Thursday, July 31, 2014

FAQ: Experimental Pieces, Prototypes,and Seconds

owl votive by Lee Wolfe

A. EXPERIMENTAL PIECES: I was never a great production potter because my mind, hands, and heart drift into unknown territory when left to their own devices. Strict replication over endless hours doesn’t appeal to me. A case in point: while making a Raven and the Halloween Moon luminary, this owl slipped in almost on its own. Other experiments are more intentional, like trying out new materials or techniques, mixing glaze tests, or gathering objects to see what kind of textures they make as stamps. I devote at least 5 hours a week to this kind of playful experimentation.

B. PROTOTYPES: Out of the chaotic creativity of experiments come ideas that I want to explore in more depth. Prototypes are made in small series with minor differences over a period of several weeks or months. I first try out different glazes and shapes that may not be repeated, and then work on perfecting the balance and function. Now in prototype are Arabesque, the Fox Casserole, and Nebula. I sell these pieces both in my Saturday Sale and Sale section on Etsy, raising the price incrementally. Once I am sure what the market price should be, I decide whether it is worth my time to continue that prototype as a new series. If so, it is listed for sale exclusively on my website at You can check New in 2014 for the latest pieces. My newest pieces are always at the best prices for first quality work. The more popular something becomes, the more the price rises.

If you are looking for a piece that used to sell on Etsy, it may be available on my website- be sure to check. Here are the website’s categories:




goblets and mugs

keepsake box



planters and vases

platters and trays

soap dish


C. SECONDS: Seconds are flawed or intended as a set but mismatched in some way. The issue can be as minor as a small glaze bubble, slight warp, or teeny crack or major issues such as large cracks, glazes that have run off the pot so that bottoms require repair, or large bare spots. Seconds have a charm of their own and I often like the quirky pieces even more for their peculiarities. Still, I sell them for significantly less than firsts. If you want to catch these bargains, like me on Facebook where sales are pre-announced, check my Saturday Sale and SALE section on Etsy.

Thanks for your interest!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

New hosta leaf designs

I live somewhere between the pure artist and the production-driven artisan. Unlike an artist, my work doesn’t originate as a concept or idea. I begin, as most artisans, with the intention to make something on my production list, such as “20 hosta plates,” a result of an order I’ve been sitting on for several months until the hosta leaves in my garden were large enough to press into clay and then shape into a plate. Mine are pretty standard, with attention to curling the edges up with graceful curves. In the middle of this process, all these new designs emerged. Really, they just happened so intuitively that I had the thoughts of a spectator in my head… “oh, I like that curl… well, that works really well… I wonder where this one is going..” etc.

hosta plates and bowls Lee Wolfe Pottery hosta leaf bowl by Lee Wolfe Potteryhosta leaf

You’ll be able to see the results in a few weeks at LeeWolfePottery.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

knowing that you are a flower, opening

I have watched the flower buds unfold this year. In spring, the tulips and daffodils slowly unfolded, showing a bit more color each day, incrementally, taking weeks to fully bloom. Now that it is summer, in the warm sun and soft rain, poppies, peonies and lilies that were tight balls the night before are wide open the next morning. And I think we are all flowers, too, bringing forth our unique thoughts, our softest emotions, our true art, more readily when the world around us is warm and welcoming.

Here are some of what’s been blooming in my garden and studio:

white iris  sidebar 1

sidebar 2 _DSC8395

white platter

All pottery is available at Lee Wolfe

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter table

Modern Lace dinnerware Easter table 

I have a beautiful Modern Lace dinnerware set in Gray and Chartreuse ready to ship, so I shot these pics on the dining room table with my garden flower arrangements for this Easter. I love the neutral table linens with bright pops of spring blooms.

These Easter eggs are so easy! I wanted to use the natural brown of the local organic eggs. After hard boiling, each one was wrapped with different twines and cords I had on hand and then embellished with a scrapbooking paper flower with a glue dot on the back. Sometimes the simplest projects are the most successful.


_DSC8201 _DSC8197

Happy Easter! Happy Pesach! Welcome spring with your cool breathe and promises of renewal.

All pottery in pics can be found on

Saturday, March 22, 2014

new series: Arabesque

Here’s the good thing about listing stuff on Etsy: lots of people see it. Here’s the bad thing: lots of potters floundering in their own development copy it. Or try to. My flower bowls, with altered rims in a ‘flower’ shape, have more look-alikes than Cher at a drag queen show, so it’s time for something new. The Arabesque series has been in development for a year, and I finally have prototypes to test market. They will be sold on OneClayBead (Etsy store) until I decide on a full line, which will then be for sale exclusively on Lee Wolfe Pottery. Meanwhile, the prototypes are value priced, so if you like them, take advantage of that. I like the arrow points, the negative spaces between pieces, and the strong visual geometry.

Neon Sea nesting bowls




Saturday, February 15, 2014

Winter Snow

rustic barn in snow

Snow fell large as leaves and blanketed the yard with somber stillness. Each ordinary object, once outlined with white, became a discovery. I tramped through deepening drifts and felt buoyantly pulled into winter’s most glittering spell. Here is my home.

branch in snow  snow covered branches

hammock in snow little bird

cardinal in snow Lee Wolfe Pottery snowed in

     holly tree in snow Lee Wolfe Pottery           snowfall

Sunday, February 2, 2014

table settings for Valentine’s Day

ivory and gold simple place setting

I’m not a big fan of making a big production out of Valentine’s Day, not that I haven't been there and done that a gazillion times, so if you are young and still relatively unjaded, go ahead and buy the perfect dress and pressure your lover to find the perfect restaurant, or even better, the perfect romantic weekend getaway. And good luck with that!

I’ve found that it’s pretty easy to just create a bit of magic and enchantment at home, with simple objects, whimsical plating of food, candlelight, wine (optional) and a decadent dessert (essential).

For example, here is a salad Ken and I enjoy, made with roasted butternut squash, strawberries, shitake mushrooms and greens with a balsamic vinegar dressing. On the left, I cut a heart from the squash, and on the right, I arranged the salad in a heart. It’s a simple way to make him smile.

valentines day place setting with squash heart salad Valentines Day heart shaped salad

My poppy bowls are great for evoking romantic flair without being predictably Valentine-y:

modern romantic place setting Young Romantic place setting

On the left, layers of patterns in table linens and textured plates set off a whimsical arrow. On the right, a simple Modern Lace bowl with a single strawberry heart are a prelude to a romantic meal.

layered textures Valentines Day place setting with arrow Modern Minimalist Valentines Day place setting

Love lives in the moments when two people are present to each other. If you have that, it only takes small gestures to celebrate Valentine’s Day. And some of my best VD days were spent with a wonderful friend, or my child, or one time when I set the table for myself, ate a nice meal, drank for 2, sang You’re So Vain while channeling Mick Jagger more times than I care to recall. I am glad to not be in my 20’s anymore. Because love before you get at least halfway jaded is exhausting.

All pottery pieces are available from Lee Wolfe Pottery.