Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mountain top views

Well we were all feeling a whole lot better today, good enough to brave the traffic up to one of our local mountains.  The last time our whole family was up at Seymour was a couple of summers ago when we went hiking and swimming with the boys.  Now seeing everything in it's winter glory on a clear sunny day made the whole mountain absolutely spectacular!  While Dean took Johnny snowboarding, Sasha and I hiked on one of the snowshoe trails down to a little frozen lake and then up to a lookout that was truly amazing.  Of course, hiking back with a tired 6 yr old in tow before the sun went completely down was a little nerve-wracking but we all met up just fine and everyone had a great day.  A much better way to end off 2010 than the flu!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

When the Music fades...

'twas the night before Christmas

Christmas morning play time

Me (and the kitty) on Christmas morning sewing with my new sewing machine!

Post-dinner origami out of our placemats

Even 'Stella' came out to play some Christmas Carols

Baby Oliver's first Christmas!
There is a lot about this Christmas that was special.  Plenty of family time, plenty of cheer, lots of singing carols together, playing games and laughing as families.  Good, good times! 

Now we are hunkered down with a flu bug that crept in and, as such, we've missed a dear friend's 40th birthday bash and another rare visit with friends that was supposed to happen today.  Then the landlord brought over the rent increase for 2011 (boo).  Some of the toys that the boys got over the weekend have already broken or aren't working as they should.  My older son started to complain that he didn't get anything from his wishlist to Santa ("Does Santa even know how to read??"), and this evening both boys ended up in tears after a game of Monopoly.  I think the post-Christmas crash has hit us a little harder than expected. 

Today I've been reminded that we don't always get what we want.  That things don't necessarily turn out as expected.  That best laid plans and best intentions aren't always enough.  This might sound a little un-optimistic considering the dawning of 2011 and all the resolution and planning that will go into making it a better year than 2010.  But it's really honest.  It's empowered me to sit down and think a little about what I'd like do and why, who I spend time with and what I want to accomplish with the grounded reality that some of these plans will most likely change.  I guess it's a bit of a new perspective to goal-making and resolution-setting. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Finally feeling more like Christmas

We finally picked out a tree this past weekend and spent Saturday putting up decorations and re-working the living room around where the tree was going to stand.  Our little house feels crowded these days with 2 growing boys at home for the holidays.  We have craft projects a-go-go, all the papers from school to sort through, Lego that trickles it's way from the bedroom to the bathroom to the living room, and the instruments have made their way out of the closet and into the open for frequent 'concerts'.  We are having fun all cozy in this little house of ours, reading 'the Chronicles of Narnia' and 'Harriet the Spy', watching all our Christmas movies, making sugar cookies, and doing some knitting. Just the sort of stuff I've been dreaming about doing over my holiday.

Friday, December 17, 2010

OOAK Johanna Brierley's Lucky Stones

Ok so I'm not too much of a jewelry person.  To me, simple and minimal is where it's at, and considering I only got my ears pierced on my 30th birthday, my personal collection of earrings is, well, minimal at best.  Every year though I seem to find something that suits my look, something made by a real person, an actual jeweler that I've met personally, and that piece becomes so much more than just another pair of pretty earrings.
I'm really glad I was able to meet Johanna Brierley at the One of a Kind Show.  She's from the Peg, where I spent 15 years of my life, so I immediately felt that we had something to connect over.  Man, did she ever feel familiar somehow.  What I loved best about Johanna's jewelry was her 'Lucky Stone' series.  Found on the beaches of Gimli, Manitoba (where my family spent our summers...) these little pebbles with natural holes in them are found by Johanna, made into a mold, and then cast into silver.  No one really knows how the holes on the rocks have formed or why there happens to be so many in this particular spot, but the locals have been calling them 'Lucky Stones' for a long time.  Well, needless to say, I felt pretty lucky to have a new pair of Lucky Stone earrings for the season!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

OOAK Penelope Brown

Slowly I am getting back to 'normal'.  It's amazing how much a 4 very long day show can take out of a person.  I don't normally talk to hundreds of people each day. So I found myself wanting to crawl a little back into a shell for the past few days while recovering from what was an amazing show for me.

Anyways, I wanted to get back to blogging a bit with some of the lovely stuff that was at the OOAK show, some of which I bought, some I didn't, but the first was a silkscreen painting by Penelope Brown.  I love the process she goes through to get these paintings.  It's so great to see the layering of colours and how they overlap and become other colours.  Very fun, bright and cheery, I fell in love with her Parakeets right at the get go.  So it has come home with me and looks like it fits right in above my mantle with my collection of tiles (Xenia Thaler, Jasna Sokolovic, vintage tiles from Spain... you get the idea).  Here's a little video of her process that was on her website- so great to see how many different screens she is using just for one image!

