Category Archives: Pottery

Video of the Week #309: Japanese Raku Pottery


In the Meme Time: Make Art


Creative Juice #222

Creative Juice #222

Merry Christmas! May God’s Love indwell you today and always.

  1. Beautiful (and humorous) embroideries.
  2. Zentangle + pottery.
  3. A quilter grows through the years.
  4. An Andy Warhol exhibit from two years ago. I missed this article when it was first posted, but I was happy to come across it now.
  5. The story behind Handel’s Messiah.
  6. I love libraries. Here are how some decorated for Christmas.
  7. The story behind “Silent Night.”
  8. A quilter photographs her many quilts.
  9. The prettiest Christmas cookies I’ve ever seen.
  10. Verdigogh always looks so Christmasy to me. Here’s how several artists interpreted it.
  11. This blog definitely gets the best reader comments. You guys are all going to have to step it up on ARHtistic License. (Let that be one of your New Year resolutions.)
  12. This might be too late for you, so you might want to bookmark it for next year: how to sew gift bags.

Creative Juice #81

Creative Juice #81

You’re going to be so happy you read these articles:

Tempe Festival of the Arts, Fall 2016

Tempe Festival of the Arts, Fall 2016

If you are in the Phoenix East Valley area this weekend, head down to Old Town Tempe for the Festival of the Arts. I had the pleasure of spending three hours there today. I took lots of pictures and bought some stuff. I’ll share a little with you, but you should go see for yourself. It opened today, and it runs through Sunday, 10 am to 5:30 pm.

The first thing I saw was this blue grass band. They also brought along extra instruments so people could jump in and jam.



After Leah Kiser (below, right) illustrated her brother Seth Ode’s children’s book, Morgan the Ox, she looked for a new project. Her little daughter dressed a toy dinosaur in a doll tutu, and that became the inspiration for the painting Black Swan (second photo below, right).



Dana Robbins makes amazing art glass. I especially love the knobs in the second picture below.



Bob Reynolds uses different kinds of woods to make beautiful inlaid cutting boards.


Elizabeth Jenkins weaves cloth. Some of it she then further designs by removing some of the pigment. She makes unique scarves and shawls and throws–and coats!


Art below by Deborah Haeffele.




Joshua Seraphin reverse paints on glass.




Darryl Cohen and Kevin Frosch make decorative items out of glass. I fell in love with the mirror on the left.


James Floyd builds, sells, and plays hybrid instruments. Here he is playing some sort of guitar/Dobro/tambourine. In the second picture, an instrument has a mechanical arm for holding a harmonica while you strum.




Brian Smith spent five years driving around the country in an RV, taking photographs of things that suggested letters to him. He will help you put images together to spell words that hold special significance for you.



John McDonald’s glass art reminds me of Chihuly. I especially like his “Yard Sticks” below.



Tom Deitenbeck makes beautiful pottery. I love the knitting yarn bowl in the second picture below. I bought one of his napkin holders.


Rick Murphy welds together found objects to create curious creatures.




Bob Cuthbertson plays a Chapman stick. I got to hear him play the Bach Toccata and Fugue. Awesome!


And, finally, Jocelyn Obermeyer on Irish harp and Nathan Tsosie on Native American flute.


I hope what you’ve seen, a small sample of the more than 350 booths, will entice you to attend, too. And if you’re there on Sunday, you might even see me. I saw a gorgeous jasper necklace by Jean and Maya Montanaro that my husband said he’d like me to have for Christmas. Best Husband Ever.

What’s a Grecian Urn?

What’s a Grecian Urn?

And the punch line to the old joke above went like this: “About $6.50 an hour.” But seriously…

The earliest ceramic crafting in the Aegean region appeared around 7000 B.C. The finest examples of ancient Greek pottery date from 1000 – 500 B.C. Due to the durability of the medium, much still exists.                           

Pots were created in a variety of different shapes and sizes according to its intended use. The Greeks used large and medium-sized pottery vessels to store, transport, and drink wine, water, and other liquids. Smaller pots were used as containers for perfumes and unguents. At least 13 different shapes of Greek pottery have been identified, including bell krater, lebes, skyphos, aryballos, hydria, volute krater, kantharos, psykter, kylix, stamnos, alabastron, oinochoe, lekythos, and amphora.


The earliest stylistic period of Greek pottery is the Geometric, lasting from about 1000 to 700 B.C. Geometric pots were decorated with patterns in which circles and arcs predominate, later embellished by Greek keys, checkerboards, triangles, and herringbone.


Late protogeometric belly-handled amphora

Later Geometric style is characterized by the gradual appearance of animal and finally human figures. These too could be described as geometrized, having angular silhouettes and arranged symmetrically, usually in strips around the pot. Figures were usually portrayed in profile. Narrative scenes from popular myths, particularly those about Heracles, were popular subjects.

Greatly expanded Greek trading activities during the late 8th and early 7th centuries B.C. led to a growing Eastern influence on Greek pottery painters. Asian motifs supplanted the older, more geometric ones, leading to the Oriental period. New subjects appear, especially mythical creatures such as the sphinx, siren, and griffin, as well as exotic animals. The Corinthian painters created a silhouette technique in which figures painted in the characteristic black glaze were incised with thin lines to show detail.


