Sunday, September 22, 2013

FAQ : custom order requests

For FAQ Dinnerware click HERE

There are two types of questions I get from online shoppers, primarily from Etsy. They are variations of:

a) I love your work! I’m looking for a garlic grater with glazes like your Organic Soul swirling together to form the Chinese character for crumbcake. Can you make this for me?

b) I love your work! I want a mug exactly like picture C. Can I get exactly that one?

I am not the person who will do this. I am not the person who makes something you love. You are the person who loves something I make.

The experience of making pottery full time for 35 years is like this: When I enter my studio, there is a rushing stream. Experience has given me a raft and mastery of skill, a paddle, but the current is strong. If I flow with the current, this amazing sense of grace and freedom arises. My pottery emerges from this experience. I don’t have production lists, schedules or a business plan, other than not to go to jail for tax evasion and other practicalities.

I can choose certain forks in the stream- bowls, plates, owls, flowers. On any given day I might discover a new tributary: melon shapes! Bird’s nests! Chevron texture! New directions are discovered in the journey. They are not programmed into a GPS in advance.

If you are familiar with  me through my blogs or Facebook, you know that I’ve scrutinized each kiln load for the pieces that hold magic vs. those that are just ok. The latter gets reglazed and refired until something joyful emerges. I will sell flawed pieces as  discounted seconds but the hopelessly ugly and lifeless ones are not sold.

Buy my work if you want to hold a bowl made with pleasure and mindfulness. Perhaps you will find these invisible qualities arising within you as you use my pieces. I like that. And I’m so grateful that we found each other!

There are things I currently love to make that are available as Custom Order options on my website when they are out of stock. And I also offer some ways to personalize my work to suit your individual needs and tastes. Here are some options:

Family Bowl: custom made for your family


Flower Bowls: choose your glazes in 1 or 2 sizes; create your own nesting bowl set if you like

Choose from a large selection of dinnerware options and I will custom make your set

{Click images to see the listing)

brian eno

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Zen and the art of pottery making

For the first few months of learning to throw on a potter’s wheel, you struggle to center the clay. After that, the clay begins to center you.

This is one of the smartest things I’ve learned in my life: no matter what life throws at you, fair or unfair, deserved or underserved, welcome or unwelcome, your happiness is not determined by it. Getting the good stuff doesn’t make you happy, and it isn’t necessary to get all the bad stuff to go away in order to be happy.

In fact happiness is a kind of emptiness, no doubts, worries, longings. It comes like an exhilarating wave whenever you are at peace with the present moment, not wanting to change anything, just 100% grateful and appreciative of the gifts and opportunities each moment holds. So yeah, there are brief spaces like that when you are at the perfect place with the perfect people and you can just bask in the glow. But for the most part life has annoying waiters at he perfect restaurant, bugs on the idyllic hike, etc. Your parents failed to give you perfect unconditional love and the Prince has halitosis and an allergy to your cats.

It is much more reliable to enter that silent inner core of our being, which can be found with meditation, which can be found with deep prayer, which can be found with mastery of an art or sport that demands your complete surrender of attention to the present moment. Through the myriad ups and downs of my life, my studio has been a sanctuary. I come here to still my mind, release my stress, sooth my soul, let go my anger.

This is my new serving set, the White Lotus nesting tray set. When aligned symmetrically, the petals form arrows pointing inward and circles radiating outward. It was made after I centered the clay… and after the clay centered me.

Have you found the lotus, that pure flower of peace, love, and joy that rises through the muddy waters? Have you learned to wage peace?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Gluten Free Brandy Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple cake 2

For our anniversary, I made my husband’s favorite dessert, and discovered a fabulous gluten free treat. It was so good that my dinner guests raided my gluten free bread, muffins, and pasta, convinced that gluten free food must all taste better! Ha! They haven’t seen all the dry, gritty, disgusting food I’ve thrown away in order to discover the good stuff! The bird plates can be purchased from Lee Wolfe Pottery. This recipe works because the cake, made in a cast iron skillet, is as moist as a fine bread pudding, and Grand Marnier really ramps up the taste. I modified this recipe from Saveur:



1¾ cups all purpose gluten free flour (I like Red Band)

2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. fine salt
1⅓ cups unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
3 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1⅓ cup low-fat buttermilk
10 tbsp. dark brown sugar
2 tbsp. Grand Marnier

8 slices canned pineapple
1½ cup stemmed maraschino cherries

1. Heat oven to 350°. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Using an electric beater, cream together 12 tbsp. butter, sugar, vinegar, and 2 tsp. vanilla until fluffy, 3–4 minutes. Add one egg at a time to butter mixture, beating for 15 seconds between each addition. Set beater speed to low and alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk in 3 batches. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Set mixer speed to medium and beat batter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
2. Melt remaining butter in a 10" nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in remaining vanilla, brown sugar, and brandy until dissolved, 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat; arrange pineapple slices across bottom of skillet. Arrange cherries evenly among the slices. Pour in cake batter. Bake until cake is golden and set, about 35 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate.