Tag Archives: handmade georgia pottery

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Who am I?

I love to write about my interest and experiences and most often I take a fact and expand on it just for the fun of it.  Over the next few articles, that I write you can decide if they are truth or fiction.

I’ll start with one phrase that my husband and I always say, “We are God blessed”.  Every Thursday we do Meals on Wheels and we deliver to about 10 people who are either just old or have health problems.  We are, in a lot of cases, delivering to people who are younger than we are.  Most of the ladies are really lonely, and the only people many of them see each day is the person who delivers their lunch to them.  We try to spend time with the ones who are really lonely.  If you want to feel God Blessed, then volunteer to help the poor or the lonely.

We have been blessed with two wonderful children, our daughter, Eebie, and our son, Chip.  They are in their 50’s now and I keep saying I’m not old enough to have kids that old.  Each of them has their own families and have made their way successfully in the world.  My Mother thought men were pretty stupid.  So when my sister and I ended up with only male grandchildren we used to tease her saying it was her fault we didn’t have any girls.  In a later story, I will write about my Mom who was indeed a lady who walked to a different drummer.

Family Portrait

This is called a tease so you will keep coming back to read my stories.

When I was but a wee person I had asthma and at that time they did not know how to treat it.  When I would have an attack they would wrap me in a handmade quilt and put me in a rocking chair in front of the door thinking the fresh air would help me breathe.  Well, I was allergic to everything that blossoms at night so it is amazing I survived at all.  I think that the health problems and the fact that it turned out I have dyslexia probably formed the basis of why I am an artist.

When I was director of an art non-profit promoting artists, as well as writers, I realized that most artists and writers have some form of disability that they have used their creativeness to overcome their problems.  Probably the one time it was blaring in my face was a writers’ workshop that had many successful retired people attending.  The writing was absolutely amazing.  Then one session the instructor asks each of us to read a paragraph out of a book and not one of us could read without hesitation.  It was an eye opener and also a wonderful revelation that many of our creative successful people are also the ones who have overcome or worked around a disability.

I hated school because I would think I had made an A on a test and it would come back C, D, F.  Many years later I realized it was because I was mixing up my letters as I wrote.  I managed to keep a C average and did get accepted into college.  Luckily I met my husband in my sophomore year and quit and got married.  Of all the stupid things I was working on a Bachelor of Science degree.  Obviously, I thought very highly of myself.

I realized that I had dyslexia when my son was diagnosed in the second grade.  When they explained his problems it was quite an eye opener, but at last, I knew I wasn’t stupid.   Thank God for spell check, because I can now express myself and only be laughed with and not at when it is my choice.

I’ve been in the arts since 1964 but never thought about being successful are “famous” until one day a lady I had sculpted a piece for turned me down and later told a neighbor, "I didn’t buy her piece because she is not famous."

Bird of Paradise Sculpture

That is the first time in 20+ years of selling my art that I sat down and wrote a bio of everything I had accomplished.  I said “Damn I’m good!” and closed the book and kept on creating and having fun doing exactly what I want to do.  To be happy you only have to see yourself as being famous to heck with what other people think.

I used to say life begins after 55, but now I realize it gets better and better each year.  So next year I will say life begins at 80.  I thank God every day for my family, but more than that I thank him for bringing these friends into my life.  They keep me young in spirit.

Luncheon outing in Greenville SC.

I truly am God Blessed in every way.

PS: When I showed my pottery friends the photo of Charles and I  they said, "We recognize Chuck, that doesn't look like you!".  I still don't know how to take that.

www.etsy.com/shop/SimplySusansPots

www.etsy.com/shop/Eastburnoriginals

www.etsy.com/shop/PotterybyNoell

www.etsy.com/shop/Runningrabbitpottery

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This is the continuing stories by Jaymi about why she believes God guides her hand.

Spirit Homes
Spirit Homes

I do not remember how my “Spirit Homes” came into being, but I suspect one of my friends was sick and I pondered how to cheer her up, and then bam, there the idea was in my brain.  I believe that God sends ideas into my head, after all, who else could come up with some of the crazy things that come out of my hands?  I thank him every day for the gifts he sends my way.

When I give the Spirit Homes away, or customers buy them, I get feedback that is always positive.  I remember one young mother was having her kitchen redone, and it was the kitchen from hell.  We put a spirit home in the kitchen window and not only did her kitchen end up beautiful, about two weeks later she met the man she would soon marry.  She still has the spirit home because in her mind that is what completely changed her life.

Hanging Spirit Home
Hanging Spirit Home

One lady was having marital problems and every time she needed to take her rings off she laid them in the spirit home above her sink.  The marriage is still strong today.  I’m not claiming my spirit homes perform miracles I am just saying that if you believe in miracles anything can happen.

I always include a write up that says, “Good Spirit Homes provide a soft bed of cotton for your good spirits to rest and revitalize.  If you are having a bad day check the cotton it might have become lumpy or dirty.”

For a joke one day I made a “Bad Spirit Trap” with spiders and snakes.  It has hooks over the entrance so the bad spirits can’t get out.  The saying I send with it is “Do not place the Bad Spirit Trap near the edge of a shelf, because if two are more bad spirits get inside they will start to fight among themselves, and pretty soon the Trap will start rocking and rolling and fall off of the shelve, breaking and releasing your bad spirits back into the room.”  Men and boys are the only ones who have purchased these traps so for.

