Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Triangle Party

I'm getting back to a few images from the last photo shoot, which I'm still trying to get onto the website in the near future.  It feels like I'm opening my Christmas presents before Christmas here, showing you all the good photos before the website gets it's yearly over-haul, but that's the way it goes sometimes.  These things all take time (and money)!

Since last year, I have continued with my triangle themed work but was trying to simplify the pattern.  I love the quilted pattern, but felt totally bogged down in the re-creation of the design for shops or to sell on my own.  If you know anything about how my designs come about, you'll know that this pattern is still a ton of tape, but that the triangles are a little bigger.  I simplified the colours, limiting it to the lighter shades of glaze that I have available.  We all know that glaze in the kiln likes to run vertically, this being a pattern that needs to be more precise and less 'painterly'.   Where the white glaze meets the coloured glaze is still a little fuzzy (which I like because it looks less like underglaze or decals and more like glaze), but less obvious then with the darker shades of glaze. 

Anyways, I'm still having fun with this design and am making a bunch of it to send off to The Flock in New Zealand! I have a few wholesale orders I'm currently working on and a huge project that I was doing a cost estimate for this past week.  We'll see if I get it in the end, but if not, it was one of those crazy opportunities that came across my desk that blows me away with the possibilities. 

I hope you are having a great week!

Monday, January 28, 2013

On the home front

If you have been checking in with me on instagram (@dahlhausart) you've been seeing a lot more of my day-to-day then what I've been putting up on my blog these days.  Especially during the winter months when we don't get a lot of light during the days, it's just been easier to snap a photo with my phone and share it.  I've been totally loving the conversations and feedback that's happening over there- my blog seems much more of a one way conversation these days and that was feeling a little lonely. 

All the same, I did want to share a few things that have been going on on the home front- last week was a week of highs and lows and on the low end, our landlord informed us that our house is going to be put up for sale.  So we had a week of lots of workers in the yard, pulling out the oil tank and taking out a wack of trees and generally making me feel sad and overwhelmed about having to leave. 

 When I told some of our neighbours the news, they were begging us to try to buy the place.  As you might have heard on the news and internet, apparently Vancouver is the 2nd most unaffordable city to live in after Hong Kong.  This is one of those weird stats that makes me wonder what it is that makes it more unaffordable than NYC or Tokyo or San Fransisco or a whole wack of other major cities that I know are crazy expensive.  Apparently the lower level of income and the foreign purchase of property had an affect on the survey, so I guess it's with good reason that I'm quite concerned about how we are going to manage finding a place to rent, let alone ever be able to afford to buy.  Most of the people we know that purchased homes did so before they had kids and they bought with a sibling (so there were 3 or 4 full-time working adults with incomes). 

It's hard to think back to the 90's when I was in art school and we thought about buying a leaky condo for $180 000 that we would then have to put in another $60 000 to fix.  We should have bought what seemed to be a bad investment at the time, because it would have turned out to be a way into the housing market.  Now, with 2 boys that are growing and need space, and both of us with careers that are all about fulfilling our 'calling' in life rather then filling our bank account, buying a home won't be in our foreseeable future.  I'm ok with this, but it's hard to feel ok when someone else is making the decision that we have to move before we are ready to go.  We have really felt at home here for 7 years now with our kids playing in the yard, climbing trees and running to the neighbours to play.   I can only pray that the next place will feel the same way for us and that we will really find a place that has everything we need for a price we can afford.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Striped Teapot featured in Bon Appetit Magazine!

The February issue of Bon Appetit Magazine is out on the stands and includes my Yellow Striped teapot in a line up with brands like Merimekko, Ralph Lauren Home and Hermes.  Wow!
This past week I pulled out a few striped teapots from the kiln and have been busy trying to re-stock the shop, which now includes striped teapots that are Yellow, Orange and Turquoise (with Blue on the way soon!).  I'm in love with them all!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Herringbone Collection in colour!

The Herringbone Colour-way pattern was one of the designs that came out of the work I did for the Kindred in Blue show that Krystal Speck and I created for the Bookhou shop in Toronto last June.  I was working in shades of blue and came up with this design for a number of pieces that sold at the show.  It was one of my favourite designs, and I couldn't wait to try it with other colours! I launched the bottle vase design (with my own photos) in 5 colour-ways back in the fall, but for this photo-shoot I honed in on 3 that were my favourite, the yellow-green, the blues and the orange-red.  I also thought the design might look great on a couple of bowls in shades of blue, and I'm so glad I tried it. 

This design really reminds me of the west coast.  I see the mountains in the blues, trees in the yellow-green and orange sunsets in the orange-red version of the design.  There is something really architectural about the pattern that fits in with my architectural paintings.  I couldn't help thinking about perspective and angles when I first started playing with it and I can really see myself pulling it into a painting... if I ever get time to do that again.

