Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Well well well...
spam has arrived here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Still here after almost a year

This is the site that my business cards have referred you to...in case you just typed in that name, alchemyofclay.blogspot.com

I left this site because of limited photo memory that blogspot was imposing upon me.  Since then I've purchased more photo memory which appears to only be available on the newer site, the second edition, which is here... Alchemy of Clay by Black Mountain Barb

It's all in the same family.  Thanks so much for checking for my work!  Glad to have new friends any time, and please post a comment too.  I'll publish them at least daily, and may answer them too!

There are just 2 more Saturdays that Mud Buddies will have to sell my pottery at the Tailgate Market in Black Mountain, NC.

If you are looking for the red tent on the second row of booths, there we'll be.  The market will also have a holiday fair the Sat. before Thanksgiving, Nov. 17.  9- noon.

THanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cornucopia & tile

I've made a cornucopia again this year...as you see in the following three views.

This little tile has a shadow box type frame, just for the accent it provides.  There are 4 in this series.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving, with your loved ones.  I'm so grateful to be able to spend my Thanksgiving with my oldest son and his family.

Monday, November 21, 2011

New pictures

Thanks to our studio manager, Charles Freeland, for sharing his photo set up the other night with us, I've got some new pictures to pass along.

Marsha keeps coming up with new and more artistic forms, as here she glazes one of them.

Sarah has been glazing like crazy, and I caught her with the waxing brush.

Jonathan had made the most funny face, but the camera caught the regular smile.  Too bad.  Notice the tree in the background on the top shelf?  It will be bedecked with ornaments at Holly Jolly next week.

 My candle stands really pop with the gradated background.  Whoo!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

One last shot!

Yep, the Tailgate Market of Black Mountain, NC will be held one more time for this season!

I am not sure if this pot will be ...

  there...nor these lovely ladies.  I'll probably see Rayanne at the BMCA studio on Sun. however.

We won't be in the field behind the First Baptist church this time however.

So look for us at the White Horse, where we hope to be outside and lots of our favorite produce, chocolate, and honey and meats and eggs and whatever will be available inside! 

And then in 2 weeks, there will be the big Holly Jolly evening event on Fri. Dec 2.  Lots of great pottery on display in the BMCA gallery as well as BIG STUDENT SALE!

So I'll be dragging out some last bargains of the season.  I know you all who do retail at big pottery shows (like Dillsboro, Seagrove, etc) don't know how exciting these are for me.  But maybe you do.
Time is somewhat later, from 10-1 Sat. morning.

The White Horse is immediately to the left on Montreat Rd as you cross over State Street...or just on Hwy 9 past Hwy 70 in the center of Black Mountain.

I hope you can drop by, as well as enjoy the rest of the shops in downtown Black Mountain.  It's going to be fun.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The holidays are upon us!

 The week of Halloween it starts.  Holy days and nights.  People thinking about what to give each other for Christmas.  Shopping gallore.

The trees are on their last hurrah (at least 2 weeks ago when this was taken).  Downtown Black Mountain is busier on weekends than it's been since the big summer retreat weekends.
 Something is happening at a local restaurant, which we think will eventually be a new pub.  The mountains dwarf the workers as they put this porch roof together.

Sunshines through the oaks which were stupendous in their colors this year.  Not the staid browns but variegated with all kinds of colors.

Well, drab will be with us for the next few months.  No wonder we want to dress up our homes with lights, put reds and greens around us and embrace the darker times of the year by stretching hands and toes to the warmth of a fire (if we have one).  I have only candles, and they don't exactly warm my toes.

The thing that warms me most this time of year is friendship.  Gathering for whatever reason and talking, eating a little or nothing, singing if it pleases us, drinking little or nothing, it's all making for holidays.  Holy days...and nights.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hallelujah Chorus -Quinhagak, Alaska

Done like you've never seen before. This video from the small Yupiq Eskimo Village of Quinhagak, Alaska, was a school computer project intended for the other Yupiq villages in the area.  Much to the villagers' shock, over a half million people have viewed it.
Click on Chorus here

Thanks to Mary for forwarding this precious video which started my day with singing and "dancing".  It reminds me of the preciousness of all children, and how communities can come together if there's something worth doing.

Sort of like the Occupy movement.  Only very different of course.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Clay Club adventure!

Sorry I don't have pictures...and I was in the ones John took, but not my face.  Just look for my hair, which is obvious enough.

We had such fun...Erin and I drove up to Spruce Pine to pick up some of her works at the Toe River Gallery, and then to Bakersville to the Crimson Laurel Gallery to see the Cups exhibit.

I think this was the most fun collection of cups I've ever seen.  There are just so many things that could be boring about a cup show.  Not this one.  It was full of exciting and beautiful works.  Each artist had about 4-7 pieces, depending upon the size perhaps.  But they were the entire gamut of what clay can become when a vessel to drink out of.

And the gallery also had their other artists who are permanent exhibitors, and they also had cups as well.

Then to the chili cook off at John Britt's for Clay Club.  I brought banana bread because my corn bread went silly on me.  Erin knew how to be welcome with store bought stuff...cheese cake samples.  There were just 8 different chilies to taste, and I only had 3, since I knew one of those would win, and turns out I was right.

I enjoyed spending time in the car with Erin, who shared a wealth of information about various shows she's exhibited in, mostly jurried shows.  I have always enjoyed her delicate and well formed sculptural wall hangings, and was glad to hear her talk about many aspects of not only creating them, but how she has concerns about their well being when they are exhibited. 

Erin Essen Campbell gave a demonstration to the BMCA clay studio last March I think.  It was great to see how she puts together her well designed wall frame boxes.

