Thursday, July 17, 2014


This is what 1,800 bricks look like not in the shape of a kiln. That's 7lbs each, by hand, at least four times. Brick pile to truck. Front of truck to back of truck, laid and stacked. Unstacked and brought to front of truck. Front of truck to back of truck, stacked onto pallets. Okay, maybe five times. What's the word for "beyond sore?" Kiln TK.
Kindly donated by Joe Molinaro and EKU Ceramics.
Keyser and pallets of brick

Monday, July 14, 2014

Read this

Things that have happened somewhat recently.

I have made many pots.
I have fired a wood/soda kiln with fellow potters at Bobtown Arts in Berea.
I have scored 1800 brick for a future kiln.
The Medicaid process has ended, all documentation has been completed.
I now have acid reflux.
I have begun the process of putting a deck outside the studio for a future mini-gallery.
Relatives have come to visit.
Tractor has been found and awaiting arrival.
Dad turned 90.
I am reading three books at once, rotating the subjects: Women Who Run with the Wolves (thank you, Kelsey), Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls (thank you, Frances) and How to See Yourself as You Really Are (thank you, me).

I am still menopausal.

Pix to come.

Text heavy

     I have this problem with writing on the internet. It's a complete distraction. It requires being on a computer which puts me in contact with social media. I'm not the only one who has these issues of productivity vs. non-productivity in the environment of social media. The experience can certainly be addicting. Lately I've become increasingly aware of the sequence and range of feelings associated with the act of engaging on the internet and it's put me on this path of dissecting (or "overthinking" as some people I know refer to it) what's actually happening in my tiny brain and how I come to fall into a funk about myself as a result. It's all about the patterns. Get an idea to write about or an image to put up, a topic to discuss or throw out there, and in my head I can grab parts of sentences and paragraphs to flesh out later. Go to the iPad or desktop computer to get ready to write and just check email or the deadly Facebook account. And that's where it all goes south, the motivation dissapates like the engery of a wave on a beach after it's crashed. Instead, I find myself scrolling through picture after picture, only 1/10th of which interests me. I jump in with a smart-ass comment or two. I find articles that seem interesting but can only read a small portion before I feel like I'm wasting time. And I am. One, two, three hours later and I've accomplished nothing I set out to do, writing-wise. And physically, I'm at complete odds with my studio work.
     I wondered, why do I socialize on FB? In regular life, reality life, I never socialized that often with that many people at once anyway so doesn't it stand to reason that the constant contact and access to information would create an overload? No wonder my meditation sessions are heavily punctuatued with monkey brain moments. Too much information packed too densely to process. It cramps my concentration, focus and creativity. Nothing gets to gel and reassemble into epiphanies, conclusions and insights. I find myself pondering wistfully over memories of the days when I had pen-pals using actual pens and sheets of paper. Time moved more deliberately. Nowadays, it seems life must mimic high-speed computer trading on Wall Street and why? What is gained from it except more, more, more and then the cicuits overload. 
     One of my FB people on my list recently announced a "sabbatical" as it were, from FB and the computer in general. I love when peope announce shit like that. I find the motivation to announce, "I'M LEAVING NOW. DON'T PANIC, I'M NOT DEAD, IT'S JUST TEMPORARY," amusing. I think we become so enamored of the illusion of the specific kind of reality that digital communication can provide that we fall into thinking if we don't see someone on the internet ALL THE TIME, they might be dead. Closure is a funny thing. Those of us on the internet using various means of social media and digital communication (and there are plenty of human bengs who do not!) have become nothing more than monkeys pressing the stainless steel bar over and over again for stimulation and reward. Not that this method of communication doesn't have its benefits and advantages. Afterall... she said typing on the iPad to later publish to her blog... So what does this address? A need for me to communicate? A need to be heard? Who is listening anyway? Does it matter to me?
     I've made a couple of changes in my life routine recently. One is that I'm reading more paper books. I find that I miss the way I glean information from real books reflected off a page rather than illuminated on screen. Defintiely easier on my eyes. I also comprehend and retain the information on a deeper level in my brain. The information I get off the internet seems to be scattered and as if I read only the headline. Frankly, that's probabaly all I really do. The other thing I'be been doing is more writing in my journals. I have several. I keep them all going concurrently. Some are nonsense words and phrases, phonetic spellings of sounds in my head, others are more like traditional journals, some are strictly art related, general ideas and specific projects. Maybe it's a fetish of mine but it helps me dump what's in my head. It also makes me want to write again from time to time. Perhaps by the time I'm in my seventies, I'll get on that book I've been encouraged to write. 
     Lastly, though, this blog thing is an unsmooth process. If I type on the iPad, I can't upload pictures because the app I use won't resize the images and doesn't access the controls to do so unless I'm using the desktop computer so I often put off blog posts about things that require pictures. Stupid but there it is. Something seeemingly simple becaines a pain in the ass because I have to jump back and forth from room to room or between keyborads just to make a post. Instead, I do nothing. Or get on FB again.

