Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hey Folks-
we're still alive in the real world, just not online for the next month or so whilst we struggle to fix our current computer mess...
Thus we're still not checking email in anything remotely resembling a timely fashion. If you need to contact us, please CALL 304-377-1952.

That being said, we've been on the road for most of December, the first half for business, the 2nd for pleasure. And we're not done yet. Heading up to Canada to visit some more, then back home to frantically make pots for our 2nd Florida trip of the season.

We're still broke & thus very open to any special orders you might have in mind. Call us. We'll talk!
And if anyone has a cheap MacBook for sale, please, by all means, let us know ASAP. I'm dying here without it...
Next post will have some pics, i promise.
That's all for now from us crazy pottery folks.
Keep on keeping on & remember that it's getting lighter every day now! Yay light!!!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

holla to mah peeps!
just checking in, using my step-Mom's PC cause my much beloved iBook has died a horrible death. I did get 5 good years out of it, but am still stunned and saddened by its demise, which, like every computer death, ever, was bad timing.

It especially was bad timing because it means i didn't get to do any promotion for my annual Holiday Sale at the Art of Fire in Laytonsville, MD which happened last weekend.
Now, stop moaning & banging your head on the keyboard, cause it's also happening again next weekend. And that WILL be your last chance to shop Dancing Pig before the holidays.

So, be sure to come on out to the show THIS weekend: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, December 7, 8 & 9 from 10 til 5 each day.
Directions are here: directions to Art of Fire

We've got lots of pots for sale.
Great leather from GreenMan Leather & all sorts of great stuff from Tuatha.
There's even an extra special, previously unannounced special: we found & put together 4 Newgrange Lamps!!! That's right! If you act quickly, you can be the proud owner of one of these beautiful & very rare lamps. Complete your Newgrange collection & then collecting a new line of Dancing Pig Pots. We've got lots of Ceilidh & Crow pots & next weekend we'll have our first every casseroles, cookie jars & vases in both of those lines, fresh from the kilns.

Come on out & enjoy some holiday shopping with integrity. We're about as far from the maddening crowd at the mall as you can get, we've got hot cider, good cookies, a warm welcome & amazing loot for every Celt & anyone else with great taste on your list.
Plus, we're really, really broke right now & i really want a new computer-soon!. Please help support your friendly neighborhood freak... err, potter. oh, and get some great gifts for all the great folks on your list!

Thanks for your support & we look forward to seeing you this weekend!!!

PS did i happen to mention, in all my moaning about my computer's death, that i can't check mah email these days? Cause, well, i can't. So, if you want to communicate with me, please be old fashioned & call us: 304-377-1952. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

No, this is not the hangover from our moderately successful Florida Pirate Festival, it's my primal scream of frustration over my laptop deciding that since i was on vacation, it was taking one too!
Only, it seems that my motherboard is on a permanent vacation. Which it decided to take just as i was gearing up to do the mailing for our annual Holiday Open House.
So, until Apple mails back my G-4 with its THIRD new motherboard, this is the only place you can find the details about it.

Despite a stunning lack of publicity, we ARE having & inviting you to

our annual Holiday Open House.
We're setting up the Celtic Annex at Art of Fire in Laytonsville, MD on
Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 10 til 5 each day
November 30, December 1 & 2 and doing it all again December 7, 8 & 9
Dancing Pig is debuting our TWO (!) new lines of pottery, our Crows & my newest collaboration (w/ Jillian of Mydwynter Studios) our Ceilidh pots. Yah gotta come by & fondle the new pots with their cool carving & glazes!

GreenMan Leather is going to have new stuff to show off as well. Wooden sided bags perfect for protecting your cameras & laptops, Band Braces, Cigarette Cases, the list goes on.

Tuatha is going to be there as well, with everything else any Celt (or anyone with great taste) desires. There will be Stained Glass, Jewelery & great Holiday Greeting Cards.

And of course, just across the parking lot, there's Art of Fire, with their incredible glass & gift gallery.

If you can't find gifts for everyone on your shopping list, you need better friends!

Plus, there's the added bonus of our beautiful, serene, peaceful setting. All of this is happening far, far away from the craziness of suburban shopping mall hell.

You'll be finding gifts that come with a wonderful by-product: they're all handmade, by human beings, whose passion for their craft shines through in everything they do. It's integrity you just won't find at the mall. Plus, the parking is much, much better!

