Looking forward to being a vendor at the RIFLA Fall Conference (Rhode Island Foreign Language) in Cumberland, RI this Saturday….created a few “text to life moments” for language teachers to display on their desks or in their classrooms….perfect for any teaching moment! Teachers need all the help they can get! Also made a few salsa, guacamole, and pico de gallo servers….And as usual, I will have my vintage lace inspired pottery…. see you there!
This cool crisp air has me settling in nicely to a fall routine of creating pieces for holiday selling. The summer was spent exploring , practicing, and fine tuning my pottery….I also looked for new ways to decorate with leaves and trees and shopped and searched for new vintage lace doily patterns. I spent time thinking about object sizes (i.e. how many items can I fit on a kiln shelf if I make it a bit smaller) and simplifying designs/shapes so I can keep price points in my range. Remembering this clay obsession is just a hobby, I am learning to be more productive in the time allotted. And then passing a happy and proud product to the buyer–you! Then you, in turn, appreciate local crafts and arts and continue to shop local. A good cycle.
While exploring and playing in clay I entered a few gallery shows and also learned a new technique called zentangle….I love the spontaneity of organized doodling! I also had the honor of pressing a few friends’ babies toes and handprints into clay and making mementos for them.
A good summer—my mind is clear and content, and happy to back at my role as the Fat Robin Potter! Hope to see you soon—open daily by appointment, just get in touch… Maggie
This is the maple tree lined dirt road that leads to my brother’s summer cabin in a remote area of the Berkshires that I walked the first time Memorial Day weekend. Although I had never previously been there, the trees felt strangely familiar and very comforting, like old friends. How do I know? I’ve been decorating my pottery with these trees for years and what a relief it was to finally experience what my brain has been visualizing all these years….now I know what trees (or old friends) are calling me; I just have to figure out why! Tree conversations in my pottery—a new language….does anyone speak “tree”? Looking forward to many more conversations with old friends….
Spring Open House, Mother’s Day Sale, Kentucky Derby Day, call it what you want, Fat Robin Pottery is optimistic the sun will be out on Friday (1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.) and Saturday (1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.) for an open studio sales event to highlight this season’s new lace doily designs and shapes they adorn….. trays, bowls, squares, oblongs, and more….Also in stock are yarn bowls, hubbard squash bowls, and new parsnip leaf designs. Old favorite pottery designs are available in mugs, bowls, sunflower leaves, and a few fern leaves. No appointment necessary on Friday and Saturday; can’t make it? call or email to set up an appointment to stop by! Fat Robin Pottery, in the garage at 26 Simmons St., Newport….846-9323 or firstname.lastname@example.org…. Happy spring!
I’ve rested and travelled and learned and read and shopped and am now excitedly back in clay mode. My Minnesota visit with my daughter gave me time to shop the antique malls for new lace doilies to press into new platters and trays and bowls and new shapes. Currently taking a surface decorating class at South County Art Association (thank you, Anna) which will give me time to rethink and to refine current designs. And as the muddy fields dry, the fire pit calls! Spring 2016 brings new enthusiasm, new ideas, and a happy mojo to my work. Currently loading a bisque kiln filled with lace doily imprinted clay–trays, bowls, oblongs, ovals–experimenting with all shapes and sizes. I’ll have lots to share!
The kiln is cool, the work table is clean, all clay items have been bisqued, and the studio will be quiet for a week. Time for a change of pace to invigorate the mind, although the thought of clay never seems to leave. While spending time in Boston this week, I will be visiting the Massachusetts Historical Society. Seven years ago, while working as a para in a 5th grade classroom that was studying the Civil War, I tracked down a distant cousin in AZ that I knew had information about ancestors who fought in the war. We became pen pals as she shared family history. It turned out the person she has the most information about was the great great grandmother I was named after and her brother who had enlisted in the Civil War. After months of correspondence, my husband and I decided to visit her in Tucson, AZ. By the end of the visit, not only had she shared much family history, but she gave me my great great grandmother’s wedding dress that had been preserved nicely in the dry AZ climate. In addition, she gave me the letters my great great grandmother had received from her brother in the Civil War, written in about 1861. My great great grandmother and family had lived in the Braintree, MA area.
