Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Moving Camp.

Dear followers! We have done it. Mulled it over for a while, and decided to move camp from Blogger to Wordpress. Was not an easy decision, since we've been with blogger for a while, and it fits like an old shoe... but that's OK. The other blogs I keep up with will stay here, just Blue Hen Pottery will move on.

To keep up with us, please make note to put the new site in your bookmarks or however you like to keep track of your virtual reading material:) I will keep this site up for a while to help with transition.

And here it is:

Blue Hen Pottery

Friday, October 1, 2010

On the topic

The ingenuity of clay folks is just amazing!
Occasionally I spend some time getting lost in cyberspace. It leads to unexpected finds.
Today's mind blowing encounters:

Christin Johansson has quite a range of work.
Make sure to check out the Clay Crew in the projects section of her webpage. Take clay to the masses!

Simon Zolt Jozsef makes breathtaking objects. I especially like the ones he has up on his FB page.

I feel so mediocre.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Off the topic

Just popped in to check on one of my favorite blogs the Mason - Dixon Knitting, and they had up the following links on Knitty Blog and Flickr

Just to peak your curiosity
Knox Knit Bridge by DASEye

Friday, September 24, 2010

All sorts of cups

The cup show is up at the Barrett Clay Works. To see all the great entries check HERE.
Apparently one of my cups got an Honorable Mention award:) I'm pretty happy about that. Well, I was pretty happy to participate in the show:)

Other than that - haven't gotten into studio/garage much lately :( At STARworks we're getting geared up to have another Annual Gathering in October, so there is plenty to do on many levels. There are also more meetings... BTW, if you would like to come to the Annual Gathering this year - let me know and we'll send you an invitation!
Staying busy with driving the kids to school and from school and to and from dance...
I did recycle some clay scraps last week, since the bank account has gotten dangerously low, and buying new clay will have to wait.

Open house at STARworks Ceramics TONIGHT at 5pm. Don't miss it! Samples of local clay blends, refreshments and good company guaranteed!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


It's been a while since I posted any pix, but since I just got done photographing the other day, here are some new images of work. Some of it not so new anymore.
(Slab Cylinders)
(Adam's Beer Cups)
(Crooked Little Cups)
(Polka Dot Lid Jar)

(Long Dog Bowl)

The news from Blue Hen Pottery today are following:
We will be participating at the Celebration of Seagrove Potters this year for the first time! Come out and see us (and 59 other Seagrove area potters) there in November!

I applied for Tax ID # yesterday online. It went smoothly. To apply for Tax ID # you also need an Employer Identification Number in most cases, so that needs to be done first. We got that done online as well, on IRS website.
All the paperwork should arrive in the mail in 10 business days... and we'll go from there. All this business stuff is complicated, but everyone assures me it will get better once you go through a few cycles of keeping records and paying taxes. We shall see...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Baby steps

So much to learn...
HERE is a virtual small business tax workshop from IRS website for those who are wrestling with setting up a business.

Phew. Brain freeze.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The in's and out's of setting up a business.

So. Maybe I'm impatient... but in trying to set up our business in NC I seem to be running into snags that are caused by insufficient information. (MAYBE it's just that I think simple things into complicated things... as a matter of fact - I'm sure of it. Have noticed tendencies of that before!)
So I thought to record the steps taken, in case it may be helpful to someone in the future. AND to record for our own reference. It's all too easy to forget, as soon as something is resolved.

So, the question of registering a business has been the #1 issue so far. I read from NC Department of Commerce website that:
To file your Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership business name, download the Certificate of Assumed Name. Assumed Name forms are filed with the County Register of Deeds. There is no statewide name registration for Sole Proprietorships or General Partnerships, that is why you must file your name in each county you conduct business.
So, it states pretty clearly, that you need to file in each county where you will sell. (however, when I asked in the Register of Deed's office in Troy where I should file, no one could give me a clear answer. "maybe in your county of residence?") Well, here's where I did some over-thinking - it really is as simple as that - IN THE COUNTY where you plan to SELL.
Sounds like a pain in the butt, especially if you are doing shows all over the place... And it kind of is, even though it is sort of logical too considering that most likely one will not sell work in EVERY county of every state. It just means - more planning, thinking ahead and preparations are required. The registering itself is a piece of cake - You can print the Certificate of Assumed Name from the Dep. of Commerce website, fill it in, get it notarized and take it to the Register of Deeds of the county you wish to file=sell in. There is a modest fee. (I will see next if it can be mailed)
I still think it would be great if this could be done statewide in one step... Oh well.
SO. This morning I took a trip to Asheboro, and filed the Blue Hen Pottery registration form in Randolph County:) It took only a few minutes.

What's next?
Tax ID #.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Just a quick update.

I was promoted this morning to the position of Admin of this blog:)
Immediately had to put the new powers to use and started messing with the layout:)
I took the advice of Robert Young and just changed the name in the heading for right now.
Tom has some great ideas too, I'm sure we'll venture in to those once things get rolling.

