I paint silk, throw pots and collage poetry books & cards in my enchanted adobe studio in Pilar, New Mexico.

At the Sacred Heart Cafe, I make art to feed the hungry heart. Open all night, a warm place to wander and browse, savor and enjoy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Thirteen Threads from the Wild Heart Interview


What a ride to be interviewed by Lulu Red.  She started this wild blog on her birthday in January, and it explores 13 threads of creativity.  This month's theme is LOOP, and what a fun experience to think about the creative loops we all travel on our artist paths.  Lulu Red (Donniece Smith) is an entertaining writer, and painter & jewelry & fabric designer & collage paster & wild cowgirl.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mama Rio

Our old adobe home is located near the Rio Grande, close enough to see her waters glinting through the winterbare willows and cottonwoods.  We stay pretty close to home most days, fishing and photographing the river, making art, watching the ever changing sky and land.  Once a week or so we drive up the highway to Taos to visit the hardware store or down the mountain to Dixon's co-op and magnificent community library.  On rare occasions we drive to Santa Fe to pay homage to Trader Joe.  We did that this morning, and it dawned on me that when I travel too far from the Rio Grande, I really miss her.  She is a big mama river, and I just feel better when I'm close to her.  This surprised me as we drove back up the canyon.  I saw myself craning to see the first view of her as we passed the Velarde orchards, then breathed a sigh of relief when the highway sidled up to her near Embudo.  Home, again, in the arms of my mama rio.  

When we lived on the California coast, I enjoyed seeing and hearing the ocean nearby, but this feeling for my mama is different, more visceral, more intimate.  I'm just learning about this connection, and I suspect that my mama will be teaching me more about it, day by day.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

We're here, in our new old adobe home in Pilar, New Mexico.  It seems like we've been moving forever, and we are far from being moved in....there is a sea of boxes still to be unpacked.  But we are here.  And it feels good.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Solstice Greetings!

Dear Friends of DolphinSmile Studio and the Sacred Heart Cafe,
Wishing you the fullness of summer's promise on the longest day of the year! I'm writing to share the some wonderful news: my husband Bruce and I have purchased a charming adobe home in the Land of Enchantment, near Taos, above the Rio Grande. It is our retirement dream come true, and we plan to move around August 1.
Our Tierra Nueva home is for sale and we are actively looking for a buyer, or if need be, someone to lease our home. For those of you who have been my loyal customers at my Open Studio Tours for eight years, you are familiar with Tierra Nueva's amazing resources. The Gudrun Hus where I held four of my studio tours is an art/yoga/dance studio available for use of the residents. We live in the midst of an organic avocado orchard, in walking distance to the Rutiz Family Farm next to Halcyon. Here is a description of our home's listing and more information about living in community at Tierra Nueva Home for Sale.
If you know of someone who may be interested in purchasing or leasing our home please forward this link to them. Thank you so much!
I have transitioned my business to become more internet based in the past few years, with my shop at 1000 Markets and an active FaceBook page where I post new listings and photos of my art.
I promise to stay in touch with you with quarterly emails like this one, on the Solstices and Equinoxes. And please remember that I would love to hear from you via email or FaceBook (link below).
My days are filled with time in my Halcyon pottery studio, finishing up the last of my pottery orders. I am still heart-deep in my love affair with mica clay from New Mexico, as you can see from my shop photos. My lastest work includes teapots, teabowls and "Blessing Bread Bowls" for baking bread.
All the blessings of summer to you: long, warm days of bright light, time with family and friends, vacation adventures and sitting on the porch under the stars! And once again, my deep gratitude for all of your generous support for me as I walk my artist's path,
warmly, PattyMara

Monday, May 3, 2010

I'm the Featured Seller on Craft is Art!

The title of this article says it all, and I could not be more satisified with the outcome of this interview. I contacted her a few weeks ago asking if she would be interested in being featured as the "Featured Seller", and she said yes!. I wanted to prepare a more personalized interview for her, as I do with everyone else, but being completely honest, with so little time in my hands working on Craft Is Art, I decided to tweak one of the interviews I had made before so I could feature her. She managed to make of this interview a magical one; her wisdom, talent and experience are expressed in every single word of this interview, I could read it over and over again.  I am truly honored and grateful for her willingess to take the time to do this interview.
No more introduction, you know her, I give you... Pattymara:
Please, tell us about yourself?

