Friday, July 14, 2017

Future Plans for the Newsletter

It came to my attention (from various companies emailing me) that I would need to create a sign up system for my customers if I want to send out a note about my studio plans. Sooooo I emailed everyone that i had stored away in my contacts (like a goofy squirrel) and asked folks to let me know if they wanted to be on the new list. 

I send out a few emails every year to let my usual customers know which craft fairs I will be attending and which galleries are showing my work. You can email me to be added to the list if you like but I have already purged out a lot of expired contacts and will be starting the new list from July1, 2017. 

Thank you for keeping my pots and little studio in your life:)
Hilary

Monday, June 19, 2017

Summer 2017 Studio Plan

I wanted to post the plan for my studio for the summer so folks looking for me at the Duncan Farmers' Market would have the info to easily find me. And perhaps find that perfect handmade wedding gift or funky coffee mug that is sturdy enough to drag out into the garden or give to their dad. 

I will be putting fresh pots into my display at the NEST every two weeks. The shop is at Whippletree Junction just south of Duncan on the highway. Turn left onto Bench Road if you're heading south and turn right on the exit just north of Koksilah Road if you're headed north. Our lovely artisan collective is open 10-5 every day! 

I have had a little display of 5 mugs at Coffee on the Moon for almost 10 years and that will continue. Just a note here that the owner doesn't take any money off the art sold and hung in his coffee shop! 


I will be in the studio on the weekends and most evenings so if you need a special gift you can always email me or call me and set up an appointment. These evening studio times are my making time so I will have lots of fresh pots for the fall and will not be so pressed for firing time as the fall shows start up. 

(PS the super funky jug will not likely survive to get into the kiln...)
Trimming the 'squared' baking dishes by hand before building the handles on them.
Freshly thrown wet bakers on 12 inch batts.
Night studio shot.

Dinner set work headed to Vancouver.
Travel mugs all glazed and ready to carry around to the kiln.
Priced, tagged and ready for the Nest Collective.
A very rare two of a kind.
Plate set for a customer who took them to New Zealand with her.
My display at the Nest Collective at Whippletree Junction.
I spend Saturdays in the studio and when I come up for lunch, this is what hubby has made the kids and I to eat:) The twins are 18 months old and Ethan is 4. Dad is a grown up so we don't need to count his age in months. 









Friday, May 26, 2017

Tony Clennell Workshop June 17 and 18 in Cowichan at the HUB

Hi Everyone! 

I will be the host for a two day workshop with Tony here at our beloved Clay HUB Collective in the beautiful Cowichan Valley. I am looking forward to it and I wanted to share the information here but the best source is to go the www.theclayhubcollective.weebly.com where you can sign up via email to theclayhubcollective@gmail.com 


There will be a potluck here at my home on the Saturday evening 6-9 and a "no-holds-barred" critique with this master pottery who has given workshops all over the world, so if you bring your best pot to show him he can give you some feedback:) 
Should prove to be an amazing workshop and (not to worry) I have hired a babysitter for the kids so there won't be two 1.5 year olds under foot or a 4 year old riding his bike through the HUB studio;)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Spring 2017

The gorgeous trees around our new house drop quite a bit of junk into the gutters so we all headed outside to clean up the mess on the first day that was 15degrees.



The matching sweaters from Grandma! So cute and they wash up nicely after a lovely romp in the garden boxes. I started some lettuce and spinach before the small ones broke the glass...twice. 



The siege was tamed by hubby's lunch preparation. I walked in from the studio to find lunch ready and a quiet gang of kids!  It is a daily treat to use my own handmade pots.


I was asked to make a cutlery drainer for Jenny (the face book friend who guessed correctly that my pots will be at The NEST:) so I made about a dozen or so and then had some fun with the slip trailer! 



I was setting up a system to allow my gallery in Tofino to choose the pots they wanted without having to drive all the way here. This was the overall photo I sent.


This was the plan: I would sort out 10 mugs, stack them in 2's then take a photo. I sent a photo with a number on the email then the gallery owner would call me and I would take the mugs out of the lineup and put a little tape mark on the ones she liked. Then move them onto the 'done' table and repeat. The light bulb was for size reference:)  We worked through 6 emails this way and it went very smoothly. In the end, I packed and boxed up about a dozen and paid the postage to get them to the far side of the island. 
 
We both felt that the other person should pay for the $18 shipping (she suggested I 'give' her a free pot to sell to cover the postage) The final result is that she decided to no longer carry my pottery....not a problem as long as she pays me for all the pots that are already there.....All the risk is on the artist with consignment as the postal system will not insure my work and it can sit without selling forever and sometimes getting it back can be a hassle. I am in the market for a new gallery in Tofino 60/40.

So....I wedged and threw this monster to focus my energy toward something useful. 

