Back from Penland

OK, I know it has been awhile since the last post. Embarrassing really. But I must press on. Besides, there are new readers who may be patiently waiting for this post.

A couple of weeks ago Marsha returned from her 4th consecutive Penland School winter residency. This one was for three weeks and, among other things, she delved into the world of silk screening and clay. Here are a few pictures.

Yoga poses on a lotus plate...
Yoga poses on a lotus plate…

No, you aren’t seeing double. These images were screened twice – once black and once in purple. These have been bisque fired and will most likely be glazed with clear in the final firing, which will make the image really pop! Of course, it is foolish to make a statement like that – we know that anything might happen in the kiln and this may be the last you hear or see of these items! Still, I remain optimistic and, I hope, will be able to post pictures of the finished product.

Below are a couple of pictures of a more elaborate silkscreened item. These were inspired by brother Frank, the mechanical engineer. The image is screened onto newsprint, coated with a white slip and flipped over onto the clay. Then the paper is peeled off, leaving the image and white background. The orange is applied to newsprint strips, pressed onto the clay and then peeled off. These were then fired in a salt kiln.

Engineering icon...
Engineering icon…
Another icon - this may or may not be the correct orientation...
Another icon – this may or may not be the correct orientation!…

Other items have been emerging from the kilns. Marsha has always concentrated on making comfortable and functional and visually pleasing handles. Check out the handle on the covered bowl below. It’s beautiful and feels great in the hand.

Large bowl with "wrapped" handle...
Large bowl with “wrapped” handle…
As Ricardo Montalban might say, "looks like fine corinthian leather"...
As Ricardo Montalban might say, “looks like rich corinthian leather”…
Another take on the "wrapped" handle...
Another take on the “wrapped” handle…
Check out that interior!...
Check out that interior!…

Not only handles and silkscreening… regular old pot throwing is still the main event.

Keep on turnin'...
Keep on turnin’…

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Yes, the inventory grows!

Marsha works away downstairs as I prepare for my journey to the roof where I will search out the source of a skylight leak. Yikes! But meantime the factory is in full operation and between snacks of leftover Thanksgiving a lot of pottery is being produced. So at this point I’ll insert a picture or two.

For those of you concerned about losing your grip on the alphabet, Marsha has produced a spectacular platter with all 26 (count ’em) letters represented in a striking font. All those letters and the flower were cut out by hand and appliquéd onto the rim. Check it out:

In case you're worried about forgetting your alphabet, hang this on the wall...
In case you’re worried about forgetting your alphabet, hang this on the wall…
Marsha the flowerchild...
Marsha the flowerchild…

This is posted on Etsy, though we don’t expect it to go flying out of the shop. Still, you never know. The details are quite something – little tiny porcelain “beads” around the rim, that little flower and each letter expertly cut and placed. Marsha did most of this up at Penland where she wouldn’t be subject to the usual nuisances of everyday mundane life.

Lets stay on the old-hippie theme. We did a bunch of these “flying brick” designs a while back and have resurrected them mostly because we have this new Rust Mamo glaze which really adds to that whole look. Far Out!

Cosmic...psychedelics are everywhere...
Cosmic…psychedelics are everywhere…

On the above and on the next photo the carved design is further accented with a black slip which is applied before the carving. So the carving goes through the black slip and exposes the bare clay. So here below are two more pics showing that technique.

Rust Mamo on a casserole with the carved "thumbprint" pattern...
Rust Mamo on a casserole with the carved “thumbprint” pattern…
Have your socks been knocked off yet?
Have your socks been knocked off yet?

Now to the swirl plates and bowls. These were quite popular at the Spruce Pine Potters Market. Those swirls are created by spreading on porcelain slip (basically liquid clay) with a spatula, very much like icing a cake, something with which Marsha has quite a lot of experience. The first one below with that fabulous Rust Mamo glaze is a good segue to the more down to earth item that closes out this fabulous blog entry!

Swirls...
Swirls…

Well, yea, there are swirls and also so much more. The glaze does the work here!

And, finally, a portion of a blue-green platter with that same swirl technique.

Swirls of a different color...
Swirls of a different color…
Another angle on the swirl plate...
Another angle on the swirl plate…

All these and a whole lot more are on Etsy with multiple pictures of each item for your viewing enjoyment!

Click here to go to our Etsy Shop (opens in a new tab or window)

Thanks you two! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

“Pasta Bowl” Turns Into “All-Purpose Bowl”

Amazing! The bowl we were happily selling as a “pasta bowl” has been transformed into an “all-pupose bowl” with just a few quick key-strokes. We know these bowls are great for just about anything, so why have such a limiting title? If it fits in these bowls, it will look good in them, and the polkadots on the rim make it easy to spot from accross a crowded room. Measuring about 10″ diameter by 2″ tall at the rim, they are big enough for a serving bowl, but not too big for individual portions of stew, veggies, pasta, and about anything else you can think of, food or non-food. Plus they are beautiful to look at, even empty.