Come on out to the Open House & do ALL of your holiday shopping with us!
Directions to Art of Fire can be found on their website: or you can be old fashioned & call us for directions, special orders & other details.
You can reach Dancing Pig & GreenMan Leather at 304-377-1952
& Art of Fire at 301-253-6642.
remember, until my laptop comes back-- probably middle of next week, November 27 or 28, i'm without email, so call us if you need to talk!

See you the first two weekends in December!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Greetings from sunny Florida!
Dancing Pig Pottery & Greenman Leather are on the first leg of our southern winter tour. We just had an reasonable weekend at the Lady of the Lakes Renaissance Festival.
OK, it was better than reasonable, but for the first time ever, GreenMan Leather OUTSOLD Dancing Pig. By more than two to one!. While i'm grateful that Darrell's leather was there to make what otherwise would have been a disastrous show, moneywise at least, into a success, my pride hurts!
I'm trying to get over it. And i'm also uploading pictures from that show here, so the good people at the Florida Pirate Festival can see how wonderful we are & let us into their show which is happening two weekends from now.
We're all about the pirate thing, so we really want to be there. If you know anybody connected with the show, put in a good word for us, please and thanks.
Here's a link to their very cool site: Florida Pirate Festival
and here is a link to some pictures of our booth at Lady of the Lakes (and some extra pics thrown in for good measure): jury photos for Florida Pirate Fair
if you don't have enough time to see the whole album, here are a few of my favorites:

Friday, September 07, 2007

Finally, some pictures!

Heck, we've even got a whole album up here: Opening weekend of Maryland Renn Fest.

It's been a great show so far. So good, in fact, that i have to stay at home this weekend & make more pots. So, the Celtic Weekend is happening without me.
Good news for you, there is going to be lots and lots of Ceilidh pots & some Crow pots & lots of Pyrate pottery there.

So go get 'em while they're fresh from the kiln.
And have fun at the Maryland Renaissance Festival for me. Remember our unofficial motto:
"Have all the fun you want. We'll make more!"

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Maryland Renaissance Festival.
It's happening. Now.
So stop reading this, get your garb on & get out here.
It's fun. You'll like it. No, strike that. You'll freeking love it.
Turkey Legs, Pottery, Men in kilts, Wenches in bodices, Great Pottery, Good music & improv, lots of fun people watching. oh, and did i mention- Great Pottery!
You're still here?

Get out of here!!!
and remember unoffical motto Dancing Pig, esp when we're at MDRenn Fest:
"We're all here cause we're not all there"

Seriously folks, come see us at the Festival. Buys some pots. You'll be glad you did.
Here's the link: Maryland Renaissance Festival

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Remembering who i wanted to be

it's early July & once again i find my self with not enough time, not enough money & far too much anxiety about Pennsic, one of my favorite shows of the year.
I've been doing this show for twenty{mumblemumble} some years and i still haven't ever felt really ready for it. Guess it's true, some people never learn!
Still, every year i seem to live up to my ex-husband's observation that, to paraphrase:"every year you bitch about how you don't have any pottery ready and every year you then manage to pull an extra 20 boxes of pottery out of your arse in the last week before we go"
It's true, but it's also rather painful, the pulling it out at the last minute trick. Still and all, i guess it beats the alternative which i suppose would be not really having enough pottery ready for War.
and with that entirely predictable whine, i'm off to the studio to make some pots for Pennsic.
See you at War, or if not then, at the Maryland Renn Fest!
with love & exhausted, muddy hugs
~Va aka the mad potter wot posts at midnight

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Fairie Fest Fun!
Had to share the awesome pics my friend Lauren took at the Maryland Faerie Festival this year!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Fairie Festivals!
just a quick note about how awesome the Spoutwood Fairie Festival was this year!
This event has become more than just another show for us, it's a wonderful great good time with awesome folk in an amazing setting. Shows like this remind me of why i work so hard at being a potter. It's an honor for me to be included among the awesome & talented artisans & the exuberant volunteers who do so much to create such a beautiful, sacred space.
For me, Fairie Festivals are full of amazing, intoxicating energy & Spoutwood Farm seems to be seeped in the accumulated magic of 16 years of this heady joy!
If you missed it, i'm sorry for you. Listen to me next time & come on out already!
If you made it out, thank you so much for contributing to the magic, laughter & light. Have you become as addicted to the fun of Fairie Festivals yet? Then come on out to the Maryland Fairie Festival on May 19 & 20. It's the same, but different. A different setting, a younger show, still full of earth centered joy. Come see for yourself!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Pot shots!
I've finally gotten some pictures of my pots up online. Check them out here.
These pics are from Gulf Wars, an SCA show we went to in March 2007, so they're relatively recent. Hope you enjoy them!
And of course, if you ever want to buy some pots from us online, just send us a quick email telling us what you're looking for & we'll go from there! You can always find us at
I've gotta get out to the studio so i can make some more pots. Fairie Festival season is almost upon us!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

