Sunday, December 14, 2008

A great market and end of season!

Thank you to those of you who came by my booth at the Portobello Holiday Market! It was a great weekend and so encouraging to have people respond well to my work! I am hoping for equally as great responses for all those who bought my work as gifts on Christmas morning!
Thanks again and I'll post up-dates of my new studio space soon. For now I'm going to put my feet up and enjoy another glass of wine by the fire. Oh yeah, and I'll watch the snow falling outside too. Vancouver has now had it's official first snowfall of the season!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

First Hints of Snow...

Ahh Vancouver. I kept hearing about all the snow storms in eastern Canada and in the eastern States and I couldn't help but gloat a little. These two photos were taken today: December 11, 2008. It was a beautiful day and I only got to relish in it's beauty for the first hour of my day when I walked my oldest to school and then on my way to the studio. I couldn't help stopping by the side of the road to take some photos of the snow on the mountains. It was so crisp and beautiful, and, I tell you no lie when I say that there is allways a bush or plant blooming in our yard, year 'round. That would be pic #2...
Ok enough of the weather.

This weekend will be my last sale of the season!!! Portobello West Holiday Market, at the Rocky Mountaineer Station, Saturday and Sunday, 12-6! This is IT folk! That's all before Christmas, there will be no more! I thought I could squeek in a studio sale the following weekend, but NO, it won't be happening. Why? You may ask. Well, I am moving to a new studio down the hall and have to paint it up real pretty and homey before I move in. And then there's my darlin's 40th birthday coming up on the 19th. And then there's Christmas. Of course I am omitting all the shopping I haven't yet done (although I will be doing a lot of that at Portobello, mind you) and my kid's Christmas play to go to, a couple of Christmas concerts to attend and a few parties. So, yeah. I'll be busy. But before then, Portobello, and yes, there will be cake plates, teapots, poppy mugs with turquoise and Cardinal tree ornaments. So please come by and shop 'till you drop so I can buy my kids somethin' real nice from Santa.
Oh, and Merry Christmas. I'm sure I'll post something before then, but just in case.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Just in case you needed more convincing...

I'm shopping hand-made this year for the holidays; how about you? Click here if you need more convincing! (You may have to scroll down a ways, but usually it's well worth it!)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


It's time for a little pre-christmas etsy sale! Check out the latest and keep checking back often as I am up-loading new items almost daily! I'm moving to a new studio January 1st and the less I have to move, the better!

P.S. Local Vancouverites: I will be at the Portobello West Holiday Market December 13th & 14th at the Rocky Mountaineer Station from noon until 6pm both days! I've got lots of new work coming out of the kiln just in time so come on down and say hello!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Granville Island Visit

I admit that I had alterrior motives for heading over to Granville Island with the family today... I needed to drop off some more ceramics at the BC Gallery of Ceramics that had been special ordered by some of their customers. Since I spent 3 years being on Granville Island almost daily when I went to the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now called Emily Carr University), going there is like going home for me. I usually have to scout out my favourite spots at the Net Loft, and then it's off to the Market for my favourite beverage/snack combos. By far my favourite combos would be: a donut (has to be honey dew) and a JJ bean latte; a chai tea latte from the Granville Island Tea Company and an apple foccatia bread from Terra bread; or for the savoury lunch combo- a soup from the amazing soup place and a rosemary rocksalt bagel. So today, with family in tow, we went for combo #1 and I couldn't help noticing the amazing flowers while I was waiting for my latte. I managed to get some photos of their gorgeous holiday wreaths and bouquets that could inspire the Van Gogh in all of us. What a great way to start my busy week!

On another note, I wrote an article about 'blogging about clay' for the next BC Potter's Guild Newsletter, which should be coming out this coming week. I got emailed the rough draft on friday and I'm kind of excited to see it get published! It's the first article that I've written, and I really wanted to share some of the great resources I've found in my travels on-line with other clay blogs or websites! It's inspiring to read what other clay artists around the world are doing and I wanted to pass that along to others.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bird Sightings!

We have been watching the 'Planet Earth' series of videos lately- absolutely amazing footage of animals and plants on this beautiful earth of ours- if, of course, we can manage to keep it this way! The bird footage in the series has been great to see, especially the birds of paradise portions, where the male bird struts and dances around to try to impress the ladies! On my own bit of bird sightings, we went to the Parrot Sanctuary in Nanaimo, BC with the kids a couple of weekends ago. It is really unbelievable how many exotic birds have been plucked out of their natural habitat to become soon-to-be unwanted pets. The bird sanctuary provides a home with other birds as parrots live in flocks and like to be in the company of other birds. The birds are really loud but friendly- will say 'hello' to you when you walk into their space, but I really can't imagine having them in my own home. Furthermore, they often live for up to 100 years!
Anyways, the bird theme in my life has, of course, come out on my ceramics more recently. Since finding a baby bird that had fallen from it's nest in spring, I have been playing around with bird shapes on my ceramics. Some cardinals have recently appeared as a hommage to the cardinals I would see when I grew up out east. Also a couple of hummingbirds, a pheasant, and the little sculpture of a sparrow that I hope to make more of.

