Sunday, November 9, 2014

Turmoil in the Falls……..

Six days since the last post and I think there are skid marks on my face.  

Last Tuesday I left the compound and had a JOB interview!  Anybody else feel the shockwaves?  
I applied to work as the ceramic lab tech for the local community college.  It was a two hour interview and probably one of the most fun interviews I have been on….. ever!  Love the guy who runs the dept. and think if I had to work for somebody I would want to work for this guy.  We discussed philosophy, clay, equipment, student work and on it went.  I walked around in the studio where I took my first clay class and the new guy had cleaned it up remarkably from what I remember.  Got rid of the clay mixer and was buying premixed clay!  Still mixing glazing but had added two oxidation kilns next to the old gas belcher.  I gotta say I was in a bit of daze.  I went back to get an associates degree in ….. well I can't remember.  What do I remember?  Walking in to the ceramics and being sucked in for 6 years, never getting a degree in anything.  Moved on, bought garage sale equipment and it was game on for ….. well, the next 30 years or so.   I do remember what a lab tech does, it's stuff I do in my own studio all the time.  Load kilns, unload trucks of clay, pug clay, scrape kiln shelves, rewire kilns, mix glazes and all that crap I hate doing in my own studio so I can throw pots and I would be doing it 24 -29 hours a week.  Benefit?  A paycheck: $14 and hour.  But the oxidation kilns have been fired in a college setting for the last 7 years and never had the elements changed and they are Skutts, so no fancy element channels, pins and a propane torch to rewire those cuties.

I drove home rolling all this around in my head and getting hit in the face with my kiln that fried a couple weeks ago and now needs rewiring.  There was also clay to pug and throw, kilns to load and glazes to mix.  Oh, the irony…. 

so I sat on the floor and contemplated my dilemma…… 
geeze I hate this part of my studio life.

I went as far as I could go with the kiln and ordered $300 worth of parts, they should be here Tuesday.

Leaving me the rest of the week to bisque fire all that dinnerware, scrape shelves and not sleep. 
After all that dinnerware and deep thinking was in order, I went for big.  I LOVE making big pots, I just can't sell big pots.  These are 22-23" tall and I will weave rims.  They will probably shrink to 12" or at least that how it feels when I open that last glaze firing :) 


Voted on Tuesday too…..

Dropped off work to a local art show and attended the Friday night opening. 
Sales were good for the amount of pots I took and it was nice to see everybody.  The show has been around over 35 years and it's been a good show over the years.  I cut my teeth on this show.  As I walked around and saw old friends I realized we were really OLD friends.  How and when did that happen?  We had a really great time!! 

Saturday I ran new fixtures down to the gallery, grocery shopped, and looked for new credit card readers for my iPad.  I currently use Intuit but have gone through 3 card readers and hate their bank statements!  I hunted around and landed on
I'll keep you posted on how I like this new service.  It's getting rave reviews and no card reader! 
In the evening we attended the Grand River Sailing Clubs end of the year awards and chicken dinner.   I went to hear the awards and watch Butch give his final speech as commodore and pass out this years trophies and hats.  Whew, glad this part of life is over!  Who knew sailors were such a pain the ass, honestly the drama was intense.  It was prom to the 10th power around here for the last 9 months.  But alas he was Commo-dorable and won't ever do it again.   

We got up Sunday morning and returned ice tubs and bevies back to the club house.  Remember the He-Man Woman Haters Club with Spanky in the lead from the Little Rascals?  I think this is the same clubhouse with a blue paint.  

I walked the marina.  It's my favorite time to be at the marina. 
The two legged wildlife moves out and the 
four legged, feathered wildlife moves in. 

The grebes are back!! 

and check this guy out!!  It's a fisher!!  

Easy access hole to disappear.  Think I'll head down with pack of hot dogs 
and my camera, could be a great winter with a camera! 

Sail boats are out but the stone boats work until the lake freezes.

All done at the marina and off to the beach for a brisk Sunday morning walk 
with a cup of hot coffee…… 

The turmoil was at the lake too.  Whenever the cobwebs need cleared and 
the stink needs blown off, the beach is good place to go.

Found this old green tile that washed up.  The sharp edges where 
tumbled smooth after time rolling around the bottom. 
My edges are pretty worn these days too.  I'm a lot like this old tile; 
tumbled smooth over the years, a little pitted and a bit rounder.

It's been good to have roots, even if you do have to 
twist in the wind from time to time.

Even when the wind is stiff, it's better to stand firm, looking into the wind. 
Take off is a breeze :) 

Things are not always what they seem.  I swore this was 
sponge from some potters studio, washed up on shore. 
But alas it was a brick worn round and to the perfect size of a 
studio sponge….. 

and for god's sake pay attention to wear you step! 

Let your precious seeds go, blown to the four winds and 
they will sprout with new ideas after long winter days are past. 
So like the seeds, I will be back out on the road next year and doing a few shows. 

 But it's good to be home and know your place in the world 
is secure and you really don't need that job right now. 
You are a maker, a traveler, a gardener and someone who is creative enough to 
flower through the cracks of the bricks and figure out how to pay bills.  
I will have to go back out on the road but maybe not so far this time and maybe not so big this time. 
I won't freeze or starve this winter and I have a ton of clay that needs to be spun to gold by Spring.


  1. There are lots of jobs out there.... I had no job, wanted a job, got a job, then got an offer for an even better job, now I love my new job, and I'm even thinking I want to get back in my studio some too.....Things change every day, just stay open to the possibilities. And damn, those large pots! You go girl!

  2. Ahhhhhh Tracey :). You make me smile! We creatives are hard to pin down! Nose to ground and tail in air, following all leads :)

  3. Two years ago I was panicking through the winter. My savings was dwindling... I thought I would look for a job. There just weren't any out there that paid much more than minimum wage. I decided it would be better to spend more energy selling pottery and promoting our studio. I am not sure which things I/we did that worked, but things have improved dramatically. It sure is a strange universe.

  4. Hi Michèle! The past few months I have watched things just fall apart from kilns to dishwashers to me :) Yes, I am at the panic stage! I am so on the fence over all this ……. but then I have worked for myself for so long I think I would be trepidatious about being a greeter at Walmart!