We're home from our Spring Open House & while we couldn't have asked for better weather, our sales were a bit disappointing. We did get to spend 3 days hanging outside in amazing weather, enjoying the Maryland countryside & visiting with lots of friends & family. That was all good, but sadly, not lucrative. D. claims our sales suffered because the weather was too good!!! can you imagine?! I slapped my hand over his mouth & told him to never utter those words again! Too Good?! Blaspheme! I can (and have) complained about all sorts of things at shows, but never about that the weather was too good! (Don't tell D., but i think he might have had a point-- after several weekends of rotten weather, i think lots of folks opted to stay at home & enjoy the wonderful weather for a change). But what can you do? Well, we just soaked up the sunshine & friendship.
So, we're still broke but we're moving on.
Next up: a double header!
That's right- we're going to be in two places at once!
OK, if you want to get all technical about it, our POTTERY is going to be in two places at once this coming weekend-- at both the Southern Maryland Celtic Festival (a Saturday only wonderful event in southern Maryland- you shouldn't miss it!) and here in West Virginia, basically in our backyard at Blackstone Raids. More details about those events can be found on our calendar page.
Now, i leave you with a few silly pictures from the past weekend:
This is a crow bottle, picked more or less at random, making a tour of the Art of Fire's Studio. It was fun to play about with the camera & all the colors at AoF! I can't imagine working in all that color everyday! (let alone dusting it all!) Still, it is amazingly beautiful!

So, with another thank you to Foster & Theda, our wonderful hosts for the weekend, i'm going to say goodbye for now. I've gotta go make some more pots!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pagan Pots!

i was asked about pots with pentacles on them. I do make some great pagan pots, but pentacles aren't the star (ah ah!) of this line. My unique pots have the Celtic/Pagan wheel of the year on them. Here are some informal pictures of what i do:

Here are some of the Pentacles i do put on pots- here on goblets from my Landscape line. Each goblet has the pentacle on one side & triple moons on the other. They sell for $29 each

And here we have some pictures of my Seasons pottery. The platters are a limited edition- i'm only going to make 365 of them. Each one is signed & numbered on the back. Right now we're in the 50s. We also have teabowls with one holiday on each (shown in front of the blue & green aka Landscape platter) and goblets (in front of the green & white aka Celtic Vine platter)

And finally, two bowls also in the Landscape pattern. The larger has all 8 holidays on it, the smaller only the 4 seasons/major holidays.

That's a brief taste of what we make in the pagan line. Come see these & other pots in person soon!
Bright Blessings

Monday, April 16, 2007

we're back from North Carolina Renn Fest!
Sadly, the last day got rained out, but big time.
We also got a wee bit o' rain back here in our little river valley. I had stayed at home this weekend, ostensibly to make more pots, but i mostly took pictures of the flooding of the river that runs just behind our house and studio. Those pictures are online at my Kodak Gallery.
The Faire closed early on the last Sunday, but D. couldn't leave till Monday morning because our trailer wasn't accessible until then. :(
We did fine at NCRF, but we're still broke, broke, broke. So we're both busy getting ready for our Open House at Art of Fire this next weekend. We'll have the new crow pots (she types in her most enticing voice) (pics of the newest pots later this week i promise!)
meanwhile, here's a picture of the welcoming committee greeting D.'s return from NCRF:

type at cha later, i gotta go finish some pots for this weekend!

