By the way, miracles can happen

January 15, 2018

Was a wonderful, exciting, and amazing day for me.

A day I will never forget…not ever! I’m still processing what transpired that day. I still can’t quite believe it. Sometimes I want to pinch myself, to make sure I’m not dreaming.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I had to write the most difficult post I’ve ever had to write on December 31, 2017. If you haven’t read it yet, you can find it here.

Sometimes, it seems to take forever for things to happen and other times, things can change very quickly. So quickly, you think you’re dreaming. It can’t be real…can it?

I have good news

Raven Hill Pottery will be re-opening soon

I got my miracle! I’m so thankful and grateful!!!

I’m happy to say, that I have the money to purchase a new kiln, a vent hood, and start working on my workshop. I’m not sure how long my workshop will take? The electrician knows what we need, we’re just waiting on a price. I’ve picked out the kiln and the vent hood already. There’s a lot to do, and once my new workshop is finished, I have to unpack a ton of boxes, get organized and buy lots of clay and glazes.

It’s going to be so much fun setting up a new workshop!

By the way, miracles can happen.

I’m so happy, so thankful and so grateful

Never stop dreaming, because dreams do come true

While I wait for my husband and the electrician to work their magic on my workshop.

I’ll be working on my pottery designs and getting organized. Plotting my book series, is helping me plan my pottery designs and how I’m going to glaze them. I’m going to be so ready when my workshop is finished.

Here’s a little sneak peek

Handmade plates…I love these glaze combinations. Aren’t they pretty?

Handmade bottles

I have so many ideas

I can’t wait to get my hands dirty

I’m just a girl who likes to play in the mud. I love the way clay feels in my hands…the way it squishes through my fingers when I throw…and I even like the way it smells.

by Melinda Marie Alexander

I’m so happy!!!

2018 is going to be a very good year!!!



Didn’t think I’d have to post this…

I didn’t think I’d have to post this

I’ve been patiently waiting for my workshop for more than 2 years now. I really thought it was all going to work out. I was wrong.

If you’ve been following my blog, or you’re one of my Facebook friends, you know what happened to Charlotte…my kiln. I don’t think I mentioned who did it though, I don’t remember. You can read some of what happened in…”A Lot Can Happen In A Year”

I’m sorry, that I never gave you an update, like I said I would. Sorry, it took so long. I was really upset, and wasn’t ready to talk about it. My Scorpio volcano had erupted and I wanted to sting, but I thought that it might be a good idea to bite my tongue for a while, and wait until the time was right, or when I was ready. I’m ready to tell you now.

U-Pack is the company that destroyed my kiln

And put me out of business

U-pack is the largest brand in the family of ABF Moving

A division of ABF Logistics

They lied from the get go. They lied to my husband (more than once, I might add) about the insurance that they assured us we had. I bugged my husband about the insurance, and I heard him ask on at least two different occasions. Half of the truck contained my pottery shop. They told my husband that we were covered for $75,000.00 if there were any damages. Well, guess what…that didn’t happen. The real story…in fine print on the insurance claim form said, that the insurance was $65,000.00 if the truck was in an accident or caught fire…“not for negligence”.

They lied!!! 

If they had just told us the truth, I would have made sure I purchased insurance from somewhere…anywhere. Then I would be covered for all the damages that we incurred…it wasn’t only my kiln that got damaged, they damaged our furniture too. Everything was dirty, covered in sand (it was like they drove through a dust storm…maybe they did?) and everything smelled like rotten food. It was terrible.

I will never…ever use that company again!!!

Look how dirty our furniture was…it was so gross, and it was covered! Thankfully, we have a slipcover sofa and chair and I was able to wash it.

They broke my desk chair. Thankfully my husband was able to fix it.

Look at the sand and dirt and scratches, these were new end tables.

After cleaning the end tables with some baby wipes, you can really see all the marks and scratches. Good thing they can be painted.

My husband built these solid wood bookcases, they were in perfect condition

I still don’t understand how everything got so dirty and scratched?

The bookcases were repaired and got a new coat of paint. I think they look awesome now. Paint works wonders!

I think they look better now, then they ever did.

I was upset about this!

It’s my grandmother’s table. I was refinishing it…it only had a primer coat on it, and they broke it! One of the points was gone, and a bolt was missing. But my husband came to the rescue again, and fixed it as best as he could. It’s not like it was, but it looks nice.