Have a great day folks, I'll let ya'll know soon how things are going.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


As the summer changes into fall, things at WhatNot Pottery are about to change as well.
The first and probably the most important change that has already taken place is the name change... May the earth be light upon you, "WhatNot Pottery"... we will keep you in the back of our minds, as - who knows where our ramblings taketh us or where our work ends up... You may become useful still...
After weeks or agonizing, brain crunching and finding out that all good names are already out there, in the world, doing their thing, TAKEN by somebody else, we decided to go with something somewhat traditional.


From now on, we will operate under the name "Blue Hen Pottery"... That is, if it will be officially accepted by the authorities. So, just putting it out there. Anyone who has objections, please raise your voice. Anyone who thinks this is a good honest name, we'd love to get feedback.
Why Blue Hen Pottery? - you may ask. Well, we live on a Blue Hen Lane with a handful of hens, none of whom are blue at the moment, however, one of them lays them blue eggs... Blue hens actually do exist . We've considered raising some here at the compound. Not for cock-fighting!!!
Blue Hen will also offer us a cute little stamp and a logo, which I'm excited about.

Other changes include officially registering the business, getting a tax ID #, keeping track of all those receipts that pile up and tend to get lost... participating in some sales and shows (more about that once we know for sure which)... I'm planning to go back to school as well - MCC offers classes on running a business - I really need some edumacation on that... and yeah, between all this rapidly increasing paperwork'n'all we will try to keep busy in the studio/workshop/garage. On top of - kids being back to school and dance lessons, and the ever growing mountains of work at STARworks.

Not to brag, but...
I'm super psyched about getting into The 2'nd Annual National Cup Show at Barret Clay Works.
It's been a while since my last juried show, it feels good to get back on track!

SO. now we have to either change the name on this blog... or start a new one... suggestions?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Busy days in the studio...

...and otherwise. School is starting up for kids on the 25'th. Kind of looking forward to more structured daily plans... and dreading it. Adam and I've been busy in the studio making plates and drawing on them, I'm making covered jars, bowls, and cups. Adam throws the plates and usually I draw on them. Keeping the repertoire simple.

Some more pix from last firings at Dwights.
Chicken and carrots - that already found a home.
Fancy dog bowl :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

These mice had chewed a hole in a big cheese-ball, and hopped out of Dwight's kiln:)

That's all for today folks, uploading pix is part magic and part rocket science at our house. So we'll take what we get:)

Observation: I can either spend my days in the studio, which yields a bundle of objects at the end of the week, but means I scramble and scratch stuff for dinners, laundry piles up, and house is in a state of insane mess.
I can stay out of studio which means I cook decent dinners and maybe freeze and can some summer goodies BUT laundry still piles up, the house is in a state of insane mess, AND I have no work to show at the end of the week...


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cups cups cups

My favorite format to work with. I always used to say that I can't stand doing the same thing over and over and that's why it is so hard for me to be a studio potter...
Well whatayaknow... I keep making these over and over. I guess the fact that I don't weigh my clay and draw directly on the cups give me the sense of freedom, uncertainty and openendedness that I need...
Abstract doodles.
Spring blooms.
Love the surfaces and colors of these two on the bottom. Unfortunately the glaze bubbled :(
Maybe re-firing will take care of that. It'll "take care" of the surfaces too though.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Twisting it all around

This is all that I was able to upload today.

Getting ready to fire a small salt kiln at Dwight Holland's on Saturday. Can't wait!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Play time

The other day I decided to play around a bit with about half a bag of clay - and that's what happened:) I'm not much of a "faceter", so this is a new territory. Something new to play with.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


It's been unseasonably hot around our neck of the woods lately. Upper nineties on most days.
That did not hold us back from firing the STARworks wood kiln 2 weekends ago. (geez, where has the time gone?!)
Anyways, I wanted to share some pictures from that craziness.

The Kiln.

Crew: Adam, Anne, David, Tim
Here are some David's and Tim's pots ready to be wadded.
All kinds of last minute glazing going on. As usual.
Adam. Glazing.
David. Glazing :)
Tim. Glazing :)
Anne. Wadding.
Placing my "twisties" in the kiln worked out great!
The chain saw needed sharpening a few times.
Andreas "helping" with stoking. He loves fire!
Sorry for no explicit details on firing schedule etc. I like to keep it secret!
Ok. Not really.
If you want details - ask for the log book. Overall we thought it went well - opinions differ on whether it was an easy firing, or whether that little kiln was hard to keep climbing... The 8 hour shifts between 4 people seemed to work fine for most of us.
Let's just say - I still would like a small wood/salt Bourry Box that can be handled by 1-2 people, filled in a month, and fired in about 15 hrs... However, the plan as of now is to fire this kiln again in September.

I'm keeping busy in the workshop to reach that goal. The funny thing is - few months ago I found excuses, anything - laundry or vacuuming, baking, etc. to stay in my zone of not making...
Now... well. there are all sorts of piles in the house that need to be "removed" by somebody... Maybe I'll get to them one day. Today, let me just go and put some handles on those cups I made yesterday...

