About Me

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A roller girl with a day job and a pottery studio making her way in the world. :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morning

Well, it isn't what I expected to be having for Christmas morning but I am warm and safe and the bread that Jim gave me made it through security for the second time so my mom will get to experience Breadman's finest. I kept thinking they would at least have me unwrap it as it probably looks like plastic explosive...but with sunflower seeds.
Overall, life is pretty grand for me lately. I have no complaints. Wish everyone a most wonderful and safe holiday season.
Malea Rhodes

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Stranded in Cleveland

So i am stranded in Cleveland after my flight coming out od Chicago was 2 hours late. Heres my room, the picture i took of where i parked at the airport so i wouldnt forget and some pearl necklaces i have been working on in my "spare" time. I am now the lone soul at the bar with a bottle of Ravenswood Zin, portabella fritters and crab cake on the way. Very shaky flight on the way in...took 3 pills...still almost had a heart attack. Ugh. The next flight o am hoping they bump me to first class out of kindness. They are paying for the hotel and a $12 food voucher. A girl can barely get a martini on $12. Happy holidays to all. Seriously, what is wrong with a night to myself in a fancy hotel and a fabolous dinner? Merry Christmas to me!

Malea Rhodes

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Shooting Star Ornaments

In the studio finishing up last minute things for the sale...

Malea Rhodes

Chicken and a sale!

What a wonderful week. I now have a new found love for the Beer Can Chicken! That bird was so tender when I tried to take the beer can out the whole thing fell apart. I know it looks small, but the platter that it was on is HUGE! It was almost 8lbs. KT and I only ate half the breast. The rest was pulled, bones cooked down and is now a tasty broth in my freezer to be used for one of my Tuesday Night Knitting Club dinners.

The big news is that next Sunday, December 7th is my studio's Holiday Sale!

The Celadon Studio Annual Holiday Sale!

#38 The Maplewood Shops, Northampton, MA (basement level under Grumpy's Place)

Noon - 4pm

Stop in, buy some really great hand made pottery and ceramic art, try your hand at the potters wheel, sign up for a class, buy a class gift certificate for someone you love, or just hang out and talk to the potters!

There are 6 resident potters in the studio, and all will have work for sale so there will be a good variety of work to choose from. Definitely something for everyone.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Today I am thankful for my friends. If you are reading my blog then you are one of those friends whom I am thankful for.
Wishing much happiness and full bellies to all.

Malea Rhodes

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Almost forgot...

I have to give credit to my bouncer...she guarded the door all night to ensure the rif-raf didn't crash the party.

Go Olive! She was almost convincing.

House Warming Gathering...

What a good time! I made stemless wine glasses for everyone, plus a few tumblers in case someone brought beer, or different tastes you know, keeps the world interesting. My friend Linda with Pioneer Valley Vineyard gave some wine to me for my guests to taste. When the guests arrived I gave them their choice of these: There were about double this many, but I had some in the dish strainer drying. I like to wash them right out of the kiln to get any chemical residue off. Better safe than develop a third eye. All thought a third eye might be useful, the constant staring by strangers would drive me mad!
These were laid out upside down so people could see the glazes and patterns more easily. Some were stoneware, others porcelain. Below are close ups of my Damaged Goods line. After the guests picked their wine glass, they had their choice of wine and then were shown to the dining area where they got to make needle felted coasters. I thought it would be fun to have things in my new home made by friends. It was so much fun! Most of the guests hadn't tried needle felting before and they were all helping each other, giving each other tips and critiques. It was like a giant ice breaking exercise with fabulous end results!
I had purchased wool roving from WEBS and a needle felting kit to get started. My friend Gail, the Kangaroo Dyer, gave me a giant bag of scraps, some hand dyed, and extra felting materials like needles and sponges.

Below are coasters by my friends Carey, J, Creedy, and KT.
Here we have Cirilia, Chase, Tina and Dena. Kat, Jane, Cara and Sage.
Sara, Fern, Jen, Me and Laura.

