This blog is not a continuation of my Mearemusing ramblings, but an exploration of my journey with art and writing and all things creative. It is a somewhat belated start as I set up my pottery studio in the spring of this year but it is useful to reflect on that undertaking now.
The studio replaced a former garden shed and whilst it is somewhat larger, pottery takes up lots of space between areas to make items, drying racks, bisqueware racks for glazing, the kiln, a wheel and shelves for other storage such as glazes. So I make do, and when the weather improves I shall be re-arranging it all to fit in with my working practice. Not having running water is a bit of a downside, but when weather is mild, jugs and a camping water carrier suffice. When it is below freezing, the water is only a degree or so above that temperature so I have resorted to taking out tepid water from the house taps on a daily basis.
The real issues is that there is no room for my painting and drawing equipment, framed work etc, and the dust is not helping either. However, I do appreciate how fortunate I am to have any space at all so I shall find ways around it – selling some of my work would be helpful!
I had my first sale, launching my ceramic work at a local Christmas Fair and was really pleased with the way it was received and the number of sales I made, mainly buttons and Christmas decorations. I also received an international order shortly afterwards and three commissions for various items which are slowly coming into production. A good start to my new venture.
I have signed up for Suffolk Open Studios (SOS) for June 2017 and plan to open for all four weekends to gauge reaction to my work. By then I hope to have some reliable lines of work both for domestic use and gardenware, as well as the buttons. Two local potters alerted me to the work of Lucy Rie, of whom I had not heard as she was a button maker in ceramics during the Second World War. She was a prolific potter, but the V&A and Sainsbury Centre both have collections of her buttons I believe, so educational visits are being planned by me to see her work. I also want to return to the British Museum ceramics collection.
The one disadvantage of being an amateur potter is not having studied the work of others, so this I must rectify.
On another note for any would-be potters, there is a really excellent resource I found by chance online called the Ceramic Arts Network. They are American, and I cam across them when I was questioning something about glazing on the internet. Their website is https://ceramicartsnetwork.org
It is possible to sign up for free and whilst they email almost daily, which can be irritating, they often have video tips (extracts from DVDs) and tips for potters which are really exciting and these are all free. I put the links in an email folder and go back to them when I want ideas.