Studio Open House Begins December 4

I have been somewhat neglectful of my blog in recent weeks. I have been busy working in the studio, making pots, cleaning, dusting, getting ready for the Studio Open House which begins officially this Saturday at ten. So, here it is
Wild Rooster Artworks
Studio Open House
Official Dates December 4, 11, 18
Unofficial Dates --The Entire Month of December
except Sundays
1150 E 800 S
Salt Lake City, Utah
10 am - 5pm

Unofficial means there probably won't be any treats as there will be on the Saturdays, but there will be lots of great pots and books and a tour of the studio. If you haven't been here before, you really need to come. It is a wild, creative place. If you come on the unofficial days, give me a call before hand just to make sure I am here and not Christmas shopping, but I do plan to be around most of the time and it is likely that you will catch me at the wheel, making pots or glazing or loading the kiln.
801-883-0146
On Saturdays, you will find the studio cleaned up, organized and filled with lots of people waiting to taste Lynnette's cookies or handmade toffee that she will have available to sample and for sale for $10/ half pound box. It's amazing. She will also have carmel and licorice carmel available for $8/ box.
I have the Niederbipp Trilogy available here for $36.00--40% off retail price.
The pottery is also on sale for 10% off. This is something I do every December for my customers, but this year I am offering my customers a no-pressure opportunity to help out local charities by donating the 10% you would have saved to places like the Utah Food Bank and others.
I am also doing a shoe drive. Bring a pair of new or used shoes to donate to charity and you will receive one free Fridgehead magnet for each pair of shoes you bring.
Parking is a little tricky. You are welcome to pull into my driveway, or park on 8th South and walk.
I look forward to seeing you.
Happy Holidays!
p.s. you can see a lot of my work at www.potterboy.com

According to Plan

Overheard at Panera's today; "If everything goes according to plan...". It has to be one of the silliest things we say. When was the last time that anything went "according to plan" in your life? I, like everyone else, make plans and imagine a general outline of how I want to proceed. In reality, the plan never goes as planned and I think that is a good thing. In my experience, it is the detours, challenges, and surprises that enrich my life. The lessons learned are not in the plan but in facing the unexpected.

In this season of my life, I try to practice surrendering more then planning. I'm attempting to be more open to intuition,opportunity, and God's will. For me, that begins with prayer each day. A recognition that "being in charge" is simply an illusion. That much of my life has been shaped by chance or luck or destiny. The real challenge is discerning what to do when the plan goes off the rails. So, after surrendering my will, I pray for discernment. For the wisdom to know what to do. Well, anyway, that's my plan.

CTN success!

I just got back from CTN, which was way better than I could ever have imagined. It was a great opportunity to meet some extremely talented people. I had the pleasure of interviewing with several studios while out there, the responses I got to my work were far better than I could have imagined. Hopefully it will no be long before I'm out on the west coast again. I have added a bunch of new links on the right side of my blog, all people who i met and hung out with for a bit at CTN, I'm sure you already know most of them because they are all extremely talented. If I have forgotten you please leave me a comment or follow my blog so I can be sure to add you later today. I have a stack of business cards 2 inches tall to look through and visit blogs etc. Keep in touch everyone! Following, links, facebook or whatever you like!

And here was a scan of my last Art Block for ghana, the original photo looked like poo. Will have some new work up shortly, will be starting a job for an up and coming studio in the UK soon.

Grace for the Moment

I have a book with the above title on our bookshelf, but haven't picked it up in a while. I think I need to get back to it.

I shared a few months ago about what a struggle it was to figure out whether or not to return to work full time. I had thought that the stress of a stay-at-home job that was mostly commission based would be too much for me, but little did I know that the job I already felt very competent at doing would fee even more difficult.

You see, I've always been a planner... a multi-tasker who could juggle an awful lot at one time with a fair amount of ease. Because of that, and because of such of a lack of peace about other job options for this year, I thought that after an adjustment period that all working moms experience I would be just fine. I would get into a groove, find a routine that worked fairly well, and would be able to just go with it.

