Archive for January, 2013

Comments Off on Hope House International Project

Hope House International Project


Hope House Project MugsA few years ago, I was invited to attend a gala dinner event for Hope House International, a non-profit organization that does incredible work with orphans in Ukraine. As part of the event, there is an art show that features paintings from children in Ukraine and others from area artists. My host friends were talking about this one day and we bounced around a few ideas of how some of my clay work might end up in that show. Well, here we are, about 6 weeks away and I am frantically wrapping up the pieces to be fired, glazed, and prepared for this event.

I have my own orphanage story from Ukraine. It isn’t one associated with Hope House, but it remains fresh in my memory as I work in the clay that ultimately turns into something (no pun intended) that will have some small impact at Hope House. In 2004, I traveled with the Belmont University Sports Evangelism team to Ukraine to work with a local church In Zhitomir. One of our adventures took us to a nearby orphanage where I met Aleksandr and a couple of his friends. The three boys played with my camera/video gear while I watched nervously, and although I understood nothing of the words spoken, we had a good time. I thought little of it until our leader stopped me a while later to say that I had no idea how special that time was for those boys. That time with the boys and the comment from my team leader stay with me even today, several years later…knowing always that there is still much to be done to bring hope to the many children who find themselves in Ukranian orphanages.

I continue my support of Hope House International and am happy to be a part of this year’s gala event. I would like to say Thank You for the quick turnaround (and solid advice) for the custom clay stamp from Joel Socwell at

Comments Off on Reflecting on Studio Efficiency – Meet Lori Watts

Reflecting on Studio Efficiency – Meet Lori Watts


I have yet to meet a clay artist outside of school settings who claims to have more space than they need to get their work done. Most, including me, have carved out a space somewhere that works just as long as there is some semblance of order. I have written about the work flow in a clay studio before and confess that I tweak that process with some regularity. It is refreshing to read that others face similar struggles and that they stop to reflect on the process occasionally.

Assorted Mugs - Lori Watts

Assorted Mugs – Lori Watts

Lori Watts is a clay artist living/working in Augusta, Maine. Her blog, Fine Mess Pottery, is one that I frequent and one that I recommend to other clay folks as an example of someone doing it right. In a new year’s post, Lori writes about her clean-up and re-organization of her studio workspace…and titled the post, A Work in Progress. It is worth the read if you have ever considered having your own studio. Lori’s focus on efficiency speaks well of her effort to keep her Fine Mess from becoming a Big Mess, a focus that I’ll need to remember. For me, there are points from her post that I will have to address that I have not seriously considered…like a place to process/package orders and where to keep those favorite books so they’ll not get covered in studio dust.

Enjoy A Fine Mess…and bring along a cup of coffee. I’ll stop now, before my coffee gets any colder.