Tag Archives: kids

Friday Video Blog – Reclaiming Clay

It’s Friday which is kid’s day at the studio. Wow were they wound up today! After a couple of weeks of cold weather it has warmed up a bit and they all found a new well of enthusiasm to tap. We made polar bears and I’ll add some pictures later. Here is today’s video blog which shows a little bit about reclaiming clay.

Hope you are finding these interesting! The next one will be Sunday.
Bye for Now

After the fall.

John flying back from Calgary AB.
My son John flying back from Calgary AB.

Christmas Eve Day was quiet and lazy. My son John drove down the day before and we were just sitting around the house. He brought his dog Harvey, and Harvey was getting a little bored. I decided to take take the dog out for a walk. We were going over to the neighbours later that evening, and a tired dog is better alone than a bored one. Jim came along. We like to walk and before the weather had turned cold we were walking about an hour a day. The streets were snowy and icy, but we were careful, or so we thought. We had been walking for a few blocks, and all of a sudden Jim’s feet went strait out from under him. He tensed and arched his back and landed on the back of his head on the road. His head, when it hit, made a horrible cracking noise, he let out a breathy groan through clinched teeth, and rolled into the fetal position.  Now I don’t have a lot of medical training, but I thought this can’t be good.

He got up after a few moments and said he could walk home…. Yeah right……We didn’t take a phone with us, as we were just going for a short walk. I could have phoned John to come and get us. We went to a friends house just across the street from where Jim fell to call John to pick us up. I have only speed dialed John for the last few years, and in the excitement, I couldn’t remember his number. Lori, the friend, said she would give us a ride. I got in the back or her SUV with the dog, and Jim was to get in the passenger seat, but he just stood at the back bumper, not moving. I got out and helped him into the car. We drove the few blocks to home. He got out and waited outside by the door for John to come out and take us to the hospital. We went to the hospital, and as we drove, he couldn’t remember the fall. He didn’t remember going to Lori’s, the ride with her, or getting in John’s car. As we drove, he didn’t remember the fall or talking about it a minuet before. As I said,  I don’t have a lot of medical training, but I thought this can’t be good.

Buffalo Jim.

When we got to town and turned to get to the hospital, he knew where he was and the memories started recording again.  He had lost about half an hour of memories. It was like the recorder stopped. The doctor checked him out and Jim is fine. He has a nasty bump on his head, a very sore neck and his body feels like he was bounced it off the pavement, but he is okay. He was wearing his Buffalo Joe hat .He is not as scary as he looks in the hat and unlike the boy, he isn’t a pilot, he just likes the hat. I think the leather around his head saved him from it being much worse. His naked head on the frozen pavement would not have fared as well.  We went to the neighbours for Christmas Eve, but we didn’t stay late.


John and Harvey opening gifts.
John and Harvey opening gifts.

We had a quiet Christmas and Jim stayed comfortable in his jammie pants. Boxing Day was laid back, and John went home that afternoon to his life in Edmonton.




The fall happened so fast. One minute we are walking and talking about Christmas, the next minute we are on the way to emergency. Jim will be fine, sore for a while, but fine. The fall made it very clear how fragile our life is, how quickly things can change. For Christmas, the gift I got, was to keep my  new life and the people I love, in it. How could I  ask for more?

Group hug Christmas 2012
The family Christmas 2012

Until next time.

My signature




AKA Mrs. Clay

Old Blog


Out of the Fire Studio

Sunrise in Coutts, blue and pink.

Pots are delivered and Christmas is on its way.

It was a good week in the old school and the studio. I got all my pots made and delivered. We took a truck load, literally, but we have a small truck, to Calgary.  Walking into Galleria Inglewood  was like walking into Christmas. It was beautiful. There is over 9,000 square feet of gallery filled with art, craft and Christmas. If you live anywhere near Calgary AB, it is certainly worth to trip! Our pots looked good and now there is a truck load more.


A display of Moonshadow
A display of Moonshadow.
A display of pottery glazed in Prairies
A display of the Prairies glaze.
Almost empty shelves of our pottery.
The cupboard at the gallery is bare. Need more pots.



Tuesday, the town had their annual  cookie exchange. To participate, you make four dozen cookies and bring them to the library in the Historical Coutts School. Put the cookies together, and everyone brings home four dozen cookies, just not the ones you made. Jim made chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal, they were really good. We got a great variety of wonderful and not so wonderful cookies. There were about 25 people that took part and the library was hoppin’.

Tuesday night was the last adult clay class, next week is our party. The studio was full of students. The gym was rented out to a family that was playing and exercising.The cookie people came to the studio to visit, the studio people were checking out the cookies, the family in the gym was back and forth.  The school was buzzing with pre-Christmas excitement. It felt wonderful to be a part of it. The old girl was alive!