The trouble is, I am still waiting for that groove... for a routine that works even moderately well. This is pretty unchartered territory for me. I look around and see so many other working moms who are able to do it, and there's a part of me that sort of feels incompetant that I don't feel like I can... at least not well, or to the level I desire.

Since returning to work, my sleep at night has gotten progressively worse, and at this point, seems to be a full-blown case of chronic insomnia. It started while I was still nursing Eliana, and so my options as far as trying to treat it were fairly limited to things like warm milk, chamomile tea, ear plugs, and an eye mask. I think the lack of sleep caused a sooner-than-desired end to my ability to continue to nurse her, and so my general doctor suggested a few over the counter remedies at that point. These, too, do not seem to work. In fact, Tylenol PM makes me antsy. The trouble isn't so much falling asleep; it's staying asleep, and being able to get back to sleep if I do wake up.

So for more nights than I can count, I have woken up a few times throughout the night. Depending on the time, I may or may not be able to get back to sleep. And for more mornings than I can count, my day has started between 2:30 and 3:30am, followed by 2 or 3 hours of laying in bed, becoming frustrated that I can't fall back asleep, feeling overwhelmed about how much I need to do that day on such a small amount of sleep. I've tried so many things in those hours to get back to sleep, and nothing seems to work.

A few nights ago, as I layed there starting to become frustrated, my mind wandered to: My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness. And then to: Not by might, not by power, but by My spirit says the Lord.

I realized that it may (unfortunately) be a while until this sleep thing is figured out. The soonest the sleep center in our area could fit me in for a consultation is in late December. But, I was reminded of the fact that even though I have no idea how I could accomplish making it through a full day of work, spending time with Eliana, cooking dinner, spending time with Spencer, and completing any other household things that need to be done that day or fulfill other commitments I may have... I just don't need to know. God gently reminded me that He will grant me enough grace for each moment, and I don't need to think 5 or 10... or even 2 steps ahead, wondering how I will be able to take care of things. He will provide the grace, and the strength... and I need to trust Him at His word on that.

I would appreciate your prayers as Spencer and I, along with my doctor and the folks at the sleep center, try to get to the bottom of this. This is a huge unanticipated curve ball. While I expected to have some tired days if Eliana had a rough night (what mom of a baby doesn't?), I didn't expect this. Thank you for praying...

The wait is over!

Tomorrow I embark on my journey out west for CTN, my first trip to California. Needless to say i have been looking forward to this for a long time. If you can find me at CTN i will be giving away signed prints. I have 250 of them, so if you can locate me i would love to give you one! At the risk of sounding creepy, my contact info is up at the top of my blog, if anyone wants to meet up and do some sketching or exchange artwork, feel free to contact me at any time.


Here is my final Art block for the Art Blocks for Ghana benefit. This is Ink on wood. This was really hard to document because it is too big for my scanner..and the wood is reflective. Oh well...enjoy anyway!


Royksopp, new music clip "The Drug"

Isaac Niemand just made this graphic music clip for the new Royksopp LP.
This is not a direct comission, it is an open constest from Genero.tv.


NEW WORKS COMMING SOON

So I have been pretty busy with work and travel. I have cleaned up the table I work at and am now ready to dive into some new works. Moving to New York has been a pretty crazy experience. I wasn't sure if it was a good move for the longest time. I gave up a great place to make art in Minneapolis and left some of the best people I know. I have however managed to find myself in a good spot in Brooklyn with people I love. I am now just starting to feel like I am settled down and can really attack and get going on making art on a regular basis. Life is too short to get upset up on the things we don't have or the things that have changed in our lives. Ultimately we are the ones in control of our bodies and our actions. So look out, and keep looking.

Sheep Design

Mysterious Clubhouse




As a few of my long time followers may remember, this piece was based of a pencil drawing i did a few years ago. I have always really enjoyed the subject matter of the piece, but at the time i did not really know how to work well digitally, and theres some serious drawing issues that i don't enjoy about the piece. I have been meaning to redo it for quite some time now, and finally here it is. If you are attending CTN expo, I will be giving out signed prints of this, if you can find me, i will give you one for free!
The Original:

Art Blocks for Ghana




Been super busy lately, the blog has been neglected. I have lots of artwork to show but waiting for permissions. Also, comcast internet has been giving me a lot of problems. Internet has been down for awhile now so i am in starbucks. And the soonest they could come out to diagnose the problem is in 3 days..if they show up. Way to go comcast now you will all have to wait a bit longer for some updates, sorry.

