Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chickens and Pots

I started this blog as a blog about my chickens.  We moved in May and left the chickens behind.  It was a sad thing; I miss my ladies every day.  I traded my chickens for a studio. The biggest selling point for our new home was an amazing studio.  I went from an 8x8 foot shoebox to a 30x20 foot work room. 

In the beginning of October I was asked to sell my pottery in a boutique.  I was terrified.  Should I??  I didn’t feel ready.  It was a dream I have had for years, but was the timing right?  I stewed, I pondered, I stressed, I agonized.  I was still turning the idea over in my mind when I went to visit Cristy.  I sat by a lady on the plane who has become my best customer.  She was so complimentive.  She loved bowls with carvings (I thought I was alone), she loved bright colored bowls, she loved leaves, and poka dots, and pots with faces.  She loved braided handles and platters with carvings.  Was it a sign?  Was she just being nice?  I didn’t know.  I was skeptical.

When I returned home she called me and made a sizable order.  I was humbled I was excited.  She wanted me to teach her 18-year-old son who serves as a TA in the ceramic classes at Davis High.  I wondered if I had anything new to teach him.  It has since become a wonderful experience. 
Was I was ready to walk naked upon the art stage?  I had a dream the week before the show that I was swimming in the ocean with Toby and Jered.  They had an inflatable inner tube.  I was treading water.  They yelled at me to look backwards and there loomed a 90-foot wave, three feet from where I was treading water.  They were safe, I knew that, but I was in deep trouble.  I knew I had to hold my breath until the wave passed.  It was terrifying.  The dream stayed with me for weeks.

I agreed to do my first sell with only five weeks to spare.  I explained to Toby what this would mean he willingly agreed to support me.  My family ate a lot of Little Caesar Pizza.  I worked harder than I ever had in my life.  I threw, trimmed, glazed, and wedged.  I worked ceaselessly every chance I got and late into the night most nights. 
The day of the show came.  My wonderful family came and supported me.  It was more than I could have dreamed.  Although traffic was light, I still sold a lot of bowls.  When the day was done, I was happy and yet a little sad, I couldn’t place my feelings.  Immediately I came home and started working on a second show 3 weeks hence with Thanksgiving in the middle.  Again, I had great success and sold every bowl I brought (except some bright, happy bowls which will have to wait for spring) every platter, tortilla warmer, and pot.  Toby asked me how it went and again I was elated and a little sad.  WHY?!?  It didn’t make sense.  It took me awhile - 12 months of my pottery life was gone.  My bowls are my friends, they have replaced my ladies.  They are mostly one-of-a-kind.  I am not a fast potter.  I labor and stew over each bowl and piece.  They are a little part of me.  I breathed life into clay and make it functional.  I loved to go down to my studio and just look around.  Now, there are only empty shelves waiting to be filled.  I received many orders from the second show and spent all of December making more platters and bowls.  I told Toby I was going to write a book called, “The Inconvenient Dream”. 

 I’m looking ahead to 2013.  I don’t know where pottery will take me.  Will I do more shows?  Will I just make things for people I love and special orders?  I don’t know.  I haven’t decided.  I learned a lot this fall.  It was an experience I will never forget.  I have miles to go to before I become the potter I would like to be but thank you for all your support these past couple of months.  It has been an amazing ride!

1 comment:

  1. Those bowls and pots and platters are more than your friends, they are your children: you created each one, carefully bringing each one into the world, choosing its size, shape, color and then trusting the klin to take care of the rest. I think it makes perfect sense that you miss them and feel sad to let them go. I'm just so glad you do!