some nice greeting cards, just a bit out of season for right now though. 

 

Jessie sure liked it, and I'm so glad! It shall take up a bit of space on her wall... at least 20X30 inches...

Read More 0 Comments

Tue

06

Apr

2010

it's gettin big!

I had the day off while Nancy and Linus visit a friend in New York, so I thought I'd lend a hand out at Joy Bridy's. She had a course of bricks dry stacked when I got there, so I spent the afternoon mortaring while she taught her class in her studio. We capped off the work day by adding another dry stacked course and moving a pallet of bricks. It's slow going when you're building a kiln, but after awhile you can really see it coming together! 

Read More 0 Comments

Sat

03

Apr

2010

fieldtrip! NCECA in Philadelphia

This year's NCECA conference was in Philadelphia: only a four hour drive from Berryville. It wasn't in my cards this year to attend the full conference, but I was able to make it up to the city to check out a few galleries and surprise a friend for her birthday.

Read More 0 Comments

Mon

29

Mar

2010

babies!

 

 

 

It's lambing season here at Smith Meadows Farm which means little lambs are poppin out all over the place. They usually come in pairs, and occasionally are speckled. Can we say "black sheep of the family"?

0 Comments

Fri

26

Mar

2010

things are NOT how i left them...

hibernation destination
hibernation destination

 

I left Virginia four months ago, thinking I'd only be gone for two. My plans changed and I ended up being gone for all of winter. By the time I finally made it back, there were a few surprises waiting for me. While Nancy hid from the cold and stayed away from the studio, a few critters made themselves at home. First thing is certainly first before busting out the clay: cleaning!!

Read More 4 Comments

Thu

25

Mar

2010

hit the ground running...

:) a couple of Pasuttis in the kitchen
:) a couple of Pasuttis in the kitchen

Well, I've made it back to Smith Meadows. My mom drove out with me, making a bit of a vacation out of the trip. We stopped in Grand Blanc, MI (completely on the way) to visit some family for a few days and then headed to Pittsburgh, PA to visit a friend. We had a bit of car trouble, but luckily it was in a friendly town with good company.  Once we finally got Lady back on the road (after waiting 8 hours!), we made it to Berryville, VA. Before my mom flew back to Des Moines, IA, we put her to work in the commercial kitchen making empenadas for the weekend's farmer's market [I'm told we look like sisters in this picture].

 

{In addition to a part time nanny, a studio intern, and resident artist here at Smith Meadows, I put a few hours in at the commercial kitchen each week, hence the random kitchen picture instead of the studio update--coming soon. Tasks range from making ravioli, cutting noodles, peeling garlic, processing herbs, packing pasta coolers for market, and now making empenadas!}

0 Comments

Thu

24

Dec

2009

a Christmas gift for myself

 

 

The last time I visited friends in Minnesota, I stopped by the Northern Clay Center to check out their Holiday Show and Sale. Although I can't really afford to buy all the pots I would like, I couldn't resist these two beauties. Sandra Daulton Shaughnessy uses clay slips and brushwork for lively surfaces, as seen in this cup.

Read More 0 Comments

Thu

10

Dec

2009

a long holiday break

It wouldn't be winter without a blizzard of course! Thirteen inches of snow later, Des Moines is still shoveling its way out of this season's first big one. These icicles decorating my house just might be inspiration for an upcoming light sculpture...

 

While home for the holidays, I am taking a break from clay, yet continuing to brainstorm for future projects. So far, it has been a great time to catch up with friends, family, and mentors in the Midwest. Something to look forward to within the next year or so: a firing and show for all us past interns at JD Jorgenson's!

0 Comments

Sat

14

Nov

2009

back to the midwest

 

Six months in Virginia has come and gone. Now I'm back in the Midwest for 2 months to enjoy the holidays with family and friends. I think it will be a nice break, but I'm already thinking about what I want to do when I get back to Virginia!

