Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hello studio

 I'm sitting here with a steady rain falling, a quiet house, having a cup of Gerry's Diablo coffee from Three Cups and catching up in blog land. I am so unaccustomed to this quiet since Gerry and Wesley have been around pretty much 24/7 since May. But Wes is now tucked in to her cozy dorm room at UNCSA and Gerry is away shooting a golf tournament, so here I sit with nothing to do but work in my studio. Before I tell you how much I accomplished yesterday, I have to do the mom bragging thing quickly. Last year, Wesley was a first year film student at UNC School of the Arts. The third year students have to prepare and present a film project that will be produced in their fourth year. One of the students in the Producer concentration had a general idea for a film and asked Wesley to write the screenplay. The faculty accepted her screenplay and it is now in production. Even better, it will be shot at Hanging Rock State Park, where we have spent many many days rock climbing.  So at the end of the year, Gerry and I will be going to a screening of a film that our daughter wrote in her first year of film school. Can I say that I am very proud?! Imagine, if she has already written a screenplay that is going to become a film at 19 years old, what will she be doing 10 years from now? I envy her in that she has known for so long that she is a writer and that is what she will do. I had no clue at 19 what I wanted. Except for seeing her dad for the first time when I was 19 and knowing that I wanted to marry him, I didn't have any idea what I wanted to do. Some days, I still don't.
 I have been worried that I was getting tired of clay, until I stepped in to my studio yesterday, put on some tunes and opened up a fresh bag of clay. What is it about that smell? Ahhhh..... dirt, I love that smell. I haven't worked since May, so I thought I probably needed to warm up before jumping in to some serious projects. I made some test tiles so that I can test these underglazes that I bought as well as some raku glazes that I want to try.
 I also made some small dishes that make great test tiles. And I made myself a small plaster square for wedging. I don't have a large space for a wedging table but this little square will work out just fine.

I spent a lot of time yesterday thinking about what I like making, what I want to make this coming season and what I don't like.  I fooled around with some ideas that have been simmering, but didn't like most of it. I know for a fact that I don't like making mugs. There are so many great mugs out there and I have only liked one or two that I have ever made. It's just not for me. I don't want to make casseroles, teapots, cruets, etc. I'm pretty much not a maker of functional pottery. I wish I was, but the glazes I like most and that make the most sense for my limitations with this studio are very rarely functional. I do like to hand build things, I like throwing on the wheel less, although I do like making bowls and vases. I used the plaster hump mold I made at Laura's to make these two pieces. They will be nice for Raku or for the colorful underglazes I just got.
So I spent the day getting familiar with my studio again and getting some of the ideas I have had out of the way. It was a good day and today I plan to start on some new houses. That is the thing I never get tired of making, so I suppose that will continue to be my main focus and evolution. They take so much time and focus, I really don't want to make other things that require a similar amount of time and thought. However, I do want to make some other things at a lower price point that compliment the barns and houses, so I will continue to try quick things like the little round dishes and molded forms that don't require a lot.
All summer, I sketched and read and looked at a lot of work I loved and it all filled my brain with what ifs and I wanted to try it all. Yesterday, as I messed around with some of these ideas and found them not so exciting after all, I realized that staying focused on one object worked so well for me last year and perhaps that is the path I should stick with. As an artist, I am constantly wanting to try new things, but to continue to grow and sell my work, it needs to be a consistent and cohesive body of work, not random flotsam that is just a bunch of exploration of things I think I want to try.
So, focus focus focus needs to become my mantra for the upcoming selling season. As I found out this year, June-August is dead for me, so that needs to be the time for exploring new ideas. This was not the best summer for that, since this was the summer of pain for me. But I'm putting aside all of the what ifs and getting back on track for making barns and houses and growing on that path. There, I said it, so now it will be so!


Michèle Hastings said...

Congratulations to Wesley and her proud Mom & Dad!

Tracey Broome said...

Thanks Michele!

Dennis Allen said...

Congrats to Wes. Being proud of your kids is the best feeling in the world.

cookingwithgas said...

you picked a great time to get back to the clay- yes, that smell!
And that kid of yours- she is a wonder and so full of talent and yet- so grounded.
I hope this is a fabulous year for her full of memories and steps forward.
Can't wait to see you.

Tracey Broome said...

Thanks guys, yep I'm a proud mom!

Mr. Young said...

Can't wait to see her debut film! I too love that fresh clay smell! I just don't get to do as much of my own work as I would like... but I wouldn't trade the teaching for anything! I look forward to your new works!
Happy Mudding!