The Return of the Roses

 A long time ago, when I was a senior in college, I made teapots that were covered in clay roses.  I was a studio art major with a concentration in ceramics.  My father, also an artist, had made a clay rose for my mom for Valentine’s Day one year.  That being my inspiration, I thought I would try my hand at making them myself.  After hours of making clay roses, I got pretty proficient.

But, once I went to graduate school, I abandoned them, at least for a few years.  Two years ago, as I was getting ready for a show at the Genesee Pottery Fire House Gallery, I started to make them again.  My idea was to make piles of them, and have vases sitting on top of them, like a wreath around the bottom.  It was a pretty high expectation to finish them in time for the opening.  I was also 8 months pregnant, and teaching full time.  I realized that it would be acceptable to only show my pottery for the exhibition and try using the flowers in another way later on.

The flowers have lived in a metal mixing bowl for about a year, and they finally have a home, at least a temporary one on display in our living room.

They are just bisqued, with no color.  I have thought about adding color in some way, but I think they are fine the way they are, at least for now.

There are roses, peonies and carnations all mixed in together, with a few leaves and buds sprinkled in there too.  The antlers were a gift from my brother-in-law.  He and his father found them on their farm years ago, and he gave them to me last year.  I think they are a nice compliment to the plaster work on the mirror and to the natural cream color of the clay. Thanks Tristan!

Hope for Hope

This March at NCECA (The National Council on the Education for Ceramic Arts) the ceramics department at The School for American Crafts is putting on a fundraiser to help Hope Rovelto.  Hope was in a very bad car accident last November.  With surmounting medical bills, the arts community is rushing to her side to help alleviate this financial burden.

In our effort to help Hope, the School for American Crafts is assembling a cookbook of pot-luck recipes from the ceramics BFA and MFA students and alumni.  The cookbook will be filled with great recipes and photos of the various artist’s work.  The cookbook will be available at the School for American Crafts booth at NCECA this year which will be held in Tampa and St.Petersburg Florida.

Here is the link to Hope’s website.

My submission was Ina Garten’s Coconut Macaroons.  So delicious!

Please pray for her quick recovery.

Harbingers of Spring

  All of this snow is pretty, I will admit, but the cold weather is not as enjoyable.  Yes, I chose to live in Boston, so I have no room to complain, but winter is not my favorite season.  Spring is!  Growing up in Western New York (up, up state), we were blessed with beautiful parks and a countryside mixed with rolling farm fields and groves of trees.
 When the first buds would appear on the trees, my mom would say, “it looks like the trees were sprayed with a mist of chartreuse green”.  Oh, I love that time of year.  One of the reasons I love spring, is because it means months of beautiful weather are ahead of me.
 So, as I dream of warmer days, or at least spring-like days, I will leave you with some images of my work that reflects the upcoming season.









Julia’s Plates

  My good friend, Julia Skop of antinomy designs, asked me to make some plates for her.  It was actually a trade. (I got a beautiful glass necklace and bronze bracelet.)
  The plates have been completed for a little over a month now, but I am finally getting around to posting images of them.  (Since our move to Boston, my time has been taken up with unpacking, organizing, and spending time with my little Henri.)
  Typically the palette that I work with is brighter and more “spring-like.”  Julia asked me to make her set of plates using more wintery and somber colors.  I really enjoyed the change/challenge, and think that my next body of work will be more of a combination of gray/neutrals, and candy colors.  I can’t wait to get back into the studio….ahhhh!

     Here are a few pictures of the plates.  I hope you like them Julia!

The calendar above hangs in my studio and was one of my influences in the designing of these plates.

Bakeries in the South End

  It has been a week since we’ve moved to the South End of Boston.  My sister and brother-in-law are visiting for the next couple of days to help us unpack.  They have been so helpful, that I have been thanking them with food.  Yesterday I walked to Flour bakery on Washington street for some delicious pastries, and this morning/early afternoon we all took at walk to Blunch, for some blunch, er brunch.  Sarah and I split the Provençial and Jake had the Colonial.  I recommend both.  And Henri loved the Provençial.  He had some bites of mine.

