Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Lately I've been wondering, am I making any progress, or am I going in circles? Do I want to make slab built pieces, pinch pots, do slip work, sgraffito work, make sculptures, do alternative firings, reduction firings, oxidation firings. Please bear with me as I ramble a bit with some introspection regarding my progression.

I feel like I'm all over the place and wonder what in the heck am I doing. I have lots of ideas; I make them and then I'm not completely satisfied with them. Then I have more ideas; I make them and I'm not completely satisfied with those either. There are many more I am satisfied with recently than in the past. Not to say I don't like my work or that my pots aren't good pots, but I feel I'm always striving for something more, something undiscovered, something I haven't attempted, or haven't, as yet, achieved.

I've been organizing my photographs looking at the pieces I've made in the past and present to see if there is a commonality among them. I have photographs on one computer and some on another which makes it somewhat cumbersome, but I am wading through them little by little. I've got to find that mini hard drive, I know it's around here somewhere.

(Oh gee, somehow while I was trying to set up a local email account on the other computer, I deleted all my emails which I thought would still be on the new computer but they are not. So if you've emailed in the last six months with addresses or phone numbers, or the like, please do so again, since I do not have anyone's email address because I didn't have anything backed up. Guess I'll be doing a lot of backing up tomorrow.)

As I organize my photos, I can already see what it is I like about the pieces I consider my most successful. The photos I've posted here are greenware from my old computer except the last photo. Pieces I consider a success are those I was taking a risk, working outside of my comfort zone, and the piece came from a feeling from within. I enjoy the unknown, the risk taking, the challenge, the suspense of wondering if what I try will be successful.

As I've been reviewing my work over the last several years I'm most happy with the more spontaneous, sculptural, and spiritual pieces I make. I feel those are the ones I really put my soul into. I'm not sure if my soul is showing through to the viewer, but it's there none the less.

My shelves are full of work needing new homes to make room for more work, and pieces aren't moving as fast as I would like. Of course I never put much of my work for sale until recently. What with closing my lavender farm, selling my home, living in an RV and traveling for most of a year. And I just couldn't let some pieces go till now. I now have more pieces than I can store, and I'm willing to let pieces find new homes one by one. But I'm not very good at motivating myself to sell my work, mostly I just want to make the work. I have a lot of work filling me up and it wants to burst forth.

I have Gary nipping at my heels saying I need to sell some of my work before I can make any more. Then there's all the work (time) it takes to sell and it takes money to make money. Travel costs to shows and art fairs and entry fees and the potential of not even breaking even on those. Then there's been the unusually cold weather (even for here) putting a damper on most events recently.

I listed quite a few pieces on Etsy, but I think I should have spread out listing them over a few weeks. I retook all the photos, reworded all the descriptions in the first person instead of the third person and now I'm evaluating the titles and the tags. Today I changed my prices to include shipping in the continental United States. Wonder how buyers find one piece of pottery in a sea of more than 85,000 pots? I believe 3d art is better appreciated in person than on a computer screen. I'm putting together a portfolio of my work and working on my gimp photos for shows.

I'm much more motivated to work on my wall tiles and sculptural wall hangings which is the direction I've been going in lately. I'm intrigued with keraflex porcelain which I heard about last Spring, but rediscovered lately and I can't get the possibility of working with that clay out of my head. The strength and lightweight qualities appeal to me because of the direction I have been headed lately with my work. But then that would be more work taking up more space and keraflex isn't the least expensive clay either.

This post has helped me organize my thoughts a bit. Perhaps it's the Gemini in me that makes for a duality in my work, there's the funky, fun, retro, whimsical side and the earthy, sculptural and spiritual side. I guess I am going somewhere I just can't see the forest for the trees right now. As I re-read the first paragraph, I can truthfully say I want to make them all but I have a feeling the next group of work I'll be combining several techniques all in one piece. Thanks for listening to my ramblings.
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  1. I was going to say make them all but you came to that conclusion yourself.
    As for being satisfied with your work, I don't think any artist is or they would not continue to grow.

  2. Isn't that so like an artist, that the mind/imagination is so far ahead of what the hands are producing now?! The endless possibilities can get overwhelming.
    The trick is to not let that become immobilizing. So, I think you are on the right track! Keep going with your heart :)

  3. As I was reading "The Soulwork of Clay" you kept coming to mind. It seems to me that you are putting your soul into your work, that's one of the elements that makes it so wonderful.

  4. I could write this same post, I am all over the place and like you when I go out of my comfort zone I get my best pieces. I would also prefer to just make it, I hate having to do all the show work. And I'm really not all that excited about Etsy.
    I think your more sculptural pieces are your best works. I love that window and the wall pieces, you should explore that more...push yourself!!!

  5. i was doing my first show in NH and an accomplished and respected potter told me to go ahead and explore everything that i wanted to... that it was ok. when i set up my table space that day i had told my neighbor that i should call myself the schizophrenic potter.
    so my advice is make the things that you want to make, and like Tracey said... push yourself.

    etsy is a lot of work to get the sales thing going. some people make good money off of it. i can't keep up with the photography to keep listing things.

  6. Hi Patti, thanks, I just keep keeping on I guess.

    Hi Kathy, thanks, sometimes I do get immobilized with all the projects I have going and you know you are right, my mind is way ahead of my hands.

    Hi Lori, thanks, when I read your post I couldn't believe it because it was just what I was writing at the time. I've got to find that book again, perhaps now it will mean more to me than it did the first time I picked it up.

    Hi Tracey, thanks, you are right, when I let myself go I get the best pieces, but then I also get lots of duds too. I really want to try that keraflex clay for wall pieces and sculpture, it's supposed to be amazing stuff, I may just have to order a sample pack of it. I remember Cindy of Dirt Kicker saying she put a lot of time into etsy, wish I had a computer program that would it all for me. Ha.

    Hi Michele, thanks, well I am definitely schizo in the clay dept so many directions and tangents, but I do feel they are all going somewhere eventually. I really think I should have listed all the pieces one at a time at different times of the day so more folks saw the work as it was listed. Oh well there's always relist.


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