My Favorite Tool - Pandora Nash-Kraner


How is it they start out clean and then somehow end up covered in clay? Not only that, they seem to migrate all by themselves all over the studio when I’m not looking. Must be my mother’s doing. When I was a kid, she thought my job was to go outside and play and make messes, big messes. If I came in caked in mud and covered with grass stains then she knew I had a great time. It must have been early career training because things haven’t changed. I look around my studio (once a 2-car garage — now a no-car-ever-again-garage) and start out the week organized and tidy. By week’s end, well frankly, it’s a disaster. There are projects on every surface imaginable, all covered in plastic, all at various stages of completion. When there are no more surfaces, and every folding table is up, covered with projects, well then, it’s time to reorganize and start again.

My work is mostly about texture. I love texture. I am on a constant search for anything that will make marks in soft clay. I have made my own texture tools, found some in second hand stores, discovered unlikely items in the kitchen drawers, in my sewing tools and my husband’s tool box. Last summer I made a mold of an interesting bolt and ruffle washer that was on the folding patio chair that I was sitting on. There is texture everywhere and I try to see it as an optical extraction and imagine it pressed into clay.

Some of my favorite tools include: the paper towel roll and dispenser permanently affixed to one of my work tables, press molds, matt knives, a hand-made harp (cutting tool), sponges, a compressor, a blender, an old electric drill and my husband’s socks. Really. Socks. I make large artful serving platters, but they want to warp. In order to keep them laying flat I fill up Gary's socks with sand and use them as weights. Whatever works, and his socks do the job!

I am looking forward to Open Studios again this year. It gives me a great opportunity to share our home gallery, my studio at catalog location #133 and my newest work with visitors. Our home is right on the water and hopefully the weather and tide will cooperate and the days will be warm and beautiful. The work this year for sale will include my artful platters and serving dishes, sushi plates, mugs, vases with attitude, sgraffito wall flower vases and other good intentions that will hopefully be complete by then.   Samples of my work can be seen at my website or facebook page.