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Read Part 1 here.

It took quite a few trips, but I managed to haul everything back to the Bronx in my mini (except for the patio furniture which I couldn’t fit). That car is a workhorse but not a very big horse. To my surprise, I didn’t have too much trouble finding room for everything. We didn’t have a whole lot to begin with plus our house was already a mashup of modern pieces and antiques.

I painted the record cabinet and two smaller cabinets that I ended up taking. The smaller cabinets got a few coats of warm grey (if you’ve seen any of my recent work, you’ll see that this is my current favorite color) and for some unknown reason, I painted the record cabinet a bright teal. A regretful choice. The mid century end tables were perfect just the way they were and now live in my dining room. Lots of the other stuff like the tattered jewelry boxes and tins, the hat box and the clock are displayed and Aunt Marian’s well-loved cast iron pans are now well-loved by me.

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When I started sorting through all the rusty objects from the garage, I realized that I wanted to pay tribute to my grandfather and great grandfather and use the pieces in my work. I had a lot of rings left over from the construction of my Industrial Vessels and decided to make some small mixed media sculptures. I painted each porcelain ring either white, gold, copper or black, then paired them with the rusty objects.

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I love the way the sleek, handmade rings play against the old pieces. I also like that the assemblages can be changed on a whim since they’re made up of individual parts. Initially I thought this was just a personal project but now I’m looking forward to exploring the idea further. For now, the little assemblages live all over my house. That makes me happy.

Growing up, I spent a lot of my time with my great aunt, Marian. My parents and I lived with her until I was three and from then on, I spent every holiday, vacation and summer with her on Long Island. She never married or had children and referred me as “her baby”. She was like a second mother to me. My grandparents lived next door to her and my great aunt and uncle lived behind my grandparents. It was like a mini compound and I loved being there, but that’s a story for another day.

This story is about stuff. When Aunt Marian died, I helped my grandmother, her sister, clean out her house. It was the house that had belonged to their parents, my great grandparents. It was the house where Aunt Marian spent her teenage years and her entire adult life, save for the last two years which were spent in a nursing home. The house was full not only of Aunt Marian’s belongings, but those of her parents as well. Three lifetime’s worth of things.

A call was put out to her large, extended family – “Come and take what you want. Everything else will be donated or discarded”. A few came, but that did little to lessen the load. There were stacks of china, mugs, collectible glasses, Corningware plates and baking dishes, dented aluminum pots and pans and every conceivable type of utensil that had been manufactured in the last 80 years. And that was just the kitchen. There was also a house full of furniture, records, tchotchkes, books overflowing with photos, sheets, towels, Christmas decorations and all the things that make a house a home.

Then there was the other stuff. My great grandparents lived through the depression and throughout their lives, they carried with them the idea that everything was worth something and someday you might need it. It was the kind of stuff that had been tucked away and long since forgotten about, the kind of stuff that no one was interested. There were hundreds of old buttons in every size and color, piles of 6 cent stamps, beautiful headpieces from the 40′s and 50′s, a round hatbox illustrated with daisies, handwritten letters, a jar full of keys, a box full of handwritten recipes, old tins and tattered jewelry boxes, pristine wrapping paper from the 60′s and old notebooks filled with lists and budgets handwritten by my great grandmother. I wanted all of it.

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There was also a garage so full a car couldn’t fit. My grandfather had “moved in” after the death of my great grandparents and had filled it with his own treasures. The garage became home to bicycles, old patio furniture, paint cans and power tools. There were gas cans, buckets, shovels, garden tools and a snowblower. Practically every square inch of the cement floor was covered. I didn’t think there would be anything worthwhile in the garage, but I was wrong. Against the wall, way in the back was a toolbox sitting atop a stack of old wooden shelves. Inside were very old, rusty wrenches of every size and shape, rusted ratchets, broken drill bits along with a hand drill and forged steel tin snips. Above the shelves sat a dusty cupboard full of old coffee cans. The cans were overflowing with washers, screws, nuts and bolts. There was also a fishing weight, a ball bearing, a rusty pipe fitting, a clothesline reel and a slew of other unidentifiable objects. Just about everything was well past its prime, covered in rust and varying shades of patina. Someone, my grandfather or perhaps my great grandfather had taken the time to save all of it just as my great grandmother had carefully collected the stamps and buttons. I got very emotional thinking about it.

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I ended up taking quite a bit from the house- Aunt Marian’s well-loved cast iron pans, a couple of mid century end tables, an old Ansco camera, a clock that was gifted to my great grandparents on their 50th wedding anniversary, an old chest, beautiful teacups, the records and their cabinet, a vintage patio rocking chair and glider, a few serving pieces and a couple of beautiful decanters and glassware. These things I cherish. But I also had to take the buttons and stamps, the headpieces and hat box, the keys, the recipe books and many of the other treasures that had been hidden away including all the rusty tools, washers, nuts and bolts from the garage. My grandmother thought I was crazy. Then it occurred to me. What the hell was I going to do with it all?

Annual Seconds Sale

Just a quick post to let you know that it’s time for my annual seconds sale! Lots of beautiful pieces heavily discounted for very minor flaws. There are also some first quality sale items and samples. Go check it out!

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Low Groove Serving bowl in Turquoise, White and Warm Matte Grey

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Flared Pebble Vase in White

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Groove Mug in Sky Blue

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Whirl Bowl with Turquoise Accent

Catching Up

Happy New Year! Yes, I’m a little behind. Let’s do some catching up.

December turned out to be a very busy month for me. I started out by designing new postcards and web banners for my online shop and blog. It took a while (my graphic design skills were a little rusty), but I finally came up with a look that I’m really happy with.

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Then I had the privilege of attending  Art Basel and Design Miami. There was so much to see – it was a bit overwhelming.  We weren’t suppose to take photographs, but I managed to sneak in a few. Below are a few of my favorite pieces.

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Michael Geertsen

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Takuro Kuwata

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Markus Linnenbrink

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Richard Pettibone

We had an amazing dinner at db modern in downtown Miami. I had pumpkin ravioli with truffles and lobster. TRUFFLES AND LOBSTER! Not my typical Thursday night meal. Probably one of the best dishes I’ve ever had.

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Miami was great, but I was eager to get back into the studio where I had a custom mug order to finish for a long-time client. Not the best picture but hopefully you get the general idea. The creamy white porcelain shows through a glossy clear glaze and white pebbles float up from the bottom. I wish I had taken better photos, but I was eager to pack them up and ship them off so they could join a set of bowls and whirls in their new home.

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I also started on some new work- striped vases in warm grey. The one on the right was gifted to some very special friends and the one on the left is available in my shop. I’m looking forward to making more.

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And of course there was lots of packing and many trips to the post office, followed by a flurry of holiday activities. I’m excited to get back into the swing of things and get working on some new pieces. Cheers to 2014!

 

Fresh from the Kiln

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Colorblock bowls in white and warm grey

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Handless mugs

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Low Groove Bowls in white and orange

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Low Tilt Bowl in turquoise

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Colorblock Vases in white and warm grey

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Short Pebble Vase in warm grey

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Groove Bowls in white and orange

New Stuff

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Colorblock bowls

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Pebble Vases

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Low Groove Bowl

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Glazing Day

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New Industrial Vessel

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Mug shapes for a custom order

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Set up for a photo shoot

Lately

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Extra Large Groove Serving Bowl

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Color block vases

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Ready for glaze

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Whirl Bowl with Red Pebbles

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Groove bowls and cups bound for Australia

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Shapes

 

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A full studio

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Maddy

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