Saturday, December 31, 2011

So long Eva

Even though Eva Zeisel lived such a long and productive life right up to her passing yesterday at 105 years, it goes without saying that the ceramic and design world has lost a dear and treasured soul.  For someone with such a remarkable story: studying in Weimar Germany in the age of the Bauhaus Movement; developing from a studio potter to a ceramic designer for manufacturers all over Europe; surviving imprisonment in Communist Russia for being accused of conspiring to assassinate Stalin; fleeing Nazi Germany for the US, starting life in New York with a family, all the while designing ceramics, furniture and glassware for the modern American home in a sea of male designers, is truly an amazing legacy for one woman to have.  Imagine if we all had the tenacity to overcome these kinds of obstacles in life and to stick to our passions with such determination and grace right up to the very end of our lives.  Imagine if we all felt that kind of passion for what we do in our life that it would occupy our time right to the end. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Boxing Day walk in Yarrow

My parents live in a small town squished between Vedder Mountain and the Vedder River, called Yarrow.  It's where I spent my late teen years, after having grown up mostly a Winnipeg city kid.  The move from the city to the country was a big adjustment for me, considering I was used to hopping on a bus to meet my friends downtown to go shopping and see movies.  In Yarrow, the thing to do was to go for a hike up the mountain.  Somehow this mountain became dear to me and holds many memories of hikes and long talks with friends, including being the place where Dean popped the question, many years ago. 

It was Merry

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Despite a bit of a head cold putting a damper on the celebrations, we had a great Christmas with our boys, who got a few things they were really excited about getting, but mostly, who enjoyed playing with their cousins and having great Christmas dinners with both sides of the family.  Along with the non-stop playing games and driving their little cars around the house, they have had the full attention of Dean and I for the past week, which has been wonderful as well.  Having a holiday schedule with sleep ins, and quiet reading and games in the morning, an outing to a friends place in the afternoon, a walk and some more quiet hang-out time after dinner has been wonderful.  It seems we all really needed the unscheduled week to just enjoy being home together (could probably use an extra week to be honest!!).

Thursday, December 22, 2011

That winter feeling

We finally made it up to Mt. Seymour to pick up the season's passes for my boys this year, and while there wasn't as much snow as the last time I was up there, it was wonderful to enjoy the wintery feeling, despite the warmish weather here in Vancouver.  We ended up hiking on the snow-shoe trails part of the way to the look-out (last time Sasha and I did the 2.5 km that it took to get there) and noticed that dogs are now allowed on the trail as well.  Not that we have a dog, but there were some beautiful dogs clearly enjoying the snow as much as my boys.  Also new at Seymour- the magic carpet to take kids just learning to ski or snow-board up the bunny hill.  Sure beats the tow-rope! And someone parked their vintage snowshoes on the trail- the kind I'd be hanging up in my home if I had a pair! (The owner's bags were close by so I didn't quite feel like I could mess with these to stand both shoes up-right for the photo... does anyone know what the smaller one on the ground would be for?  It was on it's own...)
Only a few more days until Christmas!  I'll be taking some time off of blogging to really enjoy things around here, but I just thought I'd pass along a very Merry Christmas from my family to yours.  Thank you all for stopping by my blog, leaving comments and being interested in what I do and make.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

For breakfast

I am loving some of the pottery I bought this year. 
Eating organic yogurt, home-made granola with frozen huckleberries out of April Gate's feather bowl.
Oranges served on Gailan Ngan's citrus carved celadon bowl.
Panettone on Laura McKibbon's goldfish kidney plate.
Home-made truffles on Fredi Rahn's star plate.
And a latte in Gailan's mug.

Maple or Honey Granola Recipe:
4 cups large oat flakes
1 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup chopped almonds or hazelnuts
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

2/3 cup Maple Syrup or Honey
2 Tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.  Bake on a parchment paper lined cookie tray for 20 min, stirring occasionally.
When cool add 1 cup dried fruit (optional).

Home-made Truffles - Martha Stewart's recipe made with Callebaut Semi-sweet chocolate.

Friday, December 16, 2011

dahlhaus at Anthropologie Vancouver

So I guess I was under the impression my vases have been in Anthropologie Stores all over North America since November.  I was wrong.  They only just arrived in December- so no, they are not sold out in Arizona like my friend was thinking because she couldn't find any when she went to check in November, they just hadn't arrived yet. 
I did manage to get to the Vancouver Anthropologie store yesterday to buy a present for my sister-in-law, so I took a few photos of their display.  So pretty! There is one lonely grey striped vase left from one of the first orders back in July (with the original $40 price on it! As opposed to the new price of $58 in Canadian stores and $48 in US stores...).  It took me an hour to do my shopping, much to Dean's dismay, but there really is so much to look at.  And really, a lot of lovely stuff including Molly Hatch's new dishes that she designed for Anthro, which I now want a whole set of.  But if you are looking for a little dahlhaus over the holidays- please do snatch up a vase or 2.  I'm a little in love with the yellow myself.

