Caught Me Thinking

mini raky pink frame $10Pink raku Italian tilePort Austin Michigan tile $8Just like the alternative Canadian band Bahamas sings “Caught Me Thinking”, these last two raku firing have been sweeet! These mini tiles have been a fun experiment with big results. The bold, garish resin frames have been toned down with copper spray paint and some metallic highlights. More Italian tiles framed and unframed plus Michigan tiles galore. Here are a few for the Post Austin area. Hope to see you at the Thumb Arts Studio tour June 16 & 17 in Port Austin. For more info go to  www.thumbstudiotour.com

mini raku tile copper frame $10

Port Austin Michigan tile $8

The Dirty Girls of Clay are Back!

Mermaid tile Laurie Conger

The Dirty Girls of Clay are back and ready for an exciting studio tour in Port Austin, Michigan! A few weeks ago Laurie Conger and myself had a smashing raku firing! Mermaid tiles, Italian tiles and and bottles were fired and we got excellent results. You can see all the photographs on facebook at Thumb Studio Tour and at my page. Also check the new posts on Red MuddStudio page as well.

The Dirty Girls of Clay

New directions, new glaze combos

Subtle changes in glaze colors, $35

I can’t waste anything in the studio. Even old jars or test glazes that are just ugly. So I decided to retest on some new funky bowls and see what came out. To my surprise the majic is a keeper. If you are interested in purchasing any of these bowls just send me an email at contact@redmuddstudio.comfor the shipping and handling.

Love the colors, $35 SOLD

Blue and green satin matt glaze, $35

Empty Bowls is Always a Great Fundraiser

Empty Bowls trimmed

Records were broken for this years Empty Bowls! Over $17,000 was raised! More than 300 tickets were sold and more patrons came this year than ever. All of my 50 bowls were snatched up. At first I thought 50 bowls was a little too much but by the end of the evening all of the donations were gone. We used the back stock from previous years so we didn’t run out. Thank you for supporting the 9th Annual Empty Bowls event with proceeds going to Mid City Nutrition.

Revisiting Italy Again

Just about every week I review my photographs from my trip to Italy. I can’t explain just how this trip has changed me. For each opportunity, task, thought or gesture, I reflex on Italy and it’s influences guide my decisions. Still riding the high!

 

Just Never Enough Time to Read…

Here is the latest book I have listened too in the studio “People of the Book” by Geraldine Brooks. The blurb describes it as ‘Rare book expert Hanna Heath is offered a dream job that involves the conservation of a rare Jewish text. As she analyzes the book, she uncovers several small artifacts that help to unlock several of the book’s great mysteries and its long journey.

Fourteen hours later, I’m not sure I really liked the book. It’s a choppy, many characters to follow and lots of unanswered questions. If you are a history or religion buff you may like it more than I.

Over the Moon and More in Tuscany

Left Hand = Michigan

This past October, I was one of the many potters that attended the Potters Council trip to Tuscany. The attendees  included potters, clay artists, non potters, spouses and friends. My husband Brad gave up duck hunting for this trip of a life time. My travel mates represented Australia, England, South Africa, Brazil, Canada, Singapore, Israel, New Zealand, Texas, California, Georgia, Washington and Florida. Being from Michigan, I constantly pointed to my left hand to show them where I lived! This was an amazing group of people to be with for 14 days. Marcia Selsor lead the group with great expertise and knowledge.

The purpose of the trip was to study architectural elements at La Meridiana, International Ceramic school with guest instructor Marcia Selsor. Also, owner and potter Pietro Maddalena introduced us to Buchchero or “Black” firing process during the second week of the trip.

We stayed in Florence for three nights in a convent that hosts travelers in a beautiful and safe setting. Our room was on the second floor (8 flights of steps) without a personal bathroom. But there were plenty of rest rooms available when needed. It was a great experience, who needed a bathroom, I was in Italy!

The first morning we walked to the Bargello Museum through the beautiful streets, taking in all the sites and snapping wonderful photographs. We arrived in the Palazzo near the Duomo, and as I was in the middle of the  square I realized that I wasn’t in Kansas anymore. I can’t describe the feeling but as I turned I saw 18′ sculptures everywhere by Michelangelo, Donatello, and della Robbia. I was overcome with a flood of emotions. To my surprise tears ran down my cheeks. I had instant recall from all of my art history classes so many years ago. Watching over 100 slides a class, yup it paid off! This set the tone for a very meaningful, and emotional trip of a life time. As I was wiping the tears away, Marcia leans over and says “I want to stand next to you when we San Vitale.”

