It's almost December. My sister called last night telling me of hanging some animated ornaments that she hasn't used in years, at least 15. She called her neighbors with young children. They had a great time watching the ornaments open, close, etc. It has been such a long time since we have had little people at Christmas. I am considering once again whether to put a tree up. With running a gallery, managing rentals, and a home; I have my doubts. Do I enjoy having a Christmas Tree or is it set up out of some perceived duty? Who knows, depends on the day. I have new ceramic work buzzing around in my head. Two sets of dishes to complete in January and 5 tray orders to get made. An order is bisqued, ready for glazing, and firing early next week. Instead, I think about new ideas, patterns, shapes. Why do I procrastinate? I keep looking at Josh Herman's work, remembering our glaze course at MISSA, looking at my work....... a baker that I made earlier this year The gallery has three holiday open houses planned. Glass Ornament painting this Friday. Then, two days of making clay ornaments. I hope that clients have fun making them. It will be interesting to learn about our community's desire for "making" handmade items.
It's Monday morning and the week of Thanksgiving. All of our kids and significant others will be joining us later this week. I have a long to-do list both for home and the gallery. However, I am pausing. I have to wonder if I am procrastinating. Yes, I am. Oh well. Maybe this is my way, of taking a breath. Long breath in; long breath out. I am continually amazed by the information on the internet. Some days I think it is too much and not good for us as human "beings". Then, I get caught up in learning about something that crossed my path. 20 years ago, I would not have been able to do this learning via my home computer. Tripod Wine Cup, Shang Dynasty Shane Norrie When I visit the Art Institute of Chicago, I always visit the Asian room with their Chinese Bronzes. I am drawn to this piece. Some day, I will incorporate something from this piece into my own clay work. It is rumbling around in my brain, waiting for me to puzzle it out. Another blog that I read is by Shane Norrie, a Canadian artist. I love his glazes and forms. So, it must be the texture from stampings or glaze, that I am drawn to. Because of the web, I can learn more about this information, and sometime, in the future, I will put it all together in my clay work. Ok, enough "learning". Time to get into the gallery. Put handles on mugs, check the bisque kiln, get an order ready for shipping, pick up produce from my local CSA (Certified Sustainable Agriculture), grocery shop....... Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Last week was a busy one for me. Getting the gallery ready so that I could attend my son's wedding. Writing notes. Making sure there was enough change in the till. Thinking about arranging for social marketing posts in advance. Re-checking notes to the artists who helped me out over several days. The list and tasks seemed endless. Then, I was out of time. Off to the airport. I always say "to hurry up and then wait". Your life is now in the hands of the airline. Who knows if you will arrive to your destination when anticipated or the next day, due to delays. I remind myself to be patient with everything and everyone around me. Relax. Enjoy the time processing thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head. Read. And of course, I have my ipad! The wedding was in Scottsdale. Land of sunshine and great bypasses. Check out this turtle. The wedding was wonderful. We have a new daughter-in-law who we love. I couldn't leave Arizona without visiting the Heard Museum. It has been years since I visited and had heard that they had expanded. Lots of great Native American art. There were pots from two thousand years ago and current artisans. I loved the wall of clay and glass totems. I can feel a new winter project percolating. I better write the ideas down before they evaporate to wherever lost ideas go. Time to get moving, work out, and head to the gallery. Tomorrow is Night Light and I need to decorate for the Holidays. Remember: if you like to cook, I send an email about every other week, with recipes and other interesting bits of information on the area and in the arts world. To sign up go to: http://www.c2cgallery.com/Site/Contact.html and please "Like" our Facebook page. www.facebook.com/C2Cgallery
