Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pottery Class Starts again at Brookside Pottry, Tulsa

We are getting ready to have a good time making pottery again with new classes at Brookside Pottery.

These are the most recently scheduled classes and of course I will do spontaneous get togethers, scout troops, birthday parties, ladies night out, parent/child classes and most recently Bunko groups as well.

The next beginning class starts Tuesday, Sept 1st from 6-9:30 pm. The cost is $150 for 6 weeks plus materials about $38. You will learn the basic hand building techniques, glazing and more.
Dress comfortably, trim those nails and bring something to drink. I have the tools and clay you need. I demonstrate a new technique every night and you can monkey see monkey do or if you have I particular project in mind using the basic technique of the evening we will make it happen.

The class is full of a lot of information and is a lot of fun. You can work and socialize as much as your heart desires. You won't be bored and you will learn a lot.

I think there is one space available as of Sunday Aug 30th.

Another class:
Intermediate to Advanced Students will begin the Wed after labor day from 6-9:30. The class fee is the same $25 each time we meet and there is an additional firing and glazing fee determined by the amount of pots you produce. There are two spaces left in this class as of Aug 30th.

Open Workshop
Punch cards with work time at the shop, designed for those with big ideas and the know how to produce will be available after labor day. The fee is $25 and the card can be purchased in multiples of two, once to make it and once to glaze it. Work time will be individually arranged. Saturdays are a great time to work this into your schedule.

Looking forward to a busy and productive fall.

For more info call
Linda Coward (918) 747-7574 or cell at (918) 697-6364.

Don't delay, call now!

Earning your Pottery Scout Badge at Brookside Pottery

Brookside Pottery is here to help you learn the art & earn your pottery badge in an artist's studio.
I have been helping scouts earn their pottery badges for years and I can help you too. See the details below and spread the word. If you have any questions about earning the badge and how we can do it, just give me a call. The studio is also available for helping scouts make great Christmas presents or have really fun get togethers and birthday parties.

Who? All scouts and other interested persons who need help learning the basics of pottery making. I have the knowledge, equipment and space to make this fun. Over the past 35 years many local scouts have come to Brookside Pottery to make pottery and complete the pottery badge requirements.

What? Any kind of scout or organization badge you need. Just bring me a copy of your requirements and I can make it happen.

Where? Brookside Pottery is now located at 1138D East 37th Street, down the alley off 37th Street. It is a small creative studio with a garden outside complete with a picnic table for refreshment time.

When? Work time can be arranged individually. We can meet during your regular meeting time or on weekends at your convenience. Day or night, we are flexible. For an additional fee I can come to your regular meeting space although the real studio experience is fun and recommended.
The class usually lasts from one to one and a half hours including refreshment time.

One overall $25 instruction fee and $20 per person includes clay, materials and firing. Students may return a second time for only $10 for glazing finished projects. There are several options for the second projects.

For more information or to schedule a meeting time call:
Linda Coward, Brookside Pottery
1138D E. 37th Street
Tulsa, OK 74105

(918) 747-7574 work
(918) 697-6364 cell

Thank you for supporting your local potter!

All About Lisa Wilson's Crone Chronicles, a one-woman play and more

Crone? Is that something I ever want to be? Am I really that old? Is it time to start thinking "Old?"

Lisa Wilson presented her one-woman play at the Nightingale Theatre last night and sure enough, she is four years younger than I am and there were the issues. Madness? Mid-life crisis? Menopause? Family? It was a personal journal that hit home for me and for my husband as well.

We left the theatre with insight and insecurity. Were all these problems just around the corner for us as well and truly unavoidable? Yes. I continue to think through these issues today after seeing the play and confess I have actually been thinking about this all these heavy issues all this week anyway, waiting for my cortisone shot in my arm to save me.

