Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Local Collaboration............

I am a huge advocate of buying local, anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows that. So when I was approached last week by Paul of Island Lights Candle Co. of Wheeling, WV about a collaboration of our two products, I was definitely interested. And after seeing Paul’s products, I was convinced.

I’ll admit it, I know absolutely nothing about making candles. I know even less about soy candles, but Paul gladly offered up a wealth of knowledge about his process and products. Soy candles are green (always a plus), the materials are grown in the U.S., so they support American farmers, they burn cleaner, longer, and cooler than paraffin wax, they hold their scents better, and the wax almost completely burns away when the candle is gone.

So we sat down and came up with a list of my pots that would be great to pour soy candles into. For now, we’re keeping it limited to a few different vessels, mostly large and small mugs, tumblers, and small cylinders, but our list will hopefully grow to include lidded vessels, bowls, and other products. The really great thing about this collaboration is that after you burn the candle, you can throw the vessel in the dishwasher and use it everyday for your coffee, tea, or whatever you’d like.

The scent list that Pauls has is quite impressive, he has recently started an Etsy shop, and I will put a link to it here as soon as he has it up and running. For now, you can purchase out collaborative pieces through my Etsy shop.

Well………I’d better get back into the studio.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

It's Been a While

So I just realized that I've been neglecting my duties as a blogger. I've had a pretty crazy week and a lot has happened. The handsome fellow that you see to the left is my dog Caesar. This week I took him to the vet after I discovered he was bleeding and after an exam I was told that he has a tumor which may be breast cancer (which is rare in male dogs). So tomorrow morning at 8:15 am I'm taking him in to have his tumor removed, as long as there is no cancer that has metastasized to his lungs. Hopefully, everything will. Caesar, even though he's almost 14, has been the model of perfect health. Just last year I was told that he has the heart of a 7 year old.

On the business side of things, this month has been crazy. Business has skyrocketed allowing me to live like a relatively normal person. I've picked up a few spots in which to put my pots and I've decided on the markets and fairs that I'm going to be attending this season (stay tuned for a list!), and I've decided on a budget to put forth for advertising purposes. Now all I have to do is crank out a whole buttload of quality work over the next few months to keep my stock up. I've started making a few new forms in the studio, I'll be sure to post them up here once they're finished and I've tested them to make sure they're not crap. Anyways, until then, stay dirty!

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Stuff!!!!!

Just a quick post. I figured I'd write a quick note to let everyone know that as of March 1st, you can find my pottery at Artworks Around Town in the upper market house of Centre Market in Wheeling.

You can also find my work at the Wheeling Artisan Center on Main St. in Wheeling.

Over this next sale season I will have my work at different sales around the east coast and midwest. I will definitely keep everyone who reads my blog updated.

Oh and I was recently on the front page of Indiespotting, a web site featuring handmade stuff. it's pretty sweet. Definitely check it out!


Now check it!!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

That Wheeling Feeling

I was thinking about one of my many businesses today (I juggle my time between my pottery, a landscaping/ contracting business, and the billiards business I inherited from my father) and I started thinking about all of the great resources that we have in the small city that I live in. And since I just talked about local businesses in my first post, I decided that I would take this opportunity to make a list of my top ten favorite local businesses in Wheeling, WV.

Just a heads up about this list: there's really no rhyme or reason to this list. It is comprised of local restaurants and businesses that I frequent or see as being an asset to our community. These businesses aren't listed in any sort of order, and none are favored over others. So.....here we go!

1. Good Mansion Wines (95 14th st.)

This wine store is the ONLY place in Wheeling that sells wine exclusively. They have an amazing selection, and the building is an incredible Victorian-style Mansion. On the whole, the store pretty much rocks. The owner, Dominick, is incredibly knowledgeable and he employs a few really cool people at the shop. Here's the web site if you want to check it out:


2. Later (or Later Alligator, as many call it) (2145 Market St.)

This restaurant belongs to my friend Mitch's mom Susan. Susan is an incredible woman. She and a handful of other people restored the building in which her restaurant is located, and they did an amazing job. Not to mention the fact that their food is incredible. They focus mainly on crepes, but they have great sandwiches also. All in all, this place is great. Definitely check it out if you can. On a side note, the small windows at the top of the storefront were designed and patented by Frank Lloyd Wright.

3. Ye Olde Alpha (50 Carmel Road)

This is one of Wheelings oldest and busiest watering holes. This bar rocks. Hands down. That's all there is to say about it. Oh and they have really great food, large beers, and tons of dead animals adorning the walls. Check them out online at:


4. Crone's Clothing Store

Crone's could easily be one of the oldest businesses in Wheeling. They opened their doors in 1908 and they exclusively sell men's clothing and their tailor is absolutely the best. Unfortunately, Crone's was recently forced to relocate to the new shopping center outside of downtown due to the fact that they were about the last retail store in the downtown area. Still, these guys have been doing great work in Wheeling for a really long time.

5. Jebbia's Market (2600 Chapline St.)

So you know how every town has that really great market where you can get really fresh produce and great deli stuff? Well, Jebbia's is Wheeling's answer to that market. I shop here every week. You really can't beat their deli. They've got great stuff and REALLY good prices, as well as the world's best chicken salad.

6. The Salsa Cafe (56 Carmel Road)

The Salsa Cafe was opened by a lawyer and his wife who moved back to Wheeling to open his restaurant after selling burritos in the streets of Washington, D.C. The food at this restaurant is amazing. The burritos are huge and they have more hot sauces than you can shake a stick at. They also have about a thousand other great things on their menu.


