Monday, April 27, 2020


Been keeping busy, throwing a new pumpkin army. Eventually, I'll get to the other, new ideas I've got bubbling, but for now, I'm feeling comforted by the repetition of throwing familiar forms. It's helping me to get back into the rhythm of making.
I showed my dad, who really hasn't seen me in a making cycle, and he made all the appropriately impressed dad noises. (Can I just mention how lucky I am to be spending this time with my dad?) I had to laugh when I looked at the jacks piling up, since I can't fire them until the studio I go to re-opens. Maybe I'll have enough to rent the whole kiln by that time!

Tuesday, April 14, 2020


On June 3rd, it will be three years since I had to leave my home, my studio, friends, everything I had worked hard to build. I even had to leave behind one of my dogs. It was indescribably painful. 

But time marches on. Things change. I've managed to adapt, albeit clumsily and without much grace. It was hard to fathom all the ugly, ugly things which came to light in the last three years, but somehow, I've managed to hang on and to continue the process of growth and healing. I've been so lucky to have a core group of friends to hold my hand and listen to my travails!

Now, things are truly moving forward. I've recently completed my very first stint as a producer for a proof of concept short film. And I lived through it! And the director and all the crew had a great time and were very complimentary! I never imagined myself here, in this place.

And I finally had a conversation with my dad about getting the electrical at the house upgraded to allow for a kiln. Since the house was built in 1941 and it's still all the original electrical, it's simply too outdated to accommodate a new 220 circuit safely.

Dad said that it's OK! Hooray! So now I get to start saving for a new electrical panel and a new kiln! It's going to take me a while, and it may not actually happen until next year, but at least now, I have a way to reclaim my artistic talents and skills!

It was really hard to be told that my ceramics business was one of the reasons my ex decided to disappear, particularly since he was the one who demanded I make it a business. (Ah, the moving goal posts! Gotta love being set up to fail!) It was like a kick to the gut, and the lingering after effects sucked the joy out of life for a long time.
My favorite clay, in action (the three on the right).
But now, not only do I have this very attainable goal, my very favorite clay manufacturer brought down their prices for shipping clay! Yes, it's still more than it would be if I still lived in the Sacramento area and could pick it up, myself, but I'm still super-happy about it! That clay is really plastic and forgiving, and is perfect for making stoneware and also for Raku firing. It's very versatile, and man, it's just the best thing since sliced bread!

In this crazy time of isolation and sadness, it's been a relief to have something positive to work towards!

I determined that this time, in setting up my ceramics, I would take my time and not be pressured to immediately make a profit, so when my dad pointed out that I needed to consider whether I was going to actually make it pay to have a kiln, etc., (he was being nice about it, just spitballing, as it were) I started to recognize a trigger being activated.

So we had an honest chat about it. I told him that, in all honesty, I wasn't buying a kiln so I could be profitable. I was buying it so that I could enjoy my skill as a potter and a sculptor. I think my exact words were, "Do I have to make a profit in order to justify doing what I do best?" And I told him that what I wanted to do is to expand my skills, to study ceramics and apply my knowledge to making my pieces better and more interesting. To give myself the opportunity to just explore, rather than have to immediately be commercially appealing. (You never know for sure that anything you make will be commercially appealing, anyway!)

I also mentioned something another friend of mine, who is not American or Anglo, said:

"That's you Crazy White People, taking the happiness out of life with always having to have more, make more money! Why do you guys always have to ruin it for yourselves? Just have fun!"

So while yes, I do want to continue to sell my pieces (you can buy them here) so that I can offset my costs, I don't really want that to be my driving force. I want to have fun with it again. I want to feel the sheer joy of creating!

And boy, oh, boy! Do I have some fun new ideas!