Finding peace in challenging times
We definitely living in difficult and challenging times. It’s not easy being told that you have to stand 6 feet apart from your neighbour, you can’t travel to see your family and while at least where I live, you no […]
Mishima on Ceramics
Mishima ceramics comes from the Japanese Island of Mishima, but it was originally transported from Korea around the 16th century. This surface design technique is a way of drawing by inlaying a slip of contrasting color into lines incised in […]
Natural Shaving Soap & Shaving Bowl
I love handmade soap and prefer to know what ingredients are in body care products that I use. Many years ago, I began using handcrafted soap and have never gone back to using commercial soap. Last year, I finally learned […]
A lot of people are having a tough time right now. Some industries are thriving and some have come to a dead stop. Personally I am having a difficult time. Not because of covid 19 or my work but other […]
Sometimes you just need to break from everyday work and need time to play. Starting with a small ball of clay and just working with it to form little fairy houses is a great way to unplug and just let […]
Three Types of Slip for Pottery and Ceramics
In the post, I will show three different types of slips which are clay slips, engobes and casting slip. Slips and engobes are more or less the same thing. Slips are predominately liquefied clay and are usually applied on wet […]
Meditation and Staying in the Moment
This morning I was ready to edit photos of my work and put the items up on my website. When I began looking for the images, they weren’t there. I realized that one day last week I had taken a […]
Spring flowers and my love of handmade vases
I love flowers. If I had a garden filled with flowers, I would probably have them in every room of my home all summer long. In fact, it is a long term goal to create the most amazing garden for […]
Decorating the ceramic surface with rice paper transfers
One of the beautiful things about working in clay is myriad of ways that you can decorate a surface. Rice paper transfers are one way to do that. It is a very thin, lightweight material, which allows for smooth and […]
How to make a coil pot for beginners
Coiling is perhaps the most versatile of the hand building techniques because it allows you to build forms of any design or scale. It’s generally considered to be a slow and contemplative way of working which demands patience and attention […]
The Pinch Pots of Quarantine
Quarantine has been hard. We are pushing on over a month and a half now. I decided to put together a pinch pot kit for my community. Most people had never had any experience with clay. It has been a […]
How to make a coil pot
Coiling is perhaps the most versatile of the hand building techniques, because it allows you to build forms of any design or scale. It’s generally considered to be a slow and contemplative way of working, which demands patience and attention […]
How to make a pinch pot
Pinch pots are the ideal project for newcomers to hand-building with clay; perfecting this technique is a fantastic way to start developing your clay-craft skills. Most instructors will start people making pinch pots to get a feel for the clay […]
2019 Handmade Holiday Gift Guide – Save on Gift Packages Under $50 and $100
We are celebrating the launch of our soap line by offering savings on gift packages that include a mix of our handmade Canadian pottery and natural soaps.
Exploring forms on the wheel
I decided to begin my new year by playing around with making new wheel thrown forms. There are so many things to consider when a potter approaches this process.
Workshop with Carol Epp
It has been a crazy busy year but not in the way that I would necessarily like it to be. I had knee surgery in the spring and was off for a lot longer than I had anticipated. I had heard that the recovery could be up to year and I had also heard that some people just bounce back right away.
Phalaenopsis Orchid Care
I love orchids. The Phalaenopsis is the most common orchid due to its ease of production and the availability of blooming plants year-round. They are easily grown in the home and stay in bloom for a very long time. A mature phalaenopsis will be in bloom much of the year with graceful inflorescences loaded with good-sized blooms.
I like to live my slow from an inward perspective. I like to take things apart and look at what they really mean. This is the kind of parent that I am and also the kind of potter too. I see everyone rushing around these days and always checking their phones, texting and surfing the web.
Signs of Life
I have been missing writing here for some time. Behind the scenes, I have been busy working on new ideas and designing new pieces as well as working on a standard list of pieces that I have been producing.
We had a particularly long winter and I think it is suffice to say that it has been this way through most of not only Canada but North America.
