June 14, 2020

I have taken a long break from working with clay. When I started working a full-time day job a few years ago, it was more challenging to make time to be in my pottery studio. I would still do a little bit of sculpture here and there, but nothing very consistently.

Being an artist who loves to dabble in all manner of arts and creative expressions, I’ve been focused more often lately on art journaling and painting rather than making with clay.

Since February this year I’ve been working through Whitney Freya’s Creatively Fit Coaching Certification program. I’m still in the learning process, and excited of the possibilities ahead for inspiring and helping others to explore their own creativity. I’ll be sharing more about this in the near future. I will likely be offering classes or workshops online.

In addition to going through my training, I’ve recently started watching online ceramics demonstrations/workshops offered by artist Deborah Schwartzkopf. She attended the same undergraduate school that I did in Anchorage, Alaska, although she was there a couple years after I graduated.

She lives and works in Seattle now and I have admired how she continued learning and working with clay continuously over the last 20 or so years. She has a studio and offers mentoring and workshops there during normal times. With the stay-at-home protocols around COVID-19, she had moved her workshops to online instead. While I’m sorry for the reason she needed to do so, I’m so glad she did that!

I’ve been enjoying watching her recent demonstrations, and they are inspiring me to spend a little more time in my clay studio. I’m aso excited about her new book (included below is an Amazon affiliate link) as the projects will be fun to explore.

Deb uses a lot of bisque molds, so this is a picture of my attempt to create a mold for making spoons. It felt good to get my hands in clay again.

Wet clay to be bisque fired and used to shape slabs of clay into spoons

Up until now, I’ve been an infrequent blogger. I hope to do more writing here. For the rest of June, I’m minimizing time spend on social media, so I thought instead I’d post a little bit here on my blog. I may cross-post to my other pages from here.

May all who read this be healthy, may a glimmer of peace shine on you, and may you find so much joy in your hearts.



(The above link is an Amazon affiliate link, which means if you use this link to purchase the book, I’ll get a small financial kickback)

Transmuting Whispers into Meaning

Lumps of wet clay

I’d unloaded my kiln in which there were a few bisque stamps among other items. I decided I wanted to test them out. I quickly rolled out a few slabs of wet clay and happily tested each of my new stamps. Success, they worked fine!

As I bundled up the leftover clay to put it back into my clay mixer, I “heard” a soft whisper. It was just a small lump of clay in my hand. I paused. It whispered, “I want to be a goddess.”

Oh! It wants to be a goddess! I surrendered. I began to form the clay into the goddess shape that comes to me again and again. These forms are based roughly on an ancient goddess, the Venus of Willendorf.

Freshly sculpted goddess

As she begins to take shape, she tells me she’d like a crown and a braid, please. Of course. And so she is given a crown and a braid, of sorts, they are pressed into the clay to suggest that they are there. She seems content with that.

She tells me about her purpose of healing and helping someone to connect with their own inner divinity. Or is that only my imagination hoping to energetically infuse the best intentions into her? 

A braid is suggested

Newly formed goddess with bisque goddesses.

As I complete her form, I place her between two of her goddess sisters, freshly out of the bisque firing. They are not yet colored and glazed, just farther along in the creation process.

I find it fascinating how each one of these seems to have her own story, personality and even shape. Just like how people do. Same but different. 

A few weeks later she is glazed along with a handful of other goddesses. I am at a holiday artisan’s market and decide to put out four of my completed goddesses. Before I do, I hold each sculpture in my hand, get very quiet and listen. This one, I “hear” the word “tranquility.” I add her word to a watercolored display card which will accompany her when she goes to her right owner.

Glazed goddess

Although some of this may sound a bit kooky, I trust my intuition and inner knowings. And, my “hearing” in that regard is getting better and better as I practice listening to the whispers of my muses, guides, or angels.

What whispers have you tuned in to lately?

In Joy,


This goddess is available on this page or in my Etsy shop. She is 3-3/4″ tall and about 1″ wide and thick. Cost: $52





Live in a state of abundance

Page from my 100-Day Project Journal. Follow the project on Instagram @tammy_judd_jenny.

