Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.  We'll get back to you as soon as possible!

2117 Grover Road
West Falls, NY, 14170
United States

a little bit art. a little bit me.

A little bit art.  A little bit me.

Latest and Greatest

Jennifer Calkins

Ok.  May be not GREATEST...but I wanted to showcase my latest work.  Honestly, I am super excited about the latest pottery I've made.  I haven't posted much about it because I was in a hurry to get it all ready for an artist's market right before the Easter holiday.  Then it was Easter.  So yeah, I've been busy.  And a little bit lazy because somewhere in there the "powers that be" decided it would be a good time to give me a dose of the flu/sinus issues that just won't leave me alone!  I think I have chronic sinus issues.  But whatever, that's not a conversation I want to have here.  You probably don't want to read about it either.  I wouldn't!

So back to my work.  I actually feel like I am FINALLY in a place where I can say "ok, this is the right direction.  These are the pieces I want to make.  These are the glazes I want to use."  And I am excited about that.  I was honestly feeling alot of anxiety as I was glazing and firing these pieces because I just wasn't sure how they were going to turn out.  Turns out, they turned out well <insert happy dance here>!

Then came the artist's market.  I had high hopes for this particular market.  It had a great turnout and there were some really awesome vendors with unique, well made items.  Unfortunately I didn't sell as much as I had hoped.  BUT the good news is that from talking to some of the other vendors, that seemed par for the course.  Plus I did get quite a few compliments.  And I DID sell some of my pottery so it wasn't a loss.

(photo: Designs by JJK)

(photo: Designs by JJK)

After this market (ok, maybe DURING the market!) I thought about and decided on a few things.  First, I realized I really don't like making mugs.  This is tough for me to admit because I know people love to buy them.  For me, they feel like an obligation.  And I hate that.  I don't want to make something because I feel obligated.  I feel like that feeling will transfer into that piece of pottery and it'll become a source of negativity for whoever buys it.  Crazy?  Maybe...but I never claimed to be sane, so.

Second, I realized my work sells the best around the Christmas holiday.  I decided that I am going to try to sell at a few events during the year but hold off mostly until the last two or three months of the year around the holidays.  I think if I test this theory this year and maybe into next year, I'll have a better idea how my work is received.  We'll see...I need to see how the next couple of months go.

And finally I decided to list my pottery on my Etsy site.  So you can buy it now.  Go ahead.  I know you want to.  (Wink wink!)  I have been putting this off but decided that if I'm going to sell at only a handful of markets per year, it'd be a good idea to list my pottery.  Again, we'll see how the next few months go and see how my sales go.

Here's a little smidgen of my favorite pieces from the latest batch of pottery...

I have just a couple more ideas that I want to try but I am loving the direction my pottery has taken.  I've decided on a select few glazes, added a new clay to the mix, along with other materials.

So there you have it.  What do you think?

Spring is in The Air

Jennifer Calkins

(confession...I posted this two days after I wrote it.  I meant to post it yesterday.  I did not.  Obviously!  So it's actually been raining today.  ALL.  Day.  Long.  Whatevs...happy reading!)

It’s sunny and supposed to be over 60 degrees today!  Can I get a WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO?!  I love sunshine.  It’s so happy.  It’s taken me ten minutes just to type those two quasi-sentences because I keep staring at the sun shining out the window that’s two feet away from me.

So last week I took a bit of a break but I am back!  I found out last week that I was accepted to be a vendor at a Spring Market in March (get the deets HERE!)  I am super excited about this market.  It also means I have less than a month - er, I mean less than three weeks?! - to make a crap ton of stuff to sell at said market.

That part can get a bit tricky when signing up for markets/craft shows/etc.  There are times when you don’t know you will be accepted into the market until closer to the date.  So that leaves the question of “when do I make stuff and how much do I make?”  I don’t want to have a ton of product on hand at all times.  First, it’s a lot of cost upfront with no certain sell point/end date.  Second, I simply don’t have the storage space!  So yeah.  When I applied for this market I kept it in the back of my head but didn’t really start making much.  So I must bust my little booty over the next few weeks.