This is the lot of them laid out. All together everyone but 2 guests made a coaster, and everyone had a great time. Thanks everyone for coming! Now I have all sorts of great things to remind me of my friends! Thanks again! And if you see your name listed here and want me to link to your blog just shoot me an email at littlepottergirl@yahoo.com

And if you haven't checked out a random new blog lately, please check out my friend Jim's blog. He is just getting started, but is doing a great job!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fresh From The Kiln

WOW! I unloaded the kiln today and it was a really good firing. It used to be that I always could count on an electric kiln firing consistently, then I discovered fast firings, then holding (holding the kiln at the peak temperature to get colors to bloom, or gas to escape), now it is like going back to square one. But that just makes it all the more like Christmas morning!

So, today we have Melissa's plates:
The color is really better in person. And I even brought my camera in this time instead of my phone. I can fire them again and get a more translucent color, more bright. Depending on if she likes this in person, I can either let it go, or have a redo. But sounds like the sweater up for barter is in it's early stages so we have some time. Love you Melissa......
And these are Jim's bowls! They came out really good. The last photo is a close up of the sunrise scene he carved into the surface before firing.
All of them lined up on the table. They had just come out of the kiln.
Sunrise teabowls!

So, Snow Farm actually starts this weekend...I was a week ahead of myself. So if any of you thought you missed it...there is still hope!

Have a great weekend everyone. I will post more pics of my wine glasses next week. I am thinking of some crazy glazing trials...fingers and toes crossed.

Bye for now!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

WOW! So much stuff!

Wow it has been almost a month since my last posting. Sorry everyone. Been moving, unpacking, painting, patching, more painting and getting things finished up for Snow Farm. Which started this weekend! So much stuff to see out there, everyone should go at least once. It runs for 3 weekends, so plenty of time for everyone to squeeze it into their schedule... And buy my pottery...or at least buy something wonderful and hand made even if it isn't mine! Support your local artists. We are a dying breed!

So last week Jim, my Wednesday night student helped me take this picture of the kiln when it was going...You can even read the temperature on the read out.

Tonight I loaded the kiln and the entire bottom and second shelf belong to Jim! He has turned out so much stuff and really taken off. This is some of his work glazed, not yet fired. That will happen tomorrow.

These are 2 of KT's Pots that have been glazed and fired. A few years ago (back when I had free time) I made the staff at WEBS, sheep holiday ornaments. Kathy (one of the owners) had mentioned that she would be interested in selling them in the store. So last week I started the process of making them. This is the first run, I have done them with raised up, or slip trialed designs, carved designs, and slip trailing over carving. We'll see how they turn out and which ever ones get the best feedback I will make a couple dozen to sell at WEBS.

I am going to turn on the kiln tomorrow....and inside are all of the plates for Melissa Morgan Oakes. They will be done and ready to give to her by Wednesday. One more thing down!

And I have to say that while I have been getting settled in my new home I have been knitting up a storm! My most recent finished project is this felted pillow. Knit in Brown Sheep Burly Spun.

And lastly, I have been working really hard to get wine glasses ready for my little house warming gathering. And it is now down to the wire. None of them have come out just the way I wanted...which usually turns out to be the first ones to go oddly enough.

But I have done a bunch of them in all different styles and will glaze them differently. Some of them are in the new "damaged goods" line. Some others are more traditional. But they have all got to be done by this Friday.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


My mobile blogger has been giving me problems...aka not working. So this is a test...of he non-emergency go-blogger system

Malea Rhodes

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Snow Farm!

So I have been in the process of moving, unpacking and painting and have failed my blogging duties, simply due to a complete lack of extra time. But Snow Farm is quickly approaching so I need to start firing again...lots and lots of firing...

If you have never been to the Snow Farm Holiday Sale you are missing out!
Glass, pottery wood, textiles and jewelry just in time for gift giving. And it is 3 weekends so there is no excuse NOT to go!!


Monday, September 22, 2008

So this week...

