5.08.2010

Why I blog...

I felt the need to sit down and blog this evening. I guess I really haven't felt like I've had much to share in the way of pottery these last few days because I've only had very small amounts of time to run out to my studio. I feel guilty or a bit silly I suppose just taking photo's of the few mugs I've finally gotten handles on or spoon jars I've finished. Today I did get a few teapots thrown but spent most of the time moping my studio floor because my husband was having some fellow employees over for dinner and didn't want my studio to look a total wreck.

A few months ago I was asked to be part of a show coming up in October called "Clay and Blogs: Telling a Story". Meredith Heywood of, " Why Not Pottery" put together this wonderful show and I was so thrilled to be asked to join in with ( I believe) 50 other blogging potters. Meredith asked each of us if we could at some point write about why we blogged and since I've sort of had one of those weeks when I didn't feel like I had much to say or really any time to think about blogging, I thought "well, why do I keep up my blog?"
This photo of me above and that little boy in the background is the best reminder to me why I started blogging.

Being A New Mom:
Back when Quaid was born and I had just finished grad school I didn't really know any other Mom's who where craftspeople and I sort of felt a bit like a minority in a sea of fresh faced potters trying to make their mark in the ceramic world. As we all know, it takes a lot of effort and time to get your name out there and produce good work. I know when I was in school being able to work non-stop on one piece from 9am to 5pm was sometimes what I needed to really think about what I was trying to accomplish. For the last 9 years I can count on my hand maybe 5 days I've felt like I've even come close to a day like that in my studio. This really is not a complaint, it is just an observation on my part and one that back in 2000, when Quaid was born, never crossed my mind as being an obstacle in keeping up a career in ceramics.

The first year of Quaids life and trying to keep up with my studio work was a challenge. I basically had to figure out on my own how to keep him on an exact schedule and work in spurts around his eating and napping time. There where some days he'd sit and bounce around on the dryer for 1/2 hour while I trimmed bowls or finished up some mugs. ( My first studio was in our laundry room on the back porch).

I did have a support system with other mothers in the area where I could talk about baby issues and things like that but it was difficult for me to try and explain to these same women why I had to keep my pottery business going. Its hard to explain to someone who is not a creative person why you need that time to "make stuff" and create. I think most of us who are parents can feel a bit guilty about not spending as much time as possible with our children. We have a little voice in our heads pulling us in another direction at those times when little people just want us all to themselves. I am the first to raise my hand as a person who suffers from this quite often.

Starting my blog:
Joey was really the first one in our family to start blogging. He wrote about our family,had great photo's of the kids and somewhat strange observations about life. Most of his friends read the blog and whenever I added something to it, he'd sort of edit what I'd say and we'd go back and forth at what "our blog" was really about. About the same time Joey started our blog, my friend Ron Philbeck started his pottery blog and Joey decided this would be a good marketing tool for my work. After about a month of bloggin, I knew it was a great way to purge my thoughts about making pots and being a Mom at the same time. This way I'd connect with other women, or parents out there who where trying to juggle the same sort of issues I was.

What I've found...
Not only does this blog connect me to other Mom's/parents but I've also learned so much from readers comments and I've met so many nice people. It has been a super networking outlet for someone, like myself, who tends to be a wall flower at conferences and workshops. Talking to people on the Internet and not face to face is a whole lot easier for the socially awkward at heart!

In a way I dive off a cliff with no bungee cord when I put my thoughts and feelings out for people to read. Being someone who is so extremely dyslexic and allowing the world to see my lack for catching typo's and mis-spelled words is just extremely brave...( or at least it is to me!) I use to keep a diary until my sophomore year of college when I found my roommate reading it aloud to some of her friends one evening. I pretty much stopped writing for quit awhile after that. Strange things about being an young adult and not wanting anyone to know your vulnerabilities and than being a mother and wife and wanting to share your faults and fears!

Final thoughts...
So, I do really enjoy writing on my blog. I may not always have the greatest photo's on here and my posts at time can ramble on about many trips to school or my lack at getting anything done in my studio for a number of days. But if keeps me motivated to connect to other folks who make pots, have children or just like ceramics, well I than I guess this whole blogging adventure was a side road adventure in place of spending a 9-5 hour workday in my studio.

PS. Don't worry, the girl who read my dairy out loud...well, Karma does have a way of sneaking in!

14 comments:

Laura Mayer said...

I love your blog... I read it everyday and always look forward to hearing about moments of your day. I feel more connected to potters out there toiling away alone... It's nice to hear other artist's going through the same things I go through here alone in a small town in central Washington... Keep up the good work... Thanks, Laura at artgardenlaura.blogspot.com

Tracey Broome said...

Hey girl! Happy Mother's Day. I love your blog and it's so nice to read some days that you are going through the same craziness I'm going through. Misery loves company and all that!
My struggle when Wes was a baby was trying to be a super woman in a very male dominated world. It would have been so nice to have a blog then, there was no one I could relate to and there was no support group that understood what I was going through. As I struggle with the day to day madness of making pottery it is so good to know others out there get it! Typos? I had to re do this post three times to get out all of the misspelled words :)

Gary's third pottery blog said...

JENJENJEN!!!!! blog anything :)

Blaine M. Avery said...

Hey Jen great post, didn't know you were dyslexic. Me too! It took some getting used to letting people see my mistakes. New show Idea clay and dyslexia? What do you think?

Ron said...

Happy Mother's Day Jen.

cookingwithgas said...

A great post- I would have given anything to have some bloggers when I was a stay at home mom with mine.
Great connections are made daily here and on other blogs.
You have made for your self a nice balance in the life of both mom and potter.
Best- M

andrea said...

That was wonderfully composed. I had not put together that we had something very significant in common. Being socially awkward. I too find the ability to write and connect without a face to face or a voice, liberating.
I can't wait until I too have pottery as part of my blog conversation, but until then, I will celebrate those who do and cherish what I have in my days.

vicki hartman said...

what a great post on mothers day! hope you've had a great one! your post makes me think about how i dropped all making when my first was born. if i had had a blogging/pottery community, that may have changed things for me then, inspired me to keep making. anyways, great job!

ang said...

how cool and thanks for the gentle reminder i must get around to writing one too..this is an incredible network of peeps and just amazing the variety of directions we take our work in...cheers ang

Joy Tanner said...

i love your post and what you call your 'rambling'. your blog is nice and open and doesn't hide anything and i think thats what makes yours so warm and personal!

thanks!

Jen Mecca said...

Thanks guys. Connecting with all you folks keeps my blog going and inspires to me write and share as much as I can. Today Joey and I played around with doing some video's so maybe soon you may hear my real voice as well!

Jen Mecca said...

Blaine-Train....
A show of all Dyslexsic potters would have handles on backward and signitures up-side down and backwards. It would be awesome! Just you, me and Micheal Sherrill. Do you think he'd go for that?
See you soon! Jen

jimgottuso said...

hey jen, lovely post. i really enjoy reading about you and the kids and although i'm a bit longer in the tooth, the daily adventures with child and pots is something we have in common... and that central ny connection as well. you make really lovely pots too.

Blaine M. Avery said...

I think it would be a great show up side down backward and all!!!