Wednesday, February 6, 2013

E-newsletter Clarification

I love that Intown surprised me with the feature on their recent e-newsletter blast! They are great ladies doing delightful things for our downtown.  Support them!

One point I have to clarify is that this blog is not the best place to go for information about Studio 550. If you want to learn more about Studio 550 go to the Studio website.  If you want to sign up for the e-newsletter for the studio, again, go to the Studio website and sign up on the top right (not the sign up immediately to the right... that is for the Monica Leap Ceramics e-news, which is not the same thing.).

If you are reading this, then thanks for visiting!  Come visit us this weekend for our 1-day workshops. You get a chance to try out our classes for just a day, no commitments. We'll run a workshop day every second Saturday of the month. One in the morning 10-1PM in clay or stained glass and a second clay workshop in the afternoon 2-5PM.

See you in the studio!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Let the fun begin!

I am so glad construction is over, now we are on to the fun part. Programming! 

I have the awesome task of finding people in the community who are intensely passionate and excited about what they do, and then making a home for them in the Studio so they can share what it is that they do best with the rest of the community - you. 

I'm always interested in meeting new teachers and am always interested in new ideas for programming. If there is something that you have always wanted to see in Manchester, maybe the studio could be the place for it. Get in touch with me a let me know at

Really, this blog is supposed to be the site for my personal pottery updates, but you might find that I don't post here as often now that the Studio space is open. If you watch the calendar on the Studio website, you'll what I'm up to:

Regardless, even in just the first month and a half we:
- Have a full pottery class of wheel throwers who are completely jazzed to be there (they come in to practice and everything - it warms my heart!)
- Held workshops in felting, bookbinding, stained glass, knitting, clay, and more
- Invited community members to make over 40 ceramic bowls to donate to the Empty Bowls event to benefit the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter
- Held monthly Argentine Tango social dances (every second Saturday!)
- Started salsa social dances (starting every third Saturday)
- Offer weekly Tai Chi, Yoga, Belly dance, Hula hoop, poi spinning, and AMAS martial arts classes
- Monthly Date Nights on Fridays 
- Parent/Kid clay days on Saturdays
- Hosted "Studio Parties" for happy groups of friends and businesses
- Exhibited functional ceramic pottery from over 46 artists around the country
- and so much more. 

If you'd like to learn more about the studio, check out the website (, and read about it in the Hippo's article by Kelly Sennott.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The construction dust clears

I'm not sure how to explain everything that happened since November 2011 til now concisely, but suffice to say, construction is a bitch. Over the past year I worked with the Southern NH Planning Commission (working out my City and Regional Planner Muscles - which are mostly keyboard typing muscles), became the General Contractor for finishing the redevelopment of a 20,000SF building, became a day laborer on the construction site, and all the while, trying to keep Studio 550 alive in the eyes of the community.

I originally moved home to NH in 2010 to start up a community art/clay center in Manchester, NH - Studio 550. We were slated to move into an old warehouse in early 2011. The building was left over from the times of the Amoskeag mills back in 1890.  Unfortunately, a few bad general contractors, plus a few bad sub-contractors and we were left hanging with just the idea of a studio and a broken building. 

I'd rather focus on the positive though, and say that in construction was completed in November of 2012 and December 15, 2012, we had our grand opening! None of this would have been possible without the help of family and friends, who put in countless hours to help bring this to where it is now. Classes started January 7th, and now I have the challenging and incredibly exciting task of learning how to build a business and creating a community centered around the arts!  

All this is to explain why I have not been as prolific in the studio as I usually would be. We are currently engineering glazes and, now that the studio is set up, and the kilns are plugged in, I am ready to rock... right after I fill these classes and market this workshop, and schedule the next few shows, and make sure the residents have what they need... No, I think I'll start throwing this weekend. 

Thanks for sticking with this and cheer me on to whatever comes out of these fingertips in the next few days!

For more information on Studio 550, see

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

'tis the season

40 pounds of clay in 24 hours isn't so bad after not throwing for a few months!  Between recovering from wedding planning and getting things in order for Studio 550, my family's community art center in downtown Manchester, NH, life has been full!

But no more excuses. I'm making new work to show at the Downtown Manchester's first ever Holiday Market at 1000 Elm Street on Dec 1, 8, 15, & 22 from 10-5pm. There was such a strong demand for this that there is a wait list! The quality of artisans, bakers, and craftspeople will be stunning. 

I will share booth #23 with Studio 550.  There will be a raffle for a free Studio 550 membership, Studio 550 gift cards, ceramic art, and who knows what else!

Come visit!

Monday, November 7, 2011


Here is my most recent submission from Jo Shields, a NH resident who makes stunning handmade jewelery!  Jo, Esina Navarro and I just recently did a demo/craft show together at the Artstream Gallery in Rochester, NH.  Esina makes hand carved and decorated walking sticks and crocheted pieces for your winter warmth.  My favorite is her ingenious sushi scarves! 

Much to my delight, Jo bought this little dish at the end of the day and put it right to use holding her business cards! I love it when my pots get used!

Check our their websites:  and

Friday, October 14, 2011

Root Beer Float Ghosts come back to haunt me...


The first time was my senior year in college when I decided my senior show was way too serious in content (all emotional, narrative, and black and white and dark brown - see below) so I decided I needed another element of fun and I made all these functional things last minute that were all dessert related (ice cream bowls shallow enough so you could lick the bottom clean, dessert dishes with luscious edges, and root beet float mugs) and had them all out there for sale - And then I fully stocked the tables with root beet, ice cream, cupcakes in ice cream cones, cookies, brownies, and I don't even know what else!   We all walked away fatter that night.

A good friend of mine who I fought practically every week in class (karate class, that is) in undergrad sent this one over - Chris S.  You taught me a lot while we were beating each other up.  Thanks for bringin back the memories! It looks like it fits so well in the palm of your hand! I'm glad you got this one! 

If you don't know, I'm asking people to share pictures of their pots of mine, and in return I'm going to have a drawing at the end of the year for a free Monica pot - so if you have pictures, please share!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Dripps and their Drugs...

Does this make me a drug pusher? Hey, if it makes kids take their vitamins, I'm all for it!  Thanks to Dripps family for sending this picture along!  You, too, might be the happy winner of a Monica pot this December.  The next drawing (with a whole new batch of pictures and entries) will be pulled on March 15, 2012, my birthday. 

These little dishes were part of the take-away party favors from Alex and my wedding this past weekend.  Oh, yes, that's why I haven't been producing like a mad woman in the studio and why I haven't been posting as much!  I was busy with life! 

The party favors can be seen in the pictures below.  They were these little sake dishes, some of which were part of the sake dish tapestry I made at Watershed, with a little organza bag laid on top that had little nuggets of clay in them.  The clay nuggets (often called seed bombs) had basil, tomato, and sugar snap peas wedged into them with a little note telling a story about the cycle of clay and the cycle of life... ah yes. So cute.  Thanks for the photo below, Whitney Tranchemontage:

But hey, no worries, the wedding is over and life moves on! 

The development for Studio 550 is back in motion and I'll be putting out a call for entries soon for our January/February show. Stay posted!