Tonight is another supper, not pot luck this time. We were invited to join the neighbours at the Milk River Senior Society Christmas Dinner.  It should be fun. I am getting dressed up, new jeans, and taking my hair out of the pony tail that it has been in since we moved here. Tonight, I am letting my hair down.

We stopped in Lethbridge on the way back from Calgary and did the normal in town, run around shopping. We also got all new Christmas decorations. When we moved, I gave them all away. Back then, I was feeling like the Grinch and Scrooge all rolled into one. My daughter got all the decorations, wrapping paper, everything, if she wanted it all or not . I was done with Christmas.  That was then and this is now. I am glad I did the purge. Out with the old and in with the new, is very much like our life here. As time goes on and we get our new rhythm in the new life, I can only wonder how different next Christmas will be. If last year to this year is any indication, I should hang on for the ride.

Until next time.





AKA Mrs. Clay

Old Blog


Out of the Fire Studio

Motivation, what is it and why?

Last post I talked about being back in the grove again. Being motivated to work and really enjoying working. It’s true, I’m there. I have made more pots in the last month, than I have in the past 2 years. One of the motivators, I have to admit, is money. ‘Tis  the season. I like making pots and I like selling them.  The product is  doing well at Galleria Inglewood. The sun is shining so I am making hay…..well pots……. I will deliver my Christmas batch the second week of December. However money is not the only motivator, it if it were, I would never have become a potter. So what is the motivator, what is motivation, where does it come from? I am only asking the questions. I don’t have any answers,  to those questions and many others.

I am working on a batch of pots that I know will sell. The same old, same pots. Bowls, tea pots, casseroles, mugs etc.. I was checking out Facebook and a friend of mine, Dori Braun a potter and musician I have known for years, is working, I will assume, the same Christmas market and  making some very cool candy dishes.

Dori Braun’s Candy Dishes.

Now I have been in head down, flat out production mode. I have a good idea what will sell and have been working on that. The potter came back and the pots are  flying.  I plan to play in the clay in the New Year, but right now my motivation is making lots of pots, or so I thought.  When I saw her candy dishes, I wanted to make candy dishes too. I was motivated. Time is tight and play time is short., but I took a bit of time time to play, to listen to the motivation. Her pots are very different from mine, but the motivation was the same, play with clay and make candy dishes.

Two dishes
Raw clay dishes.

We need to pay attention to what motivates us, what makes us want to work, what gives us that drive to create. More important, we have to act on it.  I don’t know what motivation is or why it shows up, but if I listen to the potter inside, I know what it feels like. We all need to pay attention to that. Work with it. That’s where our best work comes from.  I made some candy dishes. It is not for me to say if they are good, bad or ugly. (odd and out of place Clint Eastwood reference) We can never judge our own work. If we didn’t think it was good, we wouldn’t have finished it. All we can and should do, is go with the feeling, the motivation to create. What could happen?


SantaDish SnowmanDish

It is a candy dish week. We, The Clay Teacher, are making candy dishes with the kids classes on Friday afternoon.



Since it is a candy dish week, if anyone reading is making candy dishes, or has been motivated to make candy dishes, please send me pictures and I will include them in a future post.

What can I say about motivation…..SWEEEET…..

Until next time,






AKA Mrs. Clay

Out of the Fire Studio

The Clay Teacher


A large sign welcoming you to Coutts AB

Life in a small town.


We moved from Edmonton AB, a city of about 1,000,000 people, to Coutts, AB, a village of about 300 people.

Happy Face on the water tower

We have been here for almost a year and life here is not quite the same as life in Edmonton. For one, we are mostly retired and not getting up every morning and hurrying out the door to be The Clay Teacher. The reason we picked Coutts was the cost of living.  Now that we are settled, we are spending about $1,300 per month less to live in Coutts than in the city.  We made a few online changes, new server, got rid of a few websites we weren’t using and a few other things. That brought the total up to about $1,500 less per month than we were spending a year ago. The cost of living was the motivator to get out of the city, but could not have landed better. It is beautiful here. A wonderful little town with wide streets and grand old trees.  Continue reading Life in a small town.

A view of the Sweetgrass Hills.

I don’t have to.

For the first time in decades, I don’t have to do anything. I have worked for years as a potter and The Clay Teacher. I have had orders to fill, dead lines to meet, classes to teach and work that just had to be done. We moved to Coutts and we had the house to reno and the yard to landscape. Now it is all done. Well the house will never be “done”, but it is done for now. We got the studio up and running and I had orders to fill.They are done.

Group photo of the three kids , Jim and me.


Continue reading I don’t have to.