Thursday, April 16, 2015

shiftlings


In the midst of working on orders, I've been designing a new line of pots. As I've mentioned before, the inspiration behind these actually comes out of a story I started writing about four years ago. The illustrations are based on two secondary characters, Ravi and Sable, who are known as shiftlings - creatures that dwell in the woods. In this world of theirs, shiftlings take two forms and can shift between them. Sable is both a girl and a coyote, Ravi is both a boy and a raven, and they've been friends for as long as either of them can remember.

The problem is that Ravi has a weakness for mischief. He likes things like posing riddles and playing tricks and he especially likes making bets (because he always wins them). One day, though, he bets against the wrong person and loses. The cost? Seven years of servitude. Sable tries to win back those years for Ravi, but the one she's betting against refuses to play unless Sable significantly increases the bet. She does. But Sable's no good at games. She manages to win Ravi's freedom, but in doing so, forfeits her life in servitude.

Ravi can't bet higher than a life and therefore can't free his friend. He never gets over this and spends the years blaming himself as Sable becomes more captive and obedient and less like her true self - a girl who's wild and fierce and free.

That's not the end of their story, though.

(You can see more of the series here.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

this week in the studio

If there's one thing I know about myself it's that I get bored easily. So easily. And when I get bored, I get restless and fidgety and agitated. I actually stopped doing ceramics four years ago simply because I was bored. I made the same products over and over again. I wasn't challenging myself. I wasn't excited. My ceramic process became lifeless and I no longer wanted anything to do with it.

Now, to protect myself, I give myself permission to do new things. Occasionally I allow myself to let go of an old design, no matter how many people keep asking for it. I used to feel guilty for saying no, but somewhere in the past few years that's eroded. I've come to realize that I never signed a contract saying I'm obligated to keep making things that no longer give me life. And if ceramics isn't giving me life, why am I doing it? 

The images below are examples of three new challenges I've taken on lately:




The first image is of a new jewellery line, which is rooted in a new pottery line. It's challenging because so many people make jewellery and I really wanted something that wasn't like what was out there. I wanted something interesting and eye-catching and not cute. I've been trying to move away from cute. As of right now, Craft Arts Market is the only place you can buy my feather and wood grain pendants.

The second image is a bunch of new transfers I made for inlay. As you know, I'm a bookseller and a writer, which means I like stories, and for a long time now, I've wanted to have a more narrative thread running through my pottery. I don't think I'm quite there yet, but I do think I'm further along than I was six months ago, so: progress! These transfers are based on illustrations I did that come out of a novel I've been working on for a few years now. I have yet to put them on pots, so I'll put an update here when I do.

The last image is a very rough draft of a product linesheet. Due to the One of a Kind Show, I now have some wholesale accounts, which all require linesheets to order from. But I didn't even know what a linesheet was until the show, so I first needed to educate myself (and quickly). I now have a linesheet, and honestly, it was ridiculously fun to both research and design. Definitely the perfect challenge.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Potters Market

For those of you finding your way here from the One of a Kind Show, my etsy shop is now stocked, so if you're looking for pottery, head on over there. Or, if you're in Toronto, my pots are now being sold at Susan Harris Design in the distillery district. 

Last but not least, I wanted to let you know that this is where I'll be next:


Hope to see you there!

(P.S. One of my cups is featured on the poster above. Can you guess which one it is??)