Maybe I'll do text for a while.

Studio time.

Monday, June 9, 2014


Stoneware, cone 6 oxidation, glaze, underglaze, slip, beads
11.5"w x 9.25"h x 7.25"d
I don't make my work with a goal in mind. I don't pick an emotion or a point of view or any kind of message. I start with a feeling in my hands. A feeling of volume. I try to encompass that invisible volume. Maybe it's with coils, so that's a slow process and the shape in my mind, under my fingers, the volume shifts and changes and I imperceptibly change the direction of the coils. Or perhaps I close up a slab over a form and seal it. Or I throw an open volume and then collar in and seal up the void. Once I enclose the volume, I step back and start pushing it around until the foundation of the shape stops me and I start to see concrete shapes and textures.
As I add details, the form takes on personality and purpose. Working more closely, additional shapes, textures and dimensions beg to be added, subtracted, carved and smoothed out. I go meta. I back up and look again. What did I just make? How did this happen? Where did this come from?
I don't plan on creating shapes reminiscent of body parts; it's really what others bring to my work when they look at it. It's not what goes through my head until I get to near the end of the piece and I re-examine what my hands have produced. The pieces tell me multiple stories about my inner self and my observations of the world around me. It's what keeps things exciting for me.
Mother as Host
Stoneware, cone 6 oxidation, glaze, underglaze, slip, wool
8"w x 14.5"h x 7.5"d
Mother as Host
Mother as Host
Mother as Host

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Great turnout for our first Red Lick Artisans open studio and even with several downpours, thunder and lightning! What a success! I guess we'll have to do it again...
The parking area was full nearly all day long, with Bruce Hoefer, his brother, Bob and Eddie Shupe directing traffic on Liza Allen Road and parking cars on the side of the road for overflow.
Jason Meeks was hammering all day and entertaining everyone who came out to tour the studios. He and Bruce Hoefer collaborate on a new creation.
My set-up for the day. I met some really wonderful people and made some great sales, including some pieces for a wedding gift! Come Monday, some of these items will head to Damselfly Gallery in Midway, KY, some will stay here at Turning Wheel with all of their lovely pots and the rest I will be listing on Etsy in the coming weeks.
...a write-up in the Richmond Register...

Open Studio at my place resumes Wednesdays through Saturdays 10am-3pm until the end of September. Exceptions right now are the week of July 6-12, when I will be closed. I'll also make announcements for the next RLA tour...

And now...
Happy Mother's Day, Ma!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Red Lick Valley Artisans Open Studio Tour 2014