I have been recovering from an unbelievably busy summer. I was away too much doing the things within my family circle that I thought would make a difference and much to my surprise, they didn’t. I was met with resistance. So I’ve decided to pull back now and do things within my immediate family that I know are appreciated and will make a difference.
The Psychology of Colour: Blue
The color blue is one of trust, honesty and loyalty. It is sincere, reserved and quiet, and doesn’t like to make a fuss or draw attention. Blue hates confrontation, and likes to do things in its own way.
The Psychology of Colour: Red
I love the colour red. It is very energizing. It excites the emotions and motivates us to take action. It is a warm and positive color associated with our most physical needs and our will to survive. It exudes a strong and powerful masculine energy.
The Psychology of Colour: Turquoise
I love turquoise. I love its freshness and ability to brighten up a palette of colours. In terms of colour psychology it’s fantastic, if a little under-used at times. Turquoise is a mix of blue, green and yellow, and because of that communicates many of their attributes. It radiates the calm, communicative qualities of blue with the growth and balance of green, the hint of yellow provides the essential uplift that we associate so well with the colour.
Attitude of Gratitude
Well the end of 2012 was a bust for me. I had a cold which got better quickly and then ended up with bronchitis. All holiday travels plans came to a screeching halt.
Qualities of the Hummingbird
I have been doing some research about animal totems and have been playing closer attention to what animals cross my path each day. I have seen wild turkeys, a mink, bees, chipmunks, lots of birds and many other animals. I came across some information that suggested looking at animals in your life and what they represent. As of late, I have been intrigued by the hummingbird as it occassionally flies into my life.
I like to people watch. These days all of the technological gadgets are all the rage. To date, I have not latched onto any of these items. I do own an ipad, ipod, have cable or satellite and do not know how to text, nor am I interested in learning. Nothing brings me more joy than to spend time with those I love or to be working in a field that brings me joy on a daily basis. I especially love to spend time with my highly energetic daughter whom I love dearly. We love to spend time creating wonderful edible items in the kitchen together.
It has been an incredibly hot summer so far and I know farmers have been suffering the losses of this. I think that global warming is more of a reality than ever before.
I have just come off of a 10 day cleanse and then spent 2 days coming back onto solid food. Coming back onto solid food was an eye opening experience and has caused me to re-examine my relationship with with I eat.
I love to read about health. I am now spending more time figuring out how I can make healthier meals for myself and my family. I think when we spend time preparing food it speaks volumes about who we are as people. I have found myself over the last number of weeks leading up to this time being eternally grateful for all that I have in my life.
We have an usually warm spring and so it is late May and we have our whole garden planted. I think I may have planted these radishes too close together.
Shaving Creams & Soaps
Oh my, time goes by so fast! Sorry for not posting regularly. I have been busy with lots of orders and working on some new projects. I promise I will share soon : ) I usually post on twitter & facebook most everyday.
Spring arrived with beautifully. We had a couple of weeks of really warm weather and now we are back to mostly normal temperatures which will slow growth down outdoors.
Creating Your Vision
Many years ago, I read Shakti Gawain’s book, ” Creative Visualization” and it has long since stayed with me. Visualization is the technique of using your imagination to create what you want in your life. There is nothing at all new, strange, or unusual about creative visualization. You are already using it every day. Every minute in fact. It is your natural power of imagination, the basic creative energy of the universe, which you use constantly, whether or not you are aware of it.
In the past, many of us have used our power of creative visualization in a relatively unconscious way. Because of our own deep-seated negative concepts about life, we have automatically and unconsciously expected and imagined lack, limitation, difficulties, and problems to be our lot in life. To one degree or another that is what we have created for ourselves.
Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals
I have used medicine cards from time to time in the last number of years. Lately, I have been sorting through a lot in my life and have been consulting the cards more regularly. This divination system is based on the ancient teachings of Native America. The text explains how the cards can be used to receive guidance and healing messages from the animals. Medicine Cards are an great tool to use for personal growth and balanced living. One of the animals that has spoken to me lately has been the moose.
