Friday, October 31, 2008

An Army of Women

Last month I signed up for "An Army of Women," an effort by Dr. Susan Love and Avon to sign up a million women to participate in breast cancer research. Their focus is on expanding research to include breast cancer prevention, as well as treatment and cure.

This week I received my first email update detailing a research project in my area. I don't qualify to participate in this project, but I was amazed at how simple participation would have been. In this case, they wanted to study healthy sisters of women with breast cancer and participation would have involved having blood drawn and providing samples such as toenail clippings and household dust. It seems like a very easy thing to do... there's plenty of dust in my house!

In volunteering I want to honor the courageous battle against this disease waged by my mother-in-law as well as a very dear friend. And as I write this, I just found out that someone close to our family has just received a diagnosis.

So I want to urge all my women friends to please join An Army of Women!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Studio Essentials

Kitchen supply stores are great places for potters (although these days I'm frequenting the kitchen gadgets section of the local thrift store rather than the mall!). Someone recently mentioned how important corn starch is in their studio: sprinkling a little corn starch on soft clay before impressing it with your favorite stamp helps keep the clay from sticking to the stamp! I've found a lot of other kitchen supplies to be just as useful. I use the corn starch for impressing, but spray cooking oil for making carved pieces such as the lamp pictured in an earlier posting. The oil helps the knife or scalpel cut more smoothly avoiding those pesky clay crumbs! Another useful item is hair spray (okay, that's not a kitchen item, but please indulge me!). I use hair spray on glazed pots that will need to be handled a lot as a way of avoiding smudges. It's particularly useful on my painted pieces (see photos in previous posts) because I use mason stains mixed with glaze to draw on top of a base glaze... so it's easy to smudge everything up.

Important kitchen gadgets include: rolling pins, small strainers, wooden spatulas, measuring spoons, cookie cutters, potato peelers, cheese cutters, forks, assorted containers, cupboard liners, clothes pins, scrubbing sponges... I'm forever finding new uses for household items!

And finally, what well-stocked studio is without the bottle of vinegar and the bottle of bleach? Vinegar to mix with slip for scoring and applying handles. Bleach to splash into the slop bucket to prevent the dreaded mold!

Please share your kitchen gadget or supply that you couldn't do without in your studio!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Goings On At Manassas Clay...

Manassas Clay is a working pottery studio and gallery in Manassas, Virginia, owned by Fran Newquist and Jane Cullum. I have been showing my work at the Manassas Clay gallery ever since the shop was established 11 years ago. There are about 30 potters and other artists represented at Manassas Clay, and many of us take turns "gallery-sitting." During the Holiday shopping season, I will switch my work at the gallery every 3 weeks and plan to be there more often so I can meet more of my customers.

Historic Old Town Manassas, Virginia, is hosting a Gallery Walk on Friday, November 7, 2008 from 6 to 9 pm. Follow the balloons to visit artist receptions in 16 stores, including Manassas Clay. See you then!

In addition, I will also be at the gallery on Monday, November 17 from 10 am to 5 pm.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Artisans Challenge: Artisan of the Day........Graciela Testa Lynt

I am listed in The Artisans Challenge as Artisan of the Day. The site highlights 12 artisans from around to world showcasing their talent in different genres. Visitors vote on the best entry each week. Each challenge runs from 10 a.m. est Monday till 9 a.m. est the following Monday. So please, follow the link and leave your comments:

The Artisans Challenge: Artisan of the Day........Graciela Testa Lynt

Monday, October 20, 2008

One of my pieces made it to the Etsy Front Page!

This is so exciting! One of my pieces was featured in an treasury and that treasury made it into the front page! Here is the treasury. And there's my lamp in the middle of the bottom row!

So, what is all the excitement, you might ask? This is how it works: Etsy members pick their favorite items and place them in treasuries for others to see. The treasuries usually last for a couple of days. The administrators choose a treasury to feature on the front page of the website where absolutely everyone who visits can see it! The front page feature only last for a short time, but it gives our work a lot of exposure.

This front page treasury was designed by Dorene of Dazzledesigns, whose Etsy shop is at Dorene is a Mom and Grandmom who makes fabulous jewelery from glass beads, semiprecious stones, silver beads, Swarovski crystals and sea glass. Please visit her shop for wonderful Holiday gifts (including for yourself!). Here is a necklace made by Dorene that I really like:

Oh! and BTW, here's a larger photo of that lamp that made the front page. It has bamboo leaves and stem cut-outs and uses a snap-in socket and 7w light bulb. This is my favorite lamp! It was glazed with a buttery cream glaze with caramel highlights (yum!) and fired in a propane gas kiln. To see other photos of lamps and a description of the process for making them, visit my website at (click on Gallery and then on Lamps). To purchase this lamp, go to my Etsy store at and look under Lamps and Luminary.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sold all the Obama Mugs!

I am happy to say that I sold all 7 of the Obama mugs I made! Special thanks to my friend Luis, in Paris, who bought the last two! Two of the mugs sold at the Kiln Club sale at Marshall High School in Annandale and the rest sold on I am glad to say that, as a result, I was able to make a good size contribution to the Obama campaign.

If you're still looking for Obama stuff, please visit Dovecotedesigns on etsy, who has beautiful pendants and magnets ( and is offering free shipping on these items. Lots of other etsy shops have political items. A search under "All Items" yields 101 pages of stuff!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Obama Baby!

Can he get any cuter?
This is my youngest grandson, Alex (1 year old), at an Obama/Biden rally in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on Sept. 27th.
We start them out young in this family!!! :)