Welcome!




So glad you found me and my ceramic art! I create fool-the-eye ceramic pieces which seem like vintage, rusty, dented cans. TeaCans, Canisters, Spice Tins and Beer Cans, all meant to be more than meets the eye. You're invited to explore and discover the new, the old, the journal, the connections. Glad you're here, you'll fit right in.

It’s QUITsy with Etsy

 

Songs_for_a_Breakup_Vol_1

 

Since July 18,  2009 I have offered a wide array of my ceramic work for sale through the online handcrafter’s marketplace known as Etsy.

But, now it’s kaput, done-ski, o.v.e.r. My Shop is still there, with a few remnant listings, but no need to check it out – it’s on Vacation – indefinitely – until I can take a stick and kill it.

It’s been a pretty fair run: 89 sales to some nice people, 99% of them living east of the Mississippi River, where I hardly ever go. (About one sale a month.) A nice fat PayPal account, for a time. 370 Shop Admirers.

 

 

Continue reading It’s QUITsy with Etsy

Are You Experienced? 10 Ceramic Skills Extenders

 

are you experiencedOnce I made a cup set in response to a Beginning Hand-building class assignment. The cups were rudimentary root vegetable shapes with wings for handles and I was inordinately proud of my conceit and execution of it. None of them stood up, having those pointy little root ends and all, and – being a clay newbie – when they were bone dry, I bobbled the long skinny carrot cup and broke off a wing. The kiln tech at that time was a most helpful resource for me who has since gone on to be a teacher himself and I naturally went to him to get ideas about re-attaching the wing. Continue reading Are You Experienced? 10 Ceramic Skills Extenders

Stop Look Do

 

A front window of Good Life Ceramics,

A front window of Good Life Ceramics,

A few years ago, my friend and clay buddy John Albrecht sat me down and described his passionate idea for a new clay place. What he outlined back then was not just ambitious, it was a little outrageous. It would be a place, he said, that reached out to both clay diehards AND clay newbies. It sounded like my kind of theme park: excellent facilities, enticing projects for spontaneous drop-ins, members’ studio space and privileges, local clay artists available for consultations, date nights, movies, interesting flex hours. Oh, and a gallery with exhibits and work for sale. Continue reading Stop Look Do

A Lasting Impression: Hot Out of the Kiln for January 2015

KathrynTeacupTextureTiles

Textured porcelain hand-built teabowl with celadon glaze in front of three bisqued impressed texture tiles, all by Kathryn McBride.

 

Although I’ve done so a few times, I find it confounding to write about my longtime ceramics mentor,  Kathryn McBride, who died in February, 2012.  Later that year I wrote “What Dreams May Come” about receiving a heartwarming bit of understanding and resolution. Last year I wrote “The Apron” about taking on one of her physical mantles. Regardless of my meager written output, she daily abides in me physically, mentally and spiritually.

Physically: I have many of her tools and materials. And I use them!

Mentally: I call a woven basket she gave me her “In Basket.” It contains small trinkets of hers and when I really need to tell her something, I write it down and put it there, smiling to myself.

Spiritually: Her Christmas Card from December 2011 reappeared a few weeks ago, full of loveliness and hope,  speaking about the coming spring she did not yet know she would never see. Continue reading A Lasting Impression: Hot Out of the Kiln for January 2015

A Clumsy and Charming Circle Round

 

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Each year I spend a bit of time acknowledging my creative space: my studio. I call it the Annual Studio Re-Dedication and it’s as impromptu of an affair as it is sincere. This year it was both clumsy and charming, just the way I like it.

By way of prep, I clean up a teensy bit, taking note of what has physically changed about the space in the past year, as well as how I have felt in it as the seasons circled round, and the making moved through my hands.

I buy a bouquet, dig up some candles, gather some good smells, choose a nibble and a sip, cue perfect music and arrange a few meaningful objets as icons and talismans. Continue reading A Clumsy and Charming Circle Round

Extra! Extra! Hot Off the Press!!!: Hot Out of the Kiln for December 2014

 

dobbin

A couple of months ago I got interviewed in my studio about my work. A first for me. (Eeep!)

And photographed. (Quadruple Eeep!!!!)

For serious publication. (Total freeze with barely audible eeep.)

The article was just published in the toney Santa Cruz Style Magazine.  (OK, I’ll peek…) Continue reading Extra! Extra! Hot Off the Press!!!: Hot Out of the Kiln for December 2014

Giving Away the Milk, the Cow, the Pasture – Or Not

cowandpasture

The Facebook post asking about ways to increase sales hit me like a ton of foam peanuts. Soft, but hugely enveloping.

I watched the comment thread develop. Since it was from a delightful, intelligent group of solopreneurial women, it got more observant with each comment.

The discussion explored the rationales of offering small incentives – discounts, freebies, two-fers and the like – to one’s current and especially, prospective buyers, enticing them to buy.

Then it hit me: this is NOT small! It is the crux of nearly every trading decision. It is as ancient as any marketplace. What makes it a Deal? Continue reading Giving Away the Milk, the Cow, the Pasture – Or Not

Spicing It Up: Hot Out of the Kiln for November, 2014

 

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A few years ago, I tried my hand at a handful of ceramic spice tins.