Check out the glaze on one of these all-purpose bowls. Called “Rust Mamo”, it is a glaze that is flecked with golds and browns where applied thin and lighter oranges and whites where thick. Each bowl has it’s own look.

amazing Rust Mamo glaze...
The Rust Mamo glaze…
let's eat...
Let’s eat…

We have a slew of these and they look great individually or as a group.

Even the back is striking (don't look unless the bowl is empty...
Even the back is striking (don’t look unless the bowl is empty)…

I’ve arranged a few of these bowls into a gallery and, in theory, you should be able to click on one and access the larger images. We’ll see! The point is, they look great singly or in combinations or permutations.

Thanks for reading!

Spruce Pine Potters Market is Now Just a Distant Memory

Yes, we actually did make it to the SPPM with the van and pots and potters intact and ready for the show. Stayed at the Skyline Village Inn– a funky (in a good way) inn right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. It caters to everyone (including pets) but especially to bikers, and is owned and operated a couple who moved up from Charlotte. They do pretty much everything that must be done and always cheerfully. Our only regret was that we couldn’t spend more time there. We will return!

The Skyline Inn...we must go back under calmer circumstances...
The Skyline Inn…we must go back under calmer circumstances…a great place to stay…

But the show took up most of our time. Setting up all day Friday followed by full days Saturday and Sunday and then breaking down Sunday evening kept us busy. Saw old friends, made new ones. The space wasn’t overwhelming like many craft shows and since there were only 30 potters it was easy for the visitors to get around to everyone. Even the light rain on Saturday didn’t seem to keep people away. 

I wish I had some better pictures but here are a few that give a bit of an idea of what we were dealing with.

Marsha puttering in preparation...
Marsha puttering in preparation…
Note the planters on the pedestals...that's wheat grass growing in the Flower Brick of the Future..and we had three of those advent candleholders which sold quickly...
Note the planters on the pedestals…that’s wheatgrass growing in the “Flower Brick of the Future” (which did sell and was carried off enthusiastically with the wheatgrass still growing!)…and we had three of those advent candleholders which sold quickly…
A better view of the whole set up...
A better view of the whole set up and the advent candleholder…
Another overall view...alas, we never sold that cookie jar in the upper left...
Another overall view…alas, we never sold that cookie jar in the upper left…

Fortunately we had many fewer items to carry back home, though there are plenty of pots left. We are slowly adding some of these to our Etsy site (including three really nice cookie jars) in preparation for the holiday season.

Thanks for reading, loyal subscribers (yes, both of you!).

Contact us

 

 

Building Inventory for the SPPM

That’s “Spruce Pine Potters Market”, for those of my faithful readers who might be having trouble with the fierce pace of my blogging.  Yes, Marsha has been down in the factory busily making pots. The inventory is building!

More future mugs...
More future mugs…

And, though I have no photographic proof, I have been working on our booth display – trying to figure out lighting, table arrangement, etc. It’s a bit like going to the moon. You have to be sure to carry everything you’ll need or think you’ll need. Of course, unlike the moon, Spruce Pine has a WalMart just in case.

OK, let’s take a look at a few of the items we’re working on.

Unfired soap dishes...
Unfired soap dishes…
Tumbler with the Penland logo below the honey pots with, yes, that's right, Giant Bees...
Tumbler with the Penland logo and honey pots with, yes, that’s right, Giant Bees…

And check out this new glaze technique Marsha has developed. Beautiful fall color!

Casserole...
Casserole…
Have your socks been knocked off?
Have your socks been knocked off?
Always more...
Always more…

 

Yes, Hard to Believe

A new post! What happened to the idea of posting every two weeks? Well, let’s face facts. Sometimes a potter is just a potter potting – doing what she does best (well, actually, that carrot cake was pretty darn good – maybe as good as any pottery?) and there is nothing particularly thrilling or exciting to add to the already overloaded blogosphere.

Nevertheless, I do want to let my lonely reader know about the fall Spruce Pine Potters Market (hereafter known as SPPM) to be held October 10th and 11th in the sylvan setting of the town of Spruce Pine, North Carolina. This is a big deal for us since this show is exclusively for potters from the Spruce Pine/Penland area and Marsha has been selected as the “visiting artist”. An honor indeed. The below postcard will fill in the details. Plus, check out the website at: Spruce Pine Potters Market.