Monday, April 02, 2007

North Carolina Renn Fest, 1st weekend report

Darrell's home safely from the first weekend at the North Carolina Renaissance Festival. We've got a great spot, just inside the front gate. The booth is up & full of lots of pottery & leather as well.
D. reports that Saturday was nearly perfect weather wise. Actually, he told me that the weather was too nice, if that's even possible! He's gotta stop with the crack smoking!
Anyway, according to D. Sunday was a disappointment both in terms of attendance and weather.
So, good citizens of Raleigh NC, what's up with that?!
You have two more weekends to check out the Renn Fest in your midst, so put on your Faire clothes & come out to play! It's a fantastic site full of friendly folks and wonderful crafts-- one might even say it's worth of a road trip (she types in her best come hither voice)(it's surprisingly difficult to type while batting one's eyelids!)
And don't forget to bring some Dancing Pig Pottery home with you as a souvenir of your day at the Festival!
See you at Faire (on the last weekend, at least)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Gulf Wars prostelisization paraphernalia, err, i mean, report.

This was the 2nd time Dancing Pig had been to Gulf Wars and the first time i've been.
After D. & Rob went last year, D. came home & told me it was better than Pennsic.
I was all: "blasphemer! How dare you say such a thing?"

Well, after going down to check it out for myself i'm here to testify.
Much, much more fun than Pennsic.
Less money. More fun.
Aside from the less money part it was all the things i love about Pennsic & none of the things i don't. And Gulf Wars has better weather & amazing croissants fresh from the bakery every morning!

So, you have to come down & try it out. At least once.
Yes, it is that cool.
As further incentive, here's a picture of all the folks who camp or hang out in the bog--Proof that you do know folks who go to Gulf Wars.

And if you come, i promise you'll make lots more friends.
Here we are with some new "feels like i've known them forever already" pals.

You too can hang out with great people and make new friends. All you need to do is come down to Gulf Wars next year.
See ya there!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

We're home from Gulf Wars
but not for long!

Since we didn't sell as much pottery or leather as we'd hoped to (& really, i'm not sure i'll ever manage to do that) we're still in the throes of our extra-special-before-the-spring-season-gets-started-broke money drought.

So, on the "it never hurts to ask" school of thought, we called up the friendly folks at the North Carolina Renaissance festival this Monday & asked if they could squeeze us in somewhere.

Guess what. Yep. They're happy to have us!

So, Dancing Pig is hitting the road AGAIN. TOMORROW!

That's right! We'll be driving south tomorrow, heading for Raleigh, NC and the three weekend long North Carolina Renaissance Festival.
The show is going on at the Heritage Village section of the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, NC for the next 3 weekends.
The hours are a bit tricksky (meaning they change about a bit) so check out their website for details, but it's opening this weekend: Saturday March 31 & Sunday April 1.
Then there's a special Friday at the Faire: Friday April 6.
Usual hours on Saturday April 7 & then we're open Easter Sunday at 2pm. *admission on Easter Sunday is half price, since it's only open half as long.
Closing weekend things get back to normal: Saturday April 14 & Sunday April 15.
So get your taxes done early then come spend the refund on pottery!

It's a wonderful show, full of friendly folks. You should go check it out if you can.
And if you go, you are of course, required to buy some pottery. FROM US!

Hope to see you in Raleigh this weekend!
love from a frantically packing Va

Friday, March 09, 2007

On the road again....
Greetings from beautiful Meridian, Mississippi!
(which is really a neon lit spot off the interstate &/or a welcome break from all the scrub pine & billboards)
I'm posting from the spacious Super 8 motel just off I-59. We're 700+ miles into our 888 mile trek from still wintry WVa to beautiful springlike Lumberton MS. We're on our way to Gulf Wars, an SCA event down here on the gulf coast of Mississippi.
It's been a long & slightly surreal journey so far. We left my valley in WVa before sunrise this morning. It was 25 degrees outside, the stars were amazing in the crisp cold & silent night. After driving for 13 hours, we're going to sleep in Mississippi in a hotel off the interstate where the spring peepers (tree frogs) are loud enough to be heard over the traffic and the air conditioner! It was 74 degrees at 7:30 at night! The dogwood & pear trees are in full flower & the daffodils are past their peak! (those same daffodils are barely peeking out of the ground back home). This is a welcome change indeed. I highly recommend "driving south" to find the spring if you too are frustrated with waiting for spring to come to you!
We've taken our last "real" shower & are enjoying our last sleep in "real" beds before commencing our week long camping trip tomorrow at noon (that's when set-up officially commences). We're planning on selling lots of pots & seeing lots of old friends & making lots of new ones! I plan to post more later, with pictures even. Till then, enjoy whatever signs of spring you can find wherever you are. And seriously, think about that drive. & if you do succumb to temptation, you have to play the John Hiatt song "Drive South" as you go!
Blessings from the road weary potter

Monday, February 26, 2007

Finally, a more or less updated calendar. with links even!
Here's where we'll be when for the next few months:

March 11 through March 18
Gulf Wars Kings Arrow Ranch Lumberton MS
We're going back to Gulf Wars for a 2nd year. And Darrell had such a good time that he's making me go with him this time around. We're gonna take lots of pots and we'll have lots of leathergoods and amber necklaces with us as well. So y'all be sure to come out to the event that everyone i know who's been to describes as "more fun than Pennsic". Please note: this is a SCA camping event. You must be in garb to be on site and you have to pay for the duration of the event regardless of how long you stay on site.