7. Lou W. Nau Hardware (69 Edgington Lane)

This hardware store is by far one of the best in Wheeling. The guys at this store have helped me out on more than one occasion and they carry some seriously hard to find parts. There are a lot of OLD houses in Wheeling, and when you need a replacement part, this is the place to go. And their prices can't be beat. I've saved a lot of money shopping here vs. the local home improvement superstore.


8. The Wheeling Artisan Center (1400 Main St.)

The Artisan Center is exactly what Wheeling needs more of. It is an amazingly restored old building on Main St. that sells the work of local artists (including myself), craftsmen, and food producers. They have an amazing space and the people are great. They also have an amazing Celtic festival here every year where they serve some amazing beers.


9. The Towngate Theater (2118 Market Street)

The Towngate Theater is owned by the Oglebay Institute which is, in and of itself, an amazing part of Wheeling. The Towngate puts on theatrical productions and shows indie films from time to time. The admission is super cheap and they put on some really great shows. This is a place to definitely check out if you're ever in Wheeling.


10. Sasseen's Diner (2147 Market St.)

Sasseen's is one of those diners where everyone goes for lunch. They have great food, really cheap prices, and a great atmosphere. They have the best burgers in downtown and their hoagies are enormous. There are seriously a thousand things I could say about this place. It would honestly be easier for you to just go and eat there yourself. Definitely definitely check it out.

Well that's it. Although there are a lot of other great places in Wheeling. There has been a serious movement here recently to revive the downtown area. So hopefully in the next few years we'll see some more great business open up. Until next time!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday

Today I got to unload a glaze kiln that I fired yesterday and I came to a realization; I need another kiln. I've been trying to focus more on efficiency in the studio, as I'm trying to increase my production quite a bit. So I figured that while I was firing a glaze kiln, I could also be firing a bisque kiln. I have the studio space, and I could double the amount of pieces I produce. My glaze kiln did, however, turn out quite well. A fine example of that would be this bowl to your left.

I've also come to the conclusion that I need to research surface texture in my work more, whether it be through stamps, or impressing objects into the surfaces of my pots, or something else that I have yet to come up with.

I've been checking out the work of my fellow members of the Etsy Mud Team and I am impressed everyday by the caliber of work that comes out of that group. I have been so inspired by the members of the Mud Team and have already gotten so much great advice from them. So I'd like to take this opportunity to say thanks to the members of the Mud Team who are always sooooooooo helpful. I greatly appreciate the advice you all have given me as well as the compliments. If you haven't had the pleasure of seeing the work of many of the members of the Etsy Mud Team, here is a link to our Etsy shop:


Well, that's about all I have to say for now. Go Steelers!!!!!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

After writing my first post yesterday, I realized that I completely neglected to introduce myself or give any sort of insight or background into my life. My name, in case you didn't know it already, is Adam. I am an artist and I live in Wheeling, WV. I have a sweet apartment with my roommate and long time friend T. I have a beagle named Marley, whom I adopted from my sister when she moved to NYC. Marley pretty much rocks. She's incredibly smart and loves to play, a lot. Really her only pitfall is that she really likes to pee on bathmats.

I'm a potter and a sculptor. I like to restore furniture and build things. I like to reuse old things and recycle as many things as possible. I'm currently trying to jury into a few different artist co-ops and galleries. I was recently accepted into Artworks Around Town in Centre Market in Wheeling.

I am very proud of the city I live in. I really like Wheeling. It's a great town with a lot of history. However, I heartily disagree with many of the decisions made by the local government concerning the way that they try to attract business back into downtown. I won't go into much detail about that now because I have a LONG blog to write about that one later.

Anyways, I think that's about enough for now. I'm heading back to my studio.

Working in a Winter Wonderland

Ah, you have to love winter, it's coming back in a big way. Global warming just can't seem to keep winter down. This winter has been much worse than last year. Today it snowed probably two inches by 8 am. That made getting around pretty interesting. I realize that for people in a few areas of the country two inches isn't much, but when you put two inches of snow on top of two inches of ice, driving starts to get a little tricky. So naturally, we ventured out to get some rock salt to rid ourselves of some of this craziness and make it a little easier to get our vehicles out. Wouldn't you know it, the Lowe's right down the street was completely out of rock salt. And not just rock salt, they were out of heaters, rock salt, parts for heaters, and just about any other item you could think of that would help someone during the coldest part of the year. I was amazed. They said that they couldn't even order more in because they were "out of season."

The entire situation dumbfounded me. I mean, here we are in the coldest two months of our winter and rock salt and heaters are considered out of season. So, we went to the local hardware store, sure enough out front there was an entire pallet of ice melter. This brings me to my point, and what will probably be the point of most of my posts on this blog; in these tough economic times, we should all be counting on the "little guys" in our communities, local stores owned by local people. These stores are the ones that have been around for years. They're the ones who have those hard to find parts that have been sitting on the shelves for 20 years. They're the stores who charge just a little more than the big box retailers. And they're the store who sponsor the local little league team or give back to the community in some other way. These stores are the ones who need to be the backbone of our communities.

As you can probably tell, I'm a fan of buying local. I try to buy local whenever I can, and now that our economy is in the shape that it's in, I'm going to try to buy local and support local businesses as much as I can. Big box retailers will easily survive this recession. They may have to cut some jobs and perhaps close a few locations, but they will survive. It's those small businesses in our communities that need our help more than ever.

So in closing, I'll leave you with a photo from my studio this morning. It's on a pretty big hill so we get a bit more snow than I do downtown at my apartment.