Sunday, December 31, 2017


Science World from the 1986 world fair - on my morning walk
The last year has been a bully. I hope that 2018 will be a year of empathy and good will. Not "I'm mad and hell and I won't take it anymore", but "Let's see what we can do to make the world a better place". Maybe starting with your family,your neighbour, your community, your world.
Treat other with compassion even if you suspect that they are A-holes. Give them an opportunity to be better.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Happy Solctice

Tomorrow the morning will come just a little earlier and set a little later. This is one of my favourite days because a reminder that even in the darkest times thing will turn around. So I put flowers in my table at the market and take time out to make a few eggs that will not sell but I enjoy making.

The flowers are from New South Wales so their carbon foot print is now great but it's a little bit of sun for anyone visiting my table.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Christmas Bugs

Little bug lockets and others with a Canadian dime.
Christmas can be celebrated in many ways. For some it is a big family occasion or others it is a quiet time to be shared with a few friends. For those who have no one near by it can be a bit of a trial. For those people, don't let it bug you. Enjoy the solitude, a good book, binging on T.V. What ever is your fancy.
For those who think I am reaching for a way to tie bugs into Christmas. Your dame right, it was a stretch.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

It's the Crawl Again

Our door off Hawks Street and my bowls

Culture Crawl

Thursday - November 16 - 5 pm - 10 pm
Friday - November 17 - 5 pm - 10 pm
Saturday - November 18 - 11 am - 6 pm
Sunday - November 19 - 11 am - 6 pm

This is the big event for artist all across the Vancouver Eastside. If you are in Vancouver this week end drop by the Paneficio building at 800 Keefer Street.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Shadow Me

I met myself on the way to Granville Island
I do not have a picture of myself on this blog so here goes.

This is a selfi I took the other day. It is hard to believe that this is the middle of the city but this is my walk to Granville island in the winter when maintenance is being done on the seawall.  If this was a video you would hear the roar of traffic not far away.

 I am currently taking a little time away from the market to get ready for the East Van Cuture which a big deal for artists in this part of Vancouver.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Just Another Link in the Chain

This chain in about three and half feet long, just over a meter.
I think that I have got the chain making bug. I am not really trying to make my polymer clay but it does when lapis beads, brass wire and chain are included. The beads are 4mm and 6mm so you can see that the polymer clay links are not very big. I have make chunkier chain in the past but I like this more.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Cut to Length

Butterfly pendant with carnelian beads.
I have a started experimenting with chain and semiprecious beads to set of my polymer clay work. I like the look of beads spaced out with chain.

I was having trouble cutting fine chain to bits of exactly the same length but I came up with this solution. If the chain is suspended from a wire or rod it is easy to see just where to cut. I might even try to cut more than one strand at the same time.

This works for me but if there is a better way I would like to trying it. Any suggestions?

Friday, September 29, 2017

Stamp, Stamp, Stamp

From the department of stamps
New Stamps.
Botanical Fantasy because I like  plants an mirrored images.
Circle Game because I like circles and Celtic things.
Griffin and Friends because who doesn't like griffins, feathers and scales.

I designed these stamps early in the year but never got them published to Etsy. I have been using them in my studio and I will publish some of the results - no promises when but I hope to get more reliable at posting.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

PC Pop Beads

Here is a way to make beads that connect.

All you have to do is form your beads over a short section of ball chain and use connectors to put together bead that could come from far and wide. All these beads were made by me but I think that this could be a fun thing for and exchange or such.

A couple of days ago fellow clay artist Nancy Nearing visited my studio and is going to give it a try. I am looking forward to see what she comes up with.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

GI Moment - Sophia Clay Art

Sophia's wonderful pottery and some of my recent whistles.
It has been a while since I have posted anything about Granville Island Public Market but I think that it is about time to start again.

The market supports a wonderful and somewhat unlikely group of artisans. From obsidian knives to baby hats we are together in the market to sell our wears and often to exchange ideas is even unconsciously.

This week my table is across from Sophia. Her pottery is a story of paper birch. So much can be done with shape and size.  I was told by a teacher years ago that a limitation is a gift. Sophia has used this gift to create pottery that is both fun and meditative. Somehow what I make often reflects those who are around me. This seems to have happen with a recent batch of whistles.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

With a Little Help From My Friends

This last year I have allowed production and other external forces to impinge on my creativity. Not that necessity can not drive creativity. I have learned a lot from being pushed to produce things for the market, but that can be a trap.
Sometimes you need a little help from your friends to get you back on a better creative track. Thank you friends for giving me the push I needed to stand back and look at my work, to be inspired by your art and to be encouraged, supported and grounded. Now to grab onto that energy and fly.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Daisy Pot

This pot is about 4 inches across and 2.5 inches tall.
This little pot/box was made the other day to replace a couple that sold. I feel a little guilty this time of year making anything that isn't selling out on my table. I know that is totaly silly but the summer is the time that most of the craft people on Granville make most of their income for the year. So business rules. It also leaves very little time for anything l like blogging so I dashed this off so at least there will be one post in June.

