Holiday 2017

2017 Holiday Sale Calendar

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Nov 19: Snowden Arts Bazaar (Snowden School, 1870 N Parkway, 12-5 pm)
Nov 26: Tsunami Holiday Art Market (928 Cooper, 11-5)
Dec 1-2: Bridgman Pottery Open Studio (Friday evening, Saturday after the marathon)
Dec 4: Lebonhuer Club Gift and Art Market (Church of the Holy Communion, Cheyney Parish Hall, 5-8:30)
Dec 9: Memphis Maker Market - Holiday 2017 ( 585 S Cooper, 11-4)
Dec 15 weekend: Martha Kelly Open Studio Sale

Head in the clouds

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I've always been fascinated with clouds. I find their ever-shifting forms beautiful. This summer I've been working on incorporating then into my work and added a series of oil and mixed media sketches. A similarly sky-obsessed friend and I are having a joint show on November 3 in Memphis. She will have oils and watercolors, and I'll be showing new ceramics and my small sketches. If you're local, I hope to see you there. 

Mid April

Last week I sent out my bud vase subscription.  The pieces are one of my favorite patterns- one I've been playing with since early 2104. 

This design is inspired by the early work of my favorite Japanese textile designer, Naomi Ito.  I began working in my sketchbook with blue ink, wanting to achieve a similar feeling of airy floral clusters, rendered in blue and white.  I looked at flowers in my own garden- phlox, sweet william, poppies, zinnias, and roses- and simplified and stylized the blossoms until I had a handful that I was pleased with.  Tiny forget me nots crept in after a spring trip to Maine, and foliage has crept in and out as this pattern has evolved. This design marks the point where I began painting directly onto my surfaces rather than using cobalt exclusively as inlay.  Over the years I've applied the pattern thicker and more spread out, trailing off in wisps and clustered thickly. It's still one of my favorites.   This time I used it on bright smooth English porcelain- I love the contrast between the cobalt and the bright white. 

Next week I'll have my cup and bowl subscriptions ready to ship.  They are another newer iteration of something I've been making for a long time and have been working on refining in the past year. More on that next week.

Also later this week I'll be opening up my next round of cup or bowl subscriptions.  This quarter, they will all be one of a kind sketchbook pieces.  More on that later.

Happy week, friends!

 

Spring update

Happy happy spring!  This winter has been funky and not quite seasonal- warmer than it should be snuggled up next to weeks of bitter cold and gray. I'm delighted with today's sunshine and warmth on the first day of spring.  I'm doing a little spring shop update this morning- a batch of these faceted cups, more onward pieces, and a few sweet cups and plates.

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I have flowing celadon, aqua, and creamy white faceted cups on offer this week.  The next round will include pink and faded indigo.

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I'll be rolling out more of these berry bowls in some luscious new colors next month.  This aqua is much more subdued than my old aqua, but I am just enamored with this need copper green.

And finally, if you're a member of any of my subscription plans, they are all in the kiln.  Cups, bowls, bud vases.  I got waylaid by spring break and didn't do the firing or glazing I'd planned to.  After a month of teaching and preparing for a show, I was wiped out and did not set foot in my studio at all.  Apologies for the delay!

January recap

This month has been a busy one.  Typically, I try to take January slow and easy, but I've been chasing my tail all month.  Between teaching, civic engagement, working to fill orders, prepare for events, and planning ahead, this month passed swiftly.  There was a lot of good this month- my blue and white designs have taken a great leap forward, school projects worked well, friendships strengthened. I've learned new skills related to teaching (and some lessons, as well).  Last weekend's Fancy Little Flea was my best single day's sales in years (some of these pieces will be headed to my shop this week), and I'm hopeful for this event's future.

I'm planning an online Valentine's sale beginning next week- small happiness for giving or keeping- and an at-home evening the week before Valentine's.  Details will be on Instagram and on my newsletter email.

February.  The shortest month. Onward we go.

 

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Writing 2017 feels amazing.  Only yesterday it was January 1997 and I spent the month painting in a quiet studio in Winston Salem, spending evenings drinking bottles of wine with my roommate while she studied French and I tried to render glowing stained glass panels with oil paints.  I would not have guessed then that I'd be spending all day, every day in a pottery studio.  My sketchbook practice remains nearly the same, though.  After the holiday sales were over I did a studio cleanup and rearrange and uncovered sketchbooks from college, grad school, and early married life.  While I've pitched all of my written journals and yearbooks, I'm happy I held on to the sketchbooks. They tell me more about where I was and what I was working through, as well as providing threads that connect all of the past Melissas with who I am now.

I have been thinking about changes in my current roster of work, running them through my head for some time, only just now beginning to rough out the ideas.  I spent a morning last week playing with text placement for my Emily Dickinson cup.  I believe I've made my last two in the old style, with large text and feather inlaid in the cup. I've been dissatisfied with it for a while, ready for a change.  The facebook "on this day" feature recently popped up with the first iteration of this design, from 2012.  Five years is a long time to make the same thing the same way, so I'm playing with changes.  I feel like my lettering has changed a great deal, and I rarely use inlay anymore.  I have not abandoned it entirely, but I've come to like my brush script more than my inlay lettering.

This first round of modified design cups are ready to go into the kiln.  I'll have more on etsy and my website in February.  I'm planning to offer these in blue and iron oxide rusty-brown.  The black was perfect for inlay but is too harsh for brush lettering.  Excited to see how these fire out.

This is going to be a busy month.  I begin teaching again next week, and on the 28th I'm participating in A Fancy Little Flea, a one-day market featuring Miss Mustardseed Milk Paints and sponsored by my dear friend (and fairy godmother) Stephanie Jones.  I've got lots of goodies headed that way- hope to see you if you're local!

Finally, slots are open for my subscription club!  Find out more about it here.  I begin shipping in February- one box a month through April. 

Happy New Year!

 

Maine

It does not seem like it's been a week since I returned from my Maine trip.  In all honesty, it feels like it's been much much longer (because life is full, isn't it, and fast) and the holidays are right around the corner.

I stayed with my friend Sarah (it is wonderful to be in her serene space- full of light, beauty, texture, and simple, thoughtful details) and had myself a self-styled art retreat.  Every day I woke at dawn and got myself down to the water where I drew, painted, thought, collected tiny shells, striped rocks, saw love everywhere, gazed at clouds, marveled at the changing colors and cool breezes (lo, it is still 90 degrees in Memphis on Nov 1). There was much eating, knitting, visiting friends, and driving around midcoast and downeast, getting my fill of Maine and the sea for another year.

I have so many ideas to explore, but they will wait until after the holidays. 

Later this week I'll be back with a holiday preview and my sale dates for November and December.  I have some family obligations that mean I have canceled my studio sale, but there are plenty of other events around Memphis to make up for this cancellation.