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A custom bowl order.

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Vases in Steel Grey.

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New Groove Vases.

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Red!

 

 

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Well that was a long hiatus. 5+ months of no posts. Oops. I blame instagram. It’s just too easy to take a photo, upload it and not have to worry about adding a whole lot of words. If you’d like, you can follow me at kim_westad.

When not feeding my instagram addiction, I’ve been in the studio making lots of new things for the holidays including some new ornaments. This year, Whirl ornaments come in colors including silver, white ice, and copper.

I’ve also added some new Peace and Noel snowflake ornaments also in white ice, silver and soft gold.

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Now for some business news. For those of you kind folks who will be ordering gifts in the next few weeks, please know that I won’t be shipping from December 12 through December 21st. For you last minute New York shoppers, I will be at the Brooklyn Craft Central Holiday Market on December 23rd from 11-5 at 622 Degraw Street in Park Slope. Should be a great day.

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Thrown, dismantled, rethought and assembled. New Industrial Vases:

and an Egg Chair Vessel in Sapphire Blue:

 

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I get a lot of special requests. When it’s something straightforward like glazing a mug in a different color or remaking a sold item, I’m usually happy to oblige. There’s also the occasional inquiry where I’m asked to reproduce someone else’s work (sadly, there are people that do that) or to change one of my designs. Once someone wanted me to redesign the Whirl Serving Dish so it could function as a yarn bowl (what?). Things like that get politely declined. Other requests are pretty out there, but that’s a post for another day.

I think the one thing that I’ve been asked for more than anything else is a Pebble cup with a handle. It’s a completely valid question- “can you just stick a handle on that”? Unfortunately it’s not as simple as it sounds, so I’ve always declined. The curved silhouette of the original design is intended to nestle right into the hand. Adding a handle to that silhouette would look awkward feel clunky. I’ve made some small adjustments to the shape  and have come up with a handled version that I’m pretty happy with. May I present to you, the Pebble Mug:

It’s a little shorter than the original cup which changes the silhouette, allowing the proportions to work with the handle. It also feels nice and balanced- something I strive for with all my mugs.

Happy weekend ♥

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Then:

Now:

It’s been a busy few months around here. Unfortunately I didn’t document everything, so above is just a very small fraction of what I’ve recently thrown, glazed, fired, packed and shipped. A consistant flow of orders and special projects have kept me happily busy since last fall with the added bonus of making the month of January fly by. Nothing like hunkering down in the studio and coasting right through the coldest, darkest month of the year. And now, aside from finishing a few pieces for a shop in Virginia and unloading a few more special orders from the kiln, I’m ready to start tackling my slightly neglected to-do list.

I’ve started to organize my remaining inventory, deciding which designs and glazes I’ll keep and which ones I’ll retire. Sorry turquoise, it’s nothing personal. I’ve listed a few of the retirees in the sale section of my Etsy shop.

Small Pebble Vase in Turquoise

After months of non-stop making, I’ve collected a small batch of seconds- pieces that didn’t quite meet my standards for first quality, but were still too nice to smash. I’ve been going through those as well and have listed a few of the less-than-perfect little gems in my Etsy shop with more to come.

Curvy Vase with Blue Accent

Of course, not everything can escape the hammer so the rejects have been repurposed for stress relief.

Now I’ve got to deal with my desk and perform the torturous task of sifting through countless receipts, files and undoubtedly, another to-do list. Trust me, you really don’t need to see a picture of that.

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I use to think that saying that I favored one of my designs over all of the others sounded as bad as saying that I had a favorite child. I had to remind myself that even though I have an emotional (unnatural, perhaps?) attachment to everything I make, my pieces are not living, breathing creatures. Sorry Sweet Peas, that goes for you too. So I’m just going to say it- the Whirl Serving Dish is my favorite.

Other than my husband and loved ones (especially including my dog) there is nothing as important to me as my work. And because there is no design that I have thought about and agonized over more, the Whirl holds a special place in my heart. At the time, it seemed like the idea for the design just tumbled out of nowhere. One minute I was playing around, cutting up some bowls that I had thrown and then BOOM! I saw how this simple bowl could become a new form. I thought, “I’ll just make a couple of adjustments and it’ll be great. Shouldn’t be too hard to make”. Ha! What a naive little potter I was.

Imagining the form was the easy part. Actually making what I envisioned as perfectly as I imagined turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. Keeping the lines fluid and seamless on what was essentially a surgically altered porcelain “skin” at times seemed impossible. The lines within the piece where what made the design visually dynamic and interesting and I knew that any ornamentation including a heavy glaze would take away from that. So I had the bright idea that the Whirl would only have a clear glaze. That meant that even the slightest imperfections along the seams would be visible. Fabulous. Thankfully after a lot of trial and error and more error, frustration and swearing I developed a technique that works pretty well.*

Now the Whirl has become my favorite thing to make. For the past few weeks I’ve been working on some new incarnations, using the same general technique, but focusing on the idea of functional sculpture. I’m excited to push it even further, but I wanted to share a two of my favorites that just came out of the kiln. Each will be available in my shops this week.


* Sorry, I’m not going to tell you what that technique is. A girl has to have her secrets.

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