Monday, July 13, 2009

Etsy Mud Team Feathered Friends Challenge

7/12 through 7/20, the Etsy Mud Team is hosting a challenge for functional items made specifically for birds. There's a screen shot below of some of the entries (mine is in the bottom left corner). To see the rest and vote for your favorite, you can go directly to the team website here.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


What is enough work? Since preschool ended for the summer have been sorely missing my chunks of work time. It's been difficult with the new schedule, and teaching kids classes, and summer shows, and a disastrously messy studio (that I've been trying to clean out) to get much in the way of actual clay work done.

However, I have been spending some wonderful quality time with my daughter. We've made cakes and cookies and bread, practiced reading, played with play dough, sang silly songs together, and read our way through wonderful novels like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Dragon Rider, and some of The Series of Unfortunate Events. I'm insanely pleased and proud of the way she's started reading more difficult words on her own, and the way she likes to read easy readers to me "without help". I know that I will miss all of this when I go back to school in the Fall and she goes to full-time preschool, so I try to make the most of our time together. Still, I have a nagging itchy feeling when I'm not able to devote solid time to working with clay and I wonder at times if I'm just being lazy when I sit to cuddle with my little one and watch an episode of Star Trek from our recently purchased DVD collection.

In many ways, whether what I'm doing is "enough" comes down to who I'm trying to be. I often feel pulled a million ways by mothering, housework, extracurriculars for my little one, teaching, and making pots. Do I "really" want to be an artist, a supermom, or a teacher? And what if I want to be all of those things at once? Something has to give, and right now I feel like it's the art. Maybe that's ok.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Birthday Cake

Last year, when my daughter turned three, I made a flowered cake for her. This year, she wanted to make one with me. We bought colored fondant and a cutter/press to make flowers with. She cut out the flowers and sprinkled them with sugar. We laid them in a cupcake tin to set the curve and then the next day, put the cake all together. She especially enjoyed tasting and coloring the frosting and sprinkling sugar on everything. The whole time we were working on the flowers and the cake, she kept commenting, "I'm so glad we're making these together!"

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

This week, my local paper featured my polymer clay work in their arts and entertainment section. They talked about my clay work as well as my polymer clay stuff. Here's an excerpt from the article:

BOUNTIFUL — Loving one art form doesn’t mean that a girl can’t have fun with another.

After the economy caused pottery sales to slow down considerably, local potter Tara Robertson started creating whimsical animal and flower jewelry with polymer clay. Those birds, bugs and flowers have expanded enough to earn Robertson feature artist status June 5-8 at, and gives her the chance to explore her flights of fancy.

“Polymer clay comes in these bright, beautiful colors,” she said. “I try to use it to its advantage and make things that are bright and colorful.”

Robertson’s introduction to polymer clay came when she started teaching kids’ classes using the material, and found that it was the perfect thing to take along when the family went on vacation.

“It’s a really good way to keep my hands busy,” she said. “It’s not as if you can take a pottery wheel on vacation with you.”

The speed of polymer clay jewelry also appeals to Robertson, allowing her to see a design come to life much faster than with pottery.

“With the polymer clay you can go from start to finish in about a day, where with pottery it takes about a month,” she said. “It’s kind of instant gratification.”

That immediacy also allows Robertson to fold her work into playtime with her young daughter.

“She’ll just say ‘oh, let’s make birds,’” she said. “She’ll sit down and squish her clay, and I’ll work on my stuff.”

So far, Robertson is planning a future that holds both pottery and polymer clay jewelry. She’s planning on going back to school in the fall for ceramics, and this summer she’ll continue teaching mixed media and polymer clay jewelry classes at her home studio in Bountiful

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Newly glazed Birdhouses

There is a little robin that lives in a tree in front of our house. Every day, several times a day, it will perch on the ledge of our big front window and sit for a while looking in. My daughter has named it "Cinderella" (you'll never guess where she got that name from) and will come sing to it when it perches there. I finally finished and glazed my new birdhouses, so maybe I'll put one outside and see if another "Cinderella" or even an "Aurora" comes to roost.

Friday, May 01, 2009

The Beehive Bazaar

I just set up for the Beehive Bazaar last night. I'm really excited about this show, walking around, I loved the style of most of the booths. I even bought a purse from Noelle O Designs with cute appliqued birds and a t-shirt from Scatter Brain Tees that says "Buy Handmade" with a totally awesome illustration. The show started last night and will run through Saturday. If you're local in Utah, this is one not to miss.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Playing on the Wheel

My daughter tried out the wheel for the first time last night. We coned up and down and she made little bowls by pushing her fist down into the middle of centered lumps while it was spinning. While we were working on her pots, she positively took charge. "Look Mom, I'm going to show you how to do this because I don't think you know how." What on earth would I do without her?