How To Make A Tea Pot…

February 1, 2016 - Leave a Response

  It’s easy. Just make these parts… one tall circle thing, four flat things, and make extra pointy things so you can choose the best one later. 

  Take the flat things and cut some circles. 

  Put two circles together like this. Use your Bison tool to trim the little circle a bit.  

 Now, attach the conjoined circles to your tall circle thing. You are making a teapot! When you look through the bottom, you will see your fingers. Not mine.  

 Cut a circle from your third flat thing and attach a bottom to your teapot.   

 Use the last flat thing to make a lid. 
  Cut a hole in your tea pot. Don’t forget to do this! Malcolm told me he forgot to do this once. That teapot did not work! 

  Attach a pointy thing over the hole. 

  Attach a different pointy thing as a handle. Use a damp brush to smooth things over.  

 Now only take sneak peek pictures and make people wait until NCECA to see your tea pot! Because you are ornery that way.   
You can see more sneak peek pictures on my Instagram feed. @taradawley

You can find out more about NCECA on my Tara Dawley Ceramics Facebook page. 

And now, you can make a tea pot!

Blog followers receive free shipping from my studio. (continental U.S.)

NCECA 2016

January 27, 2016 - One Response

The 50th annual NCECA conference will take place in Kansas City in March. My work will be at the Bredin-Lee Gallery in this exhibition… Generations: A Legacy of Mentorship.
The show, organized by Mike Jabbur, will also include the work of Steven Hill, Kenyon Hansen, Conner Burns, Lauren Smith, Mike Stumbras, Jon Townley and, of course, Mike Jabbur.

The gallery is on the NCECA bus route. The exhibition will run from Tuesday through Saturday.The opening reception is Thursday 5-9:30pm.

Our very own Rafter E Studio is pleased to have been selected as a NCECA venue as well. John Eck and I will have a showing of our work in the exhibition, More From Less.
We will both have new, never seen before, pieces in our West Plaza studio just minutes away from the conference center. Unfortunately not on the NCECA bus route but close enough to be considered a short drive.

Here are the hours Rafter E Studio will be open:
Wednesday, March 16 (10am-5pm)
Thursday, March 17 (10am-5pm)
Friday, March 18 (10am-9pm) + Reception (5pm-9pm)
Saturday, March 19 (10am-5pm)
Pre/Post-Conference by Appointment

For general conference information visit NCECA.

I am currently putting “sneak peek” images on my Instagram account… @ taradawley
You may find me on Facebook as Tara Dawley Ceramics as well as just Tara Dawley.
My website is where I do not charge extra for shipping from my online shop (continental U.S.)
My out of town U.S. blog followers also receive free shipping when purchasing via email inquiries.

Hope to see you in March!





Hospital Cups!

December 20, 2015 - One Response

Would you believe Year 10? Yes, this is the tenth year I have made Hospital Cups. I wish I could make many more for people who work at St. Luke’s Hospital and my friends and family. Seventy is a lot of cups but I could multiply seventy billion times seventy billion and still not come close to the amount of gratitude I have for those who took care of me during the year of My Little Coma.

To the medical staff; thank you for your dedication to your profession. You are very much appreciated by me and I’m sure many others. You put me back together in 2006 and somehow kept me smiling. Quite a feat!

To my friends and family; I’m certain you know how happy I am to have enjoyed this last ten years with you. Gravy! Icing on the cake!

I hope all of you had a lovely year and am wishing you a very happy New Year.

Scroll on down if you are interested in the details of the making of your cup…
This year, I chose a dark stoneware instead of our usual porcelain. Just one half a pound of clay because when I thought to make thank you gifts in 2006, that was all I could manage…
The first year, it was a big challenge to make all the cups. That September, I was just barely “back on my feet”. Now it is easy to pull up a little cup. And fun to make a bunch more!
Here are some of the cups all dried out and ready for the first firing. Dig the red stripe? 

Loading the kiln…

After the first firing, it was time to glaze. I put a clear glaze inside but before firing, it looks white!

I’m what you call a “clean potter”. No glaze drips or runs for me…

Usually! However, on “glaze night”, although I kept my first few cups clean and tidy, I thought… this is gonna be a long night…I wanna have a little fun. So I kept some little drips at the top and let the glaze sheet down the red stripe. Which kind of cup did you choose? Drips?

Or Runs?

Whichever, I hope you enjoy your Hospital Cup and remember there is someone out there with a lot of gratitude for YOU!

  The cup you chose is the best. Because you are The Best!

Holiday Show 2015

November 30, 2015 - Leave a Response

By the way, did you know that my blog followers receive free shipping? Well how could you…I just decided! Yes, I will not charge shipping to those who follow my blog. Continental U.SA.


It’s that time on year! Please consider stopping by Rafter E Studio this coming weekend. John Eck and I have our gallery chock full of new work so that you can enjoy stress free holiday shopping. Why trudge around a big box store full of people when you can park across the street, step into a quiet, lovely space, and choose from a selection handmade gifts that range in price range from $20 to $200ish.

