Tag Archives: Jane Street Clayworks

Jane Street Clayworks: Looking behind at ’12, looking ahead at ’13

Thank you for reading Jane Street Clayworks during 2012. You give meaning to what I do here and without you this blog would be a completely solo venture. While the numbers have yet to be crunched with Google Analytics, I’ll soon will be able to announce which posts were the year’s favorites. This will be helpful, as I want to know what you liked best during 2012, so I can tailor more coverage to your tastes. Speaking of which, we’ve entered our third year and it is my fond hope that you continue enjoying Jane Street Clayworks in 2013!

Over the year, I learned much more about social media and the upshot is that the blog went through a major transition. I created an Etsy shop, Facebook business page and connected them to my blog. I updated my LinkedIn page and connected it, too. The learning curve was very steep, at times, and it took me months of studying and experimenting. Thank goodness for YouTube and the Dummies books series! I don’t know what I would’ve done without them. Seminars through Small Business BC were invaluable and I have yet to implement everything I’ve learned. Of course, having a new iMac and Dragon voice dictation program makes all the difference, as well as switching to a vertical mouse, which is easy on the wrist. I began developing a new logo several months ago and will be completing work on it as soon as I’m up and running with my new Photoshop Elements program. I’m also test driving a new blog theme and my ‘identity package’ will be soon be complete and the look cohesive.

Blog content also went through transitions in 2012. The news agenda had been fairly regimented, with set coverage on specific days of the week. I changed that, dropped news and workshop coverage near the midpoint of the year. I will incorporate a new version of this later in the spring, maybe in a monthly format. Less locale coverage meant a broader appeal. Because I was distracted by getting up to speed with social media, I was not able to devote nearly as much time to blogging. There were times when I could only post a photo or re-post a favorite article run in the past. Now, I am back on task and must simply keep the plates spinning….

The year 2013 will bring many more changes. Last year, I ran some ideas past my “particular friends,” as Jane Austen would say, and they very much liked what these ideas. To start with, the blog jingle, “exploring ceramics and creativity” will be changed to reflect the makeover. For the duration, I will keep the name to Jane Street Clayworks because of the established of SEO connections.

Next, will be broadening of focus. Writing about ceramics, pottery and sculpture continues to delight and coverage of these areas won’t change. New areas of focus will include the following:

  • fine craft —  examples: master woodworkers, the origin of craft guilds, etc.
  • fine art — examples: individual artists, styles, movements, and techniques
  • writing — examples: specific authors, genres, pieces.
  • social media — examples: experiential pieces, trends, relationship to art
  • reviewing — art exhibitions, books, movies, etc.
  • Science and philosophy will not be out of bounds, either.

Series of three paintings by RB Kitaj, 243.8 x76, 2 cm, The Arabist, The Greek, The Spanish scholar. By L. A. GARCÍA (elpais.com) via Wikimedia

In short, I will write about what appeals and continue to work with the foundation: ceramics. I’ll start slowly and will storyboard with you in mind at all times. The new focus won’t dominate the blog, so it will still be a recognizable and familiar resource. I have been itching to write about certain things, though, and will give myself leave to do it if I think it’ll interest you. I want to acquaint or reacquaint you with certain works. The first artist to be featured will be R.B. Kitaj, too little known and too little appreciated.

The year 2013 will be great fun at Jane Street Clayworks and you are all welcome to come on board because we’re about to embark on a most amazing journey! Happy New Year!!


— Jan


Filed under Articles and Interviews, Current Events, Featured Artists, Fun, My Work, Videos/Photos/Slides

May the holiday season bring you joy, from Jane Street Clayworks

Christmas Wreath on a British Bailgate door. By Richard Croft via Wikimedia Commons

Holiday wreath on a bailgate door in Britain By Richard Croft via Wikimedia Commons

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Canadian Thanksgiving and a thank you to readers

Canadian Thanksgiving takes place near the autumnal equinox and is a harvest festival. A statutory holiday in Canada, Thanksgiving is the beginning of the holiday season in our country and the three-day weekend is filled with holiday spirit. The day was proclaimed a holiday by Canadian Parliament on January 31, 1957:

A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed – to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.

Modern Thanksgivings have other meanings, too, in addition to gratefulness for the harvest. It is a time to be grateful for many things in our lives. At this time, I want to thank you for reading Jane Street Clayworks, especially those who subscribe to my blog. I am very thankful for your readership and it means so much to me.