 I have an hour walk to Granville island in the morning and I think of so many things that I would like to write a blog about, but by the time I get home in the evening the animal needs take over and it is supper, prep for tomorrow  and watch Netflix for a bit before going crashing. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Ginko Leaf

My beautiful helper models my Ginko Set.
I my back yard there is ginko tree. It is fully green now and glistens in the all to persistent rain. In the autumn the leaves will turn a glorious yellow and in one day they will rain down with a persistence unequaled buy other trees. It is no wonder that I am inspired to use the ginko leaf motif in some of my jewelry. 

The Ginko leaf pattern in this set starts with my Dragon Parts stamp. When I design my stamps I think about what the parts will look like in isolation. By choosing carefully the person using the stamp can get dozens of designs from one large stamp. I like incorporating the bits into one picture so that the user of  the stamp is given the creative choice of where a design begins and ends.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

14 - Pot Blue and White - Gone to Pot

14 - Pot Blue and White Again
Some my intention was to post a pot a week but in reality I find that I bare that enough time to get half of my production done. It is not the things are flying of the shelf just that there is always that thing that you don't have that a customer asks for. Like the red Queen on Alice in Wonderland, I am always running to stay in the same place. So pots will happen when they happen and I will keep count, and who knows by December 31 I might just have a couple more completed.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Just a Little Bugged

My notes let me know that is has been almost a year since I made my annual lady bug cane. This year my drawing and notes really helped.
When it is this long between make a design chances are I will forget what would have been a good tweak and what would be a good idea to avoid. I find that using small pieces of paper works the best for me. It fits right under clay when I build the cane using the design I worked out. For anything that is bilaterally symmetrical making one half and cutting it to make the full image works best to me.

So now I can tuck that helpful scrap away til next year. It might not be pretty but I works.

Monday, April 17, 2017

My Cup of Tea

Inserted picture - camellia sinensis theaceae
One month plus seven days ago the ground was covered with snow. Now it is red with camellia petals. It is almost magical to see the tropical looking camellia blooming when the weather is still cold and blustery. I have even seen them with show on them. And here is the real kicker - that camellia that you may have in your garden is a tea plant. Yes, the same or a cousin of the tea that is brewed in pots and treated with reverence by the English and the Chinese. I love magical plants and this one has been added to my list.   

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Friends of Winter Past

Thanks to my  young friend modeling one of my latest pieces.
I will be returning from a visit to California in a few days but I trust I will not be returning to winter in Vancouver. The plum trees will still be blooming, the pines and the bamboo never leave. Those three; plum, pine and bamboo are traditionally known in the east as the friends of winter, signifying; beauty,endurance and strength.

For this necklace I have handmade texture sheets to show the fiends of winter for the three feature beads, the two outer beads are chrysanthemums, another traditions plant in Oriental art.This necklace contains no metal so it is a great option for people with a sensitivity to metal.

I am looking forward to returning to Granville Island Public Market in the middle of this month. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

More Crows

So many people love crow and an equal number hate them. Crows have become a sort of symbol for east Vancouver weere I live and I can't not make them. And ravens, the big brothers of the crows have even more fans.

Friday, March 31, 2017

13 - Pot - Birds on the Rocks

Birds on the Rocks. These pots were made many years ago before I even thought of them as pots, but they do open and close tightly. I am traveling now but when I get back to the studio I am looking forward to exploring the idea of animal enhanced pots.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

12 Pot - More Yester-pots

These are some pots I made a few years ago when I was totally smitten with translucent clay. The pots open along the lines of the curves. I think that I can do this better now but it will have to wait a while until I have time to experiment. These little pots are about 4 inches high.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Equinox 2017

Happy Dance.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

11 Pot - Pot of Parts

This is an old pot that evolved from and egg. The stopper is actually an egg covered with polymer clay. I like it so much that I decided to cover a vase the same way and to add handles. Handles were make and cooker separately and added to the "pot" before the final cooking. This is the precursor of many latter pots.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Snow Kidding

Hey! Put the signs of spring on the back burner. More snow this year than the last three years combined. There are snow drops and blossoms out but you have to dig for them.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

10 Pot - A Home for Gnomes?

This is a little departure from me. I had a vase form that was a little irregular so I turned it upside down, cut a hole in the bottom and started decorating with some leaf canes. The top fits tightly enough that the pot can be lifted by its locking lid. The bottom picture shows the notch that is part of what gives the pot lockability. 

I guess since it locks it is more of a place where gnomes would keep their goodies. What ever those might be.