Well, the Snow Farm Holiday Sale is coming up which means that I have...well the deadline to drop off work is November 1st. So, it takes me at least a 2 week turn around...throw it, dry it, bisque it, glaze it, re-fire it. So I have 2 weeks left to throw for the sale. If you haven't been to the Snow Farm Holiday Sale...get your butt out there! It is so worth it. Glass, wood, jewlery, and of course, lots of fabulous pottery. It is the first 3 weekends in November, so plenty of time to get out there.

But...this is the reason I am having trouble getting out of my bed on the weekends to go to the studio...

And she is purring, an all warm and fuzzy under the blankets next to my leg or my tummy...so cute...little Olive.

But this weekend i have to get a bunch of the stemless wine glasses and the plates for MMO in the bisque either Saturday or Sunday, and then glaze them next weekend. Then maybe she will surrender the sweater to me that we are bartering....I love you Melissa...they are going to be so beautiful!!! And next week I move, so maybe I can get a few extra things done...in between unpacking..yeah...in between unpacking...sure. Oh why am I moving yet again.

No, in pet terms, this is my "forever home". And it has lots of space to store pots!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saturday Firing..

So, I can't decide if I am happy with this lot of newly fired work. Some dots ran, others didn't. It is becoming a crapshoot with this new style and glazing technique I have been working on. I am trying to get a full body of work together that would present well in a gallery, but as soon as I think I have the whole thing ready...bad firing, handles break in drying, who knows. At this point I suspect elves come in during the night and booby trap the kiln. I guess I could embrace it and say that individuality is the wonderful thing about handmade items. But right now we will settle with a weak hug.

Cruets, my favorite thing in the world to make...my least best seller. Ugh!

Mugs...everyone loves mugs right? Depends on the show. One year, people are "I have too many mugs, I don't need any more", the next year, same show..."do you have any mugs, maybe a whole set?".

Batter bowl. Somehow it warped a little from the weight of the handle when it was firing, so it is a wee bit oval. Go figure.

And last but not least...Tumblers. I use these for everything...coffee(they keep your hands warm in the winter), a vase, pencil cup, knitting needle holder, and if I leave on one my night stand, it becomes a cat dish...I don't know why it becomes so much more appealing to Olive when the water isn't in her bowl, but in mine..???

Monday, September 15, 2008

Open House

The Open House was a great success. A great big thanks to Karen a member of the studio, for helping wrap pots and take cash while I did demos and greeted guests. We had a few people stop by and inquire about classes, and a few interested in renting full time studio space. And we sold lots of great pottery! We are getting plans in the works for holiday sale, but unfortunately I won't be doing any demo's outside in early December...I would be throwing a big white chunk of icy slush. Ouch!

People shopping at the Open House.

KT, trying her hand at the potters wheel.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Damaged Goods...the new line of pottery!

So...all things considered I think this line of pottery will speak for its self. Now i just need to find some plastic rodents or bugs. I was trying to think of a way to make some more "indy" pots. Something a little more fun. And since you can smoosh anything into the clay when it's wet, I just have to start bringing ramdom stuff into the studio that people will be able to identify when they see the profile. Or not. Smooshing is quite gratifying. Now I just have to get my butt in there and start glazing some stuff. The Mrs. Potts, teapots, which have had lots of interest...those need to get glazed and done so I can stuff them in a befitting gallery somewhere. And then I have to start getting ready for Snow Farm.....Oh happy holidays....

Soy Bowls

I scooted in last night and made a few bowls for the snow farm sale. These little guys get "thrown off the hump". Which means i get a big mound of clay, "center" a door knob shape on top,

and then throw the door knob.

You can usually get 12 or so out of a 3 lb chunk. Kinda cool eh..