Lisa deals with her drug-ridden, bi-polar sister, her needy and independent Mother who gets remarried at 71 and has a terrific 17-year marriage. Her Mother dies from congestive heart failure, brought on by the stress of Lisa's younger sister. The doctor tells her she has about a month or so live and the Mom so graciously asks the doctor if she can just give him a great big hug in her oh-so-Tennessee way.

The play is a personal journal. I am sure writing it was a therapeutic release for Lisa and I appreciate her willingness to be so open making herself quite vulnerable to the imperfections we all fear.

This morning I heard an appropriate quote on NPR. Can't remember who said it but it went something like, "Everyone my age is so much older than I am." Ever since I turned about 35 I have not been able to tell how old anyone is. I can tell when people are too old for their age and act stuffy and presumptuous. And now I cannot stand to see adults trying to make their kids grow up fast and be more mature than their friends and relatives. It all happens too fast anyway. You know. the old sex, drugs, and rock and roll stuff and throw in the Britany Spears influence and pre-mature sexuality. Lord, lord, I must be getting old to write and think this way!

So how about those issues? I have always been able to do pretty much whatever I please. Physically I could achieve what I want except for that little girl kind of boy body. Not in the genes. Those old German farm ladies give me the strength to do what I need most of the time. The arm is a bit whimpy but will soon, most likey be repaired.

Family issues are never resolved. I am the one who moved away and grew away from family traditions the most. I love my family but it can be hard to relate some times. My interests fell far from the family tree. I got distracted by the big wide world. My spirit is hard to catch.

And there is the losing friends to cancer thing. Oh, I have so been there. However, Lisa told a hilarious story about being stuck with a dear friends ashes that were the "overflow" from the urn. She carried the friend's extra ashes around for a couple of years in her trunk unable to find the right time to tell his young wife that he did not "fit" in the vase. He was rather large and she was looking for a convenient time to explain to the grieving wife. It was too ridiculous to be made up. Cancer sucks and it threatens us all.

Menopause was no big deal. There we rely on those good old German genes again. My body stayed youthful for a long time. I began to fear getting pregnant in my 50's. I was glad to finally end the "red plague."

Success in life? What does that really mean? Am I happy? Have I accomplished enough? Should I try harder to be a famous artist now that the kids are out of the house? Is kicking back and not working myself to death OK now? What about all those projects? What about relating to all the changes in my neighborhood business world? Are you going to finish the book? Are you going mad? Do you exercise enough? Are you going to gain the 15 pounds back? Should you color your hair? Does anybody care? Do I need more balance? Am I taking advantage of my strengths? Should I try harder to make more money? Yikes. Maybe I should not have seen the play after all. It made me a little neurotic. It hit close to home.

Step one, put on exercise clothes. Step two, know you are dressed for the event. Step three, go for a walk. Step four, be greatful for everything that makes your life so wonderful.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Linda Coward's New Angel Ideas and Inspiration soon to come.

A special order complete for Karen Keith barely fits in the kiln.

Based on an original concrete idea from below Mexico, this piece serves as a birdbath outside. It was a challenge in clay because of the original thickness and size of the design. It had to be fired sitting on a half shelf and hanging over.

This photo shows the original broken figure and a mock up which stimulates the ideas for my new angels.

Oops, so I never blow up anything, or had not blown up anything in about 25 years. The new figure was sitting there when I closed the lid of the kiln. I looked in the kiln after several weeks of work and 2 months drying and pow- nothing but clay shards, Was it damp or was there a secret air pocket I forgot about. I feared opening the kiln but it survived with no harm done. Another reason to have a top of the line L&L kiln. And of course, I happen to sell them as well. Months of work, gone. Luckily hardly anything in the kiln was damaged. I heard it pop while firing and did not sleep well that night fearing the worst damage to the kiln and the work of others I was firing with it.

I cannot wait to get started on this years new angel idea. I am hope I still have lots of familiar customers who want to collect them as well. As you may know, I come up with a new angel design every year based on something that happened from the new year.

