Friday, December 2, 2011

...full healthy capacity

There is another show that should be before this but...I've got a video that goes with it and the video is on Michael's computer (it's complicated and I really look forward to getting a new computer!!!). Anyway this was our last show and the show before that will be posted sometime this week with a video of Michael competing in the Clay Olympics. How fun is that?! So hear about Lousianna.....
This past month we've been feeling a little rundown. With the Uncommon Goods order and our full show schedule it's been kinda tough but we still need to keep up the momentum until the last show. Then we can collapse.
Or so I thought.
Michael and I both came down with colds and got into this cycle of feeling a bit better then going off to a show, coming home feeling really crummy, then feeling a bit better, then going off to a show....you get the point.
We headed off to Covington, LA for the Covington Three Rivers Art Festival. This is a show that we did 2 years ago, did really well at and then didn't get into last year. Go figure. When Michael got in this year we were excited. Sick and excited.
We really like doing shows in LA. For us LA has good ju-ju and food. Don't forget the shrimp!
This year we requested to be next to a friend of ours Peg Martinez (Square Peg) who makes beautiful wooden boxes. It was great to be her neighbor and to catch up with her since we first met her in March in Fairhope, AL. Other than that we were pretty low key because of our lingering viruses. Lucky us.
Across the street from our booth was a cemetery and I went over and took some pictures:



Here are all the angels. Ya just can't beat a cemetery in LA. You can see the rest of the pictures that I took by going to my facebook album.
Behind our booth was a farmer's market. I went over and bought fresh local satsumas (the best ever!) and fresh in-the-shell pecans (when I got home I shelled them while sipping tea with my friend Stefanie). And speaking of shrimp...Michael and I stopped at a seafood market on our way out of town and bought fresh shrimp (many pounds worth and really big!) and tilapia, and grouper, and tuna, and then the cooler was full.
Looking forward to next year and being at the show in full healthy capacity.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Love you honey!

Go figure that we do two shows in Memphis in the same month and we do well at both of them. What's not to like about being in Memphis and getting to eat at Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken?
Every year that we do The River Arts Fest, Michael has an opportunity to teach in a public school before the show. The folks of the festival set it up and Michael loves to do it. This year he got to teach for three days in an AP Art Class and I got to go as well and film. He and the kids made a sculpture. Here's the film that I made:
It was soooo much fun. I had a blast!
This year we were offered a home-stay while Michael taught and through out the show. We were so lucky to stay with terrific folks, the Moneypenny's. One night we brought home Gus's Fried Chicken for everyone. Hey any chance we can get. We stayed in their guest house and here's a picture I took of their dogs. Aren't they adorable?
This is a guy that was walking around the show. He made this himself. Cool, huh?
And Michael won an Award of Merit. Here he is with his award and his certificate that say's he was teaching in the school. Hard to tell which one he's more proud of...
I'm just proud of him. Love you honey!

Monday, November 21, 2011

...in Audubon Park every year.

Most shows that we do are fun. We enjoy what we do for a living and we like to travel.
The Pink Palace Crafts Fair is a very fun show for us because a lot of our 'clay' friends are also at this show. It's a good show to sell ceramics at. The fair is in Audubon Park in Memphis. It's a long show, 4 days. It's dusty, we've got to wipe everything off before packing up. But we really like it. Fun factor for this one is high!
This year we had brought some bottles of wine with us and every day around 5 our buddies would come over to our booth with their ceramic goblets (they are potters you know) and we'd crack open a bottle and have a glass of wine together. It's a very social show for us.
In our studio I'm starting a project called "The Wall Of Flame". It's a collage of all of our 'clay' friends that I'm creating on one of the walls of Michael's studio.
Here are some of our 'clay' friends from The Pink Palace show:
This is Peter of Mudpuppy Pottery.
His studio potter, Adam:

