Category Archives: pottery

creativity & clutter

I have spent most of my life interested in clay. It’s been an on again off again relationship. After my last long hiatus, I started up again about 5 years ago. I had read somewhere about the exercise of making 100 similar items to gain proficiency. This seemed like a good time to tackle the 100 project. Since I love coffee mugs, I decided I would make 100 of them. I would keep notes about handles and glazes and finally make my perfect mug…HA!

I made red ones and blue ones, I made tall and short, I made perfect swooping handles and awkward little ones. And I made 100. As the project was wrapping up my husband gently asked what I was planning to do with all the mugs. Hmmm. I hadn’t thought about the problem of creative clutter. Then it came to me – I would have a sale and donate ALL the proceeds to Habitat for Humanity. It would be too awkward to have a sale and keep the proceeds since my friends would most likely be making a mercy purchase. But if I charged $20 and gave it all away…maybe people would feel okay about taking home a mug.

The sale was a success, I sold all the mugs and decided to apply the 100 project to bowls.

Same idea, different vessel, different charity. This time I picked the local food bank and when the project was over they took a picture of me handing them an oversized check for $2000!

Fast forward to last September and I once again wanted to tackle mugs in search of the elusive combination of design, colour and function. I didn’t keep count this time but ended up with the same problem of creative clutter. The newlyweds selected 8 for their new life together. My friend LKG selected 10 for her lake retreat. And still I had plenty.

Then it hit me. We were hosting the post-wedding brunch and would be serving coffee to 75+ guests…what if I casually offered them to people after they drank their coffee?!?

Brunch mugs

Brunch mugs

Bingo. They found new homes. Win Win. I think it’s time┬áto switch to knitting for awhile!







My fascination with clay began in Georgian Bay. Our grandparents had a cottage near Owen Sound and we spent our family summer vacations there.

The water is clear, deep and very cold, so we found other things to do besides swim to occupy ourselves. Besides being rocky, there was plenty of naturally occurring clay in the water. You can see where this is going, right? I started playing with clay. Our Grandpa was a very good sport and claimed to love the ashtrays we made him! They were crude pinch pots adorned with small rocks and left to dry in the sun. He would rest his pipe in the ashtray and when it broke, which they inevitably did, there were several more waiting in the wings.

That was many years ago but I have dabbled in clay all my life. As my sister mentioned in an earlier post, pottery seems to be in our DNA. I have graduated from those early pinch pots to wheel thrown mugs and bowls that last a little longer than Grandpa’s ashtrays!


pottery palpitations

I get a physical reaction around pottery. It happened again today.

I went to a community centre packed with hand-thrown, wood-fired porcelain and clay beauties. I’m on a (new) budget so was only supposed to look.

But there is interesting hard wiring in my psyche for instant gratification – but not for anything frivolous or foolish… books, moleskin notebooks, wool, art, pottery, gin…

On the first walkabout, I could have filled a shopping cart with bowls of all sorts, mugs and French butter pots. I held it together for two rounds of the side-by-each six foot tables.

Then I caved for these little beauties from Jane Snider.

And something for my sister from Amy Doole.

then I stopped. honestly.