January 3rd, 2015 – Preparing for The Storm

An appropriate title for today as there is a storm warning and I’m returning to the pottery on January 5th to start new work for the year.

It’s Day 13 of my vacation and as I near the completion of it I am drawn into thinking about work even when I have vowed not to do so, yet it seems to me that waking up on Monday without a clue of what to do first, is foolish. I have a list of suggestions like “inventory” and “tax prep” and “new work” and “reading day.” “Clean workshop” is also on the list.

The thing is, I’m not really interested in either the snow storm brewing or another storm of pottery-making. I’ve had my fill of working like mad to meet a deadline that is unrealistic for me to meet in the fashion in which I would like to meet any deadline: with a solid collection of 2-3 styles of great quality stoneware pottery made for every day living.

I can only achieve this goal if I give myself time and 3 months isn’t enough time, so I plan to skip spring art and craft sales in the city (Ottawa/Gatineau). My work cycle is about 6-8 weeks but I also must include time from January to April for inventory, tax preparations, lesson planning and teaching pottery workshops and classes. No, three months isn’t enough time right now. My pottery stock is depleted. I want to present a great collection at my summer sale at my home gallery in June and then keep adding to it throughout the rest of the “making season” (July – November) when I will present my pottery again at my own gallery sale on the Thanksgiving long weekend in October followed by the many fine local art and craft shows from November 2015 – December 2015.

January is usually the worst month for pottery-making because it’s cold. When it’s very cold outside chances are that the clay will be too cold to work. Boxes of clay sit on the cement floor of the workshop and even though the workshop is heated, the clay can be too cold to work and give me terrible pains in my hands. If it’s too cold then I have to do something else and there is no shortage of something else to do. There is always something to clean, for example, I need to clean the kiln shelves – scrape off the old, flaking kiln wash from the shelves and apply fresh kiln wash afterwards. I usually need to recycle clay and there is always marketing to do and a growing list of website improvements and photos of the new pottery to take.

I have a private workshop booked for Jan. 17, so the first thing on my list is to make the workshop an inhabitable space for a couple of young artists to come and do some work. I love teaching. I have a lesson plan already worked out. I’m happy to start the new year with the thought of passing along some clay skills to the new generation of “maybe an artist one day!”

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One Response to January 3rd, 2015 – Preparing for The Storm

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I wondered if it was heated in the pottery workshop. Good thing you have plenty to keep you busy this time of year and I think you’re smart to be realistic about the time needed to do your art in a relaxed and loving way.
    Thnx for sharing.

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