Saturday, August 17, 2013

NY Now

NY Now (formerly the Gift Show) opens today/tomorrow at the Javits Center in NYC. Once a regular participant, I took a break from this mammoth (and exhausting) trade fair in the hope that my stellar work would carry the day. Well, I have been lucky, but business demands one remain in the game. Thank God for Janet McKean. Janet and I worked together back in the day through the gift show and she has been instrumental in getting my work into the window on Madison Avenue at the Whitney Store Next Door, on Broadway when the Guggenheim Museum had its store there and loads of other cool shops nationwide. She has also been instrumental in getting me tons of press including a clip in the New York Times, the cover of What's Hot in Elle Decor and the "O List" to name a few.
I have no doubt we will again win the hearts and minds of our new and old friends and buyers with our thoughtful and steady vision. Do come and check us out! Booth #7654 

Friday, August 09, 2013


New cat and mouse images on small oval dishes
Thinking positively often gets a bad rap. A method for keeping the mind above the fray, positive thinking and doing according to a belief in a positive outcome can help establish a routine of thought that in the long run will do more to advance the human condition than its opposite. When I am focused on what is wrong in the world or in my life, looking at how things haven’t gone exactly the way I had hoped or dreamed, I am doing myself a profound disservice. For every critical voice in my head, seeing what isn’t there, I am missing what is there. If instead of the critique, I enlist gratitude, my head is suddenly taking a backseat to that which has more power anyway – my heart. Love is the antidote to the ails of the world, even if the world that I implore is my little corner of the world. My backyard.

James, Sage and Carrie wrapping dishes to ship
In my backyard, the studio is preparing for the New York Gift Show, now known as New York Now, as we wrap the fruits of our labors from these past few weeks. Deeply imbedded in the new work are images of animals and words of inspiration that remind me, for one, of my commitment to keeping my head up, or at least when I look up from my work, I am reminded to chose to see the beautiful clouds in the sky, a bird in flight or hear wind rustling in the trees. I am grateful.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Clearwater Festival

Summer is a great time to visit music festivals and community events in the region. This weekend a huge and famous festival is happening in Croton-on-Hudson, the Clearwater's Great Hudson River Revival.  Music, art, food and information about the river frame this two day extravaganza. The Clearwater is a ship built by Pete Seeger to bring the plight of the Hudson River to bare on those who would more inclined to witness a gorgeous sloop on her waves than listen to the chest pounding anger of an environmental activist. Poetry over politics. More about the history of the ship and the organization here.

The Clearwater sloop sailing on the Hudson River.
I am foraying into regional craft shows this summer, part of my local economic and community building efforts. This event is my kick off. Its been hectic in the studio, we have been busy making lots of new things for this kind of venue. There will be more images in the coming days. Meanwhile, come see us if you are at the festival and stay tuned for more information about other fairs.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Welcome to Summer in Spencertown

For the 8th year in a row, our little burg of Spencertown, NY is holding its annual welcome to summer event in front of the church on the green in Spencertown. Originally a fundraiser for the historic clapboard church, a relic of days gone by but still a specimen in the history of Columbia County, the event is evolving into a lively and welcoming community day celebrating summer with music, food, plants and handmade as well as vintage wares for sale.

I will be there with pieces from my popular Faith and Wisdom collection as well as an abundance of coffee cups and specially priced platers, soap dishes and other pieces I seem to have a lot of in the studio. Special pricing for the fair.

Frances Culley designed the poster this year and I love her antiquarian aesthetic. Contrasts with my tendency toward a modern look. Diversity rules! If you are in the neighborhood or looking for a fun outing, should be worth the drive. Weather forecast is sunny, though might be little cool. Pack a sweater.

Hope to see you this weekend!

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Mother's Day

As a daughter, Mother's Day was always a holiday that I acknowledged (I think!) out of a sense of gratitude (in my best moments) or perhaps obligation (in my less than best moments). As a mother, Mother's day feels a little different. Not quite a birthday, but a unique holiday for me in my family. I always like to get flowers because this is such a great time of year to get things moving in the garden. Everyone is different about how they acknowledge this special day.