John Sellberg; who won a Merit Award, by the way. Go John!
And Jeff of Daaman Porcelain Jewelry.
Thanks for all the great laughs and photos guys! We'll see you again next year.
Did you know that Memphis is a major distribution center. Every day we would pass this on our way to and from the show...
Miles of these containers and these big contraptions that move them around. It reminded me of the port of Seattle and all of the shipping containers just like the ones above that were getting moved around to put on freighters. I called this "the land port".  It truly was an awesome sight right in the middle of nowhere.
We really like Memphis and it's like old home week in Audubon Park every year.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

...included in such an exceptional catalog

Maybe some of you have already seen it.
Maybe you already know.
Michael's work is in the holiday catalog for Uncommon Goods.
It was a HUGE deal for us and it rocked our studio for months. Michael worked hard sculpting, sculpting, and doing some more sculpting. Not to mention all the oxiding and glazing that happened around here. And then there was wrapping, wrapping, wrapping!
Here's Michael with the order before the truck arrived:
This is our studio assistant, Zack:
This video really tickles my funny bone.
video

Click here to go to the Uncommon Goods website and see Michael's work.
Michael is very excited to be included in such an exceptional catalog.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

...another summer with EM Events.

Well here it is. Here is my first 'socking' of the season. It happened at the 'West End Art Festival' in September. That one was up near Chicago.
Of course, like so many other shows that we did this summer it rained.
And it rained some more. I sent Michael back to the hotel for Sunday afternoon so that he could do some sculpting. Yeah he always brings his tools and clay with him to every show.  So I got to stay at the show in my socks and watch the rain.
What was really sweet about that Sunday is our good friend, Martha Enzler, won an award. Here are some pictures of her and her work.
Yay martha!!!


If you follow this blog you will have seen her picture here before. We loves Martha and her tiles.
This summer we tried a bunch of new shows with a new (to us) promoter, Erin Melloy. We were genuinely impressed and really look forward to another summer with EM Events.

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Been there, done that, now let's move on."

Well folks it's bound to happen. Every artist in our business will sooner or later hit a complete klunker. That show where you wonder why the heck you're there and what planet did you accidently land on. We had such a show. Most of the time it's not the shows fault nor is one's artwork terrible. I chalk it up to being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Actually to be more honest with ourselves it's being in the wrong place no matter what time it is. I always blame myself for not doing enough homework, always wondering how I let this show slip in because I (Victoria) am the one that does all the show research and books them all.
"Hi. My name is Victoria Terra and I booked a klunker!"
Michael was not feeling well and so (to break the norm) I took our studio assistant, Laura, and went to the show without him. It was a good thing. Poor guy would have been really frustrated all weekend. I can't tell you how many times over the weekend that someone walked into our booth and asked me if Michael's work was made out of 'taters'. I kid you not. 
I was floored. 
Jaw drop to the ground. 
FLOORED. 
I am reluctant to put the name of the show in writing. But then again it's really not the show's fault. It was us just not being in the right place to sell Michael's work. The show was 'Arts & Crafts At Iroquois'. It's an art show that is part of 'Kentucky Music Weekend'. I thought it had all the right components that would make good selling for us; folk music that draws an intellectual thoughtful crowd, a music festival that's been going on for 35 years, and at an amphitheater in the city of Louisville. I was wrong. "Go me!"
For those of you that know me and/or follow this blog you will know that we're not ones to let a bad situation get us down. So I want to share with you some of the fun things that came out of our bizarre weekend. 
Believe it our not, this was the first time that I set up the booth without Michael. I was a little concerned about a few of the technical things about stabilizing our panels. But with Laura's help we did it. We got the booth set up, stocked, and the office all ready to go about 40 minutes before the show started. All in all it took us the same amount of time that it takes Michael & I. Laura and I were proud of ourselves:

 This is a picture of the exquisite frozen grapes that were a gift from the food vendor across from us. Why I never thought of freezing grapes for a treat I'll never know. Those grapes rocked my day!

