October Prize Draw Winner

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The winner of my October prize drawing was Jennifer P.  Congratulations Jennifer!!  She will be receiving two of my handmade dog breed mugs with her choice of breed(s).

I will be announcing the details of my November drawing tomorrow, so check back to see what you could win.

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Shepherds Grove Studio Goes Solar

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My ceramic studio is attached to our family’s home and I love the convenience of being able to wander out to the studio anytime I want to work on my dog pottery.  The combination of our household and studio energy costs/consumption was a bit excessive so my husband and I began to think about solar.

If you’d asked me years ago if one could generate enough solar in our often foggy and overcast coastal town, I would have said no.  But after friends and neighbors started putting up solar, and reporting that the solar production was really good, we looked into it.  Our solar panels went up in July and, now that they’ve run for more than a month, we’re seeing really good output such that our electric consumption is negative.  Pretty darn cool.

I love the idea of my pottery being fired from the sun that hits our roof.  Plus, solar fits with my goals of wanting to run my studio as cleanly and efficiently as possible.  I already recycle most of my scrap clay, keep my water usage to a minimum, and use non-toxic materials to make my dog breed pottery.  The big test will come over the next couple months when holiday shopping drives my firing frequency to its peak.  It will be really interesting to compare last years bill with this years.

Until next time,

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June’s Dog of the Month – Alaskan Klee Kai

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I will be changing the “Dog of the week” to “Dog of the Month”.  I was very ambitious to take on a new dog design every week, though I am happy about my efforts and the drawings they produced.  The design work is, for me, the most time consuming part of what I do, and I feel that a new drawing every month allows me to give the time I need to the artwork.

June’s Dog of the Month is the Alaskan Klee Kai.  What?  Never heard of it?  I have to admit that I was unfamiliar with it until a customer asked if I did custom work because her dog breed was not on my website list and it is hard to find items with her dog breed on them.  I told her that I happily add new breeds at the request of customers.  She sent me a picture of her cute pup and told me that it was an Alaskan Klee Kai.   I immediately took the internet to find out all about it.

Klee Kai is the Eskimo term for “little dog.”  The breed was developed beginning in the early 1970’s as a miniature version of the Alaskan Husky, a popular breed for racing and sledding in Alaska, though not recognize by the AKC.  The Klee Kai is not recognized by the AKC either, but spayed and neutered dogs can be entered in AKC Partners programs and Companion events.

So what is the Klee Kai like? The miniature version is from 13-15″ and the standard from 15″-17″. They have a distinct facial mask and can come in any color except all white.  They are quick learners and very active – like Huskies, they love to run.  Here are some of the activities I found the Alaskan Klee Kai involved in: agility, freestyle, dock diving, weight pull, therapy and service dogs, carting, rally obedience, nose work.  From my understanding, the Alaskan Klee Kai is one-family oriented and are very reserved around strangers, which is a challenge because they are so cute and people are drawn to them.  However, like any population, there are some very social members among the Alaskan Klee Kai too, as must be the case if they are used as therapy and service dogs.

I was very happy to be introduced to this breed and to get to learn more about it.  I will post my finished Alaskan Klee Kai artwork when I finish it.  And soon after that, you’ll be able to find it among the other dog pottery on the Shepherds Grove website.

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P.S.  I am currently running a contest on Instagram – #mydoglovesmecontest  Look at any of my most recent pictures to see how to enter.  Good luck!!

Dogs of the Medieval Fair, Humboldt, CA.

Giant Rocking Horse www.shepherds-grove.comI took my youngest daughter, Lauren, to the Excalibur Medieval Tournament and Market Faire here in Humboldt County on Sunday. Here we are on the giant wooden rocking horse – yeeehaaaa!.

We had a great time wandering the fair, and there were so many awesome dogs there with their people.  We had to stop and visit all that we could and now I have new inspiration for dog breeds to add to my dog pottery line – Great Pyrenees and Scottish Deerhounds!

German Shepherd Puppies at Excalibur Medieval Tournament and Market Faire, Humboldt, CA.  www.shepherds-grove.com
German Shepherd pups enjoying a drink – water, not ale 🙂
Scottish Deerhound
Elegant Scottish Deerhound with his kilted owner.
Great Pyrenees
Very sweet Great Pyrenees poses with Lauren for a photo.
Dogs meeting
Dogs saying hello by Medieval Fair tent.