I have a roof over my head.
I have leftovers in the fridge that I can eat today.
In fact, most every day, I have plenty of food in the refrigerator.
I have fruit in the bowl.
I have fresh water and clean air.
I have a beautiful, loving husband who provides for us.
I have the Internet to keep me connected.
I have money in the bank.
I have sweet, crunchy carrots to snack on.
I have green grass in the front yard.
I have plants blooming and trees and bushes turning green.
I have a car to drive.
I have gas in the tank.
I have clothes to wear.
I have a scarf to warm my neck and shoes for me feet.
I have electricity for the stove, where I can cook my eggs, and for the heater, that keeps our house warm, and for the lights that chase away the nighttime darkness.
I have a house to live in and sleep in.
I live in a relatively free country, where warfare is not an everyday reality. Thank you, God!

My inner whisper said, “Live in a state of abundance,” and I see it and I am grateful.

And, I send prayers and blessings to those less fortunate, and prayers of peace for humanity and for the world.

Love and peace, lots of love and peace,


Being an artist and getting down to business


Handmade ceramic plate. About 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ SOLD.

I started a new schedule this week, designating specific times as my work hours. Besides wanting to clarify my work hours, I wanted to be sure I was making space for personal “me” hours, husband time, and just play hours, too.

This schedule idea is part of my strategy to make sense of this business of being a full-time artist. Previously I’ve done my art around day jobs, fitting the art-making in whenever I could but often feeling frustrated that I didn’t have time to put greater focus on it. Oddly, it feels like I have still been just fitting creative time around other things, even though now this is my job.


Handmade ceramic plate. About 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ 

Proclaiming work hours seems like a good way to reset my mindset. I asked for support from my husband in honoring my work hours. I’ve marked my calendar so I know what time to go to work in my office, when to show up in my studio, and what time to come home from work. On the personal side of it, I’ve allocated times for exercise, dinner and evening relaxation with my sweet husband. I’m kind of free wheeling on Saturdays, but I plan to use that day for household chores, laundry, and have fun family time too. For awhile now I’ve kept Sundays as my day to rest and restore and often experiment with different art materials.


Handmade ceramic plate. About 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″  

Before this week, I sometimes felt scattered. I could easily spend the entire day going from one thing to the next but not sure if I was getting anywhere. Now I plan to use morning hours in my office working on finances, business planning, research and development, marketing, and I’ve set aside an hour for online art classes or listening to positive content. Afternoons will be studio time, used for making beautiful art.

How is it working so far? Well, honestly not perfectly quite yet. On Tuesday, I was ill so I  “called in sick.” Luckily I have an awesome and understanding boss! Today, here I am writing a blog at 4:30 in the afternoon instead of sitting in my studio making pottery.

I needed to be flexible and follow the flow today, but setting up a structure for my days is a gift I am giving to myself to help me. It is a nod to myself saying, yes, this is a business. You are an artist, and you are in business. I’m making space for both sides of this, with a little wiggle room for inspirational flow.

What do you do to keep your work and play in balance?



Fun ceramic plates .


Spirit whispers with symbols, synchronicities

Most of my life, I’ve been on a path of self-discovery. It can be exciting and expansive but sometimes it is hard to take those deep and introspective peeks inside of myself.

A day after having a particularly difficult emotional time, and still feeling raw, I decided I needed to walk. It was a pretty day here and I thought while out I might try a symbolic sort of grounding to bring myself back into my body and retrieve myself from stuck-in-my-head land.


Beach along Totem Park in Sitka

I asked women friends in a supportive online group I belong to what they do to ground themselves. With a few ideas in mind from what they’d shared and wanting to try a powerful meditation shown to me by my healer and teacher Robin Hallett, I decided to do a small ceremony at the beach on the edge of a beautiful forested park here in Sitka, Alaska.


Husband , dogs and my shadow on the beach at Totem Park

Even though I felt a little conspicuous doing this as my husband waited nearby with our two dogs, I tried to quiet myself internally. I explained to my husband what I was doing.

With my arms I scooped the invisible energy from around me, gathered it up and pushed it down into the ground in front of me imagining that my energy now reached all the way to the core of the earth where it intermingled with earth’s power. I waited a few seconds then I called the commingled energy back up. It traveled through my feet, through my body, and up into the cosmos where it flowed back down, surrounding my body like a beautiful fountain continuously circling through and around me.