Pistoia, Piza, Faenza and Ravenna all held beautiful sights, history, museums, artist studios, great food, wine and the best beer ever. I took 100’s of photographs and used 10 batteries capturing the beauty of each minute. Pizza is probably one of my most favorites so I ate whole pies every day I could. Brad, not fond of any Italian food was lucky to find ham and cheese sandwiches and some great gelato. We were sitting in a small cafe, eating when tears appeared again and Brad asked “What’s wrong?” All I could say was “I’m eating pizza in Italy!” It just doesn’t get any better than that.

La Meridiana is where dreams come true in clay. So many wonderful instructors, workshops, demos, and pottery from awesome potters. I learned so many things and have brought back so many ideas to keep me going.

This trip has made a huge impact on my life. Wonderful friends, stories, adventures that I will continue to post about in the future. I know I will return to Florence and La Meridiana within the next couple of years. If I play my cards right, I hope to move there and stay a very long time.

In front of the Duomo - Florence

Red Mudd Studio Holiday Sale and Italian Tiles

This year Red Mudd Studio will featuring 12 artists along with yours truly. There will be pottery, jewelery, baskets, photography, paintings, fiber and much more. The sale is November 19 & 20 with lots of free parking, hot apple cider, goodies and some wine and beer.

I just returned from Italy and it was a blast. Took over 1,000 photographs so I will have a CD going so everyone can see.  You can currently see a few of them of facebook and the Red Mudd Studio facebook site. BIG NEWS! When I was in Ravenna, I took a clay impression of the architecture at Basilica di San Giovanni Evangelista, a church first built in the year 425. These tiles will be for sale along with an information card explaining the details.

Last we had 400 guests, help me make my goal of 401, please bring a friend. We have grown this show for five years and each year it keeps getting better. I have a waiting list of artists so next year we are expanding!

All Good Things Must Come to an End

In Over My Head

I excel at procrastination, it is my best feature. It’s at the top of my resume and is my finest quality. I have several weeks to prepare for the Holiday Pottery Sale at Red Mudd Studio on November 19/20. I set a goal of 320 pieces. Does the small stuff count like Michigan tiles and wine bottle charms? I made 85 stinking charms in one afternoon. I am behind the eight ball on these bread and butter items. I’m lucky enough to have two wine shops purchase them wholesale to sell in their lovely little shops gracing the pretty reds and whites! Normally I have a shoe box full of the Michigan tiles. Do you think I can complete? It doesn’t help when I drop a box of pottery onto another box of pottery and break 14 at a time. So every day it seems like I become a Michigan tile making machine and hammer out about 16 at a whack. I’m just not seeing the end results with each kiln load producing a handful at a time. What’s up with that?

The More Than Mud exhibit was a smashing success! I’ve sold many of the never been seen before wall pieces which is very exciting. There will be a lot of these new pieces up in my studio before the big Holiday sale. Stop by my studio anytime if you can’t make it to Studio 1219 before October 2nd.

Kathy’s Kick’s

A Slamming Good Time…

Most of you know what I am  talking about, when I mention “The X-Stitch Girls.” This group of 11 women has being getting together once a week for the past 23 years. It first started out as a class I taught through Adult Education at our local college. It grew and moved on to a home where we would gather and stitch. Decades later, not too much stitching but a lot of laughing and slamming!

Tonight we experienced “Cowboy Candy” dip, “Tim Tam Slams” and found out one of the girls is “equipped.” Looks like we were priming the pump because tomorrow several of us will be traveling to Partridge Creek for a day of shopping, eating and more laughing.

We travel often on little jaunts to areas in the state of Michigan we find interesting. We have a yearly trip to Sommerset Mall during November for some heavy duty shopping. Three girls and their spouses will be traveling to Italy in October and I will be going to Italy week later to study pottery at La Meridiana. During the summer months one gal hosts “Happy Hour” every Friday evening for drinks, dinner and dip in the pool.

You get the picture. These women have done countless acts of kindness and would give up their left kidney if asked at a drop of a hat. Count your blessings and your friends. I am truly blessed to be in this league of women. Their support and friendship means everything to me.

Please note the brand new refrigerator in photograph behind Ann. Rose was a trooper as she hosted the month of September without a refrigerator!

Ann slam!

 

TimTamSlam!