Sunday, February 22, 2009

Butter Dishes

French butter dishes or keepers have been a staple in my pottery stock for many years. Basically, you place (squish) a softened stick of salted butter in the lid and about ½” or so of water in the base. When the lid is covering the base, the water creates a seal on the butter container and keeps it from spoiling. This way you can leave the dish sit out and always have soft butter without having to worry about it spoiling. It also keeps the butter from getting that dried out look it gets if you just leave a stick sitting out uncovered. Here is one in use on my table.

I sell them just about as fast as I make them, and customers who have bought them in the past come back to purchase them as gifts for family and friends. Here are a couple I made recently.

I’ve been experimenting with adding some textures around the lid. On the first one I applied texture using the grinder inside a pencil sharpener to make a kind of hatched pattern. The second one I gouged out small circular divots in rows around the lid. Each have a very different look which appeals to an individuals taste.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Creative Networking

I'm an avid creative networker. I love to talk to other creative people. Their works inspire me and I love exploring the creative choices they make in the pursuit of their craft/art.

In that light, I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine. This is Carla Thompson and she operates Barefoot Studio, a pleasantly imperfect art studio, in the nearby city of Northfield, Minnesota.

Barefoot Studio is a working studio where Carla creates fabulous, funky and whimsical paintings on everything from walls to cupboard doors and scraps of lumber. The space is filled with completed paintings of every size and shape and as well as many works in progress. In addition to creating and selling her own items at Barefoot Studio, Carla frequently features and promotes other local artists by displaying and selling their work for limited periods.

Carla uses the area near the shops front door as a work area taking advantages of light from the windows and the opportunity to greet everyone who enters. She has a great sense of humor which you know immediately from her store’s front window and the 6’ x 8’ chalk board on the wall in the shop. The opportunity to sit and knit a few rows on her “Worlds Longest Scarf” project just adds to the fun in this ever changing studio.

But what I find most intriguing about Carla’s studio is the creative inspiration you feel the moment you walk in the door. I love visiting Barefoot Studio to chat with Carla and check out what the other artists in her studio are offering. I’m a tactile person and at Barefoot, I can pick things up, flip them over, feel their texture and weight, all the while having a pleasant conversation and laughing with Carla and other store patrons. Visiting pleases my senses and my desire for creative, inspirational interaction. If there were food, I might never leave.

Stop by and say “hi” to Carla, she’s a great artist and has created a welcoming place of creative energy. Daily studio hours are posted on her web site as well as on a sign near her door.