Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Blog....What Blog?, what blog? I know it has been quite a while since I have posted anything. I have been very busy stretching some new muscles this year. I have been working as the Chairperson for the Western Loudoun Artist Studio Tour Planning Committee and also trying to get my rear end to yoga class. So working all kinds of new muscles - administrative and otherwise!!  I am still working on making pots every day, and find I am oddly more productive the busier I am. I am not "cranking" out the work, but what I do make, I am happier with - Amen! So I will sign off after this short burt sweet post and I hope to see you in June for the 10th anniversary of the Western Loudoun Artists Studio Tour - WHOOT! I am priveledged to be the guest again at Garden Corner Studios, the sweet studio of amazing artist, Jill Evans-Kavaldjian. We have some fun dual demos planned for this year that combine our two processes and forms of art. Hope to see you June 20-21st!
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Friday, October 24, 2014

Busy Time of Year!

I am taking a quick break between my making and glazing cycle to post. I havent posted in FOREVER!

We had an awesome summer and now I find myself caught up in the mad dash to get ready for the Fall and Holiday Shows.

I hope to see you all at one or the several upcoming shows:

November 1

The Western Loudoun Art and Wine Celebration
North Gate Vineyard
Purcellville, VA

November 15 & 16
The Catoctin Holiday Art Tour
Stop #1 - Art at Garden Corner

Ok...back to work, see you soon I hope -PEACE!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Art and Remembrance - Atlanta Taboo Artists Group

I watched "Dallas Buyers Club" last night. I texted my friend Jeff and took a trip down memory lane: Atlanta, GA circa early '90's. 

My first piece of art was purchased at The Trinity Gallery. It is a David Fraley textured face. It was the first piece of art that spoke to me. I visited this painting often, I could not walk away from this painting for very long - It was so far out of my league ($) but it haunted me!

A weekend acquaintence, sometimes dance partner and gallery assistant - Shey- ended up working out a deal where I could buy the painting on an installment plan. He brought the painting to me personally and hung it in my little Ansley Park condo! I made those payments FOREVER and eventually owned my first TABOO artist painting thanks to the generosity of this sweet guy. I later looked back and realized he had actually bought it himself and let me make the payments to him- literally a sweet and generous heart in the world. I quit hearing from Shey kind of suddenly, but this was Atlanta, we were young-that happened.

Fast forward, I settled down a bit, met my future husband, and made a few less trips downtown. I found out through the grapevine that Shey had died of Aids. I was floored-I grieved-it was my first loss to this disease. But, this was Atlanta, we were young-that happened. There were fortunately only a few other such losses in my orbit - I was lucky, my friends were safe. But there were so many other losses in that city. I found out in fact that the artist himself succumbed to Aids as well in 1999.

This painting hangs in a prominent place in our home reminding me always of a wonderful time in my life, but also of the generosity of a sweet man, and of the effect of Aids on a generation. I am reminded that I was surrounded and supported by a wonderful group of friends: Jeff Daily, Mike Knoll, John VanVlack, Rosalia Milone and also by sweet, generous acquaintances.

God bless those we lost-they haunt me and live on through this painting!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hi folks, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

 I wanted to post a quick note about an amazing project I just finished. I had posted a "Pottery in Action" challenge on Facebook. It read something to this effect:

 "Do you have a piece of Amy Manson Pottery? If you do, snap a quick photo of it "in action". Post it on this status as a comment and I will pick randomly from the posts and give the winning name a Stoneware Chicken Roaster for the Holidays!!! I love to see how folks are utilizing my pots and I thought this might be fun!"

Well, the response was a lot of fun, I had photos of chicken roasters in use, mugs, casseroles, and more from clients around the country. It was great to see the pots in action and realize that the work that I make does in fact become part of folks everyday life as well as family traditions.

So the REALLY FUN part happened today when I pulled the names out of a bowl (rather than a hat). The winner was a client from Maine. She messaged me with her address and told me that I had made her day.

In fact, this client shared that she has wanted a roaster for quite some time, but has been out of work due to health problems and has not been able to afford one.

Well,  let me tell you, she has made my day and quite frankly my entire holiday season by sharing her story. I am humbled and amazed by how something I create can make its way into such deserving hands.