I have a lot of ideas of what I want to sell at this market.  I have work I need to finish glazing so I’ll be selling that but I also wanted to make some new stuff.  Since Spring is right around the corner and the market is right before Easter I really want to sell some planters and lanterns.  Last week I started by making some lanterns.  They are looking pretty awesome so far, I can’t wait to finish them/clean them up.  On Monday I worked in the studio again and made a few planters to start my day.  Then it went a bit downhill.  I ended up with a pile of mushed-up-this-didn’t-work clay.  I pushed through and tried to keep working but said pile of clay kept growing like unwanted facial hair.  Not my best day of work.  I managed to salvage several pieces but threw in the towel a little earlier than I wanted.  I may have said some curse words.  And the towel I was using may have grown wings and flew across the garage.  By itself, I swear.  I’ll get back to the studio tomorrow but for today I am enjoying the Spring weather with my son.  Perhaps the sunshine and fresh air will help me create some awesomeness the next time I’m in the studio.

Update:  Like I said above, I originally wrote this two days ago.  I enjoyed the sunshine with my son at the zoo then again at the park yesterday.  I had a super successful day in the studio today.  It's amazing what some sunshine can do for your mindset and ability to work.  I cleaned up a few of the planters I made, made some soap dishes, soon to be beer mugs, and two pitchers with tumblers (something new I came up with on the fly...because I felt like it apparently!)  I have a few more things I want to make over the weekend then I need to really buckle down and get all of this work fired and ready to sell!  Wish me luck!

What Starts as an Idea...

Jennifer Calkins

I’ve had a lot of ideas lately, all floating around my head like they’re on an inner-tube floating down the lazy river.  Except they’re also running a marathon at the same time. 

So now that your head feels like mine does, I’m going to share one of those specific ideas with you.  I got the idea from a centerpiece that was on my Aunt’s table.  I think I first saw it over a year ago?  Anyway, it’s five or six (maybe seven or eight?!) small white porcelain bud vases, all different shapes and sizes.  I think they were on a tray?  Or a plate?  I’d have to look again.  Anyway.  Those vases just stuck out in my head as instant inspiration because 1.) I loved the look of them and 2.) I loved how simple, fresh and elegant they were.  So I tucked that little nugget into the folds of my brain.

I have a sketchbook.  I wish I used it more for art journaling.  I should really start doing that again, I haven’t done so since high school.  Maybe my head wouldn’t be so jam-packed with random ideas and information if I did this.  Nah, it still will be!  But an art journal would still be pretty kick-ass to have…

So yeah, sketchbook.   Sometimes I forget to write my ideas down and they are lost in the abyss of my mind FOREVER (insert evil laugh here).  Just kidding.  Sort of.  Sometimes I remember.  Years later.  For the most part though I write them down.  Sometimes they are just words, other times I sketch something out quickly.  When I work with pottery I typically let each lump of clay mold itself as I go.  I don’t usually sketch out specific shapes of, say, a vase or a mug.  If I have that specific of an idea it stresses me out, I feel like it has to be EXACTLY like the sketch and that just does not work for me.  I may have a general idea of size and rough shape but everything I make comes to life on the pottery wheel.  That’s just how I roll.  YO.

When an image in my head appeared from the inspiration that was my Aunt’s table decoration, this time I wrote it down and did a little sketch.  Made a little drawing.  Got it down on paper.  I did this while still practicing some other ideas on my wheel so I saved it for later.

Well, later is now man!  I made a whole bunch of small bud vases.  Let me tell you first off that it’s not as easy as it sounds.  It’s actually a little bit difficult to throw such a small amount of clay!  It took me a few tries to get used to it then I made a bunch.  I glazed them rather simply with bright colors and got started on making a box for the “tray.”  I found some wood the right thickness.  I used my hubby’s power tools.  I stained the wood pieces and put it together.  BAM.

I’m pretty happy with the results though I may refine it ever so slightly more.  So there it is.  My bud vase tray centerpiece idea.  Enjoy.  I hope to have some for sale soon!