Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Hello Everyone,
The studio is still open and stocked up for great presents! Call ahead if you want to be sure there is someone here to let you in or just pop by and ring the doorbell and if we are home we can let you in the tiny gallery:) 
call for address and directions or google trial by fire pottery

the photo is of sunlight bouncing onto the wall from my beautiful pottery jug

Thursday, November 28, 2013

december 7th and 8th

hello out there, this is the big weekend, all of my lovely pots will be outside of the gallery and tastefully displayed in a relaxed environment, the show is free to attend and if you bring a friend you recceive 10% off your purchase

Tral By Fire Pottery
8th Annual Solo Pottery Show

saturday december 7th
the show is in the clements centre
@ 5856 clements street,
duncan, bc
one block west of the library, beside VIU

sunday december 8th
the show is in the clements centre
@ 5856 clements street,
duncan, bc
one block west of the library, beside VIU

Monday, October 21, 2013

Winter Show Schedule

November 2013

Saturday 2nd
Duncan Farmers' Market 
Ingram Street, downtown Duncan, BC

Saturday 9th
Duncan Farmers' Market
Ingram Street, downtown Duncan, BC

*Thursday 14th and Friday 15th
Christmas Chaos
Island Savings Community Centre, James Street, Duncan,BC
12-8pm both days

Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th*
Christmas Chaos
Island Savings Community Centre, James Street, Duncan, BC
10-5 both days

Saturday 23rd
Duncan Farmers' Market 
Ingram Street, downtown Duncan, BC

Saturday 30th
Duncan Farmers' Market
Ingram Street, downtown Duncan,BC
9-2pm (unless we freeze to death ;0)

December 2013

Saturday 7th
Trial By Fire Pottery's 8th Annual Solo Pottery Show
@ the Clements Centre
5856 Clements Street, just off James street in Duncan, BC

Sunday 8th
Trial By Fire Pottery's 8th Annual Solo Pottery Show
@ the Clements Centre
5856 Clements Street, just off James street in Duncan, BC

I will endeavour to be at the Market as much as possible and will post any changes or updates on this blog page. If a customer would like to visit the Trial By Fire Pottery Gallery in Duncan, BC, in person when i am not at a show, do email me, call the house or facebook message me and we can make an appointment. For some of my very far away customers, i am always happy to take a photo of a group of pots i may have and emal it to you, simply let me know what you need (ie. mugs or a teapot) and i will send a shot of what i have. Below a photo of the black bear Ethan and i met on the way home from a friend's house this afternoon, on the bike. cheers :)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

when do i have enough pots for the show?

I have been making some very specific pots lately. time is very limited and i have both orders for customers as well as seasonal show preperation. the work i make for orders is always waiting for sixty other pots to join them in the kiln before they can get fired. this year i set out to make batches of specific pots so i would have a wide variety when the craft show season started. i didn't do the local show (christmas chaos at the local rec centre) because i was 9 months pregnant when it was on and had the forethought to know that i would either be HUGE or post partum and not in show shape in either case.
     I have signed up for "Christmas Chaos" at the Island Savings Centre on James Street in Duncan, november 14/15/16/17. The show runs from 12-8pm thursday and friday and 10-5 on saturday and sunday. This year we have a new challenge. Toddlers and breakables are an intense match espeially when i will be trying to pack in about 200 pots and there will be at least 150 other folks packing in their stuff at the same time. More details to follow....  :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

best baked oatmeal ever

in lovely baking dish mash together  (no need to dirty your other pottery bowls)

2 ripe bananas
1/4 cup warm butter
1/4 cup brown sugar or honey
1tsp cinnamon
3 cups yogurt
2 eggs

add and stir together well
3 cups large flake oats
2 tsp baking powder

let stand 1 hour
bake at 350 for 45 minutes
will be golden at edges and set up in the middle

