Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Remembering Stephen Hogbin

Thursday, May 11th, 2023

I did a number of ‘split turnings’ for the 2023 Women in Turning Virtual Collaboration, working with Margaret Stiles in Ft. Collins, and Donna Rhindress on the island of Haida Gwaii in Brititsh Columbia. We used the split turnings to make spoons and bowls for a project about hunger relief.

At the conclusion of the project, I discovered more split turning projects from Richard Raffan, and this led me back to the master of cutting up woodturnings and recombining them –Canadian Stephen Hogbin. In 1980, Hogbin published photos of his experiments in Australia, pushing the limits of lathe-turned work. He was a kind of first-generation Derek Weidman, for those of you who are interested in the use of the lathe for sculpture.

One of my favorite Hogbin experiments were the walking bowls from the mid-1980’s. His recent book has instructions for making these (Stephen Hogbin on Woodturning), which I followed, I am working at a smaller scale because of the limits of the mid-lathe, but the steps and the challenges are the same.

mesquite walking bowl
ambrosia walking bowl
splines strengthen the center seam

New turnings – timeless design

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

Traditional darning mushroom to honor my Grandmother Franceska, who was a pioneer farmer in Utah–the source of this cottonwood burl cap.  The stem is mesquite – another wood that was unknown to my Slovenian grandparents.  They both brought needlework skills to their new life.  Grandfather Francis was trained as a tailor, but preferred to try farming.  They moved to Denver soon after my mother, their 8th child, was born in 1923.  Grandmother continued to sew, darn, make lace, and crochet in the city, passing her skills onto my aunts.

Canteens at Boulder Street Gallery

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

An assortment of canteens – wood or ceramic, torus-shaped or round – now at Boulder Street Gallery (through March).

The ceramic torus canteens commemorate the ‘pilgrim flask’ which was a traditional pottery product.  There are several also turned from wood, just to explore this form in a different medium.

Most of them here are 2-axis turned canteens with at least one medallion to cover the hole used to hollow it out.  There is one medallion turned from pewter, and several others with wood medallions turned, textured, with color, gilders’ paste, or pyrography.  Two of them are ‘faux’ canteens with beer-bottle openers on one side.

Wooden canteens are one of the projects that Dennis often demonstrates for other woodturners.  His website has more photos and instructions –

My studio has a kitchen!

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

Ridgeway Studios’ clay studio and woodshop are in a cottage that I lived in until 2009, complete with a working kitchen and sunny windows.

Yesterday I was working with underglazes on two different colors of clay.  Surface design for clay has been a long study.  It is only after working with pyrography and color on wood that I begin to see the amazingly easy ways to design for the clay surface, starting with the plasticity of the forms.  The bottle in the darker clay, for example, was shaped while wet with four sides, while the top remains round.  This suggested squares for the application of color.

Surface design only works when the form requires it for a sense of wholeness.   That is, it has to be much better with the surface design than without it.  I think I have been intimidated by that standard for a long time.

Great Studio Tour Weekend!

Monday, September 17th, 2018

Thanks to everyone who visited during the Studio Tour Weekend.   This is the best way for us to learn about our customers’ preferences, because they can see a wider range of our work than what is in shows or galleries.    This year, for example, I had some experimental bowls with resin, and the new Stormborn ice-dyes.  I also learned that I need to keep working on the charred-finish wood.  Luckily, the woodturning symposium the very next weekend in Loveland gave me some of the techniques that I need to make these more successful, thanks to Merryl Saylan.

The Studio Tour is also a great time for customers to learn about our making process.    It helps to keep traditional crafts thriving, even when the technologies may have been superseded by mass production.  Winter is coming, and making things is a very human strategy for survival.

Paper parasols

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

From a drawing of two paper parasols, I have created four different interpretations, using silk paints, stencils, printed fabrics, ribbons, and buttons.

These quilts are small enough to brighten up an corner of even the tiniest house!  Summer is coming…

Great Studio Tour!

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

Thanks to our wonderfully thoughtful customers, all of the other artists, and our Tour organizer, Nancy Bonig.  In addition to placing many creations into good homes, we got great marketing suggestions, product ideas, and encouragement from the community of Makers in the Pikes Peak Region.   It is amazingly easy to give a satisfaction guarantee to people who are really excited about their purchases.  That is the best thing about selling directly to the customers who are our friends and neighbors.

For our next public event, I will have a Liggy’s Notions booth at the St. Peter Catholic School Holiday Boutique on November 11th.  I’m working on a some new items for that Boutique, including a collaboration with my potter buddy, Jennifer Hanson from Spinning Star Studio, who will be at St. Peter’s for the first time.

When a box is not a cube

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

When a woodturner speaks of a box, she means a small cylindrical lidded form with a tight-fitting lid.  For this series, I use buttons as knobs.

The box on the left is in the style of Warren MacKenzie’s boxes, with two (clay) buttons to line up the lid with the base.  His, however, are thwacked into five-sided boxes.  I could do something similar with the sander, just not this time.

All of the button boxes will include an assortment of buttons when I get ready to sell them.


Pinterest provides a new index for my work!

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

The SAQA newsletter suggested using Pinterest to build a portfolio of work.  Great update to the WordPress categories that I’ve been building with the blog.  Look for Kay Liggett in the search bar.

I have discovered that my work is theme-related across all three media–clay, wood, and fabric.  Pinning is a great way to see correlations quickly.

Great weekend in Palmer Lake

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

I enjoyed seeing old friends and making some new ones at the Palmer Lake Craft Fair September 30-October 1st.   Customers were very thoughtful and observant, in spite of the distractions of the show in Palmer Lake’s rickety old Town Hall. Lots of my work now consists of revivals of old products from the long history of craft.    They seem particularly appealing in a setting which has no electronic beeps!  One gentleman commented that we vendors were all like the 60’s come back to life.  Maybe some of us never really left the Summer of Love, and now we expect something really special for the Autumn…