April 20, 21 & 22 Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10 til 5 each day
Countryside Artisans Studio Tour
Art of Fire World Headquarters Laytonsville, MD

Once again, we're back for the studio tour at Art of Fire. Sadly, Tuatha won't be here this time, though we will have a whole box of new Tinsmith CDs (everyone needs at least one copy of this awesome disc!) with us & we know we'll have lots of pots fresh from the kiln! We should have the new "crow" line up and running by now, so come on by and see what's new! Enjoy a spring drive in the country & get some great pottery, glass & Celtic music. What more could you ask for?!

April 26 through 29 we'll be onsite & have the booth open
from 10 til 6 Friday & Saturday, only open til 3 on Sunday afternoon.
Blackstone Raids Cedars Lakes Conference Center Ripley WV
This was our first event in West Virginia- our recently adopted home state! We had a great time! The site is great, the folks are friendly & the event even lets you bring your dogs out to play! What's not to like?!? Come out to fight, shop & party! We'll see you there! please note: this is an SCA event, and while they'll let you on site in mundane clothing, you'll probably feel more comfortable if you are in 'garb'. So, dress up and come play! Come explore the current middle ages & our corner of WVa! (this event is practically in our new backyard- only an hour from our new homestead) note to friends: contact us now for reservations to stay here at Hearth Hill with us. We offer bed, breakfast & hot showers & we won't make you work the booth (much)

Saturday April 28
Southern Maryland Celtic Festival St. Leonard MD
A great festival in a beautiful location. Come out & enjoy spring & all things Celtic in Southern Maryland. Note: we're not guaranteeing an actual appearance by Darrell or me. Last year we suckered/ err, persuaded our friend Rob into running the booth for us. Thus, Dancing Pig's presence at this show is subject to Rob's schedule! Will post more when we know what's up.

May 4-6 noon til 7 Friday, 10 til 6 Saturday & Sunday Rain or Shine
Pennsylvania Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm Glen Rock PA
Whooot! We had a great time last year- our first time at this 'Grandmother of Fairie Festivals'!!! Wonderful location, fantastic folks, great happy earth energy! We'll be back next year, assuming we're accepted!
update: yaaaay! We're in! We'll be there, with our new dogs in tow. Come out to play with the fairies & dogs!

Saturday May 12 10 til 6 Rain or Shine
Frederick Celtic Festival Urbana MD
This is a spirited & growing festival. The folks who run it are great and it is smack dab in the middle of my old stomping grounds- Come out and play at one of the most friendly festivals I know of! We'll be there unless we are somewhere else! (sort of like our shop hours- 'Open, unless we're closed')
update: our friends Rob & Sherry will probably be running this show for us while we hunker down at home & make stock. So come on out for lots of pots & a good chance for quality time with baby Luke! (pictured on the right w/ his Dad aka Rob at Pennsic last year---->)

May 19 & 20 Saturday & Sunday
Maryland Faerie Festival Upper Marlboro MD 10 til 6 Rain or Shine
This is rapidly becoming one of my favorite shows! My first Faerie Festival and still my favorite! It is soooo fun & genuinely magical. Bring your kids & your inner child & come out to revel in a beautiful site filled with (quoting their site) "love, cooperation, peace, harmony, and respect for all beings, along with a pinch of mischief!" You have to check this show out! I'm threatening to make my niece & nephew fly out from Colorado to experience this- that's how much i love this show!

May 25 thru 28
Balticon at Marriott's Hunt Valley Inn, Baltimore, MD
We're coming back for a 2nd year. This is a four day, 24-hours-a-day Extravaganza! though the Dealer's Room isn't that brutal. Still, we'll be there peddling pottery, leather & amber necklaces. Come on by & say hello!