Our show is part of the KC Clay Guild’s Holiday Tour. We have a poster and map for you to take along if you would like to enjoy visiting other local ceramic studios. Join us!

Dec. 4-6

Friday night 6pm-10pm
Saturday 10am- 5pm
Sunday 12pm- 5pm

Rafter E Studio is located at 4501 Fairmount Avenue. We will have cookies! Handmade, of course!

Here are images of some of my new work.

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Free shipping from my website shop, as well…

You can follow me on Instagram @taradawley

Customer Loyalty…

November 7, 2015 - One Response

…is deserved at Bracker’s Ceramics. I just took a short and lovely autumn drive to Lawrence, Kansas to visit my supplier, the best ceramic supplier in the region. A business that is professional, knowledgeable, and quick to be helpful will be the one to get my business. Did I mention “and what a fun bunch”?  Visited with them all today when I picked up my order.  Inviting you to be loyal, too.

The Aftermath. 

October 27, 2015 - Leave a Response

  Yes, I’m back in the studio after a cool show in Denver, Cherry Arts Festival. 

 I’ll be folding up that big stack of paper now that our Rafter E gallery is rearranged.  

 I still have a bit of “narrative” pieces to be sold. But they are getting scarce.  

 I’m quite pleased with how the dark stoneware is looking with the white porcelain. 

Our gallery is open as usual on Saturday afternoons. Send me a message if you’d like to visit at another time.  I’ll be here because that wheel has been sitting still too long.  

 If you don’t  live in the KC area, check out my website. Free shipping from my online shop!


September 26, 2015 - 3 Responses

Bottle Buddies…Two bottle selections from Rafter E Studios, one hand-built by John Eck with stoneware and one wheel-thrown porcelain bottle made by me. bottle buddies

Bowl Buddies…What better place to keep your candy than a hand-made bowl?bowl buddies

Budvase Buddies…Even though John and I use different techniques, clay bodies and glazes, our work looks good together. Here he made stripes by brushing on wax to resist the white glaze that he dipped the neck of the bottle into. I made stripes by faceting the clay which causes the green glaze to “break” into an ivory color at the edges of the facets.budvase buddies

Longer Than Wide Buddies…My two favorite small pieces in the gallery right now. How cute are these?longer than wide buddies

Box Buddies…John carefully textured and incised the surface of this small box. And he paid special attention when he cut out the opening. See how the clay edge kicks up a bit there from the knife blade?box buddies

Bet you didn’t know I make boxes, too! This porcelain box was made by pressing a thin sheet of clay onto a plaster mold with the diamond plate pattern and cutting it into a shape…like an x. Then, when the clay was just the right dryness…just right…I folded the shape up into the box. Very tricky to get the edges in place exactly how I want and to keep the form soft looking. Both boxes are glazed on the inside. John’s is an excellent budvase and it’s fun to plant little succulents and cacti in my more open box.

You can see these and more in our gallery now. All the information you need is on my website. Stop in for a visit and you can even see a couple of Buddy Buddies…j&t
Did you know you can follow this blog? I don’t post often and will only put you on my mail list if you click on the option found on my website or otherwise ask.

How Not To Finish A Rim

September 14, 2015 - 2 Responses

I’m making cylinders now that are quite thin. The exteriors remain unglazed porcelain that is polished up, buttery smooth. So without a colorful glaze, the rims, well they kinda disappear…


When glazed, the inside has a bit of sparkle but…still…  


If you suffer from this dilemma, I caution you…do not try the following.  

Do not dampen the inside edge of the rim in the bone dry stage… 


If you do this, you will be able to apply a thin line of underglaze… 


And if you do that to one cylinder, chances are you will want to do all of them… 


Whatever you do, do not use a sharp knife to delicately scrape away some of the under glaze to leave a thin, uneven line… 


Because if you do this, all this, you will be able to bisque fire the cylinders, apply a liner glaze and fire them again. When that is accomplished, you will have to apply gold luster. Do not do this! (Before the luster is fired, it is a very pretty red color. Like nail polish!)  

But if you apply gold luster, you will find yourself firing for a third time. Three! I wouldn’t do it if I were you. Because later, you would have to carefully sand some of the gold away to get a thin, almost essence of a line on the inside of your cylinders’ rims. Just like you want…  

The thing is, if you do all that, you will find yourself doing things like this… talking to the state of Nebraska about sales taxes, purchasing business insurance in the state of Colorado, lining up shows for next year. Trust me…keep your rims thick and simple. To check my show schedule for the last months of this year, click Here

website and online shop…


August 31, 2015 - Leave a Response

Yes, shop. Put in some late nights and got an online store attached to my website. I also updated the images and words on the site. Had someone proofread…hope it is good to go. You can visit my online store at You can also visit me in my studio today and I will make you a cup of coffee. I am making cream&sugar sets:

The tray will be a slab-built, brown stoneware, not an old blue sponge. Better get started now…

Summer Sale!

July 31, 2015 - Leave a Response

Prices start at $5!  Time to stock up on hostess gifts!  (And don’t forget to treat yourself.)

John has been to the garden. The gallery will look lovely. 



Click here to see my website.