One angle of our new space. I LOVE IT! Visitors have walked in and said "WoW! This feels great. Peaceful, beautiful, calm." I hadn't thought of those adjectives but when I look around, I realize that maybe this is the reason that I love walking into the gallery each morning. I am working on details still. Always details with running a small business. Inventory, cleaning, dusting, accounting, banking, advertising, social media. Oh, did I mention, that some where in all of these details, I am supposed to be creative and make my own ceramic work. The very strange thing is that I am more energized than I have been in years. Hopefully, my ceramic work will show that new enthusiasm also. Many of you know that I visited Vermont, a couple of weeks ago. Two days was all I had. I saw family members, visited friends, and popped into my favorite art galleries. I think C2C Gallery will benefit from this trip. We are adding a new jeweler, Lochlin Smith, http://www.lochlinsmith.com. I think his work will compliment Julie Sanford's work, http://www.juliesanforddesigns.com. We, also, will have new scarves created by Maggie Neale, http://colormusings.com. Both Lochlin and Maggie are Vermont artists who have many many years in their craft. New ceramics work is being delivered daily. Michael Kifer's work has been leaving the store quickly. I had to visit his studio to pick up more of it. Michael's work is bright, painterly, many colored, and in some pieces lots of texture. Josh Herman's work, www.joshherman.com, is all about texture. I met Josh about ten years ago in Robin Hopper's Glaze Course. Brian is in the gallery, this morning, so that I can write this note. I have a hard time focusing when I am in the shop; too many details and things to do. I can't quiet my mind. Upcoming events: Friday, November 2, 6 - 8pm. "Keep the Lights On". We are raising money for Grand Haven's Local Icon, the Lighthouse. It will be a fun night to purchase art posters by Christi Dreese, engraved bricks, and the chance to win a Jon McDonald painting. As we do on First Friday's, we will have wonderful live music. This month, Susan Picking is performing, www.susanleighpicking.com. Please plan to support this worthy cause and Have Some Fun! Image by Bob Walma Remember: if you like to cook, I send an email about every other week, with recipes and other interesting bits of information on the area and in the arts world. To sign up go to: http://www.c2cgallery.com/Site/Contact.html and please "Like" our Facebook page. www.facebook.com/C2Cgallery
We have moved the gallery and I am on to my next adventure: A fundraiser for our Grand Haven Lighthouse. Friday, November 2, 6-9pm. I am hosting an event with 10% off of all sales being donated to our fund. Throughout October and November, I will donate $1 for each new like on Facebook. Please help me build the fund to maintain our local icon. (Go to:www.facebook.com/C2CGallery) More event details to come! It will be a fun evening at C2C. Today, I am firing my gas kiln from my home. I have a to-do list started for my day. I plan to pause and create a journal entry using several items - tissue paper, glue, watercolor paint, maybe tea. I read Robert Genn's newsletter this morning and I would like to pass it on: Robert Genn: A remarkable old black and white photograph of Henry Miller, taken when he was living in Big Sur, California, shows a small room, almost a shack, fairly tidy, with books and a few of the simple staples of the writer's life--paper, pen and ink. But something else in that room has always made me curious. I wonder if you can find it? It's curious because I've had the same thing hanging up in all my own studios since my teens. I bought it in a junk store. It made me smile. It appealed to my feelings of power and my secret desire to control things. It's still here. Just now I dusted it off. It's a nightstick--a truncheon--I call it my billy club. I've never actually hit anyone with it. I always suspected Miller had it as a weapon to fend off the demons that often beset creative folks. I'm happy with that idea. Miller gave his fellow writers a set of commandments--eleven of them. Here they are, only slightly abridged: 1. Work on one thing at a time until finished. 2. Start no more new books. 3. Don't be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand. 4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. 5. When you can't create, you can work. 6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers. 7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it. 8. Don't be a draught horse! Work with pleasure only. 9. Discard the Program when you feel like it--go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude. 10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing. 11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards. For painters, I've always liked Miller's commandments except the first two and the last. In the first two, I'm a believer in multitasking--maybe multitasking is easier and more valuable in painting. But in the last, I think he would have approved, in our case, of putting painting above writing. Passionate people always put their main passion first, and he knew that. Goodness, he knew that. Even if we have to sometimes hit ourselves on the head with a billy club. I would add that this applies to potters, too. Have a good day. The kiln is at 1715. Have a productive day, in however you spend it. C2.
