I have been sat in front of my laptop for the past half an hour trying to work out how to start this blog post.......to be honest the last week has been hard, with some major decisions that had to be made. Yet once I had taken the plunge and made a firm decision, a lightness happened and I knew that the right decision, no matter how hard had been made.
Its been a year since I was given the keys and took over the ceramics workshop in Ocean Studios and Clay At 17 was born. Its been a real rollercoaster of a year too!
The positive; meeting some amazing people, seeing creativity come alive in those that thought that they didn't have a creative bone in their body, seen families work together and peoples enthusiasm for clay bubble over. The harder stuff; Learning to step out of my comfort zone and talk or teach people I didn't know, to keep smiling when inside I just wanted to cry at times. Juggling home and work balance and also my own work with that of Clay At 17's. The reality of putting a dream into practice was so much harder and took more hours than I ever imagined. No matter what effort I put in, there was always loads more to do, it began to feel like an endless and thankless task that just wasn't making any headway.
So last Monday I met with the lovely ladies from RIO and talked through loads of different options to try and come to a solution that would make it all viable. A week of see-sawing began! I so wanted to make it all work - just walk away, you can't do this - no you can do this - find a way.......
The result of all that see-sawing and soul searching is that Clay At 17 will be closing its doors on September 30th. It is a decision that hasn't been made quickly or easily but I know that it is the right decision for me, for right now and for my family. So what is next? I am going to move into the office at home, so I can concentrate on my porcelain range of bowls and pictures and develop my Coastal range too.
Clay At 17 will happen again one day, it is just that it's in pause mode for a while until the time is right to press play again. The ceramic studio at Ocean will live on too, it will just have a different name and people running it. If you are interested in being part of it please let me know and I can pass your details on to them.
I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has supported me this year, from sharing and liking posts, attending workshops, joining in with group firings, to everyone that has come for a visit and those that have bought my own work. Special thanks go to all my family - you all rock! Jane McEwen and Clare Kilgour for all the encouraging words and keeping me smiling through the tough times and the team at RIO for taking a chance on me in the first place!
Take care and keep smiling!
love Becks x