Participating artist's in the rain or shine one day 2014 Spring Studio Tour. Mark your calendars May 10 from 9a.m. till 6p.m. 
Click on the poster for a larger view
1. Happiness Hills (Jennifer Rose/Alfredo Escobar), located at 8682 Battlefield Memorial Hwy (end of Big Hill Rd), Berea; 859-582-7014;; Meet painter and illustrator, Alfredo Escobar, and participate in an ongoing mural project that will be installed onsite later in the summer. Jennifer Rose and her daughters, will be welcoming guests to a sing-along, an Appalachian dulcimer lesson, and perhaps dance an Appalachian dance or two!
2. Bill Lennox Pottery, 245 Red Lick Rd, Berea, KY 40403;; Bill Lennox makes stoneware pottery in a variety of finishing techniques.
3. Red Lick Furniture (Jerry and Gwen Jones), 496 Red Lick Rd, Berea, KY 40403; 859-985-9666; New solid wood furniture and local hand-crafted baskets.
4. Alley Cat Pottery, 174 Mallory Springs Rd, Berea, Ky 40403; 859-985-5686;; With a spectacular view overlooking Red Lick Valley, Kristal and her husband, Rob Gilkey of Alley Cat Pottery make functional stoneware pottery for kitchen and household use. Each piece is hand-crafted and glazed in holding with traditional American pottery and reflects the rich beauty and history of Red Lick Valley.
5. Turning Wheel Pottery, 191 Liza Allen Rd, Berea, Ky 40403; 859-986-5464;;; Turning Wheel Pottery is a working pottery and gallery, open to the public, 10am to 5pm, every day (most of the year). They offer classes and short workshops in wheel throwing and handbuilding with clay.
6. Tea Horse Studio (Cynthia Cusick), Guest Artist at Turning Wheel Pottery, 191 Liza Allen Rd.; 859-582-6570. Home studio 873 Sand Hill Rd., Irvine, KY 40336 open seasonally, April -Sept. Email for details.;; Clay, Mixed Media. Cynthia Cusick makes wheel-thrown and hand-built mid-range stoneware pottery with carved motifs informed by geometric shapes and cave drawings as well as creating ceramic jewelry.
7. Fast Eddie’s Woodworking (Eddie and Mary Ann Shupe), Guest artists at Turning Wheel Pottery, 191 Liza Allen Rd,; 859.986.9839;; Eddie Shupe (wood) and Mary Ann (fiber) specialize in hand-crafted fabric items and hardwood kitchen and home products.
8. Tater Knob Pottery, 260 Wolf Gap Rd, Berea, Ky 40403 859-986-2167,;; Friends of Tater Knob will join Jeff, Sarah and David for this Spring open educational event. See potters throwing on the wheel! Try it yourself! See painters at work and jewelry being created... Guest artists: Buddy Dobbins (clay), Jonathan Clark (painting), Austin Evans (jewelry) and Albert Mooney (Kentucky Agate).
9. Buddy Dobbins Ceramics, Guest Artist at Tater Knob Pottery, 260 Wolf Gap Rd; 859-582-2061;; Buddy Dobbins works in medium and high-fire stoneware and porcelain.
10. John and Sue Martin, 393 Wolf Gap Rd, Berea, Ky 40403;859-986-9205; Sculptural and functional pottery and Hand-dyed linen weaving. Open May 10, 9-5pm or by appointment.
11. D James Fox, Furniture Maker, 444 Wolf Gap Rd, Berea, Ky 40403; 859-986-7401; Fine custom furniture and restoration.
12. Against the Grain/BeeDreamer Creations, (Fred/Xyara Asplen), 554 Wolf Gap Rd, Berea, KY 40403; 859-986-7841;,, Fred Asplen creates fine custom woodwork and meditation bells crafted from upcycled fire extinguishers. Xyara Asplen works in leatherwork, jewelry, and repurposed textiles, with an emphasis on botanical themes.
13. Wolf Gap Mountain Forge, 1229 Red Lick Rd, Berea, Ky 40403;; is a blacksmith and teaching artist who works almost exclusively in mild steel. His work is both forged and fabricated, and employs all of the traditional elements of blacksmithing.
14. Snug Hollow Farm B&B, 790 McSwain Branch, Irvine, Ky 40336; 606-723-4786;, A 300 acre mountain retreat nestled in the Red Lick Valley is the inspiration for author Barbara Napier’s award winning cookbook, Hot Food & Warm Memories.Visit Snug Hollow on the Artisan tour, reserve a lunch, meet the author, walk the Snug Hollow trails and perhaps take home a cook book. Voted one of the five most romantic getaways in the South by Southern Living magazine.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Go! See! Dogwood Regional Fine Art Exhibition!

 Dogwood Regional Fine Art Exhibition
April 4-26
Dogwood Regional Fine Art Exhibition. Opening Friday, April 4, 2014. Runs until the 26th. Knoxville, TN. Go if you get a chance.

Includes this:
The Idle Isthmus, 2013,
Stoneware/porcelain, cone 6 oxidation, underglaze, acrylic, wax
3"w x 3"h x 4.25"d