Monday, July 11, 2016

TBD Tuesday Tumblers

I have been wanting to get better at regular blog posts... It looks like today is as good as any to begin!

Maybe you've seen a tumbler or two pop up in my Instagram feed. What is going on? Well, I decided that I needed to do something to get myself posting work consistently, and since the tumblers are what got the clay ball rolling again... it felt like a good fit!

Each Tuesday you will find a unique tumbler (or set) posted in the shop... when it is gone... it is gone! I really like it when people pick up my tumblers and find the one that seems to fit them. There is something tangible about the connection of my hands to theirs. The goal of TBD Tuesday Tumblers is to try and translate that to an online experience (not an easy task). I think that is one of the things that has limited my online productivity... It is hard to get all the senses involved, and to feel that connection. My hope is that these transactions happen off of some spark that occurs when you see a certain tumbler. For that reason I am willing to post experiments, and accidents... things that might not appeal to everyone, but may speak to someone. So far the response has been amazing, and so much fun... Thank you!

Follow along every Tuesday on Facebook, or Instagram... or check in on the site to see if a tumbler sparks YOUR interest!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Coming Back Around...

I am welcoming in 2016 by looking back... way back to my college days (Graceland University). Specifically the days working in the ceramics studio. I created a small body of work that leaned against the idea that as a "potter/ceramicist" I was destined to make mugs and teapots. I didn't see anything wrong with creating this type of work, but I didn't like it to be assumed that this is who I was as an artist. So the worked referenced functional ceramic pieces, and had a metallic/machine fabrication aesthetic. I had big ideas for this work and where I would take it... However, I didn't really understand how to tackle these ideas, in order to make the body of work a reality. I got overwhelmed, and the ideas sat on the shelf.

Tea Pot Jams, made circa 2000

Fast forward to about this time last year (yes, fast forward... backwards)... I had been getting my hands back in clay. As I dipped my toes (well, fingers) back in the clay... I found myself leaning towards making simple tumblers. These items were something to use, and compliment my life in coffee. I had never seen my skill set matching up very well with those of a "production" potter, but there was something intriguing about tackling that notion... and turning it on its head.

Then, out of the blue... I was asked if I, "could make custom ceramic growlers". I had never thought about such a thing, and had no idea how to go about fulfilling that request... so I said, "yes, I think I can do that". I had also just recently made a challenge to myself to "try and fail" at as many things as possible. This meant, instead of shying away from things that I thought I could not do, or might not be good at... that I would GO FOR IT!!!

So... in the last few hours of 2015... I delivered growlers number: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 (out of 250 to be made). All were sold before the doors to Mare Island Brewing Co. was even open for business (and there was still a line of people who would have to wait for the next batch). The reason I write this post now, is to highlight the fact that these growlers are tied to that work from long ago. The work I was doing then is present now, both in aesthetic and concept. I had to lean into what I bucked against as a young college student... just now am I learning how to be myself. Letting the work flow out of me, and not simply just pushing against the box that others (or myself) might want to put me in. I can now look back at the patterns of my life, and see that the things people now often say that I am "good at"... are all things I was quite sure I could never excel at. What a wonderful thing it is to be proved wrong... and learn something new!

64 oz Growler for Mare Island Brewing Co. (2015)

Friday, July 24, 2015


Not long after the loss of my Father I had a song pour out on to the pages of my journal… it was the type of writing that I didn't think about, craft or compose. It just flowed out, and I captured what was being carried in my heart. I closed the journal after writing it, and didn't look at it again for a very long time. It crossed my mind every once in a while, and I would even think about pulling it out to see if the music was ready to emerge. However, it was always too raw… to hot to hold in my hands, and more pain than my heart was willing to expose.

This past Father's Day, exactly 11 years since saying goodbye to my dad for last time… I was ready to open that journal. I recognized a new feeling on my path of grief. I felt a strength and connection to my grief as part of my journey, but not the definition of who I am. I was ready to sing, and be free. Free from the locked room of my own hurt, and ready to open myself to the beautiful world of joy (and pain) that exists for our open hearts.

I share this rough video as a sign post on my road, and look forward to the directions it points me.

Friday, January 2, 2015

MedicineBow in Napa

MedicineBow @ Medicine Bow
Happy New Year to everyone… I am excited that the new year will be starting off with plenty of music for me! MedicineBow (the name for my current music adventures) has two nights in Napa during January, and starting to set things up for beyond! I will be playing at The Black and White Center (in the Slack Collective) on the 4th (Sunday), and 24th (Saturday). For both of these shows I will be sharing the stage with a handful of other wonderful musicians! You can get tickets from me (while they last… I only get a few), or at the door!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Silent Night and Holiday Hype

Another holiday season is ramping up towards the frenzied, shop-til-ya-drop, crash into the new year, and hope we all survive it… season we know and love (sorta). I often feel very anxious this time of year as a "creative business person", because I sense the need to "take advantage" of the opportunity to sell. I am admittedly not very good at this part, and I can get stuck beating myself up for not being better. So today, I am taking a time out. To simply enjoy the love I have for creating.
Last year I recorded a simple version of the song Silent Night that I have been singing for a few years. Perhaps you can use it as back ground for your own time out. This is a season of darkness, and the opportunity for quiet reflection. Winter is getting ready to settle in, and hold our deeper thoughts. There are things to hold ourselves accountable/responsible for, and there are the gifts we can give ourselves (and others) of being loving, gentle… letting go. I have much to be grateful in this season. Today I am going to sit and soak that gratitude up. I am going to do what I can in my studio, and share as much of it as possible… whether it is during this holiday season, or perhaps in the new year. 
It is my hope you find your own space of quiet reflection during the hustle and bustle of this season… and that what ever lights you up, you find more of in the new year!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Whispers of Wild Noise

Occasionally in life there are events where everything in our fragmented day to day, intersects…  a focus where the world appears crystal clear, and all the blur melts away. It is in these moments where we catch a glimpse of how it all connects. In these spaces we feel perfect with all the crazy imperfections we normally run from. When we breath in this air… we understand our tangled breath as the beautiful weaving of everything.

Last year at this time I stumbled into one of these moments. It was called Wild Noise. I spent these days in the magic shadows of the Santa Cruz redwoods… creating, singing, playing, eating (delicious food), growing. It was this week that I received my mastered tracks back for my first CD (Bag of Simple), reconnected to art that lights me up (Andy Goldsworthy), talked permaculture/used tools from Ecology of Leadership, and caught a glimpse of all of these things making up who I am.

Sadly… Wild Noise will not be happening this year. We couldn't inspire enough people to carve out this space in their life. Why is that? How do we invite people to find these gifts in their lives? I do not know the answer to these questions, but perhaps this is how Wild Noise is providing me focus this year… by giving me questions to be curious about, and the challenge of creating/manifesting what is important in my life.