May 5th, 2013

Sprucing up the outside spaces

Sprucing up the outside spaces

I don’t know about you, but I am constantly in transition.  I realize that’s why I don’t blog that much.  I’ve been afraid to commit to anything because I invariably change my mind.  I had a great conversation with Lori Watts www.finemesspottery.com   around the kilns down at Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts www.watershed ceramics.org. We were firing the soda kiln and testing out some new glazes.  Lori blogs all the time and she said just say “I tried that and it didn’t work for me”.  It’s  such a simple sentence and I am taking it to heart. Thanks Lori!

So here’s what I’m trying on this great journey with clay.   I am committing to my home and my studio.  Ha ha, that’s funny. I am ‘trying’ my hand at committing!

Reworking the studio space at Hallowell Clay Works

Reworking the studio space at Hallowell Clay Works

I’ve always had one foot out the door, looking for the next big thing.  It’s time to settle into my beautiful studio and my nice little property here in the great little city of Hallowell, ME.    Lucky for me I have lots of wise pottery friends and I have to give  Rob Seiminski of Bog Pond Pottery a huge thank you for that nudge in the right direction.  He does amazing wood-fired work and has a gorgeous place up in Phillips, ME  www.bogpondpottery.com  Rob looked around my space and helped me see it differently.  Since I built the studio 2 years ago I hadn’t quite moved into it fully.  I needed shelves and a show space and some serious reorganization.  With the help of Patti Scronce, one of my wise pottery students, we tackled the project.  I mention all of these friends because I would be floundering without their help.  I’m humming the Beatles song now,  “I get by with a little help from my friends”.   Brian Alexander from Oak Pond Construction is responsible for the great new shelving system and other construction miracles around my home- including my studio building.  So I’m having an Open House on May 11th and 12th as part of the Maine Pottery Tour. www.mainepotterytour.blogspot.comstudiopotsgettingorganized for a map and more info.

In the process of all this commitment I am shifting my work again. You could say I am committed to change!  I’d love to be one of those potters who makes work and sells a lot of it.  Actually, I’d probably be bored with that.   I am the kind of potter who loves to teach.  While making beautiful objects is definitely a part of what I love.  I also love the interaction with people.  I thrive on sharing what I know and as I get older I learn more and not just about clay.  My teaching is incorporating Astrology.  No, not the BS you read in the papers, but the actual study of planetary movements and natural cycles.  For those of you who are skeptical, all I can say is you just don’t know what you are missing.  For those of you who have experienced it, you know powerful it is to have the insight that astrology can give you.  I feel like everyone can benefit from this knowledge, so I am offering classes in Astrology and Clay.  I don’t  have any role models for this, so I’m making it up as I go.  I also offer a Kids Clay Adventure which is about finding and using your own clay.  Over the summer I’ll be taking kids out into the woods and fields to find their own and make it work for them. This ties right into the earth based lifestyle that I am creating.   The other big thing that I am working on is a Bereavement and Clay course in conjuction with Hospice.   This is a project near and dear to my heart as many of you know my grad school experience.  If you don’t here’s the short version- My father died in a auto accident when I was 9 years old.  I wasn’t included in the funeral ceremony and we never really talked about it as a family.  I had repressed any real expression of grief until my mid life transits.  At this time, after a divorce and entering grad school, I found a safe environment in which to process that 30 year old grief.  It was the best and most uncomfortable experience I have ever had.  It is my hope that I can provide a similar environment for people to express grief.  We suffer losses all the time, divorces, illness, death and most of us stuff it so we can keep moving.  This class is a way to let it out so we can move on.  It’s for everyone and the coolest part is you get to play with clay while you do it!  It’s not all bad and it’s not all horrible.

At the end of the class we’ll fire our work in either my raku or the wood kiln.  There is something transformative and magical about firing that way, as anyone who knows it will tell you.   So…. That’s  just some of what I am doing right now. I’ve got some other exciting projects around teaching at  the Good Will Hinckley School and Watershed’s Mud Mobile Program for now I close. For more info about any of my classes check out my website www.hallowellclayworks.com  I hope you are well.   Peace.

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