I just love this close up of my glaze and handmade bicycle stamp. I love mugs, making them, using them and mostly seeing folks find the perfect one for their loved one to use everyday. Quite a few people have bought a 'move out' mug for their college bound kids and it actually brings a tear to my eye. 


I will have some travel mugs ready around the beginning of May....they are wrapped to dry super slowly as I work through the steps on a few more (slowly, lol) then egg cups and little saucers......

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Nest Collective. My (Graceful) Pottery Studio Evolution

It is time to change. I suppose it is always time to change but now is time for a large change for my tiny pottery shop. I have been making pots since 1996 (when I graduated high school and dinosaurs roamed the earth ie: there were no cell phones....) Hubby and I moved to the Island in 2006 and I started to make pottery for my livelihood selling mostly at the Duncan Farmers' Market with a slow gathering of regular customers and students that would come to the studio. 

So much has changed since those early days with totally endless studio time. I have gotten a lot more disciplined both in the pots that I throw and in the way I use time. I have a 4 year old and twin 1 year olds that are a huge part of my every day life. We also moved out to Cowichan Bay in the spring and LOVE it here. 

With so much change comes more change. During the first year of being a mom to twins, I took a huge step back from making pottery. Not so much as a choice but simple time management dictated this. When we moved, I set up a brand new studio and kiln shed (reusing the old materials) and I was able to find the time to prepare for one craft fair and my first open studio (10th annual Christmas sale) which were both a wonderful break from the day-to-day at home. 

The studio time was refreshing and sweet for my soul. It makes me a better mother and wife. As our new time opportunities begin to shine through, we are planning out this year and have come to a few conclusions. I need to use the Saturday time for making pottery instead of being at the Farmers' Market. I am able to sneak away a few times a week during the twins' nap or later in the evenings but a bigger block of time is needed to do larger jobs like loading the kiln or glazing a batch of pots. 

The big announcement is this. I have been accepted to join the The Nest Collective as a partner artisan!! I have signed a contract for a space and will have my pottery availlable there for the year. I know it will be a huge change for all my customers and I think it will be an excellent one. 
The Nest Collective is open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm and is loaded with really neat artisan booths that are stuffed with vintage treasures and original art. I have rented a booth at the bottom of the stairs and encourage everyone to stop in and have a look at their leisure. Take Bench Road if you're heading southbound on the highway then follow the frontage road around to Whippletree or take the exit to Whippletree just after Koksilah Road if you're heading northbound on the highway. My official start date is February 1st but I have been working on getting all set up as soon as my time will allow.....twins;)


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

FIRST ANNUAL OPEN STUDIO SALE (ten years in...LOL) PS: WE MOVED

December 10 and 11, 2016
10AM to 5PM both days
4695 George Road
Parking is limited so please park beside the post boxes on Wilmot and walk up the 50 feet to the studio.

This is such a different year from the last ten holiday shopping seasons. Since 2006 I have been ramping up to warp speed in September with frequent firings, pottery packing parties and endless driving to shows. (I can't haul enough pots for a craft fair on my bicycle trailer) This is the first year I have taken things easy and decided that I will remain calm and allow space for my little toddlers inside the craft fair show circuit. It turns out that that looks like one craft fair (Christmas Chaos under the big stick in Duncan) and an open studio sale. 
Knitting bowl dipped in glaze but not fired yet; neat light and shadow.


Since moving out to Cowichan Bay, I have fallen madly in love with my new studio space. I have several major differences that will finally allow me to host the open house at home. My old studio was inside three doors, which was fine but I didn't want to have customers in the way of the suite occupant. The new studio is larger in that all the sections are all together (previously I had a throwing studio/glaze area/gallery space/kiln space all separately) so I will strip out the extraneous studio equipment and put up a nice display in my working studio. The hall rental fees will be used on advertising instead so I can reach lots of people (the clements centre became unavailable a few years ago). 

An open studio sale can be really fun and it allows me to be active in the studio while the show is on so I can make a few pots or do studio chores. The best part is that I take 10% off all the pots in the sale! 

December 10 and 11, 2016
10AM to 5PM both days
4695 George Road
Parking is limited so please park beside the post boxes on Wilmot and walk up the 50 feet to the studio. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

New House, New Plans

We have successfully moved out to Cowichan Bay and into a new routine. I am making a few pots here and there but mostly I spend my time working with the relentless twin schedule. I have been up all but two nights since December of last year ( it's July) and still have to be awake and parenting our three year old by 7 am.  
The new home has a fully operational pottery studio rebuilt from deconstructed reused studio equipment from my last space and a brand new shiny kiln shed. There have been little bursts of pottery related effort and I still have a list of pots that folks have asked for but the studio has slowed down to a glacial pace. 
  
I have not been able to attend the Farmers' Market in July but should be back in August with a few pots.
Some are skeptical. 

Feel free to call for an appointment to pop by the new studio.