Saturday & Sunday May 26 & 27
Westminster Renaissance Festival
Carrol County Farm Museum Westminster MD

a new show that we're thinking of trying if we can figure out how to split stock & be in two places at once. Updates as we figure this one out.

Saturday & Sunday June 2 & 3
the link is to the site for last years show so these dates are a best guess. I've promised D. that we'll try this show again (he's the pirate guy, not me!) It was fun when we went three years ago, but the sales just weren't there. So come on out and support us so we can dress up like scurvy dogs & terrorize the tourists together!

Saturday June 9
Like a phoenix from the ashes, this festival is attempting to resurrect itself after suffering a series of financial setbacks. I've been to & loved this show every year since it started, so Dancing Pig will be back. This promises to be a smaller & more intimate show, but still full of amazing Celtic spirit. So come on out & enjoy what still promises to be the Best. Celtic. Festival. Ever.

June 9 & 10
Western Pennslyvania Fairie Festival
Cooper's Lake Slippery Rock PA

A magical weekend full of music, dancing, fairies, elves, pixies, sprites & perhaps a friendly goblin or two. This is the 2nd year for this growing event, it's in a great location & the coordinators are enthusatstic, so if we can work out how to be in two places at once, we're coming here to play & sell our pots. Come play with us!

June 22-24
Plaid wrapped fun for the whole family! Last year we were here sharing a booth with our pals from Foolish Oak Designs. This year we'll be there, though the Foolish Oak folks haven't committed one way or the other yet. It's a big event, so plan on doing some serious shopping! We'll see y'all there!
update: yes on Foolish Oak foolishness! So we'll be there under their name!

Saturday July 14
The date is an educated guess. Will update when we know more. We shared a booth with our pals from Foolish Oak Designs last year and made out like bandits. So we'll be back! You should come too- great Trad music at this show! Sounds like fun! You should come check it out with us!

July 28 thru August 11
Pennsic War 36
Cooper's Lake Campground Slippery Rock PA

We had a good War last year, though i think we sold too many pots! (is that even possible?) Anyway, we're planning on coming back for my 23rd consecutive War (relax, i've only been selling pots there for 16 or so of those) (and yes, thank you, i know i don't look that old!) What was i talking about? Oh yeah, Pennsic. We'll be there, as will my pals Alasdair and Minna of Foolish Oak Designs and Ambrosia Farms respectively with their wonderful leather and mead kits. And pottery. Hopefully enough this time! ***Please note- this is a participant only camping event! You must be in garb to be on site & you must pay for the entire week, regardless of how long you stay***

August 25 thru October 21 Weekends and Labor Day Monday 10am to 7 pm each day
It will be our 9th season at Maryland & we're still having a great time! Come on out to play in the woods. There's great pottery, wenches in bodices, men in tights, turkey legs, beer, cider, improv & oh yeah, great pottery! We're still in our wonderful space, third booth in on the right from the front gate. So be sure to stop in early and often for lots of-- say it with me-- great pots!

Phew! So, that's it for now. Maybe i should have titled this post "a modest proposal"
I'm getting worn out just thinking about all this. What am i doing here typing?! I gotta go make me some more pots!
See ya soon!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Home from Arizona!

This post is mostly directed at our friends & customers in the SCA, since it's about Dancing Pig's first trip to Estrella War...

Darrell has returned both triumphant and broken from Estrella (a SCA War in Ari-frincking-zona)(about 22oo miles from Dancing Pig's World headquarters here in the hills of WVa). He drove out with our friends Jillie/Bran aka the wode monkey & perma drui of the bog & Fael/Wayne aka Khavi's husband/ some Rozakii dude who lives in Philly. They had a great road trip out-- apparently they watched both "Pirates" movies in a continuous loop for 3 days on Fael's laptop. Good times.

Dancing Pig's sales at Estrella weren't as good as we'd hoped-- it was a new site for the event & apparently the gate was down by 60%. All the old hand merchants said that their sales were down accordingly. But the folks were incredibly friendly & here's the best part: Dogs are allowed!!! So we'll be back next year! We're loading the dogs up & i'm going to actually make the trip as well. Darrell's still raving about the landscape & he really wants me to go out there at least once & i think i'll indulge him, especially if i can bring my puppies with me!

Darrell is still broken however, by the cold he somehow managed to bring back with him. It was very dusty and windy & D. thinks he got the cold on the last night of the show, when they had a "going away" sandstorm. So the poor guy had to drive home with with a fever & nasty cold. (Bran & Fael bailed out & flew home from Phoniex) So to make it home, D. would drive 100 miles and then pull into a rest stop to nap for an hour. Not so much with the fun for the poor guy. And sadly, he also managed to kill my digital camera, so no pictures for this post.

