Quigley Ceramics

Luminous Pottery for the Home

Jackalope Art Fair Pasadena

Annie QuigleyComment
Day 1: Jackalope Art Fair

Day 1: Jackalope Art Fair

Jackalope Art Fair is Pasadena was the best selling experience I've had to date!  I met so many wonderful people and sold a bunch!  I was so happy to help Mother's Day shoppers, Wedding Gift shoppers, and even a bride and groom who found gifts for the in-laws.  I was also surprised by the variety of pieces I sold.  Lots of $25 items sold, as expected...but so did most of my large carved bowls!  Thank you for your support everyone!

I do believe that there were forces at play in this success:

 First, I've been focusing my work more and more in the studio.  I still experiment and have fun, but I'm only making multiples of the items that are truly special and unique.  The experiments stay home. This really helped each product line shine.  Seeing a whole table of Woodland Bowls, Luminaries, and dishes helped the eye focus and they only elevated each other.  The same with the Mandala Collection.  There was one table that looked a little mix and match but I think the multiple levels helped separate items.

Second, the display had many more levels and I brought the tables up higher (I used bed-frame stilts.)  Not only were the levels helpful, but I but many of the carved bowls on plate stands.  This helped guests eye a piece from yards away.  I heard from multiple people that they zoomed straight to my booth because they saw a specific bowl propped up.

Lastly, my amazing dad helped in SOOO many ways.  First, in less than a week, he built these beautiful jewelry displays out of wine barrel staves he had laying around.  Then he flew into town from New Jersey just to help me each day to set-up, break down, pack, un-pack, repeat, was an amazing salesman, and plied me with food the entirety of both days!

Here's to another great sale!

Wall Display

Annie QuigleyComment

My Dining Room Wall ...so far....

  I have been seeing more and more interesting ceramics-based wall installations.  Using multiple clay pieces to develop texture and form emanating from a wall can be so cool.  I've seen some cool planter/air plant variations, walls of mugs with their own little shelves, and wall-based chandelier or mobile-inspired works.   I'm told more frequently lately that clients don't want to put objects in my carved bowls.  I made them with the idea that they would hold fruit, vegetables, pine cones, or those lovely potpourri balls.  However,  people often want to see the images uncovered.  So I tried placing them on the wall. I have a kit from years ago that contains a large assortment of nails, framing gadgets, ceiling hooks, and two sizes of L shaped nails.  I never knew what they were for.  I took them and screwed two into the wall in order to support one bowl.  They're almost perfect.  The bowls are too heavy for one nail (without an anchor) but two are plenty (and make me feel quite safe living here in earthquake land.)  They are a little large and unsightly.  I've considered painting them the color of the pieces but fear that might look worse. In the end, I like where this is going.  I think it could be expanded and that several more bowls of smaller sizes would be best. The four tiles on the left are another experiment.  I made them in porcelain and think they would really pop on a brightly painted wall.  I might make some more in colored glazes.  They have a very simple nail space on the back. Cheers to more experimentation!

 

I have been seeing more and more interesting ceramics-based wall installations.  Using multiple clay pieces to develop texture and form emanating from a wall can be so cool.  I've seen some cool planter/air plant variations, walls of mugs with their own little shelves, and wall-based chandelier or mobile-inspired works.  

I'm told more frequently lately that clients don't want to put objects in my carved bowls.  I made them with the idea that they would hold fruit, vegetables, pine cones, or those lovely potpourri balls.  However,  people often want to see the images uncovered.  So I tried placing them on the wall.

I have a kit from years ago that contains a large assortment of nails, framing gadgets, ceiling hooks, and two sizes of L shaped nails.  I never knew what they were for.  I took them and screwed two into the wall in order to support one bowl.  They're almost perfect.  The bowls are too heavy for one nail (without an anchor) but two are plenty (and make me feel quite safe living here in earthquake land.)  They are a little large and unsightly.  I've considered painting them the color of the pieces but fear that might look worse.

In the end, I like where this is going.  I think it could be expanded and that several more bowls of smaller sizes would be best.

The four tiles on the left are another experiment.  I made them in porcelain and think they would really pop on a brightly painted wall.  I might make some more in colored glazes.  They have a very simple nail space on the back.

Cheers to more experimentation!

Rapid Carving!

Annie QuigleyComment

Having some fun carving in the backyard of the studio.  It was such a beautiful day.  I felt a little guilty that the east coast, including my home town in New Jersey, was getting blasted by a wintry  Nor-easter.  

I'm loving this design because it takes far fewer cuts than any other I've done.  The down side to this is that it is incredibly fragile.  Here's hoping they come out in the bisque fire intact!

Craft Fairs

Annie QuigleyComment
Silverlake Flea Market, Los Angeles

Silverlake Flea Market, Los Angeles

This was my first craft fair display.  I was so proud of those shelves and how they gave buyers the opportunity to my work at different angles.  Unfortunately, there are a number of factors here that I needed to change for the next events.  