  Before we left, I bought a few pastries for us to sample at home.  I posted an image above. Their coffee is super yummy too, Mexican House Blend.  The cafe is pretty small, so we didn’t linger.  The seating is a wrap around bar with stools, and has a great view of the street. But it would be a great place to sit and chat for a bit and people watch too. 
    From top left: Chocolate chip cookie, coffee cake, chocolate dipped macaroon, brownie, and churro.

Cuckoo clocks continued….

It has been a while since I have been able to add another post to the blog.  The main reason for the delay, is that I wanted to wait until I could share a few images of the clocks I was making.  Since I am a full time art professor, and full time mom, my studio time, very often, gets put on the back burner.  But, thankfully I have had a few hours here and there,  to get a couple clocks completed.  The clocks are still in their “green” stage (not bisque fired), so it will be a couple more weeks until they will be ready for the wall.  I will clean them up a bit before they are placed in the kiln.  The finishing detail? I plan on glazing them, or enameling them white.  


Cuckoo clocks

Back to the studio!  Among all of the other projects I am working on in the studio, (Julia Skops plates, Temi’s serving bowls, and Michelle’s gold pedestal cups, all of which are made, but still drying), I am going to get started on another one.
  Last March I started making cuckoo clocks out of clay.  I never actually completed any of them, but I was able to work through some ideas, and resolve problems that I ran into while I was making them. And now I think it is time to make a few, but it will be my version of the old classic.

  To be honest, I really don’t know why I feel like I need to make this type of clock.  Or why I am interested in clocks in general.  I suppose the reason could be as simple as, the fact that I think clock hands can be very ornate and beautiful, and I like the imagery of deer, leaves, birds.  They have a rustic sophistication to them that I find appealing.  And, I may shamefully say, trendy. I will post some pictures of my progress soon!

I see red and white

  Whenever I travel to a city, one of the first things I notice, of course, is what people are wearing.  In May of 2007 I traveled to Paris with my husband.  One of the major trends, specifically with the younger generation (those in their mid twenties) was wearing black and white horizontal striped, over sized tops, with skinny jeans and ballet flats.  Two to three years later, you see everyone sporting the striped tops and skinny jeans here in the states.

  So last year I read that one of the winter trends Parisians were donning was red and white.  The fashion reporter, (I don’t remember the web site I got this from, sorry) said that all the women were wearing scarlet red scarves, red nail polish and white sweaters.  My prediction is that this winter people will be doing the same.
I went through my web-closet and put together an outfit that would fit right in on the Champs Elysees scene.
 1. white sweater from Jcrew, 2. red scarf, 3. governess cap from Anthropologie, 4. skinny jeans from Divine Rights of Denim, 5. boots from Aldo, 6. cuff bracelet by Temi Kucinski, Revlon nail color.

Living Room Must Haves

So as I mentioned the other week, we are moving to Boston.  And the place we will be moving to  doesn’t have as much storage space as we do now, so what does that mean?  It means we will have to pare down what we have, and bring with us only the “must haves”.  Today I am focusing on our living room.  Of course we will bring a few other things with us, but I am posting my favorites today. 
Our sofa is not from Athropologie ( I wish), but it actually looks a lot like it, different fabric of course. My husband and I bought it at an antique store/ coffee shop in Caledonia, NY.  It came with a chair and ottoman, and was only $325!  Some day I will reupholster it. (After all of our kids grow up).  I really do like the original gold velveteen fabric, but I think a velvet grey would look fabulous.  
The first year we were married, my husband bought me a cow hide rug for Christmas.  I love it, and it was a lot less than you might think.  He purchased it from Cowhides international online, (the link is below) and it was less than $300, as opposed to $600+ for the same quality in retail stores. The suzani pillow and Kilim rug were purchases from a trip I took to Turkey three years ago.

The Print is by Jillian Contreni-Sokso, a very good friend of mine.  I am so lucky to own a few of her prints.   The portrait of my husband was drawn by my sister, Sarah Morgan as a Christmas gift.  I designed and built the book shelves. And the tufted sofa was free, and I reupholstered it in a red silk.  Which I am now regretting as I have a one and a half year old.  Not shown in the images above is a star pendant light (15″diameter) that we purchased online.  It was only $80 with shipping! 
Starting from top left: Moroccan Star pendant light , Photos from our travels, phalaenopsis orchid, Sofa from anthropologie, Kilim rug, Grass basket, wooden serving tray, Suzani pillow, cowhide rug