Sunday, January 24, 2010

my work is interfering with my drinking

My husband invited me to a wine tasting event at The Wine Studio of Asheville. Sounds good to me; I love wine, and we keep a nice collection. Then I started trying to recall the last time we'd uncorked a new bottle, and it hit me. We've practically stopped drinking.... how the heck did that happen??!!??

By late last September, my Etsy shop got on steroids somehow. My husband took on a full time job- less flexibility than free lance consultant- and continued to pack and ship my pottery after work. I was working 10 hours in the studio and spending 4 more hours managing my shop. Dinner became a quick sit down event, and our ritual glass of wine got lost in the manic energy to get on with business.

Furthermore, Friday evening used to be wine and cheese night, or saki and sushi. My husband and I either snacked in bed while watching a movie, or ate by the firepit and then laid in the hammock talking into the dark hours. This now seems like a distant memory, although I'm sure we did it last July sometime.

My work is interfering with my drinking. There. I have admitted that I have a problem. Sure, I have tons of cute photos in my Etsy shop, like the one above, but my cabs, merlots, and pinot grigios are neglected.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Connection #4

The brilliant woman behind the Etsy shop, marysgranddaughter, stopped by my home and studio when she was in my town. Cindy met with her publisher in Asheville, and came with her beautiful daughter and mom. They were also touring an NC college, which makes her Connections series exquisitely autobiographical. As she writes in her description

"This series explores the connection between mother and daughter and the equally joyful and painful process of a child getting ready to leave home.

"Connection no. 4 is embroidered in slate and plum and dusty olive on beautiful homespun linen that is between 80-120 years old. There is a red and blue thread connecting the hearts of the two women symbolizing that no matter how far apart they are their profound connection remains."

I love the metaphors in her pieces- the threads that connect, the separate frame for each woman, the arm which extends in 3D. She has caught the power of presence  in her folk art style of rendering her figures, chosen a media passed down from her grandmother, and creates conceptual pieces in a sophisticated contemporary vein.

Our visit was way too short! My daughter is the same age as hers, we share similar experiences in our art and marketing, and I loved her descriptions of her hometown of Gainesville, Fl. I hope to have the privilege of spending more time with this talented artist and new friend.

The internet can seem so unreal; impersonal. I have a new sense of what makes human connections, and of how our individual stories live in each other.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I have been dreaming of making my OneClayBead jewelry for half a year, and now I've carved out the time to do it. I have 5 successful pieces finished after 4 days of messing around with my loot from a wholesale bead show, all using at least one of my own hand formed stoneware clay beads. I could have made $750 in pottery inventory in this amount of time, and have an entire page of customer requests that I am neglecting, but this is something that I need to do. No financial adviser would tell you to stop making successful products and instead fumble around with expensive materials and no production plan. There is, however, a difference between an industrial factory and an artistic soul.

I want to make jewelry that is unlike anyone else's. I like the boho style. I like using natural materials and other people's handmade beads, and I like teaching myself new techniques and using all my various craft skills together.

This ^ is one of my most unique designs, just finished yesterday, and listed here. I macramed 32" of silk and cotton cord with pearls and mother of pearl carved beads. I used one of my own Spiral Heart stoneware beads, and a Tibetan silver and pearl dangle. The model is my daughter's friend, Julia, and I like the shot of her, too. I like using unprofessional models, no make up, and capturing that inner quality.

I'm very pleased with the few pieces I've created. Something intangible and vital gets woven into the strands and strung on cord, and connected to clasps. It relates to, and also informs my claywork.

I wonder if other artists and craftspeople pursue different media. I recommend it highly! If you are not failing over half the time, I assert that you are not truly creating.