Friday, May 31, 2013

Bill Van Gilder Workshop!

I am very excited to head a just a few miles north this weeked to attend a workshop given by my instructor and friend, Bill Van Gilder. I have been taking classes with Bill for the last couple of years. I had to take a break this past year due to - well - life! But I am very pleased to be able to attend this weekend as Bill is closing the Frederick Pottery School in June.

But I get ahead of myself...

Let's go back a about 10 years ago...I had a 3 year old and a 1 year old. I dearly needed to find "something" to do outside of the house. I took a beginner pottery class with a friend who persuaded me to go. I  immediately found the challenge and the peaceful quiet studio an attraction. I was hooked for good!

I started taking classes at a larger local Clay Center - Clayworks Charlotte, and had the honor of learning from some GREAT young and talented artists. Amy Sanders, Julie Wiggins, Jen Mecca, Adreinne Dellinger, Greg Scott and Ron Philbeck.  I jostled back and forth between instructors each session as I had to work around sick children, and my husband's work and travel schedule.

Many times, my babysitting would not  pan out, or a sick child, or - life- would happen and I would have to miss class.  My frustration level was high, because I could not learn fast enough. I wanted to take it all in.

One afternoon, after laying the kids down for nap, I stumbled upon a pottery instruction show on DIY Network. The instructor was Bill Van Gilder and I about cried - I could actually learn right from my living room - kids, sickness, chores, and all!

I found Bill's instruction clear, concise, and super insighful.  I watched these shows religiously and was so thankful for the opportunity to learn in this forum from my home. Remember, this was before YouTube, Facebook, Etc. - Bill and DIY really pioneered this whole pottery video concept.

Each week, I looked for this show and watched and learned- babies in tow.  I imagined his studio up in the "North East, perhaps Vermont - somewhere in New England.  I dreamed of having a studio like his one day and how woderful it would be to be a full time potter.

Well, fast forward about 8 years. My family had moved to Northern Virginia. I had moved my pottery studio from Charlotte to Leesburg, VA and I was working on settling into the community.  I was actually teaching by this point and selling my work in a few small shops and galleries.

I heard of a new gallery opening in Leesburg - The Cooley Gallery. I dropped in one evening right before the grand opening and this cool kid (Chris) said hello and told me about his gallery. He said, by the way, Bill here is one of our artists - meet Bill Van Gilder.

I about had a heart attack...I was staring at my "virtual" mentor live and in person. After I collected myself (embarrassingly not very quickly)  I found out his studio was a short distance away up in Gapland, Maryland and that there was a few rare openings in his class in Frederick by chance.

So for the last few years, I have travelled up to Maryland once a week to learn in person from the instructor I followed so closely on DIY Network. I have learned a lot from Bill, about pottery, about business, about life in general. I have met a super group of friends from his class and it has been a wonderful experience.

I am taking his workshop this weekend, excited to catch up with the latest work Bill is creating, and to be reminded of his amazing wealth of knowledge, but more importantly his willingness to share it with the world -whether on TV or live and in person!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

WHOOOT! Did anyone hear the cry of joy coming from Leesburg? It was me - I admit! I have been experimenting with this Growler and truly had no idea how to approach the topper. These two bad boys were my first experiments. I pulled them out of the kiln today and one worked and the other did not. The great news is now I have it figured out for upcoming  pieces.  I know this sounds so silly, but it is exactly why I am having so much fun in the studio these days...experimenting, playing, HAVING FUN! I will have these guys and few others at the 2013 Western Loudoun Studio Tour!!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Is it the end of May already? Wow where has the time gone...well I know I have been busy in the studio getting ready for the Western Loudoun Artist Studio Tour. It is a few weeks away  on June 22 & 23rd. I never feel ready, but I have a lot of new work to show off this year. I have been hunkered down, working on several new techniques and really pushing myself with glazing. I have had some really nice results (and a few oops) but it has been a year of exploration and I am super happy and excited about the direction my work is going.  I am going to make this short and sweet - I have to get back to the studio - but I hope to see you in June. I am thrilled to be the guest artist of Jill Evans-Kavaldjian at her amazing studio Art at Garden Corner. Come up to see us!