It is dreary. It is cold. We need some joy. In the deep slog of winter topped with a pandemic, I send you a burst of art. It is a slap of color into your cheeks. A pop in your instep. A neat shot of something else. Yes, my friends it is a Bone Daddy. Indeed the last of it’s kind. This benign beast has waited patiently for many years for me to finish him, rainbow his hide and breathe him full of ready.
These were in a dusty corner of the studio…
In My Dreams We Fly … Joni Mitchel said that. It always stuck with me and found it’s way out into this design that we used to sell about 20 years ago. The vase is hand built and pressed into a relief I created. It was great fun to revisit this design with a totally new approach for a one of a kind/ last of its kind. 9x10x4 $225.00……… SOLD thank you Peggy!
One Fez man vase left and it demanded all the glory I could muster. This was always one of my favorite designs. I had hand sculted the first one, then John built a large mold that requires a football team to lift and pour out. In a fit of wild stuff editing, John and I broke all the molds one afternoon. 13x7x6 $178.00
Acknowledgement of others is a powerful way to strengthen relationships and increase fulfillment in life. The power of acknowledgement is vast and easy to set in motion. We all work hard toward what it is we need or want to achieve. Some days it is easy to get wrapped up in the general annoyance of feeling under-appreciated and over put upon. Take a mental step back and look at those around you- family members, coworkers, friends or complete strangers; each with their individual mountain to climb. An unsolicited word of acknowledgement may lighten the weight of their steps forward. Oddly you also may feel lifted as well.
Here are the top ten ways you can acknowledge someone that deserves praise and will benefit from hearing it:
Tuck a note of acknowledgement into their lunch or leave it on their desk.
Stop what you are doing and totally focus on the person you wish to acknowledge.
Send a hand written note or select a lovely card and include a message.
Send a quick heartfelt email of appreciation.
Praise someone for a job well done, especially nice for those you don’t know.
A friendly wave and greeting to a stranger sends a burst of warmth their way.
Look for the positive things people do so you can acknowledge and encourage them.
Send a random text- to let someone know how much you appreciate them.
Take a minute to let a manager know when an employee does a good job.
Acknowledge people who are doing a good job – like a teacher or policemen.
The written word is still treasured and carries greater personal wishes then an email. Each of my gift cards comes with a beautiful translucent vellum envelope. The US mail is old-school but the excitement of a hand written card from a friend is a true gift these days. One you can tuck away and pull out later to revisit.
A Valentine for the Earth
Come Together . handbook to retool for the future joyfully guides you through easy change for the better. 172 pages- get a copy and share it. This is a book to start a movement- empowering each of us to choose daily action and invention to live sustainabily. We are the problem. We are also the solution.
To find holiday cheer in dark times like these, you need to live in the present. The present; being thoughts of those you love and what treats you might make or wrap up for them. Looks like many of us will heed the call to stay home for Thanksgiving and maybe Christmas as well. While it is tough to miss this long tradition of gathering together, making sure your loved ones stay healthy is something to be truly thankful for.
health & happiness
A wonderful gift commission I did recently; was to paint a much loved white lab that had recently passed away on a platter for a sister to give her brother. Pets can be remembered or celebrated on custom ceramic. Just contact me directly and we will come up with the perfect thing.
Happycat holiday cheer!
Our furry family keeps us happy and healthy. If I am feeling down I take a walk with Ozzy, cuddle with one of the cats or hug a goat. A cup of tea in a cheery mug is helpful too. IDEA!! Why not give a jolly handmade mug with a favorite tea or bag of local coffee? I have added 2 more designs for this season only. Happycat and Peace dove. Two for $72. Buy two sets of two and get a fifth mug to keep for yourself. Just specify which designs when you order.
Drink your tea in peace.
I’ve been making, finding and shopping for gifts. Many years I am so harried gift giving is more like a list to tick off than the action of thoughtful love for an individual to come up with a treat perfect for them. I don’t like to shop on line. Please make every effort to support small local businesses this year, trust me Amazon is doing ok. Taking that one step further… try to buy earth-friendly gifts- watch the plastic over-packaging and single use-cardboard boxed/plastic packing materials and fossil fuels to get it.
We have always shipped in reused packing materials. There are several wonderful businesses that are happy to save boxes and packing for me rather than throw it in the dumpster. When you wrap your gift up, why not be creatively green? Wrap it up with newspaper, magazines, fabric or market bags.