This is a picture of an antique Ford that Rick Thum took two years to restore all by himself. He is a very talented Dulcimer maker and a really nice human. I fell in love with his truck.

There was lots of great music that we listened to all weekend. There was a storyteller from Oregon that told the absolute best stories about Woody Guthrie. There was a dulcimer competition and the winner won a handmade dulcimer (score!). There was a terrific neighbor named Paula who is a very talented self-taught nature photographer.
This is a picture of Laura working while sitting in the booth. Yeah, it was that slow....


And this is the 'Best of Show' award that Michael won. Go figure. Life is ironic...


So that was our klunker of a show. I feel like we can now say, "Been there, done that, now let's move on."


Monday, August 1, 2011

Yay Baltimore!

Wouldn't you love to have a box of these chocolates?
Trust me, I think that you would. We were driving to our annual wholesale show and stopped in Jonesborough, TN to meet with the buyer for the gift shop at the International Storytelling Center. We here at Terra Cottage think that Michael's work is a great fit for a  storytelling center. Now we just have to wait and see if the buying committee agrees with us. We had some time to wander about town and happened upon a chocolate shop. Earth & Sky Confections is a delight and we had fun talking with the father/father-in-law of the owners. Michael and I new at once that this husband and wife team had studied at The French Pastry School in Chicago. We had taken a tour of the school years ago with the girls and we recognized the chocolate design sensibility right away. We knew we had to try some because the chocolates that we had at the school were outstanding. We were not disappointed. We saved our treats for the hotel that night. In our house we like to share our chocolates. First one person will take a bite and then the next. We love to watch each others expressions to see how much they like what they are tasting. It can get rather comical when it's the four of us! Michael and I had a great time sitting in the hotel catching up on cyberspace stuff and trying our boxed chocolates. These chocolates have a great 'mouth feel' and the flavors are wonderfully complex. We know exactly what were getting our best friend Andy for Christmas (he loves good chocolates just like us).
The next day we drove into Baltimore to set up for The Buyers Market of American Craft. In the biz we call this wholesale show 'The Rosen Show' because it is put on by The Rosen Group. We've been doing this show for about 6 years now and we've made a lot of friends. I always look forward to going and seeing everyone. At a wholesale show all the mediums are groups together in rows. So we are in the midst of clay people all weekend. It's nice because there are other husband & wife teams and I get to talk to other spouses that do what I do for a living. We get to kibbitz  about shows and about how to find the best hotel deals & how to better promote our spouse's work. 
Last year the summer Rosen Show was moved from Philadelphia to Baltimore. Which is fine by us because we've got some good friends that live there and we can visit and stay with them. Now I don't know about you but when I think of Maryland I think of crab! And what is more fun then a pitcher of beer, good friends, and pickin' crab?!

This is our very dear friend Peter of Mudpuppy Pottery.
And look at all these yummy crab.....


The Rosen Group is always real good to their artists and there was a party at the American Visionary Art Museum. Very cool museum. This is Peter and Michael getting ready to stuff their faces:
And these are sculptures outside of the museum:

I could totally dig a mirrored tree in my front yard. 
The show went extremely well for us. We had our best show ever. Retail or Wholesale. EVER. The folks at the Uncommon Goods catalogue put in a big order for 'Writer's Block's' and three different 'Reading Glasses: thera P, N spire, & carpe DM'. We are very excited and have hired some local artists and clay people to help with the production. So keep your eyes peeled for the Holiday edition of the Uncommon Goods catalogue. 
It was so worth 16 hours in the car to get there. Besides we had each other for company. 
Yay Baltimore!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cheers Y'All.


Our last show was at Francisco's Farm in Midway, KY.




This year the show moved from the grounds of Midway College to Equus Run Vineyards. It was a bucolic setting amongst the grapevines. 

