New in the shop, The Marie Collection!
Early this year I took a lecture series, by ceramic artists, for ceramic artists. One way that it really got me thinking is how I present my work, when I have new things. Previously, I've made a piece at a time, releasing that piece, dreaming of a whole set of things, and if I ever got to the point where I had a handful of things, I couldn't take a group photo of everything together because chances are some of it had already sold. So I'd make more, but then other things would have sold, and so on and so on. Some of the things talked about in the lecture series got me thinking... what if I made some things but... held off on listing them until I had a complete set...?
That meant, though, that I had to define what a "set" would be. Originally I was thinking a serving bowl, a yarn bowl, a soap dish, a rectangular-shaped plate (lovingly called "the pizza plate" because I made the original one for a friend frustrated that her favorite brand of frozen pizza had reworked its packaging and no longer included the box that could be used as a plate for the oversized, rectangular pizza), mugs, tumblers, and a one-pound butter dish. Along the way of firming up the idea I had, I dropped the tumblers and the one-pound butter dishes, and picked up two trays, a square plate, and three small dishes (one square and two octagonal). This made for eleven pieces, total.
I also have a lot of doilies I want to use for ceramics, all of them lovingly made for my by my friend, Marie. About 12 years ago now, Marie showed up at our Sunday afternoon knitting group. Besides being wicked funny, and an earth mother. It was at Hanks, at the yarn store I soon opened with two friends, that we noticed she had... a super power. Marie has the incredible, unbelievable talent of being in the right place at the right time, and her heart knows no end of willingness to help others. Countless times people would come in the yarn store with boxes or bags of unfinished projects; their mother, or sister, or aunt, had just passed on and they didn't know how to knit or crochet, but they had this thing their loved one was working on but had died before being able to finish. Could we help? Well. All we had to do was look at Marie. She was always willing to finish someone's unfinished project, always willing to help someone's heart heal by finishing half-done afghans, baby garments, and the like.
Marie - as you can probably tell from how I'm writing about her - has touched my heart, and I just absolutely adore her. Over the years she has given me handfuls of hand-crocheted doilies (I can knit like the wind but my crochet skills, well, they can barely be described as skills!). She started when I told her I had an idea to marry clay and yarn, and she has not stopped. Over time I've played with many of them, deciding which are good for clay, which are good for photo shoots, and which I am secretly hoarding for myself. The doily I've used for this set is one of the first ones she ever made for me. Sp how could I not name this design after her?
So this is the first set, the first collection. As I sit here typing this and look above my computer, where I have all my doilies and slab-roll templates hanging, I can tell you that I have four more sets like this I want to do... and another few doilies in the other room that I still need to play around with to see how they look with the clay. I also have three different clays I want to use; the white I've used for this, and then a red speckled clay, and a luscious chocolate clay. So if I find one more doily I want to use, for a total of six doilies all together, that's two sets per type of clay. Which is a lot of opportunity for me to use some color, hahahaha!
The three colors here are the three colors I will be doing the Marie Collection pieces in. However, if you love this doily and absolutely have to have a piece with it, in a different color than shown so that it matches your decor, drop me a line about a custom order - it may take a few weeks but I'm always happy to work with people.
Special thanks to Marie, for the doilies, and the love. You are my fairy godmother and I love how you act like the kindly grandmother from fairy tales but your language would give a sailor pause; I want to be you when I grow up. I hope you know that you are never far from my heart. And also special thanks to Troublesome, shop cat and quality checker, for all the "help" with my photographs. You're a peach. No, really, you just sit there while I move everything around you, no, that's fine, I swear.