A Tree Outside

Ceramic artWhen I look out the windows of my old house, I see my trees, just standing there, well, actually they has gotten big over the 30 years I lived in this house. I surrounded my house with trees long ago for shade, how they endured! My little girls long gone from under and in them, I find,  a comfort in their forms, textures, shapes and shades and how the sunlight changes them hourly.  Then something fantastic happens inspiration rides my waves of working on a tree and I arise from the dead, once again.

Our Hands


The hands that do the work, our hands, deserve apprication and care. Many years ago I IMG_4071had an accident that involved both my hands and arms, especially my right hand and arm.  I learned, not too easily or quietly, the real value of my hands and arms, during that process I made more use of my left hand and arm. Through working with clay the muscles are always working, moving, pushing, guiding, smoothing with hand building or  from the pottery wheel. My wrists have stretched and increased my range of motion. I have seen this with the artists that work here as well! Being physical with an art form is a WELLNESS priority for me,  the creative process and then the physical manifastation of these ideas in to a real object, useful or aesthetic, call it a pot or an Urn, It makes me happy to work with my hands everyday.

Where can I can share my love of art and movement, clay and ideas? At my open studio times! How it works; is a group setting with individual projects. Each project gets the artist use to a method and piece of equipment, as this is completely student driven. The projects are “created” through conversations with me, lets talk about what you want to make or a process that you want to learn.

Inspiration Road

I find that inspiration finds me if I am working. Sounds simple? too simple?   So come to the studio and start working on something, and see for it works for you. I have a few inspirational ideas and projects for students that need and like direction and on the other hand I have students that like a light directional advice on process or advance glazing process techniques.

Personally I like meeting new folks and getting to know what they want to build and help them create Sculpture. Every bowl, cup, pinch pot is a sculpture that has all the elements of three dimensional design to be considered, and the big question? does it stand up? yes, we talk can about that, too. Whats next? The beautiful glaze surface, Loads of examples too. THE BEST EXPERIENCE IS MAKING A FEW POTS AND SEE.






Starting March 4 th.

Friday’s AM session is moving to 3-6 pm and with the already established session at 6-9, I am pleased to bring these two sessions in line with each other for the possibility of a longer and more productive working session for my artists.  As usual this will include the huge selection of glazes and firing of all your creations.

I hope the changes I make to my studio give more artists time to work at the house, see you there, Joan



BOWLS, Food Safe and kitchen ready! Super easy and fast with my slump-hump bowl system, lots of sizes, big platter? The design work is up to you! Don’t be scared… I have loads of ideas, books and internet searches, for lovely patterns to glaze on to the bisqued bowls.

I use and make drawings in my sketch book and then “draw” on the glaze, I like to use a bit of realism within my design work so I usually have a ‘source’. This source may be simply a daisy flower center or a fern fist in the garden, or it may be a photograph of a bird, very IMG_6259

personal to the artist, what  images to use. Many of the images used by folk artists have familiar and regional design elements and they are a great place to look for inspiration on big pasta and fruit bowls. The student that made these was inspired by Mexican pottery and I can see that in the big bowl but I think the painter came out in the ‘Bronco Bowl’. Good Job!

Creative Journey

creative journey….

the creative journey is a  trip to self discovery ,

at my studio this journey is completely personalized as the student decides their path in to the world of ceramics. What do you want to make? its a big question!

Everyone is working on something different and at all skill levels.  In this world the important discussions are about Form and Function and Fire and Minerals.  Each Project builds knowledge specific to that artist’s hand, eye, strength, style and a smile that comes from the inside, impossible to hide!

We are never too OLD to say ‘Look what I made!’


RAKU under the STARS

I am so happy to bring to my clients..RAKU! What is RAKU?…..

Raku is a special effects glazing fire, that includes a reduction post firing process… oh, there’s more, lots more and the technical side is interesting… I would like to talk about the creative application for you my artists. IMG_5675As on this star, the velvety blacks and the silky whites truly a design delight. The silky white develops cracks that fill with carbon and become a visual feast! This star was cast from Porcelain slip and Rhodes White (dry glaze, mixed for each project) was applied where the white is, the black swirls were left naked and carbon from the RAKU gave the star its velvety black.

IMG_5623When the special Fiber Kiln reaches  temperature, easy up the walls and with tongs I reach in for the urn. Its hot and I need to carry it over to the canister. Usually I have one canister for every piece in the kiln.

I love this part, as I move away from the heat,  I see the glowing heart of my works.IMG_5660IMG_5667







Inside the canister I have flammable newspaper balls, thats where the beautiful blacks come from, carbon. After the paper starts burning, the top is placed on the can, Reduction of oxygen, volcanic changes with in the mineral based glazes,oxides, metallics, Gold, silver, copper… Pure magic folks!

Come as you are,

leave different than you were.