What do you think about the color?

They were so negligent, driving the truck with all of our belongings. The boxes that my husband put on the top had holes in them, and were smashed. These boxes held my photography lamps, they were at the top of the truck. The truck had to be going really fast over bumps or something to do this. Thankfully my lamps look okay, but I still don’t know if they work.

Most of the boxes looked like this

We have moved across the country 10 times since 1986. My husband packed and drove a moving truck 9 times, and everything was okay. My grandmothers table came with us everywhere we moved, and it was in perfect condition. The first time we decide to have someone else drive, so we could drive together…was an experience I never what to repeat.

My pottery inventory boxes

I still don’t know if everything is okay. I haven’t opened any of my pottery inventory boxes. What’s the point? I don’t have a working workshop yet anyway.

I wasted a lot of time filling out all the insurance claim forms. In the end…they refused to pay for the damages to my kiln, virtually putting me out of business. They told my husband, “Sue us!” I wanted to, I really did! I was really upset, mostly about my kiln, and my grandmother’s table. Everything else can be replaced or fixed. My husband said it would cost too much money to sue them. So we didn’t.

This is what Charlotte looked like right before we moved. It was my last firing

She was in really good condition. It makes me sad when I see these photos

Even after all this time (August 2015), I’m still really upset about this. All they had to do was tell the truth. How hard is that? My pottery shop was not only my passion, my business, it was my physical therapy. Making pottery helped my Fibromyalgia. It kept my muscles strong. I was lifting 25 pound bags of clay, heavy kiln shelves, loading and unloading my kiln. It’s very physical work. It really helped with the pain, I have less pain when I make pottery. Now, since I don’t have my workshop, I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. My Fibromyalgia gets worst by the day. I have more pain now. Everything I do causes me so much pain and it makes me angry, because I know I would feel so much better if I was making pottery.

When we first got to Arizona, I had money for my workshop, but not to replace my kiln. But then, my husband had a health scare. We had a 7 month rollercoaster ride of hospital stays, doctor visits, and tests. In November of 2016 we finally got some good news. Thankfully we had insurance, but the co-pays and the out-of-pocket fees add up. My pottery shop budget dwindled down to almost nothing. Before I new it…it was the holidays. I was able to save a little more money but, unforeseen things came up and I had to tap into my pottery budget again. My pottery budget is down to $320.00. But I wasn’t worried about it, because my husband was going to get a nice bonus check for Christmas that would cover everything. I was going to get my pottery shop soon.

I started designing my workshop floor plan, and sketching new designs.

I couldn’t wait!

But then, a few weeks ago…we found out he wasn’t getting a large bonus at all. So, that means no pottery workshop, no business, and no feeling better. I’m not sure what I’m going to do? Maybe I should start a GoFundMe page? I didn’t really want to do that, but I might not have a choice.

For now I’ll just keep working on my book series. You can find out more about what I’ve been doing here…on my writing blog.

I really hope that 2018 will be a better year and somehow, someway I get a miracle and get the money I need to have my workshop again, so I can make pottery and feel better.



My New Workshop

This is my new workshop floor plan.  

I’m so excited! I’m not sure how long it will take to finish? My husband has been really busy at work, he’s been working long hours and hasn’t had much time to work on it, but it has begun…Yay! 

I’ve been making workshop design boards, so my husband can see what’s inside my head. If I show him what I want…he’ll build it. I need lots and lots of shelves.

I haven’t glued this one down yet. This is for my glaze area.

This is my favorite one, so far. I’m planning on painting my workbench blue to match my slab roller, just like the photo I found on Pinterest. But, my workbench will have a canvas top. I love it! It even matches the bowl I use for making slip.

More updates coming soon!


Happy Anniversary


Happy Anniversary!

Raven Hill Pottery has been on for 3 years. Thanks for reminding me WordPress. So glad I switched!

From My Sketchbook


Every once in a while, I sketch some new designs in my sketchbook.

I really should do it more often, because it relaxes me.


All I seem to sketch lately are bottles, I’m not sure why? 


Plain bottles, in different colors and textured bottles


I love these rims


These are pretty cool!


I love this design and can’t wait to make it!


I love this one too!


I’m not sure about this one, what do you think?

I must create withtext

While I wait for my new workshop to come to life, I’ll just keep sketching new designs.

Thanks for stopping by!