I'm a potter, painter of silk, horder of handmade papers, gardener and heart rock collector.   I've been a potter since I wandered into a pottery studio at UC Santa Cruz over forty years ago.  I learned to paint silk about twenty years ago.  I've been fusing glass for five years.  I've loved poetry and collage for as long as I can remember.  I'm married to an artist/photographer/fisherman and we shake our heads in wonder and pride as we watch our two adult children make the world a better place.  We are native Californians who are planning a move this summer to our adobe home near the Rio Grande in New Mexico.  I aspire to learning how to be a beekeeper.
What are your hobbies?
Hobbies!  What a concept.  If hobbies means something I do for fun, separate from my work, then it would be baking bread from the most wholesome locally grown ingredients possible.  For me these days, that means organic whole wheat grown about twenty minutes east of my home at a farm where I assisted at two homebirths.  It means organic eggs from my friend Birgit's chickens.  I'm a pretty good cook and baker.  OK, I'm a foodie.  The first improvements we made to our adobe home is to build a greenhouse, to grow food year round.  Next will be an horno, an adobe outdoor oven for baking.
What is(are) your specialty(ies)?

Apple Tart (especially when I'm harvesting apples from my orchard in Pilar, New Mexico) and Pesto.

Oh!  You mean ART specialties?  Sometimes I get food and art confused.  I think of my art studio as a cafe, serving up nourishing art to feed the hungry heart.   My daily specials at the Sacred Heart Cafe are mica pottery from New Mexico clay, painted silk banners which usually have a poem or inspirational saying written on them, poetry collage books, artist cards,  jewelry.
Please tell us about your beginnings, how did it all start?
My mom gave me piles of butcher paper, crayons, paints, paper scraps, paste, multicolored telephone wires, magazines to cut up. I was encouraged and applauded as an artist since I was a tiny girl. And she took us all camping every summer of our lives. I never stopped making art as I grew up.  I also cooked for my large Sicilian Catholic/Norwegian Lutheran family since I was in fifth grade, when my mom went back to work in the early sixties.  I studied anthropology in college, got my BA in it, but really took more art classes than anything else, and have worked as a freelance studio artist for most of my adult life as an illustrator, potter, painter.

Where and/or how do you find inspiration? 
Outdoors, hands in soil.  Feet in rivers, wading, fishing, paddling.  Climbing rocks to find petroglyphs.  Landforms, caves, canyons, moonrise, dawn, twilight.  Meteor showers.  Birdsong.  Heart rocks.  Word play.  Songs.  Moths, bees, dragonflies, raven, dolphin, whale, rainbow trout.
When you are not creating, what do you do?
Most of my days, these days since my children are out in the world on their own, I have the great freedom to make art all day long.  When my children were young, it seemed the only time I had was in the wee hours of night ("mama time").  To be painting by daylight is a blessed event, or working in my pottery studio in the sunshine.    If I'm not making art, I tend my flowers and my garden.  I walk to a nearby farm to buy the most succulent berries and vegetables grown on this earth.  I spend too much time in front of this computer screen.  I go on treasure hunts at local thrift shops and am often rewarded.
How do you promote your work?
Mostly my customers do that for me. They just keep coming back for more, and they tell their friends about my art. I've participated in our local Open Studio Tour for eight years, and am signed up to do the Studio Tour this fall in own new tiny town in New Mexico.  People come and see my work, and they try it....then come back for seconds and thirds.  I do have my work in a couple of galleries, one all the way up in Alaska, but mostly I sell online.   I'm not very skilled at the social networking technologies yet, but Facebook has been interesting to dip my toes into for sharing my art with a larger circle of customers.   I think the best promotion is to always make art that is joyful to make, to look at, to give as a gift.  Then, the work promotes and sells itself, sending out an energy wave of delight.  Really, it does, I'm not being glib.
What would you recommend to new handmade sellers?
Fill your art with Spirit, with your best talents, thoughts and wishes. Chant or pray while you work. The prayers, the good wishes will infuse your art with good medicine.  Make something meaningful.  No throwaways. Make something that lasts, that uses supplies that are earth friendly.  Know where your supplies come from.  Is the earth damaged when they are created or mined or manufactured?  Use what you have at hand, REuse everything at hand.

