Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"Second verse same as the first."

Angels and big pots wait to be fired and glazed for Christmas. The shelves are loaded.

These are just a few of the colors and glaze surfaces to choose from. I use both commercial glazes and glazes I mix as well. There are lots of color decisions to be made. I help form and listen to trends.
Can't believe I am repeating similar shapes. In grad school I was the least likely out of 12 to do any production pottery. Now I take pride in getting my stuff out there all over the place. It is a survival technique in a tough economy.
Can't make enough Christmas trees fast enough and now my students make them too. Fast and easy way to decorate and each tree is different when finished. These still need to be glazed.

Lucky for me I have an elf named Vera who loves to help me and together we come up with ideas of affordable Christmas ornaments and she helps the shop survive by producing ornaments and playing with glazes and surface design. Thank you Vira!

Ready to be glaze fired pots for a local bakery/cafe opening this Friday. These pots will be delivered in two days and should show great variety in color yet similar in design and shape.
Tables are full of pots to be fired! Don't set anything down. You might not find it again.
Every year around Christmas I follow a pattern. People all say, "Start making your angels in July." Somehow that does not feel right. And then time flies and it is October and November. And, the angels are in the making and not sitting on the shelf for those early Christmas buyers and decorators.
I was teaching a ceramics Sunday School class this week, a little unusual for me to say the least. I said. "We can make some Christmas presents too." Most of the 6th grade eyes lit up and said,"Yes!" But one little girl said "No! It is not even Thanksgiving yet." I know how she feels. I explained to her in pottery terms, time is flying and if we are going to make this years deadlines, we have to make it now and think ahead. But of course, really I agreed with her totally.

Today a friend replied on my blog as I make my way through the hours and hours of hard labor in my shop, working 10-12 hour days and still not getting enough done, "You sound like a broken record." That is not what I really wanted to hear. I was hoping for a little sympathy or moral support. I love my job and feel lucky to get to be a potter/artist getting to do what I want most days. But, every time this year I feel doubt and fear. As an update I would have to say there is no pause button or stop. It is just forward and feels like fast forward.

I don't want to always live in the future thinking "Oh my shop will be clean and perfect tomorrow and all my things I want to make are on the shelf and photographed on line as well."

My shop is a mess. An organized mess, but a mess. I jump over buckets of clay and boxes of stuff and there is never enough extra minute to stop and clean. And bedsides, there is no where to put it. Another friend came in the other day and he said "Linda stop apologizing, this is just you." Other friends salivate as they think about helping me and Lord knows they try.
In fact, I feel like there is so much going on, so many projects being made by me and my students. And there are always others bringing me things to be fired. So the shelves and tables are in constant flux. Put something somewhere and we will have to move it soon anyway.

It is OK. This broken record knows time will pass thank goodness. Whether or not I am ready for the Christmas shows, they will happen and it will be January before I know it. And yes, those insecurities are there, especially now with people having less cash to spend and changing their buying habits. But, I will keep making and hoping I have enough and do not worry too much for what it is all worth. Most of the time, I feel just fine. But every year, this is the push time for potters and people making a living with their arts.

I am grateful and I love that Art gives so much meaning to my life. I found it.

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