Now That I'm done venting... here is my first submission for the Art Blocks for Ghana benefit. Please check it out, there's some amazing artists in there. I will be posting in progress photos as well as another piece, if my internet turns back on. This piece is 6x6 inches gouache.

Long overdue...

They say better late than never, right? So while lots of other moms got their cute Halloween pictures up, we were busy fighting a vicious stomach bug in our house. Little Ellie was hit pretty hard, but thankfully is on the mend. Anyhow, a few pictures of our little bumblebee...


Despite her costume's cuteness, she wasn't a huge fan. The puffy tummy of the costume made it hard for her to sit and crawl... she just couldn't figure it out. Truthfully, her frustrated attempts were sort of cute to watch. :) Needless to say, she only wore the costume for a little over an hour as we attended a neighbor's Halloween party, but it was fun while it lasted!
Just a few days later, Eliana turned 8 months old! She's crawling like crazy, loves to pull herself up, and has started to walk while holding on to a push toy. She "talks" up a storm, and uses "dadada" and "mama" appropriately. I know the other moms out their can relate to how wonderful it is to finally hear "mama".

I just love Eliana's fun, spirited personality. She's outgoing, loves to laugh, and is so proud of herself when she accomplishes something new. She's curious... often seeing in things little details that I easily miss. She is such a treasure.
With the fun of Halloween having passed, fall tends to take a turn and begins to focus on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admittedly, October through New Years tends to be a difficult time for me. I am sure that many who have gone through the grief of losing a loved one, particularly a child, would agree that the holidays are hard. Of course, the bittersweet dynamic of our family with having one child here and one waiting for us in Heaven is there. It's in day-to-day life sorts of things, like the fact that Eliana's pictures grace the mantle in some one's home, yet Isaac's picture is nowhere to be found.
But the holidays... it's like missing magnified. While I shop for mega blocks and a big stuffed chair for Eliana, I wonder what "Santa" would be bringing Isaac this year. While our family will sit and hold hands around the Thanksgiving table sharing what we're grateful for, I'll be holding one of my children's hands but not the other. I'll be giving thanks for Eliana's good health, and wishing the same had been true for my son.
I suppose all this is to say that many of our days, and much of each day, is filled with a lot of laughter and joy; but, the heart of a mom who is missing her son does just that: misses her son... notices his absence, and longs for him to be here.
If you are reading and have also lost a child, I am sure that rings true for you, too. And if you are reading and know someone who is doing the missing, I would encourage you to find ways to sensitively remember their child this holiday season. For me, it does my heart good to know that Isaac is talked about, remembered, and has not been forgotten.

NEW VIDEO OUT BY THIS JERK?

http://rhymesayers.com/atmosphere/
Thanks to all my RSE family! I feel blessed to work with all of you. Thanks much.

