December 19, 2010

Sheldon is not his real name

Voicemail message, 2:24 PM:
“Hi, Jill. This is Sheldon Mugman. I saw your work at Flushing Town Hall and I took one of your business cards. I’ve had a chance to look at your online shop and I really like your work. I wanted to find out if you take custom orders. I’ll be here for the next several hours so please return my call if you can. You can call the number, whatever number that is that showed up on your screen.”

Returning Sheldon’s call, 2:41 PM:
“Hello, Sheldon? This is Jill, the potter of glazedOver Pottery returning your call.”

“Yes! Thanks for calling, Jill. Yes, I saw your work at Flushing Town House [sic] and I really like your work. I was there for a performance and I went into their gift shop. They have a WONDERFUL gift shop, you know! It’s just gorgeous!! Well, and I took one of your business cards, which is also just perfect. I was a graphic artist for years and your business card just communicates so much. It’s really well done, I wanted to tell you that. “

“Well thank you, Sheldon.”

“You’re welcome. So, I was interested in your mugs. I have a mug—my favorite mug—but it’s starting to crack and, OH! I just love it, but now I need a new one. It’s great, it has a thumb spot. I love the thumb spot. I saw your Latte mug and I really like that one. I would want the inside white,  can you make the inside white? I can never see what it is I’m drinking. Is it tea? Coffee? Who knows. I need it to be white.”

“Sure I could make the inside white. That wouldn’t be a problem.”

“And you could keep the outside that latte color?”

“If that’s what you’d want, sure I could. Of course.”

“Ok, great. Is that glossy or matte? I like matte.”

“Well, that partly depends on the conditions inside the kiln during the firing. Sometimes the glazes can come out more or less glossy depending on the temperature the kiln reaches and how quickly it reaches high temperature. That’s the beauty of handmade pottery. Every piece is very much one of a kind.”

“Yes, I understand. I’d really like it to be matte for the latte color and glossy for the white.”

“Ok, I’ll do what I can.”

“And, do you make that curly thing on the bottom of the handle?”

“Yes I do. That’s my signature design.”

“Oh. Ok. My mug doesn’t have that, but…ok. Can you make a thumb spot?”

“I could, but I don’t usually. That’s not part of the Scroll Handle mug design.”

“Oh. Ok. I understand. Now, is the body of your mug straight or curved?”

“It’s straight.”

“Oh. Ok. Mine’s curved, but that’s ok. I understand. How big is your mug?”

“Well, I have three standard sizes: 16-ounces, 23-ounces and 32-ounces. The 32-ounce mug is almost embarrassingly big—"

“No, no. I want a small mug. Can you make a mug smaller than 16-ounces?”

“I could if you’d—”

“Wait, let me get my mug and measure it. I’m just going to go upstairs…[pause]…Oh, where is it?…[pause]…Ah! Here it is. Yeah, um. Let me measure it. Yes, it’s 12-ounces. But yours is 16-ounces. That’s ok. I understand. How tall is your mug?”

“Let me look at the listing in my shop, just a second. It’s 4½" high.”

“Oh. That’s tall. That’s very tall. Let me just measure mine—”

“If you look at the photos that I have online of that mug, there’s one where I’m holding it, so that gives you an idea of how tall it is.”

“Oh, mine’s 4¼". Guess it’s almost as tall as yours. Ok, that’s fine then. Now, the handle would be latte colored?”

“No, well usually I bring the color that is inside the mug out and onto the handle so the handle would only be the latte color on the edges with the white in the middle.”


“Are you near a computer?”

“Yes. I’ve been looking at your latte mug all this time.”

“Ok, let me navigate you to one of my mugs where you can see what I’m talking about…”

[and here I’ll save you the details. You’re busy, I know. The conversation resumes with Sheldon’s reaction to having seen what I meant.]

“Oh NO!! I don’t like that. Can you keep the handle latte colored? I don’t want it white.”

“Sure, if you’d prefer.”

“Yes, do that. How much is the mug?"

“The 16-ounce is $23 plus shipping.”

“Ok. I saw somewhere—I don’t remember where—that you offer a discount if we sign up for your newsletter or email, is that right?”

“Really? You saw that somewhere?”

“Yeah, I don’t remember where, but you give a discount, right?”

