This is a ceramic garden stake for my tomato plants in my beautiful Wellfleet garden. His name is "Smok'in Tomato Face."
I have been having a total blast creating things out of clay for my wonderful vegetable and flower garden. Oh yes. Stop by at 79 Briar Lane and look over the white fence to meet him!
"SnakeCat" and "Catmama" guard the garden. Below is
I made a birdhouse with ceramic cats all over it (ha) and each week I make something new out clay for the garden.
Something about Wellfleet in the summer gets my creative brain going full speed ahead. Perhaps it is the exquisite light and air, and definitely the feeling of knowing the sea is so close. . .
I made these funky garden mushrooms too which I also put on sale at the Newcomb Hollow Shop. I am a hack gardener and don't know expert stuff about gardening but I went to four flower shows this year (selling pottery and jewelry) and I learned that gardeners love garden mushrooms. They are so silly but so much fun to put in a garden.
Creative: What does it really mean? People walk into my shop all the time and say things like, "I wish I was creative. . ." And I say. . .everyone is creative. If you dream, and have a subconscious, you can find a way to open those doors and tap into your own unique creative force. Seriously, I have taught art to many people, Skidmore College (briefly), Pratt Art Institute, The York Street Jail in Massachusetts, and a zillion workshops and this I am certain of: Everyone, anyone, can find their own unique creative voice and make art.
I am going to start next Wednesday - July 26, a workshop for artists and ESPECIALLY people who have zero art background.
DROP IN WORKSHOP: make your own earrings or necklace FUN FUN FUN
Check it out. Just drop in and I will teach you everything you need to know. . .starts 10am at the Newcomb Hollow Shop and just drop in anytime.
It's time for our annual Spring Sidewalk Sale outside Newcomb Hollow Shop in downtown Wellfleet. We're excited to bring you cool stuff and fabulous markdowns!
Newcomb Hollow Shop
275 Main St, Wellfleet, MA 02667
- Thursday, April 13th
- Friday, April 14th
- Saturday, April 15th
Holidays are here? Yessirree and Kitty Cat Yarn bowls are in demand! December 11 2016
Happy Holidays! Happy New Year Everyone!
. . .So these are the Kitty Cat yarn bowls when they were just been glazed before I loaded them in the kiln, and yes they are upside down because that is how I felt just before I loaded 40 of them in the kiln last night. Santa Judy is VERY busy making Kitty Cat yarn bowls for Amazon. . .YIKES. This morning they came out of the kiln beautifully - a great firing!
And this is my studio assistant, Miss Meggie the Cat who just finished inspecting them before we ship to Amazon.
I have to say this is a fun time of year for me, getting ready for Xmas holidays. All these yarn bowls go out there somewhere in the world and make somebody happy, some knitter somewhere. . .I even got a lovely thank you note for a 92 year old knitter who loved the colors. The holiday crunch is something I have been doing for over 30 years and it is still fun and an exciting time. It is 9:48pm and I am going down to my studio tonight to make some more! I'll have a cup of British tea first, of course... Me, Miss Meggie, and my old radio. . .Come and visit us!
Oyster Fest 2016, AMAZING Kiln Firings, WHY? October 12 2016
Whoa. . .Oyster Fest is here again but this year is really different because the kiln firings have been AMAZING. Really good. A potter (me) lives with the reality that you can do everything right with forming and glazing pottery, but THEN you put the pieces in the kiln and anything can happen. Good or bad. Jeez, this year for days and days of firings, all the pots are coming out exceptionally beautiful and I am so happy! The kiln Gods have been good to me or maybe my Dad (Meredith Newcomb Stiles) is flying around in heaven helping me out. Haha. . .
I have so many oyster platters in all different color (two sizes) and because they are so hard to make, I really only do them for Oyster Fest once a year, so stop by our booth near the Town Hall and check it out. . .And of course we will have some in the Newcomb Hollow Shop.
45 years of making pottery and I have never had such a good streak of beautiful kiln firings!
This is the inside of my kiln named "Mary" when I opened it this morning. Jackpot!
No blips, or runs, or glaze floo-floos (my name for irregularities) and I can't believe it!
Some cultures, esp. Japan, revere glaze floo-floos, and that is the beauty of Japanese pottery. However, little me, here in little Wellfleet, well I hope for the best when I open my kilns. MARY (a good potter names their kilns) is named after Mary Arey Newcomb, my great-grandmother who was born in this house where I make pottery.
