Saturday, February 9, 2013

stoneware heart dish, hand thrown

stoneware (fired to cone 10), one of a kind
hand thrown on the potter's wheel
available for sale HERE

other views:

My expertise is actually pottery. You wouldn't know it by looking at all of my other blogs about my drawings, paintings and music. For many years and with a lot of training I was a full time potter with a beautiful studio overlooking the Hudson River and a closet musician with asthma. 

After a number of successful years as a studio hermit making pots by the hundreds and selling them through museum juried shows (the creative olympic-style pots and sculptures), galleries (the artful bowls and vases), commissions (mostly for weddings and art for private homes) and craft fairs (mugs, mugs and more mugs), I came out of the closet with my music, cured from asthma by a naturopath, and began performing at open mikes and small coffeehouses. My music profession grew as I began making recordings and performing at better concert venues. Eventually I split my time between being a musician and a potter until gradually performing music took over my life.

I was a full time musician for over a decade. 

But then... as performance venues and state grant money for concerts began to dry up and people were choosing to be entertained at home instead of at their local concert halls, I started to work my way back into pottery again, spending about 2 - 4 days a week at it. I had assumed I could just go back and everything would be the same. 

Unfortunately, things had changed in the gallery world too. Evidence of this began after showing in a beautifully renovated pottery and painting gallery in an old mill with huge windows on the Hudson River in a charming little town west of me. Many tourists visited the gallery via bus tours, but after its initial start, no one was buying. As the gallery began to falter from lack of sales and we were going out of business, the tourists protested and wanted it to remain open. The pleas reached the landlord and she made a deal with our gallery that she would take a 30 percent commission without charging the gallery rent. Well, whether by commission or rent, tourists must buy in order to remain open; they were looking at it more as a museum where they could admire the creativity and inventiveness of the artists, thus its ultimate demise.

The other galleeries I was in were going the same way. For me it meant a switch into greeting cards (and prints) as well as an exploration into on-line selling. I'm still exploring on-line selling, having come to it late and being distracted and content with wholesaling cards to gift shops. 

This little heart dish is my first attempt at selling pottery on-line. It's an experiment that I'll try first in my Artfire on-line shop (and then in an Etsy shop if it is justified). I'll start with small dishes first and graduate to larger pieces as they sell while still mostly concentrating on 2-D work with a Renaissance, Celtic or Victorian twist.

A few words about this piece: it is thrown thin. This is the ambition of a potter: it is more challanging to throw thin than it is to make a thick clunky piece (and better for the customer too: who wants to lug around a heavy piece?). It is made out of stoneware and high fired (this is what makes it rock hard and less likely to chip). It has a clear glaze (clear glazes actually have the same chemical make-up as window glass: it is food safe). It also has a rim. 


  1. I am impressed! Is it awfully hard to put designs into a hand thrown piece? I really know nothing about pottery, other than it is beautiful to behold.

    1. Karen Anne,

      Clay is an amazing medium. You can draw on it, paint on it, sculpt it, throw it into a pot. I find it is a lot more difficult to master than drawing and painting but in many ways it is more rewarding because it takes so much patience, skill and experimentation (and also some knowledge of chemistry!).

      I find that it is most closely related to music because it takes some of the scientific part of the brain to be good at it.

      This little dish is relatively simple compared to most of my pottery. I've made some very challenging pieces in the past. But I'm going for little and simple first (on-line at least!).

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. I've never seen your pottery before, Lise. I am impressed! You are a woman of many talents and I hope it all goes well for you!

  3. Thank you for stopping by, Tina!