• Getting ready for the New Year




    Brian and I went to Chicago this past week to see my son and his girlfriend. We also had tickets to hear Elvis Costello and Alejandro Escovedo perform in the Chicago Theater. Alejandro was awesome. Costello was ready to rock and roll. He played by himself for over two hours with seven different guitars. His voice was strong and he was very present on that stage. So wonderful to see some one at the top of their art form. I spent an entire day at the Art Institute. They have some marvelous exhibits showing currently. Tapestries and Ancient Oriental Bronzes, plus an Aztec exhibit. The tapestries that I photographed spoke to me. I won’t be surprised if some of the information translates into my work this winter. I hope every one enjoy the next two weeks with family and friends.

  • Its almost that time of year…….

    We had our Guild Holiday Potluck last night. So, very nice to be with other ceramic lovers, makers, and practitioners. I have only been in this group for a little over a year but am feeling welcome. A couple of the members ask me well formed questions about my plans for the future. These questions are helping me guide my ceramic business.

    My friend, Bob Walma, has produced a video of me making of a vase. It has been an interesting process. I was apprehensive about doing the project, looking at myself, and hearing myself talk. You learn a lot about how the world views you. For me, very un-nerving.
  • Reminder at Tony Clennell is coming to Grand Rapids in January!

    Tony Clennell from Ontario is holding a two day workshop at Grand Valley State University on January 21 and 22. He will demonstrate large utilitarian pots that become display pieces in the Living Room. Other items, along with marketing ideas and life as a potter, will be discussed. On Saturday evening, Tony will share his slide show of his residency in China. This workshop will provide you with new knowledge, ideas, and enthusiasm for your work. Please contact me at cyndicasemierceramics@gmail.com for a registration form.

  • Oh, a few more new pots.


  • Pots hot out of the kiln!






    I am almost ready for the UICA sale! Unloaded the kiln. Photographs are done. Boxing and pricing still need to happen. It has started to snow here in West Michigan. It is beginning to look like winter, much prettier than the grays of November. Drive safely if you are in this area!

  • It’s almost December, but here in West Michigan its 50 degrees!

    With every firing this month, I have been inserting small star ornaments. I will package them into sets of three that will be for sale all this month. I sold out of them at my last sale.

    This weekend, in between visiting with family and friends, working in the studio, I moved the furniture around in our living room. My dogs have found that this move has been very enjoyable to them. I moved the area rug so that a corner of it is in front of the fireplace. They love it! This morning after checking the kiln, I found them in front of the fireplace waiting for me to start up a fire, just for them. “Mom, would you pleasssse, light a fire just for us? Pleasssssse.” Of course, I did. I tried to take a picture but they hate cameras. Instead, you have a photo of ornaments. Tis the season!
  • 10% Loyalty Discount

    I am offering a 10% discount to anyone who reads my blog. You can purchase through my Etsy account that is connected to this blog.

  • A healthy ego


    “Art is the elimination of the unnecessary. A healthy ego, whether genuine or affected, builds confidence in what you do. The extreme egotist thinks he’s doing just fine, no matter what. “If I spit,” said Pablo Picasso, “they will take my spit and frame it as great art.”

    As I am glazing today for my next firing, I can’t help but relate this statement to my glazing. I usually have a plan for how I am going to glaze a pot. Sometimes, I change my idea mid glazing and am always disappointed with the results. My original plan, probably, would have had a better outcome. Many times when working, my pieces are better when they are spontaneous. I need to practice not letting my brain take over and just let my intuition and experience direct me.
  • A morning walk


    I found this discussion interesting by Robert Glenn, a painter, writer. So, I thought I would pass it to others.

    A morning walk-

    Even though we are back on Standard time, the mornings are still dark. I enter the studio at six, open the email and give yesterday’s paintings the casual glance that tells what the previous evening could not. Stepping out into the mist with Dorothy, we catch sight of hurrying raccoons–two adults and two young-of-the-year–silhouetted for a moment by the last electric light before the forest.

    Fog is snagged like Halloween on the high cedars and firs, their tops disappearing above. Below, the familiar path winds darkly through the cathedral, the forest floor musky as truffles and wet with dew and the eyes of autumn spiders. A Winter wren notes her privacy from a snowberry bush. Somewhere up ahead a Barred owl calls and a nearer one, perhaps an errant mate, calls back, overlapping in a higher, more ladylike return. Then I’m wondering if it’s the female owl whose voice is deeper.

    This morning we have no flashlight or camera or brush–it’s a time of thought and feeling, a time for the day’s plans to unfurl. Dorothy runs doggedly off leash, her map of odours confirmed by her superior nose–she needs no light to travel. Perhaps this will be the best of her day. Maybe mine, too.

    It seems our brains don’t do their best when pressed into service or called upon to produce. Walking, resting, even lathering shampoo are apparently the better times for thinking, especially thinking ahead. Recent research confirms that the best thinking happens when we’re mildly engaged in something else. Something pleasant, routine, distracting. In the institution of the time-honoured walk, the best ideas are issued in the second half. Feet wander. The mind does, too.

    We return via the busy roadway where commuters are now releasing themselves to the far away city. Their hands are on Starbucks, their ears on traffic reports or the hands-free for their stockbrokers. As dawn truly breaks, engines hum their thinking mantras toward the highways of commerce.

    Dorothy and I are dawdling. According to top psychologists, as well as Henry David Thoreau, Robert Frost and William Wordsworth, taking time for a walk figures things out and adds joy and efficiency to the day ahead.

    Best regards,

    Robert

    PS: “Spontaneous, wandering thought is now viewed by brain scientists as a critical aspect of healthy functioning.” (Mark Fenske, co-author of The Winner’s Brain: 8 Strategies Great Minds Use to Achieve Success)

  • Potter at an Art Fair