My other kiln is "Connie" after Connie Olinder, a wonderful woman who was my first customer when I was 18 years old. I thought, wow, if Connie bought my clunky bowls, maybe I can make money doing this pottery thing! Thanks Connie! (a very cool person indeed).
This is a list of other kilns I had in NYC-6 kilns firing every single day:
Dito - nickname for Meredith-Dito Newcomb Stiles
Rachel- wonderful great auntie who lived in this house
Queequeg - my favorite cat
Lorraine- Lorraine Newcomb who briefly lived in this house. She had 9 children but still found time to can jam and tomatoes and PAINT beautiful paintings
Henry - Henry Akimoto a wonderful potter who sold me a big kiln that he carried into my loft building in NYC all by himself!
Adelaide- the magnificent artist who persuaded me it is ok to be an artist when I was 15.
See you at Oyster Fest! The weather forecast is great!
Yarn Bowls and the Happy Accident November 20 2015
This is MEG the cat who is kind of my studio manager because she is always in the studio, watching me do everything. She is the inspiration for the KITTY CAT YARN bowl which has become a super hot selling item? Yikes! Who would have guessed that after 6 years in pottery college and grad school, plus thirty PLUS years of making pottery. . .I would find myself making almost 150 of both these yarn bowls a WEEK. Yes, the holidays are coming and it is a great gift for knitters and crochet-ers but even Meg is thoroughly exhausted by the whole thing. Ha.
I actually get into a really cool rhythm when I glaze these yarn bowls and it might be something like what happens to runners when they go on and on, running miles and miles. There is a spiritual, mystical rhythm and little variations and surprises happen when you "run the same route" again and again.
My co-worker/potter for 25 years, Augusto, from Peru, (very long story for another time) taught me so much about the beauty and discovery found in what others call: repetitive work. Calling it "repetitive work" is kind of pejorative so I would rather call it "the peace of pottery". I gravitate toward the peaceful making of pottery, clay, glazes, firing ESPECIALLY when the world outside is going mad/crazy like in the Middle East. . .I turn off the news on the tv and putter around my studio. Very peaceful. The puttering potter?
The happy accident? This is something I used to talk to my students about when they would "freak out" when they felt like they made a so-called mistake on their art work. Turn it into something different. Out of the accident, you can find something different, often wonderful. So the Puttering Potter should Practice what she Preaches. Huh? Yes, when I dropped and broke the 105th yarn bowl AFTER it was all glazed, I thought could this be a happy accident? haha. It was so late at night I was looking at the colors and shapes and the GEOMETRY of the broken pieces and I decided to glaze a big bowl that had been sitting around my studio. Just glaze something at 2am that is not for an order and not for anybody. . .The geometry of the angles and the swish of the breaking and spilling seeped out of the corner of my brain and into my work yielding this Happy Accident: I was so happy to make this and it was a great firing. . .
Getting ready for Wellfleet Oyster Fest! Oyster plates, fish platters, so much fun. . . September 30 2015
The sky is clear and the air is so crisp here in Wellfleet. The most beautiful days of autumn. . . and all the way from the bay you can hear the buzz of the oystermen getting ready to sell their tasty "pearls" at the 2015 OysterFest, Saturday and Sunday Oct 17-18.
Yikes! Here on Briar Lane I am having a blast making BIG fish platters and oyster plates which I do this time of year in a kind of happy fever. It is like magic turning mushy wet clay into a colorful piece of pottery with the help of water and fire. No, as you have asked, I do not use clay from Newcomb Hollow Beach out of respect for my great great great grandfather Benjamin Oliver Newcomb who saved the drowning crew of the Brig Yillica in 1851 in the cold waters of December. (The state named the beach after him for his bravery). That's another long story. So I leave the clay in peace at the beach and here I am mucking about with a different very fine clay making wares for our wonderful Wellfleet Oyster Fest.
This is the fish platter before:
Size on the internet is weird because the fish platter looks like it is floating. The platter measures 21 inches from nose to tip of tail so you can serve a wonderful and large piece of BLUEFISH on the blue platter! Share colorful memories with friends and family this autumn with beautiful items from this collection of handmade pottery. We will have a booth set up at OysterFest again this year - stop by to choose your favorite piece of pottery to take home!