We're hanging out at home for this weekend, while Darrell is trying to recover from this cold & i'm trying to avoid getting it. But we're also planning & potting to get ready for Gulf Wars in ::eeek:: less than two weeks! Arrgh! Never mind taking it easy & avoiding the cold; I gotta get off the couch and go trim some pots!

See ya'll at Gulf Wars if you're going! (and you should go, i am!) Apparently Gulf Wars blows Pennsic away, so come play with us!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Alright campers, i'm going to try something radically different here: an actual post about pottery!!!
This is a report on the show we did this past December. For the first two weekends of that month, we were on the Countryside Artisans Studio Tour. Our pals, the gracious & gifted Foster and Theda of Art of Fire Hot Glass Studios in Laytonsville, MD hosted us yet again. This time we got to set up in the Celtic Annex aka a carport/ garage across the parking lot from the wonderfully warm and colorful converted dairy barn that houses Art of Fire. There was enough space this time around that our friend Mary from Tuatha joined us. It was a great reunion for me, since Tuatha shared space with my when we had the open houses at my old studio in Damascus. I really missed spending time with my wonderful whacked out little goat aka Maria Maria aka the genius behind Tuatha.

We started out with this empty garage/carport:

and after a day and a half, some struggles with stapleguns & plastic sheeting, we ended up with a space that looked like this:

We were pretty impressed with ourselves. You would have been too, if you'd come out to see it.
But fear not my friends, you have a chance to redeem yourselves!!! Because the next show we're going to do in the mid-Atlantic area is the Countryside Artisans Studio Tour this coming April. Yup, we're gonna be at Art of Fire again & there's a 90% chance that Tuatha will be there too. One stop shopping for Celts & anyone else with great taste! So come on out to the Maryland countryside April 20-22 & see all our fresh new pots!!! We can't wait to see you there!

PS if you miss my longer, more personal less coherent postings, fret not! They've just moved over to my other blog: mudcelt. Check it out: you can still know more than you ever wanted to about my dogs, travels, struggles with procrastination and life in my remote valley over there.
Don't panic friends, we're still here.
No, really.
Just suffering from the winter blahs.(my guru for all things electronic told me i should keep my posts here brief, pithy & on topic. That was such a challenge that i went into a decline & haven't posted anything for over a month. Thanks Mykl!)

My latest complaint is that i am stuck here, in my sweater & wool socks, drinking hot tea & watching the snow fall in my quiet valley (tonight's forecast: temps in the high teens & more snow) whilst Darrell & our friends Bran & Fael are whooping it up out in Arizona at Estralla. Where the temperatures are a balmy 50 to 70 degrees today.
NOOooo. You must have me confused with someone else.
OK, i'm not totally cranky about all of this. After all, they did have to endure 3 days of driving to get there & Darrell has to make the drive back alone, since apparently the prospect of the return trip was too much for Fael & Bran-- they're flying home-- not something you can manage with a truck full of pottery and trailer full of tents, tables & camping gear. So D. & the truck, trailer & sweaty armor are taking the slow boat home. Hopefully he'll be back by Friday or Saturday next.

Meanwhile, life goes on here. I've even gotten back to work in the studio. I've tested out a new to me clay body & i'm cautiously optimistic about it. The crow pots still only exist in my head, but they're creeping closer to reality. And we even have a new glaze grunt: my neighbor, Cindy, is learning the tricks of that trade. So far she's doing great, though she's soooo slow & careful that i bully her occasionally to lighten up. I remind her constantly of my mantra "the mistakes prove that the pots are made by humans and not machines."

That's all for now from this snow covered and cold valley in WVa!
Keep warm kids & we'll see y'all this spring, with lots o' pots for you to fondle!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

With apologies to Sandra Boyton who had a card years ago w/ cartoons of a Hippo, a Gnu & a Deer-- i'd like to wish you a
Hippo Gnu Deer!
(say this out loud and it might make more sense. Then again, maybe not. Whatever.)
from all of us here at Hearth Hill!