So Karen Keith brought me a garden piece made from concrete that had broken in her back yard and asked me if I could remake it in clay. It took several tries and many months and finally I got it. The original design from from somewhere south of the border. She did not remember exactly where it came from. I loved the design and form and decided to take it on even though it had a lot of challenges from forming to firing.

Now I want to reinterpret it in clay as a holiday angel who will sit on the edge of a shelf and hold a candle as well. I will make it in at least a couple of sizes and add wings with gold tips and an area for a candle. I may reinterpret the form as one, two or three figures at a time. I cannot wait to get started but have to wait until next week for my arm to heal a bit more.

I will have these in process on line over the next couple of months and you can write or call to order one or two. Can't wait to make these happen. Watch and see. I am excited to share these ideas and make these angels soon. Such a new design!

I miss my friends from Israel

There we were all summer long teaching in the camp in the Poconos and every now and then we got a little break and had some fun. I was only there for four plus weeks but they were there for 8 weeks most of them from Israel, escaping the summer heat, wonderful professional artists and scientists and we had a great time getting to know each other. Some were from Israel, some NYC and Canada. We had a wonderful time and the kids learned from out professional experiences as well. The quality of the staff was terrific and sometimes we got to play a little.

Yaell cools her feet in the Deleware River waterfall. She has done a wonderful painted series about women's feet and taught jewelry at the camp.

up up the steps in the Highpoint State Park Pennacle
we all had sore legs for 3 days

40cent wing night at a local restaurant was a good relief from camp food

sharing ideas and stories

We escaped to the waterfall one morning with bagels for breakfast, getting inspired by the environment for a full days work

the pennacle at High Point State Park

Nadov the hard working instructor, man of fitness and science

Micky the very tallented painting and drawing instructor

Joe, not from Israel, who asked me to relieve him as pottery teacher as he started a new teaching position in Arkansas

Jamie and Matt, she is an actress in NYC and he taught film making.

3 science teachers, Nadov, Michelle and Sarah wait for breakfast

The music teachers 83 year old Mother comes to the waterfall with us chair and all

Sarah, Irit and I wait for lunch in the gazebo

Before we climbed the pennacle and had sore legs for 3 days


A trip to NYC, during one of our 3 days off

"Lilac Toes to all my friends in Israel"
I miss you.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Where to Stay in Costa Rica, VistaValVerde is looking great!

Just got an email from my good friend Tom Ackley and he has completed his ever so wonderful B&B in San Ramon, Costa Rica.
It is really looking good and he is ready for business and the word is getting out about their beautiful new cabins and what terrific cooks they are as well. I highly recommend staying with them if you are heading to Costa Rica. They are wonderful company, great cooks and grow a lot of the food they are serving as well.
There are the latest photos and go back to January 2009 and you can see what a great time we had while I was there as well as many more photos of their B&B and all the incredible food and music too.
It is really looking good Tom! I am still hoping to bring a pottery class down as well!

Go to for more info.

What do you mean "rest"?

Roxy Paine's stainless steel trees on top of the Met in NYC, just like in the yard of the contemporary museum in Fort Worth. The view overlooks Manhattan. Wow.

Trees in Central Park in NYC

Waterfall on the Deleware River in the Poconos where we slipped out for breakfast one morning.

Well, well, well. So I go to the arm doctor and my super woman strengths have worked against me. I am not wimping out but, I gotta rest my arm for 5 days. The doctor was a real sweetheart of a knowledgeable man so I really ought to do what he says. It is just not easy to STOP.
After 35 years and many pots and lifting clay on a daily basis there may be a rotary cuff problem, maybe. Maybe I should not have unloaded 5,000 pounds of clay in one week but it was fun while it lasted.
There is a bone spur and arthritis and maybe an aggravated rotary tear or something. But first there is the cortisone shot and 5 days of not making stuff to see if that will suffice. So I agreed to not throw and begged to hand build. No, not even using a rolling pin is OK. Otherwise there will be a scheduled MRI and outpatient surgery might follow. Hummph.
The brain starts clicking quickly. How about pinch pots, painting, writing, reading? Well there is always cleaning so that is on the list anyway.
How can a person who just helped throw 700 pots or so in camp with kids just stop? Why is that person surprised to find herself sitting in the doctor's office?

