take the time to waste a moment

for a gal who likes to carpe diem it can be hard to not seize a thing.

getting my studio wired and equipment was the first step, the second being to start making work again. (for those not keeping score or just discovering up until two years ago all my functional work was salt fired stoneware, my sculptures were cone 10 reduction fired and with the private studio this was no longer an option)

I had two plans in mind: to just move forward,albeit blindly, full steam ahead or plan b to give myself 6 months  to play, experiment, get back in my groove and figure out things out.  It wasn’t easy I tended to flip flop back and forth on my direction and within this flip flop was some internal neurosis about wasting time that comes with either being an artist and/or the kate mind, but I digress plan B was my new goal and with it came time to play and figure things out. First up I just made things experimenting with several clay bodies ultimately deciding on balcones white for functional work and a mid range porcelain (with a few added tweaks to meet my needs) for the sculpture. Next was the surface treatment I had a few kiln loads of clears, whites a sprinkling of underglazes, drawings, carvings or a combination of the sum and on the back burner was something near and dear but maybe low brow for the ceramic likes of some; a tiki line.

things began to fall into place, on cue 6 months passed and i was hooked up with the kind folks at Texas Tiki Week and given the opportunity to sell my work locally.  With a few weeks prep time i found myself graduate school busy; late nights making work, glazing and loading kilns at lunch and waking up early to prep for the sale, all while balancing a new job.

tonight i think i’ll walk alone i’ll find myself as i go on

vendors village at Texas Tiki Week proved to be successful day! i scored commission from it another from a friend and when it rains it pours (happily to report this works both ways) i found out on Sunday that I sold another work to a collector through the good folks at Saatchi.  so tuesday night I packed up these beauties for their new home.

and while this post has been heavy on the what i’ve been up to functional aspect, i have not forgotten my sculptures.  there are some beauty sketches in my work waiting for my sunday morning studio time to be brought to life.







nowadays you cant be to sentimental

nearly there.

back and forth i’ve been reading david sedaris theft by finding and camille paglias’ free women free men, with the latter being replaced by her book glittering images. (mostly because they are shorter, entertaining reading segments but also require less thinking)  The air conditioner is still sitting in the middle of the floor (various reasons including but not limited to time) Saatchi contacted me about featuring me and my work in one of their ‘five sculptures to watch’ articles, so i did a phone interview with them.  Been doing work through a temp agency (its been quite enjoyable both assignment and people wise) and the last couple of days i’ve been playing phone tag for a ft position i had interviewed for before the temp agency got me the assignment.  Managed to go to the eye doctor resulting in glasses.  And somewhere along the line I got hooked up with Texas Tiki Week and will be selling my new functional stuff Saturday September 16th at their Tiki Village.


can you hear them they talk about us

can you hear them they talk about us

in black and white they really ought to now

for my birthday, my lovely husband got me an ac/heat window unit for the studio.  with weekends being working on the house, we’ve been too busy to install it as of yet but i am looking forward to the days when i can work in there anytime, not just the early morning hours before it gets texas hot.

Last week was not for studio time, instead it was getting the other stuff done:  poured some plaster slabs so i could begin reclaiming clay,  phone interview with Saatchi about my work, which should be published later this month and received an invitation to show/sell my functional wares at Texas Tiki Week, which I agreed to.  (of course this also means I shall be putting up a page on the site focusing on the tiki work)

Today its pouring rain and i have the day to myself to throw, so no more computer its studio time.

situation gets rough and i start to panic

opened the kiln with the first official works completed and immediately shut it.  not sure why its electric the glazes were tested/ what i wanted and aside from some sort of electronic meltdown, that did not occur, they were gonna turn out like i knew they would.  and they were fine, actually they are more than fine, they’re good.  they still need the obligatory sit around time while i decide what part of the surface to sandblast and make sure the working titles indeed work for the work.

i was being to hard on myself, as an artist it comes with the territory and so does the neurosis and overthinking it all.   however this time i think i hit the nail on the proverbial head.   in a world with the internet of things and the ability to constantly alert all to your emotional state, your location, your goings on, your rants/raves i find myself sometimes wanting to waste all of my time and scream out all of the above and more. its as if this constant need to let all know “what is up” seems to straddle the line of narcissism, hero worship and voyeurism.  I realize that none of that matters as 99% of the time there just fleeting thoughts inside my head and people either misread, read into entirely different meaning than intended or bring it up after the fact to the detriment of progress, not to mention i would rather get stuff done.

there are those who want to play and those who want to watch, i fall into the latter category.