Penelope Brown from Penelope Brown on Vimeo.

For more info check out the Penelope Brown website!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ladies Makin' Things: an Interview on career paths in Ceramics

Compare and Contrast: Ceramic-talk by dylemmawalter

I recently had an Emily Carr University student contact me about being interviewed for a class project she was doing for her Professional Practices class.  The only chance we had to do the interview was right at the end of my 3 day show at the Eastside Culture Crawl, so it's blowing me away that I actually sound kind of intelligent here.  Emma Walter, the interviewer/student is in her 4th year at ECU, and for her project she paired my interview along with Ceramics professor Julie York.  We have vastly different stories and yet it's really amazing how it all comes together in the comparison. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A quick booth shot after day 1 at the OOAK

A quick shot taken by Dean (all candid-like)... I've had a great first day packing and visiting with a great crowd that came by for the One of a Kind Show's first day!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The MOM Show

There's a wonderful show that I just found out about on fellow Vancouver Potter Fredi Rahn's website called 'the MOM show': all about women artists and the juggle they have being a mom and making work.  The show is only on until December 10th at  the Turman Larison contemporary Gallery in Helena, Montana, but there are beautiful photos of the children/and artist mom with the work and artist statement on the website that I found so poignant and inspiring.  As a mom and maker myself, I am constantly in a juggling act between creating and being a mom.  I have short spurts of making time, and then I'm off to pick-up from school/ take to skating lessons/ make dinner/ teach life lessons/ stop sibling fights/ laugh at silly stories/ admire drawings/ work on homework/ brush teeth/ do laundry/ read stories/ and kiss goodnight.  Oh yes, life is full.  Very, very full. 

I absolutely loved the image of Fredi reading to her son in bed.  Fredi's work has always inspired me. Her pots have such a warm, wonderful, and playful quality to them- we have a number of her espresso cups that Dean uses almost daily.  I've always loved her use of pattern and design, both on the surface and in the decoration of her pots.  Her home studio sale is coming up this Sunday, December 12th at 2705 Yale Street around the back, from 12-5.  Wish I could make it there!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Scout Magazine Feature

The December SCOUT Magazine  has featured my striped bottle vases along with a number of other lovely people from November's Poppytalk Handmade Market!  The magazine is full of lovely images, food and fashion related! You can find more here, just click on the magazine to view the full issue!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Things are a wee bit busy

You gotta know that my daily routine is locked in right about now- I haven't even made it out of my 'zone' to go and take pictures of these billboards myself!  My good friend who works downtown took these photos with her phone the other day to let me know they were up- thanks Rebecca!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's December!!!

We got a bit of snow (for 2 whole days!!) a couple of weeks ago just to get us all excited for Christmas- the boys got to go outside and play in the snow and it made our week extra special.  Something about falling snow and all the Christmas lights on the houses makes me feel all festive, despite the busyness.  Dean started working on his annual Christmas mix tape- I'm hoping he can create a pod-cast of it this year so I can pass it along to you.  It's always entertaining- the hidden gems and sometimes very obscure Christmas music he finds out there.
It's only about a week (9 days, to be exact) until the One of a Kind Vancouver Show and I'm loading my last bisque of the year today! So that's it folks! That's all! I have 2 glaze firings to go and I will be finissimo for the season! I tell ya, I put my last handle on a teapot the other day and felt soooo ready to be done!  You know it's time to quit when you can't bear to trim another pot.  I kept telling myself- 'just 5 more, heather, just 4 more...'  Well, it truly is the final countdown! Yikers, got to get to the studio folks!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Crawl 2010

A quick thank you to everyone who came by the Crawl this weekend to check out my work!  It was the best Crawl yet for me and I was blown away by everyone's warm response to my work. Thanks so much for your support Vancouver!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Eastside Culture Crawl this weekend!

Here are a couple before snapshots from my studio at last year's Eastside Culture Crawl, just to get the ball rolling this week on the fun.
The Eastside Culture Crawl is in it's 14th year of opening the studio doors of artists on the Eastside to the public. With 300 artists participating, it's the largest open studio event in the city!  It's a FANTASTIC event, not only for the artists to have that many people coming in their studio to check out what they've been up to, but also for the public to catch the spirit and vibe of the art scene in Vancouver.  There truly is a little something for everyone at this event and it's FREE! 
Friday night is the big kick-off, starting at 5-10pm, Saturday and Sunday will be from 11-6pm.  There are lots of extra parties and bands that will be playing at events all over the city after-hours if you truly want to experience the Crawl to the fullest!