It is all about balance isn't it? And it also gives me more time to write and plan. OK. Sunday it is back to serious arm use!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Transition from Camp to Home

We walked through central park finding our way to galleries and museums from the subway.

Looking off the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art shows a lovely NYC skyline.

Times Square has a special area with room for lawn chairs for people watching and making it more neighborly than it used to be. I think it was part of the parks dept making it happen.

The pottery building where I spent most of my time teaching at camp.

The throwing room has a beautiful panoramic view overlooking the trees and lake at the camp. There were 12 brent wheels for the students and my wheel to teach from. Take note of the 100's of little pots we made in the background. It was a great place to teach and learn.

Sometimes I wonder how most of America lives. Sometimes it seems like Tulsa OK is a "normal" place to live, and then I visit somewhere else. After teaching in a camp in the Poconos for over a month and having easy access to NYC I began to feel a bit deprived, not to be confused with having a pity party. I love adventure and camp was a wonderful adventure.
My 3 days off included two trips to NYC. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park are truly New York and after a while I got used to the subway and began to understand just how it works. As my husband told me when I left for camp I tried to explain my fears of getting lost, "It's not rocket science. You just get off and go back if you get lost." I just think underground travel is a little creepy. The second trip included half a day in Soho, on Spring Street. It was there that I began to once again why it is hard to get ahead in the design world while living in Oklahoma. The galleries and design shops were fascinating. I could see the edginess of my sons designs popping through with florescent colors and design innovations everywhere. Even the street vendors had cool stuff for sale. It was the first time I ever felt like I could stand the idea of living in New York City. And yes, more people live that way that the way we live in middle America. Another revelation was how friendly everyone was. Anytime we asked directions people were quick to answer and very friendly.
Only a few days ago it seemed like I would never get home again. Every minute was busy at camp. I taught so many kids how to throw on the potter's wheel in 4 weeks. The excitement of the kids learning to throw is priceless. They made a lot of really interesting pots as we spent two days on the the technical part of throwing and the final day on self expression and design. Having taught hundreds of kids to throw, I wrote on facebook, "I think I could teach a monkey to throw now." We had a lot of fun trying to make cool pots on the wheel in just a couple of days. There were lots of giggles and redesigning off center pottery. "Let's make it into something cool!" was said a lot.
The camp is located in the Pocono mountains of PA. It felt like a foreign country. Most of the other faculty members whom I adored were all from Israel. After a while I could not even tell if a person had an accent because it became so familiar. The camp had campers and staff from all over the world including South Africa, Australia, England, Germany, Ireland and more. Is PA really a part of the US? It did not feel like it to me. It was a wonderful environment.
As a child, I never had the opportunity to go to a summer camp so it was a new experience for me. The campers are there for either 4 or 8 weeks. That is a long time for a child to be away from home but very "east coast" from what I hear. The kids were wonderful to work with and kept there energies high.
The night before I left after working very hard for about 5 weeks my resistance must have fallen and I finally got a bad camp cold. So weird ears popping and not popping on long exhausting airline flights led to staying in bed for a whole day when I got home. And, maybe that was not such a bad thing. It gave me a day of transition to stay under the covers and sleep as I reentered my own comfortable lifestyle. I exited the plane and my husband was at the gate to meet me with flowers and chocolate. It was nice to get back home.
Just a little more recovery time and I will get this blog going again including my link to ShopBrooksidePottery which I hope to develop into a good sales outlet this fall. I will get it all together soon. It is nice to be home.