Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Featuring POTTERY BY AMY!!

Introducing Amy Loggains...
I was born in Greensboro, NC and have lived here in the Triad all of my life.
I like calling North Carolina home! My husband and I currently live in High Point and have one daughter who still lives at home. Our son lives in British Columbia with his lovely Canadian bride, and our other daughter and her husband are currently teaching English in South Korea.

What are the web addresses people can find you at? (website, etsy, blog, flickr)
You can view some of my pottery at this address.
Amy's pottery can be purchased at:
C J's Boutique - a Handcrafted Gallery
6000 Meadowbrook Mall Suite 7A
Clemmons, NC 27012
Boutique hours: Tues - Fri 10 - 6 and Sat 10 - 3


What is your favorite color combination?
I kind of go through cycles. Right now, I love the brown & teal glazes together.

What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
I remember making pot holders out of those stretchy loops of material.
I think I must have been about 8 or 10 years old. What a cool feeling to make something with my own hands - selecting each strand of color - and then my mother actually kept them and used it for many years!

What inspires you?
Ideas mostly.

Where do your ideas come from?
I see everyday things that have interesting textures or shapes that I think, "I wonder what that would look like if I......" So I just try it. Sometimes, I just try to make things out of pottery that I've never seen or heard of anyone doing before. I made a North Carolina map puzzle which has all 100 counties of NC. Weird I know.

Does the atmosphere affect your creativity?
It does to some extent but my frame of mind has more of an effect I think.

Where do you create, in a workroom/ studio or in a park?
I use the studio at the Greensboro Cultural Arts Center.

What are your favorite materials?
Clay is not very exciting, but I like to use different items to imprint or shape it, that are unique.

What is your favorite thing to do with your creativity?
I enjoy finding a different technique or imprint or shape, that is pleasing to me, but that maybe no one else has thought of using or doing that way before. Making business card holders is one example. I had never seen a pottery business card holder but I thought - why not give it a try... and it worked.

Why should people buy handmade?
I think it's cool to look at a piece and know it wasn't stamped out of some machine with 10,000 other ones just like it. Every piece of pottery I make is "one of a kind". For me pottery is an opportunity to break free of the constraints of precision and sameness and just try what ever idea is in my head that day and see what happens!

Any tips of wisdom on selling handmade stuff?
I really have no experience in this, but it does seem to me that a place like CJ's with a collection of many kinds of handmade goods - could be a good thing. I'm hoping so!

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I draw buildings.

What have been the most valuable lessons learned from other artists?
Don't be afraid to try something new.

Read any good books lately?
Yes, my husband and I have been married 29 years, but our daughter just got married last month, so we've been reading books on marriage lately. "The most important year in a woman's life/the most important year in a man's life" is a great book for newlyweds or soon to weds.

Do you have any current projects that you want to describe, techniques to share, give picture of?
I've attached a picture & description of a french butter keeper and how it works.
One of the things that made me want to take a turn at pottery, was the french butter keeper.

What a clever little things these are - I loved the concept of not having to refrigerate butter to keep it from spoiling - but to have soft yummy spreadable butter right there on the countertop ready to spread on toast or what ever. I had seen a very few of these "french butter keepers" in a shop in Seagrove, but there was not much selection and although I loved the concept and design - none of the colors or styles appealed to me. So I set out to make a french butter keeper for myself and friends & family who also loved the idea of keeping fresh soft spreadable butter.

***In ten years I'd like to be...
Living outside the city limits in a more rural setting with enough land to romp around through the woods with my future grandchildren and teaching them to enjoy the simple joys that so often are never noticed in a more fast paced complicated lifestyle..

Sunday, April 27, 2008

My Contempt with the South

I have many emotions flooding my being right now. Not good ones either. More sadness and anger. We moved to NC to experience another place and because it was warm, the cost of living was lower than Upstate NY, NO SNOW and the seasons were longer. These are all still very important to me and I love it here for those reasons. There is no doubt that it is beautiful here and each morning I wake up and look around I continue to be in awe with it. BUT the social, educational and environmental issues continue to bother me and more so now that my son is in school. My daughter attends a preschool that fosters open minded thinking, tolerance for all individuals without regard to religion, race, sex etc. and respects the environment so these issues are not prevalent. When we moved here we were naive and did not have a clue that such hatred still existed and continued to be prolific.

Over the last few weeks our family has been faced with a few issues that have come up and thankfully Gavin asks questions and comes to us with them. A few weeks ago while playing with his friend on the play ground Gavin was told that he shouldn't play with black boys because they could beat him up. I heard his friend stand up and say to the boys that they shouldn't say that because it was racist. I of course told him I was proud of him for taking a stand and wondered what they said and he quickly told me. Upon hearing what transpired, I told the boys if they didn't have anything nice to say they shouldn't say anything at all and shortly after that they left the playground.

My husband told me this morning that Gavin asked the best question and he was surprised by it but glad he asked. As he told me the question and his response I was flooded with many emotions and tears welled in my eyes. Gavin was told by someone at his school that only white people could marry white people and black people had to marry black people. Of course Gavin was testing it and asked if it was true. My heart filled with joy that he asked but was filled with sadness that he was told that and he's only in kindergarten. My husband of course told him that when he is old enough to marry someone he should love them for the person they are not for the color of their skin. He explained that we chose friends based on their character and whether they were good people not for what they looked like.

It's alarming and sad to me that my children are faced with such hatred and we have to undo what has been done while they are away. Thankfully they ask questions and we have a family that fosters open minded thinking and open communication with each other.

Someday I hope that we as people come together and love each other for who we are and not what color our skin is or what religion we believe in.

Peace. A small word with a tremendous message...