I am not attending NCECA this year but I'm sending these three bright poppy pieces to Pittsburgh to brighten up the winter landscape. If you are going, please check out this fun sounding party and show. I am honored to be showing in the company of some of my pottery heroes. Check out Heesoo Lee's impossibly beautiful Aspen pieces, Birdie Boone's wonderful round bottom cups, Ben Carter's delicate red clay teapots and of course my talented Bay Area pottery posse's (Christa, Sara, Whitney, Diana) brilliant work. It almost makes me want to strap on my snow boots, drag out my down jacket and get my butt to Pittsburgh (almost... but not quite) !
I started off 2018 with a very rude awakening.
A very dear friend had commissioned me to make teapots and cups for his daughter and sister for Christmas presents. He gave me this project late into the season and knew that the pieces couldn't be delivered until after Christmas but was willing to wait. I was able to get them started as soon as my Open Studio was over. I was excited to be able to deliver the 2 teapots and their 4 matching cups this week.
Needless to say all didn't go as planed. When I put the pieces into the final glaze kiln they looked perfect. When I sneaked a peek ,as the kiln was cooling,I gasp in horror. What the HELL had happened? I still don't know...they were pocked with craters, the white under glaze was grey, the scratched through designs unrecognizable in the mess. I was mortified and embarrassed. Devastated that 3 weeks of work was wrecked (get the hammer wrecked) and that I was going to have to tell my patient friend that it would be another 3 weeks until I could deliver his order.
I had, however, not finished 2 teapots and 4 cups as "insurance" in case the first 4 had a mishap. With my confidence very shaken I re-under glazed , re-decorated and took an extra step that i had never taken before.... I re-bisqued these already bisqued pots... thinking that maybe this would eliminate the transparent problem. Feeling without much hope, I glazed them and fired them a third time. This morning I shyly opened the cooled kiln and HALLELUJAH ! The kiln gods had smiled and the pots were better than my rather low expectations..They were PERFECT!
Sometimes ceramics lessons learn are HARD. I lost 4 precious pots and 16 cups but learned a new technique (the extra bisque) that will hopefully take the guess work out of future projects. Ceramics...sometimes I LOVE you, sometimes I HATE you.
Good bye to 2017 - probably one the most unsettling, craziest years ever.
My personal year was great. I was able to make lots of pots in my sunny Berkeley studio. I want to thank all of you who visited and supported my crazy endeavors. I traveled lots of miles with my husband John Schnick visiting Cuba, Hawaii, Paris and spent the summer in the mountains. And best of all had fun times with family and friends including many hours with my 5 wonderful grandkids.
But it is the state of our country that made this year so crazy. As this new year starts it's hard not to feel super stressed every time I listen to the news...WHAT HAS THE MANIAC BEEN UP TO NOW ? I resolve to, as much as possible, tune out the negative and see this year as full of possibilities for POSITIVE CHANGE.
I am toasting in 2018 with the resolve we can alter the direction our country is going and make this world a better place for all of us.
Poppy Vases, Wildlife Mugs, Bear and Owl Bells, Blackbird Ornaments , one of a kind wonders have been flying from my hand to drying rack to kiln to glaze bucket and back to kiln ...I have been working like a crazed Santa's elf getting ready for Holiday Open Studios. I hope you can come see what I've been up to. Please join me in my beautiful backyard studio. If you can't make it to this great event you can, for a limited time, purchase my 2017 ornaments here.
josie jurczenia Holiday Open Studio
3 Weekends:: Nov 25, 26, Dec 2.3, 9,10
11 - 5
I am proud to be part of the Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios. I am # 16 on the map of 100 Artists in this area open for business this Holiday Season.Read More
I had no idea how much poking around, swearing, time outs or chats with the technical support team it would take to get my new web-site up and running but now that it's live and you found it...YAHOO! Since I have my web-site switched to my new Square Space host it is time to switch my blog. Hopefully this will be a smoother transition.
It's Holiday workshop time in my studio. The slab roller is humming, my fingers are flying, slip is slipping, trees, birds, bears, bunnies and poppies are popping up everywhere. I hope you will be able to join me for my Holiday Open Studio that starts the Saturday after Thanksgiving. If you are interested in starting your holiday shopping a little earlier or can't make it to my Open Studio you can find my very special 2017 ornaments in my newly opened shop.