01
Feb

Cleanup 2020

Cleanup 2020 continues. I'm rearranging everything on "my side" of the studio while Jay unburies his workbench. I've posted to pottery friends for organization suggestions because our amazing assortment of tools has outgrown my portable toolkit. I'm rediscovering some incredible items during cleanup, and I suppose it's suitable that our kilns and reference material are only slightly younger than we are. I'm also amazed at how much we have crammed into this 22' x 12' space. When there's a will (home studio!!), there's been a way. I'm extra impressed that there are six tables jammed in here now that everything is cleared off and we're attempting to move things so they suit our busier workflow. How is this many tables even possible? Maybe this is a creative tardis..?.Tomorrow, we add… drawers? Shelving? A tool storage solution. Whatever that looks like. A magical trunk, perhaps. We'll see. #homestudio #ceramics #potterystudio #ceramicstudio #2020purge #organize #WhatTheHellAreWeDoing Posted by Intagrate Lite

28
Oct

Studio dog

Eyebrow communication game is strong today. (But she's not getting out of bed)#Winter #StudioDog #14yearsold #eyebrow Posted by Intagrate Lite

05
Aug

inspiration

In case you need to hear it, this is for you. .Thank you to @morganharpernichols for beautiful words and intentions Posted by Intagrate Lite

24
Jul

20 years <3

20 years married. Let the adventure continue!#marriage #anniversary #weareold Posted by Intagrate Lite

04
May

The Kid has good taste

One thing that has always intrigued me is my son’s taste in art, and want to use his money to buy art. He has always spent his money on art more than I believe most children do, possibly because he is brought to more art and craft shows and market than his friends, so he simply may have more opportunities. Nevertheless, he knows what he likes. This beauty of a mug from @the_pott_lady caught his eye today at the APA Sale, and he eagerly spent his pennies on the golden tree. It currently sits on his desk, in use, next to a small turtle print that he fell in love with while on vacation. His collection of handmade items grows as he does, and I love that he knows their true worth. (I got a mug from Rylee too. My kid has good taste!) #buylocal #buyhandmade #art #canadianceramics #AlbertaPotters #AlbertaMade #makerlife Posted by Intagrate Lite

04
May

APA Show and Sale! Plus cufflinks

We are OPEN! Bridgeland Riverside Community Centre from 10am-4pm in #yyc today only. Check out the one of a kind cufflinks that came out of the kiln last night – Jay had a hard time putting them on the table today. ? #ceramicsyyc #makerlife #albertacraftyyc #AlbertaPotters #knittersofinstagram #pottery Posted by Intagrate Lite

05
Sep

Don’t steal our work.

