Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Life's Work

I am extremely happy with the way my work has been developing over the past little while. The feedback online and in person has been phenomenal. I have been working very hard to develop the Celtic Porcelain line into something I can be proud of, and I think that I just might be getting somewhere with it.
I have had many technical problems to work out with these latest peices. The heavy stamping, and layering of stamps was wreaking havoc with the rims during drying. Many adjustments were made in the depth of the stamps, the thickness of the clay, the speed of the drying and even the curve of the pots themselves . Finally I have most of the kinks worked out, and my successes are many, and my losses are few. 
Those who know me well, will attest that I am VERY particular about my work. I pay a great deal of attention to detail, in both the design and execution of my work. I research technique relentlessly,I seek out both advice and criticism. I want my work to stand on its own merit. I am a perfectionist, and I am okay with being that way. I have friends who keep that in check for me. Mostly I listen to the voice of sanity that they represent. Mostly. Sometimes I just hand them the pot in question, and tell them to take it home, out of my radar. Either way, we all end up happy.

The part I struggle with the most is maintaining "true" production work. I feel that I am almost there with the confetti line. I have a set range of products, they are basically alike, the colours are consistant, the stamps are the same, the variation comes in the patterning, I like that the stamps are randomized, no two peices are exactly the same pattern.  However I can now set a table with this line, which I guess makes it semi complete. Now I just have to make bunches of it without flying off on another design tangent.
I have decided to reward myself for this tight and consistant line by  giving myself complete artistic freedom on my large Celtic pieces. I am allowing myself this playground, this permission to make 'em all different. This is where I want to be.

A Whole Lot of Change.

So sorry that I haven't been keeping up with my promised posts. I have led a very hectic life since May. There have been so many major life changes since the spring, I hardly know where to start. First of all, I should just say that sudden change is difficult for me to process. The past five months have been CHOCK FULL of sudden change. I have been on automatic pilot, getting stuff done, and taking it one day at a time. We are slowly coming through the other side of what may have been the most overwhelming experience of my recent life. Its been a crazy ride, and I am glad that things are slowing down. I am now in the process of re evaluating my path and making this pottery thing survive this season, and continue to grow. This is not as easy as it might seem. But in the end, lizziespots, has a new home, and a new studio.

This move was both unexpected, and very poorly timed. It was extremely difficult to balance all of the important things in my life, keep my business going, and my family together and sane. All in all, we have come out the other side(almost) a little worse for the wear, a little bit dusty, but mostly intact. I have learned a lot about my own resilience through this move. I have strengthened some friendships, and I have made some new ones.  I am busily trying to restructure my business, and make up for the loss of income and of production time that were a result of the move. I very nearly tossed in the towel, and quit pottery altogether. At times it seemed nearly impossible to keep up with all the many things that needed to be done. I am exhausted, but I am nearly there. My last few back orders will ship this week. I will be able to breathe for a minute, and tackle the next hurdle.