“Well, usually I give a 10% discount coupon after a first purchase, but I can apply the discount to this if you’d like.”

“Yes, that would be great. So how do I go about paying you for this? Do you take a down payment?”

“No, I usually require full payment up front. If you have an account on Etsy, I can make you a custom listing there, otherwise  if you give me your email address, I can send you an invoice via PayPal if you’d prefer. Do you have a PayPal account?”

“No, only my children fool around with PayPal. I don’t want to get involved in that nonsense. I just want to use my credit card.”

“You can do that on PayPal without setting up a PayPal account.  I’ll send you an invoice and you’ll just have to follow the PayPal instructions to follow through with payment using your credit card."

“Ok, so it’s $23, minus 10%, plus shipping, right? You’ll send me an email?”

“Yes, I’ll try to get to this tonight.”

“Ok, wonderful! Thank you, Jill. Bye-bye”

“You’re welcome, Sheldon. Thank you. Good-bye.”

Sheldon hangs up 3:04 PM
.      .      .     .      .      .      .     .      .      .      .     .      .      .      .      .      .      .      .     .

December 12, 2010

Bike Mug Custom Order

I'm not a huge fan of handmade pottery custom orders, mostly because glaze can do some unpredictable things in the kiln and the results are not always possible to control. But I recently took on an intriguing custom order request from a woman who wanted one of my scroll handle mugs for her boyfriend. She wanted me to carve in a stick figure of a guy on a bike on the side. It sounded to me like a cross between my garden stakes and my scroll handle mugs, so I took her on. She drew the stick figure and emailed it to me; I dutifully copied it to the mug body.
Take a look at the results:

I could see myself going in this direction. It’s so charming!

November 25, 2010

Clayground Wizards

This week at the glazedOver Clayground, the kids and I made wizards out of clay. There were many steps to the process, but it wasn’t very difficult. We made them from various sizes of slab triangles: one for the cloak, two for the sleeves, one for the beard and another for the wizard hat. Then all we needed to do was add the details: the hands, the moustache, the eyes and eyebrows. Some kids even added wizard props like a magic wand, a staff and a magic ball. We were all able to finish them in just one class. It was great fun and they came out looking like magic could happen any minute!

October 27, 2010

Handmade Ceramic Sake Set

I just wrapped up this sake set for local delivery. The buyer said she’s planning to give it to the guy “who has everything”.










It looks so pretty to me, I wanted to share it with you.

October 21, 2010

How to Soothe a Burn

Do you want to know how to soothe a burn?
Blisters. Ouch.

First, one ground rule: never wipe the crumbs off of a burner with your hand. Never mind that you didn’t realize it was just used a moment ago to boil water for somebody else’s tea. What were crumbs doing there anyway?

But you’re in a rush, so I’ll get to the remedy straight away.

Make a paste of baking soda and water. It should be pasty, not liquidy.

 how to soothe a burn  how to soothe a burn using baking soda paste

Put a thick dollop all over the burn and keep it there for a few minutes. It will work rapidly to cool the pain. Each time you feel the pain returning, reapply the paste.

Rinse and repeat until the pain subsides. 

how to soothe a burn - all better!
All better!

October 02, 2010

Burying Treasure

Here is the behind the scenes from Cap’n Sheva Bartholemew Red’s expedition to the nether regions to bury the treasure.








on the bridge 
Scoping out the lay of the land
hop skip and jump 
Navigating the challenging terrain
Zozie bird
First mate, Zozie-bird
always time for the paparazzi
The paparazzi close on our heels
 taking notes
The Cap’n marks the spot on the map

September 18, 2010

glazedOver Clayground at the Sayville Library

This past week, I taught a kids clay class at the Sayville Library and it was so much fun. The title of the program was “Back to School with the Clayground” and we made pencil holders out of air dry clay.
air dry clay
The reason why we used air dry clay was so that there wouldn’t be the need to fire any of the pieces in the kiln and the kids could bring their work home right away.
 windows on a pencil holder
I brought a few completed examples of different artistic approaches to the design and I showed them to the kids.
tools and materials
Then, once I had illustrated some clay techniques for them using the air dry clay and the tools I had brought, I handed out all of the materials and they got to work.
  hannah's project
The kids had so much fun and their projects came out so cute! I love teaching clay classes to kids. Although the air dry clay we used at the library is not food safe, we use only food safe and lead free clays and glazes in the glazedOver Clayground pottery studio. Our next 8-week session starts October 4th. For more information, check out our flyer or email me at jill[at] for details.