Working with Handmade Buttons
I love buttons. They can make a beautiful piece of clothing or a knitted sweater just pop or maybe to give new life to an old piece. So many things are made by machines or in faraway places. If it […]
Back to Work
Monday signals a return to school and for me a return to work. The first week of my daughter’s winter holidays, we had no snow. In the last week or so, we did get enough to toboggan and snowshoe.
Wake Up Calls
So here we are on the last day of 2011. In my part of Central Ontario, it seems as though winter has just arrived and I for one am thankful for that. If you don’t make friends with snow, it can be a very long winter.
I love autumn and watching the weather change. All the leaves are changing on the trees and the dying away is immenent. For those of us who live in this four season landscape, it is a time for pulling and re-examining even hibernating. This is also true of our lives on a continuous basis. As the moon cycles come and go, l believe that how we feel about everything around us.
I have been continuing to work on pendants pieces for my extra shop. I wanted to use put images on these pieces that are meaningful to me. One of icons that spoke to me in Canadian culture is the Inukshuk. […]
Getting Ready for Learning
I don’t know about where you live but here in Ontario, in the last couple of weeks we have been roasting without much relief. I have been busy getting ready for a week long jewellery course that I will be going to in Haliburton, Ontario. I am working on combining pendants and beads in porcelain into work with silver.
A few weeks ago, it finally warmed up enough to get our garden planted. Over the winter, I read a couple of good gardening books. The first one was “Carrots Love Tomatoes” which was suggested to me by Erin Chapelle of Karma Marketplace in Penetanguishene. It discusses companion planting in your garden and although I was a bit behind, I did manage a garden layout with this in mind.
The Making of a Green Thumb
I have always wanted to love dirt the way that I love clay, so this year I have put myself right in the middle of learning the gardening process. Even though it has been cool and rainy for the last little while, this weather has really allowed everything to become very green and lush. Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, it has caused the pollen to really explode and wreak havoc on their sinuses. My hubby is out cutting the grass this morning and here is an image out at the back of our home today.
Image Transfers onto Clay Surfaces – Part 2
I have been continuing my work with waterslide transfers (decals) onto clay surfaces and I am still finding myself enjoying it. I have owe a debt of gratitude to Danielle Maheu who is absolutely amazing with photoshop and has been a great help. Check out her photographic work @
Some days I marvel at how amazing life can be. I have a wonderful understanding family which I believe that we create for ourselves. Sometimes the lessons that our lives bring us aren’t what we would like but nevertheless there is something for us to learn from it. I feel truly blessed to have the life that I do.
Image Transfers onto Clay Surfaces
Some time ago I began trying to figure out how to transfer images onto clay. A few years back, I went to a one day workshop with Chris Snedden (www.chrissnedden.com) called “Transferring Images Onto Clay” where we used slip to transfer our images onto a surface either threw a screen or by transferring them onto a paper surface and then once it was dry, soaking the transfer in water and then adhering it to the surface.mm
Family Day in Canada
My new favourite holiday in Canada is Family Day. It is observed in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan on the third Monday of February. This holiday celebrates the importance of families and family life to people and their communities.
Winding Down The Year
Here we are Christmas Eve. Everyone is hustling and rushing to get shopping done, baking and making preparations for the years’ end. Lately, I have been pondering the kind of year that it has been.
Cuttle Fish Casting
Ok. I admit it. I have been missing in action and have been neglecting this blog. Everything is coming towards completion now that the year end is not so far away. In a few short weeks, I will have completed my jewellery casting class at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario and it really has given my a whole new perspective on jewellery making.
Well Thanksgiving is upon us and I have been completely swamped with work, homeschooling and getting ready for my favourite holiday. I have been MIA as I have been taking a jewellery casting class at a community college and I must say, it gives me a whole new appreciation for the work that jewellers do. I don’t think that it would be something for me to pursue and at the same time, it is good to learn a new skill and somehow be able to incorporate it into the work that I do or will be doing.
Jewellery Making with Porcelain Beads
A few weeks ago, I went to lovely Haliburton, Ontario for a one day wire jewellery course. It had been on my mind for some time to try working with wire and the beads that I am making with coloured porcelain clays that I make up. Suffice it to say, I have been snared by the metal bug.