This October is very special because it is our 2nd Anniversary! If it weren’t for you, there would have been no reason to have created two years of content and I do it as a service to you and for you. The creation of Jane Street Clayworks was spurred by my passion for ceramics and creativity. It’s changed significantly since then but you will always be the heart of it. Thank you so much! You lend much purpose to my life….

— Jan

Canadian Group of Seven member Tom Thomson’s “Autumn Foliage” study



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A new Etsy shop and makeover for Jane Street Clayworks

Good news! Jane Street Claywork’s Etsy shop is up and running.

Online Shop
You can see my new Etsy shop by clicking the link above under the blog’s banner. Clicking will take you to a new page and my gallery, which is directly linked to my online store. More information about each piece can be seen by hovering your cursor over the photographs. Simply click an image and you will be taken to another window, my Etsy store. Etsy is an marketplace, if you’re unfamiliar with it. On the site, individuals have shops through which they sell their goods. It is a completely above-board enterprise that is safe to use. Transactions take place through PayPal, an online payment system. By using PayPal, a customer pays cash directly from their PayPal account or uses their credit cards, which are processed by PayPal. PayPal is also a safe method for making online purchases. As for my online shop, stock will increase over time. When something new is added, it is featured on the main Etsy page and I want that promotional boost. I’d love it if you took a look at my Etsy gallery by clicking the link on the toolbar above. No hard sell, I just want you to see what I’ve been up to and I’m proud that my little store is finally up!

New Banner
As you can see by looking at my Etsy shop, the artwork on the banner differs from what is shown above. Well, change is good. A new look for my blog will shake things up and get the energy moving. I have been working on these projects behind the scenes for some time and they’re ready to see the light of day! Change can smart, though, too. I’ve adored the image of the aggregate fence which is the basis of my blog banner…. It was created from this photo of a British garden wall. A change is needed, though. As I worked on the Etsy site, I realized my banner needed a softer look. By Monday, that same look plus my new logo will replace the current banner.

New Logo
When I first started blogging, I just used wordpress.com. I didn’t know I’d adore blogging and really make a go of it. I have, though, and am completely back in touch with my writing. Add to that a new shop and an eventual Facebook business page and I realized I needed a logo. As a graphic designer, I’d created many and am enjoying the process once again. Interestingly, it’s ended up being a joint adventure! First, I took to sketching, to come up with ideas. I wanted to do something with a terra-cotta pot and growth signifying creativity. In the midst of this activity, I mentioned my idea to my friend, Christina Ngo. She suggested that I work with a 45° angle. I liked her idea in more ways than one. For starters, the dynamism of a verticalRapidografi Staedtler line is a good design element.  So, my sketching continued and I incorporated the angle. At the same time, I had been researching plant sites looking for vines that appealed to me. I also investigated  plant symbolism because I like working with meaning, too. Not finding exactly what I wanted, I came up with my own, based on what I knew I wanted, a leafy vine with tendrils. Next, Mark gave me some of his Bristol board and I was ready to start inking. With technical pen in hand, I reached for the board… At that moment, Mark looked at my sketch, had an aha moment and suggested that I scan what I had drawn. I’d mapped out a grid to follow a 45° angle and drew my image over that. I did scan it and it looked great! So, all my banners will show my rudimentary sketch of the vine… My jingle is “growing creativity,” so a partially finished sketch is perfect. My work on the logo design evolved. I had wanted to constrain stacked letters into a flowerpot shape, using a nice Pantone terra-cotta. But, it wasn’t going to work well with the new banner idea. Too busy, visually. The idea was improved by stacking the Nickelodeon font, a nod to the Arts and Crafts style, and centering it on a plant pot. I’m also using Hoefler Text, which has a nice, rounded look. I’d studied fonts for several weeks, narrowing it down and testing them out. My friend, Connie Thoreson, suggested I shorten the vine, which I will do, too. As far as the technical end, I have my husband to thank because he is a whiz with Adobe Photoshop. We teamed up; I acted as the designer and he the technician. Working with 7 or 8 layers, we started achieving the look I wanted, with time left over for tinkering. Tinkering…the best part, if you don’t overdo it! I’m finalizing the logo and it’ll be up with new banner on my blog by Monday!

New banner, check. Etsy shop, check. New logo, soon. Next up is my Facebook business page….

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