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Monkeys

For those of you who might be a bit new to my blog, I have 2 boys, ages 6 and 8.  They are a lot of fun, are loud and energetic, can be very sweet, occasionally polite, and are frequently goofy.  Above all, they love to laugh.  The little monkeys above are my two boys on either side of the newest member of my side of the family, little Oliver (my nephew).   Already there is a 'cousin bond' forming with these 3 and it is pretty hilarious to watch Oliver wanting to be part of the action!
Oh the excitement of having a slumber party with his cousins! 

Anyways, things are a bit of a juggling act around here this week.  Busy boys, busy studio and all.  This coming weekend kicks off my first show of the season and the list of things to do is pretty long. I won't be blogging as frequently, but I will post the details of the show tomorrow and I will also put a reminder out there that my online shops will be closed from thursday on through the weekend!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Emily Carr University at Circle Craft

It's the end of a long week and I quickly snuck away from all the studio glazing that's going on to check out booth designs and see what Kelly Austin, my studio assistant from this past summer, has been up to in her last year at ECUAD.  Kelly and I had talked this summer about the opportunity that came up for her and another ceramic/industrial design student, Darcy Greiner, to represent Emily Carr's Ceramics Department with their work at Circle Craft.  I'm not sure that I would have been ready in my 3rd or 4th year to put together such a venture, but these two certainly were.  Their work looked lovely side-by-side, and I was blown away by the concepts that both students were conveying in the way the work was made and the execution of it.  The work is all about forms and innovation in formal design, which is so refreshing to see! 

 Kelly's table setting on an 8 ft long table is stunning!  The simple gradation of gray scale, the stacking of each table setting and the angles of each piece really speaks to her simple and modern aesthetic.  I was also a huge fan of some new work that she's been busy working on.  Rock-like forms with a wheat coloured clay with a stoney pale green interior... WANT.  Also loved her little creamer spout.
 Darcy's work blew my mind.  I will fully confess that from looking at the pie form (photo here) on it's own I didn't get it.  Putting the pieces of the pie together, I sort of got it.  Stacking the vessel forms inside the pieces of the pie in various I'm starting to see.  Brilliantly, this guy is re-thinking the mold into units that can be re-configured for each slip-cast pour.  Smart molds = smart forms.  Ingenious, people.  I can't wait to see where this guy ends up.  You can bet I'll be at his grad show next year, completely mesmerized at what he's come up with. 
So there you have it. I had a lovely chat with my my old ceramics instructor, Paul Mathieu, who, as always, had the brightest orange jeans/ green sweater combo I've seen in a long time.  I realized I had truly missed this man.  9 years after graduating and all of a sudden I wanted to be back at the Emily Carr ceramics studio with all the enthusiasm and delusional optimism of a ceramics career before me.  Well, no, that's not quite true.  I'm glad that some realism has sunk in and that my years of hard work to forge a career after graduating have started to finally pay off:)
Have a great weekend- I'll be in the studio glazing to get ready for my up-coming shows starting next weekend! Yikers!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On the dark walk home

Tuesdays and Thursdays are my days to stay later at the studio and I take the bus home in the dark.  The one advantage to this routine is walking by the molo design studio front and seeing what they are up to... looks like ceramics, but actually it's a paper cup with a marble base called their capello lights.  I love how they put up a display at the end of each day- even just one of their dividers, so when someone looks in the window they are instantly inspired.

Looks like they now have an online shop!  How exciting!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Around town...

my teapot has been spotted! A dear friend from high school days just face booked me this photo of a bus with my teapot on the side of it for the up-coming One of a Kind Show (Thanks Shana:)!  How GREAT is that?!  I hear there is also a billboard on Expo Boulevard...

Inspiring dahlhaus: Art Nouveau Designs

all images found on the NYPL Digital Gallery, using the key-word Design
It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of anything that came out of the Art Nouveau era.  I love the pattern, the boldness of the prints and the combination of colours that I see in the wallpapers or textiles that came out of this period.  As I recently browsed through the NYPL's Digital Gallery, I was again inspired by 2 designers who's work I hadn't seen before.
I'm loving the designs by Henri Gillet, a pattern designer who lived from the late 1800's-1920.  There's not much information out there in internetland about him.  I can't quite get over the windmill pattern- how lovely is that!?!
The last image has textile designs by Eugene Alain Seguy, an art-nouveau designer from the early 20's.  I've always loved the colour-scheme of the art-nouveau designers- all those mid-range colours together with hits of lime or peach with grey.