Standing with dogs near the place I chose to do a grounding ceremony.

I stood there quietly for a bit absorbing earth energy and looking around at my beautiful surroundings. I stacked some rocks just for fun, snapped a couple pictures, then off we went to finish our walk.


While on the beach, it felt therapeutic to stack beach rocks.

A few days later my friend Mary, who is also in the online group, asked how I got on with my grounding. In reply, I posted a few pictures, one of them was a picture of my feet which at the time I wrote to Mary that I hadn’t noticed the heart-shaped rock right in front of my feet. She said she could see it too.

Later, while taking another look at that photo though, I realized that, no, actually I HAD seen that rock at the time. It was the reason I had taken the photo of my feet that day, looking down and seeing it right after my grounding. How had I forgotten that?!


A small heart-shaped rock was in the sand in front of my right foot.

I’m going to blame that on my trickster ego self. That fear-based part of me that wants to stay small, that is vested in separation, believing it is keeping me safe. My ego self doesn’t understand a larger truth about the oneness of this universe and all it contains. Ego had hidden from me, even from my own memory for awhile, a heart-shaped whisper from the infinite source of which we all are a part.

Heart-shaped rocks, to me, are like messages from the Universe. Quiet confirmations telling me I am not alone. As if the Universe is saying, “I am here! I am holding you! You are loved! All is well!”


A totem is silhouetted in the trees during our walk

I haven’t always known to look and listen. Oh, I believed in God even as a child, but it was more like an intellectual belief. It has taken a long while for faith to reach clear down to my heart. I have been on a path of healing and becoming whole. My intuitive self is waking up. This is the part that recognizes the messages which come by way of symbols and synchronicities. Spiritual scholars might say these messages are around us all the time.

I’m still learning to see them, and ego is still trying to trick me into disregarding and dismissing them as coincidences. I’m not buying it anymore, ego! Thank you for trying to keep me safe, but I got this now. We are safe and all is well!

What messages have you been noticing? How does your ego try and fool you?


Thank you and farewell 2015

This past week, I’ve spent some time strolling down memory lane, refreshing myself on 2015’s accomplishments and challenges. I thought doing a sort-of annual review would make for more solid 2016 planning.

File Jan 01, 2 14 35 AM

2015 calendar inserts

I poured through calendars, looked through photographs, and reviewed posts from my social media feeds to refresh myself on happenings in my personal and business life. Wow, so much happened in the past 12 months!

When 2015 began, I was employed full-time with the State of Alaska and I was doing art and pottery part-time around the day job.


Boat dream

In April, my husband and I had found and purchased a modest-sized and priced boat, which he planned to use for commercial hand-trolling. He had served as crew on a commercial fishing vessel the past two summers, but our intention was always for him to run his own boat. By spring 2015, it was time.


Doug and brother Dave fishing for kings in Our Boat

After getting the boat all set, we were planning to refinance a property that I owned in Anchorage.

Unexpected news, revising plans

In May, due to budget shortfalls with the State, I was laid off from my job. That was an unexpected development. I had planned to stay at the day job for about 5 years before retiring to work full-time at my art. Somehow it felt like Universe was encouraging me to do that sooner. “What are you waiting for?” it seemed to ask.

After learning about my layoff in May, and not knowing yet what my income stream would look like, we decided to put the Anchorage property on the market instead of refinancing. I’d tried twice before to sell without success, but the housing market looked much different this time.

We listed the property toward end of May. In less than a week, we had an offer. It was a cash offer, which meant the closing process would be much quicker than conventional financing would be. Thank you!


After signing closing documents, I left the condo keys and a welcome home note and plant for the new owner

Easing in to my dream

For more than 20 years I’d been dreaming of doing art full-time, but fears about not being able to make enough money to live on kept me from taking that leap. Cautiously, after so many years of working long and hard for others, I thought this might be the time.


Glazed pottery is unloaded in preparation for market.

During the summer months, I eased my entry into the full-time artist role by taking a temporary 10-hour-per-week job at the local artists’ co-op gallery, in which I am also a member.

Proceeds from the sale of our Anchorage property allowed us to pay off debts and reduce monthly expenses. Very helpful with the loss of income from my day job. Between my husband’s retirement, his commercial fishing income, and my art sales, we have been doing OK. With these slower sales months, I’m looking for additional revenue streams, perhaps finding a way to use my graphic design skills to supplement my income. But that is a 2016 plan. Back to my review.

