Monthly Archives: October 2012


One of the best things about living in Southern California is being able to grow almost anything. The exception is anything that needs a hard freeze and prolonged chill hours like some stone fruit. One of my favorite things in our garden are the Wonderful pomegranates.

Whoever named them decided to point out the obvious. Yes, they are wonderful, my Wonderful poms, and they are almost ripe!


One thing I can count on is that I’m easily distracted during the change of seasons. My creative juices get stirred when the weather changes. I’m no longer complacent. If it’s brisk in the morning all the better. It’s like all my senses become heightened, like my cells are saying “hey wake up! Something’s different here and it’s worth slowing down and taking a look”. I become inspired.

Yesterday in the garagio, I had my to do list, a couple of urns, more than a few dogs, and finishing some other pieces. I also had about a dozen mugs I’d thrown that were under plastic awaiting a critter or embellishment of some sort. As I sat at my desk finishing my cuppa before I started, my gaze fell upon a set of antique letterpress type I had left out the night before. My eyes landed on one of those green ware mugs…then the type…then the mug…type…mug…okay I’m sure you know where I’m going here. That dozen mugs? While they’re not all branded with my inspiring words of the day…most are. I think I’m going to love these. I hope you do too.

What are your inspiring words? I’m making a list!

Ceramics isn’t for Wimps.

Tape & Sympathy

On any given day, you can find me out in my garage studio (hereafter referred to as the garagio) in my pajamas and barefoot. I don’t see any sense in getting all clean and dressed when I know within a matter of minutes I’ll be covered in clay. I’ve never liked shoes. Growing up in Southern California, I seldom needed them for warmth and I have oddly wide, hard to fit feet. TMI? Anyway, all my life, I’ve kicked off confining irritating shoes as soon as I could. I cheered when it became trendy to run barefoot, not that I run, I just love hearing it’s healthy. I feel like it doesn’t make my barefoot tendency quite as odd. As much as I’m an advocate for barefeet, I did think it was disconcerting when that hobbit movie director started showing up at all the award shows barefoot. I love that he championed the barefoot cause, but I must admit, ever since the 70′s ended I do don shoes for most public events. Maybe it’s a girl thing.

Anyway, I digress. Last Saturday was no different than most days. I went out to the garagio, trimmed some mugs I have in the works, and decided to tidy up a bit since it was the end of the week. I pulled my lovely, but ever so heavy, circa 1970′s Shimpo pottery wheel towards me to sweep under it and I just kept going – right over my big toe. It took my big toenail with it. I won’t go into the details but suffice it to say…that moment is something that’s going to stay with me a long time! I flapped the nail down, put on a pressure wrap, then went in and put on street clothes and a shoe on the undamaged foot and waited for my darling husband Steve to come home. We wound up in the UCLA emergency room for the rest of the day. There I learned the magical properties of morphine and nerve blocks and I was counciled on the wisdom of wearing shoes when working around heavy equipment.

The ironic punchline? I wont be wearing a shoe on my right foot for a long, long time.

I’m off to the garagio now…barefoot!

ps: my toe is feeling much better now, a few days later.

Melissa World

My brother in law gave me an i Pad a while ago. A couple weeks ago he introduced me to Pandora radio. Last week he sent me a wireless Bose speaker with Bluetooth that I can play Pandora Radio on my i Pad anywhere I want. Today I gardened listening to Alison Krause “radio”.

Lessons learned today:

1. WiFi only reaches to the goldkist apricot tree.
2. Gardening is even better with music.
3. Goldkist apricot trees can support an i Pad.
4. I have an awesome brother in law.

Amber’s Wedding

A January wedding

I love it when people send me photos of my work!  (hint, hint!) I recently received this lovely photo of a couple of my love birds atop this delicious looking cake. Beautiful, aye?

It’s humbling, inspiring, and just plain fun to have have my little birds invited to so many weddings!

Welcome to my new blog!

Well. I thought I’d start this blog by sharing one of my happy places. This is a photo I took last week of June Lake in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. I grew up camping all over this area with my family and now return there to renew and ground myself.

When my husband Steve and I used to travel to art shows with my gourd work, we’d go through the California, Nevada, and Utah deserts once a year. Sometimes it felt like it took forever.  Growing up in Southern California, I have great affection for the beauty of the desert. Wide shot, it can look lifeless and desolate. With a macro lens on, life emerges, efficient, specialized, and tenacious. Anyway, I digress. After driving through hundreds of miles of desert, the first green place we’d encounter was a little valley named Cedar Pocket. It has water and reeds and red rocks and a particular beauty. I grew to look forward to it. It is a special place with a great name.

Just as Cedar Pocket was an oasis after that long drive in the desert, my clay work was an oasis when I picked it up again after a 30 year hiatus. When I opened my new business, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate name than Cedar Pocket Ceramics.

Where is your happy place?