Thursday, December 13, 2012
Though I do not assign myself to a physical religious place of worship- I do adhere to many of the teachings and tenets of judaism that relate to the idea of being responsible for one another and also to our larger community. This was passed down to me through my parents and grandparents- all great proponents of giving back, working with and respecting people less fortunate and with little or no access to opportunities. They not only talked about this- they worked at it.
In my earlier career I was a social worker working in communities in New York City and San Francisco. I was trained and educated to examine the intricate factors that serve to bring a human being or an entire community into poverty, substance abuse and hopelessness. It was intense work, but I learned a lot about urban areas and issues and ventured deep into neighborhoods that my peers had never even heard of or considered as a part of their city. My work took me to decayed housing projects, welfare hotels, homeless shelters and foster homes.
Having to move through so many different really intense communities really honed my observation skills and awareness of my surroundings and human conditions. I did what I could to help provide resources and support towards stabilization.
Though I am not doing the direct service work now, (though I plan on doing more this coming year on a volunteer basis) I believe strongly in giving back in whatever way you can and have incredible respect for those out in the trenches.
My fantasy of being a great philanthropist will not happen on an ceramicist's income- but I can still give what I can.
And I do. I dedicate a percentage of my earnings to donate to different non-profits whose work and mission I admire. I think too many people think that they can't give a lot so they don't give at all- this is a mistake. Knowing this from having worked behind the scenes at these type of organizations- every dollar really adds up and combined, count toward a lot of new programs and support for their clients.
This year I am supporting a variety of places:
Clinica Martin Baro- provices free medical services to indigent, undocumented residents of san francisco
Planned Parenthood: no matter what your views on choice-- still the number one provider of basic womens health services in low income communities
Black Star Development: economic development organization serving coastal areas of Ghana
NPR: local and nationally--for providing depth in reporting on issues and regions completely ignored by other media
Pueblo de Abiquiu Library and Cultural Center: rural library in an underserved part of northern new mexico
San Francisco Food Bank: provides much needed food resources to individuals and families in need
Ali Forney Center: mission is to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) youth from the harm of homelessness, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood. (60% of homeless youth are LBGT)
so give what you can this year- either by volunteering or a few dollars-- we're all in this world together...
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
lovely time of year giving free reign to say thank you and be appreciative of friends, family, nature and the fortunate lives we lead..and also being mindful and caring for those who do not feel this-but more on that in my annual giving post in a few weeks.
thankful for the immense saguaro cactus with it aged beauty and regalness
thankful for the congregation of birds perching everywhere
thankful for living near the infinity ocean and all its splendor
thankful for working hard and loving it
AND...thankful for the wonderful individuals and stores around the country who embrace and celebrate my work and enable me to keep doing something I love-
new work recently delivered to the DeYoung Museum, Valerianne, Silver Oak Vineyards, Essentia and to some new stores carrying my work: High Falls Mercantile, Lines Orchids, Susan Fredman Design, Gardener of Bath
and am immersed in working on the new spring pieces for Anthropologie to be sold excusively online-
available in 2013
as always- do get in touch and I am pledging to produce a newsletter this year to those on the mail list in january! send me your e-mail if you want to be on it..
Monday, October 29, 2012
You know the scenario..there is a wedding..you want to get a gift and you know the happy couple may be registered somewhere predictable--but ugh..boring! you want to get something different, special, long lasting and creative. but you don't want to risk buying something unique that you like, but the couple may not...
but when your couple has registered for one of a kind custom plates that they have carefully selected and dreamed about..it is a registry you can get excited about--
After many requests, I am now offering a wedding registry service and just completed and delivered a well curated set of plates and serving pieces to a lovely couple.
Here's a peak at what they chose and received---
So--- spread the word and e-mail me if you are interested in setting up a registry or want more information.....
Saturday, October 20, 2012
I love all of the old vintage science charts with their saturated colors and intricate examinations of plants and animals. Chronicle books recently put out a wonderful book full of old charts that are really so beautiful. There are many replicas available these days in design shops--but if you look hard, maybe at a more out of the way flea market, you may find some original ones.
I am particularly fond of the muted black and bottle green charts where the subjects really pop.
I am on a scientific chart rant with the plates right now--having fun applying the color and the sensibility of these wonderful vintage props...
I'll be doing lots more of these-on plates, platters and bowls.
Monday, October 1, 2012
Design*Sponge- really one of the very original design blogs- wonderfully curated by Grace Bonney and now a cadre of other talented folks- definitely played a large role early on for my ceramics. Grace generously covered my work in the early days and really helped to spread the word- and for that I am always grateful!
The site has really become an institution now and a go to for what's happening on many fronts in the art meets high craft meets design world.
Anne Ditmeyer of the blog Pret-a-voyager and a contributor to Design*Sponge, had contacted me a few months ago to do a sneak peak of not so much the studio, but of my house and the cottage showroom. So of course, I dispatched to Anne a bunch of photos of the house that I take from time to time- but I quickly realized how difficult it is to photograph home interiors..really it is. So I enlisted the great help of Marshall Gordon- a great bay area photographer who came and rescued me from bad photos--
You can check out the post at Design*Sponge here.
And here are a few more pics that didn't make it into the post that I like:
the living room still life
the playroom/tv room/my daughter's art studio
another living room still life
mission reader in the bedroom
"other" bookshelf in the dining room
my vintage orange cart rescued from an old Levi Straus plant--in the bedroom..
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Summer comes late here in San Francisco, as any of you can attest to if you have been here in July or August. Instead of seeking shade and frosted mugs, we are cranking up the heat and layers and hunkering down. Which really messes with your mind if you grew up with summer being this very distinct magical time..sigh. But the autumn brings some brief sensations of summer and we relish every minute of it. This weekend brought that and a crisscross of the bay led to some lovely beach light and other treasures here in San Francisco and in Bolinas...and work too.
hawks assuming their position
locals only bench in the chute at Ocean beach
bunnies in Bolinas Beach
installed a new garden totem near the studio..
and shipped out more pieces to Sundance..
and handed off some new plates to their new owners...
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Having grown up in and around New York City and spending many formative years there- I always have a bit of a love hate thing going on when I go back and visit family, as I do often. I have so many memories of places, people, times in my life that are in the past. Lets call it a total nostalgia trip- which it always is. Though I have lived in San Francisco for 18 years (amazingly), I do not have the history here that I have in New York. And that includes multiple generations of family members embracing all that is NY- late 19th century emigres, some to Ellis Island later, Lower East Side tenement life, exodus to Long Island suburbs in the 60's, Upper West and Eastside later, living in Brooklyn before it was so uber hip. I have no home base like that in California- and for that reason, sometimes still feel like a visitor. So when I go back to NY, that part feels good. I can walk down 86th street and see where my mother grew up and, go to midtown and see where my parents, 2 of my sisters and I, got married. I see where the old Ma bell restaurant was in Times Square, where you sit at a booth to eat with telephones mounted for use, and my old lemonade selling corners downtown. My kids, of course, are cultivating those kind of memories here in San Francisco daily and it will be their NY, and they are rooted here, though too, sense the history when they go east.
So long story short....just got back from NY where I went to visit family and do the New York International Gift Fair again in Handmade.
I mostly had to work, but did get out a bit to walk the hi line, and snap a few memorable images topping it off in the verdant woods and funky flea markets of Northwestern, CT.
Home (new hometown), again and came back to a heap of work as well as a hawk carcass on the roof of my studio. My husband said it was a blessing, an offering. I do hope so. I will give the hawk a proper burial and return to my new roots.