Christmas in July
Christmas in July is in full force at Etsy. It’s a nice way to cool off during these hot summer months and maybe, just maybe get some holiday shopping done and be way ahead of the crowds come winter.
I have been thinking about my Dad as Father’s Day is approaching. He has been gone for 6 years now and I find myself still wanting to pick up the phone and call him. My Dad was the kind of guy who was very giving and who wouldn’t say no unless he absolutely had to.
Ode to a Good Friend
A good friend passed on today. It was evident to me that our 14 year old cat, Alsatia, was going to say good bye to us about 2 months ago. She had lost quite a bit of weight and wasn’t […]
Earth Day Giveaway
Laura Bucci is one of my favourite etsy artisans and she is participating this Earth Day giveaway.
Egyptian Paste Beads
I have been a little bead obsessed these days. I have been reading a book on coloured clay and one of the topics in the book was on making Egyptian Paste, also known as Egyptian Faience. When I was in school, one of my classmate made some of this up. It is quite unusual to work with as it is soda based and not so clay based even though there is clay in it.
When I was in college, one of my projects was to explore working with coloured clay. At the time, I wasn’t very interested in this topic and was indifferent about the piece that I made. When I look at this piece now, I feel differently about it. Exploring this topic had been on my mind for a while, so I started doing some research about where I wanted to go with this.
When my daughter was born, I scoured the Internet for products that were free of chemicals for babies and children. Their bodies are so pure and there are claims made by body-care companies that their products are all natural. I came across many websites with a wealth of information on additives and chemicals in shampoo, soap, and many other body products. The deeper that I dug, the more I realized there was a lot of information that could be uncovered and it wasn’t going to be all natural. When we did our Lamaze class at Serenity Birth Studio in Barrie, Ontario, she recommended using olive oil for a baby’s bottom instead of creams or baby oil which is a petroleum by product.
Ready for Spring
I have been finding myself changing direction with colour. Ever since I started exploring pastels for birthday cups, I have been longing for the smell of spring.
Design Style Guide Valentine’s Giveway!
I am a member of Design Style Guide and they are having a Valentine’s giveaway for 10 lucky people! I am part of this event and there are 10 great shops offering a giveaway in different demoninations.
Part 2 – Birthday Cups
A while back, I wrote a post about birthday parties and how I was planning on making cups for my daughters’ party guests. I have been giving a lot of thought to how much garbage we create and what each child to have a meaningful item to take home that could last a lifetime.
I did manage to get the job done. I had some interesting results and in the end I was happy with them. I am not a big stain user in glazes, so this was a new experience for me. Stains tend to be a lot more expensive to use than using oxides. If you spend enough time testing with oxides, you can come up with some wonderful results.
I love garlic. It is one of those plants that is fairly easy to grow. Some people say, “Why bother? It is so cheap coming out of China.” I like my food as organic as possible and I am a true believer and
supporter of the 100 mile diet. I like to support local as much as possible
Thank goodness it’s over!
I am not crazy about the holidays. I find it too stressful. I have become the head chef at my parents’ home. When I am going there, I need to prepare food ahead and if I don’t, I find myself shopping or eating out the entire time that I am there. I decided that I would go ahead of my husband and take my daughter to her grandmother’s for a week. Even though I only have one child, there is no down time with a busy 4 year old. I am not a shopper and usually don’t go near a grocery store or shopping mall unless I have too. Well, I ended up at a grocery store, 3 times in three days. I was not a happy camper. It was a challenging week.
So, here come the holidays. Are you ready? In our home, we have never been big on gift giving. We have always seen this time of year as a time for family, sharing stories and wonderful meals.
Well the holidays are upon us. In my family, we are not big on spending a lot of money on gifts and prefer to see the season as a time to get together with family, catch up and enjoy one another’s company. My daughter is not quite 4 and is beginning to get pretty excited about the big guy. She, of course, gets spoiled with gifts.
