July 30, 2010

Handmade Stoneware Coasters by glazedOver Pottery

Several years ago, while I was still in graduate school at the University of Chicago, I brought my friend Zehava to the Hyde Park Art Center pottery studio so she could see my work. Zehava has always had a very unique and eclectic aesthetic. She also has mind of her own, one of the many reasons why I have such love and respect for her. 
Freckle Face Stoneware Coasters by glazedOver Pottery 3At the studio, she described to me what she’d like to see in a ceramic coaster and asked me if I could make them for her. She’s not an artist but she does know what she’s looking for. So together, we worked to bring her design to fruition.
Blue Green handmade Zehava coasters by glazedOver Pottery 4
Her basic design is brilliant in it’s simplicity and elegance. It has grown with me as I have grown as a potter. Here are some of the latest manifestations of the Zehava coasters. Enjoy!
Seafoam Blue Zehava Coasters by glazedOver Pottery

July 22, 2010

Lost but not Found

Today I lost the tin foil. Here's a haiku in honor of the occasion. I dedicate it to all of those who have loved and lost (various kitchen supplies, a wallet, cell phone, glasses, car keys...).

Looking high and low,
Shiny wrap has gone missing.
Mind lost. Hope gone too.

July 20, 2010

Lumpsuckers and their Dumpy Parents

My eleven year old is very independent, so when she asked me to read her a bedtime story recently, she caught my attention. But she’s not only independent, she is also very cerebral. So she pulled Eyewitness Books: Ocean (rather than, say Watership Down) from her bookshelf, and she didn’t surprise me at all. She promised me that I wouldn’t have to read each and every page so I jumped right in.

You’d never think there’d be so much to laugh at in such a book and maybe it was just because it was so late and we were both a bit punch drunk, but Sheva and I had a giddy time of it. She wanted to know, for instance, if octopi make octo-pee-pee, how to cook lobsters to minimize the screaming (I used to work in a clam bar, I had the answer), and why the dolphin’s flipper bones look so reminiscent of my wind chimes. But nothing caused the giggles as much as the lumpsuckers. I wasn’t familiar with lumpsuckers, but apparently, they have really motly parents, putting  a new spin on “your mama is so ugly that…”
Not among the great marvels of the ocean, lumpsuckers are primarily bottom dwellers. They are mostly spherical in shape and have suckers on the bottom of their bodies which make it possible for them to cling to rocks snail-like.
The young fish, which according to Miranda MacQuitty, author of Ocean, are “more beautiful than their dumpy parents,” use their suckers to cling to rocks in shallow, warm water until they are fully developed. Then they move to deeper waters where their muddy adult color allows them to better blend in.

Lumpsuckers Swimming-Jill Fine
      Swimming to the left      Swimming towards you      Swimming to the right

And for those of you who are wanna-be jet-setters shackled by budgetary constraints, you’ll be relieved to hear that lumpsucker fish eggs are a popular and affordable alternative to caviar.

July 11, 2010

Sun, Surf, and Wind Chimes

I love my wind chimes. I not only have several decorating the inside and outside of our house, but my neighbor across the street has one in her front bucket window, so I blow kisses to it all the time.  As much as I love seeing them and love making them, I hate taking photos of them. It is incredibly difficult to do them justice. They are very busy, so the background that I use for them must not be busy, and their triangular outline makes photo composition a challenge. So I had a brilliant idea: take them to the beach!  Here are some of the results. 

blue sky windchime 2
I make my chimes from beads, beach findings collected over the course of months and pottery shards from the glazedOver studio. Each item is wound with thick copper wire and hung from a beautiful specimen of unaltered driftwood.
I like this shot especially, because not only can you see my husband’s shadow as he holds the wind chime and mine as I crouch in the sand to take the photo, but you can also see a game of volleyball in progress in the background.

And here’s another photo which calls for a closer look.

shards and shells windchime 6

Do you see the brown fabric of the bag that my husband was chivalrous enough to hold for me? That’s a glimpse of the most deliciously comfortable, beautiful backpack made by Yael Eshkar of PazzaPazza. You can see more of her backpacks on her blog (which I highly recommend you follow – she is a breath of fresh air!). Yael’s backpacks are the epitome of functional beauty!

July 07, 2010

How to use Adobe Photoshop for Good and Evil

Jill Fine photo Gang Mom copy
Disclaimer: Don’t try this at home. Um, on second thought, DO try this at home and then post links in the comments. This could be fun.