Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jen Mecca had a great post about being a potter and being a mother.
The balancing act of both.
In fact for most of us it is also about being a partner,a daughter, mother, son, brother, father and all those things.
We are potters, yet, our lives are so much more.
To be a potter it helps to be with someone who understands the following:
I can't because I have to, throw this order, trim bowls, put on handles, fire a kiln, unload a kiln, pack and ship and so on.
If you make pots or work in clay you know it is like a good comic.
It is all in the timing.
When it is time it is time. Or you just have to face losing the work.
For our families and love ones this is what we do.
If we are lucky they understand.
When Mark and I started this I was talking to a potters wife.
Her words to me were , "you understand this."
" Understand what?", I did not get it at first.
She went on to say, " you understand why he can't drop everything and just walk away."
"Oh, that - well yes."
It is hard, it does take time and timing.

I love the question of when do you do blank.
Well, you do it when the clay is ready.
So much of what we do we do by feel.
Is the clay too wet?
Too dry?
Or like Goldilocks is it just right.
So back to family.

One of the main reasons I chose to become a potter, beside the one of the love of clay, was the fact I could
A. work from the farm and not go work in a surrounding town at a mill, which I did do while we were getting the business started.
B. I would be home when my kids were home.
I did not want someone else to rear them.
The benefit was not only would I be here, but so would their father.
We were here to get them off to school, and pick them up.
We could rearrange to go on field trips, we brought clay into every class they had through middle school and then again in high school.
I worked from 8:30 until 2:30 for many years.
Pottery was my job and I took it as such, but when the kids were home, I was more in tune to them.
As they grew older I could work longer hours.
I don't regret this at all.

Christmas was especially taxing and hard on all of us.
We did all those things you do while you are rearing kids.
( someone one told me you raise pigs you rear children- it made me laugh)
There are times clay can wait.
There are times it just can not.
So as I look back on the past years I will never regret those years here with the kids and the madness of it all.
I am sure going through pictures has me reflecting on all of this- but
I still find my children are some of the finest people I know.
I enjoy their company and I know we are both happy that they have found great people to be with.
So for now let the clay rest and let the Holidays beginning.


Anonymous said...

hope you had a nice birthday... let the clay rest, i'm letting the blog rest myself.

Annapants! said...

I tell people I had a very unique experience of being raised by both my parents. Many MANY of them don't have any concept of how amazing / interesting it was for Joel and I. Although, Joel and I also couldn't get away with hardly ANYTHING since you guys were ALWAYS there! ;)
I wouldn't trade that experience for all the books in NYC.

PS. Let the clay rest indeed; I can't wait to see you and Pops! said...

I completely agree! I do many of the same things, work from 8:30-2:30, go on field trips, take clay to school, and try to plan clay wetness/dryness around Gerry and Wesley, that is soooo hard sometimes. But, like your kids, I have the most amazing child and I love being around her. And like your daughter said above, Wes doesn't get away with much because we are ALWAYS here! I chose to do this so I could be a mom. Wes was in daycare for one year and it sucked, working to make money to pay someone to keep my kid, so I could made no sense. I never have any $$$ but I have a pretty great family and we are very close, so much more important!!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

On the other hand, I am thinking I can avoid visiting in-laws by hiding in my studio :)

Linda Starr said...

I hope you'll understand then that I may be a little delayed about a week or so, since I am madly drying all the pieces I made so I can get them fired at least bisque before we leave here. Happy holidays, I hope you had a great birthday.

Shortstuff said...

Yeah, you had Mark at home, but Christine's daddy WORKS! Thanks for always being there for me, too. hugs

Barbara said...

Happy Birthday yesterday! I hope it was full of fun. It sure has been fun to read about your life. Your kids were lucky to have both of their parents working from home.

Laurie said...

Sounds like you had your priorities straight. And yes, let the holidays begin!

Judy Shreve said...

Great post! Merry Christmas - hope you and your family enjoy your holiday time together!

cookingwithgas said...

Thanks all and Merry Christmas!

T.Gray said...

Well written MH. I hope your birthday was splendid, and that at least for the next few days you and Mark can chill a little bit, rejoice in the season and in family and friends. Blessings to you both.