The Lucy Fagella Pottery Blog is where I share the how the pottery is made. Pottery process is a beautiful thing… watching a pot rise up from a lump of clay at the wheel, or seeing a work table filled with freshly thrown pieces. This blog focuses on process shots, pottery videos, the work table at the end of the day, and some finished work fresh from the kiln.
Well it was the fourth annual cup invitational at the Artisan Gallery… and another really nice one. Here are some pics from my brand new iPhone!
My cups are the upper left… wish I could remember who is right next to mine. Aysha Peltz are on the bottom, left to mine, and Molly Hatch are bottom right.
Chuck Stern, gallery owner to the right. and Molly Hatch with her baby perched high on Oliver’s shoulder’s.
I’ve been wanting to buy a Becca Van Fleet mug for a while now… got a good one at the show! Here it is this morning with my tea!
You really do have to put your heart and soul into the making of a teapot. It is only when you become a student of pottery that you understand all the time, effort, experience, artistry, and love of clay that it takes to make a teapot.
This past week in the studio was teapot making time! Here is a little slide show to give you an idea about teapot parts. The last photo includes a finished mug along side a teapot drying, showing what glaze the teapot will have.
That’s what life has been lately in the pottery studio. Mostly all good, just some bad… like fixing the kiln, and getting a custom urn order wrong… arrgh. But the reality is that those two things happened because I’m too busy. Element wires and thermocouples should have been changed before they conked out in the middle of a very important firing. But everything, I mean everything is in constant motion. I am just non-stop, all day, every day. It’s a good thing though, that I am busy… I’m doing what I love and making a living at it. Yet sometimes it is just so hard to run your own business. Just seems like there are no lines drawn from work to home life. Sunday is the only day I make sure I don’t step foot in the studio, or pick up a sketchbook, or go on the computer! It really is a good thing to just stop! Yesterday the family went for a beautiful hike on the Poet Seat Trail here in Greenfield. Then we went to a local event called Cider Days. Just spending some time sampling cider and all varieties of apples at Clarkdale Fruit Farm.
I think I was too busy to write about last week’s shows, The Teapot show at Molly Cantor Pottery… “Ten Potter’s Take on Tea” What a nice opening it was (I didn’t even get pictures, so unlike me). I also did a small craft fair to benefit the local Artspace Community arts center.
On the agenda this week is the Friday opening at the Artisan Gallery in Northampton, 4th annual Cup and Mug Invitational, should be a great opening as there are lots of artists. (hopefully I’ll remember my camera)
So here is a little taste of a couple of cups fresh out of that newly fixed kiln!
Another cup show and my Holiday Sale coming up in early December… check my website home page for details!
More on the arts and the economy.
There is so much natural beauty here in Western Massachusetts, and so much happening in the arts. But the biggest and most exciting happenings are right here in Greenfield! Between the recent International Brick and Mortar Video Festival, to the huge state grant recieved for a performing arts center! Greenfield Ma. is in the midst of a downtown revival, thanks in part to the many artists, and musicians that live in the valley.
I recently read an article in Preview (the valley arts magazine) about Greenfield coming back to life. In an interview with Ed Wierzbowski, artist and entrepreneur, and major player in the downtown revival, (restoring two central Main St. historic buildings). Ed talks about the ripple effects of the creative economy. He was quoted as saying for every dollar spent on the creative side, five more are spent locally. I see how that happened here with my recent pottery workshop. Money was spent at the B&B’s, restaurants, local shops, and farms!
When I think about where I live, I think about the vibrancy of the arts and the beauty of this area known as Western Massachusetts. I ask myself how do I want to see this place in five years? Do I want a Wal-mart? Or do I want to walk downtown and go to a great restaurant, a concert, an art opening, or a movie? Do I want to shop at the small locally run businesses, or get on my bike to go buy apples from the local orchard, or maybe just take a walk and see the scenic views? I think the answer is pretty clear… when you live in a special place that tourists come to all year round, (especially the Leaf Peepers this time of year), you should keep that a place that people want to see, taste, and feel with all their senses!
I’ve just finished a one week intensive pottery workshop here in the lovely hills and valley of western Massachusetts. It is my second workshop for the year. Students have come from as far away as France, Canada, and Texas, New York, Boston, and Vermont. Someone recently asked me where the students are staying. I said, “Bed and Breakfast’s,” He said, “Boy, Lucy you are really a part of the local Arts and Economy.” I smiled proudly and said yeah I guess I am.
Between my workshops, weekly classes, open studio sales, and the Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail. I’m happy to know that what I do as potter/teacher contributes to the local economy.
Some pics below from our two field trips during the workshop. A View from the French King Bridge, the Green River and Barton’s Cove.
What a wonderful week we are having at my fall pottery workshop. I have some serious potters all at the beginning of setting up their pottery studios. We have been working on some of the more difficult aspects of functional ware, like handles and lids, to name a few. I’m seeing leaps and bounds in four days time! Tomorrow is our last day together, I wish they all lived around here, they are truely awsome people and students… Dan and Sue from Canada, Larry from Texas, and Jeanne from Vermont.
A couple of years ago I vowed to try not to use my credit card for any local businesses after I found out from my local food co-op how much credit card fees can add up. At our annual meeting they asked us to think twice about using our credit card. That year they had spent $65,000 in credit card fees! Whew!
As a potter I started to accept credit cards three years ago, knowing (I thought) full well about all the fees. I must admit… people do buy more when they have that little card with them. So the reality is that I have made more sales since accepting credit cards. But those darn fees… I just remind myself, ” it’s a write off on my taxes.”
This past week I started doing some research on the credit card app for the iPhone. I wanted to compare my current fees with what they would be with an iPhone app. It was then that I learned that not all transaction fees are equal. Did you ever think about when you earn bonus rewards, or flyer miles, etc. where that extra bonus money comes from? Each time you purchase an item from a merchant, the merchant pays a little extra in transaction fees. So in essence each time you buy a pot from me and earn your rewards points I pay 3.61% per transaction fee rather than the 1.92% standard fee for the non rewards card. Whew… that really made me think about the whole credit card industry! We all just so blindly use these convenient little cards without asking any questions. Like Forest Gump said, “well… that’s all I have to say about that!”