It was an exciting time...built up with anticipation of a new experience and the first of many to come within the possible year or more I will be working as her apprentice.
On my way home from Joy's I have the hour drive back to replay the day...conversations held, pots made, homework for the night, and mental notes needing a good review.
I cleaned the kiln and vacuumed thoroughly then laid a wall of ash up against the bag wall. This, Joy explained to me, protected the bricks from being eaten away from the harsh flame and ashes that would build up against it.
It was so quite by the kiln as we slowly and smoothly mudded the doors and openings. Then quietly fed the kiln small slivers of wood. It was a side of a firing that I had never experienced. I was never around to hear the quieting of the kiln, or see the glow slowly disappear as we closed it up.
We have spent the last few weeks cleaning the kiln and the shelves, then polishing pots, and photographing. This is the first time I have spent time with another person as they showed me how they sand and clean their pots to be photographed and sold. Joy was gracious enough to let me play with her photography set up....experiment with lighting, placement, and my camera. It proved valuable and last week we spent time somewhere I never thought I would spend while doing an apprenticeship....in front of a computer.
She showed me how she edited her images...cropping them, lightening them, sizing them, so that they best mirrored the piece and fit the requirements for the upcoming exhibitions she would be entering. We also set up an Etsy account...yes and Etsy account. Something very new to me, and my homework had been to figure out a way to photograph my work outside of the traditional requirements.
It has been an overwhelming two months...flying by quickly and I am still trying to catch up to speed. I feel grateful to have the experience and anxious to accomplish more. Some days seem longer than others as I arrive back to Frederick and teach my night class, and other days fly by and the only moment I get to fully take it all in is during my drive home.
We are ready to begin making...I can almost see some of the pots in my mind. New forms, new glazes, new tasks. I can see how my time with Joy may go by so quickly that it is over before I even know it...