There are honestly several drafts on the editing version of my site, but all of them suck, and I think I just have not had anything to say because I've been so ridiculously busy this year.
It's late right now. I just got home from a good friend's home where we ate pizza and brownies, watched Pride and Prejudice (my first time), and played with her new kitten, Bingley. Yes, that Bingley. I turned on some good tunes (Avett Brothers), and checked my email because there were a few online entries from the site requesting information on special orders. I shot off some responses and thought I'd check the site itself since I haven't been over here in a while only to discover . . . I haven't posted anything this year! And 2018 is 3 1/2 months away! So, I'm going to dump some words here . . . and probably some crappy, fluorescent lit photos because I like to look back at what I've been doing. You read that right, this is all for me. Unless you enjoy it, then it's definitely for you. For example, the latest firing results:
Last August I went to Peter's Valley for a ceramics workshop. I had the time of my life, discovered chiggers, humidity, and that New Jersey has a national park. I also fired 30+ pieces of pottery while experiencing a degree of involvement I had not yet known and met a round of people who were just as curious and passionate about the art form as I am. There were many interpretations of form and function that presented themselves in everyone's work, and I came back with a new fervor for the art.
My kiln arrived shortly after my homecoming, and I promptly quit my job. While I am young enough to be able to afford the joy of risk, that did not mean that forgoing health insurance, a 401k contribution, and general daily security came without a sense of fear for the indeterminate amount of time that I would be going without. Part of the prompt for quitting was to pursue all of this, but a larger part came from another pursuit. I decided in 2015 to begin my Master's in Education so that I could become an English teacher, and I had, at the time of quitting my job, gotten an offer to coach on a high school team; so, I became a substitute teacher and high school swimming coach (and potter, and yoga teacher). This spring I completed my student teaching, continued to coach incessantly, and then in June I finished my degree. Within the week (I hope), I will become a certified teacher, and the head coach of the high school team that I swam for ten years ago.
During this year, I have met a few other milestones, one of which was a one year inhabitance of my home studio. Again, thanks to all of you, this venture has been a success! One whole year of throwing mud around in my basement much to the dismay of my sister as it involves listening to banjos and fiddles at a decibel which does not allow for her to focus on her schoolwork.
I also participated in my first art festival of sorts - Funky Junk, hosted by the shop Petuniaz here in Casper (obligatory friend patronage seen above). HUGE hit! I think. I mean, I sold stuff, and had a ton of fun since my tent was the closest to the food trucks, the beer tent, and the stage with the incredible musical stylings of our wonderful local artists. Also, the cake tent was two booths away from me and they had free mini cupcakes so if I'm being honest with myself that's a big win AND the Mad Flatters food truck (aMAYzing) was smart enough to send one of their own out to take orders so I never really had to leave the comfort of my shaded space.
I guess the last bit would be to point out to myself that I got to get a little more creative this year. There were so many similar orders to fill during the holidays that there was little time leftover for experimentation outside of figuring out glazes and firings. Now I have a Devil's Tower mug, a European Mount, some nifty combos of several ideas, and I'm exploring other shapes in between. I'm also, at the moment, teaching clay classes at Artisan Alley which is offering me countless opportunities to look at problems in new and previously unpondered ways. I have many people to thank, and I hope they know who they are because there are far too many to list, but the point is I would not be where I am now without the help. It's hard to believe where I was a year ago today (somewhere between New Jersey and Gina's bachelorette party) and that the journey has taken such ridiculous twists and turns. Seriously. I don't know why I bother planning anything. So many new people, adventures, and changes, but I would not change a single step. Thank you for believing in me.
More art below :)
And a special gift if you've made it this far into the posting. Here is me trying to figure out how to video myself in my classroom before I started student teaching. Needless to say, I failed and made a series of faces at my phone which I then unknowingly captured in digital form forever. Hence, I now know the face of defeat: