Updated: Sep 2, 2019
On shop holiday prep: I’m doing better this year than the ones before. It still feels like I could have done more. Maybe it’ll always feel that way.
There are still pieces going through the finishing process, but because ceramics take so long, at this point in the year I can’t really make more that will be available in time for holiday shipping. It’s kind of a nice feeling; now I can shift out of production mode and into an exploratory one.
Beginning in late summer, I went to the studio much more often, commuting into the city on several Saturdays in addition to my regular weeknight visits after work.
In that time, I’ve probably thrown well over a hundred forms, trimmed, handled, and stamped about 90 of them, bisque fired 75 of those, to end up with around 55 mugs all told in the second half of the year. What was lost was recycled along the way where possible. Others have made their way to my collection of seconds.
All of this production has meant that I have had my hands on clay virtually every day since the beginning of September. After making so many mugs, I think I’ve found the mix of speckle and chestnut clay that I like the best for my cactus mugs. A glaze mislabeling mishap at the studio even introduced me to a new glaze combination that I quite like.
At home, I began hand building vases in porcelain and then I couldn’t stop. From this practice I’ve built a nine piece collection of vessels: The Odette Collection, named for the Swan Princess who could only take her true form after dark. Making these figures by moonlight during the quiet hours of a pressure-filled season brought me peace, and there were times I really needed it.
I can’t wait to send off the holiday pieces to shelves and homes, and I’m excited to see all of the Odettes glazed and sitting together in the sun. I’m taking a night off this week, for Thanksgiving, and then I’ll keep on making.