Construction - getting there We are getting there. I am excited to see our new space finished, with fixtures in place, and artwork displayed. My construction crew, Dave and Joe, have worked hard for two weeks. We are almost ready to move the artwork into place. I read today in a blog that I follow, "Put down the perfection mirror and just show up. It does a soul good". (Quinn McDonald). Well, we aren't going to be perfect for ArtWalk, but we will be open and exhibiting wonderful artwork by seven artists. ArtWalk opened yesterday at noon. I looked up and down Washington Ave, seeing the Green Venue Cones and the Arfwalk Dogs. Our downtown looks great! Our seven artists' work is displayed. Stop in and say "HI" at the new gallery at 104 Washington. Next week, we move, it will be a busy but fun week. I am going to show up and let it all unfold. "Island of Flowers", Voting # 4, Denna Arnold/Pam Suchecki "A Reflective Morning in Grand Haven", Voting # 210, Bob Walma "Anticipation", Voting # 78, Michele Gort "Greystoned on the High Court", Voting # 35, Kevin Collander "Deep Space Wheel", Voting # 30, Lee Brown "Walking on By...", Voting # 196, Christine Towner "The American Buffalo Leaf Hopper", Voting # 34, Penny Carpenter See C2C Gallery on Facebook at www.facebook.com/C2CGallery or our website at www.c2cgallery.com. We are located at 41 Washington and 104 Washington for one more week.
I haven't written on my blog in a long, long time. I decided it was time to resurrect it. We have had a fun 18 months in Harbourfront Place. Vera Armstrong, owner of Euroflora, has decided to retire. We are going to take this opportunity to move onto Washington Avenue, in Grand Haven. We will have more space for our artists and more working room for my work in ceramics. PLUS, the opportunity to have art classes. ArtWalk begins on Wednesday, September 19 at 10am. We will be hosting 7 artists in the new space at 104 Washington. They will be available through out the event to talk with you. The original gallery will be open in Harbourfront until we need to make the move happen. My plan is to close for two days, work hard with the help of fellow artists and friends, and re-open in the new space. I will let you know when that happens. In the meantime, stop in, check out our fantastic Michigan created artwork. Mostly Michigan. All friends though.
Handmade Spark - c2ceramics - Black Ceramic Tray Set with contrasting green highlightsI am working on getting my Etsy store up and running, now that C2C Gallery is fairly well organized. I have work in both the physical gallery and online at Etsy. Check it out.
I can't believe it is July. This winter I made the decision to open a gallery in downtown Grand Haven. Thanks to a small push by Tony Clennell. The name of it is C2C Gallery. It has consumed my thoughts, time, and life since January. I have thought about this for about four years. Check out our website: www.c2cgallery. com or visit the actual gallery.
Yesterday, a man came into the gallery. He was selling vibrating speakers. He asked if I would like to sell them in the gallery. I looked around the store and said "We only offer handmade items for sale here." The salesman said to me, "These were made by someone's hands and they are going to be a best selling item in the future. You can count on it. " He got me to thinking, I wonder if you know why I opened C2C. I was an accountant, working in a bank. Worked hard, week after week. Taking care of my customers and family. I never had time for a hobby. Just kept my head down, doing what had to be done. Then, I moved to Vermont. As a way to meet people, I started taking clay classes. I fell in love with making pots. I also realized that having handmade items in my life brings pleasure to my everyday tasks. The mug I use in the morning was made by a potter that I met over the years. The platter I use to serve fish was made by a special man, Robin Hopper, in British Columbia. Spin forward, 18 years. I am still in love with all forms of pottery and artwork. For most artists, they spend their days in solitude working their craft. It can be lonely. My favorite part of being a banker was talking with customers, getting to know them, and helping them. May 2011, I opened C2C Gallery. My plan: have a working ceramic studio where you can watch me work, provide a venue for artists to sell their craft, help you select artwork that you will enjoy for many years, and have fun talking with you when come into C2C. Video of Karisa performing on May 28, 2011 video by Bob Walma