Thursday, August 30, 2007

fresh approach

I think my time in Japan really changed my brain in several ways. To honor this I’m changing the look of my blog. I’ve been really happy with how it looked until recently; all of the sudden it seemed stale. Do you like it? I do. I may not stick with these colors—I’m having a bout of insomnia right now and when I wake up in the morning these colors might be more than I can handle. But at 3:30 in the morning it looks pretty good!

One thing that has been different lately is I have been a lot more patient with myself and my work. I know from experience that everything in the studio takes a lot longer than you ever think it will. I know this, but I’ve always fought it, always pushing for things to go faster than they possibly can and getting all worked up about it. I’ve noticed since I’ve been back that I seem to be okay with giving everything the amount of time it needs and not having an expectation that it should be any different than it is.

For example, I’ve started to think about how all the elements that make my business run are just as important as making a pot, and that includes answering the phone, paying my bills, filing paperwork, taking photos, and following up with clients. I don’t always do these things conscientiously because I often find them to be annoying distractions from my work. Once I accept these things as vital and important rather than annoying, I don’t feel as bothered going through the motions of doing it. I’m giving the task the time it needs and then getting back to what I really want to do: make pots. And I work better knowing that I’ve done the things that enables me to make pots everyday.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

ready... go!

With Sara’s help, we finished off the remodel on the studio yesterday. Everything is put away in its new place, the new slab roller is set up, and I’m ready to go. When I’ve been away from clay for a while, I always go back to it with a sense of anticipation and dread. Getting back into it can be hard, and it can take a couple of hours to feel comfortable again. The good thing is that I have a stack of orders to make so at least I don’t have to think about what I’m going to throw today!
Doesn't Sara look cool sawing ware boards with her big ole sunglasses on?

Monday, August 20, 2007

the clay is waiting

The studio is still in the process of being put back together. I’m trying to contain myself and my impatience to get back to work and put it all back together in a thoughtful way. I’m almost there. In the meantime I thought I would post a comment that came through the other night to an old post, and my response to it. I edited the comment to get to the heart of what the person was writing. As someone who has fallen in love and been brokenhearted many times I could totally feel for this person, while also being pleased that I’ve gotten some distance and some perspective on the pitfalls of love!

Maria wrote:
Today I googled "how to let go of beautiful moments" and this blog came up as a result 'cause of the words Beautiful and Let Go. Oddly, I am a ceramic student w/ 1 more class to take to graduate:... I'm trying to let go of this one guy and the moments we shared, hence my google search. ..And, well, I've kinda lost all desire to work with clay…How could something like a break-up drive me away from clay when on the contrary, I feel I should have gotten me more into it, if only to not think of him… I guess the question is, how does one work with clay or any art consistently when everything around you seems to be falling apart? But I think I know the answer already "just start making something and don't stop" But it is so hard. :(

I wrote:
Everything IS falling apart, all the time. As human beings we are (usually) blessed the ability to cope with our ongoing process of falling apart and learning from it. Nothing is perfect and it never will be. But we are driven to try for those perfect moments, and keep trying. If you are an artist you have the amazing ability to create something beautiful from this process of trying and striving and sometimes --often-- failing. Enjoy it. Quit yer cryin' and get back to work! The clay is waiting!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

i miss japan

There’s the big baby, the Olsen kiln, firing with all its might back in Japan. I’m missing my time in Japan as I go about the work of remodeling my studio and hitting the various roadblocks, but I still think I can get back to work on Monday. Feeling hopeful. I was talking to some friends the other night about Japan and one of the things I really appreciated were the bathrooms. That is such a girl thing, I know. First of all, they are impeccably clean. The worst bathroom I saw was in the Tokyo airport and it was on par with a decent American public bathroom. And everywhere you go, it’s standard for the toilet seat to be heated. Even at the pottery where we were living, all the toilet seats were warm. I never realized how wonderful it is to have a warm toilet seat. Most toilets also come with a bidet with three different settings and angles. You can also adjust the strength of the water flow if you choose to use the bidet. In public restrooms, there are often settings for music, (marked with a musical note), a toilet flushing sound, and a “strong deodorizer” button. I figured out that the music and flushing sounds were employed to cover potentially embarrassing noises. I wondered though, what’s the point of covering the noise when everyone withing earshot knows you are covering the noise with a fake flushing sound? Which is worse? Did I mention that I miss Japan?

Friday, August 10, 2007

back to work...

I’ve been waking up at night with absolutely no idea where I am: Japan? Hawaii? Nope, home. Home sweet home. I dove right back into my studio, doing a little remodel to make more room for production. Good-bye gallery space! Today I drove 45 minutes to Menlo Park to score a free Bailey slab roller I found on craigslist. I love Craig. Remember how I hated hand building? I love hand building now too.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

soft landing

There have been no postings because I have been on Oahu staying with an old friend on the North shore, coming down from the high of my Japan residency. Of course I have my husband here with me too. I will be rejoining the world sometime next week!