Winter is Coming!

Ok Ok…. so I did watch the popular show, “Game of Thrones,” but only after long days of working really hard to make great pots!  And with winter comes the holiday season. So…..

My show schedule is set for the rest of the year and I wanted to let you know where I will be, in case you have some shopping to do.


19-20  Decatur, North Carolina   —  Centerfest  —–  Saturday and Sunday


3-4  Hendersonville, NC  —-  Art on Main  ——- Saturday and Sunday

15-18  Asheville, NC  —— Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands  ——–  Thursday thru Sunday

Hands pulling a pot

Widest Bowl Challenge. 2014 Clay Olympics.
photo by Tony Wu

6    Dillsboro, NC  —- Clay Olympics —- Friday from 1-3 pm

7    Dillsboro, NC —- WNC Pottery Festival —–  Saturday

27-28  Bryson City, NC  — Artisans Drive About, Swain and Graham Counties  —- Friday and Saturday

Elise Delfield, winner

That is me, with my Grand Champion’s prize, in 2013 at the WNC Clay Olympics. I WON!

Will I get my Etsy shop filled for the holidays?!  Lets hope!


Color Trends

Who knew my pots would fit into the 2012 Color Trend Predictions by Panetone?!

I don’t follow trends. Never really have. I like clothes that are comfortable and timeless, not constricting and/or ‘in’ one day and ‘out’ the next. As a potter, I don’t have the income to allow for seasonal shopping sprees and honestly, with red clay all over me both in the studio and outside on hikes and in the garden, where I spend 90% of my awake time, I cannot justify new clothes. Of course, color trends are not just for the body but for the interior spaces we live in. As for my interior space, the more variation, the better it seems. I just cannot stop collecting other people’s pots, even though nothing matches!

(insert picture of my cupboards – maybe next time… my camera is at the studio and I am not)

Recently my ceramic hero and past college professor, Linda Arbuckle, sent a link to some fashion color trends for 2012 and it got me thinking about today’s interior color trends and of course, tomorrows. So I did a google search and I was happy to find that my pottery colors seem to fit into both this year, 2011, and will continue to fit the color trend of 2012! GREAT! Or… who cares? Who follows these trends anyway? Do you change your interior colors annually or seasonally?

Some would say that a functional potter, someone not only interested in making functioning kitchen wares but ones that look nice, must care somewhat about trends. Of course, we potters need to sell our pots to make a living, so it would make sense to sell what people are buying; and if people buy based on trends, then it is obvious to make pots that follow the current trend. Birds are trendy. You can find images of birds on practically everything…. and I do believe birds sell. But do people really buy based upon trends alone?

A potter I greatly admire is an avid glaze color tester. This means she wears a respirator for many an hour while meticulously measuring various clay powders and colored stains into test cups, mixing them with water and putting them on fired clay tiles that she spent time making. This is a tedious process that my instructors over the years have encouraged me to do all the time. We potters are to continue to make our pots while also testing new glazes in each kiln load and new forms when the creative energy strikes, just to keep the excitement and interest in our work. Unfortunately, I seldom test new colors because my glaze mixing studio is in my basement and after a long day at the studio, I don’t want to spend hours wearing my respirator and mixing glazes in my dungeon. My lack of glaze mixing enthusiasm is similar to, say, knowing you should exercise but not having the energy to get up and do it. Kristen is that go-getter that knows what she must do and gets up and does it! I think she introduces new colors at least annually, and I think color trends influence her choices for testing. It really works for her and I admire her for that. It also exhausts me just to think about keeping up with color trends like she does. Similarly, my friend Trish is that person that gets up and exercises every day…. she knows it’s good for her and so gets up and does it!

So… whether or not you or I follow trends, it is nice to know that I still have another year before I really need to buckle down in that basement and come up with some great new color schemes for my pots! In the mean time, I can continue to think about how important it is to keep exercising the body and color palette and not doing anything about it!

Do you follow the trends when it comes to decorating your home or buying pottery?

NC Clay Conference

Just back from the North Carolina Ceramics Conference held in Asheboro.  Six of us ladies from Southwestern Community College drove to the event a day ahead to have time to explore some potteries in Seagrove.

Headed to Seagrove?  I highly recommend visiting these potteries:

Bulldog Pottery – These two are GLAZE MASTERS!  My goodness…. their use of glaze materials to get the depth of surface is incredible.  Also, check out their lid system for their covered jars.  Amazing fit!

Westmoore Pottery– Traditional red clay slipware in a traditional tudor style building.  Visiting Westmoore is like stepping back in time.  If folk tradition is your thing, you must take a visit!  Beautiful, traditional pots.

McCanless Pottery –  Will had three distinct styles that he does quite well – a basic stoneware with lovely drawings based on maiolica tradition, beautiful crystalline glazes on classic vase shapes and traditional Seagrove Red on classical Chinese-type shapes.  All well-thrown and finely glazed.  You can also see some wonderful quilts by Scott Murkin, which adds to the pleasure of visiting McCanless Pottery.

NC Pottery Center – You cannot miss this museum/gallery hosting a historical museum of ceramics from the area as well as contemporary exhibitions.

There are soooo many potters in Seagrove, I am certain there are many others not to be missed; however we didn’t have time to visit them all and the above list is of those I visited and impressed me.

As for the conference,  it was great to be amongst ceramic lovers such as myself.  Two of my heroes in clay, Sarah Jaeger and Bruce Cochrane, demoed with Lorna Meaden, a fabulous potter.

The following is an image I took with my cellphone camera:

Bruce Cochrane with his demo pots completed

Bruce working on the wheel behind his demo pots.

Next year – NCECA!