It has been a long odd winter. One week sunny and balmy. The next week brutally cold. My studio is in an old Victorian carriage house that is built on brick piers. Heavy oak timbers support a structure that stands over a three-foot earthen cellar. As the frost deepens, this space becomes colder and colder. Soon the overhead shop heaters only overcome the cold above my waste. I have learned the hard way that clay stored on the floor freezes. I must keep my feet moving to overcome the numbness. Warming showers grow longer and longer. By December, I am usually struggling to finish projects for the year-end rush and to complete my annual holiday tiles.
At last, the cold wins. The studio is shuttered for the winter and the sole goal of the heater is to prevent the pipes from freezing. During January and February, I draw, dream and become ever more anxious to execute the projects that fly from pen to pad. But this winter saw more than the continued development of the arc of my designs. This year, with the help of an outstanding design firm, I set out to enhance my internet image.
Starting in early-February a new vision of Artifacts By Design began to find its way online. I can tell the story of my studio and keep readers up-to-date on new projects and upcoming events. They will be able to see galleries containing the best of my work and I will regularly offer tips in a new blog to give folks the tools to make Raku more exciting. I will even use the site to provide information on my classes, to introduce new designs and to unveil special seasonal lines or exciting new work.
As construction continues, new functionality is added. For the first time ever, visitors will be able to shop online for my raku, saggar, horsehair and monoprints. Galleries will be expanded and links to educational opportunities throughout New Jersey will provide resources for ceramic artists of all abilities to expand their knowledge and love of our remarkable art form.
Join me as I continue the exciting journey to develop this site. Let me know what you think and be sure to give me your feedback. This year, spring promises to deliver more than giving me access to my frosty studio. It will give the world access to my work and designs. Enjoy your time at this site and thank you for joining me.