28 April 2008

an army of good deeds

new small vases
these will be available this weekend at the fourth & clay sale

Hello Friends, Hello Monday,

As you can all imagine it has been a very emotional week for my family and me. My sister is trying to hold up though the stress of losing everything. Having to decide on what to keep and what to throw away because she only has "so much" rented storage space has been an overwhelming experience for her. She is doing her best to keep her spirits up but it has not been easy.

The bright spot in all of this is that so many of you have been so supportive both with kind words of encouragement and also with financial donations. I can't tell you how much this means to us and how helpful it has been.

Thank you so very much!

I am gathering my own little troops (as seen above) in order to help fight the good fight and sell as much as can so I can give a helping hand to my big sis and her family. These little guys will be available this upcoming weekend, May 3rd and 4th at the first annual fourth & clay seconds (and firsts) sale. Also all the money that I make from selling off my seconds will go directly to helping my sister and her family get back on their feet.

If you are in the neighborhood (the greater bay area neighborhood) please do stop on by!
There will be lots of great deals on seconds plus top notch firsts as well from fabulous Ceramic Artists, Rae Dunn, Josie Jurczenia, Whitney Smith and myself as well as handmade cosmetic bags from Susannah Schnick (they bring a little bit of naughty into nice) and Nancy La Rose will be selling her beautiful handmade re-purposed leather purses.

In addition to all the lovely things to buy there will be a "live mural production" happening on the outside of the fourth & clay building by Mel & friends.

We hope to see you there!

P.S. For those of you who can't make the sale I will be posting some of the small vases in my online shop as well. I will let you know as soon as they are in the shop and ready to go.

21 April 2008

hello sunshine

a study in yellow
for sale here

They have arrived friends, my new small vases!

My new vase molds were delivered a couple of weeks ago and since then I have become a vase making obsessed fiend! I made this grouping of small vases inspired by my dear friend Lisa Congdon, her love of yellow and this photo she took of her golden hued goodies. Hard pressed to break up the happy family of vases (they really do belong together don't they!?) I am selling the whole shebang as one piece. The money made from the sale will be passed onto my beloved sister to help her and her family get back on track.

Putting a little sunshine into someones life....Now isn't that what yellow is all about?

Also I have a featured studio visit on Design*Sponge via Jan of Poppytalk. Hop on over and have a look, there is a little interview too! Thanks Jan & Grace!!

19 April 2008

a little help from my friends

my sister & me

Dear Friends,

Last night my big sister, Eva called me with very bad news...Her house caught fire and burned down yesterday afternoon. Luckily she managed to get out the house safely and my niece, Jenna was in school so no one was hurt but everything they owned was lost. She and her daughter are suddenly homeless and to top it off my sister is in between jobs.

I am doing everything possible that I can to help.

On May 3rd and 4th I will be participating of a spring sale at the lovely fourth & clay studios in Berkeley. Josie Jurczenia, Rae Dunn, Whitney Smith and myself will be selling off our seconds and also some firsts as well. Susannah Shcnick and Nancy La Rose (sorry Nancy does not have a website) will be selling their beautiful hand made bags.

I am going to give my sister the proceeds from all of the seconds that I sell at the sale to help her out and I also plan to sell some things online in an effort to raise some money for her but it will take a little time for me to make that happen. In the mean time she is in desperate need of
any assistance possible.

My sister is my hero. She has always been there for me in any time of need, safe guarded me throughout my childhood from all the potential hazards that youth presents and has continued to be there for me well into my adulthood. She is a brilliant, strong and capable single mother of two who has worked tirelessly to make certain her children have the best. I know she can pull herself up from this disaster but right now she really needs a helping hand. She will eventually need "things" to refurnish her life but at the present moment the basic necessities of food and shelter for herself and her daughter are her main concern. I have set up an account in her name where donations can me made directly to her to help her get back on her feet. Donations can be made via paypal at this email address evacarrender@yahoo.com.
Please state "fire relief" when making the donation.
If you would rather not send money via a paypal and would prefer to send a check
please send them to:

Eva Carrender
P.O. Box 3104
Santa Clara, CA 95055

Anything at all would be so greatly appreciated.

Thank you so,so much!

For those of you who would like to buy something from me to help out please come on out to
fourth & clay on May 3rd and 4th. I will have lots of seconds and discounted calendars for sale and also some new things never seen before!

I will keep you posted for my online sale to help raise funds for her so please check back.


12 April 2008

say cheese

two large platters, sixteen small plates and one cheese maker

Amidst the long hours I put in at my studio, the never ending lists of things that need to be done and the moments when I feel crushed by the responsibility of it all there are times when it all comes together in a perfect moment of harmony and I am reminded that I am in the exact place that I want to be.

One of the reasons why I do what I do and make what I make is not only because I have a deep fondness for objects of beauty but also because I enjoy the relationship aspect of making things that become part of peoples lives. There is no joy greater for me than hearing from people that somehow my work has touched them. It's awfully sentimental I know but hell I don't care, I am sentimental.

It can be something as simple as eating their yogurt out of one of my tea bowls in the morning. Or one of my favorite stories... A few years back a women came up to me at one of my sales and told me she had bought some of my small tea cups from me the previous year. She said that her husband had become quite attached to a specific one and at the end of the day he would go up on the roof and have his evening sip of whiskey from it. It was "his" cup and was not to be used for anything else. When I think of him using one of my cups for his own private ritual (and for whiskey, which I have a weakness for) I feel like a part of me is there with him in that quiet reflective moment.