Ongoing education and projects

Throughout 2015, I participated in numerous online trainings, coaching groups, and classes. I adore learning and expanding my knowledge and skills. A few of the online programs included a Mentor’s Mastermind group with Robin Hallett and several of her Business Alignment offerings; a two-week, four-session class called “Permission to Be Creative and Make Money” with working artist Marissa Cummings (Creative Thursday); and during the last quarter of the year, a Creative Business Incubator program lead by multi-media artist Traci Bautista; and Vision Quest, a creative-fitness program with artistic muse Whitney Freya.


Watercolor created during Whitney Freya’s 21-Day Painting Challenge

I participated in online art classes such as Story Circles, taught by Cassia Cogger, Printmaking Unleashed with Traci Bautista, a 21-day painting challenge with Whitney Freya, and Sketchbook Basics with Diane Bleck. I also took a metal engraving class and two art studio classes at the University of Alaska campus here in Sitka.


A batch of glazed beads are unloaded from the kiln

I successfully completed an online 100-day project challenge in which I made beads, and boy did I make a lot of beads in 100 days of working on that. It was a great challenge and learning experience. I gave myself permission to just do a little bit each day, but usually once I started I did more than a little bit. It was a wonderful experience and I was able to share my process each day by posting to Instagram. Most of the days I posted photographs but I even managed to make a few videos of some of the process too.

Expanding comfort zone

Speaking of videos, I also made three music videos, which I posted on my personal Facebook page. These were something I did for my own amusement while I practiced playing my guitar and singing. Music is another of my great passions, one which I do not give much space for, so I’m happy to share it there to my friends and family. It actually feels like quite a feat for an introvert, such as myself.

Some 2015 highlights

A few other highlights of my year included:

  • Creating graphic art, watercolors, doodles, and photographs in addition to pottery.


    A digital doodle done on my iPad

  • Traveling to Anchorage and Palmer to see family – three of my four adult children – and in particular my one-and-only grandson, who was up from Louisiana visiting his aunt (my daughter). During this trip I was also able to sign closing papers on the sale of our property.
  • Attending Camp GLP, a summer camp for grownups held in upstate New York, where I got to meet in person several online friends and a number of coaches/mentors/artists whom I had followed for several years online.


    It was awesome to meet these beautiful souls in person after previously know only through online forums

  • Rearranging my studio, creating more space to work and making pottery wheel more accessible.
  • Making jewelry from beads made during the 100-day project mentioned above.
  • Creating opportunities for online sales by making a sales page on my Website and adding items to a Spreesy shop and Etsy.
  • Creating a space for a regular painting practice.
  • Participating in three “personal retreat days,” in which I spent the day without electronics and simply took time for myself and to listen for inner guidance
  • Using one-way tickets for myself and husband, we flew to Anchorage with a list of potential motorhomes. We trusted we’d find the perfect one and drive it back. After looking at eight vehicles listed on Craigslist, we narrowed it down to our perfect motorhome. We had a wonderful adventure traveling back home, camping in the motorhome along the Alaska Highway to Haines and riding ferry home to Sitka. We look forward to many more road trip adventures.

    Our first camping site in our new camper


    Doug cooking dinner in our motorhome


    Enjoying our first meal in our new motorhome

  • Helping my Mom with a project by taking pictures of each page of her treasured family scrapbook so she could have it in a digital form to share with other family members.
  • Practicing my graphic design skills to create several posters announcing First Friday events at the co-op gallery I belong to. Also, during the holidays, using my page design/layout skills to building a full-page ad for the gallery.
  • Created a page in a Doodle Girl & Friends collaborative coloring book with Diane Bleck, creator of the Doodle Institute.
  • Enjoying some rare time with my husband’s three (adult) kids during the holidays. They all live elsewhere so it was nice to have them all in the same place.
  • Participating in the Sitka Artisan’s Market, a three-day holiday sale.


    New display location resulted in higher sales

  • Increase in sales. In March, my pottery at the co-op gallery moved to a more visible location, and sales grew. Between the new display location, my participation in the three-day market, and a handful of online sales, my art income was three times higher in 2015 than it was the prior year.

Wrap up

Thank you and farewell 2015. Welcome 2016!

I am excited about the infinite possibilities that this new year may bring. Do you have some favorite 2015 moments? Feel free share in the comments. Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!


Being artist and being me

I’ve been doing a lot of business alignment things of late. Checking in with myself as to why I do art and why I want to share it out in the world. Why I’ve decided that my job is to make art and exactly what that job looks like. It has been a process.

I’m still learning to allow myself to believe in my creative abilities and to trust that the universe will support this choice that I’ve made to follow my dream of being a full-time artist. I admit, it is scary, but I decided to do it anyway. I’ve been looking into stories that I didn’t even consciously know I held and questioning whether they’re true or not.

(c) 2015 Tammy Judd Jenny

After a day of drizzle, sunset colors broke through under the cloud covering on July 31, 2015, immediately after I finished a blue moon burning ceremony in which I’d released my fears and called in my desires.

I was raised with a strong work ethic which suggested that I must be practical and learn practical skills in order to work and support myself. Somehow in my mind this implied that things such as doing art and/or playing music, another lifelong passion of mine, were not practical and that I could never support myself doing them.

I have spent my entire adult life working in “practical” day jobs and then fitting art and music around the jobs. The practical skills that I’d learned in school did indeed make it possible to always find work and I’m grateful for that. But, while I was very good at the various office jobs I’ve done, and I was always an excellent employee, the work itself did not fully satisfy a core hunger to do work that was personally meaningful.

Through self-reflection, and with guidance and encouragement from teachers, I have come to see that I am here to creatively express my truth out in to the world. One of my coaches, Robin Hallett, says that we are each here to shine our light in our sliver of the universe. I’m the only one who can shine my light, my way. Everyone else has their lights to shine too. When we all do that and allow each other to shine … well can you imagine what that world would be like? I think it would be a wonderful place indeed.

I’d recently listened to a talk given by Anita Moorjani, the author of the book “Dying To Be Me,” in which she recounted her amazing near-death experience, and her advice was, “Be yourself. Be as you as you can be.” She said, “If you don’t be yourself, you deprive the universe of who you’ve come here to be.”

Who am I to deprive the entire universe of whatever gift it is that I am here to give? I humble myself before the vast universe and ask, how can I serve? What is it that I am here to give? The best I can do is open myself up, allow myself to show up in my job as artist and to work and create and express whatever I can from here, from my little sliver of this universe, and hope that I am able to shine my light while I am still here and able.

(c) 2015 Tammy Judd Jenny

On the evening of July 31, 2015, the Universe gave me a “hug” with a stunning sunset and a cloud thumbs up immediately after I’d put out a call for success in my life as a full-time artist.

This morning I was answering business-alignment questions and I sat for a while with the question, “What is my mission?” Since I am now a full-time artist, I think it may also be my life’s mission. Here is what came:

My mission:

“To create beautiful art that brings joy and delight to people and offers a loving visual hug when it is displayed and/or used.”

I imagine that a mission statement may need to be revisited periodically to make sure it still rings true, but today this is my mission in this wondrous world. Do you have a mission statement? Does it reflect the best you that you are here to be? Thank you for reading and for being. <3


Somber anniversary, tender hearts

Sometime after 9/11/01, an artist in New York City organized a show in which artists could respond to the terrorist attack. The show, which was called The Unity Canvas, was to be displayed just before or around the one-year anniversary.

The envelope I'd sent with my painting in it in March 2002.

The envelope I’d sent with my painting in it in March 2002.

I responded to the call for artists to create a 12×12 canvas. I mailed the painting to New York but the envelope was returned undeliverable. My memory is fuzzy but I think I called someone and was told I had the right address and they didn’t know why it wasn’t delivered.

Backside of package still taped up

Backside of package still taped up

I don’t think I tried to resend it. It has been in this package ever since. Before I sent it away, pictures were taken of the painting but I don’t know where those pictures are now, likely on a zip disk somewhere in a box, in stacks of boxes awaiting a burst of ambitious energy to sort and purge. Does anyone use zip drives anymore? I have one of those somewhere too, in a box, in a stack. I wonder if I could even plug it into these new-fangled modern computers.

