Thursday, May 31, 2012

Container Stories

There are some things that just feel important to have, to hold, and to admire.  When I heard about the new collaboration between Karin Eriksson and Camilla Engman called Container Stories, I decided I needed one.  It's hard to choose.  But that sweet face with the raindrop tears, along with the leafy drawing decals down the side and inside the base just called to me.  So I bought it, and here it is, all the way from Sweden.  Beautiful! Karin's stone matt glaze is really lovely on these wheel thrown forms. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

lucky number 13

Thank you to everyone who entered the give-a-way last week! Considering that facebook is deleting posts with links to my blog (now considered 'spammy'), I appreciate those of you who found my blog and commented!

It was also really nice to hear which posts resonated most strongly with you.  The most common post listed was the 'designer verses maker' post- which is one I've thought a lot about over the past year.  As I am currently preparing for my talk at the Gardiner Museum I'm trying to find ways to include some of the thoughts I have shared here on my blog at my talk, so it was good to hear what you find interesting (a give-a-way with a purpose, so to speak;-)!

Ok so I picked a number from a teacup and it was lucky number 13- which was the comment from Catharine! Please email me at with your address and a colour preference of mug and I will ship it to you over the next couple of days!

Today is photo-shoot day at the studio with my photographer Curtis.  I couldn't justify making all this new work for the 'kindred show' and not properly photograph it before it gets shipped off to Toronto.  I really pushed myself into some new directions with the work and while there are a few pieces yet to be resolved, I think over-all the work is going to be beautiful alongside Krystal's work and in the bookhou shop.  So excited for next week!

Friday, May 25, 2012

700th blog posts give-a-way

Sometimes it's hard to remember why we start doing something.  I'm pretty sure that I started the blog back in 2008 because there were a lot of creative people getting into blogging, I had just gotten a digital camera and felt like a blog would be a good platform to talk about my work and process.  More recently I have noticed that not as many people are checking out blogs, and that formerly prolific bloggers have fallen off the blog wagon, and my own blogging or need to have it has changed too.  I have often wondered if I needed this space to still be a regular thing for me, but somehow it's still a place I get excited about sharing my thoughts with.  It's become part of my practice of art-making even though there are many other more interesting and exciting blogs out there to check out.  I find having a forum to connect with other people really amazing.  I'm not working in a vacuum and it's great to have feedback from readers like you, and it's really nice to know that someone is interested in what I'm up to.
As a little thank you for taking time out of your day to check things out here- please comment and let me know what your favourite post has been (if you have one;)! I'll pick a winner on Tuesday, May 29th with your choice of a Yellow striped or Turquoise striped mug!  Thanks for stopping by and best of luck! 
***Comments closed! Thanks for entering!***

May long weekend

Every year our family joins a few hundred people up in Princeton for a camping weekend that is pretty special.  While not as warm this year, my boys didn't seem to notice.  They were having too much fun.  The kids (with suckers in their mouth...) noticed a little group of deer in the forest- that's the closest we've ever been.  And hockey, whenever you want it.  Sasha got to be in net for the big hockey tournament with the big kids.  As you can see, he needed a little extra help! Hard to move around with all that padding, I'd say.

Hope your week has been great. I've been glazing all week getting ready to photograph and ship the kindred work off next week.  It's long hours in the studio with sore hands and neck at the end of every day, but the largest load is in and cooling now.  Phew, hope it all works out.  Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Growing wild

I have to post more photos of my yard.  It's almost too much, there are so many things blooming and growing wild all at once.  The maple is just sagging with these beautiful lush leaves and there are little blue flowers everywhere.  The lawn needs cutting...again.  There was a lot of rain last month so all it takes is a week of sunshine and everything has come to life.  It's too bad I've been hit with the craziest hay fever this year... what's up with that?!?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Come sail away with me

 I managed to find a few things to spruce up the mantle a couple of weeks ago.  The oval mirror was a free find, but I picked up the framed embroidery on linen and camera at Value Village.  It's nice to shake things up a bit for spring and have something 'new to look at. 

