Mary Gregory Studio | Artful Goods

Monthly Archives: July 2008

>tile work

Saturday, July 19, 2008

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This is what I’ve been working on this week. These tiles were commissioned by a friend to be given as hostess gifts for her daughter’s bridal showers and brunch.

I roll the clay out on my slab roller, cut the shapes and stack on pieces of sheet rock.

Then I carve, attach and stamp the design into the clay. They have to dry slowly and completely before going into the kiln for the bisque firing.

I love working with clay. It is a quite, gentle kind of work. The wet terracotta clay looks like chocolate.


Some of the tools of the trade

Now they are glazed and ready to go into the kiln. I love to use Majolica glaze on textured terracotta. White glaze is applied first and then the color. After it’s fired, the high places on the tile show through the glaze, though I don’t think you can tell it in the pictures.




All done.

These tiles measure about 5″x8″ and can hang on the wall or stand on an easel. I will be adding these and other designs to my website and they will sell for $25.00 each.

>sunflower and tagged

Thursday, July 17, 2008

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A bird must have dropped a seed in our yard and look what came up. We’ve mowed around it for a month and as you can see, it has gotten huge. The stalk is as big around as my arm and the flower is bigger than my head. It’s about 7′ tall. I hope the birds will come eat the seeds out of it. That’s a pretty good deal – one seed for hundreds!
I was tagged (a loooong time ago) by Flower. I got sidetracked, but am now going to do it. It is the mix-up-getting-to-know-you tag:
What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was homeschooling our two girls, helping with our business and trying to do a little art in between.
What are 5 things on your to-do list?
1. Finish cutting up and freezing the bushel of peaches I picked.
2. Iron tablecloths for a brunch on Friday.
3. Pull the grass out of my flower beds.
4. Go to the lake.
5. Spend time with my daughters before college classes start back up.
What are 5 snacks you enjoy?
1. Dark Chocolate
2. Berries
3. Homemade hot sauce and chips
4. Fresh peaches and cream
5. Home grown tomatoes with cottage cheese
List 5 things you would do if you were a millionaire.
1. Rock my porches with flagstone.
2. Hire someone to mow and weed-eat regularly. And pull grass out of the flower beds.
3. Do more for Habitat for Humanity and Life Outreach Internat’l.
4. Share.
5. If there was anything leftover, I might build my own little barn – David’s taking up too much room. :)
Places I’ve lived:
Dimmitt, Tx
Abilene, Tx
Oplin, Tx
I’m tagging bunnytrails, molly b’s, blessings and baubles, to fly…with broken wings, and seeing beauty through closed eyes.
I’m sorry this is all run together – I keep going back to make spaces, but when I publish the post, it comes out like this. Does anyone out there know how to solve this problem?

>lala’s legacy (a tidbit)

Monday, July 14, 2008

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I treat myself to roses from the grocery store (I think these are the prettiest ever!) when there are not many blooming at home, a habit I picked up from my great-aunt, Lala. She always has roses in her house, either those given to her or bought for herself, usually yellow, her favorite. I learned to appreciate, and indulge in, many of the finer things in life from her. It’s the small things that make a big difference. She told me, when I was little, that water tastes better in a pretty glass. She’s right. I drink my daily 64 ounces from my favorite pressed-glass goblets. Sometimes, I use my good crystal. An indulgence that costs nothing but an extra minute of hand-washing. As you can imagine, there are no paper goods at Lala’s house. Only cabinets full of crystal and china, some she bought, but much that was passed down. (Funny how my cabinets look the same.) Lala is 93 and much has changed since she was my age. We live in such a face-paced world that we can’t take the time to make every meal and party special with good china and table linens. But, we can make life prettier for ourselves and those around us with small gestures. Pick up a bunch of flowers with your bread and milk (or better yet, take a trip to the flower market if you have one nearby) and drink from your prettiest glass today. LIFE will taste better. Good advice from Lala.

P.S. Her real name is Claudia, but like most Southern women of her generation, this nickname is what everyone knows her by. The same is true of her sisters, Guga (Gertrude, the one with the house full of antique clocks) and Tooka (my grandmother, Elizabeth). These women and my memories of them are so dear to me and I will forever be trying to live up to and pass along their legacies.

>midnight run

Saturday, July 12, 2008

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I’m back! My husband has been home and off work for a week and we’ve been busy with projects around here. Blogging has been on the back burner. With that said, let me tell you about one thing we did…


I was in my pajamas, shelling peas, at 10:30 the other night when I noticed that I had a message on my phone. It was my good friend, Linda K., telling me about an old piano that her church had set out by the Dumpster (she knew I might want it for my artwork.) I told my husband and the next thing I knew, he was putting on his boots, getting ready to go get it! I got dressed and we were in the pick-up headed to town by 10:50. Now, remember, we live 30 miles out. So, I am calculating what time we will be back home, how much the gas will cost and how much I think I might can make from the salvaged piano-parts-turned-into-art. (I would have never thought about that before gas prices got so high.) I decided pretty quickly that it would be a good investment. That’s what I always decide. There was also the tiny concern about the police being called on us by neighboring residents. There would be a little noise from the diesel pick-up and dump trailer. Oh, well, small details, easily dismissed. (In case I haven’t mentioned it before, let me say now, that my husband is extremely supportive of all my crazy ideas and ventures. No matter how many of them fail or how many times I lose interest, he is on the band-wagon every time. It’s amazing! And fun!!!) Because of the way the piano was placed (thanks, Scotty, Linda’s husband) we were able to, fairly easily, get the piano onto the trailer. Just the two of us. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to move a piano, but normally two people can’t manage it. It was on it’s back and the strings were “playing” all the way home. David said it would probably break into “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder” at any moment. Don’t you know that’s been played on it hundreds of times over the years? We were back by midnight, the piano is in the barn and I’m thinking and dreaming…

The inside of an old piano is beautiful.

Ivory keys. “Middle C” is almost always marked with tape.

I think I’d better hang on to him!!!