Thursday, October 15, 2009

Whimsical Women, Woo Hoo!

Last May, I visited the Whimsical Women spring show, held just west of Chapel Hill, NC. There I met many terrific artists, some I already knew.  I just didn't know they led secret lives--being members of this well known and wonderful organization.  (Visit their blog at:  Also, I spoke with Linda Palladino, one of the founders, showed her a photo of my cat fish, and described some of my other work.  She decreed that I qualify as a Whimsical Woman!  She could have said, Whacky, Way Out, Weird, even, but she said Whimsical--and I love that....

So I'll be bringing my work to their Fall show, held November 21 on the farm of Luli Sanderford (Linda's sister), in Winston-Salem.  Rain date is November 22.  Hope to see you there!

That's me, 10th from the right--does the red skirt make me look fat?   ;-)

Seriously, if you'd like an invitation, email me at: 

and I'll e-mail or snail mail one to you.

I've been working on large pieces for Carolina Designer Craftsmen (which happens over Thanksgiving weekend), as well as a good sized piece for the 12 Days of Christmas show at Benjamin Vineyards, here in Saxapahaw, where we live.  With Whimsical Women and another potential show (the latter later this month, yikes!), I just started making more small dogs and some teeny cat fish, which was so much fun.  

It's been a tough summer, what with the loss of our last horse and my father, but I  have been plugging along with my art, as my father said he wanted me to do.  I continue to think about him constantly, and have had the privilege of meeting many people along the way who have lost a parent.  They assure me that my reaction is normal, and it will take time to feel like myself again.

Although I am thoroughly enjoying making the big pieces, they are challenging and require a lot of concentration.  Not constantly--I do have periods of autopilot and spontaneity, but there is also plenty of brow furrowing.  But last night was like a little vacation.  I was grinning, laughing and, yes, even talking to the small dogs that were materializing from the little lumps of clay in my fingers.  Great fun!

So, thank you, Linda--I hadn't felt Whimsical for a while.   You gave me a wonderful gift!

Caroline and Grace are Born and Another on the Way

Bodyguard stayed in the kiln for three days, soaking up the heat and releasing any vestiges of moisture.  That was probably way more than necessary, but I wasn't going to take any chances.  As she was nearing completion and still drying and getting underglazed in the studio, I started two other pieces, but intentionally did not progress very far, since I need to concentrate on one piece at a time.

These pieces start out as a ring  and are built up using coils or narrow slabs.

Then I build up from there.

Caroline and Grace.  See?  You can tell where this is going, right?

This will be a middle aged woman cuddling her dog.

The third piece in this body of work will be an older man and his small dog.  It was inspired by a photo I found on Bill Owen's blog.  Check it out--you'll be glad you did.

I love his sense of humor and his beautiful photos!  Bill is clearly an animal lover; that means he's good people.

Here is the photo, in a post entitled The Old Man (and Old Dog) and the Sea, dated Sept. 6, 2007.  It really speaks to me.  Two old friends, very comfortable with each other--so quiet and peaceful.  We have a lot of dogs and most are around 50 pounds and up.  No peace and quiet here!

There is a little work to be done from the ring to the finished product.....which I plan to name Max and Gizmo.

At this stage, Max and Gizmo look like a tank top.  
The tops of his shoulders are going to have to firm up before I can continue.  


I often bring a real dog to the studio.  Usually it's Toby.  He's got plenty of toys there, but I still have to keep an eye on him, as he likes to eat clay that falls on the floor.

Typically, he spends the first part of his stay playing with his toys, then looking out the door for squirrels and other visitors.

One of our many avian visitors, photographed through the front door. Last year it was a flock of guinea fowl.  This year it was this rooster.  Why they would hang out in a yard with barking dogs (albeit fenced in) is a mystery to me.

After a while, Toby's ready to call it a day.  He's not terribly concerned about my deadlines.

Mom, are you almost done?  I'm bored.  Bored, bored, bored, bored, bored.