Breathe …is there anything more important?



Wheels, coins, frisbees, manhole covers, DVD's, and buttons, are round.

Balls, BB's, planets, bubbles, and marbles are spherical.

Why are these such special shapes? And why are these things round or spherical?

Why are bubbles spherical? A sphere most efficiently balances the air pressure between the two sides of the soap film. Planets are spherical because the gravitational force compresses matter into a shape that is evenly distributed.

And, why are manhole covers round? There are many answers to this question but the one I like the most is that a round cover is the only shape that will not fall through a round hole. Every other shape could drop into it's diagonal. (Images of manhole cover rubbings here: Christiansen Designs.)

Other facts about circles:

  • Cylindrical containers can hold more volume than square or hexagonal containers made with the same amount of material.
  • Round plates hold more food.
  • A round pizza uses less dough to fill the largest space.
  • A round table gives diners more space for more dishes, as well as, a sense of equality.


Also round - the mandala pictured below from

Buddho Telescope

Source for part of this information: A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe, Michael Schneider


Eternal Glimpse

After doing battle with "perfect is the enemy of done," I am launching my new site with a new domain name -


The name just jumped into my head one day. I like the apparent contradiction of terms; eternal meaning timeless and glimpse meaning a happening that takes place in an instant. Occasionally we are fortunate enough to get a glimpse of enlightenment.

This site will showcase mandalas - tools for balancing chi, focusing attention, calming the spirit.

I created them over a few years. They were inspired by spiritual longing, curiosity, winter depression, sadness, and joy.

May they bring peace and happiness to all beings and perhaps the glimpse will become a lasting gaze.

Feng Shui Element - Fire



I'm interested in what makes good design and process involved in making good design. I posted the video below so I could find it easily.

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Clay is so……

.......romantic, sensual, slippery, messy and fun.

Even before the movie Ghost and this great scene with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze came out, I thought clay was romantic.

YouTube Preview Image

Was it my college professor, way back then, who said, "Make love to the clay." Hey those were the free love 70's.

To be continued. Perhaps. Clay is calling, wanting attention....................

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Give me more light!

Much of the time I don't have much to say, hence, pictures. Pictured below is my new lamp. I made the base with Vashon Orange clay. I assembled it from five thrown pieces. It is unglazed and fired to cone 6. I used a bottle lamp-kit with a female die cut rubber stopper inserted into the top of the clay base. A steel nipple is screwed into that piece and all the other components of the lamp are assembled around it.  The shade is connected with a piece of metal called a harp that arches around the bulb and socket.  I had to ponder the proportions of the base vs. the shade. The first shade I bought was too small. Also, the size of the harp should equal the size of the shade. If it doesn't, the shade will be like an over-sized hat. To turn on the lamp, one would have to reach up under the shade and also, the shade would obscure the base.

My husband helped me assemble the socket. He is so good at getting out his ohm meter and measuring all the places that need to be measured. I asked him to measure my hands; I was hoping that my electro-biochemical chi would register....but it didn't.


Also pictured: raku vase made by Larry Clark and ceramic sphere sculptures.

That's what I learned. And certainly, I've written more words than I have anticipated.



My friend Joel gave me a very nice glaze formula for a greenish blueish glaze. It is a very stable glaze: doesn't run, pit, bubble. I decided I wanted to see what it would look like if it were a bit more blue. Pictured below is the result. I layered with a cobalt blue glaze over the turquoise to give it a bit more texture. Pictured here it is cradled around a couple of squared-off red bowls. They remind me of a simple mandala.


Pictured below alone.

Turquoise bowl

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Sale, Form vs. Function

Last week we had our annual winter pottery sale at North Idaho College.

I feel grateful to all those who directed the flow of money in my direction and vow to let that flow continue on to a place where it will do the most good for us all. After all, money is like water, best when it flows.

I enjoyed watching people shop. They looked at the pieces, picked them up, turned them upside-down to look at the bottoms. I had lots of different kinds of things for sale.

For Sale

I sold all my bottles, gave away a lot of my fridge magnets.

Fridge Magnet Mandala

What I found interesting....Even though some pieces only hint at functionality, we stretched our imaginations to give them some function. I wonder why? With two dimensional art, all we need is to hang a it on the wall and appreciate it. With ceramics this hinting sends us into the mindset of almost needing a piece to have a function? Some things are just cool to look at; for example, the jars below.

Wonky Jars

Oh by the way, I didn't include these jars in the sale. I like the way they look as a group, so will be keeping them around.


The Intention: Perfection or… Art and Control

One of my clay friends is always attempting to make the perfect pot. She frets and sands and frets and sands. All her pieces are so precise and made with such attention to detail; but then...they go into the kiln (pictured below), to be subjected to a trial-by-fire with temperatures as high as 2350 degrees. They come out with beautifully hardened glazes, vitrified clay bodies and many times a bit warped.

Gas Kiln

The bowl pictured below was perfectly round when I made it. This is how it came out of the kiln.


Is this not like life?  We start out with good intentions aiming at perfection. We want our lives to be just so and then our experiences affect us and we aren't perfect anymore; neither is life, but perhaps, like this bowl, we have more character.

I was giving my perfectionist friend a bad time about her attempts at creating perfect pots. She protested and said that this was the only thing in her life she had control of, so she was going to make her clay creations as perfect as possible. I had to give her credit for a good rationale and I immediately backed-off.

Isn't it ultimately the desire for control that makes us make art? However, the thing about firing clay pots, especially in a gas kiln,  is that when we fire them we give up control. What happens is either wonderful or... not. For me this uncertainty is part of intrigue.



My second firing included many pieces glazed with Georgie's glazes. Short of having a fuel burning kiln for reduction firing, these commercial glazes from Georgie's are great for interesting colors. They are layered giving more depth. I bought Incredible Black and Apple Red and applied a thick coat of Apple Red over a thin layer of Incredible Black. I was very pleased with the results. The only thing I would change is the finish. These glazes are very shiny and hard to photograph. Following are more examples from this firing. I am posting these partly for my clay friends to see.


In ceramics class at NIC, Merla Barberie made this teapot that looked like it was going down the freeway at 90 MPH. I got the idea for this one from her.


Bowl glazed with Incredible Black and several other colors on top.

And...a funny little footed teapot.

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Our Vizsla Sora just turned five. The slide show above contains a selection of pictures from her first wonderful years with our family. Sora is birdy, she loves to run, she loves to cuddle.

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