Hope you have a great weekend! Someone has a birthday here in our house, so he's wanting a bit of a party to celebrate, and then I'll be a bit sporatic with blogging next week.  All my studio work is finished for the year but my good friends at the Mergatroid building are having a last kick at the can studio sale on Saturday if you are in town and need a last minute gift.  It's from 11-6 on Saturday upstairs in the Mergatroid building (On the corner of Vernon Drive and Parker Street off of Venables and Clark in Vancouver).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Downtown in December

I thought I'd share a few photos from the Santa Claus Parade that I took the boys to a couple of weeks ago.  I had never actually been to this parade, and the boys, besides feeling quite cold by the end of it, seemed to enjoy the variety of floats that went past.  It seems that parades these days are just advertising for various community groups, businesses, or kids programs and this one was no exception, but I guess masked in the spirit of Christmas it was still pretty fun to watch.

It's interesting to think about how we pass on traditions to our kids.  On the one hand I want to take time out of our everyday life to do special things with my boys that get them excited about this season.  The other part of me wants to slow things down, keep things simple and retain the core of what a season is all about.  Joy, peace and love.  Goodwill towards all.  The story of a baby bringing hope.  The giving of gifts to those we cherish.  And extending a hand to those who most need it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Glimpses of new

I just got some of the proofs of the photos Curtis took with me in the studio the other day!  We always seem to take one photo by accident with my hand or head half in the photo, making last-minute adjustments, but I kind of like that.  There's something about my hand being there that brings it back to being hand-made. 

Some day I hope to do a styled photo session, but for now, the simple grey backdrop accurately represents the work and documents.  I can't stress enough to people who are just starting out in their careers how important good photographs are.  At the same time, I sometimes see amazing photographs of work out there and then am disappointed when it comes to seeing and handling the work in real life.  So when I get feedback from people who tell me that my work is better in person then in my photos, then the compliment means so much more!

I have a small selection of new work that is now available in my shop here, and a little bit available on my Etsy shop.  I can no longer guarantee that it arrive outside of Canada in time for Christmas, although if you want a gift receipt to include in a card or want to bump up your shipping to courier service, just send me an email or convo.  I won't be doing a proper 'launch' of new work on my website until the new year so stay tuned for that!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

OOAK Vancouver 2011

First off- THANK YOU to those of you who came and visited me at the One of a Kind Show Vancouver this year! I appreciate the support I've felt locally this year and am so grateful for how many people came by to visit my booth and purchase my pottery this year! Once again I'm ending the year with a pretty bare studio and the last bit of work that I do have will end up at the Gallery of BC Ceramics on Granville Island (so if you're in a pinch head over there) and there will probably be a bit to put online but not to arrive in time for Christmas. 

I'd also like to send out a big thank you to my good friend Kat who has been helping me out in the studio and at my shows on and off this fall! Kat comes from a fashion design and retail background and was able to help me pack and ship out the large Anthropologie order this fall.  She's oh so stylish around the studio and has a great laugh too.  Love her!

Otherwise it was amazing to meet some really talented people at the show.  I came home with some amazing work- a little art, some amazing jewelry from here and here, a great jacket and shirt while I coveted this jacket (so want it..)!  And of course, some pottery by the lovely April Gates!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

One of a Kind Vancouver 2011

I'll be at the One of a Kind Show at the Vancouver Convention Centre West over the next few days! If you are in Vancouver, please do stop by- I'll be at booth H42!

Show hours are as follows:
Thursday-Saturday 10am-9pm
Sunday 10am-5pm
admission $12 ($2 off if purchased online)

And a sneak peek at just a couple new photos of work that will be available during the show!! Photos by Curtis Hildebrand photography

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Strathona Charm

 Strathcona is indeed a charming neighbourhood.  It's a historic neighbourhood in East Vancouver that borders downtown's China Town and the industrial side of Clark Drive (near my studio).  Many of the older homes have been renovated in recent years, causing the price of real estate in this area to really jump.  Here are just a few photos that I took while I walked to Gailan's studio sale the other day from my studio.  I loved how the Robin just sat there while I tried to take photos of it, getting as close as possible.
Hope your day is going well! I'll be loading a kiln and packing up for my set up for the One of a Kind Show tomorrow.  It's almost show-time!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gailan's home studio sale

I managed to get to Gailan's home 'studio' sale this weekend, and I'm so glad I did.  Gailan Ngan is a second generation potter (with her mom also being a painter) so pottery is in her genes, you might say.  Her forms are all wheel-thrown, with an emphasis on simple and minimal glazing that makes these pots perfect for serving food in.  Someone who was buying a stack of bowls beside me started talking about what he was going to serve in the bowls- perfect for a goulash or fish soup- and it's true, these are the perfect comfort-food pots.  I happen to really love the cobalt 'ink' splatters on some of her pots, but went home with a beautiful short celadon cup and bowl as a breakfast set.  Not sure I can part with it as a gift... I'll have to try them out first.
Gailan is now a mom to a beautiful little guy who is 3 and she recently had to leave her Strathcona studio, which she had been making pots out of for about 13 years (the owners renovated it into an apartment).  She now makes all her work on Hornby Island in her dad's studio during the summer months (along with gardening up a storm), and then is back in her beautiful Strathcona home for the rest of the year.

The count-down to the One of a Kind Show (December 8-11) is on this week!  Since I'm going to be so busy, I'll be closing up my online shops on December 8.  Incidentally this is the last day for regular shipping rates to apply to the US to get there by Christmas.  Thank you to all of those who have already been supporting my shops this month- I've been off to the post office every few days with some parcels and have felt like a little Christmas elf doing it.