Corinthian animal frieze oil jug

Athenian painters adopted this Black Figure style around 630 B.C., featuring narrative scenes composed of black figures painted on a light background, with the remaining surface of the vase painted a deep, lustrous black. From 600 B.C. on, Athens became the dominant center for Greek pottery, due to the superior quality of their clay, pigment, and decoration. It was during this period that the practice of signing pots by potters and painters first became common.



The Red Figure style, developed in Athens about 530 B.C., is composed of reddish figures that  appear light against the black background of the pot surface. Details of the figures such as eyes and interior lines were painted on in black. The red-figure technique produced a more natural treatment of human figures. The red hues evoked the color of sun-bronzed flesh. Around 500 B.C. Greek artists began to use three-quarter frontal poses instead of profiles, as well as depth and perspective. Variety was achieved by the use of different poses, gestures, and expressions to depict the details of narrative action and plot. The repertoire of subjects included scenes from everyday life as well as the standard heroic and mythological themes.


Heracles and Athena. Red-figured amphora c. 520 B.C.


Greek pottery began to decline in the mid-5th century B.C. because of the inherent limitations of the curved pot surface. Pottery painters could no longer compete with the innovations of other media toward naturalism.

For further information about Greek pottery, click these links:

Where the Magic Happens #ALWorkMagic

Where the Magic Happens #ALWorkMagic

Today’s post comes with a special blogging *challenge. But first, some background.

I have been wanting to write this post for a long time, but I procrastinated because my office was such a mess–I didn’t want to post a picture of it.

But then I figured out I could just spiffy up the desk where I write, paint, and draw. You don’t have to see the stacked boxes o’ stuff I’m trying to find places for. (Yeah, I know, not that spiffy, but it took me a week to get it this organized.)DSC02747

There’s my laptop, open to one of my favorite sources of inspiration, Pinterest. The pink flower behind it is actually a pen stuck in a vase. To the right, you can see some of the many receptacles for pens, scissors, paperclips, etc. The ubiquitous water bottle–a must for writers everywhere, but especially in Arizona. In the cubbies, a stack of salvaged notebooks, all kinds of sticky notes, index cards, scratch pads, and thank you cards.

Under the light is a panel from a birthday card Greg gave me years ago with a picture of a little boy singing his heart out (who looked remarkably like one of my kindergarten students, so it spent a few years on the wall of my classroom). Below that, a postcard my friend Judy sent me from Florence, Italy several months ago. To the right of that, a list of my creative goals for 2016 (you’re working on yours, right?), with sticky note addenda attached.

Can you see on the perpendicular surface to the right the post card from the Cloisters of one of the Unicorn Tapestries (to inspire me to work on my mystical fantasy-in-progress)? And to the left of the singing boy, two pages from magazines reminding me of places I need to go for photo-essays I’m planning.

On the top shelf of the desk are art supplies, a box of greeting cards, boxes of envelopes, some supplements old ladies take, a picture of Greg when he was a little boy (because he was so stinkin’ cute!), some toys that used to belong to my kids, tissues, hand sanitizer, a mini-stereo (I must have music when I write! You can see the slots where I store some f my favorite CDs), and a Scripture-a-day calendar.

I am fascinated with seeing the workspaces of writers and artists. You, too?


John Singer Sargent’s studio


Mark Twain at work


Paul Cezanne in his studio


Frank Lloyd Wright’s studio

To see more, check out these articles on creative workspaces:

Do you have the freedom to do this in your workspace?

And here are workspaces of some of the people who have been featured on ARHtistic License.

Artist (and writer) Robert Holewinski:

Jewelry designer Shirli Matatia:

Artist Michael James:

Not exactly a workspace picture, but here is artist Jeremy Kirsch at work:


Woodcarver and furniture maker Scott Zuziak of Lazy River Studios:


Artist Rachelle Levingston: Rachelle Levingston's studio

*And Now, Presenting: The ARHtistic License Workspace Challenge

Fellow bloggers, let’s take this workspace sharing one step further. Your assignment, should you chose to accept it, is to show us where you create. Here’s all there is to it:

  1. Between now and September 30, 2016, take a picture of your workspace, and post it on your blog. Tell us what you create there. Do you write, design greeting cards, manufacture household gadgets? You can even tell us the special significance of the objects in your photo(s), or why you’ve set up the area as you have. How does it inspire you? Help you to be productive?
  2. Somewhere in the post, include this sentence (cut and paste so that you include the link–when your post goes live, it should automatically generate a ping-back to your post in the comments below): This is my response to the ARHtistic License Workspace Challenge.
  3. Share your article on social media with this hashtag: #ALWorkMagic.
  4. Optional: to spread the word, share this article on social media with the hashtag #ALWorkMagic. Cut and paste this shortlink: or use the sharing buttons below.

I can’t wait to see where you work!

From the Creator’s Heart #58

From the Creator’s Heart #58

Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand (Isaiah 64:8 NIV).