So when David (see above photo) an Artisan cheese maker and owner of a fine cheese company in Southern Oregon called Rogue Creamery, telephoned me back in late January and asked me to make two large platters and sixteen small plates to use for his cheese service I was delighted. The thought of my work being part of something that was so precious to him and his partner and would be an integral part of people coming together immediately pushed the sentimental button in my heart.

David drove down from Southern Oregon to pick up his plates and platters this week. I set them all out for him to see before we packed them up in boxes. He walked around the table and looked at everything with a great attentiveness and sensitivity. We talked about the flowers and fruit images I used. Me naming them and him responding with things like "oh hazelnuts are so delicious with cheese." (I had drawn a hazelnut branch on one of the plates).

A part of me drove off with David back to Oregon and even though I won't be at his cheese parties in person when he and his guests are nibbling thin slices of Lavender Cheddar and salty pungent bits of his Crater Lake Blue off of my plates I know, along with the delectable cheeses and the warmth of the guests, that I will be part of the life of the party.

This is why I love what I do.

08 April 2008

standing tall

pin vases

Last week while I was quietly working away in my studio I got a call from Luba at Mudfire Gallery. At first when she said she was calling about my work my heart sunk, the shipment I sent for the show had just arrived the day before and I thought she was calling to tell me that there were some damaged pieces. She quickly quelled my fears and said "No it is good news! All of your work has sold could you send us some more?" I stammered and stuttered something like, realllly...but the show hasn't even opened yet!? Then she said "yes, collectors and early birds often come by the gallery before the opening to scoop the new works." And scoop up they did, Holey Moley!! Needless to say I have been floating on a cloud. I have had many a show and have had some fabulous successes and some heartbreaking failures but never before has this happened to me.

If that wasn't enough the next day I got an email the from the ever talented Julia Galloway inviting me to participate in an amazing group show in October and there is other show news on the horizon but I can't talk about it just yet.

And that is not all friends!

Check this out...Juliet of The Broken Plate got her "paws" on one of my plates that had been brutalized by the postal service and made some new beauty from the destruction. They are just fantastic (if I do say so myself) and they are available for purchase here.

Oh and one more thing. I have been working on updating my Ceramic Blogs list. I've added many new people to it who are doing some wonderful things. I have been astounded with the explosion of folks out there now blogging exclusively about ceramics. When I started this blog just two years ago I could count on one hand the ceramic blogs that I could find
in the virtual world. It is so nice to have access to so much diversity and to hear about other peoples experiences as ceramists.

Have a look.

05 April 2008

line & color

work for Line & Color

I wanted to let you know the Line and Color show opens tonight at Mudfire Gallery.

I love what gallery owners Eric and Luba have to say about the show.

"The goal of the ceramic artist is to create a compelling surface that reinforces and draws from the form, without simply covering it. The process begins with three dimensional design with an eye toward eventual embellishments. The canvas's creation itself presents not only aesthetic but technical decisions. Mineral oxides, glass formers, fluxes, and refractory materials are blended to achieve the desired effect. Like the master painters of old, the artist must also source and process materials to craft their pigments - stains, glazes, terra sigillatta, lusters, overglaze, and other studio arcana. At the end the work is ready for a magical transformation as the intense heat of the kiln plays its own tricks and wizardry, boldy claiming for itself the rights to the final appearance.

To paint on clay is to be equal parts alchemist, technician, gambler, and artist. The artists selected for this exhibition collectively express the stunning diversity and vitality that clay is capable of as canvas."

If you are in the Atlanta area do stop on by. Sadly I wont be there myself but if
you do go please say hello to Erik and Luba for me.

Happy Saturday!

02 April 2008


blue pears & the bird
18" platter

So do you remember this post? I promised I would be back to show you some magic... Ta da! Here it is!
The finished platter.

I also wanted to chime in and talk a little bit about process sharing. Seems I opened a can of worms with the platters progress post. I received many an email asking me what exactly my process is and to explain it. I admit that it may have been misleading and that it might have looked like I was giving a tutorial but in fact my intention with that particular post was to share with you what goes into my making one of my platters and was not intended, in any way, to be a tutorial. So if you write (or wrote) to me and ask me to give a detailed explanation of my process and I respond by saying no, please, please don't be offended. I ask you keep in mind this is my livelihood. I have had a handful of bad experiences with large companies and individuals knocking off my work and stealing designs so putting it ALL out there is not something I am comfortable with. Besides the magic would be gone if I revealed my tricks.

I know it sucks to get a reply denying your request when you are well meaning and asking a question out of enthusiasm because you are inspired by what you see. Believe me, I feel awful writing back saying no I'm not going to tell you what you would like to know.
So let's not make
each other feel bad anymore, okay?
No more dreaded question and no more dreaded answer.

One kindly inquirer suggested I write a book about my process and I thought it was a great idea. Maybe someday that will happen and if it does I promise I will write a very juicy tell all.

P.S. A special thanks to those of you who did write and ask and so graciously accepted my response and wrote back to me saying you understood. I truly appreciate it!