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Friday, August 5, 2011

The way it used to be

Was this really just four years ago? It seems like soooo long ago. A friend of mine shot this picture at The Artscenter in Carrboro. This is probably the tiniest community studio that exists, but it serves A LOT of people. This is the way I used to make pottery. I hated it. Don't get me wrong, I loved the people there(well most of them anyway), I made some good friends that I still spend time with, I worked as an assistant and taught a handbuilding class, so I learned a lot. But trying to focus was impossible with all of the constant chatter and lack of space and trying to get ANYTHING to survive was a miracle. Beginners would pick up the greenware, break it, kilns were seldom loaded properly or working properly, and then pieces that did survive would get taken by some "admirer". I was constantly frustrated, but it was a good place to learn and now that I look at this photo, it makes me appreciate even more all of my hard work. I received a grant to purchase my own kiln, I saved money from shows for a year to build my own studio and buy my own wheel, and I have worked very hard to get to this place. It hasn't been easy, but to think that four years ago, I was making all of my work in this crowded social gathering spot, it amazes me that I actually stuck with it. My mom used to say that I quit everything I started, never finished anything, but this has stuck and I have grown so much since I started pottery in 2003. For those of you that are working in your kitchens, garages, anywhere you can just to get you clay fix, keep on keeping on! We all do what we can to make our art. Some are fortunate to have amazing studio spaces but you can make art anywhere if you have the desire. Now if the heat would just give me a break! At least the crowded Artscenter had AC!

12 comments:

June Perry said...

When we moved to Florida, I joined a group similar to yours, mainly because of the wood and soda kilns they had. When we moved east I had given away my wood and gas kilns and missed them, so I thought the group option would work; and it did when I only used the studio to fire work; but my experience of trying to make pots there matches yours exactly.
I think this sort of thing can work with a set up like they have in St. Pete's Florida, where you can have the option of renting your own work room.

Tracey Broome said...

Hi June: great to hear from you. I started working at Claymakers in Durham for much the same reason, I wanted to use the gas kiln. So I was an assistant there on Mondays just to be able to use that studio space when the Artscenter got to be too much. However, I was working there on Mondays, teaching at TAC on Thursdays and studio assistant there on Tuesdays. Left very little time for me to work.... my current arrangement is much better!

Ron said...

Nothing better than having your very own space. I couldn't work with others around like that for very long. It's nice to have that interaction, but it's even better to be able to choose when you want it. You're making great 'pots', or however you classify your pieces, Tracey. Onward ho. :-)

Anna said...

Besides the quiet, the BEST thing about your own space is that you keep it as clean as you WANT to. If you're running late, you can walk away. But you know if you leave it clean it will be that way when you come back.

I miss the interaction I had at Dan's LibertyTown...but I love, love, love having my own space at home.

Anna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie said...

I started in a class about 3 summers ago, and finally got a wheel. Then a friend gave me her old kiln, which is on its last leg. I would be very interested in finding info about the grant you received. Thanks for anything you can tell me.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Ron, it was definitely trying being around that many people and trying to focus on making good work, and I really don't know how to classify my "pots"! I struggle with that :)
Anna, I know what you mean about the cleaning. I remember when I first got my wheel and realizing that I didn't have to clean it up every time I used it, Heaven! Debbie, there is an emerging artist grant through the Durham Arts Council and that deadline is coming up in September, but the grant I got was through Orange County Arts Commission for a project grant. They offer this grant every spring and fall, you can find info on their website.

cookingwithgas said...

a grant for insulation and A/C and heat would be great!
There is nothing like your own space. It is much like your own bed...and even more like your own pillow.
Happy Potting! I am in great need of cooler air.

Tracey Broome said...

I know Meredith, I love my little space and YES to cooler air!

Debbie said...

Thanks for the grant info, but I'm in Louisiana. And do tell about the heat....I can throw from 6-12(on the shaded porch) and then have to come in and just collapse.
There is a HERO program through the feds that covers ac/insullation/etc. We're having new CA&H and insullation put in this very week.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Debbie, guess the NC grants won't help but maybe check in with your local arts council. They usually have some sort of grant, although the arts of course are not being funded all that well from our government these days!

Patricia Griffin said...

Sometimes we all lose track of where we have been, and how far we have come. It's good to look back and see the progress. You've made tons of it! Bravo Tracey! I love having my very own space and your post is a reminder about how it used to be. Thanks!