"We have only fragments...but even this seems fitting, for what is the moment but a fragment of greater time?" ~Mary Ruefle
I open my eyes every morning to that little space attached to my room. There is a thick beige curtain with a ware board leaning against it...probably placed there in the midst of my busy self running out the door to get to work or WV on time. I can clearly remember the warm days where the curtain would be wide open...lending a bright sunrise to help coax me out of bed. On even better days the whole door would be open, and I would awaken and be greeted by, well, my studio. I sadly admit it has been a good 3 months since I have made pottery there. Granted, I have made work...just not in my space. It feels and looks ghostly. Imagine cooking in everyone else's kitchen but your own, and when you arrive home it looks as if you were in the midst of a meal when you just up and left...for months. That is what it feels like. Winter is not friendly to a potter,especially if their studio is made up of windows instead of walls. The temperature has easily dropped into the single digits, and without insulation there is no heater that can fight off the cold. I've covered the windows with deep blue moving blankets to help ward off the cold...but, its still freezing and now it feels even colder with the lack of light and bluish blankets. I can survive in that, though its barely tolerable...but my pots, they sadly cannot. It's risky, and while attempting to work on a large commission of plates I invaded the living room and mudroom of my home.
Stepping aside from the gloomy, bittersweet beginning of this blog I should mention that things have continued in motion. The wood firing with Joy was a success as well as our Open Studio event. Butterfly Bend finished up the year with a firing of all firings...Debbie and Scott lead the 5 days through until the very end resulting in beautiful pots, delicious food, new found friendships, and many more memories to add to the list. I could not be happier with the work I had from those last firings...I can see a visual vocabulary and I feel a confidence in my new forms. I look forward to what is to come from the winter firing Joy and I plan to conclude my apprenticeship with in late February. I've also had some major life changes with work...everything has been a precious balancing act. Fortunately, I have had the opportunities to step away from civilization and all the pressures that come with it to enjoy the open air and good company.
Revisiting my earlier thoughts...Im writing them not to illustrate the hardships and struggles I've experienced. Instead, it's to share my thoughts and help others to realize that each career, each dream, and each passion has it's moments...no matter how "romantic" it may appear. I've never known the complications an artist may face when mother nature is not too kind.
Mental note...do not move too far up north.
My long list of things to do and pots to make continues to grow, and I work hard to keep my head above water in all that needs to be done. The last year has flown by and I am working hard to slow this new one down. It's been a good beginning and I've noticed a change in how I move about my busy days and the way that I approach them. Life doesn't always get in the way...everything is connected and everything stays in motion.
A few days ago I couldn't handle the conditions of my studio...I needed something that made me feel closer to a time when I used to make surrounded by those very windows. It had been a while since I enjoyed my morning coffee on my porch. So there I was with a few minutes to spare...bundled up in my down jacket, knitted gloves, snow boots, and warm cup in hand as I ventured out onto my porch. I was determined to have that moment. It was then that I also realized how very much these rituals were important to my life. I remembered old ones and even contemplated the new that I would be sure to adopt as life changed...as I changed.
Here's to a new year...full of new work, new relationships, new inspirations, and new rituals. Recognize them and embrace them, they are beautiful and oh so very important.
New work from Butterfly Bend wood firing....
Hi I'm Stephanie! On my blog you can read about my research, process, techniques, and other ideas and inspirations. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments!