Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Redemption recently came in the form of an invitation to participate in the Summer 2007 Goshogawara Woodfire Festival in Japan. I'll be going off to Japan for the entire month of July and put up in guest accommodations with 13 other visiting potters and do nothing all month but make pottery, hobnob with my colleagues, and drink sake. Lots and lots of sake. In this moment when inspiration is so desperately needed, I feel like I've gotten a message from god. I have never thought that much about wood firing pottery until a few weeks ago when I went to see Gwyn Hanssen Piggott exhibit in NYC. Her beautiful pottery was wood fired and I thought how lovely it was, and maybe I should give it a try. Oh boy am I ever going to give it a try.

The drums of doom have ceased for now. I decided to cancel the New York Gift Show and it was an easy decision to make actually. When I thought about signing another contract to do the show I felt like throwing myself under a bus. When I thought about not signing the contract I felt light and happy. I'm following the light. The invite to Japan just cinches the deal.

Now it's time for re-imagining where I'm going with my pottery. I'm going to fill these orders I have and continue to work with whatever stores and galleries want to keep buying my work, but I'm not going to concern myself with hanging onto them or actively pursue getting new accounts for now. All I really want to do is make some really amazing, time consuming, labor intensive pottery and not think for a moment about what it's costing me.


  1. I love love love wood fired pottery. I can't wait to see what you do with it.

  2. Congratulations on the invitation! That sounds like such an inspiring (and fun) trip.

  3. Anonymous7:51 AM

    Wow! It seems, Whitney, that theee must be a "bug" currently going around among highly gifted artists who are feeling the same existential angst you're currently experiencing (go check out Diana's entry here: )

    Possibly it may be time for you to explore another facet of your creativity? Maybe teach pottery to some young ones in school (they are ALWAYS uplifting) or explore another form of artmaking? ...or maybe there's another facet of potterymaking that hasn't yet occurred to you (exotic wall pieces, chandeliers, jewelry, figurines, flat landscapes, etc...)
    If time is an issue for you, you could find an apprentice, who'd work for free for the great gift of learning from you..maybe from a local college.

    Maybe it's time to do a little inner work - possibly some spiritual exploration? Go on a retreat - there's lots of wonderful places in the Bay Area!

    Anyway, embrace the wonder of your creative self and listen to her, deeply, I think she needs a little change, that's all! Just wanted to offer you some suggestions-hope they help...Blessings!