2019 has drawn to a close and it has been a challenging year in many ways, but I have done my best to harness those challenges and use that energy to make beautiful things.
Among the challenges, there were many bright spots to my year both personally and creatively. I wanted to take this opportunity to share my top five creative achievements with you!
One: My first book ever! ‘A Potter’s Dream: Myths and Legends’
‘A Potter’s Dream: Myths & Legends’ pairs my pottery creations with myths and legends from around the world retold with my own quirky spin.
You can get your own copy of this book here. It makes a great gift for those who love pottery, mythology or both!
Two: ‘The Healing Vase Project’:
was born out of my personal grief and that of others who shared their experiences with me. It was the most meaningful and special project that I completed this year. You can learn more about this project by watching the video below.
Three: Mother of Dragons – Raku Vase
2019 was the year that the television show ‘Game of Thrones’ ended. The ending was a disappointment to many of the fans, including me. But one thing I was not disappointed in was how my ‘Game of Thrones’ inspired vase turned out.
Four: ‘The Myth of Family’ – My first solo art show for my pottery.
In this month long solo exhibition, the Alchemist’s Studio explored family from a spiritual, cultural, emotional, and personal perspective through the use of sculpture, vases and mythology. Each piece tells part of the interwoven story that explores our collective roots and the twisted branches that tell the tale of our human family and experience through myths and stories from around the world and throughout time.
See the exhibit at Oxford Riverside Gallery as highlighted in the video below:
Five: Completed my first ‘Pit Firing’ of pottery.
One of the goals I set for myself last year was to explore alternative firing techniques. Firing pottery in a pit, or pit firing is an ancient practice that dates back to 25,000 – 29,000 BCE. Learn more about the process here and you can find some more of my examples of pit fired pottery in this gallery.
I guess it was a busier year than I thought! I would also give honourable mentions to a few other accomplishments in 2019. This was the first year that I was able to throw vases that reached the maximum height of my kiln, like this piece here.
There was also much work done on my studio. There is still much more work, but the progress was quite substantial as you can see below:
What pieces or projects of 2019 at the Alchemist’s Studio did you enjoy the most? You can stay current on all of our upcoming projects, news and special offers by subscribing to our newsletter here.
Your work is so beautiful!
Thank you for your kind words. I hope you are having a great day!
Thank you so much for your very kind comment! I hope your new year is off to a wonderful start!
Thank you so much for your very kind comment! I hope your year is off to a wonderful start.
Game of Thrones, eh? I never saw an episode in my life. I just about managed Downton Abbey in 2019!
It is a great series with a lot of twists and turns, but the ending was disappointing, as it seemed rush and the television writers had gone beyond the timeline of the books it was based on. Downton Abbey was very enjoyable. I recently watched a mini documentary on the current residents of estate where it was filmed. I hope you are doing well.
I was struck by the character of your studio building. Much of your pottery reflects, IMO, the character and spirit of the structure of the studio.
That is a very interesting observation. Thank you for sharing it! What do you see as the common threads between the two if you do not mind me asking?
The structure of the studio shows a subtle blend of simplicity of design coupled with beauty in the final form (color scheme detail). To me, this parallels the similar components of your pottery: Simple yet powerful design complemented by the beauty of the final coloration. In addition, both also share a stoic genesis. Pottery begins as unfinished raw material on the wheel. The studio began as a working farm shed in rough form. Both realize(d) a true metamorphosis.
Thank you for sharing these insights. I never really thought much about the studio, as I was probably too nose to the grindstone while it was happening and now it looks so different. I have not stained the shakes yet, but will be doing so to give the whole thing more longevity. Might have to go with clear,
I really appreciate your kind comment and insights and thank you for taking the time to explain them to me.
Looking forward to see more of your beautiful pottery in 2020 as well.
Thanks so much for your kind comment. Wishing you all the best for an amazing 2020! Hope your year is off to a great start!
Your art is so amazing!
I love the healing vase!
Congrats on all your accomplishments the past year.
I so enjoyed the videos and congrats on having your work on exhibition at The Oxford Riverside Gallery. (I know the town of Oxford very well.) 🙂
Thank you so very much for your very kind comment! I will be doing another Healing Vase in 2020! It is one of the most meaningful pieces that I have ever created!
May I ask your connection to the town of Oxford?
Wishing you all the best for an amazing 2020!
