Saturday, December 27, 2008

Holiday letter

Happy Christmas, Everyone!

What a difference a year makes. This time last year, Kari, Allison, and Ben were waiting in Monroe for our house to sell while Jay had been working in Asheville for over 3 months. We had cause to reexamine our life in the suburbs, which led to the search for land in the mountains and a simpler lifestyle.

We have been up here for 9 months, and we suppose we’ll eventually find the simplicity we’re seeking. That is after we’ve found all the hidden surprises this house has to offer. We have built a wall to separate the children’s rooms, replaced a rotted sill plate and installed a much needed leach field. It’s been an adventure so far, and we haven’t even started the demo on the basement!

The best part of moving to the mountains, of Western North Carolina, besides the view and the potential of self-sustainable living, is Kari’s studio. Over the past 3 moves her studio shrunk from 12x24 to 10x12. We haven’t measured how big this studio is, but there is a separate kiln room, complete with an 18 cu ft gas kiln and gallery space. Up until this month, the gallery was our family room, but twice a year the local Arts Council holds an area Studio Tour so we converted the space back to a show room. Her pottery is now called Singing Tree Pottery and her business is up and running. A website is coming soon.

Now if we could only get Jay’s business going we’d never have to leave the mountain, expect to buy clay supplies and beer. Hard to believe, but we live in a dry county. We can hear you laughing! Seriously, Jay is working on a couple of ideas but the economic downturn has slowed those plans. In the meantime, he is honing his carpentry and homesteading skills.

The kids are adjusting to yet another new school, and this one is quite a change. Allison is in 5th grade and is bored beyond measure. She is in the Gifted (hate that word) program, and she is biding her time until middle school where her former 4th grade teacher is now in charge of the G program there. Ben is in 3rd grade and is being “nurtured” for the G program. I know we all think our own children are geniuses, and that holds true for us, however, there is a tremendous difference between the suburban charter school they attended in Monroe and this rural Title 1 school. These teachers have to spend an inordinate amount of time teaching W’s test. If we didn’t have a strong opinion about testing before, we certainly do now.

At home, the kids are outside a lot of the time. They love the snow. We’ve already had 4 snow days and just as many 2 hour delays. We have over 7 acres for them to explore. They’ve already picked out where they want their tree houses.

Life is good up here and we feel very fortunate to have found this place. Now about the beer, there’s always home brewing...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Since you asked...

Last month I posted pics of my loaded kiln (before and after firing) on the Clay Club blog and then sent the link to friends and family so they might have some idea of what I do. Obviously this was before I go t over my fear of blogging. My good friend Joe thought that for a bunch of artists "Clay Club" was a bit plain and surely we could have come up with something more creative. Then he suggested "Potsapalooza"...and a blog was born. Joe, I am forever in your debt.

Friday, December 12, 2008

New Etsy Shop

I've just set up an Etsy Shop! Etsy is a website for handmade items. My online shop is called singingtreepottery and you can search for me under sellers: usernames. I'll try this out for a while and see what happens.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Here we go...

It's official! I'm so excited to see all this talk (because you know how much I've talked about this) turn into reality. We all worked our tails off getting ready for the Holiday TRAC Tour, but nothing like a deadline to keep you motivated. We had terrific traffic through the showroom on Saturday and did better in sales than I have in my last 3 Arts and Craft shows combined.
I'm taking a break from making pots for the next couple of weeks. Instead, I am taking photographs of my work in hopes of getting a website up by early next year. Be on the lookout for!