Vancouver Canada designer creating whatever she wants.

Posts tagged “pottery

Haiku Plates

My name is Donnae and I am addicted to writing Haiku. I feel such a release by disciplining my whirling dervish mind into choosing the exact right 5/7/5 syllables to express a thought/feeling/scene. It can take a min. (rarely), days or even months. I often do it riding my bike to work, sometimes forced to stop suddenly to scribble a line or word down so I don’t forget it.

Now I prefer square plates, love how they fit into the square cupboards all tidy like and since I needed more I decided to start producing some. In a flash of inspiration I saw my Haiku along the edge of the plates. WooHoo! It might not be a world shifting as winning the Stanley but I’m pretty proud of how they turned out. So last spring at the Maple Ridge Open Studio Tour I introduced them and they were a huge success. This was good and bad. The good because, well it is always good when public demand meets creative endeavour – the sweet spot, if you will. The bad because I had created them me. So having sold out I decided to make more but I still don’t have any plates for me. Guess I need to make more, eh?

I’d love to know what you think of them…

Haiku Plates



Doesn’t life has a way of hip checking you out of the game, (like the little hockey reference there? Sooo Canadian, eh?) the good stuff as well as the bad.

The good is obviously the sun, summer is doing its best to burst through and the ground is gushing forth with colour and life.

Birds greeting the sun at Sandoval Lake, Peru.

I feel like these birds, face to the sun and sucking in all that glorious warmth. Ahhhh. My creativity is pulled outside to my little balcony garden and I am enchanted with all the wonderful gardens on my route. It is like I am shoring up the sights, smells and touch for my next clay days. What inspires all you creative types? The gardeners, the cooks, the decorators, the crafters – you know who you are. Share and maybe I’ll discover a new one to check out.

The bad, of course, is the postal job action of which I am a part of. Both sides have taken their positions to the court of the media and the public. It is so stressful dealing with the various fallouts, the unknown not being the least of them. I’m finding myself distracted and deleted by the fear and haven’t figured out a way of using it to fuel my creativity. Have any of you? Please share cause I could use some help on this one.

My poor abandoned work table.

I Admit It, I Hate Glazing!

I just spent 5 hours toiling with glaze – on a beautiful sunny (mostly) day instead of, well just about anything else. Helping Kerry weed would have been way more fun. At least I got to set up under the overhang so I was sort of outside and I got to chat to Kerry as she beetled around trying to make up for lost time in the garden.

Glazing is such an issue with potters, the traditionalist say that any serious potter should make their own glazes. I have resisted such blatant intimidation techniques and insist on using commercial glazes and I am so

a serious potter except when I am giggling about something. Lord I feel like I’m at an AA meeting. “My name is Donnae and I use commercial glazes” It’s just that I realized quite early on that I love to make things in my head and then in clay and that any time I spent learning to and mixing glazes would be time away from what I love.

commercial glazes

When I discovered commercial glazes I was delighted. Of course they cost the world but worth it if I didn’t have to make them. One of the problems is that there are so many choices and often I can resemble a kid in a candy store. The result is I have a fortune in a multitude of colours.

While I have the making of it taken care of I still have to get the stuff on my pieces and it is pure drudgery since it means at least 2 coats of brushing on the glaze, letting each dry before proceeding. For some reason I can’t sit to do it sitting so that is 5 hours straight on my feet on concrete. Bah!

So on my list of what I would do when I win the lottery is hire someone to do my glazing for me, right behind hiring a housekeeper. I need to remember to buy that lottery ticket.

I found an interesting post about another potter’s reaction to commercial glazes:

Motherhood – the bisque stage

Time for Motherhood and I to take a road trip (never thought I’d see “motherhood’ and “I” in a sentence) I very carefully bundled her up like a mummy :} and gently propped her up in Bella and off we went to Maple Ridge to visit Auntie Kerry. She arrived in one piece (Yay!) and into the kiln she (torso, not Kerry) went for the first of at least 2 firings. This one is the easy one, the glaze firing is where I will need the blessings of the kiln Goddess and any other deity that is listening in.

In the kiln, ready to go!

Then, of course, we had to start in on glaze choices, the first of many I’m sure. What fun! Glaze chips flying around the kitchen, back and forth on what feeling am I aiming for. Colour is so freaking important but not just colour but textures and tones as well. Also there is the absence of colour that creates its own voice. So what does her voice have to say? I find myself several times a day poking around that question, she is never very far away. The basic question comes down to light or dark, one invokes vulnerability and the other nurturing/safe. Of course both are applicable but which is the one I want to focus on with this piece? I think I may have just answered my question! Yippee!

New Homes

Black & White Lace Vase’s Home

I love love love getting pictures from customers showing me my pieces in action. Being used and enjoyed in someone’s home makes pottery come alive. Since the lilacs are starting to bloom I thought these pics would be fun.

If you happen to have pictures of my work at play please send them to me, I’d love to feature them in my blog.



Pale Blue Carafe/Vase’s Home

Artist’s Little Helper

From the 1st day that Duma, the resident Siamese, was able to jump up onto my work table she has been enthralled with it. She loves to stretch out, roll back and forth and wiggle around on it, though it is rarely ever clear enough for her to do that. If I am working on something she will be there supervising & putting her 2 cents in. (I just realized there is no symbol on my key board for cents… when did they drop that?)  While there have been casualties not as many as you might think, considering all the face rubbing that goes on. I continue to work with her participation for as long as I can and then I need to boot her out and close the door. And then put up with the whining and scratching outside. Bugger.

Welcome to Donnae’s gallery of clay work!

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