Spread empathy each day. To grow empathy you need to lay the seeds of tolerance, acceptance and love. It is a practice like Buddhism, filled with self awareness of motive and action. I started writing SEED several years ago, but it is always topical as we face racism and mistrust in our unsettled world. I have decided to give the book away now like seeds scattered to the wind. I hope anyone who relates will further it to their friends and on beyond.
simply request a PDF at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can view it through this link:
SEED. spread empathy each day
This is my effort to combat a deepening culture of anger,mistrust, arrogance and short sighted actions based in ego, greed and power to benefit a few rather than the many. Integrity has been eroded by opportunism. The idea of “Us” nowreflects various groups rather than everyone. This societal change has been festering for many years, forming anuncomfortable dark-minded normal. Empathy starts with each of us offering the light of consideration in our actions. It is my hope that this little book may act as a positve tool in themeditation of an open heart and listening mind. Thank you friends!
a little book to open hearts
I still believe the pen is mightier then the sword. Images can change minds. That is what my art has always been about. In giving away my art and words I hope they become weaponized in the loveliest way. This is the kind of book you can open anywhere in its pages, to snack on a story. I like to write books I hope are useful, like my book to create positive environmental change; Come Together . handbook to retool for the future. Available as an ebook or in print. (178 pages of easy, smart action)
I was commissioned to create handmade ceramic sea creature wall decor for the exterior of a villa on the sea in Spain. This was quite an undertaking requiring months to create. I had to design each piece so that it could be attached to the exterior wall, look fabulous and survive being shipped to Europe. My client requested 35 fish all different some swimming in one direction- others in the opposite.
Each sea creature must be exciting and different.
When I create my wall sculptures; whether fish, turtles, owls or other wonderful animals, my intention is use textures and color to make a piece of art that interests any viewer. I use stamps that I have shaped and sculpted, jewelry, zippers, and odd bits of things with useful textures to cover the animal in a way that enhances their structure. Usually people purchase a single wall sculpture to add zip to a room-inside or outside, others will group several on a wall. This was my first commission using sea creature decor as architectural ornamentation. And it turned out great!
The client was so pleased he reordered twice as many more! 20 crabs, 10 octopus, 4 turtles, 10 star fish and 30 more fish!
Figuring out how to make delicate sea creatures like crabs and octopus so they would be durable, meant some engineering improvements like clay slab backing.
The other sea creatures presented other challenges but were fun to figure out and create!
I love doing commissions, whether is tile, sculpture or paintings. Your ideas are a spring board offering me an opportunity to design and discover. If you would like sea creatures to hang on your wall, or to use as architectural detail give me a call. I am happy to work with you to determine colors, subject matter and construction. Prices will vary depending on the level of labor and complexity. We will quote the price based on each job.
Intricately detailed hand crafted folk art toy boats full of animals and engaging paintings whimsically pull viewers into a world where water has displaced animal habitat. In tippy canoe and migrants to?, several dozen white rabbits are crowded into a lushly carved canoe on wheels.
Another has a fox steering a forest nestled in a boat to safer harbor in parts unknown.
Story text accompanies each boat, explaining the predicament that will be faced by its passengers. The exhibit begins with the following words:
A long story has been written since the first bits of life began here on earth.
This is the chapter where we face ourselves.
“I created this exhibit in hopes of nudging people to look beyond themselves to not only what we will be facing in the future through climate change, but also the impacts we are responsible for affecting earth’s other living creatures.” -Dana Simson
There are 10 folk art boats on wheels in the exhibit at present, but more will be added. A boat on fire full of Koalas is in the works to decry the current horrible fires ravaging Australia. As habitats change, challenges rise for creatures living there.
I hope to create a video of the exhibit so it can travel worldwide to offer it’s message. Some of the paintings in the Animals are innocent are below:
The exhibit “the animals are innocent” can promote change.
I wrote Come Together . a handbook to retool for the future, to compliment this exhibit. The content offers easy changes to promote a healthier planet through daily choices we can make starting now. It is available through Green Writer’s press or on my website:
Out Spring 2021 . order now and I will sign your book. Green Writer’s Press . 170 pages . ships by Oct 1, 2019
Come Together is a useful handbook for a greener future is full of things you can do now to help stem climate change. It is an engaging handbook to launch a movement of individuals to tackle global warming by simply retooling our daily actions. Take easy proactive steps develop a long term perspective based in civility, integrity and an invigorating love for our earth. Save money, lose clutter, live well, feel happy and healthier as you pull for the planet.
A useful handbook for a greener future
Make smart changes through a bottoms up strategy for now where each of us is empowered to make a difference in little ways that trend to big solutions.The Movement of One is both the individual and all of us connected in this common goal. Pass this book on. We are the change.
We need to Come Together to stem climate change
Find actions you can take to reach out to others in a positive way to go forward together. We can agree on one common goal. That we must address the health of the earth and take steps to live more mindfully on a daily basis. Come Together addresses how to tackle areas in both your home or office to simplify, declutter and create greener, healthier spaces. All areas of your day, from travel to shopping and eating better are covered. Learn to make your own personal care products and about the health benefits of essential oils. Save money and remove toxic products from your home by using simple ingredients to create better cleaning supplies then chemical leaden commercial ones.
Take control of what you expose yourself and your family to
Learn about toxins that are not only bad for you, but can easily flow from your home into water supplies and the water we drink. It is as easy as changing your mindset to care. Pro-active practices make it easy to avoid buying into our addiction to plastic and false conveniences.
Read this book and pass it on- the earth will thank you. Earth day should be every day!
