Monthly Archives: September 2015

Candle Light

It took a whole day to photograph all my Etsy pots! I never thought it would end. But toward the end the anxiety of it subsided and I was able to have some fun with lighting using a candle. First I only used it because the bird feeder that I made doubles as a candle holder. But then my orchid pots hadn’t been photographed and I figured, what the hell, let’s try the candles. Maybe I can get some cool shadows.

First Set

This is the bird feeder/candle holder. I used one of my 3 regular lights with an umbrella for the outside lighting. The light was pretty far away from my setup (6ft away maybe), behind me and to the right, so that it balances out the candle light without overwhelming it.

These guys above are my orchid pots. The narrow cut-out flower petals turned out to be great for crisp, pretty shadows. On the brown pot the candle also made a nice glare and brought out the little specks and pattens in the glaze. These guys got the same treatment as the bird feeder – one umbrella in the far right/back and the single candle.

Second Set

Inspired by the success of my pot photos, I borrowed a couple of pieces from Travis, my studio mate (ex-studio mate now, i guess), who made a bunch of candle holders over the summer.

By the time I got to photographing these, my candle must have burned down because you could hardly see it and the first set of photos was unusable. To achieve the drama and sparkle that these pots deserve, I updated my setup with a black poster board (photo below on the left) and a much bigger flame (photo below on the right). The board helped offset the whiteness all around; I don’t know the technical terms/effects here, but it helped. For the larger flame I stuck together 4 birthday candles.

And, Ta-Da! Here are the results:

Thanks to Travis for letting me use his beautiful pots!


As I was writing my last post I was going to link to my previous post about the jars and then realized that I DIDN’T WRITE A POST ABOUT THE JARS. Ok, so it’s time. Right now.

Here’s the deal; the back story: my first intermediate student was asking me about making jars. I presented her with several options, one of which was to make the jar on the wheel and then hand-build the lids. She was NOT excited about this idea, which was surprising to me. When I present something to students and they don’t get excited, I like to explore the concept a little more and show them where it can be taken and why i thought it was cool in the first place. Just in case I didn’t present it well and they didn’t see the potential.

So here we’re talking about thrown jars with slab lids. As with most of my series I start with something simple and then get progressively crazier. 🙂

First Set

I actually gave away 2 of the 3 without taking photos. Terrible. But my mom sent me a picture of the one with the green lid and I still had the other one. You can see, this is before I went nuts. Simple slab lids with a little twist.

Return Of The Jars

This one was an idea that just came to me a few months after that first set, probably because I was re-reading the Moomin Troll book at the time, but it re-surfaced the jars for me. The print on the lid is the same floral woodblock print that I used on one of the original jars (the one that I gave away and didn’t photograph).

Second Set

This set was one of my last projects at Creative Claythings as I was trying to use up my clay. I was going to keep it simple, but the simple simple shapes that I came up with wouldn’t work with these jar shapes. I ended up with floral and bridge-inspired lids. All 4 of these pieces will be featured in my Etsy store.

Changes Are a-Comin’

Last week I left Creative Claythings, the studio where I’d been teaching for the last year. It was very sad  to say goodbye to all my fab students, finish out my clay, fire the remaining pottery, to clear out my shelf. I met many lovely people there, and loved working on my pottery, teaching, and even the chores.

But all things must come to an end sooner or later. The good thing is that not teaching and not doing all the studio chores will free up a lot of my time. I’m going to be able to get back to yoga, which I miss, and running, and gardening…

The other thing that’s a-comin’ is my Etsy store.

Right before leaving I made snack serving trays that I think will make nice conversation pieces and gifts, so you will see those in there. I also made a few jars, continuing from a series I had done earlier (they deserve their own post; coming soon). I now have a closet full of pottery and am not working in the studio, so finally I will have time to take nice photos of everything and put it up on Etsy.

So you can expect photos of pottery and a post on jars next week, and the Etsy store in the next couple of weeks too.