Monday, February 11, 2013

I love my customers and collectors

Hello! I have a new home!
     I am ever so grateful to the people who buy and collect my things, the art things, the pottery things, the big things and the small things. They are a beacon of hope to this weird second part of my life. There is a very practical side to me. I have a tendency to eschew the frivolous for the strictly functional in life. Having worked in various retail jobs early on and design production and graphic design later on before I came to Kentucky, I sometimes default to thinking in narrow practical terms but more importantly, without realizing it, I learned to assume the role of the person doing the grout work, the connective work, the dirty work and not see myself as the creative person, the dreamer, the strangely quixotic.
I live in the Netherlands.
I live in Kentucky.
     Because of this default setting — this bad habit that must be purged from my psyche — I am overwhelmed with gratitude when collectors feel an emotional connection with my work.
Happy soap dish in California!
      Customers on Etsy are allowed to leave feedback when they purchase an item. Some have been very, very generous to me with their compliments. When I see this, I am surprised and encouraged, invigorated to continue. I am excited to wrap up my work and send it off on a new adventure. I can always make more. Recently, I received an email from a customer to whom I had sent off a piece of pottery. I assumed that there was a problem, some goof, it wasn't quite right, it broke or some other tragedy. I was reluctant to read. Happily, when I opened the email, instead, it was a gushing, happy, complimentary letter espousing my craftsmanship and artistic talent. Wow! Those kinds of letters are for my moments when I begin to doubt myself and my choices.
     Once, about five or six years ago, when I started on this weird clay adventure, a friend from back in NYC who was with me during the graphic design days chastised me when I second-guessed my choice to play in clay. She told me that the world needs people who inspire and make others happy with their work. She told me that what I did, what I was endeavoring to do, had value to others. It made me stop and consider my work, my journey, as being part of something bigger. The nice tax people, when I started this studio, told me I needed to show a profit within five years or I'd need to pick another profession as far as the IRS was concerned. I told them that as fas as I was concerned, this was it, this was my career from now on. Until I die.
     So to Faith, thanks for helping me to believe in my choices and my work. To my husband, thanks for staying steady and being my rock so I can pursue this path. And to you, those customers and collectors who have been touched by my work, from the bottom of my heart, thank you!
     Now — my mentor and teacher, has begun a blog. Joe Molinaro is the chair of the ceramics program at Eastern Kentucky University. Had he not incessantly nagged me and picked on me, um, I mean, pointed out to me that I should be a ceramics major, I wouldn't be where I am today playing in mud-pies again, essentially, and damn happy about it, too! He and I lamented in my first semester in clay of how easy it is to get side-tracked by the things that pay the bills and neglect our artistic work. I have followed the progress on his newly built studio and now, besides his hours teaching at the university during the week, he is cranking out more of his own work and not just demonstration pieces for class. That feeds the soul. Besides spawning new ceramics people from EKU, Joe also makes a yearly pilgrimage to Ecuador to research the pottery methods of the people in the Amazon region. He has a love for form, deconstruction, teapots and the geometric. He is now writing a blog. Catch up with his ramdom thoughts and work here: Clay + Art + Travel [].

Remember, feel free to leave comments if you can but Blogger won't let me reply. Yet.

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