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.
Seems like these awards are going through the pottery blog community! I am the recipient of a Stylish Blogger Award! Thanks Connie Norman for putting me on your list! My blog was also chosen as a Top 10 Pottery Blog for 2010 at Pottery Making Info!
Now it’s my turn to name more bloggers that I think are styling, and to tell you seven things about myself. Before I get started here is what the award requests! And I hope everyone who reads this finds some new blogs and old ones to follow and read.
Award has 4 Requests:
- Thank the person who gave you the award, by providing a link to their site.
- Share 7 things about yourself that other bloggers might not know.
- Give the Award to 15 newly discovered or interesting bloggers.
- Notify each of those bloggers to present the Award.
Seven Things about me.
1. I was an organic farmer for a few years.
2. For two years I lived at an environmental learning center/community called the Grail International.
3. I taught high school art, for four years, loved it… taught middle school art for one year, and said you gotta be crazy to teach middle school!
4. I was a high school tennis star, I still play tennis, but far from a star.
5. I rode a skateboard in empty swimming pools as a teen… don’t do that anymore.
6. The stereo is on all day in the studio, and you just might find me dancing when a good song is on. That is actually the real reason I use a stand up potters wheel… so I can dance at a moments notice.
7. My partner Terri and I have chickens and grow lots of veggies, including these carrots, under three feet of snow harvested last week from our cold frames!
Here are my Stylish Blogger award picks! Maybe some of you have been chosen already!
I know I’m supposed to do more, but many of my faves are already recipients! It takes time to sit with some of the newer blogs that I’ve found… but I have put some (new to me) blogs on my blog roll check them out!
All of the blogs on my list are there because I really admire the pottery, or their work ethic, or their style of writing. I try to keep my list to full-time potters, but sometimes one slips in with another art medium, or because I just find them interesting. Like one of the new additions… Getting Stitched on the Farm, a neighbor sheep farmer/knitter! I’ve taken some bloggers off who have not posted in the past six months, as I feel new posts/updates are important to keep the pottery dialogue fresh.
There have been a few interesting comments about my last post on blue pottery… a fun conversation going on. Today my potter friend Angela Fina sent this to me:
A few years ago THE NEW YORKER had a long article by two investigators who went all over the world to very different cultures to test color preference. Everywhere in the world blue was the favorite color by a wide margin. In areas of desert it was even more so. Blue signifies water which signifies life…. it seems to be innate. Painters have the same problem of people wanting some blue in paintings. I long ago gave up my personal resistance to blue pots….. I have seven blue glazes!
There is a joke among potters… just make it blue and it will sell!
Well I have always had this thing against blue pottery… I feel like it just covers up the form. Or it’s kinda like a paint chip just shouting out to you– COLOR! It always seems too reflective, or boring, lacking depth, or just too much hippy, drippy, blue. For years I have not used blue… until a couple of years ago. So many customers were asking, “does this come in blue?” Finally I broke down. I starting using blue in little bits on my urns, then a subtle blue/greeny kinda speckly glaze (bordering on hippy, drippy). Next I introduced a dark blue to my line of FoodieCeramics, with butter keepers, garlic grates, and salt cellars. But have really kept it at a minimum.
As time goes by I have asked myself, why do people like blue so much? The next favorite color seems to be green. I love green pots, so that has always been a part of my pottery. But what is it about blue and green pots that people like so much? I think it comes down to this… they are both calming colors. People walk into my studio sales and see variations of green pots, a common reaction is, “it’s so peaceful, so calming”. Another thought I have about these two colors is that they are the colors that surround us… big blue sky, blue/green ocean, and large expanses of green grass and trees. who out there doesn’t feel peace while sitting by the ocean with a big blue sky over head!
Over the years I have looked at as many blue pots as I could, to find ones that did not have the negative attributes I mentioned earlier. I found some very nice blue pots. One in particular tipped me over the edge by my friend Molly Cantor. It was one of her wood fired pieces that had this magical deep blue on the inside of a mug. I think that was the first time I thought wow, I could get a nice blue that wouldn’t take away from my form. So after years of trying out little bits of blues here and there, I decided last year it was time to do some experimenting with glazes. This past month I have come up with one I like. Here is a sketch plate that came out of the kiln the other day. It has a lot of depth to it, which doesn’t show well in the photo. I think it has potential though!