Each show that we do has it's own unique personality and energy about it. Francisco's Farm feels like an old friend; all warm and comfy. It's not our best show of the year but we keep coming back because the promoter makes all us vendors (artists) feel like a special relative. All the volunteers are friendly and helpful and Marcie (the director) is always attentive. It's a show where there are a lot of artists from our region so it feels like 'old home week' all packed into two days. It's a fun show to be at. 
There is always something special about each show. Something that happens outside of our selling that I find intriguing and I want to share with you. This weekend it was all about the bartering. For years Michael has been bartering other potters for mugs. We must have around two hundred mugs at our house that we have in use. It brings us great joy to open up the cabinet and pick out just the right mug to use. At any time we can summon up the image of our friend the potter while we are drinking from a mug that they made. It makes every day special. Just about a month ago I decided that I wanted to pack up all of my Royal Worcester china and start collecting plates from other potters. So we have started looking at plates at shows and bartering. Here are two plates that we got at this show:
Many thanks to Knox Steinbrecher and to John Sellberg for their contributions to our budding collection of dinner plates. We also bartered with Kotah Moon for this fabulous metal sculpture:
Thanks Kotah! She is going to be perfect in our newly landscaped backyard. 
At this show we started soliciting potters for bowl donations for the Empty Bowls Project of Paducah. Look at all the bowls we got:

Woo Hoo for us and all our booty!
We had dinner with our friends Kotah & Suzy Moon and Kevin Myers at a Midway institution called Wallace Station. Wallace Station was the stagecoach stop between Frankfort and Lexington. Now the building is a bakery and deli. The have amazing sandwiches! Right Suzy?
We had a real unexpected surprise by seeing some other friends of ours that weren't in the show but they were doing something with some store in downtown Midway. It was heartwarming to see Josie and Mark of Mayapple Creations:
We found out that Josie is pregnant. Oh what beautiful parents these two are going to be!
It was such a fun weekend with good friends, great artwork and even some local micro-brewed bourbon barrel aged beer thrown in for good measure.
Cheers Y'All.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

....for having such lovely work!

On the Monday after the Cambridge Pottery Festival we thought that it would be nice to do a bit of sightseeing on the way home from our hotel in Madison, WI. We looked online and we read the promotional guide book that was in the hotel and nothing was jumping out at us. We had asked our friends on facebook for some suggestions and we decided to skip all those and head back to Cambridge. In Cambridge there is a production pottery house called 'Rowe Pottery'. We noticed that there was a store in the downtown so we thought that it would be interesting to stop by and see what it is like. There were a couple of potters at the festival that work at Rowe Pottery and it would be nice to see what they do.
The Rowe Pottery store was indeed very interesting. It was strange to look at a whole store full of very rustic, country-ish style crockery. It was all so very different than what Michael does and it was so very different than hanging out in the galleries that we normally go to. It was fun to see large blow-up pictures of our acquaintances in the store. There were big posters of Glen & Ric throwing on the wheel; larger than life. Click here to see what Rowe Pottery looks like.
On our way out of town we remembered that we had seen a sign for another pottery place. We decided to check it out. What a treat that was! Cambridge Wood-Fired Pottery is a delight of a place. You drive up a long driveway and then you turn a corner and this is what you find.



At first no one was around and we ambled about looking at all the different pots. All of these are made by one person, Mark Skudlarek. This guy is one prolific potter! This is his wood-fired kiln.

Michael came around and we got to talking. On the spot Michael and Mark traded. Mark got a reading glass that say's "R-tist" and Michael got a really cool plate. I used it today, as a matter of fact, for my lunch salad. I'm thrilled! Mark had to take off and go pick up one of his kids but he said we could wander around and take some pictures. I like these of his throwing room. I find it really interesting that he kind of stand/straddles when he is throwing...

The second one is my artsy fartsy shot.
We will definately stop by here again when we come back next year for the Cambridge Pottery Festival. Click here to go to Mark's website and check out his pottery. Thanks to Mark for bartering and for having such great work!