**you can replace 1 1/2 cups yogurt for 1 1/2 cups water: tastes less rich and cheaper to make
also if you don't want to leave the eggs at room temp; stir them in just before you bake**

my little man ~now ten months old~ carefully ate all of it and NONE ended up on the floor!!
store in little servings for a quick healthy meal 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Day to Day

this studio pottery life has seen such changes in the past year. our little giant baby has found a way to be covered in clay for the first time today as he was crawling around and got stuck in the shelving beside my wheel. his squeal brought swift action from potter momma and i rescued and reassured him without thought of my muddy hands. daddy noticed right away when he got home from his ride that giant totty was showing signs of getting a little too close to the mud. 
we negotiate about everything. i can 'buy' some blocks of time from parental duty during naps and by trading time with race-training-hubby. i buy small blocks of time from totty by doing chores in the garden and yard later in the day so he sleeps a bit earlier, that way i can spend some time later in the evening down in the studio.
today i threw a huge bowl (5 kilos) in two stages-- one while he was amusing himself on the floor with the spatula--and two while totty and daddy were having special play time just before he went to work---the clay was centred in the first sitting and then thrown a few hours later and even later yet i went back down and took it off the wheel and trimmed the bowls from yesterday.
such a sweet life

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A New Kind of Study

The studio is such a part of my daily life that it is almost an extension of my body. i walk in and start the clay rituals without thought. i swirl my hand through the clean water bucket to saturate the large cleaning sponge and wring it out. i wipe the canvas wedging table cover and breathe in deeply to imbibe the wet clay smell. i open the plastic sheet that covers the wet shelving and gently nudge the pots from yesterday to assess their stiffness. Each studio day starts the same way and leaves me open to spending time there, or these day, not spending time there.
My little man does enjoy his play-saucer in there with me but for short periods of time and then requires me to abandon the work at any time to see to his needs. The real learning lately has been how to balance my time among the garden, studio and baby. It goes without saying that the little dude comes first, followed shortly with my need for sleep as that enables me to be with him more fully and peacefully when we both wake up.
There are three bowl orders on the go right now, two for regular customers and one larger wholesale order for Hilary's Cheese Cafe in Cowichan Bay,BC. i am also working on a new line of knitting bowls that have swirly cutouts for the yarn to spool through. Some of the challenges with the cut rimmed bowls have been interesting in that it has pushed my throwing to concentrate on a slightly more substantial lip so it does't warp in the kiln with pieces of the lip missing.
Being a mom has changed my life in a lot of ways, it is cultivating patience and teaching me to operate on very little sleep. It has shown me what can be accomplished in the studio in little snipets of time if the plan is laid out and 'worker' dave is ready to take on the entire responsibility of the tot when i need more time. If there was one special thing i have learned that i didn't think i would it is how to take a bit more care of myself! I have finally learned how true the old saying is...."if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" and that the opposite is also true. When i get a sweet nap or sleep-in morning, the whole system ticks along like it was planned, fresh bread appears, dinners bubble in the crockpot and laundry marches up and down the stairs as though it was commanded by Mary Poppins herself--- long before CGI.
ps i did indeed just knit those little boot/ my spare time :)

Monday, April 29, 2013


I spent a few more hours in the studio last night and was thinking on the word 'gratitude'. I was downstairs with hubby looking after settling our little man into his crib, i completely trust him and our house, no bombs whizz by in the dark and i trust almost everyone i meet.
i was standing on legs that are strong and straight, my soul is wrapped in care, all the bills are paid and planned for and my bed is warm and clean.

we were up in cumberland on sunday, dave was invited to do the road-bike-leg of a relay race called "snow to surf" and as he looked at a friend of his also doing the race he realized that he was lined up to race against Peter Reid (the several time ironman world champ).

i was walking around the forest pathways with our little guy and the dogs and enjoying the magical town that cumberland has become. a few people had an idea to build a fresh new town out of the ghost town, a town made of bicycles and local food and love. go ahead and laugh that it was a town made out of a kindred spirit but my prana was charged back up walking around reading chalk graffiti that said "know peace, share love" and "the world is a beautiful place".

we drove home safely to our own house and put the diapers in the automatic machine that cleans our clothes. i was building up two teapots that i had thrown a few days earlier, trimmed the day before and was now caressing the clay into the very best little teapots i know how to make.

the man who had asked race dave to help out in the event, offered that he and i and our baby stay with them for the night! when we showed up they welcomed us warmly and gave up their son's bedroom to our little family (including the dogs). we ate their food, used their bathroom and were shown such lovely respect that we were deeply honoured to be their guests.