0 Comments

Wed

11

Nov

2009

glazin up a storm

A long time coming: glazes in the studio. After a number of tests, I settled on a glaze called Bone for a few wedding gifts. Interesting results to say the least (not sure how I feel about the bone on the dark clay body):

Read More 0 Comments

Wed

04

Nov

2009

arch you glad i came out to help?

 

Check out that arch! Here's an excited kiln builder after a day's work out at Joy Bridy's. 

0 Comments

Tue

27

Oct

2009

carving pumpkins

 

I haven't carved a pumpkin in years! Boy how times have changed! I couldn't help but use my carving skills to make a non-traditional jack-o-lantern.

0 Comments

Sun

18

Oct

2009

off to India!

 

 

 

Here's for Jolene far far away.

0 Comments

Mon

12

Oct

2009

special order, comin right up!

I've been asked to make planters for two baby trees. I'm all about options, so this is what I've come up with so far...

Read More 1 Comments

Sat

10

Oct

2009

fire in the kiln, fire in the sky

 

Another wood firing out at Mizue's, this time the sky mimicking the inside of the kiln. They say 'red at night, sailors' delight', but we'll see how delightful the firing went next Saturday when we unload....

0 Comments

Sun

27

Sep

2009

watch out hallmark!

"Chanti" K
"Chanti" K

 

Nancy and I decided we should make some greeting cards out of our artwork. She chose several farm photos, water color paintings and sketches to print, and I took the next step with my colored pencil drawings: using those crazy puzzle piece squares (scanned, resized, printed, cut, and bordered). I made cards from "Beth" and "Chanti" (I didn't think to scan Molly's and Karen's at the time). Check 'em out!

0 Comments

Fri

25

Sep

2009

finally! for chanti.

colored pencil (20X30")
colored pencil (20X30")

 

I started this a month ago for Chanti's birthday (oopsies: just a bit late!). Busy busy I have been, but finally: I am done!

 

While I'm sure she doesn't need any encouragement for her firey spirit, I hope this brightens her day and keeps her burning all year long out west. :)

Read More 0 Comments

Sat

19

Sep

2009

halloween or christmas?

the back stack in Mizue's kiln
the back stack in Mizue's kiln

 

Of course neither since it's only September, but that's always the question when opening up a kiln...

 

The firing was a success--we made it to temperature and it didn't take as long as last time to do it. Mizue filled a lot of the gaps in the walls that we suspected held us back last time--losing heat.

 

I'm still working off my shelf space by splitting wood, but I don't mind too much.

 

The top right piece is mine...

0 Comments

Wed

16

Sep

2009

summer time blazin, i just wanna be glazin

Searching for the balance between inspiration and intimidation, Nancy and I checking out the glaze tiles at Baltimore Clayworks; photo by Genna Strauss
Searching for the balance between inspiration and intimidation, Nancy and I checking out the glaze tiles at Baltimore Clayworks; photo by Genna Strauss

It has finally worked out for us to get glaze ingredients for the studio! Guided by Joy Bridy and joined by my vacationing friend, the ladies of La Capretta took a field trip to Baltimore. We filled

 

...our minds at Baltimore Clayworks--getting some inspiration from the studio and gallery

...our bellies at a Greek restaurant with tasty hummus

...my jeep with clay and glaze ingredients at Baltimore Clayworks and Supply, and

...our hearts with good company: strolling around the harbor, enjoying gelato, trying on hats, and slurping raw oysters.

0 Comments

Thu

10

Sep

2009

get ready for another wood firing!

Mizue bricking up the door.
Mizue bricking up the door.

 

 

I brought all my pots, thinking less than half would make it in; there are 6 other potters firing with Mizue this time around. Magically though, all but 6 cups made it in! Mizue is said to have eyes on her fingertips: a kiln loading goddess.

