Saturday, November 11, 2017

Artisan Market 2017

I am ready to take my new wares to market. I have over 80 pieces priced and packed waiting to go.

There are tumblers....

Edgy bowls ....

and edgy plates, in sets of two, three or four matching plates.

There are trays in high fire terracotta...

and the Solar Eclipse 2017 series, square dishes in various sizes.

Whatever does not sell I will bring back and put out for sale in my OPEN STUDIO event in December. There will also be lots of work that is not new, reasonably priced, and seconds that are dirt cheap. I have already started setting up for the Open Studio - I get a kick out of playing store now and then.

Meanwhile, time to load. The market is tomorrow at the West Windsor New Jersey Arts Council.

Artisan Market

Friday, October 20, 2017

Chanticleer Garden in October


You would think by October there might be an end to garden exuberance, but not at Chanticleer in Wayne, Pennsylvania on the the 18th of October.

The weather was glorious, the slanting light of autumn perfect for photography and everywhere I looked there was color and creativity; nature and humanity in partnership to create perfect wonder.

It was the most beautiful garden I could ever imagine.

We began our own tour of the garden in the area around the house, the most obvious place to begin.

At one end of the house there is a porch with a fireplace, two rocking chairs and a view down the hillside to the more wild areas of the garden (top).

At the other end is a long narrow, shaded pool. Water trickles in at both ends from sculpted fonts.

Many pots of sizes ranging from the modest to the immense are all around, planted with combinations that surprised and delighted me. In fact the whole garden endlessly delighted me.

Craftsman and artists' contributions were everywhere, including many  benches where one might enjoy a restful and contemplative seat.

At the rear of the house are two cabanas flanking a rectangular swimming pool. Between the pool and the house a wild, grassy area was planted with a casual scattering of orange dahlias, tall stemmed purple verbena and other sun loving flowers.

There is water to be found in many places. This little stream is at the end of a series of stepped ponds. The leaves and flower pods from lotus plants, and friendly carp live in the pond just above it. The carp swam over to us, lifting their whiskered lips to the surface, no doubt seeking a handout.

A variety of sculptural water fountains provide refreshment for body and soul as we meander through the garden.

Here a rock bowl makes a tiny pool for some water loving plants. This mossy nook is on one of the many side paths that coax one to wander off the main ones.

There are both wide open wide lawns and thick wooded areas at Chanticleer, giving the contrasts of bright or dappled light, and hot sun or cool shade.

If interested, you can learn the names of the plants growing in the various habitats. This box has a style suited to its woodland location.

I was satisfied with just observing and appreciating the plants I saw, or speculating about them. Was this a hydrangea? Probably, but one I had never seen before.

My companion checked out a plant list for this rock garden and discovered it to be a thick booklet with photographs of hundreds of plants.

Very enjoyable for me were the many man made features along the way, such as this little hut, painted on the inside with animals and tree branches or this carved wooden foot bridge.

"The Ruins" are partial stone walls and chimneys artfully landscaped and also loaded with art, such as these stone messages, and five large and impassive stone heads in a fountain.

Yet another pool was at the center of the ruin, its black stone making the water table-height. Its massive size and dark depths within the enclosing walls were not easy to capture in a photograph, yet I tried.

My favorite man made feature was this bridge, a most unusual design, made of wood and metal.

Plants are incorporated into the design with a moss garden atop one side, and more plants in a low round window, and along the floor.

Chanticleer Garden is a spectacular place to visit. I have left much for you to discover yourself. I for one will be back, to see it in other seasons.

If in October, when flowers everywhere else are mostly just chrysanthemums and asters, there was still so much color and interest at Chanticleer...

what then what will it be like in spring or summer?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


In Provincetown with my Pappa

September was mostly a travel month, but during that time I signed on to the Artisan's Marketplace craft show at the West Windsor Arts Council for November. Then I decided to commit to a December open studio weekend, ordering postcards, signs and a banner for my own personal show in the studio.

along the Cape Cod bike trail

I anxiously began to figure out how much  time I could devote to clay before the the craft show. How much time am I "on," when my medication is working, how much time do I have left after family, social, music practice, boxing?

wine tasting with my sister in Truro

There were potted plants to bring in for the winter, summer clothes to put away and on and on - the usual chores and duties we all have in life. How much time is left for the studio?

an Edgy Bowl

It turns out I am spending a lot of time there. Just before the change of the calendar page from September to October, I was in the studio again and working with the last of the brown clay, my favorite for Edgy pieces, then moving on to terracotta for square plates and trays.

bisqued terracotta

As mid October approaches, I have fired the terracotta and am making tumblers with white clay. At the same time, I have been delving into my store of Hazelnut clay, and with that lovely, smooth clay, I have made one plate a day and what I call a platter every few days.

tall "Tumbling Tumblers"

So rather than be silent in this blog and appearing to be doing nothing, au contraire! I'm in hyper mode, and enjoying it too when I'm not fretting about my deadlines.

a plate and a platter on hump molds