Out Spring 2021 . order now and I will sign your book.
French Barrettes are my newest obsession! Fun, functional and great gifts for your gal friends! Each one is as individual as they are.
Our handcrafted ceramic hair clips and barrettes are backed with a sturdy clasp to secure your tresses made in France. Choose styles combining clips in floral, retro stars or birdies (2 per order) or french barrettes: blue bird, bee, fish, crab or floral. Color is incised in the pattern accenting each detail. Tuck up those loose locks artfully. These are wonderful gifts, but trust me, if you do keep one for yourself, it will become your go to-to doll up your do. Get 5 for $50 and save 10$
Pressed & painted French Barrettes
I made a series of stamps by incising, adding bits and carving clay to make a reverse image. These come in handy as I cut out each barrette, pressing it into different clay reliefs that I have used for other projects. Next I use my smaller stamps to further detail each rectangle of clay. The edges must be smoothed, before I place each carefully over a dowel, weighing down either edge so a gentle curve is created. Each ceramic art barrette must fit the metal structure of the sturdy clip made in France.
After firing to bisque, so the clay hardens to a durable material, I begin the coloring process. The raised relief and incised areas will add interest to the surface of the barrette as the glazes flow. I use a mix of under glazes which do not flow, staying where they are placed and flow glazes. The flow glazes accent the hills and valleys of the pattern.
I employ my ceramic hair clips barrette nearly every other day. If I just want gather my thick hair in a pony tail or just gather a few wisps to keep hair from falling in my face, it does both perfectly. The metal french clips are very well made. Feel free to give your barrette a work out. I make them to last.
Each barrette will vary a bit in size colors and patterning as I make them each individually. They average about 1.2 to 2″ long by 1.5 wide(clips) or barrettes; 2.5-3″ x 1.25″. Each comes with a nice tag and is signed by me:).
There are plenty of french barrettes to choose from here at Chesapeake East! Hope to see you one day soon.
Here is the inspiration for my folk art toys. I love a sculpture or painting that brings you in mid-story…. causing you to imagine the rest. Art of this kind works a magic causing the viewer to linger lost in the weave of their interpretation of the creation before them. For a moment they are relieved of the normal and cast into the easy fantasy of mental play.
Where is this cat off to?
Only you know. I hand-build the boat from clay slabs and sculpted the cat in “seeing eye”canoe- carving back into the color to add texture and design.
It does roll if you wish- but the folk art toys are mainly just for visual amusement. The cat in canoe measures 10″ x 9″ x 4”.
This folk art owl has sold to a wonderful friend and collector. However I am happy to make other owls- each with their special personality. The wings are intricately decorated and attached to the body with brass screws. The feathers are individually textured and applied. The owl measures 10″x 8″x 4″. He does roll if you wish- but the art toys are mainly just for visual amusement. I will be making a crow next:)
Folk Art Owl has a playful spirit
I create my folk art toys like the owl in the spirit of old fashion rolling toys. While they are created for adult collectors, my hope is to appeal to the child within. The role of my art is to brighten the everyday with a sprinkle of cheer.
To order one of my folk art toys
If you wish you had a cheerful folk art toy just contact me thru a call or email and I’ll make you one. Please specify any colors or special features you wish to have included. All of the folk art toys shown have been adopted to good homes- but I am happy to make similar ones or other commissions.
It brings me such joy to wish you happy nest through my hand painted wedding ceramic serving bowls and platters.
My latest design is “Happy Nest”. On the inside the floral design surrounds two birds facing one another. This signifies a happy marriage and love that grows. The vines form a heart and a single acorn hangs over the two love birds. The acorns stand for the beginning seed of a long, strong marriage. I brush each freehand using cobalt blue underglaze. This creates a traditional look reminiscent of delftware, but fresh.
First comes love…
I made the first custom ceramic Long Love Wedding bowl for our lovely neighbors across street as they celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. Both are avid gardeners as they tackle their lush yard together. A relationship is a journey through all kinds of weather so it’s best to travel with a friend that nurtures you through every season. You do need to tend that garden or spouse with care and empathy. Karl and Bettie’s garden is now 75 years of love.
Inside the bowl I inscribe “long love is a well tended garden.” Next, I paint the bride and groom’s names and wedding dates on the base of the bowl. There is a fish pond surrounded by a flower garden and stately oak trees. The quote rings the pond on the inside of the ceramic bowl. The outside has alternating bachelor buttons & roses. All handpainted in bright underglazes by me. This is one of my most popular pieces. Always one of the most favorite gifts at weddings or anniversaries.
Collect matching ceramic dinnerware in your custom wedding bowl Happy Nest or Long Love pattern.
Collect matching ceramic dinnerware for any of our wedding bowl patterns. Complimentary pieces such as the “Happy Nest” platter, wedding goblets, or other dinnerware may be ordered to match the serving bowl. Our collectable custom dinnerware can be given at the wedding shower, wedding or on subsequent anniversaries.