Sunday, December 26, 2010

great plans for the new year

I am working my way through a plan for 2011. There are some dates and goals that are already set by show dates and trips to races with 'race dave' but the schedule of what pots need to be thrown and when is a bit trickier.
The photo is of my favorite glaze in a 60litre tub and my apron, ankles and shoes.

I have found that there are some pots that people choose more consistently and some price points that everyone seems to be attracted to. I enjoy making a few mugs at a time, all different or course, and having lots of time to work on a handle that suits each mug just so. I really do not enjoy having a whole damp shelf of mugs to turn and handle before sunrise (or passing out) leading up to a show or the start of a Market season. It seems a bit like a job on those late nights and less like an art (small 'a' or not {'A}).

Part of the plan for this week between Xmas and New Years, that everyone seems to sleep through, is to decide what work needs to be done to get ready for the next year of studio life. I have already taken the old canvas off my wedging table and about a million staples and replaced it with an old piece of material that I have made all sorts of things out of. The material is a bit more fine than the last one and it leaves a very smooth impression on the clay that touches it, the stapling was again more than sufficient and I even learned from the last time (5 years ago) to pre-stretch the material all the way across the back before stretching it forward. Such small things show my neuroplasticity, hahhaa.

I also did a big clay order and clearly marked the date on each of the 18 boxes so I can use them up in order before they get a little old. I need to make a nice wooden sign to hang on the sign post that handy dave dug and concreted into the front yard for me. The old sign is plastic and says that I am riding to the Farmers' Market but I just want one to say the pottery name and be very water tolerant. I painted on a plywood one when I first started and the paint adhesion did not tolerate 6 months of rain, what?? who said it rains here.... we seem to have moved our house very close to a large lake that is now surrounding my raised garden beds.

I also have to make a 55litre batch of my major glazes, which includes getting all of the ingredients from the potters' supply, and I need to figure out the blue that I have been trying to adjust for the last few months. I am very tired of it! It shows everything from the time you hold each pot in the glaze (how much glaze is absorbed) to the dampness of the pot where it was previously dipped another glaze, just where the two glazes meet it is very thin (not taking up enough glaze) and it drives me nuts.

I also am going to go up to Ladysmith again for the clay chat with Mary Fox on the 9th of January and my new clay friend Franziska said she would come along. Race dave gave me a gps watch that shows how far I have gone and how hard I was working to get there so I have a way of measuring my progress towards better cardiovascular health. I ran the bridge loop (which I now know is 7.11 kms) and it took 51 minutes but my legs felt very stiff and sore as I had done a back to back 22km bike and then 7km run a few days before, so the heartrate results weren't very good.

On the same health vein, nurse dave and I went over to Vancouver and went to see the body world cadaver show and were reminded, from our college days, how very vulnerable our bodies are to our own inactivity and fat. It is so painfully clear how much better I feel when I have worked my body hard and how stiff and fat I feel when I have chosen not to. The $3 chin up bar in the glaze studio is very important to my upper body not curving over the wheel head as I throw and keeping my wrists pain free. I also got a thick pair of firm foam shoes to wear at the wheel to make sure that my legs are resting and not torquing my plantar fascia.

The new year is going to be a time to enjoy the decisions I have already made towards my dreams and goals of being a full time potter (for the 6th year) and of being strong in body and mind. I stole away for a few hours while over in Vancouver at the fabulous public library and scramble sketched as many cool pot ideas into my scrap book as I could! I will have to try some ideas and use the sketches to stimulate my creative juices in my regular work to continue the evolution.

I had a few sweet customers carefully say that my work has really progressed in the last few years without saying that my pots used to suck but saying that the latest work is pleasant and somehow coming into it's own.

So that is how I will end this year, with my plans and my positive decisions paying off in my pots, the pottery itself and in my physical strength and ability to tolerate and, dare I say, enjoy the endless hours in a 7 'foot' by 11 'foot' throwing studio. I have no resolutions but more powerful always is the results of the conscious work of the last year and the happiness that they bring knowing that anything is possible to those who work their asses off!!

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