Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ups and Downs

 This has been a crazy week, and it's only half over!
I finished up all of the work I had planned out for Lark and Key and I have an extra piece that I am donating to the NC Pottery Center for it's auction. I decided not to designate a piece until I unload the kiln, there's better chance of it not blowing up if I don't tell it that it has a purpose! and the little cello player was requested by a blogger, so that is finally finished as well. So today, during a big old thunderstorm, I put terra sig on 21 houses, then loaded the kiln, that was fun- thunder, lightening, what was I thinking?! Firing tomorrow, cross your fingers. The piece above with the glass door knob has a new color that I made with crocus martis, it is a very pretty burgandy and makes the piece look like an antique. There may be more with this color if all goes well. I think the barn with the wool nest and eggs is one of my favorites. The eggs and the ladder are a robins egg blue with a rust roof and white walls. It's going to look great if it survives...... it won't now that I said it's a favorite.... shhhhh.... don't tell it!

 Along with all of this came mental artist ups and downs all week. First I got the, always fun to get, rejection letter for the Piedmont Craftsmen Show in Winston Salem. I'm fine with that, after I applied, at the urging of a friend, I realized it comes the week before the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Show, which I have been juried in to, so really what was I thinking anyway!? However, it has sort of annoyed me. I went to their website, and yes they have some very fine potters, no doubt about that, but they also have some granny pottery, like stamped slab work that I was showing my beginner students how to make back when I was teaching. Since I recently had the opportunity to serve as a juror for the Chatham Artists Guild, I know the deal, and it's a pain in the ass to be judged  as an artist and I have made up my mind to avoid this from now on. I am leaning towards not applying to any more shows, especially those that require a fee just to send in your application. This is a big rip off for me when I get turned down. You are at the mercy of someone's opinion, plain and simple, and I'm tired of people judging me. My judges are the people that buy my work and love it. Those are the people I want to pay attention to. So, I will make work for the galleries that have asked for my pieces and I will make commission work, and I will do the shows for the guilds that I am a member of, that's it. Screw the rest of it, I can't keep up with all I need to make as it is. Just as I made this decision and decided to blog about it, I got an email that I was accepted in the Visual Art Exchange show, The North Carolina Landscape, which I have been in for the past two years, different judges each time, but I sold work both times, so it's worth applying for. Also it's a beautiful gallery. However..... I forgot that I applied and the work is due June 1, and I don't have the pieces made that I sent in for judging. That's another annoying thing about this application thing. By the time I get picked for a show, I have moved on to something new, and if I had to send in photos that are the pieces they want for the show, I have to make more. See why my head is spinning?!
Then, the other up and down mental thing is trying to be a clay artist in North Carolina. There are at least a bazillion potters in this state, and they have their wood kilns and their cone 10 glazes and their wheel thrown mugs, and they are all great potters..... and I have these sculptures that appear to be some sort of exorcism of my childhood madness. It has been my experience all through my life that I have felt like I was on the outside looking in. I hear a different drummer and seem hell bound to follow him. There seems to be a club here in NC that I am not quite a part of. Sort of like I wasn't in the cheerleader club, or the other high school group things, didn't do the sorority thing, and I only hang out with a few people now. I like to be alone. But when I do look out from my studio, I see all these potters having these group shows, and I wonder how do these people get so popular? My work is good, people love the things they buy from me and I work very hard. I have work in some very nice galleries, but I'm not in the "club". That bothered me for about a minute and then I realized how much work I have to get done for upcoming shows that I am in. I just seem to be traveling a different path, but what's wrong with that?
After getting over the "what's wrong with my work" (because there is nothing wrong with it!) I came in and had a very nice message from Mark Hewitt reminding me to get my piece to Seagrove for the auction and that was nice..... Mark has such a kindness about him and his voice reassured me that I'm sort of in the club, so all is good. Ups and downs.... sigh.....
and then my f'ing cat knocked over the chair I made with the legs sticking out..............


cookingwithgas said...

club, you have to be in a club to do this????
Dam* now you tell me!
Dam* cat!
It's all good TB- really it is.
I hope to see you Friday.

Tracey Broome said...

Nay, you don't have to be IN the club, you just gotta make beautiful work like you do! It is all good, just too much time alone in the studio :)
Yes, Friday! We'll start our own club!!

Dennis Allen said...

What no more Hog Festival? ( PS if you have any little flat piggies stashed away save me one. I want to prove I knew you when) Sams' Club? Diner's Club? Club Med? Kentucky Club? Plenty of clubs that would be glad to have you.

Lori Buff said...

I often feel the same way about juried shows. I know they have to pay the judge but really, it's like forking over cash for something that you might not get. Like buying a lottery ticket, which I never do, let me pay for something and then get it.
Congratulations on the shows you do have coming up, it sounds to me like you are getting to the point where you can pick and choose where you enter anyway. That's what happens when you follow your own drummer.

gz said...

I never did like "jumping over hoops" to get in either!
It is good sometimes to be in a club- but can also be very limiting.

Cat's Ceramics said...

That dang cat!! ;)

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Dennis, no more pigs, but they were really cute!
Hey Lori, definitely getting more picky, but only because I have a low tolerance for being annoyed :)
GZ, no more hoops for me, too old!
Yes, the DANG cat!!!! got my favorite piece :(

Hannah said...

Flipping cats! They are supposed to be graceful and elegant, mine just climbed on my shoulder and fell off onto the keyboard.
I know what you mean with the club thing, I forever feel like I just never quite get it right, whatever 'it' might be. You are however well and truely in the 'blogging' club and you were certainly in the 'making the crazy Brits feel very welcome' club. Clubs aren't I reckon all they're cracked up to be either.

Kings Creek Pottery said...

Geeze, Tracey- I think of you as one of the cool kids in the class...and I have pangs of jealousy that you live in an area so rich with clay people and have clay friends!! Funny what we do to ourselves, isn't it?? WTF, I wish that sense of "I'm ok, You're ok" was easy to come by.

The whold jury thing really does fuel that insecurity fire. I won't put myself into that zone- at least not at this point in my life. However, there are still many days that I wish I could be a "famous" potter going to all the best shows!! Yea, like when I used to want to be a star ballerina (hahahah!!).

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Hannah, definitely got the blog club going on, how can you go wrong with this membership:)
Kathy, being one of the cool kids is different from being in "the club". Haha! I love living here and love all the pottery, it's just a lot of it some days!

Amy said...

This reminds me that I'm not part of a 'club' either. perhaps all of us (I'm sure there are many!) can form our own club. :) I must admit it's sometimes challenging for me to learn where to focus my time- mostly, these days, I'd rather be in the studio than even going to a pottery show!

angela walford said...

cats!!! trace matey my cat decide to play football with one of my fav lil handbuilt pots yesterday...luckily its cone 9 and basically complied with the game!!! phew :)) love the dangley legs :))

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Ang, thanks! Yep, the cat is banned from the studio now!

Anonymous said...

hope the legs can be saved! i just love this piece- it cracks me up...i'm imagining arms and wings & things coming out of your houses. i think you are more crazy busy than i am!