In other news I was back at the clay studio working away on the Christmas orders that have started to come in fast and furious... I also posted some new work on etsy, and hope to continue posting more images over the next week to have the shop well-stocked for the holidays.
The Portobello Holiday Market is coming up really quick so there will be more Cardinal Tree Ornaments finished in time too! Save the date: December 13 & 14, Noon-6pm at the Rocky Mountaineer Station- $2, kids free!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanks for another great Crawl!

Thank you to all those who came by for another great Crawl! It was great to see everyone come out- I lost count at how many people came by, all I know is that my studio was a lot less full than on the opening night ! A huge thanks to Miriam, my sister, Dean and Andrew- all key people who helped me out over the weekend to make it a huge success! I'll post more pics soon !

Thursday, November 20, 2008

a snapshot of what is to come!

Here's a snapshot of what will be available at the Crawl this weekend at my painting studio: 1000 Parker street, Room 350- around the very back corner of the building! Swing by and have a look- Friday night 5-10, Saturday 11-6 and Sunday 11-6! It's going to be a great Crawl this year- the studio is humming with artists getting their studios ready for people to check out their work! Hope to see you there!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Foto Fun!

So I gave picnik a try over the weekend. WAY too much fun. For those who have not yet been introduced, it's like photoshop for dummies- you can upload your photos from your computer or flickr and adjust the lighting/contrast, etc. It will be great for all those photos I've tried to take for my etsy site where the lighting is a bit off or the colour is too yellow. Now I can put them into the program and Viola! I can change that in a pinch.
Of course, one can get carried away. Or, like the photo above, the picnik shot isn't necessarily 'better', it just can create a different mood or effect than your original. You can make the photos a little more artsy or goofy depending on what kind of picture you upload. I'm about to start on Dean's, ahem...40th Birthday invites- should be fun! He is notorious for taking pictures of himself, and now he may regret that.
In other news I'm on the final count-down for the Eastside Culture Crawl! The studio is starting to look more like a gallery than a studio! So exciting! Remember: November 21-23, studio 350, 1000 Parker St!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's been a few days without my computer and I have to admit that I missed it. It was on a journey to Calgary with Dean because his new laptop didn't arrive in time before he left. There are usually a few things I miss about not havin' the man at home... he makes me coffee in the mornings, he compliments me on how great he thinks I look (even when I skipped the hairbrush and make-up routine) and he helps look after our boys, a real plus when I'm in the midst of my busy studio times. So I'm quite glad he's back for all those reasons and more. Single parenting would not exactly be my forte, I've decided. Kudos to all of those single parents out there who do their darndest to hold down the fort, and run a business at the same time. WOW is all I can say!

On another note, I have decided to just be at studio 350, 1000 Parker street for the Eastside Culture Crawl this year. I had thought that it might be great for people to be able to see my clay studio at the Mergatroid building, as every year I get all sorts of questions about where my wheel or kiln are hiding, but it's just too small a space for more than 2 or 3 people to check out my stuff at one time. So with the idea of 4000 people marching through the studio in 3 days, I decided I'm better off at the painting studio- lots of room there and it will be my last year in the space. Yes, that's right, I'm moving out of the building and come Dec 15th, will have 2 small spaces at the Mergatroid, one for clay and one for paint, right across the hall from each other. It's a shame, my painting space has been fabulous, but it's time to move on. My good friend Amy is also moving to another space downtown and so it wouldn't quite be the same without her there.
Well, I'm counting the days until the Crawl and am really looking forward to it! I've got one last firing and then I start setting up the studio! Will post pictures soon...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Just some of those great photos that got shot the other day.

A Huge thank you to Curtis for the amazing shots!
Also a big thanks to Tyler Payne for the new blog heading!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Congratulations to our neighbours down south of us, for the nomination of their new president elect: Barack Obama! What a victory! I followed the story on the news the other night and couldn't help but think about a little grouping of ceramic artists who pulled together to auction off their hand-made Obamaware to raise over $10 000 for his campaign! Amazing what people can do together under a common cause! A ceramic artist called Ayumi Horie organized the auction and her site is really unbelieveable with photos of Obamaware in action etc!
Check out the roster of artists that got involved in the project here! There is an amazing photo of Obama holding up one of her mugs during a campaign speech on the site- check it out!
Also check out Diana Fayt's blog as her Obamaware is something else!
To those people who bought Obamaware during the auction...not a bad investment piece! Those babies will turn up on the Antiques Roadshow years from now fetching a pretty penny more than what they paid originally!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Photo Shoot!

