Thursday, October 1, 2009

Stuck In A Revolving Door

This past weekend a near disaster was narrowly averted. I've discovered I have more clay related supplies than I care to think about, especially since I'm now packing them all. I also have more than I want to admit because Gary has been finding them all, saying, "What is all this stuff?" Thank goodness Gary asked me ahead of time, "Can I throw these out?"

Gary was referring to the cabinet above which is full of my cone 10 glazes already mixed (wet) and the smaller white containers with my cone 10 premixed dry glazes, extra containers, disposable gloves, masks, etc. I'm not sure how to pack these, but they are perfectly usable, not to mention the air tight containers are valuable too. I don't want the wet glazes to freeze while we are traveling. Maybe I can put a down sleeping bag over the wet glaze containers. What do you think? Any ideas?

I also have to pack my finished ceramics, test tiles, cones, some commercial glazes, a cabinet full of supplies, and a huge plastic tub full of supplies out in the studio. Oh and then there are all the shelves and a few boxes in the storage shed. (Hope Gary doesn't read this post). I almost need a small trailer just for my ceramics supplies. Then there's the kiln and slab roller. I'm starting to get worried there won't be enough room for it all. I've been saving all the ceramics items to pack last so if I have to put them in a separate trailer they'll all be together and easily accessible. After all I know what my priorities are - clay first - food, clothing, and shelter second. Just kidding, I think.

The last two months I didn't have much time for clay with all the sprucing up, watering and gardening duties. We had 40 days of over 100F (37.7 C) so it was never ending. The last three weeks we had a septic, well, termite, roof, fireplace, and the buyer's home inspector. Each inspection meant something we had to do beforehand or after to get a perfectly clean slate. We can really tell it's a buyer's market these days, believe you me. We've also had three yard sales with another one scheduled this weekend, and numerous folks coming from Craig's list and bulletin board ads. I feel like I've been stuck in a revolving door and I haven't been able to get out. I think when I do get out I'll be a little dizzy for a while.

I'm already feeling pangs of withdrawal packing all the clay supplies, not knowing when I will be able to use them again. In the back of my mind I'm thinking of renting some studio space somewhere like Clayworks for the Spring if they have such a thing and there is room. That way I can keep my hands in clay, unless we find our dream place right away, that is. Time will tell I guess.

Wait a minute! I should be able to fit my tackle box of clay tools and one bag of clay in the motorhome. Right? Right! I told you I knew my priorities. One good thing about being stuck in a revolving door is, it's ever so exciting when it flings you out because you never know where you will land. Up next is a small detour about my first love, a story Amy, a fellow potter and blogger friend, asked me to post. Be sure to come back again to learn why.


  1. Love the photo, captures the FEELING well! Yikes packing up and moving, when is the final on the Road date?

  2. I understand your dilemma -- when we moved to Atlanta our contract fell through on our first house so everything went to storage -- for 3 months! I was dreaming about making things in clay -- going nuts. I finally signed up for some classes & eventually got my studio set up again.

    I encourage you to pack some clay & a few tools - and even take a class or rent studio space - if you stop long enough -- it will keep you sane on your journeys-- which will keep Gary sane too -- lol!

  3. the accumulation of clay paraphernalia has always amazed me. i've already got to much to pack up and take anywhere and i only started 5 years ago... can't imagine how much stuff you have.

  4. This is a really difficult one for you. I would take very little with you in the motor home in the way of pottery stuff. It is quite good discipline to have to just draw or particularly in your case write for a few months and then when you get back to it, it will be fantastic.

    When I moved my studio from England to Spain everything was six months in storage before it arrived here. I traveled with one big pot that I had made but not decorated wrapped in plastic. Also all my slips and brushes and tools. I spent months slowly painting it with concord and flowers sitting on a tiny hard chair under an angle poise lamp on a ground sheet. It turned out quite well but it does go down as the longest worked pot on record.

  5. Oh man, clay supplies, I know what it is like. I remember the last time we moved and I had been loading the uhaul for 16 hous and was getting to the 50 pound bags of silica etc.....

  6. Treasures, all treasures!! Maybe you can put the keeper glazes in a cooler to insulate them from freezing, even a cheapo styrofoam one may work. I'm with Kitty, for the road just bring a journal and some travel colored pencils and watercolors... but I think I'd keep all my supplies because it is so darned expensive to get up and started again -plus you made such great headway getting to know your glazes etc.

  7. We moved 2 years ago and 5 years ago. I feel for you! ;) Wish I could help.

    The chocolate clay you asked about is Chocolate Trail Mix from I am lucky to have them up the road. I plan to get locked in there for a weekend if I can (evil laugh).