On this solemn anniversary, I think I will open this package and have a look at the painting I did so long ago. So much has changed since then, but I will never forget 9/11/01. My heart was broken. And though time heals, my heart is still tender around the lives that were lost and the families who were left without their loved ones.

This is the painting I haven't seen since 2002

This is the painting I haven’t seen since 2002

Learning to be imperfectly quirky me

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Teapot made while in school

In 1996, when I was in art school, I made this teapot. Much of the pottery I made while learning this craft was given to family and friends, or sold during the semester pottery sale, but this teapot, I kept. I loved the way it looked and felt, and I thought it might inspire future works.

When I took the teapot from the kiln back then, I did not have the right size handle available, so I put the teapot on my shelves with no handle. I enjoyed looking at it there, along with a pottery collection which included my own and work by other potters.

A few years ago, I added a bamboo handle that seemed about the right size and style. The teapot then decorated the top of an electric heater that simulated a wood stove with a flickering glow. It looked cute sitting on top there as if the stove was keeping the contents of the teapot warm. After our move in March, the teapot wound up on a shelf again.

Today, I pulled the teapot off the shelf, rinsed the dust from it, and proceeded to brew myself a pot of tea. I saw my name and the ’96 carved into the bottom of the pot and realized that I had never used the pot for the purpose for which is was made.

It is not a perfect pot, in fact, when I pour my tea, the spout dribbles. The spout was made prior to learning a few clay tips and tricks to prevent or reduce the dribble problem. The teapot is slightly heavier than it probably should be, often a problem for beginner potters, but you know what? The teapot kept my tea nice and warm, the thick walls were likely insulating and keeping the heat in the water for longer.

I have recently been doing a lot of personal reflection, self-healing, and undoubtedly, inner transformation, by incorporating daily quiet time for journaling, meditation and prayer, movement and various forms of art. I’ve given myself permission to ask for space to do these stillness practices for myself.

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A quick pen and ink sketch while waiting for my tea to steep

As I write about my little teapot, including its flaws, I can’t help but wonder if my teapot is a metaphor for me. Over the years, have I put my authentic self on the shelf? Was I waiting there for someone, well me, to add a handle to allow me to pour forth whatever “work” I am here on earth to do? Have I been afraid because I am not perfect?

While my teapot isn’t perfect, today I find joy in using it, dribbles and all. Sometimes it’s the quirky things about handmade pottery that make the pieces the most charming. Could that be true for people too? Maybe it is my quirky imperfections that make me uniquely me? If I allow myself to just be my true authentic self, quirkiness’s and all, will I be able to shine out in the world and fill the space I’m supposed to fill in this universal continuum that we all share? I kind of hope so. My teapot today is fulfilled by finally serving its true purpose. I want my life to have meaning, and I want to know I am fulfilling my purpose too.

What kinds of things do you do to just be authentically you? Do you feel aligned with your authentic self? Feel free to share your thoughts if you’d like.



Fall – Time for Consolidating and Gathering

Wild Alaska blueberry bushes

Wild Alaska blueberry bushes

Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the colors of fall and the way the air just feels a bit different, fresh and full of anticipation. It is also a time for gathering. My husband and I recently picked blueberries and many of our friends have been out harvesting edible mushrooms from the beautiful wilderness of the Tongass National Forest which surrounds this part of Alaska. Nature is truly abundant.

While gathering fruit for our freezer is satisfying, it was also time to do some consolidating and refining of my art business and its Web presence. If you are reading this, then you have found my new blog and Web site. Let’s just say that prior to this things were kind of scattered.

Wild Alaska blueberries

Wild Alaska blueberries

I had written a few irregular blog posts on WordPress while I was setting up my studio. Later, I took a photography class and wrote blogs on Blogger as part of our assignment explaining our decisions for each class project. You’ll see all of these posts here now. I’ve gathered them into one place.

Technically I’m still a bit scattered around the Web – you know, Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn etc., but here is my attempt to at least bring my Web site and blogs together in one location, albeit still a work in progress.

I plan to get better at this whole blog communication thing. As we’re heading into fall, I’ll be busier in my studio, making pottery, glazing and firing my kiln. Do you have a busy fall scheduled too? What is your favorite part of this season?

Where ever you are, I hope you find abundance. Happy gathering.