From my point of view at the Melrose Trading Post, Los Angeles

From my point of view at the Melrose Trading Post, Los Angeles

At the Melrose Trading Post I tried using the tall shelves one more time.  I traded out the gold mirrors for more wood slabs (thank you dad!), got rid of the distracting (though pretty) blue tablecloth, and added my hanging lanterns in an arch over the display.  It certainly drew in more buyers, but I still got the sense that people were tentative to reach up and touch the lanterns that were higher up.  In addition, the lanterns on the bottom shelves got lost with the work in front.

I wish I had a front view of the display!!!  To the left you can see that I carved a piece while I was there.  This helped me and my nerves more than it did my sales.  I find that buyers are often quite tentative at these hot daytime markets.  They want to browse in peace and privacy, so if I say "hello" too quickly they tend to wander off.  I am exactly that type of shopper.  The busier and more preoccupied the sales person, the better.  I'm trying to keep that in mind while still being available to those who are more chatty, extroverted, or who have questions.  I thought that if I carved a piece, buyers would see that I was taking part in a task more engaging than texting, and that it might be an interesting conversation starter.  I did have attendants stop to watch and they were all very kind and interested.  However, in general, they were more interested in the process than taking home a piece of their own.

The Odd Market at the Autry this past Friday was wonderful!  I got rid of the shelves and replaced them with slabs of wood I bought from a carpenter in Altadena.  They were pretty rough but the gentleman showed me what they could look like with enough sanding and staining.  So I bought my first power tool!  a random orbit sander.  It's magnificent!

Using my new power sander out on my deck for the first time!  Sawdust galore!

Using my new power sander out on my deck for the first time!  Sawdust galore!

Here's the before and after:

I don't think I have pictures of the Odd Market, unfortunately.  (the whole time I said to myself "don't forget to take a picture!!!" and yet I did)

The display looked the best so far. I had my gigantic store sign up and I got an additional tall shelf for display.  I was really fortunate that the event was at night.  I put battery opperated votives in all of the lanterns, I hung the hanging luminaries all inside the tent, I grouped my pieces more purposefully, and the wood planks made objects viewable and touchable at the same time!   The crowd that came Friday was wonderful!  I made a bunch of sales, met a lot of friendly people, and almost ran out of business cards!   

For next time:  Figure out a way to make my tent darker in places for my luminaries to show off during day time markets.  

Put less merchandise out and keep back-ups in organized boxes for easy replacement.

find a clever way to display my new coaster sets

Painted flower lantern results :

Annie QuigleyComment

So it's not perfect... But it is a pleasant surprise! A huge learning experience with the blending and layering of underglazes.  The yellow on blue does not stand on its own but actually fires green.  Same thing with the yellow accents on the Orange.   The lantern is quite thick and some of the edges are a little rugged.  Next time I'll throw a thinner vessel and I'll completely clean it up before painting.  Otherwise I'm thrilled by the white of the porcelain and the overall shades of colors together. 

Day 2

Annie QuigleyComment

So I went from making round lanterns that could nicely sit on a shelf, to tall pillars, to my newer obsession: Lanterns That HANG!  Yes, they're slightly less practical since flame is potentially dangerous when swinging in the air.  However, I'm frequently on the hunt for forms and uses that will set me apart in this crazy ceramics world.  A glistening, glowing, shadow-casting luminary floating in the air is simply magical.  It walks the line between elegance and whimsy (my favorite kind of tight rope!)

When I first went to throw a hanging lantern form, I considered opening the bottom completely, and then creating a closed form by bringing the sides up and slowly bringing them together to create a hollow ball.  I'd done this to make jars that have perfectly fitting tops.  At the same time, a friend in the studio was trying a similar form for a different purpose.  I watched her struggle repeatedly, but the force was too great on the wall connected to the bat.  Without a foot,  the clay had little strength.  So, I forged ahead and just made regular bowl forms but with extra clay at the bottom to give me some flexibility when I trimmed.  I'm glad I did.  The extra clay helped continue the round curve.  It was also liberating not trimming a foot!

Next the carving.  At first I carved these unwieldy round forms like my pillars: from top to bottom.  I do this because the thinner clay at the top dries faster than the rest of the body.  Unfortunately, without a foot to support the carving, the round globe-like lantern just wanted to crumble by the time I got toward the bottom.  I now carve them upside down.  This gives me a lot more structure to work off of as I press and pull the clay with my knife.  Drying isn't a problem, either, since my occasional water spraying travels down towards the lip anyway.

Taking a break from Moroccan themes, I tried a floral print recently.  I was inspired by a Youtube video of 4 Korean pottery masters.  One man did a much more involved floral carving with layers of underglaze.  I decided to try my own take on this.  My worry is that my familiarity with all of these underglaze colors is not complete.  I just know some of them are going to fire too bright, and some of them too dull.  However, during the long painting process, they were pretty.   Why long?  3 coats of underglaze are necessary for full coverage.  Honestly, I think I only did two with most colors.

It just came out of the bisque fire and looks the same.  I just glazed it in clear....I'll let you know my results!