Terri and I spent our Sunday in Northampton at the Smith College greenhouses smelling all the beautiful flowers while standing among the palms and banana trees in the 80 degree sunny shelter. The three feet of snow melted away for just a little while.
I’m dreaming of a hot summer day, and a pitcher of lemonade. I guess that’s where these are coming from… some tall pitchers in the works… these weigh 3.5 or 4 lbs, and measure 11 to 12″, they will end up being about 10 or 11″ after the glaze fire.
Catherine tip-toed through the storms from Virgina all the way to Western Massachusetts. It seems that every Tuesday/ Wednesday for the past three weeks we have been having a snow storm. Thankfully Catherine was able to make it here, and back to Virginia before this current storm!
The Asparagus Valley Potters Guild is a group of professional potters. Every year or so we invite a ceramic artist/potter from outside our area to teach us a little bit about pottery. This particular workshop was very exciting for all of us because it was a hands on workshop. Catherine gave demos, and we got to play with paints, clay and slips! To be in a room with 16 other professional ceramic artists all creating separately, yet to together in one room was awesome to say the least!
If you haven’t seen Catherine’s blog by now go check it out. She is known is the blog world for her inspiring posts which focus on the Winter and Summer Solstice. In her blog she shares her paintings, clay work and wonderful photography, and of course her writing… her site is truly inspirational. Her workshop was also.
The Asparagus Valley Potters Guild sponsored a hands on workshop by Catherine White this weekend. All I can say right now is that it was great! I’m too tired tonight, but many pics to share in the next few days!
The morning weather report… 15 below zero. By the time my sons were waiting for the bus it was a balmy minus 10!
I got into the studio by 9:00 and did everything I could to avoid wedging the cold clay. I did paper work, and loaded a bisque kiln. My fellow potter friend Tom White called. He was doing the same as me… everything to avoid the cold clay. He said his throwing buckets had ice on the top of the water! Tom and I both have nice finished studios, mine a renovated barn, with my chickens living below my studio. I have a very nice wood pellet stove, so technically it should be fairly warm… but it took hours to warm today.
Well by 10:00 I faced the clay. As I wedged my clay my hands became numb. After ten minutes I held them under warm water to defrost, they tingled for another ten minutes. So I came back in the house frozen, and ate another warm blueberry muffin (that I made specifically to help warm the house), and had a cup of tea.
Got back in the studio and finally threw for a couple of hours. These past two weeks between snow storms, snow days with kids, and freezing arctic air, is paradoxically reminding of a heat wave in the summer. When there is a heat wave everything seems to stop. I’m feeling the same way, my body is having such a hard time getting in sync with this weather extreme. The amount of work that is getting done is very similar… a snail’s pace. It all just reminds me that we are not ultimately in control.
It’s always a juggling act to be working full time at home, with kids. Today the challenge was a little more on the fun side of it though. The interruption was not to drive a teenager to a doctors appointment, or to practice… today it was to cross-country ski with them, or to continue making butter keepers. The choice as always, in parenting… compromise. I made half the amount of butter keepers I planned on making, and skied half the amount of time they wanted me to! We were all happy… until we had to shovel the nearly two feet of snow!
The last two issues of Ceramics Monthly featured articles on Potter Moms, in the Studio Visit section. The December issue visited with Elizabeth Robinson, and January visited with Jennifer Mecca. Both of these Mom potters are doing fairly well for themselves. Yet, both of these women have pretty much cut their studio time to about half of what they did before kids. As I read about them, I thought about other potter moms I know, and all I thought was… it gets easier. It was not that long ago that I could barely work with two little toddlers running around, constant mommy, mommy. Now the interruptions are less and less, or they are more planned interruptions. Like going to basketball games, or doctor’s appointments.
As my boys get older they have become so respectful of my working time, and they understand it’s how they have a nice home, and food on the table. They are 13 and 15 years old now, and it seems my main job as a mom is feeding them, then driving them to friends, or school functions, and practices… and then feeding them again!
As my elderly friend says… motherhood… just a little interruption in time. I’m beginning to see what she means by it. It really does go by fast.
Oh, and then there are the butter keepers!