Oh yeah, the work got unloaded last week. It was a rather oxidized firing, I think we all hoped for more color, our oribe glaze bubbled on most pieces, lot of stuff on the floors of both chambers were underfired - so there is plenty to refire. We were all kind of bummed - but that has become a familiar feeling after a wood firing. It's so much hard work, and you have your hopes so high, based on the few jewels that you've gotten out in the past... and then the reality.

But in some way I have learned to welcome that feeling. For me - it helps me distance myself from my work. And it humbles. You know - reminds, that there is only so much control that one can have...

Or - maybe - that you need to be more vigilant next time with your control of the fire - more attentive, not so sloppy. It's hard to do when you are not familiar with the kiln, or don't fire with wood very often...
Well. There's the ramblings for today.
Photos of work to come in the near future.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Koonus kuus

Posting on the run again.
Here's some pix of the cone 6 stuff. The monster was carved into a plate by Trace, our friend's son, who was 6 at the time, I believe. Adam added the color. There is a bunch more, but I didn't get good pix...
And some of my bee cups. They turned out OK.

Been busy in the studio, garden and kitchen...
Hopefully I will have more time soon to sit down and write longer...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Good long weekend:)

...makes for good studio time!
Work in progress:
Some cups, vases and jars.
These drawings will be scraped clean, then sanded when dry. Long process. I seem to like the long processes...
Last finished forms. Those work great in the woodkiln. (When they don't get heavily blasted with ash.) I'm considering spraying them with dry glaze, or colored slip for a more uniform color and firing in gas... Building these with coils, then scraping the surfaces "clean" is another one of those long processes. I guess I just like to spend more time with each piece... maybe that explains my lack of enthusiasm on the selling part too...

So anyways. Life's really busy right now. I have not had time to plow through the depths of internet looking at other people's cool stuff in ages... gardens are growing... kids are growing up...
oi elu.

Monday, May 24, 2010


I don't have much to say.
New forms coming along.
And growing...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

checkin' in

I can't believe my luck! I actually uploaded these pictures from HOME!

Below is a quick look at some cone 6 things I'm playing with. Cone 6 is really not my cup of tea.
I like the ashes and flashes and the magic of atmospheric firing. BUT. Cone six electric firing is currently available as the most reliable source for us, so we're just going for it. Those guys and more got glazed on Monday and will hopefully get in the kiln tomorrow. We'll see how disapointed I will be...
Here's one more "twistie" that came out of David Stuempfle's kiln. Haven't made those in a while. This one is much smaller than the older ones too...

Now that I've got my ear infection under control - will have more energy to push some clay around.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Sneak peek at a few keepers that came out of David Stuempfle's kiln.
I spent a few hours last night thinking about cups...
Maybe prompted by Erik Haagensens great blog entry?
I wish there was a way to record those middle of the night thoughts, when you're trying to go to sleep, and not wake your bed buddy, but can't stop the thoughts from going and going and going...

And the mornings are oh so pragmatic. With rituals to prepare one for being a productive member of society;).
Which I now must be. Off to pick veggies for today's CSA.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Breaking through

SO, breakdowns are occasionally good. You have to reevaluate your priorities, and do SOMETHING about the things that are not working in your life.
I decided to carve out more time for the studio, since it's been making me increasingly crazier that I have spent my whole life in pursuit of being an artist - and suddenly I no longer MAKE. Luckily I have a very understanding boss who realizes the importance of making personal work for all of us artists in this creative enterprise. Our jobs are incredibly creative and challenging, but still... I have not figured out a way to send my garden to a juried show for instance...
SO. I spent about 5 hours in the garage/studio (geez. - OK> from now on I will call it a workshop...) and made a "bunch of stuff".
Here are some boring pix of the "blanks" - the cups and plates and bowls - which will receive a coat of slip and then be drawn and painted on. I have some ideas up my sleeve... so if I can just keep this momentum going, the WhatNot Pottery may actually get rolling along finally...

Anticipating getting work out of David's kiln tonight or tomorrow also... this last firing was so smooth and physically the least demanding of the firings I've experienced with his kiln...
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

mental breakdowns

my life is overloaded right now. many questions need to be answered, choices to be made...

as for life in WhatNot Pottery - Hitomi and Takuro were gracious to put a few of my cups in their last firing, even tho I showed up when they were bricking up the door... Thank's guys! they turned out sweet... and I packed them up this morning to attempt a first sale in a LOOOOOOONG time... but not much more to say about that now, other than I didn't take any pictures...

these are some of the latest cups with line drawings. I'm stuck on the cup format. and drawing scribble scrabble...
this weekend we're helping David fire his big ol' kiln. it may be the last firing for that mama. I think Chad and David are loading it as I write this.

Life's hard to manage - especially for those of us who are control freaks. chaos ensues.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Some'o'my shapes

SO, the beautiful weather has kept me outside most of the days. Planting.
But we did move the wheel in to the workspace (somehow "studio" just doesn't ring right to my ears...) it took over a week to pull together the courage to slam some clay on it and give it a spin... There too - baby steps... the same old shapes and sizes are still in the hands...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Small steps at a time...

just keep working...just keep working...

Thursday, February 25, 2010