My schedule for 2019

I tend to neglect informing people of my where abouts.  I guess it’s that independent nature that has been instilled in me just dealing with the challenges of life. So I’m going to make a list of up coming events that I plan to participate. Believe it or not, I’m trying to cut down…getting too old for these outside shows.

June 1&2 – Mulvane Art Show – Washburn campus, Topeka KS

June 15th – Summer Solstice –  Springfield, MO

June 29th – Art by the Spring – April Davis, Joplin, MO (south of Joplin, north of Neosho)

July – time off….too hot anyway

August  9th &10th – Women’s World – Branson, MO, I’ll be with Kristin Girard, Brenda Hayes and Dianne Miller….we are the Market Artisans for Empire Market

September 14th – Art in the Yard – Bobbi Kemna’ place, Ft Scott, KS

September 20th & 21st – Art Fest – Joplin, MO

November 1st and 2nd – JRAC (Joplin Regional Artists Coalition) First Annual Studio Tour (of which I’m the head of the founding committee to organize this event).

These are in addition to working my shift at the Empire Market and what ever workshops that I plan to do.

 Let’s just say that I’m really looking forward to July when I’ll visit my  youngest daughter and her “puppy” in Atlanta with my “baby” Lucy, my St Bernard.  Oh the puppy is a German Shepherd who will be 8 months old by then.  We will also go visit Max’s brother Duke during that time.  Then toward the end of the month, I’ll go visit my oldest in London with a side trip to Menorca.  Oh my gosh, I can’t wait!!

New Endeavors

Truly, where does the time go?

And as if I don’t have enough to do, I’ve added a couple new endeavors to the mix!! In April, I was asked to join a group of four friends (with myself we are five) to create an artist group for Joplin’s new Empire Market.  It’s basically a farmers market with lots of add on vendors. Our group, The Market Artisans, consist of Dianne Miller-our leader and glass artist, Kristin Girard-our jewelry artist, Barb Dedrickson-pine needle basket weaver and gourd artist, Brenda Hayes-fiber artist (but she doesn’t stop with fibers), and me!

That started April 28th. It’s every Saturday from 10-3. We alternate who sits in the booth so we aren’t wearing ourselves out by being there every single Saturday. And that means we don’t necessarily even have to be there!! And I feel like it takes some of the pressure off, that I can try simple things for a clientele that likes fresh produce! I’ve been making things like planted pots with hangers..yes, I dug out my macrame books from the ‘70s!! Birdhouses are fun to do and I have workshops about those! And I cannot say enough good things about my colleagues!! We are collaborating and always coming up with new ideas!!

And around that same time, I was also asked to join Local Color, an art gallery in the Griffin Building in Joplin. Along with a ton of inventory, I do work in the gallery and just this week started having workshops there as well as Artforms.

It’s kind of strange not having tubs of work sitting around but it’s better to have it out where people can buy it as opposed to being in my garage!!!

Here are a few pics of my class from last night.

And in addition to all that, I’m the featured artist at Artforms. Just a two week gig. Basically, I got to dress up their window, but it will be up during the Art Walk.

so I guess you understand where my time goes!!

It’s fall, time to raku!

It seems like the falling leaves set the mood to raku.  Something about the crispness in the air just makes it right to see flames and the beauty that it can make.  I believe that this is the first time ever that I didn’t have any type of breakage what so ever…like I said, a first.  I even tried my hand at some Ferric Chloride…see if you can tell which is which.

Chihuly and more…

You just never know where your inspirations will come from!  It’s always good to check out other mediums!

And the most current firing…

So June was a slow pottery month.  Some issues came up that just stopped me in my tracks as far as pottery goes.  The good thing was a visit to California to visit family and just do a little relaxing.  But I’m getting back to it.  Look forward to more workshops results.  I’ve found that I can explore new avenues by helping others venture into the world of clay.  Of course, I’ll always go back to my beloved porcelain, but every once in a while it’s fun to just experiment with techniques and forms. 

For now enjoy what is here…the fairy houses and the salt and pepper shakers are a result of workshops.  The rest is my usual!

A little something about the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Another pottery thing that I’m proud of is me being a part of the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum in Kansas City.  It’s been three years now and I still have work for sale in the gift shop there.   I have work that is under the same roof as Degas, Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir, Jackson Pollock…the list keeps going on and on!  I’m so grateful that the curator of the gift shop saw my work in the Best of Missouri Hands website.  A big thanks to Kory!!