The left image shows the lockability. The right with a bunch ot 1.5 inch boxes

Thursday, March 2, 2017

09 Pot - Flower Top Pot

This is the first trial of a style that I will develop.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Bowling Obsession

These are from last November but I never posted them.

Monday, February 27, 2017

08 - Another Pot from the Past

This pots base is from past work but it is hardly recognizable as such. I used as it as a pen jar for years and the bottom was stained black from unlidded pens. I turned it upside down and cut the bottom out. The original pot was all green translucent. I added the red clay and lid at the end of last year.

Friday, February 24, 2017

07 - Pot from the Past

For the pot a week project I have give myself leave to include work that I made a while ago but have altered this year. This is a vase that I made about ten years ago. The top was made this year. To be a pot for this project there must be lid to give the project closure.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Can't Stop Bowling

I have done my Bowling Project but I can't stop making bowls and I always take a photo. So that is all there is to that. Expect more bowls occasionally. It is all about the pictures so there will not be much text.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Signs of Spring and Lori

The snow has been gone for more than a week and I see signs of spring on my walk to the Granville Island Market. There is a blossom here, a sprout there and duck waddling about in pairs. At the studio we had a spring visitor, a ladybug that was art savvy enough to coordinate her colour to Lori's most recent work in process.

I share Lori Sokoluk's studio space with Ray Ophoff and film maker. It's a great space with lots of natural light from sky lights. A cosy place for a ladybug considering that snow is forecast for tomorrow.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

06 - Pot -Indigo with a Dragon's Eye

06 - Pot - Indigo and Dragon's Eye
I am happy with this little pot. the canes were applied on top of the navy back ground instead of making a veneer.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

05 - Pot - Little Girls Kimono

05 - Kimono Pot - 4 inches
There will be more of these wildly colourful pots. There fun to make but I confess I like the subtle colours better to live with.

Friday, February 17, 2017

04 - Pot - Squat Dragon

This pot is embossed with one of my rubber stamps Dragon Parts. I love this stamp and use it in a lot of my work.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

03 - Pot - Little Pot Big Flowers

03 - A little pot about 4" across.
This is one of the first pots I made in this series. I little rough around the edges but good enough to keep me going.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

02 - Pot - Maroon a Classic Colour?

A little pot about 4 inches across.
I love to work in blue and white but some times this colour way makes a nice change. I think it is a classic colour because it has a nice simple name. I like nice and simple.
Maroon - "a brownish crimson or claret color."

Sunday, February 12, 2017

01 - Pot - A Place to Start

I think that it will be a while before I make a pot that I like more than this one. It is about four inches across and thought it has some technical difficulties it is where I would like to go with this project. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Going to Pot in 2017

In years passed I given myself the challenge of posting a series of buttons or bowls. This year my goal is to post 52 different vessel or pots. For the next few days I will catch up, then I will try for one a week.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Memory Ends - Finishing Memory Wire

I have been struggling to find a neat clean way to finish memory wire. I thinks that this is too good not to share.

1.) First I fold over the memory wire sideways so the folded piece is parallel to the body of the wire. This means not loop.

2.) Cut a small piece of buna flexible tubing to cover the folded wire and use crazy glue to hold it in place. I like to put a small bead at the join. Super easy.

The bottom picture show two more ways to finishing memory wire. One is ending it with a polymer clay ball that is cooked and drilled half way. The other is ended the memory wire end with a piece of brass tubing that is crimped and folded.

I hope this is of use to some one.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Fear and Motivation

What is the greatest motivation to creativity; joy, contentment or the wish to please others? Well at this time of year the motivation in among creative types in this part of the country  fear. It is jury time again and time  to find out which shows will accept the artisans that bring their work to be scrutinized by a panel of organizers and experts. 
So it's fear that one will not measure up, or that secret forces will somehow rule adversely on out lives. It's that and a chance to go for broke and make something that no one will be able to refuse, a time for plan "B", "C", and on and on.
After I settle down to just do what I do and push at the boundaries of my materials a little, I find the fear is infused with a little joy. Back to the studio tomorrow to do battle!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Vancouver has Winter

Happy New Years

Vancouver has been having a real winter. This in not the usual weather from Vancouver.We have been in the freezer for a month now and some of the walking conditions are less that optimum. People are skating on one of the city ponds, first for at least ten years.  While sliding around in the slush and ice strangers seem to enjoy the camaraderie of a common plight. Still I am not enjoying it so much that I will be sad to see the earth unadorned with snow.

For one more week I will spend much of my time assembling and making whistles and earrings and such at my table in Granville Island Public Market, then the jurying season will begin. That is the time to make applications for the rest for the years festivals and other sales opportunities. Not a time beloved by me or may artisan friends.