It has been quite a busy week- thank you to everyone who stopped by my updated website and spent time watching my new video.  As someone who, after 5 years, is still trying to make a living (i.e. not just pay my studio bills) at selling what I make, I do hope you can appreciate the thought, time, and effort that goes into what I make and do.   I didn't launch the video as a 'how to' make ceramics the way I do, but as a bit of insight to the amount of work and care involved.  While the online craft community is a little over-saturated these days, I felt that opening up about my process would validate that there are makers out there that are really working hard to create beautiful, hand-made objects from scratch.  So thank you for your encouragement this week!

We are off to Princeton for the long-weekend to have a much needed break as a family at an amazing camp!  I was able to stock up on Polaroid film to try out an old polaroid camera that I have had for a couple of years, so I'll be back with hopefully some really beautiful images of the landscape!
Hope you have a great long weekend!

rhubarb from my garden

I would have liked to show you the 'after it was baked' shot, but it got eaten with company quicker then I could pull out my camera!
Hope you are enjoying some rhubarb too!  I think I have enough for one more batch of crisp before it's all gone.  It was too good this year- that, or I couldn't wait long enough;)!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quilt Pattern Triangle Mug in Turquoise

I'm busy these days working on glazing work for the Kindred in Blue show coming up in Toronto early June so most everything that I pulled out of the kiln on Monday is a shade of blue.  However I did manage to get a couple of turquoise triangle mugs in the shop for now!
In other news (been a big week in the 'news' department!) I have a new favourite herringbone design that needs to be photographed- super excited about it.  I'll try to give you a peek here soon.  I'm trying to leave myself enough time to glaze and also photograph my work before it needs time to ship- timing is always tricky.  I had originally been hoping to re-vamp my website a month ago, but this is the way things roll sometimes.
Thank you all for the lovely comments, for the inquiry emails and orders from my shop! Off to the studio!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Design Sponge Debut!

Yay!  My work is featured on Design*Sponge today along with some really lovely comments by Grace about my work- what an honour!

If you have found my blog here for the first time- welcome! This is my place to share my inspiration and some of the day-to-day ramblings of life as an artist, maker, and mom.  Thanks so much to those of you who who have commented, sent me emails and fb comments about the new up-date on my website and the video! 

Ok, off to walk the kids to school and then to the studio for a day of glazing! Have a great day!

Monday, May 14, 2012

dahlhaus web-site update!!

The dahlhaus website is up-dated!

I just want to first off thank Tyler Payne, a great guy that I went to high school and then was at college and the Art school together with who designed my original site 5 years ago! Each year we are able to up-load new images, and add a couple of new features to keep it fresh and original - so I'm really thankful for such a well-designed site to start with!

Thank you to Curtis Hildebrand- who, without his amazing photography, my work just wouldn't look the same!  Please take the time to click through photos along the bottom of each 'category'- the photos at the 'back' of the site start in 2007, working to the most current work at the front of the site.

And of course, these up-dates would be no where without Chris Nott, my web-developer.  It seems like each time we up-date the website, he is off on a new adventure and yet is still willing to make the changes needed in a good amount of time. Thank you Chris!

Now for something that's been in the works all spring: the dahlhaus video!! Right off the top I want to thank Evan Bourque of Wilhelm Films for shooting and editing this video- he is super talented, is just starting out, and is already making amazing films! 

It has been 5 years (!) this summer since I embarked on this journey of being a full-time maker and artist.  To remember this milestone and to celebrate all the work that has gone into what I do, I decided that I wanted to have a video made of me at work in the studio. There have been glimpses of how I make my work here and there on my blog, but the big reveal is now up on this video!  Having a 'trade secret' has been great, the way I make my designs in glaze on each piece is a step-by-step process that I developed on my own and sets my work apart. It has been a total labour of love although my work can look really simple and un-laboured over, almost manufactured.  While not every step of me making my work is on this video in order, it gives you a glimpse of my hands making my ceramics each and every day. 

