Ron was the one who had been wanting to talk about our pots for awhile because whenever we meet we are always talking about our THROWN TOGETHER business or doing other things. It was a great idea because really now that we are all just studio potters working on our own, there isn't really anyone who can help look at those little things in your work that you tend to overlook We each brought out three pots and talked about what sort of new stuff we were thinking about doing or changing about a our work.
( awkward silence)
I've been trying to wrap my head around how I feel about Openings and really what to say about them. My children use to have this book in which you could change the events in the book depending on which way you held the book ( upside down, right side up). I sort of thought that I could approach my blog post about this opening that way. You know the upbeat side to the evening and the real feelings I have about these types of events.
So here I am, ready to post my thoughts on last Thursday evening along with really how I feel about these types of evenings I've attended over the last few years.....
Are you ready? This could get ugly......
(Jenni Brant tea bowls below, above photo is the hall wall in which some pieces were nicely displayed in glass blocks and on shelves. Here is Joey enjoying a free beer.)
I don't look forward to my own openings. I look forward to the making of my work, seeing it displayed and selling it but....I don't like attending places with folks I don't know and being expected to mingle. I was thinking last week that this same feeling would come up at High School dances. I'd go and than think ...why did I go? If I wasn't able to be like glue to one friend, I'd go hide for a few minutes in the bathroom so I didn't have to socialize. Its sort of comical in a way that I've had jobs in which I do have to talk to people - selling work, being a gallery manager, teaching. My husband and I are like two peas in a pod at an Opening. We are excited to have an adult night on our own but basically we are two introverts who freeze up once we are forced into a crowd of people.
I'm sure there are so many of you out there that will say how important it is to talk to people at these events and how much you love to go to them. Oh...if only I could relate.
(below...butter dish with new knobs on the top and a large pitcher)
I got a nice email from the folks at Gallery Up the other day. They did a nice write about the show I'll be participating in with Jenni Brant. They even have an interactive blog where they asked up questions about our work and you can go in and read our responses. This gallery is right in the heart of downtown Rock Hill and although I travel there two days a week to teach at Winthrop, I sadly have to admit I don't get to any of their openings. I do however go on their site and "stalk" to see what shows they have coming up!
If you get a chance, click here click on the name above and take a tour around their site and check out a Gallery blog!
On Tuesday and Thursday this Fall my usual routine was getting up at 6:30, taking the kids to school and coming home and falling back into bed until 9 or so. If you use to read my blog you'd know that I work very late into the evening and last Fall, this was true again. I also teach every Tuesday and Thursdays and leave the house at 11am so .....as you see, I didn't have a whole lot of time to work during the day because I was sleeping.
I was out taking one of my power walks this evening; one of the best ways I know to clear my head, get some energy, enlighten the endorphins and just breath. The headphones go on to drown out all the noise in the world but seeing what the rest of the world is up to while my brain is focused on my own little world is comforting.
Some of us use our blogs to share information, some of of us use it to purge our thoughts and of course I've talked about this before going back and forth with what I myself use this forum for. The moment passes by once the thought enters my head and I switch gears to something else and the thoughts and words that I want to get down are lost. Many times when I walk. I'm writing in my head. Some days this even happens while I'm throwing on my wheel and I think to myself how great it would be if I had one of those little hand-held tape recorders you to see detectives use in spy films. So in my mind, my blog has been going on. I just haven't shared it with anyone. But tonight, this evening after everyone is fast asleep and I have finished up some mugs, I decided to sit down and share.
Last time I left off with my blog I talked alittle bit about giving up writing for other more important things - like my family. Slowly, every since last year, 2010, I've had little person in the house that needed a lot of attention and some "Fixing" I guess we could say. I've often talked about all my reading issues as a kid and this year, after watching one of daughters slowly melt down while attending a new school we found out that she too has some pretty complicated learning issues and was really in need of more of my attention. I'll say it once again, I have learned so much about myself from my children and this experience has paralleled my own experiences at her age. The one who tends to push my buttons the most turns out to be the most like me and everything in my world has just flip flopped. Priorities that use to be high on my list are at the bottom.
I've gone through so many phases of how to deal with being Dyslexic and having ADHD all my life. All the feelings of being dumb as a kid, which my daughter is going through at the moment, insecurity through out High School, to trying to explain my special needs in college to professors and even laughing it off when boyfriends or friends teased me about my spelling and disorganization. I recently read a great article by Trudi Styler ( Stings wife) about living with ADHD and how hard it is on adult relationships. I've joined an organization for Dyslexics in which I get publication via the web with all sorts of information that I never knew before. Now that I am raising a child who reminds me of all the struggles, tutors and tests I endured as a child, it brings up so many feelings. All a mother wants to do is protect her young. A mother will drop everything to "Fix" her child that is hurting. Back in my head the anger of years of my own struggles and insecurities about succeeding just come to the surface ever time I try to teach my 8 year old how to write, spell the simplest of words, and make her feel good about herself. I get angry now sometimes at people who don't understand what it like to have dyslexia and I realise my child will go through the same teasing as I did and still do. People don't understand that most children with dylexsia and ADHD have very high IQ in the gifted range. They understand that they don't learn like everyone else and its frustrating.
Like myself, this child of ours can draw and create and sing like none of our other children can. She'll be fine, with extra help and will have to work as hard as I do to get ahead. My work ethic does not come from a strong moral background. It comes from years of being told I could not do something and this experience as a parent of a child with the same struggles as myself, has been my "Ah-ha" moment. (As Oprah would say.)
Shows, orders and huge blocks of time have come and gone this year in my studio. The blog and the website have cobwebs.
I've managed to keep up with the sales/shows that really matter to me and I would hate to loose. The group of potters that support me keep me going. My shelves remain bare after a sales because I never have time for extra inventory, but that's Ok with me.
At the moment all the rushing to keep up doesn't matter as much to me. All I want to do is "Fix" my little mini-me and help her feel better about herself and when I start seeing some confidence and acceptance for who she is and how she'll have to work that much harder than the other children, than I'll feel Ok. At that time, whenever that is, I'll get back to me and really pushing my clay career.
On a side note, our kids will all be back attending the private school they went to before this year and Joey and I will go back to trying to figure out how to pay for it. Nothing is more important these days than having your kids get a good education and being in a safe and supportive enviroment. I've taken on yet another teaching job at this school, along with my other two. I'll be working with the 3 and 4 year old in the pre-school program teaching art. I'm looking forward to teaching the little folks in the morning and than rushing over to teach my 20 year old at Winthrop in the afternoon. Once again, we sacrifice for our kids. Teaching at the kids school helps with tuition and also will be a great way for my little girls to see me and for my "mini-me" to feel secure knowing I'm around the corner 2 days a week.
Joey and I also put our house on the market to move closer to our kids school. I'm happy to report our house sold in one week and now we are feverishly looking for a house, over the boarder in North Carolina that also has a studio space for me. I think I deserve to get off the back porch and have my own building to work in. If we can swing North Carolina taxes, I will finally be a North Carolina potter, which has more opportunities than being a South Carolina potter.
So, that's where I have been. The struggles and my own "ah-ha" moment this year. I am still making pots but instead of rushing around to try and make deadlines, I'm rushing to go take a walk with the girls, or help with reading and writing or just being there one on one to listen to worries, joys and fears from some very deserving little people that mean the world to me.
Here's a little Coldplay for your enjoyment. I love this video because its just the lyrics...which of course I think are great. Enjoy!