September 04, 2010

Peeking Over the Fence

Do you see who was hiding between the two fences?
 Bunny between the fences

September 01, 2010

A Visit to Lloyd Manor

Loyed Manor House Sheva and Tali

What do Charles Lindbergh, Billy Joel, Jupiter Hammon and Joseph Lloyd all have in common? Why, Joseph Lloyd Manor, of course!
Joseph Lloyd Manor was built in 1766 in an exquisite spot overlooking scenic Lloyd Harbor. By contemporary standards, it was a luxurious estate with two stories, higher ceilings than in other typical construction of the period, and a full service kitchen.

Interestingly enough though, James Lloyd came by his ownership of the property in a roundabout way. It’s a classic case of being in the right place at the right time. He married the widow who had inherited the land from her conscientious sea captain fiancée who had the foresight to sign prenuptials assigning land ownership to them both before he left and was lost at sea.

Loyed Manor House

What do Charles Lindbergh, Billy Joel, Jupiter Hammon and Joseph Lloyd all have in common? Why, Joseph Lloyd Manor, of course!
Joseph Lloyd Manor was built in 1766 in an exquisite spot overlooking scenic Lloyd Harbor. By contemporary standards, it was a luxurious estate with two stories, higher ceilings than in other typical construction of the period, and a full service kitchen.

Interestingly enough though, James Lloyd came by his ownership of the property in a roundabout way. It’s a classic case of being in the right place at the right time. He married the widow who had inherited the land from her conscientious sea captain fiancée who had the foresight to sign prenuptials assigning land ownership to them both before he left and was lost at sea.

Joseph had four grandsons and it was James Lloyd who eventually erected the house which later came to serve as a major international trade depot. In one of the rooms can be found logs recording transactions and other letters dealing with commerce matters.   

Lloyd Manor accounting room  Lloyd Manor accounting room bureau documents

And what about Charles Lindbergh and Billy Joel, and who was Jupiter Hammon? Charles Lindbergh and Billy Joel were both famous renters of the property who lived there for a period of time. And as for Jupiter Hammon, he was America’s first published black poet and slave to four generations of the Lloyd family. He was granted his freedom, he but declined to accept it and lived in their service until his death.

The gracious curator who gave us our tour allowed the girls to try on some period costumes and pose for a few photographs. Subtract out the flip flops and the Teva sandals and they look quite convincing!

August 16, 2010

Ceramics Classes for Kids at the glazedOver Clayground

Once again, we will be offering children’s ceramics classes at the glazedOver studio Clayground here in Sayville, New York.

Space is limited. Sign up today!

August 13, 2010

stoneWEAR handmade ceramic pendant necklaces

I’ve been toying with my stoneWEAR pendants necklaces lately.
Aim Right Here handmade stoneWEAR Pendant necklace by glazedOver Pottery 3
This one is the mutation that happened when I crossed my garden stakes with my stoneWEAR pendants.
eclectic geometric stoneware indie pendant by glazedOver Pottery white square 2

eclectic geometric stoneware hippie pendant model shot by glazedOver Pottery blue with green center
eclectic stoneware indie pendant by glazedOver Pottery light green circle   
eclectic geometric stoneware indie pendant by glazedOver Pottery blue square 2
eclectic geometric stoneware hippie pendant by glazedOver Pottery thicker blue donut
I love making them. It’s almost too much for me to resist. There’s something on the tactile level that is very satisfying to me.

