Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Heat + Studio = Happy Potter

Many thanks to my wonderful husband for installing heat into my pottery studio yesterday! We had an old furnace that we had taken out of the house when we first bought it. It has been out in the garage to serve as a heat source for my hubby when he's out there working during the winter months. But we have acquired a wood stove from my folks and are going to use that in place of the furnace. We've been talking about getting some heat into the studio, but just haven't got around to it. You know how it is. But now we have heat! I am so excited!!! Can you tell? You may be wondering where the furnace is from the pic below...well, David put it in the corner of the garage and cut out a vent in the wall. So the furnace is in the garage! I just get the heat.


My studio is always a work in progress. It's a breezeway between the house and the garage. Just the perfect size for me! But there is always something that has made throwing a little difficult. For instance, the first three and half years or more I was using an old stool that my dad had used in his work van years ago. It wasn't quite tall enough for the wheel, so I had it sitting on four 2x6's. I had to becareful not to move or else I'd fall off my "stilts" and onto the concrete floor! For years, my husband had been telling me to just order a stool. Finally he just broke down and got me one. Boy, does it make a difference! I love it!

my wheel and comfy chair

Thanks to my sweetie, I will be warm and comfortable while working in the studio this winter!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pottery: Wholesale or Retail

That's the question. When I first started making pottery, the thought of selling wholesale never entered my mind. A few years ago, I was approached to sell wholesale and turned it down due to my schedule. When I was  asked again this year I decided to give it a try. Excited to enter new business territory, I jumped right in with confidence not knowing what I was getting into. After doing some research I discovered wholesale usually means that you are selling your work at 50% off the retail price. Retail price?! Wake up call! I didn't view the price I was selling my pottery as a "retail" price, I was just selling it for what I thought was a reasonable offer. Wrong! Now, at this point in the game, you're probably thinking "what kind of business person are you?" Well, to be quite frank, not a very good one. But I am still learning and trying. *smile*

 planters © samos 2012

Now that I know that the price I'm selling my pottery for is the retail price, I have to start from square one with every single piece I have in my inventory. Yes, that's right. I took each piece of pottery, weighed it, calculated the cost of materials, time, and figured out the actual retail price. This was quite the chore, but a necessary one. For years, friends and family have been telling me that my prices are too low. Well, they were right. After figuring out the cost of each piece of pottery, I was stunned to see how much work I've been doing for almost nothing. This was of course the biggest wake up call of them all.

I have since revamped my retail price list as well as produced a wholesale price list that I follow to a tee. And guess what?  My sales have increased and I'm still working wholesale!

Do you have any thoughts or stories to share about working with retail or wholesale?
 I would love to hear them.
Hope you are having a wonderful week!

Monday, October 22, 2012

5 Days Straight...

I've been able to ride my horse in this beautiful fall weather! Riding is one of my favorite past times.What about you? What is it that YOU like to do in your free time?

Lumpy and I on the trail © EH 2012

I know I should be in my studio 12 hours a day, but when the days are sunny like today, I just can't help myself! I did get a lot of work done before and after my ride. That always makes me feel a little less guilty for indulging myself. *grin*

Friday, October 19, 2012

Landfill Art Project: Koi Hubcap

Yesterday I finally finished my hubcap for the landfill art project. A few months ago, I applied to be part of this project:

*Landfillart is an international effort encompassing one-thousand-forty-one (1,041) artists to claim a piece of rusted metal garbage and create fine art.

The 1,041 pieces of rusted metal are actually old automobile hub caps from the 1930’s through the 1970’s. Each hub cap, after being cleaned and primed, is affectionately called a “metal canvas.” Although most “metal canvases” have been transformed by the artist using oil or acrylic paint, some have been weaved on, glued or screwed or welded to, or made into fine sculpture.

I have found that the fine artists I have worked with on this project do not even flinch when looking at this white round disc of metal canvas. And why should they. Artists from the beginning of time have used cave walls (Lascaux, France and Altamira, Spain,) walls of pyramids (Egyptians,) animal skins (American Indians,) etc… as their canvas. In addition, as a gallery owner for over thirty years, I maintain that artists, generally speaking, are more ecologically in touch and environmentally aware. Perhaps that is the reason forty-one artists readily accepted the challenge and embraced the project.