Okay, today is the open house. We have expanded it, so now we are doing demo's, allowing people to sit down for a minute and play with the clay on the wheel...trying to drum up some business for the studio. And I have 2 people coming by to "interview" for the space as well, for full time residency! Yippie! The little place is growing up faster than I could have ever expected! Next year I will need to rent the space next door, and blow out the wall in between for gallery space over there...or a teaching facility!!! Whoopie!!!
Malea Rhodes

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Most Wonderful Thing

So, I was sharing with a friend, KT of www.zombie-hunter.com, how I lost my grandmothers teacup collection over a stupid family feud. Grandma had everything from a tiny plastic Barbie cup and saucer to the only one that I actually got my paws on (its got a raised Chinese dragon on the outside and when you hold it up to the light there is the outline of a Geisha in the bottom). Today I noticed KT left work for lunch and I was joking with her as to where she went. Said she got me a housewarming present and just couldn’t wait to give it to me. She presented me with this lovely iridescent glass cup and saucer to “start my collection again”. There is still a lot of good out there in the world. Thanks KT. You ROCK!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

WOW! I want one

Always a sucker for classic cars, this one was parked next door this morning. I would learn how to rebuild engines for one of those baby's! And I know it has NOTHING to do with pottery, but i could sure HAUL a lot of pots in the back of one of these. KT says is a Land Rover Defender 110. Looked it up online they are worth like $45,000 for a '93 model. Okay, so maybe I stick with my Kia. :-) The Kia, she is nice, and roomy...

Malea Rhodes

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I did it and it didn't explode...kinda...

So, after calling the old owner about the strange burnt area on the kiln outlet she reminded me that it blew up some time last year and we replaced a few bits and pieces...so i got gutsy and ran it today. All was fine! except for the 2 pieces that I think someone put on the shelf not dry enough because I heard two pops..which means something exploded. Hey, if it's on the shelf that is for the "stuff ready to be fired", I am guessing it is actually so. Maybe not so much.

Anyway, my Sunday student was in today and completed these mugs! I am so happy. He really wanted to make a set of mugs and he sure did, along with some other great stuff as well! I have always wanted to have a "wine party" where everyone comes with a bottle of their favorite wine, and I make hand made wine glasses for everyone to use at the party and then take home. These may look huge, but they will shrink once they are fired, and they should come out to be good sized stemless wine glasses.
And finally I think I have MMO's sushi plates done! Well, not fired yet as they would have exploded from wetness too. But I tried 3 different ways after the first batch cracked and I have a winner! I actually like these so much I am thinking of making extra for myself. With the rim being nice and high I think it would hold sauce in the plate and not dribble it onto my lap. And the little wavy lines on the outside edge might act like speed bumps for runaway meatballs and such!

That's all for now. I have a first-timer student starting on Wednesday, so depending on his modesty level I might show off some first night pots. And there are bound to be lots of pictures from the Open House on Sunday! And if I know and love you and haven't linked to your blog it is because I can't figure out how to yet....sorry ladies! MMO, CR, Webs, Kirsten, and the Crafty Cat(probably way more too). I will figure it out soon!

The Sparking Kiln

So I went in to load a bisque kiln last night only to discover that there were melted bits to the plug and outlet of my kiln! The seconds sale is only a week away, and the Snow Farm Sale is just 2 months away! Help! Anyone know a great inexpensive electrician. I will have to call Monday and get them out there asap.

Anyway...i was going to fire more of these great mugs this week.

Oh, I guess it is always something. Just when I thought I was breaking even...coming slightly ahead out of the starting gate. Ugh!

I had also been working on these Sushi plates for MMO, but when I went to put them in the kiln last night I realized that all but 1 were badly cracked in at least one corner. So, we will try round 2 today. They were...are going to be a lovely crackel green when they are done...maybe with a hint of a black/brown oxide wash on the sides...maybe a little stripe down one side.....This will work...this will work...I think I can...I think I can.......Okay, so off I go. I have a student to teach there today from 3-5. Today we will be learning the fine art of handle pulling. Lucky him. He wants a set of mugs, by golly I will have him walk out of there with a set of mugs!

And I think I might have a new student starting next Wednesday....keep your fingers crossed. I love students!

Happy rainy weekend all!