Wednesday, February 12, 2014
If you follow this blog or know that before I put all of my work energy into ceramics, I was an urban social worker, heavily involved in many different communities helping to create and support affordable housing in new york city and san francisco. When I ceased to work "professionally" as a social worker, I retained my sense of duty, service and the importance of giving back. It is something I feel strongly about and try and instill in my kids. you can give time, attention and of course money to causes, organizations you believe in. Even if you are not a philanthropist on a grand scale a la bill gates, you can still demonstrate your support in whatever way you can, and believe me, anything helps.
I have pledged to donate a portion of all of my annual income from my ceramics work to different community organizations spanning the arts, LGBT issues and community health. Some of the places I have supported this year:
San Francisco Food Bank
Ali Forney Center in San Francisco: serving LGBT youth
Planned Parenthood- supporting affordable women's health
Various breast cancer organizations
NPR- my local station KQED and KCRW in Los Angeles
Abiquiu Public Library- serving a remote part of northern new mexico and preserving local history and culture
marsh theater- keeping one person plays going and youth programs in SF
I am hoping to carve out some time this year to do a bit more hands on work- but am proud to support where I can. I like to say that giving what you can annually "keeps you in shape" for future giving, involvement and general citizenry. Toiling away in my studio in a singular way, it is important to remain connected in this larger way.
That and walking my new pup at the beach to remind me how very small we really are..but that we can still imprint.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
oh the ephemeral beauty of new mexico..always a bit of an exhale for me to be there.. so a wonderful excuse to go came up at the last minute, dear friends Char Vazquez and Sherry Stein were having a final event at their iconic White Studio in Santa Fe.
|shiprock from the sky|
So packed up some pieces that I had available for sale and flew to Albuquerque for a long weekend.
The air was crisp and clear..dusting of snow the first morning and then warm sunned streets with just puddles of ice in the shade..stunning.
Santa Fe knows how to do the holidays and revels in its farolito history and hispanic traditions surrounding the Virgen de Guadalupe. I even got to take in a play "Los Pastores" at Guadalupe church performed by a local folk art troupe.
A hike in the woods above town yielded an amazing collection of new branches for plates. and visits to the museum of Indian Art and Culture and the Institute of American Indian Arts were inspirational as always..
and I scored a cup from one of my favorite ceramicists: Bart Johnson and his incredible drawings on clay.
a lovely way to unwind, do a little business, and refuel in one of my favorite places. It always clears my head and puts things in perspective and inspires great new project ideas as well..
and do stay tuned for my end of year giving post coming up next.. it's time for the year end donations to community organizations with a portion of proceeds from the year's sales.
Monday, November 11, 2013
it's always interesting to me to have to answer questions about my work and my process and inspirations... it forces me to verbalize what is inside and explain in an authentic way, what motivates me to keep doing what I am doing. and I like having the "back story" available to people who may want to know more about the ceramic work that I do.
especially when it is a publication that I admire and the questions are provocative in a good way.
I loved the Anthology piece from last year, and was excited to have Ca Home and Design and Handful of Salt recently publish some cool images of the studio and thoughtful interviewing around process..
|photography by joseph schell for ca home and design|
and Handful of Salt has just launched a curated marketplace of artisan pieces: All Things Artisanal is well worth a look through-beautiful images and information about artists of all kinds and links to where you can buy..
see for yourself..
after the piece in House Beautiful that featured the new blue/white rustic chinoiserie line, many folks got in touch wanting to know where they could buy a piece, or a set. Because I mostly make to order and, at this time, do not have a shopping cart feature online where you can click and buy, I can take orders directly and make exactly what people want, or there are shops across the country that carry my work (listed under Buy, on my website).
But I wanted to make you aware of a couple of shops who now have some of the rustic chinoiserie in store now, available for immediate sale- a more appealing option for those in a hurry :-)
The always lovely and taste making shop Upstairs at Pierre Lafond in Montecito, California has a good array of pieces.
In addition, beautiful Valerianne in Scottsdale also has a collection.
An again, you can always contact me to order anything in tis collection as well as any other design and sizes.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Shax Riegler- dynamic and multi-talented executive editor at House Beautiful and PHD candidate from Bard College's School of Decorative Studies, published a beautiful book a couple of years ago that chronicles the concept of dishes and collections and the amazing history of plateware over time and the place that it holds in people's lives and their own concept of "home".
I was thrilled when I was included as one of the contemporary artisan plate makers who are fanning the flames of crafted tableware.
So when Shax told me that the publishers were issuing a new version of the book- a less expensive paperback- I was excited to see it. I just received a copy and it is fabulous! Bright fuchsia, chunky and almost pocket sized. It is a different experience than the more formal coffee table version- but a fun have for the plate obsessed and also a great reference book for the history of designed tableware.
Love "my page" and how it is just large and saturated on the dual facing pages.
so check it out- available in all the book spots- online and in shops.
Friday, October 18, 2013
In a recent feature in Vogue magazine, the artist Marina Abramovic talked about how she finds peace in small, deliberate, repetitive activities. She referred to an exercise that she shared with Lady Gaga as a way of de-stressing and centering--she gave her a huge pile of dry lentils and brown rice and had her separate them out and count each piece. Apparently, this was extremely successful for Gaga and she now practices this ritual regularly. It had me thinking about my own ritualed life that revolves around my ceramic work. Working in clay is very deliberate, and requires patience and attention to small repetitive details--wedging, cutting, etching, sanding, glazing. But it is not boring, far from that..it is very satisfying and takes you from a beginning to an end. Hours and hours can go by in the studio and I am still energized by it. This is a very good thing and something I feel very grateful to have as a part of my life at this time. It is centering to have these kind of active but contained tasks..
And I have been especially busy with this coming back from Los Angeles and the Dwell show and New York and the NYNOW show-which always yield some amazing new shops, people and territories.
As well as re-connecting with existing folks who come to deepen what they already carry of my work.
Really thrilled about some of these new shops where new work has just arrived- here's a sampling of what's there now..
Freehand- a wonderful gallery/shop that features exciting contemporary craft in Los Angeles..
the New York Botanical Garden Shop-and if you have not visited this treasure in the Bronx--it is well worth a visit..
and also in New York City- a lovely shop in Tribeca-- Cristina Dos Santos who ordered a lovely array of finishes and designs..
more to come in the next post: the explosion of the blue and white line in new shops--
so those of you who have wanted to order ready made pieces from the line as seen in House beautiful in September--
stay tuned...store sources coming soon!
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Classic blue and white pottery. It is a tradition dating back to the 13th century when cobalt, imported from Iran, was used as an underglaze. The stark contrast between the blue and the white was quickly admired and adopted by the chinese in the 17th century and exported to northern europe and influencing the production of classic dutch "delft" ceramics.
Combined with the general interest in Asian craftsmanship and themes, chinoiserie has remained an important and ubiquitous design element in ceramics.
and I love it and love taking classic themes and riffing off them in a rustic and contemporary way..
I have been busy creating a line of "chinoiserie" blue and white tableware that celebrates and honors this timeless tradition.
Available in place settings as well as individual pieces and serving bowls, platters and cake stands.
Made to order and ranging from $40 to $350.
Do get in touch if you are interested in ordering...
I was thrilled that House Beautiful included this new line in their September issue..
such a classic, lovely magazine still dedicated to showcasing design, in print (hooray!) eligible for tearing out, posting and pinning, the old fashioned way..and tweeting if you are lucky enough to have a bird...