Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Jane featured in Our Homes magazine!

Earlier this fall I was contacted by Our Homes magazine asking if they could do a two page feature on me and my pottery for their winter issue.  What would you say?  I didn't know what to expect, but the interview with writer Julie proved to be a pleasant experience and the photo session with photographer Jessica and editor Lise was actually quite a bit of fun.  It's interesting to see one's work through another's eyes.  In retrospect I would have given more thought to how I answered questions and I would have given more serious consideration to the pottery chosen to be photographed (although in the end the final decisions are made by the editors).  That being said, I think the two page spread turned out nicely.  The timing was great too, as the magazine was hot off the press  when I was just starting the Originals show.  You can get your own copy of the magazine free of charge at your local grocery store, Canadian Tire, etc.  Here it is for you to enjoy; you can click on the article to enlarge it for easier reading!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Originals Christmas Craft Show at the CE Centre

This year you can find me at the Originals show starting tomorrow!  I'll be there for the second half of the show, Dec. 11-16.  Hours are posted on the flyer above.  This year it is being held at the new(ish) CE Centre on Uplands Drive, near the airport.  There's been alot of stuff going on at the CE Centre and I've heard good things about it as a venue.  If you come on Sunday the 16th, you can also stop in on the final day of the season for the Ottawa Farmer's Market.  The Market is in a different hall, also at the CE Centre.

Originals has a well established reputation in Ottawa for high quality handmade goods.  With 200 artisans, there should be something to interest everyone.  I hear that they also have a licensed lounge area for those who tire of walking the aisles looking at all that handcrafted excellence!

I'm thrilled to be a part of it and I'll be even more thrilled after I've set up my booth this afternoon!  If you do make it out there, stop in to say hi, I'll be in booth 227 near the back of the hall.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sanaa Open House on Saturday

This Saturday is my annual open house sale.  I'll be spending the next few days sorting through the pots on my shelves in preparation for upcoming sales.  The pots that don't quite make the cut will be marked down, mostly half price or less.  The imperfections are relatively minor--a glaze that didn't quite turn out the way I'd hoped, experimental pieces, extras from specially ordered pieces--but all still functional.

In addition to my pottery, Peter will be selling his photographs, some as greeting cards, Deidre will have some of her folksy prints on the walls, Marj will have her beautiful crocheted angels and ornaments, and Migdonia will have colourful fleece mitts for children and adults.

And of course the coffee will be on, hot cider will be served, and Christmas treats will be on offer.  Should be a fun day for everyone!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Another Saturday, Another Craft Show!

This Saturday, December 1st, from 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., you can find me and my pottery at the Fisher Park Community Centre Christmas Craft Show & Sale.  I've been at this sale for the past two years, and for a relatively small venue, there are alot of vendors (over 100), and great variety.  The community centre is in a former high school, now housing several middle schools, and the sale is held in the TWO gymnasiums.  I think it's great that some of the kids from the schools get involved, selling baked goods, and crafts they have made, often in support of charities of their choosing.  You can find the kids in the hallway leading to the gymnasiums.

There is usually a nice mix of crafts and food, traditional and funky at the show.  Well worth a visit.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Handmade Here on Saturday

Handmade Here is growing!  Kim is hosting a total of nine of us this year in her lovely home in Westboro.  In addition to taking over her main floor, we're moving into a newly renovated basement room as well.

I'm looking forward to meeting the new artists and seeing their creations.  There will be two jewellers, a painter, a glassblower, a glass artist, two felters and two potters (the other being a raku artist).  Lots to see in a relaxed setting.  Visitors are welcome to coffee (donated by Bridgehead) and treats (provided by the artists) while mingling and pondering.  Should be a great day.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ottawa Guild of Potters Holiday Sale

The Ottawa Guild of Potters' Holiday Sale is being held this week-end (Nov. 15-18) at the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orleans.  Over 50 potters from the Ottawa area have been preparing a huge assortment of creations out of clay.  We'll be setting up our displays on Thursday in preparation for the Thursday evening opening (6-10 p.m.).  The sale continues all day Friday and Saturday (from 10-10 both days) and Sunday from 10-5.  There is lots of free parking and no admission.