July 30, 2010

Handmade Stoneware Coasters by glazedOver Pottery

Several years ago, while I was still in graduate school at the University of Chicago, I brought my friend Zehava to the Hyde Park Art Center pottery studio so she could see my work. Zehava has always had a very unique and eclectic aesthetic. She also has mind of her own, one of the many reasons why I have such love and respect for her. 
Freckle Face Stoneware Coasters by glazedOver Pottery 3At the studio, she described to me what she’d like to see in a ceramic coaster and asked me if I could make them for her. She’s not an artist but she does know what she’s looking for. So together, we worked to bring her design to fruition.
Blue Green handmade Zehava coasters by glazedOver Pottery 4
Her basic design is brilliant in it’s simplicity and elegance. It has grown with me as I have grown as a potter. Here are some of the latest manifestations of the Zehava coasters. Enjoy!
Seafoam Blue Zehava Coasters by glazedOver Pottery

July 22, 2010

Lost but not Found

Today I lost the tin foil. Here's a haiku in honor of the occasion. I dedicate it to all of those who have loved and lost (various kitchen supplies, a wallet, cell phone, glasses, car keys...).

Looking high and low,
Shiny wrap has gone missing.
Mind lost. Hope gone too.

July 20, 2010

Lumpsuckers and their Dumpy Parents

My eleven year old is very independent, so when she asked me to read her a bedtime story recently, she caught my attention. But she’s not only independent, she is also very cerebral. So she pulled Eyewitness Books: Ocean (rather than, say Watership Down) from her bookshelf, and she didn’t surprise me at all. She promised me that I wouldn’t have to read each and every page so I jumped right in.

You’d never think there’d be so much to laugh at in such a book and maybe it was just because it was so late and we were both a bit punch drunk, but Sheva and I had a giddy time of it. She wanted to know, for instance, if octopi make octo-pee-pee, how to cook lobsters to minimize the screaming (I used to work in a clam bar, I had the answer), and why the dolphin’s flipper bones look so reminiscent of my wind chimes. But nothing caused the giggles as much as the lumpsuckers. I wasn’t familiar with lumpsuckers, but apparently, they have really motly parents, putting  a new spin on “your mama is so ugly that…”
Not among the great marvels of the ocean, lumpsuckers are primarily bottom dwellers. They are mostly spherical in shape and have suckers on the bottom of their bodies which make it possible for them to cling to rocks snail-like.
The young fish, which according to Miranda MacQuitty, author of Ocean, are “more beautiful than their dumpy parents,” use their suckers to cling to rocks in shallow, warm water until they are fully developed. Then they move to deeper waters where their muddy adult color allows them to better blend in.

Lumpsuckers Swimming-Jill Fine
      Swimming to the left      Swimming towards you      Swimming to the right

And for those of you who are wanna-be jet-setters shackled by budgetary constraints, you’ll be relieved to hear that lumpsucker fish eggs are a popular and affordable alternative to caviar.

July 11, 2010

Sun, Surf, and Wind Chimes

I love my wind chimes. I not only have several decorating the inside and outside of our house, but my neighbor across the street has one in her front bucket window, so I blow kisses to it all the time.  As much as I love seeing them and love making them, I hate taking photos of them. It is incredibly difficult to do them justice. They are very busy, so the background that I use for them must not be busy, and their triangular outline makes photo composition a challenge. So I had a brilliant idea: take them to the beach!  Here are some of the results. 

blue sky windchime 2
I make my chimes from beads, beach findings collected over the course of months and pottery shards from the glazedOver studio. Each item is wound with thick copper wire and hung from a beautiful specimen of unaltered driftwood.
I like this shot especially, because not only can you see my husband’s shadow as he holds the wind chime and mine as I crouch in the sand to take the photo, but you can also see a game of volleyball in progress in the background.

And here’s another photo which calls for a closer look.

shards and shells windchime 6

Do you see the brown fabric of the bag that my husband was chivalrous enough to hold for me? That’s a glimpse of the most deliciously comfortable, beautiful backpack made by Yael Eshkar of PazzaPazza. You can see more of her backpacks on her blog (which I highly recommend you follow – she is a breath of fresh air!). Yael’s backpacks are the epitome of functional beauty!

July 07, 2010

How to use Adobe Photoshop for Good and Evil

Jill Fine photo Gang Mom copy
Disclaimer: Don’t try this at home. Um, on second thought, DO try this at home and then post links in the comments. This could be fun.

June 30, 2010

glazedOver Pottery at the Vanderbilt Museum Vanderfest!


glazedOver Pottery is thrilled to have been invited to be among a select number of artists at this year’s Vanderfest fair. Mention this blog post for 10% off your glazedOver Pottery purchase. Looking forward to seeing you there!