How are you? Spring is slowly arriving in West Michigan. I am still wearing a down jacket when outdoors with Leo or in the kiln shed. My family teases me about it but I really dislike being cold. Today, I am in Scottsdale for my grandson’s 5th birthday. I took an early morning 3 mile walk. It was 74 degrees at 7:30 am. A nice change from Michigan.
How many emails do you receive on a daily basis? I am trying to reduce the number that float into my personal and business accounts. One of the emails that I enjoy are quotes by famous people. Today’s were by Judy Blume and Albert Einstein. What do they have in common? Creativity.
Albert said, “I am enough of the artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
I love this statement. Many years ago, I read an article by one of the deans at MIT. She wrote that when reviewing student admission applications, she always looked for students who were creative. She knew that a creative student would figure out how to have a successful academic and future adult life. She wanted individuals who would think outside the box. Clearly, Einstein agreed.
When I look at art, most of the time, I am amazed at the artist’s ideas and execution of them. What triggered the idea? How did they decide what materials and tools to use? Are they happy with the end design? When you are looking at a painting or sculpture, do you ask yourself these questions? If you do, it might help you “see” more, even want to talk with the artist. Guess what? Almost all artists love to answer questions about their projects. Don’t be shy. Send them an email or message.
Handmade pottery makes casual snacks special. Homemade guacamole and Pico looks great in these dishes.
This spinach and sweet potato recipe is great any time of the year. I made the Slow Cooker Chicken recipe on a Sunday when we wanted to go to the beach and were also hosting Sunday dinner for the family. Everyone loved the chicken and potatoes. Plus, there were leftovers for later in the week. The Orzo salad is just in time for spring asparagus.
Spinach, Sweet Potatoes and Feta Cheese Veggies
Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Chicken
Have I mentioned that I am moving? I am very excited to be designing a new studio and residence. When I order clay, I usually order half a ton. It arrives in 50 pound boxes. As I age, those clay boxes are feeling like 75 pounds. They are delivered to the end of the driveway on a pallet. I put the individual boxes into the back of my car. Then, I drive the car further down the driveway and carry each box into the studio. I keep telling myself that this is a good workout and keeps me strong.
My new studio will have be arranged so that the clay can be dropped right inside my studio. So, instead of moving the boxes twice, I will only have to move them once upon delivery. Plus, my kilns will be located in the same room. I won’t have to go outside to access them. No more frozen fingers for 6 months of the year. After I get organized in the new space, I am planning to offer classes for 1-3 individuals. I will have dedicated showroom space for you to look at available work.
So, what am I working on right now? Tiles for my new kitchen. Large serving bowls that will be for sale online and at a couple of sales this summer. I plan to make beach cups and mugs, too. Plus, some new squared forms. Over the winter, I took a couple of online ceramic courses. You will be seeing new designs based on my interpretation of those courses.
When I was in Portugal last year, we talked about how you need 10,000 hours to attain the necessary skills to consider yourself good at something (whether it’s a sport, art medium, or musical instrument). Then, another 10,000 hours to hone those skills and begin creating your own style. Last week, I mentally added up the hours that I have in clay. Using round numbers, I am over the 20,000 hours. I believe that Portugal provided the time for me to discover “my” clay path. I love that my ceramic pieces now reflect my life close to a large body of water with wonderful sand dunes. (Lake Michigan). The forms are always evolving. 20 years ago, my work had an Asian influence. I would like to combine those earlier forms with my current beach vessels. Hmmmm…..
These squared vessels will have my beach glaze over this decoration on the outside and either a Matt black glaze or my sunset orange shino glaze on the inside. I am excited to get them fired.
Just in time for Mother’s Day, free shipping. Michelle Courier’s original paintings are discounted by 25% through May 14. Have a look at our earrings and necklaces by Lochlin Smith. Women of all age groups enjoy wearing his jewelry. Just think, you could send the gift of handmade pottery that reflects our waterfront!
Please reach out to me if you need help choosing a piece of pottery, painting, or jewelry. Thank you for your interest in our art.
Take care, Cyndi