Pages

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Time is relative

I have noticed that my perception of time seems to be changing or something. I'm working on a grant application and as usual dug out my resume to dust it off and update it. I have on my resume lists of shows and exhibitions that I have participated in. Can it be that I have only been doing this show thing since 2009? That's what my resume says.... it sure feels longer than that to me. Of course I look at the shows that I was doing 2 years ago, and the shows I have coming up for fall, and they are like night and day. Two years ago, I was getting ready for the Historic Stagville holiday show. This show was a complete rain event in December, and I was placed in the tiny tiny visitors center with none other than our national treasure around these parts, Sid Luck! I threw my very first lump of clay with Sid's guidance. Sid came dressed for the part in overalls and brought his wheel, and needless to say, he sold many more pieces of pottery than I did. I had a great time, he sold a bunch of pots. Lesson learned, I don't do those shows any more. I feel like I have really come a long way in a short time. That was two years ago, and this year I am preparing for the Chatham Artists Guild studio tour and the Carolina Designer Craftsmen show (my first bonafide indoor art event, yay).
It's odd, when you are moving forward, doing your thing, time seems to move more slowly than when you look back and realize how much has happened in such a short period of time. Like, did I really just build a studio in March of this year? Did my daughter really just go away to school only 4 weeks ago(I feel like she has been gone a year).
I also got out my hard drive with photos from the past few years, and boy has my work changed! I am proud to say that it is definitely moving forward and getting stronger and I see a journey when I look at these pictures. A journey of finding my way with clay. Trials and errors with glazes, clay bodies, wood firing, raku, earthenware, cone 10, cone 6, I've tried it all.
I think that I have found my happy place at ^04 with terra sigilata and non functional pottery.
My goal is to quit dicking around with all of the little shit I get myself caught up with. You know those times when you are in your studio and you are really not with it, so you squish some clay around and maybe press it in a mold you have and something comes out and you think, oh that's cute, then you fire it, glaze it and it ends up on your table in the sale basket for $1? Well, that is coming to a screeching halt. I have had too many of those items in a basket, and it's time to move on with better and more refined pieces. The little crap is a time suck!
I have noticed that when I am focused and I sit and work on one piece and do everything as well as my skills will allow me, the piece is great, I can get a good price for it, and the time it takes is the same time that the little shit sucked from me. Here is my monitor for what is good. I look at my shelf full of stuff and decide what pieces I want to take down to photograph for an application that might be coming up. I guaran-damn-tee you that I am NOT pulling down those little mindless items I made, so why am I making them!?!?! I know why, because I make them for the cheap ass people that won't spend $10 on anything except a turkey leg and a lemonade. I had my fill of those corndoggers (I love Cindy Shake's term here!) this past Spring and I made very little for all the time it took me to think about those people and they still didn't buy. I do like making ornaments and sometimes, I like making pendants, and I get a fair price for them considering my time, but that's about it. Time to change direction, I feel it coming........
I've started with my blog design, a little freshening up for fall. Peace ya'll
PS: Since I wrote this my google news page tells me that the U.S. household income has dropped to the lowest point since 1996, so what's the point in making ANYTHING, who is going to have any money to buy it?!?!?!?! The poor corndoggers can't even feed their families!!!! Can we please get a good business mind to run this f'ing country, please!???!?!

17 comments:

Hollis Engley said...

Hell, this should be everyone's goal: "My goal is to quit dicking around with all of the little shit I get myself caught up with." There will be no lack of self-examination in Tracey Broome's studio or life, by God.
(And Meredith and Mark are burning up the Cape Cod highways today, trying to find Provincetown.)

cindy shake said...

I have found that fear drives me to make "all of the little shit!" Fear of not being able to pay the bills or buy more materials etc. Totally self-imposed fear by the way. My best work is created when I quit worrying about all of the "little shit." Why is it so hard to make what we LOVE?! I know when I'm doing it but find it hard to work so pure of heart -maybe it because some of my more pure of heart/passionate works don't sell and I start over by making a bunch of "little shit!"

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Hollis, say hello to Mark and Meredith for me! Yes, constant self examination going on here :)
Cindy, I'm not saying that I will stick to this, I just WANT to :) I feel the exact same way you do, I think, "well, I can make these $5 thingys and sell them to the people that can only afford that and then if I sell enough"... blah blah, crazy circle of what ifs, this art business!!

Dennis Allen said...

I started throwing some little jugs today, about 1 inch tall. I don't think I'll make more . Thanks.

Linda Starr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracey Broome said...

I know, you guys, it's hard not to make the little stuff, but I swear I end up giving it away, selling it for almost nothing, or in the very end, throwing it in the trash. Is it really worth it?! Dennis, in the same time you could make more of those beautiful buckets and you know they sell. I have a corndog budget too, Linda, but I don't spend $$ on little stuff, I save and buy a nice thing when I can. Maybe I'm wrong, and I may be singing a different tune next week, but this is my thinking du jour :) but hold on, I am a Libra after all....

Tracey Broome said...

PS: Dennis, I wasn't really referring to nicely made little things like your 1 inch jugs. I'm talking about the crap I make when I am less than motivated to work and I just sit there making mindless stuff that many times ends up being a test tile. It's just wasting my time and my clay, I need to stop it :)

DirtKicker Pottery said...

When I'm in a crappy mood, the making of little shit stuff always seems to make me feel better. They end up my little freebies that I include with my etsy orders.

Patricia Griffin said...

I hear you Tracey, and feel your pain. Seriously. I'm into the no-more-corndoggers mode as well. It's really allowed me to focus my studio time. (Thanks for the new word, Cindy!)

Dennis Allen said...

No offense taken Tracey. The jugs were a friend's suggestion for a Holiday item.They are a pain and I was just being a whore to make them. No love just money.I think the best way to avoid corndoggers( we all love that word) is to avoid shows that sell corndogs.

Tracey Broome said...

Cindy, my moods are usually what causes me to make the less than wonderful things as well, and I', sure I will continue, just need to limit them! Patricia, I think you have taken a wise path, it shows in your work. Hey, Dennis, I have seen some tiny jugs made into tree ornaments that are awesome, but the press molded sprigs I sometimes come up with are crazy! Small isn't bad if it's good haha!

Lori Buff said...

I know how you feel about the small stuff. I made a spoon rest the other day and it bored me to tears. Someone will buy it but I don't care about it. I learned something. Don't make stuff I don't care about, the customer might not either. If you aren't going to learn anything more from the little stuff than don't make it.

barbaradonovan said...

Tracy do you think fiddling around with the little stuff when you aren't feelin' it with other work sometimes leads to something interesting you can incorporate into your "real" work?

Tracey Broome said...

Lori, that is a GREAT point, if I'm not feeling it, how will a buyer! Barbara, sometimes it does, you are so right. My mistake is making to many and trying to sell them. I should just make the stuff as I ponder, and then toss it back in a bucket of water to recycle!

imagine said...

Would it help your application if you mentioned that a gallery in the UK [that is moving to a much bigger building] would like to show something of your art at their launch exhibition next February?
Just a thought.

Tracey Broome said...

John, I'm not sure what impresses these people, but as you know I am the hugest fan of your gallery and I could only "imagine" having my work there! I would certainly be honored and humbled :)

Michèle Hastings said...

i have decided this year that i am not firing anything marginal and i have been doing a lot of smashing of work that i know isn't going to get better in a re-fire.

a note to Dennis- don't discount your miniatures, there are collectors out there. i don't make them, but jeff does. some of his sell for $30... they are a lot of work and not everyone can make them.