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Sunday, 4 April 2010

After 8 years of potting, some things still get the better of me....

Like kneading hard, freakin' cold clay early in the morning.

Or making up a 5 kilo batch of tried and tested glaze, only to find the kiln load you just slapped the stuff on came out a completely different colour than you expected.

How about the lower back pain after a long day at the wheel?

And why does semi-porcelain have to be so darned difficult to throw with?

Or sitting at a show for 2 days and knowing you aren't even going to break-even?

On the flip side, there are some things about pottery that just make me all warm and fuzzy....other than the expected heat of the kiln...
  • How about that nervous feeling when cracking open that kiln?  Man, nothing beats that rush of anticipation - it's like Christmas morning and wondering if I got lucky the Barbie camper set I wanted or if I got stuck ith a handmade knitted sweater with a big teddy bear on the front.....
  • The reaction of people when you send or hand over their custom-made pot.  The "wow, you made that?" reaction - how cool is that?
  • What people say when you tell them you are a potter.  There are the inevitable "Ghost" references roughly 80% of the time, followed by childhood memories in art class.  My favorite reactions are the disbelieving ones who cannot contemplate that it is an actual profession.  Nothing like surprising people to make my day!
  • Conquering a new form on the wheel.  Transforming  an idea from paper to reality and it actually working out - WOW - the sense of accomplishment is fantastic!
I always thought that because pottery was my passion, that I would easily overcome any adversity and never experience times when I would just not be interested in being out in the pottery making.  But I have realised that like any profession or any path one embarks upon, there will always be highs and lows; moments of intense activity and development; times of barren creativity or action.  That's the way it goes.  Accepting these ups and downs as part of the process rather than using them as proof of my lack of drive or ability is helping me to be less critical and more optomistic.  Not easy, but I'm giving it a go!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

You win some, you lose some...

January and February seem to be the big application months in pottery land.  As Christmas time is typically the biggest earning period of the year for most potters, the November and December shows are highly sought after, requiring a selection process well in advance of the event.  Deadlines for Christmas loom around Feb or March for the bigger shows, and May-June for the smaller affairs.
In all, I have applied to 9 shows thus far, with 4 others not having posted their apps online just yet.  So far, I've had 2 rejections and 3 acceptances...
For my first year at this, I'm happy.
The oddest thing for me is thinking about Christmas in March! From this moment forward I will be making Christmas specific items and building up stock in readiness for the winter madness (yeah, I'm assuming that if "I make it, they will come").
So, Merry Christmas all and enjoy the spring weather!