Speckled Clay

I have been playing with different clay bodies over the past few months, and it’s been quite the experience. I’ve had some tragedies. But, I’m learning a bunch. The science of clay is fascinating. I may never really figure it out, but I can certainly learn, take notes, and keep trying new things.

What I know for sure – I’ve fallen in love with speckled brown clay. Completely in love. 

I bought my potter’s wheel used off Craigslist. When I went to pick it up, the guy who sold it to me (Adam) just kind of pushed a box of clay my direction and asked me if I wanted it. So, of course, I took it. Free clay? YES, PLEASE!

Little did I know that bag of clay was speckled brown clay. I just kind of started playing with it, and out of the kiln came gorgeous speckled goodness.

It’s one of my very favorite things.



Vintage Fabric Love

I admit it! I’m obsessed with vintage character bed sheets. It’s true. (They say admitting you have a problem is the first step on the path to recovery, right?)

I stumbled upon some Strawberry Shortcake sheets a couple of years ago, and they were the bed sheets of my childhood. I had the sheets, a matching pink gingham comforter trimmed in white lace (handmade by my mom, of course), and wallpaper. That’s right – Strawberry Shortcake wallpaper!! ANYWAY – so I stumbled upon these sheets, and I had to have them. And this is where it started. Soon, I had Care Bears, Star Wars, and more. Then I found some cotton prints – not sheets, just yardage – with vintage Scooby Doo, the Avengers, and some Mickey Mouse.

I held onto all of this fabric for a while before I dared cut into it. I wasn’t sure what I would do with. Finally, I made my first cut, and now I can’t stop.

I haven’t made too many different items yet, because I don’t want to waste this precious fabric on items that go unused and unloved, but I’m looking forward to even more play with the characters of my childhood. And, I have a great time at craft shows watching people run over and put their hands on my little receiving blankets made from the sheets they slept on as children. The delight on their faces is worth every stitch.

Have an idea for what I should make with my joyful prints?

Have some old bed sheets in your closet that you want to unload?

Email me.



All the Tiny Pots

I love throwing tiny. Trimming tiny, on the other hand, is a bit of a struggle. I can’t tell you how many tiny pots I’ve cut right through while trying to put a foot on them. Whoops!

Last week, my husband was out of town, which gave me an excuse to spend lots of time in the studio (without feeling guilty that I’m spending no time with him). I wasn’t feeling mugs or bowls or detailed stuff like teapots and lidded jars. I wanted to just get out of my head and throw.

Tiny pots were just the thing. They’re all different, and I threw them off the hump, so I made dozens of them very quickly – all little bitty vases and planters and bowls, none more than 3-4 inches tall. (Watch a super-speed video of me throwing them on Instagram.)

After drying for a couple days, I got them all trimmed, and underglazed about half of them for a little color blocked style, then sent them off to be fired.

I’ll update you later with finished picture, once I get them all glazed and shiny.


Holiday Ornaments

These little letter ornaments, and the support of some awesome friends, started this adventure. I made this first batch in the autumn of 2016 to give to my family for Christmas. In September, upon request of a friend, I posted a photo of them on Facebook and Instagram and they kickstarted Riverlane Studios.

I made a big batch and listed them on Etsy. Since then, I’ve shipped them all over the United States.

I expanded to other shapes, including snowmen, snowflakes, dog bones, paw prints, reindeer and more. Then, I experimented with a variety of different paints that are advertised to be permanent on glazed ceramic, glass and porcelain so I could customize the shaped ornaments on the fly. (Some of these products should definitely not be advertised as permanent.)

I found just the right material, and started personalizing ornaments in person at craft shows and for orders sold online. The paint is permanent, scratch resistant, and dries quickly. I haven’t done extensive testing yet, but it seems to withstand standard wear. (Though I don’t think I would trust it in a dishwasher.)

I’ve also received custom requests for some really creative designs and have been delighted to bring those to life.

I’m looking forward to making another big batch for the 2018 holiday season, including many more custom items, new shapes, and maybe even some sculpted ornaments.



I was walking up to the grocery store and saw some adorable clay pumpkins. I picked one up, looked it over, considered purchasing it, and then I thought: “I’d really rather try to make one.”

So, in my next ceramics class, I sat down and attempted to throw a really big closed form, to be altered into a pumpkin. It didn’t go so well. So, I wedged up a much smaller lump of clay, and threw a small closed form… and then a few more.

A week or two later, I trimmed a foot ring onto each of them, then pressed grooves into the sides and twisted up the stems. My pumpkins were born!

I cut open the tops, and carved faces into them when they were leather-hard, then underglazed them in a few different shades of orange.

I fell in love with the end product.

I only made 5 of these little babies. (The happy one makes me giggle.) Three had carved faces, and two stayed whole. (Those two made excellent candy dishes!) A few of them went to live with my mom and step mom and a couple stayed with me. I had several requests for them, so next fall, I’ll have to make a few to sell.