I'll have my usual selection of mugs, goblets, French butter dishes, casseroles, serving platters, egg separators, candleholders, milk bag pitchers, oval bakers, soap dishes, teapots, Christmas ornaments, etc. I've recently begun making yarn bowls for the avid knitters out there (pictured below).

NEW yarn bowls

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ginger and Jane on CTV's Regional Contact

One of the places I sell my pots is a new shop called Hintonburg Pottery, one block west of Parkdale Market.  Ginger opened the doors in June and has discovered a community of pottery lovers in Hintonburg.  One of those customers suggested that CTV's Regional Contact show should visit and do a segment.  So they did.  The result was aired last night.  And despite the fact that it was shot on a cold, rainy day, the 2 or 3 minutes they pulled together manages to convey the warmth of the shop very nicely.  You can see it by clicking on this link:

Monday, October 22, 2012

New Show "fireGifts" this week-end

fireGifts is a new show debuting this week-end at the centrally located RA Centre in Ottawa.  All pottery and glass!  I've been busy making pots in preparation for what I hope will be a busy holiday season.  There will be lots to choose from, as this is one of the first shows of the season.  After many years of thinking about it, I finally made some Christmas ornaments this year.  Here is a sampling:

Friday, October 5, 2012

Country Harvest Pottery Show and Sale

My display inside the greenhouse.

I've just set up my display in the greenhouse at Marlin Orchards for the annual Thanksgiving week-end Country Harvest Pottery Show and Sale.  There is an awesome variety of pottery, functional and sculptural, made by 20 or so potters from eastern Ontario and the Montreal area.

Marlin Orchards is in Summerstown, east of Cornwall on Hwy. #2, overlooking the St. Lawrence River.  You can find more info on their website  I believe the show is open from 10 a.m. til 5 p.m. each day, Saturday through Monday.  There will be pottery demonstrations throughout.

While the greenhouses have been emptied of plants, the store is full of apples, pumpkins, mums, tulip bulbs, and much much more.  Well worth a visit!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pottery at Kazuri Beads in Kenya

Pottery made at Kazuri Beads is for a local market.  Beaded jewellery, on the other hand, is sold worldwide, including through fair trade networks.

After the clay is mixed, it is filter pressed (above) and then extruded through a pug mill.

Some pots are slipcast in plaster molds.
Some pots are formed by jigger jolly.

Glazing the pottery.
Some pots are made on Brent wheels (like mine!)

Kazuri Beads in Kenya

We spent some time in Kenya this summer visiting folks we used to work with.  One place we visited, Kazuri Beads, has expanded to employ 350 people making glazed clay beaded jewellery and pottery.  Thought I'd include a few of the many photos we took there.

Clay beads drying in the sun.
She's made 900 beads per day for 30 years!
One of hundreds of jars of glazed beads ready for stringing.

women stringing beads

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bancroft Art and Craft Show August 4th & 5th

a section of the show with the bandstand in the back

The Bancroft Art and Craft Guild is holding their 31st annual art and craft show this week-end at Millennium Park in Bancroft.  The show is a nice size--lots of variety but not overwhelming.  The setting is lovely, the show is free to attend and there is live music/entertainment throughout the two day show.  It is open Saturday, Aug. 4th from 10 am til 6 pm and again on Sunday, Aug. 5th from 10 am til 4 pm.

As usual, the Art and Craft show dates coincide with the well-known Bancroft Rockhound Gemboree, which apparently brings upwards of 40,000 visitors to town each year!  As a young camper and later camp staffer in the area, I remember visiting some of the abandoned mines in the area.  I believe visits are still possible to these sites.