In the past 2 years I have made a point of photographing new work professionally. So yesterday was the 4th photo shoot that I did with my photographer, Curtis Hildebrand since launching the dahlhaus line of ceramics in 2007. I had a lot of poppies to shoot this time around, since I only had done the brown poppy mugs last April. The work has come a long way since then and I am super excited about having all these great pictures of it heading into my busy season. I also have introduced a black glaze in the mix with my yellow ginko leaf pattern along with a jewel-like deep turquoise that is pretty stunning too. Along with 7 new paintings to shoot, I realized that I have had a really productive summer and fall.
As you can see, photographing work is a big ordeal. A lot of equipment and a set-up that requires a professional who knows what he is doing. I will be sure to post some of the beauties when I get them into my hands, in the meantime, here are the ones I shot- before the set-up and during.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Before & After

If you ask me what part of the ceramic process I like best, I would instantly say- glazing! I confess- I am a painter at heart and my canvas just takes on different forms as far as clay is concerned. I find it fascinated how mixing up different powdered minerals from the earth, adding water to make a creamy consistency, and then dipping in a bisque fired pot can create such amazing, smooth and beautiful results after it's been fired to 2200 degrees. Granted, there are a lot of variables that people have been figuring out for thousands of years... let's just say, hundreds and thousands of pots had to be made that didn't turn out to finally get the combination of glaze materials and clay that would eventually work well. I myself have thrown out my fair share into the shard pile. Recently I was cleaning out my parent's shed with all my ol' pottery from art school stuffed into boxes. I started pulling out pot after pot that had it's place in my development as an artist, but which really needed to be thrown out for obvious reasons- 90% of the time the glazes hadn't turned out well.
So here are some before and afters. I just spent a week glazing all those pots I had made over the past 3 weeks- I'm still at it this week with one last load, but there are definitely some gems to be had out of the pile! Some is already spoken for, but for those of you starting to think about Christmas: my advice is to get your orders in early!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch Economy

We had a great weekend in Vernon BC this past week visiting great friends and the highlight of our trip was going to the Davison Family Farm to pick pumpkins and buy fresh apples and pears. We picked the best day to go with the weather glorious and fall-like and, as you can see by the pictures, we even tried to squeek in some family photos- which got a little crazy after about the 3rd shot. We tasted their fresh squeezed apple juice, had a hot apple donut made on site and thought about how a farm like this one, owned and operated for almost a century by the Davison family, has re-invented themselves so they could stay alive and well all these years. The tractor ride with old apple crates as a train buggy drove everyone through the orchard to the pumpkin patch- for $3 a person, $6 if you picked a pumpkin too. With old grandpa Davison driving the tractor, and a line of 6 apple crates holding 4 people each, we figured they were probably making roughly over $100 a ride up to the pumpkin patch. Every 15 minutes from 10:15-5pm, well, you do the math, not too shabby for grandpa Davison.
Well, all I can say is that when you see a local place like that hopping full of people on a saturday, enjoying what the locals have to offer, all this global economy stuff feels a little far off in la-la land. I know it's going to affect the little guys- that being me as well. I've already had people reconsider their Christmas orders because they have more to consider economically. I can appreciate that. I believe in meaningful giving- not necessarily giving more, but giving well. Hand-made and local always means more to me- I appreciate the thought and care that goes into something made by hand as opposed to something mass produced. I can only hope others can appreciate that as much as I do.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Climbing that mountain...

Sometimes I feel like I am on a slow steady climb. In my mind, I imagine this climb to be going up, that each step is on a quest to reach its final destination: the top of the mountain. I have glimpses of the top of a mountain at times. I know that I have a shot at making a good living at this art thing. I have moments of feeling panicked about what it will actually look like to be in that position, to actually consistently have orders pouring in, or have galleries calling me off the hook wanting my work. It actually seems a little stressful when I think about that- great to be in demand, but hopefully not be micro-managed or overly limited by that demand. I know there are ways of producing more work to keep up with that demand, but most of those ways would change the feel and look of my work, possibly comprimising what I enjoy most about the work. And so I plod on, hopefully navigating up the right path, slowly plodding along my merry way and getting excited each time a great opportunity comes my way. There are more and more as I journey on. I ll be sure to keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Giving Thanks!

It was a weekend to get back to my roots, return to the land, and give thanks for the things that count. Thanksgiving weekend usually takes us to at least two family dinners and a few friend get-to-gethers' as well. We made our way all over the Lower Mainland this weekend and from looking at the photos again, I realize how much I have to be thankful for.

Friday, October 10, 2008


What can I say, but testimonials are great! I received two lately from friends- one from a friend developing a knack for latte art in one of my teabowls, and another from my friend who bought a painting to go with 2 that I had given her a few years ago. She recently renovated her kitchen and dining room area to go with the paintings- pulling colours out of them as inspiration. It's really rewarding to see my work having arrived at it's destination- someone's home! I only hope to recieve more of these emails from people who enjoy their 'dahlhaus creation' as much as I did making it!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My website is FINALLY up-dated...sort of...

I'm just about to do another round of photos with my fav. photographer Curtis Hildebrandt, and the photos we shot in April finally got put on my site. The paintings are quite skewed, I'm sure that Tyler Payne, my graphic designer extra-ordinaire will remedy this soon, but otherwise, it is more or less up-dates. There is a lot to learn about the land of web-sites, that foreign land I know little about. It is a real mystery, a complex undertaking of a language that is far more abstract than the languages I speak, but navigation seems to be possible, at times...
All that said- please check it out, it's still in progress but it's not too bad...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Happy Anniversary...

October 8, 1995
Still in love after all these years...