Thursday, November 01, 2007


I’ve been trying this new method and I’m going to share it and encourage every artist who reads this to give it a try. Since I’ve been back from Japan it’s been a big struggle in my studio to make the new, sometimes non-functional work that I want to make, and at the same time fill orders and make all the stuff that sells that I think I have to make. I feel guilty when I work on my new stuff, because I have bills and an assistant who counts on me to pay her. Then I feel guilty when I work on my "have to" stuff because I think I’m ripping myself off and not being true to my artist self. It’s a ridiculous crazy struggle and I think every artist goes through it. The result is that I have not been very efficient. In fact, I have no idea what I made between August and September. It’s a big guilt blur.

So I decided to split my studio time in half: after I deal with my daily paperwork I look at how much time I have to make stuff, and split it in half. One half is my *have to* pottery, half is my *want to* pottery. I can mix that up however I want, but it has to come out to a 50/50 split at the end of the day. And it totally works for me because I’m satisfying all my needs and making great new stuff too! Check out what came out of the kiln today:I’m really excited about these things. I made it with my new porcelain and I threw it super thin so I would get the translucency when you put a candle in it. I’m really into it because I can play around with carving pictures, and at the same time get away from glazing. And I can use the concept on a hundred things I have in mind. The design simplifies my life in so many ways, I’m so tired of slaving over pieces to get all the different colors and relief design. Now this little baby hasn’t been fired yet, but it’s a copy of a magnolia petal that I found on the ground the other day, in the porcelain again. I was walking down the street with Christa on Monday and I saw the petal on the sidewalk. Its proportions were so perfect, so beautiful, that I instantly thought of re-creating it as a spoon. A scoopy-spoon. I think this thing is one of the most beautiful things I have ever made. The picture does not do it justice.

The great thing about these items is that I made them in my want to time, and I think they will both sell well in production and will serve as the foundation for my next collection. There are so many little lessons to be learned here and I don’t think I even have to point them out; I may start sounding like a self-help guru and then I’ll feel the need to demand $19.99 for passing on my wisdom.