It was a premature and unfocussed effort.  While those sweet works eventually found homes, in my artist’s heart they were close but not fully realized. They were something I needed to circle round to again.

I could be more patient. I could be more handy with my materials. I could be more.

Happily, just in time for the season of flavors and family, of memories and good smells, may I present my more? Continue reading Spicing It Up: Hot Out of the Kiln for November, 2014

Sitting One Out

 

 

Works of Elaine Pinkernell, Hank Scott and Paula Prekowitz

Works of Elaine Pinkernell (on wall), Hank Scott and Paula Prekowitz, with Weller ceramic basket and faux poppies on left.

Last fall, during the 2013 Santa Cruz County Open Studios, I determined that I would not be applying in 2014.

For the best of reasons! My older son Roger had proposed to his love Cassandra and they set the date for early September 2014.

Their wedding would be in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, a whole wide country away. I knew I wanted to focus on that wedding and not have the pressure of a looming OS season right after.

From the get-go that decision created a heady freedom and rapidly led to taking a conscious Full Year Away from active applying and showing. (I kept two shows: the annual Association of Clay and Glass Artists Palo Alto Clay and Glass Festival in July and an invitational  three-artist gallery exhibit in July-August.)

I went deep into my studio practice, redefining my path. I observed the hell out of the year’s cycles and refined my core values to lead me into action again in 2015. Continue reading Sitting One Out

Still Life with Chainsaw OR …Cans Have Meanings: Hot Out of the Kiln for October 2014

Still Life with Chainsaw

As a maker of ceramic cans, I have to admit the idea for a Can o’ WhupAss has crossed my mind more than once over the past several years. But, I hesitated. Would it be Too Obvious? Too Crass? Merely Clever?

So, I never went there.

Then, almost inevitably,  a canny collector (pun intended) casually asked me if I had ever done that.  I admitted to having always wanted to, so she spurred it on, asking me to make not one, but TWO Cans o’ WhupAss for her, my design. Continue reading Still Life with Chainsaw OR …Cans Have Meanings: Hot Out of the Kiln for October 2014

Proud New Member #34585

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Of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America! With Full Rights and Priviledges!

Yes, I sort of backed-into this membership – and that is another story of internet intrigue and connection – BUT,  the better takeaway is that it is proving interesting. Continue reading Proud New Member #34585

The Artist Goes to Her Son’s Wedding: Hot Out of the Kiln for September, 2014

 

RogerandCassandraWeddingShot

 

The kilns have been cold for over a month now. The studio barely opened.

There were life-changing events beyond my creative corner to prepare for and hasten to! They involved traveling to New Hampshire and dressing up. They involved meeting a bunch of  folks, new and old,  eating occasions aplenty, fascinating new sights, and tears of joy. Continue reading The Artist Goes to Her Son’s Wedding: Hot Out of the Kiln for September, 2014

The New New Kiln: Hot Out of the Kiln for August, 2014

Last January I took glad delivery of Blue Tsuru, my ginormous front-loading L and L Kiln. I think I  mentioned it on a webpage I no longer maintain. You might remember. It looked like this:

BlueTsuru-1

 

She was placed, leveled, wired-up and test fired.

Things went wrong.

Irrevocably. Continue reading The New New Kiln: Hot Out of the Kiln for August, 2014

Keeping Your Drain Unclogged With a Homemade Clay Glop Trap

HomemadeClayTrapGraphic

 

I have no running water in my studio. I like it that way. Being a ceramic handbuilder, I work fairly dryly and clean up often, but, even for me,  there comes a time when the water bucket needs changing. And, if you didn’t already know, clay and ceramic materials make serious sedimentary glop.

For over a decade, I have drained my bucket carefully into a sink (usually the kitchen because there isn’t one in the laundry or garage) and taken the slippy gloppity-glop stuff out to the trash and wiped the water bucket out with a rag,

I coveted Gleco Traps and even The Cink , thinking that when the laundry room got reconfigured, I would install one or the other and be relieved of a certain sort of well-founded guilt.

So, yes, it was just a matter of time for the kitchen sink to clog due to my slovenly clay glop-dumping ways, even if I was careful. Continue reading Keeping Your Drain Unclogged With a Homemade Clay Glop Trap

Second Annual Tales of the Festival

 

ACGAPAClayandGlass2014Booth23

What follows are my lovingly-curated observations from Booth 23 at this year’s annual Association of Clay and Glass Artists Palo Alto Clay and Glass Festival.

Making my best artwork and supporting it with improved booth infrastructure, perfect prices and personal stamina is always a challenge.  And this year I almost did not make it at all as younger son Max fractured his pelvis and needed surgery to place pins in it only a week before. But he quickly got better, it worked out and make it I did.  It was a rewarding weekend in so many ways beyond the satisfying sales figures.  I enjoy collecting the stories to share with you, so, as I did last year,  here are the Tales of the Festival II. Continue reading Second Annual Tales of the Festival