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Monday, May 27, 2013

Commissions only

 I finished up the commission for the Principal of Woods Charter School. I'm pleased with how it turned out, and mostly pleased that it didn't kill itself. The best part though, was the collaboration with Wesley on this one.
I'm only making these barns now from commissions. I see no point in making any more just to make them and I don't really want to make anymore just to fill up shelves.  I want them to mean more than that, so I have to find something else to put on the shelves. No idea what that is right now. I'm sort of lost in clay world. I'm sort of lost in the world in general right now. I am wandering aimlessly, looking at the way the sun shines on the fern on my porch, wondering at the silly wren building a nest at my front door where my cat can jump up and eat the babies, loving the cool air on my skin, amazed by the blue of the sky in Chapel Hill. But not much going on in the creative part of my brain. It's empty, yet I feel very full, except in the pockets where money should be. Those are not so full...... sigh.......
I went into an Anthropologie store while I was at the beach and their shelves are full of pottery, some made by bloggers some of us read. It was disturbing for me to turn one piece over, I know who I thought made it, but it had a Made in China sticker on it. As an artist trying to succeed in this clay world, I found that just took the wind out of my sails quite a bit. The part of me that worked for large successful brand driven companies knows how to get to that place, but the part of me that wants to curl in a ball just can't get my head around jumping into that fire. All I seem to want to do these days is find a small farm where I can have chickens and sheep and walk around in the grass. I'm hopeless..........

24 comments:

Vicki said...

No, not hopeless!
You are honest and real. You're searching to connect with what matters.
In this, what sometimes feels like, increasingly soul-less, money generated, corporate owned world, you are wanting to protect and nourish you mind, body and soul.
That is a very good thing.
And, if you feel the pull towards a simpler life in the country (and I understand that all too well) there is hope :)

And this is one of the loveliest barns. It has so much depth, warmth and sincerity in its simple beauty.

Tracey Broome said...

Thank you Vicki, well said. It is a difficult world to live in right now, but not hopeless, just a mess! I definitely feel the need for a simple life!

JUDI TAVILL said...

hang in tracey... MAKE MAKE MAKE....

Kings Creek Pottery said...

Best of luck as you wade through it...I also wade through it at times and it always leads me back to myself. Keep Looking Up!

;)

elizabeth bunsen said...

It rained
for a solid week
high winds,
temps in the 40's
we kept the wood stoves stoked
here
and at the lake house
I buried myself
in the eucalyptus pot
rolling bundles,
making sandwiches
now the sun is shining
and I am happy
that the cold rain
forced my focus
kept me inside
cooking
in this new spring
David remarked
that I did not complain
once
about the weather

I think about you often
your blog posts
share your warm thoughtfulness
are you still playing
with natural dyes?

I know
this feeling
that you describe
sending you
a cyber comfort cushion

xox

Tracey Broome said...

Thanks Judi, but make make make make what!?
Hey Kathy, yes wading, but wading through mud it seems, haha!
EB, I just came from your blog and had many thoughts running through my head, and then here you are with the perfect words! thank you xo

Lori Buff said...

It seems like sometimes we need to stop creating to let our souls refill with simple pleasures that we can then return to our art.

Dennis Allen said...

Make what you want when you want to make it. While you are at it eat what you like and drink what you like as well.

handstories said...

I am in a similar place- empty but full. I'm thinking of this as a recovery/brewing time, trusting that what needs to come, will.
beautiful beautiful barn & words.

Tracey Broome said...

Lori, I agree, I seem to go through this from time to time, so I'm just going with it.
Dennis, got it- eat, drink, make, check!
Hey Cindy I'm trusting too, I know it's all for a reason, and what will come will come..... Just waiting.....

Peter said...

I like the thought of making art that matters, not just stuff to fill shelves. In that I think I'm in a similar place regarding making things as you, although our work is quite different. Not sure that my solution is in commissions though as, so often, people just want what they want, not what I can do! But I want to make work that is just for me, and, of course, it is great if someone else wants it and will pay for it!

I think some people are happy making stuff to fill shelves, and production of stuff in volume and speed of production is how they feel satisfied. It's not necessarily bad stuff either, in fact it can be very good, but it comes from a completely different way of seeing and being.

Anyway, kind thoughts to you,
Px

June Perry said...

I'm with Dennis - Eat, drink, make; but I'd add - get a couple of chickens. They'll give you eggs and fertilizer and make you laugh.

Tracey Broome said...

Peter, I totally envy the potters that make production work and fill their shelves,but it's not in my realm of possibility, I'm just not set up here for that kind of work. The barns were starting to feel like production pieces and that's not what they are about for me, so I'm backing off on them. I'm all for making lots of things for the shelves,just need to figure out what that is! You are so right, there are lots of potters making the same thing day after day, and doing it happily and doing it well, I'm just not one of them..... Wish I were some days.

Tracey Broome said...

June,yes,chickens are definitely on the want list!

Rae Padulo said...

So much energy and life-force goes into what we make, that from time to time, we need to re-group, re-evaluate, re-fuel, and question why we do what. Good for you to take that time. I have no doubt that through your introspection, when you are ready, you will have found a new trove of creativity to mine. I enjoy reading your blog and hope you will continue to write!! - Rae

Tracey Broome said...

Hi Rae, thanks for your comment! It does take a lot of mental space, this art business, doesn't it?! Nice to know there are so many out there that understand this.

Hollis Engley said...

It's a world full of conundrums and aimlessness and aimfulness and we just navigate our way through all that the best way we can. You've done pretty well so far, Tracey, so I know you'll find that making work you have to do. You know I love the barns, and I'm glad not to see them disappear. Only appearing when they're desired is just right.

Sandy miller said...

God, I love reading your blog! Seriously it puts such a different spin on what we do or don't do. I just wrote on the message board yesterday morning......NO MORE COMMISSIONS! And then this make so much sense......

Back to mugs and putt'n on my waders..... You too :) well the waders!

Tracey Broome said...

Haha! I wrote a note to myself, "no more mugs!"
Commissions are nice for me'because they are usually a gift for someone and they have a special meaning. I wouldn't take commissions on functional work though, too much pleasing to be done!

Michèle Hastings said...

the barn is perfect, it will be well loved.

i think everyone who creates art goes through cycles... i think i am in a slow cycle right now. not sure what will jump start me, but i think it's just around the corner.
or i hope it's just around the corner.
because i do like to eat
and drink wine.
and have electricity.

Scott Garrett said...

That's hopeful, not hopeless. You're dreaming of a place you can be more "you", more free, taking it all back into your control. There aint nothing hopeless about that Tracey. Me, meanwhile......

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

I don't often comment but I just wanted to say that I love your pottery. That barn and the poem are spectacular. (I particularly love the little steps.) I hope you find your inspiration.

And I haven't yet clicked through to find out, but if elizabeth bunsen isn't a poet already, she should be.

Trial By Fire Pottery said...

hi tracey, i lost my way in life in 2006 and lie on the floor of my studio for a few months, then i began to throw pots that sucked, i wedged a lot of pots back up and tried again, i cried so much i filled my water pails with tears and then threw more shitty pots with that warm water, then very slowly the weight came off me a bit and i made a reasonable pot, then i finally slept, then more ok pots and now all these years later i realize that i had to rebuild my self and, strangely, i found my soul in the bottom of my reclaim pail while emptying the muck onto the plaster batt! sometimes we must re grow, after we decompose :)

Tracey Broome said...

Hey ya'll, so glad I'm not alone, thanks for the comments, love hearing from you!
Xo