This is one of those patterns that I have to take my time in glazing.  Each zig-zagged area is hand-painted with glaze after I've mapped out the herringbone lines in tape.  Then a resist is applied so I can dip the white glaze onto the piece. A bit more resist and the herringbone tape gets removed with a lot of touching up as I go.  I quite like that those lines are a bit different then the white glaze, so in some cases a soft grey blue or with the orange, the clear glaze in those herringbone lines finishes it off nicely.  I'm looking forward to seeing this design evolve and move onto other pots- like a teapot would be pretty sweet too.  Next photoshoot- I promise!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Welcome to the studio and new work!

Oh, there will be lots to share over here in the next little bit, but for now, just a taste of the great photos that Curtis Hildebrand took of my new studio and my work late December!  Curtis has taken my website photos since I started dahlhaus in 2007 and it's been great to work with him all these years.  I can really only manage/afford one photo session a year, so the photos we take really decide the work I make for the next 8 months as I use them for my online shops and wholesale line sheet as examples of glazes and designs.

Speaking of which, I have just sent off my wholesale line sheet to a number of inquiring and existing shops, but if you have a b & m shop and would be interested in carrying my work, I am now taking orders for spring! I'm looking forward to creating work for some pretty great shops this year, so drop me a line at heather@dahlhausart.com and I'll be in touch with an email and link to view my line sheet. 
Here's the set up to create such lovely photos- all done in the comfort of my studio!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Around the house and our expanding view

Well the sun showed itself after much much rain and dark, so I finally had the urge to pick up a real camera (not just my handy phone) and take a few photos around the house after picking the boys up from school.  My sister and her little 3 year old collected all sorts of little mosses and twigs to make an airplant terrarium for me for Christmas.  So lovely, I'm enjoying it lots. And a few postcards from friends and artists I admire make an empty spot on the wall look fun.  I also love my new calender from Rifle Paper with sweet drawings of major cities and landmarks. 
And we have a room with a view (remember that movie?).   Anyways, there have been a few trees that were taken out giving us a bit more to look at over yonder.  One day that big California Redwood tree smack in the middle of our view may have to go.  As the neighbourhood story goes, there were a bunch of redwoods planted by a kindergarten class 50 years ago.  They are all so huge, so it's easy to see them and imagine little 5 year olds planting tiny trees in their back yards.  Little did they know that 50 years ago they would be the hugest trees on the block! 

Hope your year has started off well.  We are all looking forward to the weekend!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

rhythm 'n blues

Well, here we are in January, fully back in the swing of things and I can't say I'm as happy about it as I should be.  I think with the 2 weeks of fever/cold thing I got the week before Christmas, I was not quite prepared to get back to the rhythm of work and school.  I have been meaning to blog, but every time I wrote something down it came out like a list of complaints.  Kind of like my boys who seem to have a whole host of complaints for me when I pick them up from school:  Why do they have to walk home instead of drive?  Why did I have to give them a sandwidge for lunch?  And why do they not get paid more money for setting the table at dinner like all their friends do?  And why can't they have everything they ever wanted for free????  I'm sure you get the idea.   So anyhow, today I resolved to put my own complaining behind and approach the year with a more positive attitude.  That doesn't mean I won't occasionally write about some of the challenges I face as a working ceramic artist, but I just wanted to be sure that I don't sound as annoying and entitled as my boys do when they forget all the great things they have and are doing in their lives. 
Here's to a rainbow kind of year.  They keep popping up everywhere so I'm sure it's a good sign!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Skating on the Pond

Hello! We are back from a lovely time in Vernon, where we played in the snow and lived in a winter wonderland over New Years.  Twice a year we make the 6 hour drive to visit our friends who live in Vernon- it's a trip we have been making for over 10 years now.   Our kids (they have 2 girls) are the same ages- born months a part so they are like cousins.  Friendships that span through the child-rearing age are often hard to keep up with so we really value the time we spend with them, once in the winter and once in the summer, with their family coming out our way a couple of times in between to visit too.
The boys went up to Silver Star Mountain to snowboard on our second day and then on NYE day we  went ice skating at the pond.  The sun was out- despite the fog down below and it was snowy and lovely (only about -3 so not too cold).  At one point my son lay on the ice and pointed to a 'rainbow' in the sky- kind of this upside down rainbow that was all sparkly and faint like it was made with sparkly snowflakes.  What a treat to see something this beautiful in the sky at the end of a great year, giving hope and promise to a new year dawning.  After lunch it fogged up again and the misty fog came out reminding me how quickly and constant change is in life.