Out Of One's Sails

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With a death the wind can some times leave the sails of what your trying to get done. My daughter's cat, Sapphire, passed away on the 14th of December and with it any motivation to be creative. She was a sweet being that the entire family loved dearly.

But the fact is she was sick most of her one year life and required constant meds to keep her stable. In the end she knew it was time and decided to just stop eating. After three days she suffered a stroke and we stayed with her through the night until she was gone. 

I feel at this point, with the passage into the new year, we can put this grief behind us and again be a viable family. 

 

Progress ...

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So finally all the pots popped off the bats and I was able to start shaping and texturing them. This is only the beginning phase. Lot's more work to be done as there is more shaping, and then burnishing of them with rocks, and then slip applied, and a final burnishing again.

After that the designs will be applied and we will be close to the pit firing. 

I love that I felt the zone for the first time in 32 years. I've missed that. 

In the 1980's ...

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1980 ... working on some porcelain pieces. Images shot by my dear friend Annette Duchane who lived across the street and got me interested in photography and shooting the pictures of my work to send to galleries. 

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If you look over my shoulder at the wall that chalkboard is my calendar. It kept track of when pieces had to be done in time for the Festival of the Arts as I had a firing schedule through out the show to make sure I had enough pieces to sell. 

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Like I couldn't get new ones ... but the two tackle boxes full of tools to the right of me are still being used today.

One step ...

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Yeah, small baby steps. Getting the hands retrained to throw. Remembering where my hands went and how it felt to pull a pot. All in a days work.

Finally pulled four basic pieces which will now be turned into shapes as designed on paper. Lots of paddling into shape and textures applied using slips and other elements. Only a few pieces at a time can go through the process as they have to be kept in that halfway point between wet and dry. 

But I'm happy we're at a point of the first samples going through. Means progress.

Back At It ...

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So after 37 years in the photo industry ... that's right I started in 1980 ... here I am making plans to get out.

Before getting out I ran my own ceramics business, making fine art pieces and selling them through galleries and the Festival Of The Arts in Laguna Beach. Why did I ever get into the photo industry in the first place? Well if anyone remembers 1980 it was a recessional year and with the downturn in the economy you had to decide between eating, gas, and a place to sleep ... no room for fine art. So I shut down my business and went and worked at something I picked up pretty quick, which was working in the photo industry. I've had many hats, retail sales at some of the biggest photo dealers in the USA, to a manufacturers rep, to a distributor for two photo sign end lighting companies from Germany. Finally landing as being sales director for a little camera strap company in Seattle. Lots of travel, and lots of eating antacids. 

I've had enough. 

So I went out and bought myself a kiln, a wheel, dug out all of my old ceramic tools and started working up designs. I am like a little kid again. I've designed my website, my chop (above - for signing what I do) and have been playing with samples and pit firing techniques. I'll be documenting my travels in getting this off the ground ... mixing in my other love which is photography and trying to show what starting a ceramic business is like for anyone who wants to follow.