Patience, patience, patience

I am usually pretty darn patient when it comes to working with clay. But I rushed a bisque firing and this beautiful set of mugs were not totally bone dry before they were heated to 1700 degrees, resulting in the bottoms exploding off. Obviously, in the thickest part of the base of the mug there were still some moisture particles in the clay!!! I skipped a step I learned long ago in art school… if you are not certain if a piece is totally dry, hold it against your cheek and if it feels cool to the touch it is not ready to fire yet!!! Dang it… but on the bright side, look how good the handle construction held up in that little explosion considering they were all sitting on their bases in the kiln shelf and tipped over from the pressure?!?!? Still learning after 15 years of working in clay!

Pottery mess up

Inspiration in Nature

I am constantly inspired by nature. Hiking in the Northwest, strolling along the beach, exploring a botanic garden, growing vegetable plants from seed or just getting down close to something on the earth and taking a slow moment to notice of its form and function. Naturally occurring beauty is the best. Simple, purposeful and tested through the times by Mother Nature herself. I recently visited the Mission San Juan Capistrano with my best friend and we spent a wonderful afternoon strolling through the gardens oohhing and aahhhing over the lovingly-tended gardens and photographing the natural wonders all around. The lotus pond was a favorite of mine - a symbol I am often drawn do in my design business and also my pottery studio. The perfect spread of petals, the soft gradation of color, the amazing way each plant floats on the water top nourished by its roots through one, long, spindly cord, not unlike the umbilical cord that nourishes a fetus in utero. 

Lily Pads at Mission San Juan Capistrano, by Melissa Beckwith

Family Time in 2017

2017 has been an exciting year for our family. My husband had a 3 month sabbatical from work so I ramped down my graphic design and pottery businesses and we hit the road with our 2 young kids, our trusty Subaru wagon and a pop-up camper and toured the NW for 63 days. It was an amazing quality time with our family (and also some challenging parenting moments) but overall a wonderful family adventure. Now my daughter is in 1st grade and my son is a very active 3.5 year old who needs plenty of outdoor time so my afternoons and weekends are busy playing outside with my young kiddos.

Needless to say, I haven't had a ton of extra time to work in my studio this year because of our road trip adventures and active young kiddos so I am not planning any pottery sales/shows this year. I do plan to make a small supply of inventory for family and friends and always have some pots on the shelf for sale, so contact me if you need to stop by and see what I have in stock. Otherwise, come see me at my next year art shows for some new pottery dishes.

Melissa Beckwith family

Flashback

Just stumbled across this photo of my FIRST pottery sale!!! This was taken in the summer of 2005 at the Keystone Farmer's Market in Keystone CO. Back then, I had a fun marketing job for the ski resort and was a Teacher's Assistant under Bill Barry for the pottery classes at Colorado Community College in Breckenridge. I decided to sell my huge pottery stash I'd built up from all my years in art school and teaching pottery. I had no sales skills yet, so my booth was pretty dang bleak, but it was my first attempt at selling my art!

Melissa Perritte, Melissa Beckwith, pottery

More mugs...

My biggest request (and best sellers) are mugs. We all love the comforting feel of a warm, smooth mug to wrap our chilly fingers around in winter. The past few weeks I have been focusing on making mugs - big and small - for the tea, coffee, hot cocoa or espresso drinker in all of us! I've evolved the hand-pulled handle over the years to be wider but not to thick. I like a nice groove at the top apex of the handle for the thumb to easily rest. I've added a new "Seaweed" green glaze to my palette and look forward to testing out all sorts of glaze combos on these beauties. Come to one of my upcoming holiday art shows to see the results!!!

pottery by Melissa Beckwith

Yoga-inspired pottery

I've been invited to sell my pottery at Yoga Junction's fall fashion Trunk Show/Sale on Oct. 15. Since I normally don't put my pottery pieces in the "fashion" category, I had to think outside the box on yoga-inspires pots that might fit the theme.... I decided on small pots/dishes that could be used to hold meditation beads, jewelry, soap or loose change! Here is a sneak peak at a few of the pieces that just came out of the kiln this morning! I had a great time carving some yoga-inspired designs into my ceramic pieces - a real change from my norm.

pottery by Melissa Beckwith
pottery by Melissa Beckwith
Melissa Beckwith pottery

First Friday Art Walk - Aug. 5, 2016

I am busy making pots for the one and only pottery demo/sale this summer on Friday, August 5th. I've been asked by Julie at Gifts at Cooper's Corner to participate again in First Friday - Louisville's monthly Art Walk. I will be there with my potter's wheel offering demonstrations on wheel-thrown pots. My hubby, Drew, will also be there "manning" a table of finished pottery pieces for sale. Please mark your calendars and come on down to Old Town to visit and support the local artists!

Melissa Beckwith

Art in the Barn SUCCESS

Wow... just participated in the coolest artisan market a few days ago - Art in the Barn - at Three Leaf Farm in Lafayette. The show was held upstairs of a beautiful horse barn with chickens and goat nearby. There was an amazing selection of local artists and goodies and it was fun to be part of such a talented group of women. My pottery sales were GREAT - thank you to all who purchased hand-made pottery!!! Big shout out to Sara M. who hosted us at the farm. Look forward to being part of it again next year - Dec. 3, 2016 - MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!

Art in the Barn, Melissa Beckwith Pottery

Last sale of the year!

This Saturday will be my last pottery sale of the year. It is fun to work towards these end-of-year sales each year and earn some money towards next year's clay and glaze supplies. Although this is not my main income, the sales from these shows offset my expensive pottery hobby and allow me to get out in the community and feel like an artist. Please save the date for Saturday, Dec. 5 to stop by the ART IN THE BARN artisan market and shop for the holidays! I'll be there all day to help you find the perfect gift for you family, friends or coworkers!

Happy holidays!

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