You know what’s cool about being artists and loving art? We don’t steal art. Not everyone works this way. We are releasing our new “Fibre Animals” line of mugs and I’m apprehensive because theft is a real thing in our lives right now. Since November of last year, we’ve been dealing with someone in our community that pretended to want a wholesale order for one of our product lines, and then she went off and reproduced our work on cheapo mugs ordered online. She also went one step further and put her own name and website underneath our design on her mugs which violates the law even further. The first thing was bad, and the second made our blood boil over here at Chez Chasing Fire. We asked her to stop via a formal cease and desist and we were… naïve? and assumed she’d complied with our copyright protection. We were wrong. She is still selling our designs on her mugs. We sent a second cease and desist AGAIN giving her the option to a) stop selling/giving away/exchanging reproductions of our work or b) we’re taking her to court to protect our copyright and we want all royalties from all sales of these illegal reproductions of our work since she lied to us in 2016, and hey, for being a dick, we’ll take all of our legal costs covered. The law is on our side. We’re unsure which she will choose but we’re ready to fight. She’ll be at the same show as we will this weekend, and we can’t wait to see if she’s still selling stolen designs. She knows what she’s doing. She’s admitted to knowing and believes that she can steal whatever she wants and profit from it. The cease and desist letters point out Canadian law and how she’s violating it but, she just doesn’t care. She is fine with stealing from artists, thinking we have no repercussions. In a way, she’s correct because it is an expensive road paying for lawyers and court costs. In the end, we think it will be worth it because her behaviour is ludicrous, and just plain disgusting and insulting to artists everywhere. She claims to be a “fair trade” vendor and I question the truth behind that because we, as artists, have never been treated so dishonestly in our six years in ceramics. Her website claims she’s fair trade and “conscious”. That second part I agree with. She’s very conscious of what she’s doing and that it’s dishonest, because she does not care as long as none of her customers know. She has backed off on the fair trade claim on and off over the past nearly two years that this boondagle has been going on, sometimes claiming to be a “thoughtful” trader but she’s got it plastered around that she’s fair trade again. She’s not fair at all by any definition of that word. She has been sneaking around, trying to find wholesale deals for this work that is ours, taking the work to markets before and since the cease and desist and hiding it where it isn’t seen or photographed openly by instagrammers: That’s how she got into trouble in the first place. Someone photographed her booth and we saw that she’d made copies of our work. To add insult to injury, it was just months after she’d claimed she was so excited to work with us to become one of our wholesale retailers. We had been excited too. Until we realized that we’d been swindled. It was a kick in the gut. To be clear, our designs come from three sources: 1. Us. We’re creative people with hilarious and inspirational ideas. Many of these are discarded because it turns out they aren’t so hilarious or inspirational after all. Some come to fruition. We have sketchbooks and whiteboards and napkins full of drawings and written ideas. Jay and I (Cara) have been married for 19 years partially because we inspire each other and work well collaboratively… (and partially because no one else understands our need to communication in song lyrics). We make things from our ideas. For example, I’ve been working on a series for almost a year that’s about to finally become something other than watercolour sketches, and it will probably get reworked and redone and go through the ringer, and it might never be shown to anyone outside of our studio but it’s an idea that is coming to life. It’s how creative work is made. 2. Our friends and family. Jason’s mom and my mom are amazing artists. Jason’s mom Cheryl did the illustrations for the Stampede Series that was available during Calgary Stampede 2017. They were original drawings that were put into clay, and it was a fabulous collaboration between them. My mom does these amazing tangled drawings on reverse that are breathtaking in clay. Denise from Poppy Yarn & Fibre keeps sending me the funniest animal puns and I have actually put tea through my nose then I send her sketches and she sends me back feedback like “BIGGER EARS” or “it needs more sass” and then I do that. We are having so much fun. People might love what we come up with, and I hope so because it’s ours to unleash (hahaha) on the world. 3. Other artists. We pay other artists. We really do. We license drawings. We pay for textures and tools and commercial stamps. One of the parts of our most popular designs was from a Lethbridge artist – that we paid his fee to use – and he is super bombdiddlybomb smart. What we don’t do is STEAL. I even try to avoid pinterest and I don’t even follow potters on Instagram that I think are really similar to my aesthetic so I don’t accidentally copy someone else’s work. I want to be unique. Jason wants to be unique. We love our creative process. We love working collaboratively with each other and with other artists. We want people to have one of a kind things in their homes that make them happy. Stealing other people’s designs and slapping them on cheap crap isn’t just illegal, it’s an insult. I wonder…

04
Apr

from our house: April 4, 2015

The Kid made himself a snack. #Easter

04
Apr

from the studio: April 4, 2015

Annual Easter Tasks: Dye our lunch, make chocolate part of every meal, cheer on sprouting tulips, miss my grandparents.

