Finding Passion in Our Days

Photo by Peter Bohler, NY Times

Sometimes I find the most inspiring stories about people in the Obituaries section of the newspaper. Currently, my favorite obituary writer is Sam Roberts from The New York Times. I admire Mr. Roberts’ ability to capture the essence of a person’s life so well, in the same […]

Natalie Reveals Her Ceramics Project

After being glazed, my pieces were ready for their second and final round in the kiln. The kiln is so deep that to place the medallions at the bottom, I had to fold over the edge with my head and shoulders in the depths.

The next day, the firing was complete. Once the […]

Visiting an Old Friend -- An 1886 Square Grand Piano

This is my second extended stay in Cambria. The first was in seventh grade, when my mom and I lived here for a month to pursue “nature studies,” the science portion of our homeschool curriculum. While we were here, we became acquainted with the leaders of the Cambria Historical Museum, a 19th century home […]

Ceramics Is Not All Fun and Clay

It’s been lovely to devote the past two weeks to being creative. My project is going swimmingly, and I have also had a most enjoyable time helping Patty with some of her work—I painted earrings and buttons she made with black glaze so that she could etch them, glazed some of her workshop students’ work, […]

Creativity, Intuition and Patience


Ten days into my project, I am starting to answer my essential question: What skills must a ceramic artist master distinct from those of a 2D artist, and how can some of these skills be applied to other facets of one’s life? The most crucial skills I have observed so far are creativity, […]

Ceramic Art in an Old Schoolhouse

Patty’s studio is in a 19th century one-room schoolhouse located on Cambria’s Main Street. The cream colored clapboard, red trim, and bell tower (the original 1880’s bell still resides up there) might as well be right out of a Little House on the Prairie novel, and arriving each morning is like going on jaunt […]

Appreciating Each Drop (of Water)

Note from Pamela: Over the past couple of years, we have been trying to become more water-aware, which has led us to discover some wonderfully easy ways to conserve and appreciate water. Currently, I am staying in a house in Cambria, California, which is practicing the highest level of water conservation, due to the […]

Learning About Clay

Patricia Griffin, Cambria Ceramicist

For the next three weeks, I will be studying ceramics under the guidance of Cambria based artist Patty Griffin. My essential question: What skills must a ceramic artist master distinct from those of a 2D artist, and how can some of these skills be applied to other facets of […]

Writing as a Way to Cope with the World

I believe this is a painting titled “Quiet Hours” by Vittorio Matteo Corcos, 1885

Each time I see this painting, I remember writing an entire short essay sitting on our patio, while Natalie napped in her stroller next to me. I had observed behavior in a bathroom line at a movie theater that […]

Applying to College -- Fun & Stressful


Having a child apply to college is both fun and stressful. For certain, it is a much more complex process than it was 40 years ago when I applied to college. At the same time, it’s a learning opportunity if one approaches it as a research project. It reveals so much about: family dynamics […]