I hope you will take some time to check out the new site and video! Feed-back and sharing very welcome indeed! Thanks!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

New gardening approach

 Gardening has begun!  I decided to take a new approach in gardening this year- only planting what grows well in the larger garden plot in the back of our yard (ie: potatoes, peas, kale & zuchini) and then creating more planters for the sunny spots in the yard. I seem to keep an eye on them a little more, and hopefully the extra sun and frequent watering on my part can grow some really great food in the summer months.  My beans were full of aphids last year and I kept forgetting to pick the lettuce so it went to seed too quick.  I'll keep you posted on whether this will be a good change.  These old crates are a good manageable size too!

Hope you are having a good week! I'm working towards a glaze firing, but may also be able to up-date the shop over the next little bit.  The website up-date is coming a little slower this week (now from Munich- my web-developer seems to have the most amazing travel schedule! Last time he did the up-date it was from Australia...) but hopefully I can launch it all soon!  So excited!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Then and now

My mom passed on a photo that she had found in an old photo album of downtown (Hastings Street?) Vancouver from the 50's.  It's always a bit astounding to see how much has changed in this young city of ours and how much continues to change.  This is a city that seems to be constantly evolving.  Every time I drive towards the Fraser Valley to visit my parent's or Dean's folks, the route is a little different.  The lines on the roads have shifted, there are new overpasses, and soon a new bridge too. 
Our little neighbourhood has undergone some huge changes in the last couple of years.  We live in an area of North Vancouver that has a real mix of old, small houses, along with some newer ones.  When we first moved here about 6 years ago there were a lot of elderly people on the street who had raised their families in the neighbourhood. We ourselves are in a cute old home- our landlord has owned this place since the early 80's, when much of this neighbourhood was still affordable. Now the prices in our neighbourhood are sky-high, and the only people who can afford the view are those also with the means to tear down the house and build a brand-new one.  So all around us old homes are being torn down and re-built to be large 'monster' homes.  More then ever I notice all these luxury cars driving down our street, or big boats and RV's in the driveways or out back.  In most cases, I can understand that if you have paid serious coin for a property, you want to be able to live in a house that reflects this.  But I can't help feeling sentimental about the character of our older neighbourhood having changed so much in so short a time. 

I'm very hopeful that my website will be up-dated, along with my video being launched some time this week (optimistically speaking). There has been so much going on studio-wise that is really exciting these days, that I am having to manage so many things all at once.  I've been really thrilled to have a studio intern from Emily Carr University start last week too- a really lovely gal who will be able to come by the studio once a week for some extra hands over the next couple of months.  Training has already started and it's nice to see she is a quick study.  It's my 3rd summer taking on a studio intern from my old art school and it's really been an amazing experience for me.  I seem to always find someone so lovely and keen to learn, as well as someone who fast becomes a good friend.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012


So while I've been making work for the 'kindred' show, I've been starting to prepare for a pretty big milestone in my career so far- a talk I'm giving at the Gardiner Museum of Ceramics in Toronto that will be happening Sunday, June 10 at 3pm.  I know, right?  Huge.

Part of my work to prepare for a talk like this involves piles and piles of slides.  What are those, you ask?  Well, when I was a wee kid at Art School, slides were how we documented our work.  Galleries only took slides in those days- no websites, no digital.  My, how things have changed.  So needless to say, I'm editing down the selection of slides I have of work circa 1996-2002 into digital format for my presentation.  

It's been fun, nostalgic, and painful.  I haven't looked at these slides in ages.  Some of the work makes me laugh, some of it just makes me cringe, but most of all, I'm amazed at the amount of work I produced for my BFA.  I've always been on the prolific side- I'd sooner make an idea happen then sketch it or just conceptualize it. That has always been my way of 'problem solving' as a maker.  It's in all these sketches that I would start being able to define and refine the work appropriately.

Fast forward to when I launched my website and started as 'dahlhaus' and my work looks so very different.  Since having kids with limited time in the studio just to 'make sketches', I started with a concept and an idea, created a framework and came up with totally different work.  Where as the work that I did in school has all these influences of potters I was looking at, my current work has really different influences that are outside the medium.  I kind of like that- but sometimes wonder why it took me so long to think of it.  We all have our journey in life, some of us just take longer to get where we need to go.  At any rate, it will give me lots to talk about during my 1 hour lecture :-)!