It Is What It Is!

Laurie Conger standing in front of the sculpture she along with Lynne Wiencek and Claire Booms designed.Check out is wonderful sculpture at the waterfront park in downtown Port Austin, Michigan.

My student Mary and I, have a favorite saying in the studio “It will burn out!” Which we use often for just about every possible scenario we can! After surviving the Port Austin Art in the Park this past Labor Day weekend, I have a new slogan: “It is what it is!”

How long have I known about this fair each year? Yet I continue to procrastanate and not use my time wisely in the studio prior to this sale. It’s my best show in sales, the most fun with my potter  friend Laurie Conger and the whole gang and my feet never touch the ground the entire time I’m visiting Port Austin, Michigan. So I began to fast fire the kiln on Monday with four firings prior to leaving Friday morning. Mind you, I had to leave a bisque load behind because there were not enough hours in the day or night, for the cool down. Talk about being chained to the kiln! So I just kept telling myself on the two hour drive “Deb, it is what it is.” Of course it was just fine selling the stock I had and not all of the new pieces that were just thrown in the four days before. Silly girl!

Lynne Wiencek, Artist and Designer of Whim Originals is a metal-smith and jeweler. Her work is to die for. We traded this past weekend and I got a beautiful bracelet. She scored some buttons to use in future creations. Be sure to check her out at

A new clay artist, Susan Gilland with her inspirational ceramic art tiles was also at Art in the Park. She liked my business card boats and raku faces, so we traded and I got some great tiles! Her email is and can find her Soul Garden Creations on Facebook.

Of course Port Austin potter Laurie Conger had some amazing mermaid pieces and I got one of her huge trays! Don’t forget to check out Brenda Hines of Dancing Hedgehog Glass Art Studio with beautiful hand made beads. I filled my bracelet with new beads to add to my collection. Her work is amazing and I love all the pieces which I wear just about each day! Her website is

Wire wrapped bracelet by Whim Originals

By Deborah J. Bassett-Maxwell

Graduate of Kendall College of Design, Grand Rapids, MI Owner of Red Mudd Studio, Kimball, MI

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