Making it work
I love the work that I do. That is no secret. I feel quite blessed to have a wonderful family, live in a beautiful area of Ontario and I am able to connect with a job that I love most days. I recently sat in on a webiner with a couple of guys of spoke about handmade work and all of the ways that you can be promoting yourself on various places on the internet.
Bells are ringing!
I have been working on some bells that I made as tree ornaments and completed them a few days. For those who are of a different faith the are also very useful to round everyone up for supper or get people out of bed. They make a wonderful display piece for a fireplace or bookshelf. I have a show to do this weekend in lovely Penetanguishene, Ontario. If you happen to be in the area, it will be at the Inn @ Bay Mooring – A Victorian Christmas – is the name of the show. Come by and say hello. Once that is over, I am going to do a step by step with photos of how to make these bells. The ball that makes the sound for the bell is raw fired clay and against and glazed bell, it makes a beautiful sound.
I have been working on some new mugs and am really like the forms and the glaze results. My kiln went in to be modified and we picked it up recently. I am happy to report that it works like a dream.
It is so wonderful to know that it is not going to overfire and that I will not need to watch over it. I am also working on a number of new pieces which I will be publishing when they are complete. Not that Hallowe’en is over, it makes me realize how close the holidays are. Here are some mugs that I made recently. Comments and feedback are always welcome.
Repairing my lifeline
In my last blog, I spoke about my kiln and how I have a love hate relationship with it. It turned out to be an electrical problem and also that my kiln was firing too hot on the top and the bottom. So, off it went to be modified so that it fires better and more evenly and of course, these modifications always set one back a few bucks. So for now I will keep working and looking forward to my kiln’s return and hopefully we will have a new start.
Why we do it
Lately I have been having a lot of firing nightmares. Sometimes my kiln fires too hot in some spots and sometimes too cool. At least when it is too cool, I can re-fire some pieces even though I don’t like to because it tends to make the clay weak. I am constantly reassessing what I potentially did wrong because sometimes it is something that I indeed am responsible for.
The kiln that I have was custom built on specks that my husband who is an electrical technologist. Turns out, 6 years later, it was not a great design for an oval kiln. The first piece used to be square. Maybe I can come up with a new shape for this or maybe one already exists?
I have been thinking a lot lately about how fortunate I am to live in Canada. I truly feel blessed to have open space, a roof over my head, a wonderful family, and a full belly everyday. So many in other parts of the world don’t have all of the necessities that we take for granted, like clean water, a comfortable place to live, and enough money to send their children to school.
Pressed Wildflower Tiles
I love this time of year. It hasn’t been an incredibly warm summer this year. This week we have been blessed with sunny, hot weather and wildflowers seem to love that. A few years ago, I began pressing flowers in clay. Some worked well and others didn’t. One of the ones that did was Queen Anne’s Lace. It was hardy enough to be pressed and pulled out without coming apart while others either did not leave enough of an impression because they are too delicate. Some of the hardier ones like Scotch Thistle are too deep and go right through the clay. Queen Anne’s Lace leaves amazing detail and during our past few crazy winters, I have often picked up a tile and was left remembering what summer felt like.
Yesterday I decided that I would press some before summer is gone and the flowers would dry up and wither.
I love to read books on Ceramics. Recently, I completed another book by one of my favourite potters, Robin Hopper. There is always so much to explore. So many clay bodies, types of firings, a huge range of surface decoration options and the list goes on. One of the wonderful things about working in clay is that the options for exploration seem to be limitless.
Haliburton School for the Arts Workshop with Jessica Steinhauser
At the beginning of May, I attended a workshop called “Contemporary Design & Traditional Techniques” in beautiful Haliburton, Ontario with the lovely and talented Jessica Steinhauser of “Stonehouse Pottery” in Guelph, Ontario.
Designstyleguide interview revisited
Here is the February interview with Designstyleguide in case you missed it!
1. What is your shop name and what do you sell?
My shop name is Janson Pottery. I sell handmade porcelain and stoneware pottery and tiles. [My work] can also be found at www.jansonpottery.com and www.craft.on.ca/portfolio/JanetHolson-Mazzer.