I have been really slack with my writing and keeping a record of important happenings in the world of my ceramics - so here is a quick catch up!
Since moving out of the studio at Ocean Studios and back home I have been able to concentrate more on my making, though at times working from home has lead to many more distractions and a lot of procrastination!
Towards the end of last year I took part in a couple of fantastic fairs, the first being a 'pop up shop' at Webber's yard near Totnes, which restored my faith in my work in so many ways and I met lots of gorgeous makers and lovely customers. The second was at Escot House near Exeter, a beautiful old house complete with a roaring fire, which was run by the amazing Creative Business Network. It was the first time they had organised and run a fair and it was brilliant! I loved being part of it, the atmosphere was relaxed but fun, footfall was much higher than I expected, really friendly makers and sales were great - what more could you ask from an event?!
2019 started full of plans and large amounts of enthusiasm, then the whole handle saga kicked in again, closely followed by glaze issues and a general slump in my enthusiasm. (the seemingly never ending artist cycle!) Thankfully I meet up with two other ceramicists every month to eat cake, drink coffee and the occasional gin! These two ladies have been an amazing source of support during this time; just listening to me moan, not accepting my 'I am going to jack it all in and work in Tesco's' cry every two minutes, copious amounts of hugs and a shoulder to cry on. Jane and Jane, you are both superstars and I couldn't have got through those months without you both.
I eventually picked myself up and gave myself yet another talking too, got my backside in gear and kept making. During all of this, I learnt a lot about myself, especially how my emotions and self believe get effected by outside factors - especially social media. It is so easy to take the little squares on Instagram as face value, to think that you know what is going on in people lives that you follow, to compare your self to them, to allow impostor syndrome to take root. To 'Instagram picture perfect' your life before you post anything, to portray something you are not and not allow reality into your squares. Well no more for me. I have set a timer on my account and once I hit that daily time limit I have to come off. There are days that I now instinctively know that Instagram and Facebook are not places for me to be on and I need to hide my phone. Instagram and Facebook have been taken off my Ipad so that I can only listen to podcasts and music in my workroom. I no longer feel the need to post every day or fear that I will lose followers if I post something that doesn't fit or alters the flow of my grid (whatever that means!) It has been strangely freeing, not that I follow my own advice every time but I am recognising signs earlier and able to take action, which is a win in my eyes!
Ahh, I digress, back to clay!
After what has seemed like an eternity the mug handle saga has come to an end -
yay - happy dances all round!! My first batch of mugs with perfect handles came out of the kiln and I could finally open my order book - and boy was I taken by surprise by how many came in. Thank you so much if you ordered a mug and you are reading this, it meant so much to me that you all supported my little business in this way.
Now to July.....what a month it has been so far!!
The first weekend saw the inaugural Ocean Makers Market at Ocean Studios, organised by the gorgeous Lizzie and Sarah. It was a beautiful weekend, the skies were blue, the sun shone, people came, talked, smiled, encouraged and supported by buying! I loved it! Lizzie and Sarah worked tirelessly to make sure the whole event ran smoothly and the atmosphere was amazing - I can't wait to see if I get accepted to the next one in November.
Now to the most exciting news.........I have a kiln!!!
My parents blew me away on my birthday
by telling me that ideal kiln had been
ordered and it was arriving at their house a week later!! Still can't quite believe it, even though it is currently at 250 degrees on its first 'firing in' program. Having my own kiln is going to make such a difference to my business, to be in control of every aspect of making and now firing. No more transporting of fragile bisque ware over speeds pumps and potholes. So thankful for my parents belief in me and my work, I cant quite put it into words. It is also a massive kick up the backside to put into place all those goals and targets I wrote at the beginning of the year - this is it, all of my excuses have been wiped out! Exciting but scary stuff if I think about it too long!!
I will be forever grateful for the access to the kiln at The Pottery at Ocean Studios and for Tweeny fitting us all in with our various requests. If you need to hire a kiln at any point get in touch with her!
Applications for Christmas markets are in (I Know its only July and way too early to be talking about them but that is how it is!) once I know which ones I have been accepted on to I will let you know so you can put the dates in your diaries if you want to. For us, the school term is drawing to an end and I am looking forward to spending some time with my family over the summer, catching up with friends and generally pressing pause for a couple of weeks. I hope that this finds you well and hopefully see some of you at a market really soon!
Coastline mug at Polzeath