Perspective

I was working with a friend of mine, installing a toilet grab bar for an ailing neighbor on Monday night when my buddy's phone rang. I watched as his face went pale and a look of sickness came over him. "My dad just shot himself," he said. A minute later, we were on our way to the hospital. I spent much of the night there with him as he and his siblings gathered to make life and death decisions with other family members. We were informed by doctors that if they tried to save him, he would never be the same, would likely be paralyzed and blind and have a really crappy life, requiring 24 hour care. If they wanted to go that route, they would have to decide within the next hour because emergency surgery would be required to save whatever life was left to save.
I watched as my friend and his family struggled with the issues they'd been presented with. It was an emotional time and emotions ran high and deep as they discussed their decisions. Several prayers were said, that they might know the will of God and be able to understand and accept that will. My friends father was a good guy who had his issues and challenges, but this had come as a complete shock to everyone present. He had talked about ending it before, a few times over the last thirty years, but showed no signs of depression and took no action towards that. He was just married on Saturday. Things were mostly good. But he started drinking Monday afternoon and after Jack Daniels started speaking for him, things went bad quick.
The decision to take him off life support was made nearly an hour before we were allowed to see him, and I'm grateful the decision had already been made. If anyone had any hesitation or struggle with the decision, I think all of that was gone as soon as we saw him. I don't think any of us recognized him. What a terrible way to go. What a selfish way to die. I have been around death many times in my life. There is often a sweet spirit of peace associated with death. There was no sweet spirit there that night--just unanswered questions, sorrow, pain and turmoil.
I didn't sleep that night. I don't know anyone in the family who did.
Today, in the land of Niederbipp, there was finally some hint of hope. My friend has three younger brothers, all of whom took pottery in high school. They came over this morning to work on some urns for their father's ashes. Today, though they each wore the signs of pain on their faces, these brothers worked for several hours to create. They were all rusty. Apparently making pottery on the wheel is not like riding a bike, but there was laughter and chiding and encouraging words and in the end, seven beautiful jars that will store the remains of their father. I know my friend well. I know his family. I know of their faith in God. Their father did not share that faith, at least not anymore. I have found myself thinking about faith a lot lately. It is hope in things that are real and true. It is a journey, one filled with probably at least as many valleys as peaks, but if it is true, a journey that propels one forward. There is a great quote from Winston Churchill that says, "If you're going through hell, keep going." I think sometimes we spend too much time in hell. We need to keep moving. We need to get back to the top of the hill where the sun can shine, where we can see by the light of truth. I am grateful I am not a judge. There before the grace of God go I. It seems the answer to most of life's problems and challenges lies in perspective. We must somehow rise above, or seek the counsel of one whose perspective is broader than ours. Many of us are kept from the truth because we know not were to find it. Keep going. Keep your head up. I have learned that above the clouds, there is always sun.
I have found it interesting how doors open. I'm not sure sure if I mentioned already what my next book is about, but I have been working on it now for several months, working on research and just began really writing last week. It is a story about a young man, who after a botched suicide attempt, learns to discover what life is all about by attending funerals. There is a great Quaker proverb that says, "Proceed as the way opens." It seems that the universe wants me to write this book. I pray I can do it justice.

Been Busy!




Apologies for my lack of posting, I've been working with an awesome studio in NYC called string theory on a really cool project which I will hopefully be able to share with you soon. I am also taking part in another awesome benefit...check out this site for more information. Theres some great artists from all the top studios involved...and then theres me :)

http://www.artblocksghana.blogspot.com/

Only two weeks to Cali!

Anarchy in the UK

A little slow in mentioning this, but Warm Bodies is now on the bookshelves in the UK. Don't believe me? What, you think I staged this photo?



See? One shelf above Let The Right One In, and just to the left of Zombie Cupcakes! (to be fair, this was a Halloween themed display.)

Good reviews are trickling in, too. There's one in women's magazine Marie Claire, one in The Guardian (it's like England's New York Times!) and a little feature in WIRED, as well as a few in various blogs and, ahem, teen magazines. (One of them positions it right next to Justin Bieber's new book! Me and Biebs, conquering the world together!)

Even a few non-teens have offered words of praise. Josh Bazell (Beat the Reaper) Nick Harkaway (The Gone-Away World) Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife) Stephenie Meyer (Twilight) and Simon Pegg (writer/actor, Shaun of the Dead) have all lent glowing quotes to be plastered all over the cover.
If I hadn't recently misplaced my emotion chip, I'd be slavering with joy right now. Things are looking bright.



Or you can pre-order the US version (hardcover!) which comes out March 8.






Election Day Eve

This election season has left me feeling discouraged, depressed, and cynical. I am a bit of a political junkie and usually approach an election with both fascination and anticipation. This year, however, the angry words and accusations and attacks have sucked the usual excitement and hope right out of me. Despite all of this, I still believe in our system. Alan Forray writing in the Saturday, October 30, edition of the Times Union articuled how I am approaching this Tuesday.
"Maybe it is altogether futile, but I intend to vote on Tuesday. I will do so because in a democracy, it is my right, my obligation, and my job. Instead of just shouting that it's time to "Vote them all out," I'm voting for the candidates who, at the very least, have indicated that they'd like to try and do something."