As metaphors go both sports and music have the best but i prefer music to sports and in the working out my problems i was reminded of the big boys fun fun fun video- at the very end on a piece of paper are the words “now go out and start your own band!!!” which in a way is what i did.  and to continue the musical anecdote, “i did it my way” so as i regroup from a few months of intermittent serious work and play, refocus and realize that part of the struggle when i decided to set up my own studio is trial and error, success and letting go.


can you hear them they talk about us

can you hear them they talk about us


one of the first pieces out  slightly out of focus (which is the asshole reminder that i need to get my eyes checked) and yet to be sandblasted.

number one with a bullet im a power pack

while i cant say everythings coming up milhouse i can say firing two proved to be much more beneficial in its results!  a few more tweaks and my cone 10 satin black is now cone 6 oxidation approved and in the process came up with a slick new black that i’ll be keeping around the studio (i’m interested in seeing what i can do with it and where it can take me option wise)

i’ve gotten a white that works, but after sleeping on it a few days still feel like its not quite what i wanted. somewhere in the recesses of my mind i had a whole schpeel abut finding the perfect white and likening it the 100 words Eskimos have for snow; but the internet got in the way and it seems some killjoy has dispelled this mytho legend thus putting my whole story to rest.  however i will say the minds eye wants what it wants and currently i am sitting here with too stark of a milky white and not enough stark of the refrigerator white so back to my base glaze i’ll continue to experiment.

no studio this weekend, we had social calls and the obligatory weekend working on the house day; repairing and refinishing decks is becoming a special skill of mine and before anyone asks, you cant afford it.

i’m off work in the studio but before i go, i wanted to share a couple of links from the fine folks who sell my work.



the three faces of green

the three faces of green

trying to work past a semi spectacular hair cut (for dramatics replace “semi spectacular” with butchered) i was less than happy with my first round of test glazes.  i know i know there tests and i am maybe just a little to hard on myself.  but i unloaded yesterday walked away and got on with the day.  while out running errands i came across a sign that i snapped (image to be revealed in future post because right now they’re just a couple of print out sitting on the dining room table) and snapped me out of it, after circling back to park and take a picture i ended up at home,  ordered two books: david sedaris theft by finding because i am thinking after reading it there might be some appropriation insight from a different angle to ponder and  john britts complete guide to midrange glazes because i need to become one with the mid range.


so after wDSC_1864[1]ork i went back to the studio and looked at the results with a little more kindness and started making notes.  what i thought would be my challenge formulating a decent cone 6 black was really not too bad it turns out the challenge is going to be getting my just white,white.  promising results for the tiki line with the exception of my the amber glaze, which did not flux out. so i need to remix and see if it was user error or its back to the drawing board.


Monday June 12 i will be featured as Saatchi’s Artist of the Day , you can check it out (and tell your friends!!)



its always showtime

here at the edge of the stage

here at the edge of the stage


an attempt at keeping things organizedmess

in true kate fashion the chemicals made it into the studio, got opened, mixed up and became part of the larger problem.

as the front of my brain was getting creative with the limited horizontal space and mixing glazes, the back was plotting ideas for storage and organization and a return to the sanity.  so i hit the store for small containers for my collection of opacificers and metal oxides, brackets and wood for shelves.

streamlining part 1streamlining part 2

as i couldn’t see before i put in shelves, i’ve got quite alot of work stockpiled and so today i test fire my glazes and hopefully get some good results and have a decent palette to work with.  i’m also excited about the cone 6 blacks i tinkered with because electric bill wise cone 6 is a little easier on the pocket book esp in the texas summer.

my next work

my next work

as for projects: next up will be to repaint my library cart for bats and misc tools so that if need arises (and i know it will) i’ll be able to add more shelves. under the large section of shelves i decided to build a small rise to house bags of chemicals under and glazes on top,but that stuff can wait because i’ve got some lovely wedged porcelain calling my name.


grab your things i’ve come to take you home

i should of had a glaze or two by now, but i’ve been struggling with the left and right sides of the noggin.  mostly because the last thing on my to do list with the studio was to stock chemicals for glazing, which i had budgeted for but incidentals being what they are, that budget got smaller and smaller. so my brain was having the battle of do you want to go into debt or can just make more work and wait till the next paycheck to buy the stuff you need.  in fact i had been toying with the idea of having a sale of my pots old stock and a few new pieces, wherein i would invite friends and friends of friends over to buy some work and fund my glazing needs the old fashioned way.