And occasionally, the Nelson will invite artists to demonstrate their talents in front of the gift shop.  I’ve done textured trays one time and painted my under glazes for my Mishima decorated bowls whilst I was demonstrating my work.  It’s so much fun getting to interact with their patrons from little kids to retired artists and from all over the world, too!

Yes, I Can Teach…

Yes, I can!!  I’ve been involved with a local art cooperative, ArtForms Gallery LLC, in Pittsburg, Kansas for right at a year now.  If you haven’t been there, you really should check it out.  It’s located in downtown Pittsburg, 620 N Broadway, and it’s the “only game in town”.  I love being a member of this group.  It feels like I’ve stepped a bit out of my box because I’m dealing with a different group of primarily Kansas artists.  This shouldn’t be much of a stretch since I was in deed born and raised  and educated in Kansas.  Hey, I still remember January 29th as Kansas Day, ad astra per aspera (to the stars with difficulty) watching each of my girls perform in the traditional First Grade Kansas Day Play.

Oh, I digress….anyway, there are 18 members at the present who basically do it all.  We have four ladies who started it all and basically put their necks on the line.  There is a wide gambit of artists including potters, painters, glass and textile artists, and some pretty darn good metal and woodworkers plus some awesome jewelers.  It’s a great group that works well together.

So along with gallery sales, every artist is encouraged to have classes which are located in the back of the building. As of late, we are also using Sylvia Shirley’s Cow Creek Pottery studio conveniently located one block away from the gallery as well.  I’ll admit I was pretty scared the first time I did a class (we made birdhouses), but the people who attended were just there to have fun and end up with a bird house they could actually put in the their yard.  So  far I’ve added Trays (the Ornaments was cancelled), and Pitchers to my experience.  Next up, is a class on decorating Toad Houses.  That one is scheduled for May 21, 2017 at Cow Creek Pottery.

The thing I love about teaching others, is seeing what they can come up with and there are some pretty creative folks out there.  So with that being said, I’d like to include some photos for and about my workshops.

Here are a few pics of the classes itself…

So the first pics are obviously from the pitcher workshop and the last plus the tray itself is from the Tray workshop…that tray was made by my good painter friend, Andrew Batcheller…what a beauty that turned out to be.



All most all of my pottery is considered food safe, meaning that you can eat off it, put it in the dishwasher, microwave or oven.  But not all firing methods for pottery or ceramics produce “useable ” work.  Raku fits into that area.  Raku, traditionally, comes from Japan where that method produced the wares for tea ceremonies. The word means “ease”, “comfort” or “enjoyment”.  Despite the fact that is was used in the past for tea ceremonies, it is a lower fired temperature which creates a more porous surface and at present is not recommended for consumer use.

That all being said, Raku is a fun thing to do.  I like to think of it as an instant gratification for potters.  We usually have to be quite patience waiting for the results of each firing, but with raku it’s a matter of just a few hours to see the final creation.

I tend to avoid raku because for one thing, the clay has a lot of grog in it.  That translates into lots of extra material in it to help it hold up to the thermal shock that it gets as it’s pulled from the fire to the atmosphere or into a water bath.  That extra materials is quite rough and after a potter (me) is accustom to using a smooth clay body like porcelain, well, it’s an exfoliating process for your hands and sometimes can be painful.  But my local clay group had a show at Spiva Center for the Arts whereby we used alternative firing methods, so I raku-ed.  And it was fun, so I participated at the Clay Dogs Raku Days in Nixa, Missouri as well.  The pics that follow chronicle what the journey was like.

The first picture is kind of my trophy shot (my dad was a big game hunter and I can’t tell you how many pictures like this that he had taken – until my own daughters wanted pictures of grandpa without a dead animal in it)

The second picture depicts the heart ache that can accompany raku firing.  This piece was the biggest that I had done at that time and it was just too bottom heavy to withstand the thermal shock. We actually heard it break after the firing then slowing watched it fall to pieces.

The last set of pictures were taken at my friend, Brent Skinner’s pottery location…more on that at another post.  The people are Brent, Melody Knowles and myself…the pieces were in the Spiva show.