Team up with other artists who share your heartview.  Find ways to support and encourage and promote your art together.  Collaborate with them, merging your skills to make beautiful creations.  I'm currently collaborating with Mannybeads.  I make the teapots, she stacks cairns of turquoise to serve as the knobs on the lids. 

Befriend your customers with respectful attention, and careful packaging (recycled or repurposed if possible!).  Listen to them, ask them for feedback, shower them with attention.
Anything else you would like to say?
Be kind to one another.  Buy art from other handmade artisan shops.  In my profile photo I'm wearing a "mantle" from OnSlenderThreads.  It is one of my most cherished possessions, exquisitely crafted, redolent with lovingkindness.  Buy supplies from small shops too.  Why give Walmart money when you can send some along to a small artisan shop?  Like DyeDianaDye who dyes silks, cuts it into strips and makes the most fascinating silken "yarn".   I buy my clay from native potters in New Mexico who hand dig the clay with deep respect for the Mother.

Like my friend the Dalai Lama says "Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon."  I'd say the same about art. Keep learning new skills and techniques.  Let your art branch out to unexplored territory.  Add new spices.  Stir often.  Savor.
Pattymara on CraftIsArt.com

Saturday, May 1, 2010

PattyMara's DolphinSmile Studio: Freshly Baked Bread in a Mica Bleassing Bowl from the Sacred Heart Cafe!

I baked four loaves of bread yesterday.  Two in standard baking pans and two in mica clay blessing bowls.  What a lovely globe of golden bread emerged from each of the bowls!  A bowl for baking bread?  Yes!  Because mica clay is ovenware, you may bake bread in mica pottery bowls.  And so I did, using an heirloom Sonoma whole wheat flour grown locally at the Huasna Valley Farm, owned by my friends Ron and Jen.  I consulted my favorite bread recipe of all time from the Tassajara Bread Book by Ed Espe Brown, a Zen monk.  If you have a desire to learn to mix, fold, knead, shape and bake exquisite breads, this is the book for you. The basic bread recipe has 14 pages of clear instructions, each step illustrated with pen and ink drawings.  It will teach anybody to bake bread.  Try it!   http://www.shambhala.com/html/catalog/items/isbn/978-1-59030-704-5.cfm

Recently I had the good fortune to meet Ed at a book signing of his reprinted Tassajara Bread Book.  I brought my battered (literally!) book for him to sign, and bought the new edition as well.  When I asked him what the difference was between the two editions, he said with great solemnity "The new one has chocolate (pointing to the new hardcover) and this one doesn't (pointing to my antique, bedraggled paperback from 1970)".  But he signed each book with a tender personal message in a slow and mindful penmanship, careful loops, full of grace.  I felt a dharma transmission from my bread baking guru that night as his pen slowly formed each letter in his notes to a stranger.

Here's one of Ed's poems:

The truth is you're already a cook.
Nobody teaches you anything,
but you can be touched, you can be awakened.
Put down the book and start asking,
"What have we here?"

Though recipes abound, for soups and salads,
breads and entrées, for getting enlightened
and perfecting the moment, still
the unique flavor of Reality
appears in each breath, each bite,
each step, unbounded and undirected.

Each thing just as it is,
What do you make of it?

Edward Espe Brown


About my Mica Blessing Bowls:

Food can be a sacrament when baked with Love, and served in Beauty. Holy Food deserves a mica clay blessing bowl. An elegantly shaped bowl luminous with mica and blessed with magnificent fire clouds, where no glaze chemicals were used. The clay is a tawny russet, infused with a constellation of mica stars. The smoke patterns from the final pit fire, are called fire clouds. A mica blessing bowl is mesmerizing as you gaze into the starry universe of its interior curve.

The Sacred Heart Cafe has two of these bowls suitable for baking tasty loaves:
"Magma"     http://www.1000markets.com/users/pattymara/collections/3076/products/71014

"Calico"        http://www.1000markets.com/users/pattymara/collections/11631/products/114421

They are kiln mates, born from the same litter of New Mexico clay.

PattyMara's Sacred Heart Cafe's Fan Box

Micaceous Clay Pottery from DolphinSmile Studio

Micaceous Clay Pottery from DolphinSmile Studio
click on the photo to go to my online shop for mica clay cups, bowls, Sacred Hearts and jewelry

The Value of Play in Creativity

"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves."

C. G. Jung