Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It helps if you plan ahead

Mark is off getting clay for us since we manage to throw every bit we had.
 Having both of us on our wheels means we can go through some clay pretty quickly.
We usually buy some clay at the end of our season and it will do us as we laze our way through January and stretched we can make it go through February as well.
But someone lit a fire under both of us and we are rocking out some pots.

Last year, and if you know me and this blog you know that the last few years have had a few bumps in them, it was all I could do to make pots. I was there and, yet, I was not there, I was not really there.
Oh, I know how to work and I can work even when I would rather pull the covers up and close off reality. But my head and heart were not really there. I was making the motions but the joy was gone.
I know you are thinking burn out.
It was not burn out but heartbreak that took away my joy.

I don't know if it was something that stuck in my head from someone else but I pulled out my sewing machine in November, dusted it off, bought some material and a few patterns and began to sew.
Pot by day- material by night.
The fabrics got me, I would sew and think about Jay and Lee and make something.
Then I made something else.
We have a roku- great item if you don't have one look them up.
I streamed all of Mad Men and I sewed, its a wonder I did not take up smoking.
I would hold the fabric and place one color against another and the ideas would run through my head.
I learned the terms again, I pinned and darted and cut lining and padding and I sewed.

I learned to sew from my grandmother and mother, but I never wanted to sew, I just knew how.
Working in clay taught me the patience to sew.
I cut out bags in multiplies, lining, padding for 4-6 bags at a time. I worked on the bags as I would production, sew, set aside, sew, set aside, rip out, set aside  finish, finish, finish.
As I finished those bags something sparked in my brain.
And it was joy.
I felt good about life, good about work, I laughed and it was real.
I looked at Mark on December 1st and said," I am ready to make pots".
I felt freed.

I had walked around for the past 18 months feeling that there were no rules, that things did not matter, that life was not fair.
Well, life is not fair.

And, I don't know what is next, but I do know that I can make pots and do it with some joy again.
The sewing?
I am planning to continue.
I always thought since I worked in an art that I did not have time for anything else.
I was wrong.
So where I am going on this.
I plan to get back to the work we have been doing for 30years and see what this year brings.
One of the things I have been doing is making shapes that need repeating.
Mugs, bowls, even spoon rest. This will not take me in to history as the end all of end all as a potter, but they slip through my fingers and I really feel them.
The rhythm of the production is there, not being forced out but flowing out, without thought as it should be. I was throwing the other day as the rain was coming down, as I was self absorbed I felt a ray of sunshine hitting my back. I thought it was the sun, that the rain had stopped and the sun was breaking through. I kept working, feeling this ray of sun. I looked up and out my window, no sun, all gray and rain. Made me think that the sibs were walking through, stopping in to see how I was doing.  It would be just like them to mess with me.

On that big fat vase Mark is working on here it is thrown in 2 pieces.
He did get the height he wanted, not as fat as it needs to be but well balanced.
About 14 inches by 16 inches, he was shooting for 18 inches.

Now to get some of those pots dry enough to bisque.


Tracey Broome said...

I love the little bags you brought here. One is mine and the other one will be mother in laws birthday gift in March. I put some soap and hand cream in it, she loves soaps and creams. I imagine her carrying it around the house with her, she is doing things like that these days, just like my grandmother did. I definitely feel the sun shining on you these days, so happy the clouds have finally parted!

Judy Shreve said...

What a beautiful post - just reading it, I felt (your) sun shine! I'm happy for you - that the view from your wheel is full of hope again - in spite of what life's about. You will never quite be without Lee & Jay - they are in those bowls and all your stitches, they live in your heart and come out in all that you do.

You made me laugh out loud - I love MAD MEN - that show sure makes you want to smoke and wear tight skirts . . .

Linda Starr said...

Beautiful post, I can feel the sun coming through the lines of print, sometimes the softness and warmth felt is wondrous.


Great post. Great. Touching. The sunshine is so real.

Michèle Hastings said...

finding joy again is a wonderful feeling!

... i bought a roku player a couple of years ago because it's cheaper than cable and way more flexible. we've been streaming Mad Men too. we are all caught up so now we are back to 30 rock.

gz said...

good to work when it flows.

forced pots wont sell

Hannah said...

Lovely post Meredith, you must be a very strong woman.
Love to you (and keep sewing, I'm cutting out a dress this weekend for a wedding I'm invited to in a couple of weeks). I find it good for me to do other creative things too, something where the presure isn't on quite as much.

Peter said...

That is one of those posts that deserves printing out and putting in a special binding for a treasured spot in the book case. Thank you for putting all that into words. I am so glad that Joy has found a way into you again.

cookingwithgas said...

Oh you all keep me warm in many many ways.
It is hard to put myself out there and yet there are times that I need to in order to move along. You have all giving me strength at times when I was not sure there was any.
And you have given me laughter and pause for thought. Whoever says blogging is dead and does not nourish friendships is so wrong. This is still a place I am pulled to --and it has help me through the past few years.
Thank you.
Better days with sunshine ahead.
and Mh- I watched 30 Rock right before I go to bed and laugh, out loud..

ang walford said...

rockin post M loved the read my friend!!! i filled up your wee bowl with cherry tomatoes tonight wow they look good in it :)) i admire that glazework everytime i use her... cheers

Gary's third pottery blog said...

Little smiles from grandkids are pretty good for you too, hmmm? :)

laura weant johnson said...

beautifully's to a fantastic 2012!

cookingwithgas said...

Hi Ang! Thanks! and thanks for thinking of me when you use that bowl- cherry tomatoes....yum!
Gary I will take all the smiles and kisses I can grab!
Laura- it is going to be great- hugs galore!

Kings Creek Pottery said...

It's nice when the fog starts lifting and we find our way back to ourselves. The Zen of repetition and the feeling of warmth that love brings - good stuff.

cookingwithgas said...

thanks Kathy!

Lori Buff said...

My local radio station just played an interview with a musician who said "you should be happy just to get to play music, trying to make money from music won't make you happy." So make spoon rests and feel the joy of them and they will be beautiful.