Clay Photos ~ Pinterest Size

clay and wirewithtext

Hello, pottery peeps!

If you don’t already know about my workshop situation, I’ll give you a brief update. When I starting packing to move from Florida to Arizona. I thought I was only going to take a little time off to work on my book. But, due to things beyond my control…my workshop is closed until I can either fix my kiln or replace it.


My beloved Charlotte (my kiln) was damaged during the move, by the movers and they won’t pay for it. They told my husband to sue them. I won’t use them again!

I really hope that we can fix her!

So, since my workshop is closed, no kiln…no pottery!!! I’ll keep my pottery blog going with posts I didn’t get around to doing, posts from my old pottery blog, new designs from my sketchbook and whatever else I can think of. 

A couple of weeks ago I decided to re-size some of my photos…to Pinterest size. Now they look so much better on Pinterest.


I miss working with clay!

My hands are itching to dig into a bag of clay and make something new.

clay bagsFS80withtext

wedged clayFS80withtext

pottery tools and claywithtext

This wire is the original wire I purchased for my first pottery class in 1990. I purchased another one, but I still use my old one. These are some of my original tools from 1990 and holding my tools is a cup I made in 1991.

Hopefully, I’ll have the funds to re-open my workshop soon!

In the mean time, I’ll be working on my book…Raven Hill

You can find me here…

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day!

Zig Zag


I’m participating in the…Blogging From A to Z April (2015) Challenge

And this is the last post!

For at least a week, maybe more…I had absolutely no idea what to blog about, that started with the letter Z…just like my X marks the spot post.

So, I grabbed my sketchbook and started sketching. This is the first one I sketched. I’m not sure if I like these? I’ve decided, that I’m not really a fan of zig zag stripes…it’s kind of busy!


Second sketch

 I’m not sure if I like these either, but I do like the top of the bottles!


Third Sketch

Now, these I like! I think I’ll make these!


Last one…

I’m not sure if you can call this zig zag…but I really like these!

I’m definitely making these!

What do you think?

Vintage Cottage Dinnerware


This is my Vintage Cottage Collection

It’s handmade…one piece at a time. Each piece is slightly different, making each one unique and different. I go into more detail in this post…


The top plate was glazed in…Deep Sienna Speckle by Potters Choice

Potters Choice Glaze Deep Sienna Speckle


This one was glazed in…Deep Olive Speckle by Potters Choice

Potters Choice Galze Deep Olive Speckle


This one was glazed in…Deep Firebrick by Potters Choice

Potters Choice Glaze Deep Firebrick


And these are the plates that were purchased for the Tropical Smoothie Cafes…photo shoot. You can read more about it here…

There’s so many other glazes…I want to try. I guess I’ll have to make lots of little plates and do some glaze testing.








These are some of my underglazes

and here’s what I do with them.


Dinnerware…underglazed bottoms




Ring Bowls











Heart Dishes 



Heart Ornaments



Going through these photos made me realize…I’ve been using a lot of purple, black and red lately. Time to use another color!

Tropical Breeze


When I first made these plates, I had no idea what to call them!

I even had a…name this dinnerware giveaway. The winning name was Plantation Breeze. I kept the name for a while, but it just wasn’t right! Then one day I received this email…

“I am a food photographer in Atlanta. I am needing the exact look that you create for a client of mine: Tropical Smoothie Cafes.
We are creating beauty food shots that will be in all of their restaurant decor.
We are doing a shoot this week and I am wondering if I gave you our FedEx number, if you could overnight some pieces for us.

Their ideal shapes are typically:
– plates: flat as possible and a 6.5-7″
– bowl 1.5-2″ rise and 7″ in diameter.

Let me know asap
I know you make things very close to these sizes, and beautifully.”


Parlee Chambers


Before I even saw the email, she went ahead and purchased 4 plates…two of these and two Vintage Cottage plates. Needless to say, I was excited! I called her right after I read the email, got all the information I needed, packed up the plates and my husband shipped them the next morning.


And that is how they became…

Tropical Breeze


I really like the name now!

I can’t wait to glaze them in different colors.


Do you think I should just glaze them in tropical colors?

Hmmm…I need to think about this.


And now they come in square plates and trays.

I took this photo right after I made these side plates and tray. The rims still need to be cleaned, and the bottoms need to be signed. I’m also planning on making platters with and without handles, bowls, cups and mugs. 


I think I’m going to make a set for myself.