I've spent the last few days smoothing bottoms, grinding woogies, sorting, pricing and packing. Most of these pots are destined for stores: the Holiday Pottery Shop, a pop up store I participate in with about a dozen other clay artists; Portland Pottery's Holiday Sale; Summer Island Studio; and of course Kennebec River Artisans.
Lots of butterdishes in this load! Also mugs, and mixing-sized bowls. I may grab a few minutes to take better photos of my favorites this afternoon.
The mad Christmas rush starts early for potters, and ends early, too. It's too late for me to make work for this shopping season, so I am relaxing a bit, and making soap. It's also too late to sell soap for Christmas, as it requires at least a couple of weeks, even by the quicker process, to cure. I give it as gifts to family and friends. I've made two batches so far: a Kiwi Lime that turned purply-brown - in my impatience, I think I had the batch too hot - and a much more successful Coconut Bar. They looked like this:
Soap is like ceramics, in that it's all applied chemistry. Making soap is also like soda firing specifically, in that I can do everything the same and get different results, and like soda firing, this is both a good thing and a bad thing.I'll probably make a couple more batches before coming back to clay: the stretch between now and the end of February is fun for me because I can concentrate on making larger, more detailed pieces, like the Bustier Baskets, because I am deadline-free. (Also nearly cash-free, but that's another story.)
Today is all pricing and packing for the Portland Pottery event, which opens tomorrow night. The sale is open to the public Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the 13th, 14th, and 15th. If you're in Southern Maine, check it out! If you are closer to Gardiner, maybe you'd like to visit the Holiday Pottery Shop, at 287 Water Street.
Lori Keenan Watts (aka me) is a potter, gardener, and avid reader from Augusta, Maine. Though I started my university education in surface design for fabric, clay quickly grabbed me by the heart and redirected my creative impulses. I have been a potter for over 25 years -- hard to believe. The most valuable years of my ceramic education were spent in graduate study at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, under the tutalage of Dan Anderson and Paul Dresang.
My aesthetic is guided by my love of the material itself. What fascinates me and makes a pot compelling for me is the clay-ness of clay: the squooshiness that becomes the adamantine solidity. I also like patterns, unexpected proportions, and when the flame comes along and dissolves part of my careful decorating efforts! I am obstinate about this aesthetic, to a point which might be called pig-headed, but hey, if you don't like what you make, why bother?
My happy little family also includes my husband, musician and photographer (and author of the book Alewife) Doug Watts; five cats; and a turtle, all foundlings and rescues of one stripe or another.