0 Comments

Tue

08

Sep

2009

fully loaded.

unloaded bisqueware taking up the whole table.
unloaded bisqueware taking up the whole table.

 

 

A first time for everything: a kiln filled with only my stuff.  stamps, tea bag plates, coil cups, key holes, bowls, slab cups. Dang. Gotta get ready for a wood firing and some glaze testing!

0 Comments

Sun

06

Sep

2009

red in the morning, sailors take warning

sunrise from the Pritchard porch on a Sunday morning
sunrise from the Pritchard porch on a Sunday morning
0 Comments

Mon

24

Aug

2009

hmm...

So, I'm liking these coil cups, but I'm not quite sure what is the best foot for them. So far, these are my options...

Read More 2 Comments

Fri

21

Aug

2009

A little color for the walls

Good timing: Just as I was finishing this for Beth, I got a letter from her in the mail saying how she didn't have much on the walls yet... PERFECT!

Read More 9 Comments

Wed

19

Aug

2009

eBay + cheap doilies = slab cups

 

Still playing around with thickness, height and width, but I'm liking the form and of course the doily impressions....

0 Comments

Thu

13

Aug

2009

a bit of research/inspiration...

 

 

I picked this book up at the library. Just like the other books in this series of "500 ---", this one is awesome!

 

I think my favorite is Sandy Culp's "Pear Pair" (2001). 8X12X 1 1/2 inches. page 353:

Read More 2 Comments

Wed

12

Aug

2009

Those coil cups again...

 

I'm still drawn to exposed coils and making them functional... we'll see how this form shapes up. I started off with a pinch pot bottom and then coiled up instead of upside down like the last set...

15 Comments

Tue

11

Aug

2009

For Karen.

It's Karen's birthday, and she moved, so I think that deserves a gift...

20X30" paper, colored pencil, cut into 24- 5X5" squares.

Read More 0 Comments

Fri

07

Aug

2009

Testing, testing. 1, 2, 41.

  

 

These are meant to be used teabag holders, but could be anything really. With my new stamps and some foam, I pressed these litte plates out of slabs. All of the stamps seem to work pretty well--couldn't have asked for more!

1 Comments

Mon

03

Aug

2009

At last!

a few test stamps...
a few test stamps...

 

 

It's taken us a little while to make enough work to fill the kiln for another bisque since we've been so busy with the garden and what not, but FINALLY! We did it! AND: no cracks! Two sculptural vessels, some cups, and some stamps.

0 Comments

Thu

09

Jul

2009

a gift...

 

It's Molly Roske's birthday this Saturday and I thought it would be nice to send something down to Guatemala. Busy with the garden, this is my most recent 'art' to show off. I did make stamps last week, but I'll get pictures of those later.

Read More 0 Comments

Wed

01

Jul

2009

The results are in!

Mizue and I unloaded last Thursday, but I didn't get a chance to look at my pots very closely. To be honest, the first glance is always the toughest, so it was much easier to set them aside and look at them later. A suspenseful opening:

Read More 5 Comments

Mon

22

Jun

2009

Slab Cups: Round 1

 

 

How about some slab cups? They still need a little refining, but here's round 1 at least.

0 Comments

Sun

21

Jun

2009

Some like it hot.

...When it comes to wood firing that is.

Read More 0 Comments

Fri

19

Jun

2009

Gettin ready to wood fire!

Friday was glaze/loading day, so in the morning while Mizue finished loading her work into the kiln, I glazed my pots along side another artist, Donna Downing. I used Mizue's glazes which included shino, teadust, and temoku.

Read More 0 Comments

Thu

18

Jun

2009

Will split wood for kiln space...

"will work for..." should be the title of my life (or at least this stage of my life). So, in addition to this whole working as a nanny and gardener in exchange for studio space and a place to live, I have now extended the list to include splitting wood in exchange for wood kiln space--not surprising. Luckily, Mizue Croswell was okay with the exchange too.

Read More 0 Comments