You are so welcome! It’s great you will be doing another healing vase. As for my connection to Oxford, I went to the wild blueberry festival with my sister and her family when I was back home on a visit . Loved it. I love blueberries 🙂 Wishing you also an amazing 2020. 🙂
Blueberries are a big thing around here! Did you get a picture with the giant blueberry? It always makes me smile when we are passing through Oxford and see people taking a picture with it! Hope you have an amazing weekend!
Yes, I did get a picture with the giant blueberry 🙂 It was a few years ago when I was at the festival but I have great memories. Thanks for the nice wishes,hope you too, have an amazing weekend!
You’ve had an amazing year. May this year continue to amaze.
Thank you for such a kind comment! I hope you are right and wish you the same!
You are really approaching your art and craft in thoughtful and creative ways. Congratulations on the results of this past year and wishing you continued growth in 2020!
Thank you so very much for your very kind comment! Wishing you a wonderful 2020 full of creativity and joy!
Congratulations on a very productive and creative year!
Thank you for your very kind comment Mark! I hope your year is off to a wonderful start.
Congratulations on the book and beautiful art😊
Thank you so much for your very kind comment! Wishing you all the best in 2020!
Wonderful work! Here’s to an ever creative 2020!
Thank you for such a kind wish! Wishing you a cozy cat filled 2020!
Your work is stunning! I love every piece you create and I love my book!!!!
I am so happy and thrilled that you love my book. That is high praise coming from such a talented wordsmith. Hope you are well 😉
Congrats on a very productive year! And your improved studio looks nice enough that u could rent it out as an Air BNB when you’re not firing pieces 🤗
Thanks! It is not quite there yet, but that is indeed part of my plan. I am wanting to put a sleeping loft in it, but more on this once the spring comes and I get back to working on it. Hope you are well 😉
It’s so gorgeous! Well done on the book!!
Thank you so much for your very kind comment! I hope your 2020 is off to a wonderful start!
It’s all wonderful work. Very interesting videos, as well as the music that compliments them
Thank you so much for your very kind comment! I hope your 2020 is off to a great start!
You’re welcome! Thank you. Same
Thank you Anna! All the best for 2020!
A extraordinary potter you be!
I am not sure if it was intended, but I read your comment in the voice of Yoda 😉 Hope you are well and your year is off to an excellent start!
The misunderstood mysterious blogger?
“Always with you what cannot be done. Hear you nothing that I say?…You must unlearn what you have learned….Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.”
— The Empire Strikes Back
haha! You know that is one of my favourite quotes right?
Mysterious blogger with you the force is.
Thanks for more smiles!
That Game of Thrones piece is beautiful. Thank you and have a beautiful New Year.
Thank you for such a very kind comment! It is one of my favourite pieces as well. I hope you have a wonderful 2020!
You’ve got a lot of talent! My mother took pottery classes back in the 70s so i have some knowledge of what’s involved. 🍁
Thank you so much for your kind comment! Do you have any of her pieces left that she made?
Yes… and I treasure them. She’s 92 now!
I thought your G.O.T. piece was pretty cool… clearly you’ve synthesized or abstracted a lot of the material/themes… which is what good potters do, I guess! (I visited one near Ottawa, who seemed part mystic, part potter.) 🙂
Oh that is so amazing that you still have and treasure some of her creations from so many years gone by! There is so much of a person that goes into such pieces that they have a special energy.
Part mystic, part potter? I think that may be what I aspire to. Working on the wheel is really amazing for adding zen and clarity to life. Thanks for sharing and your kind comments! Wishing you a wonderful rest of the week 😉
Your work is lovely! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for such a kind comment. I hope you are well and your year is off to a wonderful start.
You create amazing pieces!
Thank you Mark!
Wow accomplished so much in just a year, that’s really awesome. More power to you for year 2020 🙂
Thank you so much for your very kind comment and wishes Nilesh! I hope you have an incredible 2020!
This is the definition of true, dynamic art!
Thank you so very much for such a kind comment! Wishing you all the best in 2020 and beyond!
As always great art work and I´m sure you´ll be o.k this year.
Thank you so much for your kind comment and encouraging words. I hope you have an amazing 2020!
Aestheticism at its best. Anand Bose from Kerala
Thank you so much Anand for your kind words! Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
I enjoy your quirky takes.
Glad you had a productive 2019, and congratulations on your accomplishments. Hope have an even better 2020!
Beautiful work and your studio looks like it’s going to be great!
Thank you, Gemma!
I was so moved by seeing this! Thank you so much for caring and for sharing.
My pleasure and thank you for taking the time to comment. It means so much. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Such beautiful creations. I like to believe that beautiful creations equal a beautiful creator’s soul.
Beautiful art! Thanks for connecting!