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Archive for August, 2013

Impatience, Aggravation, and Frustration

Some days (or weeks) things do not gel, no matter how much you would like them to. I try to keep in mind that these are first world problems; they are not earth-shattering, and should not get me down. But it doesn’t always work.

Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful that I have all the essentials of a good life. I’ve got a roof over my head, food in the pantry, and a fantastic husband I love dearly. But, when you finally decide to go after a dream, you want things to happen – like NOW. You know? And when things don’t fall into place as quickly or smoothly as planned, well… let’s just say I have never been a very patient person anyway.

So, what has me griping, you wonder?

I am still waiting for my firing that should have been completed by last Friday. Since I do not have my own kiln yet, I have paid a studio for use of theirs. Which I am not allowed to run. So far, it looks like firing won’t even be completed by THIS Friday. Needless to say, I am currently not impressed with their service.

I am also using new glazes for this firing. Without familiarity of how they finish, or how much these glazes run, self doubt and paranoia are intensifying more with each passing (unfired) day. I am having visions of glazes running down kiln shelves, and ending up with a batch of the ugliest pots known to man. Could it happen? Sure. Is it a realistically likely scenario? Probably not. Does knowing this stop me from thinking it? Heck, no!

What would keep my mind off these things is throwing more pots. But it’s been so rainy and humid lately that I can’t get my recycled clay to dry out enough into a good throwing consistency. For every day I get of beautiful throwing, I seem to get another two of yucky, over-wet recycling mess. And throwing a few dozen plates just won’t do it for me.

Adding to that the usual personal finance issues, some new extended family issues, and another day that looks like rain – we can safely say that I am having difficulty maintaining a positive attitude today.

Sigh! Hopefully, some of you out there know what it’s like. And those of you hitting roadblocks (large or small) while following your dreams can know you are not alone. I’m not looking for pity here, but needed to vent a little. Venting, in small doses, sometimes makes it easier to move forward.

As my grandmother used to say, “This too shall pass”. I would just like to add to that bit of wisdom “Please hurry up already!”.

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Coolest of the Cool

Stumbled upon info about a potter I had never heard of before. No clue how I did not know about this woman, but now that I do… OH. MY. GOD. Her name is Beatrice Wood, and although she is no longer with us, Ms. Wood ROCKS!

Beatrice Wood (March 3, 1893 – March 12, 1998) was the daughter of wealthy socialites, and against her parents’ wishes, she pursued a life in the arts. She moved from California to Paris, to study painting and then theater. Several of her drawings and paintings were published in a magazine she helped start, and during World War I, she came to New York City and preformed with a French repertory company.  She hobnobbed with many of the influential artists and writers of the early 20th century, and apparently was also quite a swinger in the relationship department.

When in her early 40s, Beatrice bought a set of plates, and wanted a matching teapot. When she couldn’t find one, she decided to make one herself. So, with no knowledge of pottery whatsoever, she took a local weekend class with that intention. Biographies I have read do not say if she ever actually made the teapot, but she was bitten by the bug, and proceeded create ceramics for the rest of her very long life (she died at 105!).

This fantastic woman not only learned a craft and started a brand new career well into her 40s, but she threw pots until she was 104 years old! She never lost her love of creating. Never lost the wonder and joy of it. She said she loved to peek in the kiln early in the morning before opening it; that the excitement of it was better than owning diamonds.

Beatrice Wood is inspiring in so many ways! Painter, actress, potter, teacher… She went after what she wanted, no matter what anyone else thought. Beatrice did not blindly follow the pack and stick to what tradition or society dictated. She loved what she did, and had a very distinguished career doing it. She taught others, and yet, she never stopped learning.

I hope to borrow a page out of her book – I think most of us could. To live and love with such exuberance, passion, and freedom is what truly gives richness and meaning to our existence.

Here is a fairly short YouTube video about Beatrice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yxv8k6g3i-A

And here are some examples of her work: http://www.beatricewood.com/secondary_market/index.html

I hope you are as inspired as I am. Have a fantastic day! And if there is something you really want, go after it tenaciously à la Beatrice Wood!

Hello World!

Hello World! My first post, on my first blog, about my first business. Who knew that unemployment would lead me in this direction?

Well, technically, I am not unemployed. I am a temp with an agency, which in this economy practically amounts to the same thing. So, between assignments, I have had more time to create pottery, which is awesome. And, since members of my family would prefer not to get pots as gifts for every holiday between now and forever, I am going to sell said pots. Mostly pots, and occasionally other crafting projects that fascinate me. Creativity feeds the soul, so I have created an excuse (ha ha!) to create more often. It’s very exciting!

Still, those pesky ghosts of self-doubt do hover. They will be quashed! Life is about making discoveries, learning from them, enjoying the ride, and loving the people around you. I’ve decided it’s time for a little more discovery at this juncture.

“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.” – Maya Angelou

My journey has started – in baby steps. Pots are being fired. My Etsy store has been created (Wright Functional Art). I am learning to take better photos of my pieces for posting. And luckily, there are some great books to help me along the business path. The one I am currently devouring is The Handmade Marketplace, by Kari Chapin. It has a huge amount of great information, presented in easily digestible bits. I highly recommend it to any artists or crafters thinking about taking the plunge!

Hopefully, the Etsy store will be open for business by the beginning of next week. I am ridiculously thrilled at the prospect, and have been doing an internal happy dance for several days. I now invite you to happy dance with me. 🙂

Have a fantastic day!