Bad Spirit Traps
Bad Spirit Traps

I made Bad Spirit Traps with magnets on the back and I called them calorie traps.  You would put them on your refrigerator and when you got something like ice cream out to eat, the calories from the food would flow into the trap.  You could eat in peace knowing the calories couldn't get out and land on your hips.  This must have come from my brain instead of God's because I never even sold one.  Oh well on to the next project.

Just a final note.  As I am writing this it is election day and i have voted.  My husband and I went to our Church also and we prayed to God.  Not to let our candidate win but rather to watch over America during this time and to guide us in the way you want us to live.  God Bless America!

Here is the address from each of us to go to our Etsy shops and enjoy all of the new art we are creating.

Patti Petit http://www.etsy.com/shop/runningrabbitpottery 

Jaymi Hampton - http://www.etsy.com/shop/EastbournOriginals

Susan Holmes http://www.etsy.com/shop/SimplySusansPots

Patricia Noell http://www.etsy.com/shop/PotterybyNoell

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Jaymi's experience with the Unusual presence of God

FNERs having fun
FNERs having fun

Times I know when God has had his hand in what I was creating.

As a clay artist, you know that God is with you because he has provided the earth that you are manipulating with your hands.  I have had several times where I know that God guided my hands.  There was also one piece that the spirit of the piece just was not happy.   I’ll tell that story first then tell you about my funky creatures.

I have made porcelain angels for ages and their wings have always been very beautiful and fragile. One day it was late, but I finished an angel and put it on the shelf to dry.  The next morning I came in the studio and the angel was on the floor.  The only thing that was broken was the wings.  So I picked her back up added wings and set her on the shelf making sure this time that she was not near the edge.

Painted angels
Painted angels

The next morning there she was on the floor again, and again only her wings were broken.  I set her on the shelf and I said “OK you don’t want to be an angel.  When you decide what you want to be just let me know?”  She is not on the shelf anymore so I don’t know where she went, but I hope she is finally happy.

I have always known that God is with me because he blessed me with talent to create art.  It is his talent that flows through my hands I do not take credit for it.

Mountain Laurel sculpture
Mountain Laurel sculpture

Fifteen years ago I had a large order of Mountain Laurel flower sculptures to make and I just was not in the mood.  I just set squeezing the clay between my fingers.  Pretty soon I started seeing these crazy creatures starting to evolve.  They made me laugh and I was no longer working I was having fun.  I named them “For No Reason” or Fners for short.  I put a pretty high price on them in the gallery I was then director of because I figured no one would buy them, so they were just there for the laughs.

Billy Pig talking to ant.
Billy Pig talking to ant.

Two weeks later 9/11 happened and a great sadness hung over all of us.  Within a month people started coming in the gallery and my Fners were walking out the door in great numbers.  I started asking people why are you purchasing them and the answer was, “I have been so depressed that I just need something in my life to make me smile again.”  Then I knew God had known what was going to happen and that people would need something to pick their spirits back up.  He provided it through my hands.

That was fifteen years ago and when I realized that I wanted to write a story about Fners that it has been years since I have made them.  Last week I started making them, again and again, my spirits just began to jump with joy.  That is when I realized that I had been down in spirit because arthritis in my hands is making it harder for me to sculpt.  Now I am back in the studio having a great time playing in the clay.  I'm already planning my next story about how my Spirit Homes came into being.

 

1After spending years working for a large corporation, we moved away from the big city where I began to realize that there were more meaningful ways to use my creativity.  A close friend, Susan Holmes, introduced me to hand-built pottery - an exciting craft that is original and artistic. As soon as I put my hands in that clay, I just knew this was it!  I had discovered a media that I could adapt to my own unique ideas and designs.

Growing up, I used to admire my mother's creativity. She was an accomplished oil painter and seamstress. She would make outfits for me and commission work for other people. And even though I dabbled in sewing or tried my hand at drawing and acrylics, it wasn't until I was introduced to clay that I truly discovered this medium that would become my passion.

I’ve only been working with clay a few years but I have picked up so many skills and techniques. And while the learning process has been very enjoyable, my real feeling of accomplishment comes from the satisfaction that my completed original piece has been appreciated and valued by others.

Now I spend endless hours creating pieces for anyone to collect and enjoy.  My body of work includes unique and functional pieces created from start to finish from a rolled out slab of clay. These forms incorporate glazing techniques and textures which make each piece stand out.

I’m excited about being part of the “Lady Fingers Pottery” blog.  We’ll be sharing stories and our work for you to enjoy and share.

You can visit my shop at www.etsy.com/shop/potterybynoell

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Trail run
Setting up our Etsy Shops together, left to right: Pat Noell, Susan Holmes, Jaymi Hampton, Missy Whitlock. Missing is Patti Petit and Missy still doesn't have her shop set up.

I am the oldest of our tribe, and I have been in the pottery business the longest having opened my first business called “Jaymi of Boca Raton” in 1974.  When I moved out of Boca Raton, Florida, and up to the mountains of Georgia in 1992, I changed the name to Eastburn Originals.

I have been very blessed throughout my life to be able to do what I love and make money, and at the same time, I never had to pay any house hold bills, so all of my money went right back into purchasing more art supplies. I had time to create without worrying about my future.  If everyone could be as lucky as I am, the world would be full of happy creative people.

I am excited about “Lady Fingers Pottery” website because here we can show off our creative work in both what we produce with our hands and also with our brains. It will be a mixture of pottery, cooking recipes, and storytelling about the past, the present and the future.  I hope you will join us for the ride.

This link will take you to my Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EastburnOriginals