I actually had a lump in my throat as i listened to the parents talk about how proud they are of their children, now grown and gangly, right in front of them. i love people that have absolutely no pretences. they are so genuine that you can actually see the warm sunshine right through them and i feel honoured to be warmed by them.

as i age, one pot at a time in the studio, it becomes more and more apparent that to give is better than to receive, not on a mental or physical level, but on the soul level. when hubby gets up and brings me the breast milk monster for the 6am feed and then takes him out for a play time so i can sleep for half an hour, the rest of the day i feel my prana reaching out for ways to repay that simple kindness.
warm cookies sit cooling now on the counter, baby is asleep and the grey cat is curled up on our grey carpet. the dishwasher is started, the radio plays softly and i practice sitting up straight while i type.

i know that i have time once again, in the studio tomorrow to throw mugs, that tomorrow will bring more opportunities to create, to love and to laugh, to watch our little man learn to roll over, to feel his tiny soft finger tips against my skin while he sips our shared milk.

i know that i wax poetic about my simple, blessed life, but there is a lot more to it. i, we, struggle and snap, we have time-outs in the corner, rage rides to gain perspective and harsh words are exchanged but if we leave our thoughts in that place- we not only look for that but that is what we see. i have lived a few years of both and creating your own peace in as many moments is a truly sweeter taste on the soul.

Friday, February 15, 2013

One week with my sister

The pottery studio has been quite secondary lately because I have had some complications after the cesarean section and have gotten sick several times in the past three months. We had prepared as best we could with freezing extra meals and keeping a very simple life of sharing chores and diaper duty. I got sick again a few weeks back and texted my sister that I was having an emergency surgery later that day. We have a system in our family that if one of us has important news they can let one person know and that person will let the others know. I am the youngest of five kids.
The surgery went well and I sent another message to say I was out and back at home to recuperate. It was really stressful trying to restart the breastmilk and hard to relax when we had been sick and felt better so many times only to get sick again. I got a text from my sister that she would catch a flight from Edmonton in a week and come help out!
She could only stay a week as she is taking a course at U of A so she planned to make the most of the time she had and started a shopping list and brought recipes with her. I didn't know what to say to such a generous offer and I was a bit unsure of how she would adapt to life with a baby in the house. I went to pick her up and laughed that we almost couldn't put her luggage in the car with the dogs and the child seat. We stopped off at the grocery store on the way home and filled out her shopping list. Before dark that first day she had roasted three chickens, one huge ham, yams, and made a slow cooker of chilli. It was stunning to see and if she wasn't stirring something's she was holding Ethan while I rested of had a shower.
The week went by very quickly and hit the climax when she and I hiked up to the first lookout on Tzouhalem with Ethan. The last day she was here we hiked up Cobble Hill and had such a great chat then went to Drumroaster for snacks afterward. She held Ethan through coffee and he was so relaxed in her arms that he fell asleep before we could get him to the car.
Daddy Dave has always wanted a minivan and the rule was that we weren't getting one because we didn't have kids. We had our little giant in November and tried to buy a carseat for him prior to his arrival which, of course, would be in the rear facing position. We had to purchase one to take it outside and see if it would fit in the car. It did not, so we had to take it back a few minutes later. W finally floundering one that would fit in the car and ended up taking the little guy home in it but found it a bit hard to clip him into. We moved the straps to the largest settings and Ethan grew too large for it when he was five weeks old so we were again looking for a carseat.
He has been in a large carseat for a few months but that meant that in our car either of us could just barely fit in the seat directly in front of the kids seat.
This amused my sister and she and Dave hatched a plan for us to go test drive vehicles while Morgan watched Ethan. We found a good deal, and excellent interest rate and a very generous trade-in for the car and brought home a minivan. It was quite easy to feed the baby and then pop out for errands with her here and I could be very relaxed that if I was needed back before I was due back, she would text me and I could return ASAP.
Since she left, we have been eating a lot of the approximately 75 meals that she made for us and appreciate each one. We are sending cute photos of us eating as often as we can via email with a note of thanks. It is such a sweet feeling to be loved and cared for by someone who really didn't have to fly out here and whip up a plethora of food, in just the right sized frozen portions.
I appreciate it so much.