I've got a few New Year's resolutions: to eat more & exercise less & i'm pleased to report a resounding success so far! OK, that's not totally true: I have managed to actually exercise 3 of the past 4 days. Dang! Another resolution blowed! A 3rd resolution is to update this dang blog once a week. We'll see how long my good intentions last with that, but at least know that i'm thinking good thoughts and occasionally putting fingers to keyboard and getting them up here for y'all.

Another aside: the reason i'm writing Dang and blowed up so much is cause my best Christmas present this year (and yes, i'm including the awesome iPod in this statement)(& my plane ticket to Colorado to bother my niece and nephew) came from my sister, who gave me the awesome game REDNECK LIFE. This is a board game, not unlike the old school game of LIFE, but in this much improved version, the goal is to get to the day of reckonin' with the most teeth, the fewest younguns and the smallest debt. You have to get married, divorced, remarried & pay to have your tattoo of your first spouse removed and replaced with the name of your 2nd (discount if they have one or more names in common or if you sleep with your divorce attorney) When you remarry, you roll dice to see how many redheaded stepchildren (i am NOT making this us) named Darrell you end up with. It's pretty funny & silly and very unpolitically correct & if you ever come visit me i'm gonna sit you down on the porch couch and make you play the game with us! Dang! One of you Darrells get me another beer from the yard fridge!

So, here's how i spent my holidays: AT HOME! This is an awesome and unusual feat! I've even managed to clean alot of clutter out of my house and studio. This was in part an attempt to get more organized but mostly motivated by a severe lack of money. Yep, we're broke. AGAIN.

This has driven Darrell back to his roots. Or maybe it was playing REDNECK LIFE. Either way, he's taking all of our cast off clutter and some leather and a bit of pottery down to a flea market in Charleston to make some money for dog food and the cable bill, so we can limp through this month and next. Last weekend he didn't do so good, but the theory is that even though the weather was warm, folks were spending their money on New Year's parties (around here New Year's Eve is a special party night. You get Budweiser longnecks rather than Old Milwaulkie in a can. And Jagermister too!) rather than clutter from the flea market. Just like a craft show, the next one/weekend is always going to be better!

Anyway, if you find yourself in Charleston, WV of a January weekend, come on out to the Capital Flea Market. You can score some cheap used DVDs or pig paraphernalia
(if i'd only known that picking the name Dancing Pig meant i was going to get pig stuff as presents for the rest of my life i might have reconsidered. And then where would we all be?) and a few good stories from Darrell and his pal Three Bears!

Meanwhile, i've actually managed to clean up the studio and i even scored a studio couch at the Goodwill! This beauty cost me all of $10 and it's a great place for the dogs to lounge about while i work. Or, that's the theory anyway. I haven't actually gotten any work done, since i'm having an holiday extension: my friends Ceit and Storm (who we visited in Canada three weeks ago) are here for a quick Christmas break visit (Storm is a teacher in Ontario so she gets extra time to goof off over the holidays. A whole week after New Years. How cool is that?!)

With Ceit and Storm have come their bad dogs, Ashe (a malamute mix) and his big sister Daemon (a sweet fawn colored Great Dane). Daemon is Spike's girlfriend. Or, rather, Spike wants Daemon to be his girlfriend. Daemon is mostly indifferent to Spike's advances.
Ashe is Budgth's mentor in the trouble making department. (like she needed any help!) Between the four of them, our house is all romper room all the time. It's fur filled chaos & we're all really enjoying ourselves. But we have only one more day of slack and dog centered domestic goofing off and then it's back to real life for us: Ceit and Storm and their bad dogs go back to Ontario, Darrell heads to the flea market, and i will have run out of excuses and it's back to the studio for me.

More next week, when i hope to actually have mud under my fingernails!
muddy blessings & wishes for a prosperous New Year for us all!

PS i almost forgot to tell y'all about the real live episode of REDNECK LIFE that happened last week. I was up late, goofing off on the computer when i heard a skid and thud. I peered out, but didn't see anything. Turned on my porch light, just in case anyone needed some help and sure enough about 20 minutes later, i had 3 wet, muddy, slightly stunned and more than a little drunk, teenagers on my front porch. The called for a ride (no ambulance or cops, thanks) and we all waited for someone's Mom to come get them. It turned out that they had put a brand new, bought it that afternoon, F-150 crew cab sunroof 40K pickup truck into the river. If they hadn't caught a rear tire on a tree branch, i think they wouldn't have gotten out of the river alive!
I took some pics of the debacle the following morning before the three wreckers that ended up on the job managed to haul the truck out of the river.