With a little bit of experience with the Twilio API under my belt, I went to the Signal Developer Conference to see what I could learn from the sessions, as well as pick the brains of professionals in that industry. It’s somewhat liberating to admit that I don’t know much about things like network performance under high load, and the community was, for the most part, happy to answer my questions.  As interesting as […]

We want to capture all the best moments in our lives, the things that make us happy and smile. But some of the best are so fleeting that by the time you pull your phone out, they’re gone.  Fussing with a camera can also get in the way of properly enjoying a moment. It’s why you hire a wedding photographer to take care of that for you… but you can’t (and […]

Having spent much of my life in tech and Silicon Valley, I’m well aware of pitfalls that stand in the way of young women interested in my field.  And yet, for all the flak CS gets for being a harsh, unwelcoming environment, it was still more accessible for me than hardware. Luckily, I’m not alone in wanting to change this, and there are organizations like SWE and CodeChix working on making […]

My favorite and most successful piece thus far has been this artichoke-inspired bowl, made using a variety of skills picked up over the past few months at Higher Fire.  After throwing and trimming a slightly thicker bowl than usual, I marked the base with ten dots, distributed evenly around the foot as guides.  Then I sketched out the outlines of each petal and carved each one using the tools I made. […]

Here’s my latest batch of test pieces.  Glazes sometimes interact in odd and unexpected ways so I wanted to practice some different techniques and glazes before designing anything too elaborate.  Some of these came out as expected while others yielded some fairly surprising results.  In this bowl, for example, I was expecting a lot more red, alternating with the blue drip lines.   It’s not very red at all.  I […]

Pottery requires a lot of skill and you get a lot of things wrong before you get them right.  It seems wasteful to just chuck or recycle a piece that hasn’t gone quite to plan, so here are some pieces that I’ve reworked into something else.  First, the uneven rim or accidental dent can easily be turned into a heart shaped or wobbly rim. Collaring the neck of a bottle […]

The studio offers quite a number of glazes, some glossy, some matte, some runny, some very stable.  There’s another wall of sample tiles showing how they look when double dipped.  Still, it can be hard to tell how exactly they will interact with each other when on a larger piece. Take the Matt’s Flambe on this chip and dip bowl for example.  Not only does the glaze completely change color […]

Stamping clay is one of the easiest things to do, and rubber stamps also work well.  Here’s one of the first ones I did, a fish inside a lidded container that catches teapot drips.  The glaze is a blue celadon. This is the lid for the tea drip catcher.  I got some tiny cookie cutters and punched the holes out one at a time before notching the rim. The process […]

The first thing you learn to make in a beginner’s wheel throwing class is a small bowl.  Let’s be honest, the first few are thick, ugly things.  That’s ok though, because you can trim them down, sand them smooth, and hide your sins with glaze.  I love this one, called Matt’s Flambe. Don’t be fooled by the photo – this little bowl ended up about 3.25 inches wide.  They shrink throughout […]

I convinced a handful of friends to join me for wheel throwing classes at Higher Fire.  Two classes later, I’m a member with shelf space and still learning so much!  There’s a lot to share so I’ll start with tools I’ve picked up or made for these projects. Pretty much everyone has the same basic tools so I had to give them some identifying marks.  Simply writing my name on them […]