26
Mar

concussion

My Etsy shop has been in “vacation” mode as I heal from a head injury that started pretty simply. I smacked the back of my head, hard, on the underside of a truck, and saw black. I didn’t pass out, and definitely wasn’t hurt enough to prevent me from cursing until I caused myself to blush. The goose-egg grew, and the pain from the hit didn’t subside. The intensity eventually dulled a bit, but that throbbing with intermittent stabbing sharp pain continued. I finally saw my doctor two days later because Things Were Not Right. He did a quick follow-my-finger, look-over-here, squeeze-my-hands. I bombed those tests, and the next few ones too. I don’t remember much about that week, but I do remember my doc’s diagnosis: Concussion. I’d thought that concussion was a serious injury caused by sports injuries. Could a whack on the back of my head really be that bad? I was right that it was a serious injury, but wrong that it is only caused by larger scale accidents. A week after diagnosis, while getting up from a CT head scan, the world started falling and swirling in every direction. When the world stopped moving, I went back home, and I slept. Contrary to most old wives’ tales, concussion patients need sleep so that the brain can heal, and the accompanying exhaustion was something that I’d never known before. I would sleep for 14 hours, get up for breakfast, then go back down for a 3 hour nap. One morning, as I turned to get out of bed, the world shifted violently, spinning horizontally and vertically at the same time. My husband took me to urgent care and the doc diagnosed me with Benign Positional Paroxysmal Vertigo (BPPV). Calcium deposits in my inner ear had been knocked loose by the head impact, and the deposits had become free floating debris in my inner ear, confusing my brain by sending contradictory messages: while my body joints and eyes claim that I’m laying down, my inner ear is reporting that I’m spinning as the little bits of sand spiral about, so my brain ensured that I experience both. It’s a terrifying experience, yet very treatable with the Epley maneuver. So that’s what I’ve been doing since April 2014. I was accepted into the brain injury program, and I’ve been working with occupational therapists, physiotherapists, recreation therapists, productivity specialists, and a psychologist to help me process and heal. The BPPV is gone. I’m “on track”. There is no magic pill or magic exercise, but I’m working my way back to normal. It’s taking so much longer than I expected, longer than I thought, longer than I want. The worst part about concussion has been the absolutely denial that I’ve experienced. “I’m fine! I just need to sleep more for a few days!” I told everyone, and then “I’d better find something useful to do since I can’t read, write, knit, be on the computer, or do really anything that I normally do!”, without actually acknowledging the restrictions, the limitations that were overwhelming my life. I’m now through the denial and into the serious planning and pacing to get back to my normal. I’m starting the work needed to re-open my Etsy shop in the spring as I slowly create inventory, and hoping to be ready to take custom orders as well however I need to take it slow to start. I’ve started back to my day job, which I greatly missed, for a few hours every other day. My goal setting is becoming more reasonable although still a tad optimistic. So that, in a nutshell, is my latest (and current) adventure. Thanks for your patience if you’re a family member, friend, or customer, and I’ll be posting photos as I work on getting the studio back on track. -C

30
Dec

facebook

We’re now on Facebook! I’ll be keeping the Facebook page and this website somewhat diverse however I’ll be sure to post sales and events in both places. Come on over and give us a like  and add us to your feed if you’d like to keep up with what’s going on in the studio such as kiln peeks, works in progress and receive updates when items are posted in the shop. In other news, buttons are making their way into the shop after a fabulous Christmas holiday filled with family, friends and perogies! I’ve been spending more time making mugs and less time photographing and listing buttons. I do slowly get them done every other day but I’m rather obsessed at the wheel right now. Not only do I have some inspiring custom orders on my plate but I need to give myself a late Christmas gift.  My favourite mug that I’ve ever made is still in daily use but I live in fear of it bouncing off the concrete in the studio and smashing into a thousand pieces. In 2004, I kept only two of this style and the second lost it’s handle last year in a tragic coffee, baby, frying pan juggling act that proved to be ill advised. (The baby is fine. The mug is not.) I’m attempting to create similar friends for the Last 2004 Mug. If I can recreate this shape, my first attempt shown above, then I can make a set, and then I can stop fretting because if one breaks, there will always be another for my hands to cradle. Cheers; -Cara

25
Oct

You know what’s exciting? ZOMBIES We are able to help out an amazing organization this Halloween season: Thrill Calgary. On Oct 27, they are participating again in the Guinness World Records event of the largest coordinated Thriller Dance. The zombies will take over Eau Claire Mall in Calgary, dancing and supporting their chosen charity this year, the Calgary InterFaith Food Bank. Thrill The World

13
Apr

sneak preview of packaging

It’s a fuzzy photo but  I can’t hold back.  My new packaging is ready: I love buttons. -Cara