Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I've been busy getting ready for this Saturday's Holiday Open House, getting a new kiln installed (as well as additional lighting in the garage and studio - thank you, Brian, of Electrimax!), getting more shelving up, installing a new work table (Lynn thinks it's perfect) and just generally trying to manage my usual level of self-generated insanity. We've added SoManyColors to our line up for Saturday, so come and see not only Black Cat Pottery, Notable Greetings prints and notecards, Farmbrook Designs home and garden hypertufa and Bird Homes by Tim bird houses (too good even for Park Avenue, possibly), but Glenda Hopp's uniquely lovely hand-dyed scarves and other accessories. I'm also working on possibly bringing in my friends from MINatural with Michigan-made beeswax candles and honey - still waiting on a confirmation on that, so stay connected.

We're planning warm cider and donuts in the basement studio (the cats have agreed they'll be quite happy upstairs, away from the madding crowd) so come and share some holiday cheer 10:00am-4:00pm this Saturday, December 11, 3903 Grayton St., Detroit, MI 48224.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

More News about Open House!

This will be quick as I'm gardening(!) for Sandy and Bob this morning, then down to Rovin to pick up the glazes Stephanie has been mixing for me, then maybe up to Mt. Clemens to get some of the amazing breakfast bars from the Mt. Clemens Bakery (try them with Maranatha Creamy Roasted Almond Butter - a to-die-for combination for whom I must credit my friend Theresa), then - I'm not sure. Anyway, before I "start" my day, wanted to put the word out that we will also be featuring a selection of Chris Hopp's Farmbrook Designs hypertufa pieces (check out his website at and some of Tim Hanks's Bird Homes by Tim beautiful handmade redwood birdhouses with vintage hardware (his site's at at the Open House. (Check out the pix!) Not sure the guys will have time to hang with us but I've invited them both to stick around for the festivities! So, even more excitement for you here at Black Cat Pottery on December 11, 2010, from 10:00am to 4:00pm (no stragglers - I have important dinner plans!)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Yes, yes, I know: How long is it since you've heard from me? A really long time. It's been a pretty interesting year or so - some important losses and some encouraging accomplishments. I lost my dear friend Kathy Peabody in February, my Mother passed in April and my friend Gary passed in July. But Black Cat Pottery and The English Landscape are still here and going strong.

We've actually been growing and I'm now teaching in my studio, keeping class sizes small and intimate. This arrangement has worked out well, as all my equipment and materials - including gardening references and the computer (both of which have been useful) are right here for my students' use. We'll have more a more extensive schedule during the non-gardening season (January-March), so drop a line if you're interested. I've also been adding some improvements (real, actual stools, instead of five-gallon buckets for seats!), including a new kiln, shelving and ware carts (only took three hours to put that together!)

I've been doing some pretty great stuff, including some amazing new "Extra Fancy" Sunflowers, including the Ginormous "Teddy Bear" Sunflower you see here, in my very amatuerish image (gotta get with Don once he gets back from Florida). My friend Gary Kohs challenged me to make a ginormous sunflower covered with petals; I thought he was trying to kill me but - true to form - I gave it a shot and I'm pleased with the results - and can't wait to show it to Gary and Laura! Also doing some new designs for wall pockets and platters using large leaves - and I'll upload images of those as soon as I have them.

My friend Don Schulte - the photographer guy referenced above - has also bee busy, turning out a new set of Spring Wildflower notecards (with another on the way), a new set of Fall Wildflower notecards, new Clematis notecards, and upcoming sets of Herbs, more Clematis and one more set of Summer Wildflowers. And that's in his spare time, which hasn't been a lot as he and Debbie were married in September!

It was a tough gardening season but I had some great help from Andrew, Theresa and Andy. We completely renovated one property, moved a lot of mulch and drank a lot of water. I could not have done it without their help (or that of my massage therapist, Brandy, who is the best). Used to be, before I gardened professionally, that I dreaded the onset of winter; now, I confess, I quite look forward to it!

The cats are great: Alex and Meli are getting older but hanging tough and the kittens, well, the kittens aren't kittens any more! Rameses still tries to pick on Princess Nur but we're working on that.

Upcoming events include the Gifts and Greens holiday mart at Christ Church Grosse Pointe, December 3 and 4 ; and I'll be having an open house at the studio (at 3903
Grayton St., Detroit, MI 48224-4003) December 11, 10:00am to 4:00pm (no stragglers - I have a dinner appointment!) Come see what's been happening - there's always new stuff going on, enjoy some Christmas cheer and do your last minute shopping for Black Cat Pottery and Notable Greetings note cards and prints. Cheers and Happy Holidays!