Although the project is in its infancy (I hope to have it completed by 2012,) it will evolve from a simple idea of taking forty-one old rusted hub caps and creating forty-one pieces of great art. The second phase has already started with the acquisition of one thousand additional (1000) rusted hub caps which will be turned into cleaned and primed “metal canvases. The project will continue with finding one thousand (1000) talented artists who believe in this project.

The third phase will involve publishing a book on the project showcasing all one thousand forty one (1,041) completed “metal canvases.”

The fourth and final phase will involve choosing 200 metal canvases that adequately represent the project and create a traveling show. The book and traveling show will publicly portray the global art community's effort to positively impact the environment through re purposing previous metal waste into great landfillart.
*taken from the website of
I wanted to do a koi fish to represent me and my art studio: KoiStudios. When I received the hubcap, I cleaned it well with soap and water. Then I applied a couple coats of white gesso. Painting on metal was new to me, so I was taking my sweet time with it. Once the hubcap was completely dry, I sketched the fish out in pencil and then started to paint with watercolors and eventually moving on to acrylic.
how I received it in the mail

big guy © samos 2012

close up © samos

detailed close up © samos


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Composting Gratitude

morning sun © samos 2012

I was reading my friend's blog this morning and was reminded how fortunate
 we are to live in such beauty.
I'm surrounded by tall pinon pines, the Sangre de Cristo mountain range, and
of course all our critters.

Lumpy saying hi

our Lexi girl
Neo eating breakfast

* (Daisy and Oscar didn't want to participate in picture taking today.)
As most of you know, I love gardening! I am by no means anything like my father who is an AMAZING gardner, but I like to dabble... I've had a small vegetable garden for the last six years and I'm finally ready to get a little more serious. By serious, I mean I need to start composting and get that darn green house built! Anyways, yesterday my parents stopped by for lunch and then Dad and I  built my compost bin! I've been needing to do this for quite some time and just haven't got around to it...
compost bin out of pallets

the corner that i enter to tend to the compost
It is a very easy bin to build. We used FOUR wood pallets that my husband salvaged from work. Each one was tied together with wire and then we used twine for the gate. After we finsished, we decided that we could have used twine for all the corners but the wire worked fine. Now that the bin is made I can start adding organic scraps from the kitchen: coffee grounds, unused fruit and vegetable skins, eggshells...oh, don't forget about the aged horse manure. No shortage of that around here!
Do you have a compost? I'd love to hear about it!

Monday, October 15, 2012

In the Works

purple cosmo planters © samos 2012
So much has been happening lately, I don't know where to start! Last week I was reminded that the holidays were fast approaching. It's obvious to most people, but I'm one of those that is off in lala land most of the time busy doing my own thing and not paying much attention to important things like holidays. Anyways, I felt a rush of panic and started thinking about new pieces of pottery I want to make, paintings I'd like to start, and then there's that compost that I want to get made before it snows too!

But first things first...

Mark your calendars because I am having a first time ever Holiday Pottery Sale in Salida on November 17th! I'm very excited about it! I'll be hosting it at my parent's house and will have lots and lots of pottery + lots of yummy treats + lots of fun! So don't miss it! I'll let you all know the closer the date gets, but for now, SAVE the DATE!
I've benn working on my website too. I was tired of the old look and needed something fresh and new. Have you been by lately? If not, please stop in and take a look! Let me know what you think. I love feedback. Good or bad. I can take it. *grin*
My artist friend Robin Norgren mentioned a website the other day for painters called daily paint works. Of course I just had to check it out. And, well, I joined. I couldn't resist the challenge. So if you noticed, I added another page to my blog called Daily Paintings. Each day I complete a new painting, I'll post it on that page. Those paintings will be for sale and can be purchased several ways:
through ETSY, Daily Paint Works, or by emailing me directly.

desert horse print © samos 2012

I hope everyone has been having a wonderful fall!
I look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Last week my husband came home with a flat of peaches from the Western slope. The last time we had a bunch like this we froze them, but this time we canned. It was a lot of fun!

Here's the first batch cooling...

the cute little labels...

Monday, October 1, 2012

aRTt e V e R y WHERE

art journal entries...
i found these images in the September issue of VOGUE.
they reminded me of what my life was like in my twenties.
after i finished them, i realized they are a bit
dark and melancholy...
in the past i would have apologized.
now i'm just saying it like it was and is.

mask of a mouse © samos 2012
unhappy © samos 2012
A New Leaf © samos 2012