Welcome to my blog and thanks for reading. I post as often as I can listing upcoming events, interesting projects I am working on and some tips or two on using my favourite material - clay! If there is something you would like me to blog about, please send me a note. Please visit my website for more images of my work and an updated listing of events and happenings - http://www.taralynnefranco.com/

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tara CAN Read

As you may have noticed in the bottom right corner of my blog, I have been posting reviews of Canadian fiction I have been reading as part of the "Great Canadian Book Challenge Eh!". This section was getting a bit long, and I felt that I wanted to write more about these fantastic books, so I have started my second blog dedicated solely to my reading habit called Tara CAN Read - the "CAN" being the Canadian part .... So, I will soon be transferring over my reviews which will become more detailed over to this new site - http://www.taracanread.blogspot.com/. I hope you will drop in and visit and offer your thoughts on these books or suggest some of your own. I just finished "King Leary" by Paul Quarrington and have just begun "Not Wanted on the Voyage" by Timothy Findley.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Strange Closets

A while back when I was looking for images of pitchers to share with my pottery class I stumbled upon a fantastic blog called "Strange Closets" by Tate Gunnerson, a freelance writer from Chicago with a passion for design - http://www.strangeclosets.com/. This blog is a treasure-trove of all things design. I emailed Tate and he posted a profile of my work earlier this month. Click on the title of this blog entry to link to this section of his blog.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Beyond the Valley Studio Tour

I just returned home from a sucessful weekend as a guest at Richard Fisher's studio for the Beyond the Valley Studio Tour. It was great to see so many people out on such a lovely weekend and also see that the looming recession in the US (and in Canada as some fear) did not prevent people from purchasing handmade items from the artists on the tour. I was fortunate to have a feature photo in the Hamilton Spectator this week which resulted in a number of people coming to see my Spider Chrysanthemum wall piece. I had two available and both went to great homes within 5 minutes of eachother. Next stop in the fall season ... the Fall Guild Sale November 7-9th (see http://www.hamiltonpotters.ca/) and then my Holiday Open House and Sale here at my studio December 5th to 7th. See my website at http://www.taralynnefranco.com/ for details. I will be making some of the old favourites as well as new pieces perfect for holiday gift-giving and continuing to develop my line of pendants which I will also have for sale.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Trust Your Cape

This weekend I participated in an inspiring workshop given by Tony Clennell called "Lipstick on a Pig". We have all done it ... looked for that ultimate glaze that would "make" our pots and have possibly fell victim to loving a piece of ours or someone else's because of a sexy glaze, particularly when we were first exposed to pottery/ceramics. The purpose of this workshop was to go beyond this and look at the form which defines the true difference between pedestrian work and truly great work. Tony has achieved this and yet continues to see his glass half full, constantly re-examining his work which continues to improve as he works towards his Masters degree from Utah State. Tony demonstrated pieces throughout the 2-day workshop but this was only as a starting point to discussion about why we do what we do. Tony is a fantastic teacher - able to push the right buttons, get you thinking about your own work and how you might make it better. He has a great way of communicating with people that helps you understand what he is trying to get at. My favourite sayings from the weekend were "farting in a bathtub", finding your "Alaska" and "trusting your cape". We discussed, we had some hands on activities to do and the weekend ended with a critique of our favourite pots - either our own or others - which was done as a group. This was an interesting part of the workshop and something that could be repeated. Why shouldn't we get together in small groups for critique and suggestions... It will only make our work better. It is often easier for someone who is not as close to work to see other things that could be done and when necessary call your bluff ... I love this piece of Tony's ... mmmm gnar, gnar!

The final piece

You asked for it and here it is. My final piece for the Hands on History tile. I apologise for the quality of the photo of it which was taken on my floor and is really yellow. The piece was completed and then delivered the following day. It will be professionally photographed and I will have that photo at some point. The piece will be on display for one day only at the Gardiner Museum of Ceramics in Toronto on November 4th. Time TBA.