Holiday Sale / Open House 2014

photo 2

Our annual Holiday Sale is this coming weekend (December 6/7) from 10am - 4pm both days. We have been working tirelessly to set up a great shop space filled with handmade gifts by local artists. At the sale you will find beautifully crafted bags, scarves and pencil cases by Toronto-based textile designer Fionna Hanna, quirky and thought-provoking original artworks by fellow Hamiltonians Sean Gadoury and Caitlin Eady, hand illustrated letterpress cards by Papillon Press (Westmount ON), and of course, lots of quality porcelain pottery by yours truly. Along with several sizes and shapes of mugs and bowls, this year I've designed brie bakers, serving trays, wine cups, spoons, creamers and more - you will find something for everyone!

Come visit and cross some of those names off your shopping list, check out the new studio and enjoy some refreshments!

Thank you for shopping handmade this holiday season, and for supporting your local artists. (:

The Crawl

I've been an official Hamiltonian since February when we moved into the old general store, but I never truly felt one with the Hammer folk until September's annual Supercrawl. I must begin by expressing my love for Hamilton - I have long been a fan of this city and the people in it. I have fostered many relationships at the Ben Thanh, enriched my life through programming at Cathedral Place on James St N, and the monthly art crawls are always on my calendar. The city is full of life and love, excitement, entertainment and best of all, art.

supercrawl 2

"Art is the new steel!" they say of Hamilton, ON. Once the home to a booming steel industry, the city is now a hub of arts culture and events, live music, street performance and craft beer. It is home to hundreds of galleries, vintage clothing shops and specialty food stores that sell cupcakes, organic goods and vegan smoothies. Every month James St N hosts an art "crawl" where the studio artists open their doors to the public, galleries put on sweet spreads, buskers serenade the passersby and vendors spread their wares across picnic blankets.

In September, the street completely shuts down to host Supercrawl, a weekend long crawl that brings in traffic from across Ontario. This is the crawl of all crawls. Art is hung on every alleyway wall, fences are decorated with chalk art and graffiti murals, large installations take up intersections and at night there are acrobats riding giant tricycles that shoot flames into the sky. Over 150,000 people descended up downtown Hamilton to share the experience. supercrawl I had a booth this year, to start my relationship with the city as a TRUE Hamiltonian. The feedback from the crowds was excellent, the weather (if chilly) was merciful, and I even got to play some music with my band inside the beautiful Cathedral.

Thanks to everyone who helped make Supercrawl an enjoyable and successful event!

Kitchen: Old and New

The kitchen is, in my opinion, the most important room in the house. Not only is eating an essential requirement for life, but it's pretty enjoyable too. I love entertaining; preparing a delicious and wholesome meal for my friends and family fills me with the utmost pride. I revel every time I successfully make a new curry, or pan of rosemary focaccia bread. Eating is one of the main reasons I make functional ware. It is a delight to serve great food, on great pots. So, naturally, our kitchen was the first room we finished after moving to Jerseyville.

Here's Jesse and Alicia on our first night in the old kitchen (note the atomizer for removing wallpaper).

IMG_5130

And here's our new abode.

IMG_5222

Thanks to shelving (and the pantry from my childhood laundry room), we can fit all our stuff into this wee kitchen.

Foundation

One of the most important things I learned this summer is how crucial comfort is to the efficiency of a studio. I've never thought of myself as someone with high standards, but I have come to appreciate a few simple things that I feel are necessary for an inspiring and enjoyable studio space. 1. Running water.

2. Vertically accurate table heights.

3. Natural light.

4. Heat.

Over the summer I slowly migrated my ceramic belongings to my sister's townhouse basement, where my studio will be located for the next phase of my pottery career. The room is spacious and ready to be covered in clay.

I have shelving. I have a handmade step stool to reach the top of the shelving. I have a rocking chair. I have a sound system. I have a glaze kitchen (ish). I have tea, and a mini-fridge. I have a brand new wheel. I have packaging, boxes, and bags. I have clay.

 

IMG_4087

 

IMG_4090

I have acquired a work table at a vertically accurate height. I have running water. I have heat.

I do not have natural light.

Electricity will have to do. Next trip to Home Depot = lights, and lots of them.

Flying

The summer has been passing by before my eyes at lightning speed. I have only have four weeks left in Wiarton, before I head back to the big city and try to make it on my own. The past few weeks have been filled with visitors, weddings and other wedding-related events, firings, pot-making and planning for the end of the summer. I have barely had time to sit down and read Game of Thrones (a novel I have been slowly getting through for over three months now), or play my piano - I just can't keep up! IMG_3732I will be doing another wood firing at the end of August, with four other potters in the Hamilton Potter's Guild. So, I have decided that it's about time I start making some mugs - as they are the most purchased and most intimate pottery item, along with bowls. Before working for Tim, handles always scared me, and as a lover of handle-less cups, I rarely ever made mugs. My customers have always been disappointed, "How am I supposed to hold it?!" they ask. Apparently, some people don't like toasting their fingers when they drink their coffee (though I argue you are more likely to burn your mouth if you hold it by the handle) so last week I happily conformed and started cranking out some mugs.

Of course, I couldn't help myself, so I HAD to make some mini mugs - perfect for your morning espresso, a shot of whiskey, or, if you want to make medication fancy, you could knock back a swig of Buckleys. Who knows where these little guys will find themselves? Once they're out in the wide, wide world, anything could happen.

 

IMG_3701