I will have a good selection of older pots along which I've marked down in price.  They are all functional pots, but for one reason or another, don't quite match what I'm making now.  Perfect pieces for the cottage!

my booth at last year's sale

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Herbfest this Sunday

The 17th Annual Ottawa Valley Midsummer Herbfest takes place this Sunday, July 29th from 9:00 a.m. til 5:00 p.m. at the Herb Garden , 3840 Old Almonte Road.  This is a big event for those interested in herbs, gardening, cooking and living a healthy lifestyle.  Interested?  Check out their website

This year's outdoor market has over 100 vendors, including many selling handcrafted items and yummy specialty foods.  There are cooking demonstrations throughout the day, along with chef cook-offs, educational talks, music and dance, tea sampling, face painting, etc.  Lots of variety in a lovely countryside setting.

This is a wonderful show to participate in (and to attend) and I'm looking forward to being part of it once again.  Following are a few photos from the outdoor market area of last year's show.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hintonburg Pottery

Ottawa has a new pottery shop, just one block from the Parkdale Market!  The grand opening is tonight, to coincide with Hintonburg's first Thursday Gallery walks.  Called Hintonburg Pottery, it's located at 78 Hinton Street North, in a space shared with Credible Edibles.  I've just taken some of my pots there and am thrilled to have joined many other potters whose work is on display in this neighbourhood shop.  Ginger will be opening the store Monday to Saturday from 12-6 p.m. during the summer.

Many years ago I used to sell to a store called Crossroads, on Wellingston Street near Holland.  It had a wonderful assortment of handcrafted items including lots of pottery.  The space is now occupied by Collected Works, a wonderful independent book store and coffee shop.  They have expanded their space considerably and are renovating it to accommodate the many events that happen there in addition to selling books.  I'm happy to say they are currently selling a selection of my pottery too.  Somehow, coffee cups and teapots and wine goblets seem to be a nice compliment to books!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Handmade Here in Westboro

On June 16th, I'll be joining these 4 talented artists/artisans for a one day open house sale at Kim's home in Westboro.  Kim makes amazing silver jewellery that sells quickly!  Her cousin Gwen knits & felts bags and purses that are truly unique.  Lise's rich, textured paintings brighten up any room and the ladies at Flo Glassblowing transform glass into luminescent forms.  If you haven't already discovered it, Flo Glassblowing offers lessons and glass blowing group parties at their studio on Gladstone Ave.  Check them out at

I'll have some new items like snack trays and soap dishes along.  If you're looking for a teacher gift, you might consider a mug, a small condiment pot, or even an egg separator!  I'll have larger landscape platters, bowls, sets of goblets and baking dishes if you're looking for a wedding gift.

Browsers and shoppers alike are welcome to come and enjoy the day with us.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Handmade Harvest craft show

This Saturday is the spring 2012 edition of the Handmade Harvest craft show, held in the Almonte agricultural hall at the fair grounds.  If you are one of the first 50 customers to gain entry when the show opens at 10 a.m., you will receive a complimentary swag bag, full of assorted crafty items made by some of the vendors.    Guaranteed to be line ups for the swag, so get there early!  The $2 admission makes you eligible for the gift basket door prize which contains products donated by each of the 53 vendors (a $500 value).  Sounds like these gals know how to organize a fun show.  I'll be there with my colourful pots--lots of small items including new soap dishes and snack trays--and old favourites like egg separators, egg cups, wee bowls, French butter dishes, mugs, etc.  Check out this web site for more details about the show.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ottawa Guild of Potters Spring Sale and Exhibition

new soap dishes with lotus pattern
The Guild's exhibition and sale begins this Thursday at 6 p.m. with a vernissage and continues throughout the week-end.  Everything is exhibited in the spacious foyer of the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orleans.  See details below.
I've been busy trying out some new ideas, some of which will be at the Guild sale, including the following.