    I hope there is a good source in the Carolinas because that is our next move (in 5-10 years, hubby born in Charlotte). I am in no rush though, still recovering from the last two.

    Good luck!

  8. Hi Mary, thanks, for some reason a mental picture of a revolving doors came to me. after we close on our house we have a few things to take care of like tires for our moving van, getting our teeth cleaned, eye exams while we still have this health insurance, we'll have some time and a couple of bucks then to afford it.

    Hi Judy, we have our own moving van of sorts which is also our storage unit, more about that in another post. Thanks, I am planning on taking a class or renting studio space because even if we find a place it takes a while for it to close.

    Hi Jim, thanks, I have only been working in clay for 5 years but I am a scrounger and the dollar store knows me well, lots of slump and hump molds too.

    Hi Kitty, thanks it's more difficult since I have so many ideas and they have been brewing for months now. I love the story of the pot that took so long, you always have such stories. Ha. I think once we get traveling it won't be so bad since I will really get to relax and enjoy since I do really like traveling and seeing new places.

    Hi Gary, yes some of the supplies are really heavy too. My slab roller is a home made version, but it is still very heavy steel, thanks. Luckily we have our own moving van out front right now and can slowly pack the stuff in there.

    Hi Cindy, THANKS SO MUCH, you have hit it on the nail with the idea of the styrofoam containers to insulate them. And I can't get rid of the supplies because even a few items really add up and we are on a tight budget. Just about the time you sell or give something away, then you wish you had it.

    Hi Donna, thanks, we have lived here for 5.5 years and the last place was 2 years, before that 2 years, then 4 years, then 10 years, we are planning on this next place to be it - the older you get the harder it is to move. That chocolate clay looks so yummy I am always attracted to the darker clays. The Carolinas have plenty of clay suppliers I believe since there are a multitude of ceramic artists in that area. Perhaps we'll both be moving to the same area and we will meet up some day - it really is a small world and the internet has made it even smaller in such a good way.

  9. What hard choices you have- but I like the pencils and notebook and one box of tools.
    It will all be waiting for you when the packers bring it.
    You will need it all- but I would possibly throw or donate any glazes that I could mix again.
    But I would keep all the bought glazes in the jars.
    Lids that are tight will keep well. Otherwise you could have a mess.
    Also- some mixed glazes break down over time and might not work as well after a while.
    Hummmm- all those things to think about.
    Best of luck on your packing!

  10. Hi Linda, having just been through what you are going through with moving all of your clay and pottery supplies I hope I can give some insight. We moved my pottery stuff in one trailer load (since we were only moving 8 miles away you may not have the same luxury). I bought about $300 worth of bubble wrap and clear, reusable rubbermaid bins so I could both label and SEE what was in each. I was fortunate that I was moving in to a pottery studio at the same time that we moved, so all the bins went in the studio when we went. I labeled them as "priority" or "can store", etc., on each bin so I knew which I would need immediately to keep working in clay, and which were the "luxuries" LOL. The bubble wrap was expensive, but worth it. I was moving greenware and bisqueware, too, and only lost two small greenware tiles in the move. Good luck! Julia

  11. Hi Meredith, thanks, the packers happen to be Gary and I - we are the packers, the movers & Gary is the driver - just wait till you hear about it, you'll get a hoot out of the story - moving on a shoestring. I did so much work mixing all this stuff (money too) I am going to take my chances on it all, more later about moving on a shoestring.

  12. Hi Julia, thanks so much. I am trying to label everything really well and will try to keep the clay stuff all together, it will have to be in "our moving van" for a while because we don't know where we are moving, but pretty sure it will be across the country. I'm hoping to have a separate studio from our house so if we find a place with a garage or something already on the property I can just move all the stuff into that area right off. You will get a hoot out of the "moving van" story so stay tuned for that. I have plastic bins for the fired pottery (that I use for shows) but I don't have anything for the mixed glazes. You have given me an idea to ask on Craig's list for used containers. Right now there are so many folks loosing their homes or moving into smaller homes and putting stuff in storage that free moving boxes are unavailable unfortunately. Cardboard boxes are expensive. We have been driving behind businesses looking for them and getting a few that way. I am using towels and newspaper to pack a lot of stuff - we gather a few of the free newspapers every day.

  13. looking forward to the post about your first love. Thanks for the comments you posted on my blog.

  14. Hi Amy, thanks, I think I will post it tomorrow, be sure to stop back by.

  15. wow i would hate to even think about moving... 5yrs? ive been storing in my latest studio for 10!!! not going there.. happy packing...!


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