According to Wikipedia, Mother's Day was created by Anna Jarvis to celebrate her own mother who had been an advocate and worker for womens' health and sanitary conditions. The holiday became an opportunity for the floral and greeting card industry to sell more stuff, a development Anna Jarvis deeply resented. Jarvis actually spent the rest of her life fighting what she saw as the corruption of a memorial to mothers and objected to sending printed greeting cards calling that practice "lazy" vs. writing a letter. (sounds like a bit of a perfectionist?) Well, I disagree and love to recognize my mom (with printed cards and sometimes flowers!) and be recognized by my son and husband. I know they will buy me a card and some flowers. If I didn't make my own vases, they might buy me a seed vase or tea pot.

However you acknowledge the woman that made your life possible, I do hope you will do it with style. And enjoy it with her if you can!

Monday, April 15, 2013


I have always been inclined to try my best. Whether that means to make the best art I can, or be the best friend I can or mom or wife, or, and now this category has been growing during the past few years, citizen. I try to be the best citizen I can. That said, and what, you may wonder, does that mean? I think the environment matters a great deal in fact I think the environment is of the utmost importance. The environment, of course, includes nature but nature is by extension all things if you really get down to it. That means where I buy (and sell!) my stuff matters, a lot. What I eat for dinner matters, a lot. Where it came from, how it was grown and who grew it, how they were treated or are treated, and how much did they get paid all matter a lot.

These get to be very complicated issues very quickly. One way to keep a slightly tighter handle on the ins and outs of what is actually ethical living is to do as much as possible locally. Now, this is by no means an absolute. But, it can represent a significant percentage of where I spend my dollars and in turn where I sell my work.

Of course, trading far and wide is a wonderful way to broaden my work in the world and I love to do that. That doesn't mean I neglect the neighborhood that I live it and as I grow in this place I make more of an effort to be sure my thing are available in their best light in local shops.

So, last week I set up a nice fresh batch of Faith and Wisdom cups and plates at the Grainery, a wonderful health food store on Main Street in Chatham. Kathy and Chris run a sweet business with a long history. Keeping it local! More of that all the time.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

My friend Elke Rosthal, photographer extraordinaire, took this lovely shot of one of my bowls full of the hard work and labor of Sebastian and Julian.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Seed vases

The Seed Vase Project is an artwork I began in 1998. I make these little 3" high vases periodically and send them around hither and yon. Spring is a great time of year to bring them back into the mix because they are such perfect bud vases. Tatiana has been loading a new batch into Etsy so I thought it good timing to revisit here.

Each vase is numbered as an act of numbering a opposed to an edition. That way, the sequential nature of numbering creates a connection, a thread between the vases. I have been writing about networks lately and the seed vase project is perfect example of a potential network. The numbering connects each owner of a vase to any other owner. In fact, this connection might be seen as a way of relating to another, a sort of fraternity of seed vase owners, art collectors. The Seed Vase Project itself is in fact a global scatter piece, an artwork, living in homes from New York, to Los Angeles, to China, Japan and Germany. I see the Seed Vase Project as the world's largest artwork in fact, consisting of all these discrete objects, a diaspora, like seeds scattered to the winds, taking root? In an imagination somewhere -- evoking friendship, kinship, love.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lamb, friends and the promise of stew

For 25 years, I was basically a vegetarian. Then, I got pregnant. A couple of months into my pregnancy I started craving beef like it was going out of style. 18 years later and I have never looked back. Well, I have been living in the country for the pat 12 years and have always tried to be a conscious eater. Moving to a rural community really shifts that consciousness up a few notches. Now my standards include mostly locally raised, grass fed and free ranging meat, poultry and eggs. I don’t eat a ton of fish anymore, tough to find super high quality fish this far inland and frozen lacks appeal.

Hester and Ermengard proudly display their wares.
(sheep skin waiting for the tannery in the background)

So, one of the ways I get my meat is from friends and neighbors. I have been living here long enough now that I know many a farmer and have sought out people that grow sustainable meat. My friend Frances is one of these folks. She has just started raising lamb in order to sell and I am the lucky recipient of the first batch. Sisters Hester and Ermengard proudly hold up the two packages I bought yesterday for a lamb stew I plan to make tomorrow. This is life close to the bone, so to speak. Not only do I know where this lamb came from, I probably know this lamb personally! Not to befriend or anything, that would be weird, but well enough to know it had a good life, was very healthy, and the meat is of the highest quality.

Life in the country these days can be an especially perfect place to settle. Coupled with the economic engine of a regional city, in this case New York and Boston, both communities, both types of people can be deeply nourished. I do believe a rural/urban symbiosis is on the horizon. Already happening and certainly a traditional arrangement, perhaps the re-emergence of more local networks can in fact help a healthier, economic as well as physiological, community unfold.

Thursday, February 07, 2013


Photo stylist extraordinaire
Tatiana Klacsmann
We have been developing the Etsy shop and I am super excited about how that's coming along. My trusty studio manager Tatiana has been inspiring me on all fronts. Together she and I are looking forward to a more accesible davistudio - one that will make the stuff of the studio more easily available to more people. Right now we are putting more Faith and Wisdom pieces up there. Faith and Wisdom is the series I created this past fall as a tribute to my beautiful Ruby, loyal German short haired pointer of the past 8 years. She passed this fall and so I have dedicated these designs to her memory. Henry, my best friend's beagle, is just one the many characters, avian and canine to be etched onto to these lovelies. Cups and plates, they are a fun gift for your favorite animal lover. A whole new crop of coffee cups, small oval dishes, saucer and plates are fresh out the last kiln. We also still have a few Valentine's left, so if you are stymied about what to get your sweetie or even just a sweet little something for your best friend, these little oval dishes make a perfect soap dish or ring dish. Check out the shop now.

OK, looks like snow starting tomorrow here in the east. I have been going to Boston regularly for a class at Montserrat College of Art (that has been awesome!) but my trips have been foiled of late. This weekend is another class, but alas I am afraid I will miss my peeps because of the latest snowmaggedon predicted for the east coast... Hooray! Hot off the press... my class is cancelled! I am so happy I won't miss one. These are courses geared toward the professional development for artists and have been super useful.

Tatiana and I are debating shopping excursions. I did my food shopping this morning, phew! and she needs to hers done before we are all stranded in our cozy cottages for the weekend. Many options for snowed in projects. For sure I am making chili tonight or tomorrow. I put all my ingredients into the slow cooker and leave it on and voila! Chili, a perennial cold weather favorite. Served up with shredded cheese, chips and salsa or even over salad for taco salad, proves a hit on the homefront.

Justin casting Waterworks rectangle trays.
On the studio front, Justin is busy casting new work for Waterworks, our favorite commercial client. This week its waste cans tumblers and rectangle trays. I am developing new work for them, so stay tuned for that. The new work is all about getting all that stuff organized by the sink in the kitchen and bathroom.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Valentine's and a New Platter

In February I get more deeply obsessed with hearts than usual. This year I have carved out a little heart shape with dots to impress into some small oval dishes. These make great soap dishes or ring dishes. A little gifty for your sweetheart. There are a few left in Etsy shop and they ship within 24 hours.

Last week I went to Sketch in Hudson to make some more Valentines with friends. Funny thing, I get nervous making art with other people. Even silly little things like greeting cards. I guess I prefer to make things in private.

That said, I do like to participate in creative acts of conviviality. Getting together with friends turns me on. Preferably over a meal.

A friend of mine stopped by over the weekend and picked up a platter she had purchased at one of my open studios. Her hubby George Gruel took this photo of it installed on her dining room table. I love getting in situ shots.

Thanks for stopping by!