Posts Tagged With: pottery

After many months of work, it’s Showtime!

After months of learning, thinking, practicing, tweaking, exploring, traveling, wondering, and creating, it’s ready or not, the holiday fair season is upon us, starting with the Unique Boutique at Easton’s Beach in Newport.    Along with my new “a day at the beach” ornaments (scallop, starfish, quahog), there are more lace inspired table serving pieces, great for any holiday table. Looking forward to pleasing current Fat Robin fans and to delighting new pottery users! This pottery is made to be used and to become your new favorite! Looking ahead, I will have a table at the Pop Up Sale at the Hibernian Hall, Wellington Ave, Newport on Saturday, Nov. 18 and at the Newport Hospital Auxiliary Fair on Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Valley Rd. in Middletown…..Sunday, Dec. 3 all are invited to the Fat Robin Pottery Holiday Open House…..it’s that time of year! Happy Holidays!

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Old Mother Hubbard

The Spring Bull Gallery in Newport’s upcoming show is The Art of Food – the perfect venue for my hubbard squash bowls….fortunately, I was able to purchase the last hubbard squash of the season at DeCastro’s Farm Stand in Portsmouth. This squash bowl edition of mine combines my love of vintage lace on clay, draped over a hubbard squash; this leaves a great lace impression on the inside of the bowl, and the nubbly squash texture with organic glaze qualities on the outside of the bowl.

As I filled out the show entry form at Spring Bull Gallery, I had to give the bowl a name….Vintage Hubbard.   And then I realized, this gives Old Mother Hubbard a whole new meaning. Once home, being a lifelong learner, I quickly googled “Old Mother Hubbard Nursery Rhyme” and learned its political connections! Your lesson of the day is as follows ….” Old Mother Hubbard – In the 16th century in England, The Old Mother Hubbard rhyme allegedly refers to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and his unsuccessful attempt to get an annulment for King Henry VIII. Old Mother Hubbard is Cardinal Wolsey. The cupboard is the Catholic Church. The doggie is Henry VIII. The bone is the annulment Henry wanted in order to end his marriage to Katherine of Aragon. (this is the condensed version—lots more information and all the verses for you history buffs online…)

After all these years, I am so relieved there is no hungry senior citizen with her hungry dog! But to fuel your art hunger, there is a great show, the Art of Food, at Spring Bull Gallery in Newport.

(Of course I couldn’t make one bowl, I made three bowls….just in case….the first bowl is the entry…)

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Categories: Life's ponderings, Pottery | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Annual Open House this Sunday, December 4

It’s hard to believe that after months of preparation, the holiday season is well underway….no matter how much you prepare, there are always some pleasant surprises, experiments,  and ah-hah moments along the way.  The pleasant surprise was having the opportunity to host my extended family Thanksgiving dinner (a first, on my part)….and the ah hah moment came as I was hand cutting chickadees and cardinals out of clay, and realized there must be an online cookie cutter source to make this step easier and smoother.  The source turned out to be a small family business in Maine creating copper cookie cutters…Voila!  The experiment was changing my craft show table arrangement and limiting the items sold to one color combination–vintage lace or leaf impression, cobalt wash, and clear glaze.   The table display was then “visually calmer” and easier for the eye to see the product and the customer to choose an item.  Smart experiment.

Which brings me to inviting one and all to the Holiday Open House this Sunday fro 11 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in my garage at 26 Simmons St., off lower Thames, in Newport.  Along with the vintage lace impressed pottery, all my colorful wares that have been sitting and waiting patiently on the shelves will be available–sgrafitto, pit fire, flowers, etc.  Many are one of a kind items that I experimented and had fun with.  Stop by and say hello and enjoy a cup of tea…

As usual, Visa, MC, AmExpress accepted thanks to the Square reader, as well as checks or pinot noir….if you can’t make it Sunday and would still like to come by, call or email to make other arrangements to stop by.  Tis the season to be grateful, and I thank you, in advance,  for your support.     Maggie15181324_10102167470947784_2726127122978260013_n

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Open House this Sunday, Dec. 6

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!

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Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It’s off to shows and shops I go!

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…..

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Hibernation has ended!

It’s 49 degrees today on March 9 and the snow is melting here in Newport, RI!  Finally, I enjoy attacking the compressed snow piles, knowing my efforts will melt them and soon I will see what belongs there–crocus and daffodils and grass and brown earth.

Although the hubbard squash have not rotted, they have been retired to a back wall in the cellar, awaiting consumption.  Instead, I am experimenting with lace doilies.  In the past few years I have collected lace from Salvation Army thrift stores, Goodwill stores, Savers, yard sales, and friends.  Now is the time to explore…many pieces with many crochet patterns.  As I work with these intricate, detailed works of art, I think of the woman who made each piece and wonder who she was and what she was thinking.  So much to ponder!