Large vase with stamped lotus pattern on two sides

Snack trays with lotus pattern

Snack trays with grapevine pattern

Monday, April 2, 2012

Thanks to Westend Pottery Lovers!

A bird's eye view of half of the venue

Here's the group of us post-sale

Thanks to everyone who made it out to The Westend Pottery Sale.  It was a great week-end, despite some rain and cool weather on Sunday.  This sale has potential to grow as it becomes known in the neighbourhood.  Lots of spectacular pots made by some pretty talented people.  It's wonderful to be a part of this community of potters.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Westend Pottery Sale

click on image to enlarge
Coming up next week-end!  I'm thrilled to once again be part of this lovely sale in Westboro neighbourhood.  Known as "Table Manners" last year, it now has a new name.  Still lots of great pots from some very talented area potters.  Some utilitarian, sculptural, decorative; some porcelain, stoneware and earthenware; some gas fired, wood fired, electric fired....something for everyone!  It's not big, but it's not small.  The floorplan in this show really shows off the pots well, and makes for a relaxing atmosphere in which to browse.

We will also have a little cafe set up in the hall where we will be offering fair trade coffee, tea and home baking, all for $1.00 each.  Another reason to spend a bit of time!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Mugs

In the summer I bought a new mug from Tony Clennell that's a generous round shape with a robust handle.  I love using it for tea.  It's beautiful to look at and my hand cradles it perfectly.  Another mug I bought from fellow potter, Yukari Hazama Iverson at the Marlin Orchards sale Thanksgiving week-end is a very similar, although a more refined shape.  I love it too!  So, I made a batch of mugs with that hand cradling shape in mind and tried to make the handles more generous than I normally do.  I hope others enjoy the shape as much as I do.

These are the two mugs that inspired the new shapes.  Yukari's on the left and Tony's on the right.

Next time I'll aim for a more elevated foot and I feel I need to introduce more decorative elements into all of my pieces.

Carving Moulds

I've been trying my hand at carving some hump moulds for bowls.  As Steve Irvine informed us at his workshop, they take alot of time!  I find it less tedious and crazy making if I just spend an hour or two at a time working on them, so I've been keeping them under plastic and refining them as I have time.  I'm looking forward to asking my dentist if he can spare some old tools for me when I visit in a couple of days, now that I'm getting to the finishing stages.  The images above are reminiscent of the 40's era glass light fixture we have hanging over our dining room table!

The dining room light fixture--whose pattern I took notice of after I'd been carving for a few days!

Above are a few of the stamps and roulette type stamps I've been making.  I like using the wood stamps I got last year, and am excited to make my own out of clay.  All these moulds and stamps will be bisque fired and then be used to imprint patterns on wet clay.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Steve Irvine Workshop

The Ottawa Guild of Potters brought Steve Irvine from his home in Wiarton, ON to Ottawa for a week-end workshop in January.  Steve's careful attention to detail is evident in the way he forms his pots and in his approach to photography--both important aspects in his life.  He's a solitary artist, working alone in his studio and choosing to sell primarily through stores and galleries within a couple hours' radius of his home studio.  Very interesting to hear him explain his marketing strategy and his relatively modest pricing.  And to hear about the beginnings of the Owen Sound artists' co-operative that he helped found and of which he is still a member.  His quiet, patient, humble demeanour seemed to be transferred to his pots and his photographs.  Lovely work.

Steve demonstrated some of the techniques he uses in forming pots and in creating decorated, textured surfaces. Most intriguing to me were the intricately carved & bisqued hump moulds he used to make bowls and the many rolling tools, also carved and bisqued.

bisqued & carved hump mould

finished teapot and bowl made with hump mould above 

a selection of stamps and rolling tools used to add texture

He made several forms that were then altered, and several were made of assembled pieces, including an animated teapot complete with two eyeballs and four legs.  Lots of food for thought from this workshop.  I look forward to trying out some new ideas that have been percolating since the workshop.
vase form made in 3 pieces