But then came Tuesday and word from Saatchi that I sold a work! got my paperwork printed, scheduled the pick up and got them packed up.  This morning i am drinking coffee and checking my emails and the facebook and i discover i have sold a second work.

so i bid adieu to these two lovely works and say a giant thank you to the two people that bought my work! I am humbled by your generosity  and thankful for your extremely good taste.


two objects at equal distance acting as if they care

two objects at equal distance acting as if they care


but she wants to be sure because you know sometimes words have two meanings

but she wants to be sure because you know sometimes words have two meanings

i’m sorry but i was just thinking of the right words to say

the artist with two of her acquisitions for 2016

the artist with two of her acquisitions for 2016   (that second acquisition being a new teabowl and a post for another day)

after too long of a hiatus i’m back and in my own studio.  actually i’ve been working for awhile (my kiln is not due to arrive till late february) but i’ve found that i’m just not a constant updater or poster on things, esp. when those things are ideas and its those ideas you’d rather spend your time on trying to bring to fruition, not a constant look at me update.  (not to mention being inundated with pots in varying stages of getting done is like watching paint dry)

But i realize i am a blog update or two behind, so bare with me as i throw as much as possible into one post.

Act 1:Finding the studio.

the home of lucky girl ceramics

the home of lucky girl ceramics

This was the easy part and hard part all wrapped into one. The easy part being we had made the decision to sell and find something that better suited our needs, our criteria were either to find property and build a studio or luck into something with a pre existing out building in good shape.  The hard part of course was procuring: there were houses that we liked but were out bid on, ones that would work but just weren’t right and shit you could not unsee (bandages used like tape along the perimeter of a shower wall was by far my favorite) .Eventually we weren’t outbid and the choice has proved so far to be a good one.


Act 2: Electricity and something to tie the room together.

something in a waterproof faux woodThe hurdles to getting the studio were minimal; it needed electricity and flooring. Installing the floor came easy enough with the requirements being a free weekend without rain and alot of advil after.  Lessons in futility I got to move all the stuff we had dumped in there while we unpacked and decided what stayed what went.   Next up scheduled an electrician, whose first visit ended up only being only to install a very expensive plug for the kiln (had i been able to have the requested day off as planned,i might of been able to get everything done that first go round, but things never happen as planned so i chalked it up to adulting) second visit on the tale end of 2016, Austin we have power!


Act 3: Equipment.

the wheel

the wheel

Since I had been working for universities the need to own your own wheel or kiln(s) was pretty low, so i ordered both. However things being things i.e. storms in the northwest skutt was backlogged and the kiln won’t be in until late February.  But, where there is a will there is a way! I drove up to Ft Worth to pick up my wheel and I was in business. The work table and shelves were just a matter of firing up the saw and getting in touch with my inner jesus christ supercarpenter.


cups and bowls

cups and bowls

Muscle memory still intact, i decided to start with mugs.

i can’t explain how great it was to be working again and after a couple of weeks of throwing pots (fodder for tests so i can work out my new glaze palette) I started back in on actual work.  I hate showing work in progress, but here happen to be the third set i started, shown in progress and with their accompanying sketch.  The title being ever so apropos: it took me a while to get me in and i’m gonna take my time

first works in progresssketchbook


straddle the line of discord and rhyme

A little earlier in the week I was contacted by an independent blogger who found my work through Saatchi and wanted to write about it.  Of course I said yes, I spent the week looking at the blog because work was slow and my mind is always hungry.

Anyway the results can be found here:


if you’ve got time, i recommend reading not only mine but some of the other as well,  they’re quite eloquent and well healed in verse.  She shares thoughts on established artists, writers as well as ones I would not know of if it weren’t for the internet.

below is a shot of the studio


after weighing my aesthetic/functional needs with the old pocketbook, i settled on some delightful and durable faux wood.  Next weekend will start the installing followed by an electrician.