As I roll and compress and imprint each doily, I think about shape and form and function.  And although I always default to a  clear glaze over a cobalt wash, I know there are other color and glaze combinations awaiting my discovery.  Experiment, test, experiment, test, trial and error until the right combination shines in the kiln!

There’s going to be lot of fun stuff in the Robin’s Nest (my shop) for Mother’s Day!

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Holiday Open House this Sunday, December 7

With a special appearance by Mother Hubbard!

Please excuse me for adding to your Social Media Holiday Blitz Overload as I invite all to the Fat Robin Pottery Open House on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  It’s a chance for new faces and new customers (as well as constant companions)  to see all of my pottery work, which includes a lot of techniques (slip trail, pit fire, sgrafitto)  that I did not bring to the fall fairs I took part in.  The Robin’s Nest (my heated garage here at 26 Simmons St., Newport) is well stocked with my garden leaf pieces, hubbard squash bowls,  mamool ware (Lebanese cookie imprints) mugs, bowls, and trays, and a wide variety of one of a kind pottery pieces.  Christmas ornaments are currently firing in the glaze kiln and will be cool enough to hang on Sunday.

P.S.  Can’t make it?  call or email to set up another time to stop by….I’m here every day–this is what I do!  Visa, MC, Discover (thanks to my Square reader), cash, checks, or a lovely pinot noir as forms of payment…..

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Unique Boutique Artisan Fair

After 5 months of planning and preparations, I can say I am almost ready for my first “out of the Robin’s Nest and on my own” craft fair event. Almost because the last glaze kiln is firing and won’t be cool until tomorrow….almost because I am still working on pricing and signs and hang tags and…..  (experienced vendors out there–any words of advice? I still have time to heed wise words and act accordingly!)

After setting up a test drive of the fair display in my back yard, I was able to consolidate and simplify my pottery offerings.  Even though I have many one of a kind items highlighting my favorite surface techniques, this was not the time to show it.   What the display does highlight is all the textures my garden has offered and has then been transferred to my clay surface;  oh, how a simple leaf did intrigue and did inspire me!

Unique Boutique Artisans Fair is at the Easton’s Beach Rotunda in Newport on Saturday and Sunday, November 8 and 9, from 10 to 4 daily.  I’m looking forward to a fun weekend and to seeing the great crafts of my fellow vendors.

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Robin’s Nest Is Open

Fall 2014 is off to a great start for Fat Robin Pottery. Thanks to my weekend sale there is now room for my fall merchandise. There were many familiar faces as well as new faces.

Customer feedback was great and included discussions on new glaze colors, shapes, and sizes of items that everyone would enjoy .

Now is the time for holiday special requests or orders. For example, if you would like 6 business card holders for coworkers (or mugs or bowls) please get in touch.

Please feel free to share my information with friends, family, and coworkers. Fat Robin has also been posting regularly on Facebook (please “like” or “share” all small businesses—it helps!)

The Robins Nest (my garage) is set up for the fall season for shopping, with all available items on display. It is open daily by appointment—just call to say you’d like to stop by on your way home to/from work. Another great time to stop by is Sunday afternoon as my husband is a high school teacher and spends his Sunday afternoons correcting student work.

Thank you for shopping locally, art is sales tax free in RI, and see you soon!

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Back to work (even though I never really left!)

In the past few months, I’ve crossed the country a couple times.  In June, I flew to Salt Lake City and my younger daughter, Amber, met me , and we aimed her car for Rhode Island.  She had been living out west for many years,  mostly Jackson, Wy and she wanted a change; so she and her dog were moving back to Newport.   On our mother/daughter road trip we visited old friends, old places, listened to good books, good music, avoided tornadoes, rated Days Inns,  and renewed an interest in Diet Dr. Pepper.  This country is HUGE!   In August, I visited my older daughter, Lily, in the Minneapolis area, and discovered the true meaning of Minnesota Nice.

Between trips, I’ve been exploring and playing in clay and working on my 2014 fall line up.  Always looking outside for intent and interest, I was drawn to the leaves in the garden.  Along with the interesting zucchini leaves, something was growing out of my  compost pile.  At first the zucchini leaves and the compost mystery plant leaves were small, and once impressed into clay slabs they became small bowls or saucers.  But then the leaves kept growing, and the leaf slabs became bigger bowls and trays and serving pieces.   The compost mystery plant formed buds, then flowers, then set fruit.  AH HAH!  the mystery plant was no longer a mystery–it was a second generation hubbard squash which emerged from the seeds of the hubbard squash I used last year–it was a, SON OF A HUBBARD!  It was fate–I am now working on my 2014 hubbard bowls!

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