Just the facts...
Just the facts…

So if you happen to be in the area or are looking for fall color and want to drive to the area, come on down and see 30 excellent professional potters, including Marsha!

Yes, product is building up! A van will be rented, and since the mountain won’t come to us, we will go to the mountain.

Planters, pitchers, bowls...
Planters, pitchers, bowls…
Still a bit of room here...
Still a bit of room here…

We do have the best of intentions and fully believe and trust that we will post many of the items in the show on our website in a couple of months. Honest!

Penland Mugs

Marsha has made and fired the spring shipment of mugs, cups, and tumblers destined for sale at the shop at the Penland School.

A sea of mugs...
A sea of mugs, each unique and each decorated with the Penland logo…

 

Always more...
Always more…
Is this product placement?
Is this product placement?

 

Penland logo...
Penland logo stamped into a thin slab of clay, then appliquéd to the mug…

And now a bit of break from the mug/cup/tumbler production line.

Marsha's making molded frogs...
Marsha’s making molded frogs…
Ribbit...
Ribbit…

This, and many more like him (er..her?) may show up on just about anything.

OK, now things are getting crazy...
OK, now things are getting crazy…

Until next time…happy spring!

The view from the window...
The view from the window…

Back at Work

Just in case there is any doubt that Marsha is back at work – here she is throwing more pots–and right at this moment wishing that she was upstairs knitting on her sweater project.

Surrounded by pots...
Surrounded by pots…

Nevertheless the factory never closes!

Orders...
Orders…
IMG_0892
Orders…
IMG_0890
Orders…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, in case there was any doubt, we do have an inventory built up for the Etsy shop:

Yes, I do know where everything is...
And I do know where everything is…

And a slew of new items from the Penland R&D are on the Etsy shop. Come on down! www.etsy.com/shops/marshaowenpottery

About 30% of a slew:

IMG_0720 IMG_0821 6 1/4” diameter3 1/2” tall IMG_0803 IMG_0765 IMG_0764 Each side is about 5”2 3/4” tall IMG_0750 9” tall6 1/4” dia. at bottom

Home from Penland

They patiently await an uncertain destiny...
Remember these?

Yes, Marsha did return several weeks ago with an abundance of new ideas and new pots. I’ve put a few examples in this post. Some of them you may remember as bisque-ware from previous posts and many of these (plus many more) will be posted on our Etsy site in the next few days (OK, give me a week). Meantime, enjoy this taste and don’t blame me if you have a sudden craving for Oreos.

Those letters are individually cut out and applied to the thrown jar...
Those letters are individually cut out and applied to the thrown jar…
Soap Dish
The classic soap dish made from two different clay bodies.

These pots are all salt-fired. Salt is thrown into the kiln as it is firing. The salt vaporizes and is deposited on the pot, resulting in a radiant finish. In addition various stains and slips are sometimes applied to further vary the decoration (as in the example below.)

Casserole...
Casserole…

These are the sorts of projects that take a lot of time. The advantage of being at Penland is that there are few distractions and Marsha can work undisturbed by outside forces like, well, er, uh, her husband.

Marsha really got into fonts...Each letter was individually cut out of a thin slab of clay...
Marsha really got into fonts…Each letter was individually cut out of a thin slab of clay…
Another example of the multiple clay bodies used in one piece - in this case, a flower brick...
Another example of the multiple clay bodies used in one piece. In this case, a flower brick…
Another cookie jar, this one with a checkerboard background...
Another cookie jar, this one with a checkerboard background…

There must have been a shortage of cookies up there. Marsha came back with a bunch of cookie jars begging to be filled.

OK, now things are getting crazy...
OK, now things are getting crazy…
That's one tough monkey...
That’s one tough monkey…

Thanks for visiting!

Off to Penland

Finally the bowls for the bowl project are bisqued and ready to be delivered for firing at Claymakers in Durham.

Ready for color...
Ready for color…

Marsha’s been working like crazy not only on the bowls, but also in preparation for a three week winter residency at Penland School of Crafts. Lots of experimental items were made and bisque-fired here. They will be given the final firing up there, where she’ll have access to salt and wood-fired kilns. You can be sure she’ll return with lots of new ideas.

Unloading the bisque in the very cold...
Unloading the bisque in the very cold…
They patiently await and uncertain destiny...
They patiently await an uncertain destiny…
Flower bricks...
Flower bricks…

 

And so we bid adieu to Marsha as she heads off on an adventure at Penland. Fortunately, a friend carries her part way. That backpack of bisqueware is heavy, to say nothing of her clever wig disquise...Adios!
And so we bid adieu to Marsha as she heads off on an adventure to Penland. Fortunately, a friend carries her part way. That backpack of bisqueware is heavy, to say nothing of her clever wig disguise…Adios!