Sunday, September 26, 2010

Living A Simpler Life

As a child I always loved to look at pottery. I loved the way no two pieces were ever the same. I love the smooth feel of the glazed surface. And the roughness of the unglazed surface. I wanted to own some, but it was very expensive. As I grew, I continued to admire the look and feel of pottery. Whenever I went to a craft show or a festival, those were the first booths I would go to. I had to touch and admire it's beauty. I remember the first time I went to Clearwater. I wanted to stop and admire the beautiful work

I've often thought of taking classes so I could learn to make my own pieces. But even the classes were very expensive. Or very far away. So I would think about it. Wonder what the clay would feel like between my fingers. Dream of all the beautiful pieces I would one day own. Then the arthritus set in and I just didn't think my hands would tolerate the work any more. So I gave up even thinking about taking classes.

The last year has been extremely hard for me. Being diagnosed with uterine cancer. Then having surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation have taken a tole on my health. But it has also made me contemplate life. I realize how much I long for a simpler way of life. So I slowly started making changes. I bake my own bread now. I make candles to enjoy all through the long winter months. I don't know if they really add warmth to my house, but the make me think that they do. And I love the rich wonderful smells that fill my house. My husband comes home after a day that I have made candles and comments on all the wonderful smells that meet him before he even opens the door. I have stopped using paper products, using cloth instead of paper towels and washing dishes instead of using paper plates. I am slowly making changes to bring about a simpler way of life. I even make my own laundry detergent now. How wonderful my clothes smell now instead of smelling like commercial cleaners. I want to learn how to make soap next. But for now I purchase soap from Lolablue. Another truly great product.

As I have contemplated the state of my health and as I approached my 60th birthday, I have again been looking at the things that are really important to me. One of the things I knew I had to have, the top thing on my "bucket list" if you will, was the pottery I have admired for so very very long. I made up my mind that I was going to have it. I recently met two wonderful talented women, Dorothy and Angelica from Brookhouse Pottery. I have admired their beautiful work since the first time I saw their shop on I decided that this was the time for me to begin collecting the beautiful handthrown pottery pieces I have always wanted. I started with a plate. A simple dinner plate.

I am adding to my collection one or two pieces at a time. This year for my birthday my husband bought me two more pieces. My father-in-law sent me a check which I used to buy a few more things. And my daughter told me she is sending me a gift certificate to Brookhouse Pottery. Soon I hope to have a whole set of dinnerware, serving dishes, and many more things to decorate my home.

I have copied this from their website because they tell their story so much better than I can.

"Brookhouse Pottery came into existence about 10 years ago in Spring
Valley, NY. Our first studio was in a basement of a house next to a
beautiful little brook - hence the name Brookhouse Pottery. We started
out with an old manual electric kiln and a kick wheel (the electric wheel
followed close on its heels and soon the automatic kiln did as well). Our
glazes were commercial. There were many lost trials in those days and as
many exciting moments of achievement. Eventually we had a fair
collection of pots and were running out of space. We decided to try and
sell our wares and so, with an EIN#, a name, an account and a mission, a
partnership was born. We sold our pottery at fairs. In exchange for
lunches and dinners our husbands helped us carry the heavy boxes and
sometimes the boxes actually came home lighter. Selling that first pot was
so exciting. Today we are in Nyack, NY and have been for a few years. We
mix our own glazes and are always experimenting with different glazes
and clays to widen our horizons. To help us out we bought a pug mill
recently and to spice things up artistically up we aquiered a Raku kiln.
Just in the past recent months several local potters have joined in the fun.
We have a Raku party about every 6 weeks during the warm season. We
share materials, glazes, tips and tools and have a blast. These days we
don't sell at fairs anymore, but instead sell to a store, at a gallery and on
the internet ( or just click on our Purchase our Pottery link). We
are still excited to fill each and every order we receive. Thank you for
checking out our site. We hope you too enjoy our pottery.

Dorothy Brady & Angelica Jablonski"

So here I am in New Jersey, homeschooling my son, living a simpler life. Doing what I've dreamed of. And collecting my beautiful handmade pottery.


  1. Happy Birthday! The pottery is lovely. Excellent gift! Hope you had a wonderful day! I used to take a pottery class over on this side of the river, in my town, and loved it. It was fairly reasonable, but it would be a long trip for you. And they really emphasize handbuilding more than wheel... (I mostly carve relief type stuff. I am prretty bad on the wheel, and hunching over it kills my back, but I hope I'll get around to learning it... a desk height wheel would help.) It is a great feeling to get your hands all covered in clay and smack it around some. Great stress reliever! My class was thru the school district's adult ed, and really cheap. Maybe there's something like that near you?

  2. what a lovely post. i'm happy to join you in the HMM sisterhood. :)

  3. HI Kathi,

    We uses Time4Learning as a complete curriculum for our 5th grader. She always has read an incredible amout of books each week so she'd read old text books. We do voluteer work and other things to round out. We loved T4L.

    Also, I knowticed you like pottery. I am a studio potter and my shop is I'd love to have you come visit. My daughter has many times worked with me in the studio as part of her homeschooling art class.

    As I was reading your blog... just feels like I know you. Your words moved my heart. Do you think there will ever be a time when you won't ever get sick again? I found a scripture in the Bible at Isaiah 33:24 that says there will be that time when 'no resident will say:"I am sick" '
    Because of my own frustrating health issues I have often found comfort in that scripture. And your idea of going back to a simpler way of life.... I love it.

    If you do visit my shop be sure to convo me I'd love to give you a discount on anything that I can.

  4. Hi kathi again
    notice all of my typos in the previous post! I've taken my sleeping medicine and woe... I think I might already be asleep. Sorry :)

  5. Love the pottery Kathi! It's beuatiful, great post!