At the Clay Club, our feature entertainment was a slide show of Emily Reason's recent trip to China and various pottery encounters...a well spent evening of seeing how a very different culture looks at hand made pottery.

Now I will return to the series of Dilly Dillsboro photos...just had to share this lovely time with you.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Energy balance

Just came back from my volunteer time at the Blue Ridge Parkway's Folk Art Center.  What a lovely place to work...though I can't really consider what I do work.

It's an energy balancing place apparently.  I have things that I can donate, a little time, a few old CD's to one of the people who also works at an assisted living facility (ALF).  I used to work at an ALF, and then an independent elder housing apartment building.  She is about to move into an apartment like that as well.  And she will soon be quitting her ALF job so I offered her some old CD's that I had originally purchased for the elders (a generation older than mine at least).  She may give some to the ALF, or she may keep a few.  I was glad that they will be listened to by someone.  My next choice was to take them to a thrift store.

Then I read that there were some duplicate magazines available for a good home, from a donation to the FAC's library which already had a copy of these issues and didn't have space for them.  I asked for those having to do with clay, and may send them to the Clay Studio of Black Mountain Center for the Arts.  Or I may keep them if they don't want them.  They also have space limitations, as do I myself.  But now I can browse through them at times other than when I'm volunteering at the FAC.

I also took home a lot of inspiration today.  I was thinking of so many projects I want to do, which weren't really a result of seeing similar things, but just an extension of what I've already been working on, and I was sitting quietly and let these ideas percolate up.  So I asked for some paper to sketch them.  And that was all the time I had.  Another visitor who viewed the beautiful quilt display said she had gotten inspired by the time she left.  I think everyone's awe at seeing hand-crafted beauty can easily turn into the desire to create themselves.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Samhain (say sow-wain)

It's the oldest holiday that I can relate to...much more than Christmas.  The roots seem closer to what it's meaning is...the celebration of/the learning about and accepting death.

I don't know who painted this, but I love it!

So kids get to be scarey, and scared.  So pranks have become very popular.  Entertainment is a laugh...because Charley Brown and the Great Pumpkin was never really believable, as Santa come to a nature theme.  Really now.  Nature started the whole theme. 

This is getting outside and running through your own neighborhood door to door, seeing what kinds of goodies your neighbors can dole out to the kids.  Seeing the loveable attempts at scareyness by the older ones, or the tougherr ones.  And the darlings who only want to be cute are so adorable.

OK, I do remember more my children's trick or treating than my own.  I don't remember ever going door to door myself, maybe because we didn't live in sububurbia until I was a teen, and much too old to do this childish thing.  I think my kids enjoyed making their own costumes, but we sure did purchase a few also.  Parties were so much fun, and there were great scarey ideas to help everyone have a chance to scream...how many activities promoted screaming your head off!  Not to mention the treats!  They often lasted till Christmas, well Thanksgiving anyway!

Back to Samhain's meanings.  The "dead" are closer to us "living" at this time, cause the saying is "the veil between the worlds is thinner."  Why would people through centuries want to have that connection to those who have "gone before" or "passed over" or "entered the other country"?  Well, honoring their lives makes sense...to think in our busy-ness about another person who is no longer busily going about life...to ponder their passions that led to our own existence, to forgive their mistakes that bent and changed their own lives.  To consider our own mortality.

So I hope you have a Happy Samhain today!  Boo!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tailgate markets of Black Mountain

The Mudbuddies closed down our booth yesterday after a wonderful last market.  The rain was gone by the morning, so we had bright blue skies.  And a little wind.  The only real hardship was the fact that it was really cold.  So we know it's time to close up shop and head indoors.

I think there will be one more "Tailgate Craft Market" to be held Nov.19, not sure where yet.  So we will have one more opportunity to show Black Mountain our wares.

Barbara Rogers by Barbara Rogers :>+)
Our group of 6 potters has had fun and challenges this summer.  We mostly did well...though there were a few Saturdays that we grudgingly packed all the same pottery back into our boxes without a single sale.  If we knew how to avoid those days, we would all be much happier potters.

Then there were days like yesterday, and for the first time all 6 of us had sales.

Many days we would say, we're really just doing this for the fun we have sitting outside and talking to people. NAH!   Most of us need to sell something as well as have a happy time.  This isn't like a "hobby" for us.  We are seriously trying to do the best we can, in the directions each of us wishes to grow as craftswomen.  (Our subtitle name would be MudSisters if we needed one.)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Alchemy of clay - huge format

photo: Carter Smith


I took a figure sculpting class from Alex Irvine last year at this time.  This year, just look what he's done! (with others)

Thanks to Clay Club for sharing this...another great blog for pottery info. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Latest pottery

Post Script: Yesterday I posted 2 pictures of many labyrinths I've constructed.  I forgot to say, what's the difference between a labyrinth and a maze? 

A maze has the intention of getting you lost, with lots of deadends.
A labyrinth has the intention of taking you directly (turning directions of course) to the center, then back out again on the same path. 

So when I recently read about the Labyrinth and the Minotaur, I realized the story was written wrong, because that was a maze, not a labyrinth, which would get someone lost unless they knew about the golden thread.  In a true labyrinth, you need no thread to find your way out.  That's why it's an ideal journey for meditation.

 A couple of my raku sillies...just for the fun of it!

 This kind of like a pumpkin/squash bowl...who knows?

 Set of 4 mugs in matt bronze green, with some amber glaze sponged on for a rough/shiney effect.

I added a bit of clear glaze around the lips so there was a smooth touch for your lips as you drink out of them.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


The labyrinth from Chartres Cathedral...well, a copy of course.

A finger labyrinth of the Newgrange, Ireland (or Malta) triple spiral.

I wonder if this is where I could say the Matlese Triple Spiral?