Upon arrival home to Newport, RI, I realized the wedding dress would not survive in the damp seaside climate, so i had it cleaned and stabilized at Museum Textile Services. I then donated the dress to the University of Rhode Island Textile Conservation Program. Their facility is climate controlled and much about the 1860’s could be learned from the dress. The Civil War letters remained safe in a file in box at home, always on my “how to preserve it safely” to-do list, until now. Realizing I would be in Boston next week, I contacted the Massachusetts Historical Society and asked if they would accept a donation of these letters, by a Braintree, MA soldier, for their Civil War collection. A reply to my email came within 5 minutes–Yes! So this week I will finally get these fragile letters into the proper preservationists hands so they may be shared for many more years.
Wonder what else I can cross off my to-do list this week?
Happy to say Fat Robin Pottery is selling consistently; many people have called to say they would like to stop by and shop the Robin’s Nest (my garage) and sales are going well…as you get inundated with emails, flyers, ads, coupons, and cookies, remember Fat Robin Pottery still has an assortment of ornaments, mugs, lace plates, leaf dishes and more….call (401-846-9323) or email (email@example.com) if you would like to stop by! Hang in there, it will all be over soon!
The fairs/shows are done and it’s time to relax (once the kiln is cool!) and decorate the garage and invite the Fat Robin Pottery faithful to my annual open house this Sunday from 11 to 5 p.m. at 26 Simmons St. in Newport….Hopefully you will find a great selection of mugs, bowls, leaves, lace, ornaments, and more to use as gifts for the book group, the teacher, or just the right thing to decorate your holiday table. Can’t make it? Call to make an appointment to come another time–I’m here! (401-846-9323 or text 401-439-8523) Open daily until those upcoming holidays hit–just call, email, or text to make an appointment….
Can’t find what you are looking for and you still want to shop local? Local art/artisans can be found at DeBlois Gallery in Middletown, Lovell Gallery in Tiverton, Spring Bull Gallery in Newport, Newport Art Museum Shop, and South County Art Association in Kingston…every craftsperson in RI has been busy!
This week is the culmination of a few months (and especially these last few weeks) of intense pottery activity. No matter how hard I plan there is always a last minute inspiration that pops up, and when the inspiration hits, run with it! There will be a box of tree and leaf themed mugs, along with a few lace swirls and pit fire votives, going to South County Art Association in Kingston. The 2nd Annual Pop Sale at the Hibernian Hall in Newport on Sunday will have plenty of lace items, leaves, ornaments, ferns, and a surprise still in the kiln! And the Newport Art Museum Student and Faculty Show on Nov. 27 and 28 will have a combination of all of the above!
P.S. if you see something in my inventory you want, get in touch! Many items are one of a kind or I only make a half dozen of something, and when they are gone, they are gone! back to the studio…..
The kiln has barely had a chance to cool between loads of bisqued and glazed pottery as the first of the season’s “selling opportunities” is this coming weekend, Nov. 7 and 8 at the Unique Boutique Artisan Fair at Easton’s Beach Rotunda in Newport. Cooling slowly and soon to be embellished are batches of lace impressed gingerbread men, star ornaments, lace mugs, anything holders, serving pieces, hubbard squash bowls, and maple and sunflower leaf dishes. Still to be glazed are red cardinal ornaments and more imprinted mugs and bowls. The challenge is turning my brain off at night–I seem to create and then to glaze items in my sleep! The Unique Boutique offers a wide variety of quality craftspeople and artisans. Hopefully there will be something for everybody….looking forward to a great day at the beach–come out and take a walk!