Meet "Crazy Eight," standing guard at the entrance to my studio – and this year's award-winning entry into Cambria's Scarecrow Festival. Made by Franz Affentranger, Crazy Eight is one of hundreds of scarecrows/sculptures lining the business districts of Cambria and San Simeon. In an award ceremony to kick-off the festival, Crazy Eight received a first-place award in the category of "Best Scarecrow Using the Unexpected."
The Scarecrow Festival will run through October. An annual event, the festival grows each year and now features hundreds of scarecrows and a full schedule of fun activities all month. For more on the festival, check out Cambria Scarecrow Festival.
I recently had the pleasure of congratulating a good friend on her retirement after decades of service to her organization. I say "her organization" because that's how she felt about the entity. She gave it her all and, though there were many changes to other faces and titles throughout the years, she always gave it 110 percent. Now she is moving on, and I'm so happy for her and can't wait to see what she does next!
It reminded me, again, of how lucky I am to be doing what I do. For the past 20 years, I've been working in clay. It's been a full-time occupation for the past decade and has brought me countless rewards.
My days are filled with art, love, laughter. I am a very lucky girl.
We had a fantastic time in the September workshops! Several of the workshop attendees asked if they could see photos of the finished results, so I managed to snap a few photos of most of the pieces before they were picked up or shipped out.
If you were in a workshop in September and your pieces are not included here, it's because they were picked up before I had everything sorted and organized. This is the first time I've organized the pieces by maker and taken photos. I'll do better next time!
Looking for something lovely to do this October? Visit Cambria for Open Studios Art Tour on Oct. 14-15 and Oct. 21-22. While you're here, you'll see hundreds of scarecrows dotting the town – part of our month-long Scarecrow Festival and Harvest Celebration.
Please stop in my new studio and gallery at 1601 Main Street when you're in town. On both Open Studios weekends, we'll have treats for visitors, tours and ongoing demonstrations.
When I decided to put "Lady Grace Vase" up for sale and donate all proceeds to help with Houston efforts, I was not prepared for how quickly my wonderful friends and collectors responded!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
My friend Pam Taylor from Sacramento replied within minutes of my announcement, and "Lady Grace" was soon off to her new home. The funds were sent to the Rotary Club of University Area Houston Foundation, which is distributing directly to the devastated areas of Houston.
I like thinking about all the TLC that went into making Lady Grace Vase, and how she helped earn some hope for Houston. Here's a peek at how Lady Grace was made:
The final workshop in August was such a blast. We had beginning potter/artists sitting right next to participants with years of experience, everyone learning and laughing together. Such a great time! Click on photos below to see complete image:
Scenes from our workshop on August 12-13, 2017. Enjoyed this group of creative souls so much!
I've found that most people feel a bit nervous and unsure at the start the first workshop day. By the end of the second day, everyone is cracking jokes and sharing ideas. The creative energy in the room is palpable.
A friend gave me a book of poems by Barbara Crooker and I've taken a deep dive into its pages. They are full of light and loss, shimmering with the beauty - and fragility - of our "ordinary" lives. This book sits on my desk and I have my coffee with it almost every morning these days. Sometimes, a poem will take my breath away and its words squeeze my heart.
Others, like the one below, inspire new images on my pots.
"Coming in from the Cold" by Barbara Crooker
We have used all our tradecraft
to erect barriers, create covers –
We've recruited networks
to protect us: legmen,
Our tools are fallbacks,
dead drops, letterboxes;
we speak in codes and ciphers.
Yes, we've travelled back alleys,
gone to the earth.
Now our safe houses are known,
our agents are on the run,
cover is blown skyhigh –
love is crossing the border.
Register now for a two-day workshop in my new studio. These are the last sessions of the year. No experience necessary!
We start at 1 p.m. on the first day to give out-of-towners a morning for travel time.
Thursday and Friday, Sept. 7-8
Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 9-10* Wait-list only
Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 11-12
Join my Studio Friends group now and get "First Dibs" on my online shopping events, plus other perks!