Soon after moving to the Mt. Shasta area, I was lucky enough to randomly see a classified ad for a collective art studio in search of a ceramicist to join their crew. This is something I was hoping to find someday down the road, but was definitly not expecting to anytime soon. Lucas encouraged me to call them, and I am so glad that he did.
I met with one of the other ceramic artists, and we hit it off. She wanted to have a meeting with the entire collective to make sure everyone agreed that I was the right fit for the studio. And well, what can I say? They liked me! It has been official for about a week now that I am the newest member of the collective. Since I don't yet have a job, I have been able to get into the studio quite a bit! Yay!
The studio is in Mt. Shasta and is made up of about 8 artists...several who work in clay, a painter, a writer, a sculptor, a photographer...and they are all fun, inspiring, talented, and wonderful. The studio is an open set-up. We all have our individual work areas within one open room. This makes conversation and interaction, and the sharing of works in progress, possible. Oh, and by the way, I am using this as an opportunity to practice being more open, less reserved, with my new friends.
In the past I have been a part of a group studio that was much more closed off, with the spaces separated. And I have had my own studio in my home. In both of these situations, I missed the social aspect of my college studio, I missed the interaction and inspiration that comes from being in direct contact with other artists.
And so in this new space, ahhhh, I am so happy! I am getting to know some great people in the community. I am receiving some great feedback, and ideas of where and how to sell my work. I am meeting friends of the other studio artists and learning about just how small of a town this is - everyone knows each other. And I feel like I am finally making one of my dreams a reality.
Long ago, I decided that I didn't want ceramics to be my full-time way of making a living...for many reasons. I didn't want to get burned out physically and mentally doing one thing all day. I didn't want my creativity to be compromised by having to make a lot of simple things just so they would sell. (I think this happens a lot when artist's livlihood depends on making sales.) I wanted to be able to make artwork that comes from my heart, artwork that I really put my creativity into.
To do this, I knew I would also have to do other work full or part-time. That is part of the reason I went to Midwifery School, to learn another skill. Unfortunately, school was so all-consuming that ceramics got more or less put on the back-burner. Not forgotten, but put to the side. And it stayed there as I walked away from midwifery and fell into caring for some of the loveliest children. I just couldn't seem to find the time and place to bring clay back into my life in Portland.
Now, in this new place where I am starting again from scratch, I feel like I can finally get back to it. I can finally start to make things that I am inspired to make, and hopefully I will be able to sell some of it too. Now, the OTHER money-making job is what I need to manifest!!
I am super excited about the things I have been making this week in the studio. And I am excited to give you a sneak peak. Keep in mind, they are far from being finished. They still need to be fired and glazed and re-fired before they are complete. This means that the sizes and colors will be different in the end. But, this gives you an idea of what I am doing. The ideas are rolling in, now that I have my hands muddy again and am re-learning my skills. There is so much more to come!
These are all going to become pendants for necklaces:
While I was living in Texas, I found several small river stones with natural holes in them that I made into necklaces similar to these. On the stones, I had used a sharpie to draw the designs, sealed it with a glue. Unfortunately, those markings wore away in spots from wear and tear. So, it is awesome to create my own stones and decorate them with materials that won't ever wear away.
This is a handbuilt bud-vase:
And this, a handbuilt box, that is still awaiting the black line decorations: