How many of you have known me for some length of time?
I mean, known me from back in the day when I was a potter full time?
That’s only a couple of hands.
I bet some of you knew of my hot muddy past but I’m guessing a lot of you didn’t. I had a full pottery studio with 2 potter’s wheels, an extruder, a kiln and a slab roller. So much mud passed through there. I really enjoy pottery. It was my first art love. My first wheel was a present from my parents when I was 15. I dragged that wheel with me everywhere I lived. Including to California when I moved all the way to the left coast.
That wheel saw so much use and was a really fantastic machine. Though it was slow and really not set up the way I wanted for full time production use. I got a more powerful machine when I was at the height of my potting and the old gal was used for only trimming up the bottoms of pots. It was handy to have 2 machines set up for specific jobs (I do this now with spinning wheels as well)
My thing with the pottery was painting it. For a few years in the beginning, I made stoneware with simple or elaborate hand mixed glazes. I got bored with it. It became too much like a job. Make a pot, dip a pot…rinse, lather and repeat.
The colors were nice and I enjoyed creating new glazes but I wanted to do more. So I did more. I started to paint mostly flowers. Eventually fruit and even a moose made it’s way onto my pots. This stuff was similar to Majolica but different in that I used a white clay body and painted right onto it.
Eventually as I fell deeper into the fiber hole, the sheep showed up more and more on my pots.
I have since stopped full time potting. When Jay began working out of the house (for another company before he started to work for SE) we decided he needed a home office. I dismantled my pottery studio and put some stuff into storage and sold other things. (I still have half a garage filled with finished pots.) Keeping two potter’s wheels seemed a little greedy and ridiculous. Do I keep the one that is more powerful or the one with sentiment. The one with sentiment actually lost, or some may say won. There was a young woman that was just starting her potting career and wanted to progress from a kickwheel to a machine. I didn’t want the wheel I loved and that gave me a start to sit there gathering dust. I wanted her to be put back into use so I sold her. I only hope that she’s still being well used today and the young woman is potting like mad.
All of stuff I kept is in storage. My Mom makes painted earthenware for the tourist industry so she has space to store my potter’s wheel and I have use of a kiln when I need it. This past summer I bout 100lbs of clay in the hopes of finding time to pot. It hasn’t happened yet but I’m still holding out hope.
I need to get better at making time for me. Time to pot because I want to. I don’t miss trying to sell well made hand thrown/painted wares against foreign imports. I do miss making though. Never say never, but I don’t see me doing pottery full time again. I do hope to be able to spend time here and there with my hands in the clay.