The List

Posted by on Feb 20, 2013 in Creativity, How-to, Inspiration | 0 comments

February is in full swing.  Last month, I was focused on closing out 2012 and preparing for 2013.  But now, I am back in the studio and I have been enjoying the time working on various pot forms.   But Julie wanted a little more structure and one of the things that she asked for was a list of pots to make on a monthly basis.  So based on last year’s work, we each have a list of things to make; I hope this will help keep things balanced during the busier times of the year. Although I like lists (well, that is an understatement), I recognize that I need to use the list to help me develop new ideas rather than re-create old ones because I could get sucked into finishing the list rather than creating new and soulful pottery. Last year, I corralled all my clippings and notes for pottery ideas and put them in a box – mostly to get them in one place.  If I make some time to flip through the box, and pick an idea to try while I work on the list, it could help keep the list from being just a checklist.  I just need to remember to make time for the...

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New Year’s Goals for Creatives

Posted by on Jan 16, 2013 in Creativity, Inspiration | 0 comments

One of the benefits of working in clay is that I get to meet lots of creative people – and not just potters.  I have met musicians  painters, book binders, knitters, weavers, jewelry makers and many other craftspersons.  The world is filled with interesting people who are actively pursuing a passion.  So regardless of what your medium of choice is, perhaps you are like me and desire to increase your creativity.   But if I am to make distinctive and soulful pots, then I need to pursue it because I know it won’t ‘just happen on its own’.  So here are some things I intend to do this year in order to cultivate creativity. Take a monthly inspirational outing – I read this suggestion in a book on creativity, and, I implemented it last year.  The outings included concerts, walks, museums, historical sites, etc.  It wasn’t really about what I did but more about the attitude with which I did it.  I approached each outing with anticipation and attentiveness.  Although I didn’t have a plethora of new ideas after every outing, I was always revived. Turn off the noise – This is a challenge for me and causes me a lot of discomfort because I tend to work and listen to audio books/podcasts/TV/music (you get the picture).  But, whenever I turn off the noise, I think of new things I want to try.   So I am going to try to incorporate more quiet in my work time. Make an idea box – Gather all the clippings, quotes, writing, notes, pictures, recipes, or whatever you tend to accumulate.  Put them in a box and shuffle through them when you feel like you need a new idea.  I made the box last year; but this year I plan you select ideas and try to work them out in clay. Take a workshop/class – This is always a great way to cultivate creativity.  Last year, I took a class in paper marbeling and one in book binding.  Sometimes it is fun to just dabble.  Even if you can’t go to a class, perhaps you can find some instructional courses on  You-tube. Whatever your craft, I hope you find more ways to be inspired this year so you can fill this world with lovely expressions of yourself – and, if you have any suggestions that have been helpful to you, please share them!...

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New Year’s Goals for a Potter

Posted by on Jan 9, 2013 in Inspiration | 0 comments

I know I benefit from setting goals.  So to that end, I thought I would post a few suggestions for New Year’s Goals. Throw larger – I often hear potters discuss making larger pots.  Try to double (or triple) the average size pot your throw well.  For example, if you throw a 3lb bowl, try to throw a 6lb bowl by the end of the year. Select a glaze palette – Choose a few glazes and learn how they behave and how you can use them to showcase their best attributes. Upgrade your tool kit – If you use community tools or if your tools are worn, try to upgrade a few of your most used tools. Take a class or workshop – Never stop learning.  Sign up for a class with an instructor whose work you admire or who is showing a technique you haven’t tried. Overcome that annoying challenge – Do you struggle pulling handles or making lids that fit?  Whatever it is that you seem to struggle against, plan to practice it in 2013 until you elevate your skill level. These are just a few suggestions.  Whatever you work on this year, I wish you much success....

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Christmas Dishes

Posted by on Dec 26, 2012 in Holiday, Inspiration | 0 comments

One of the things I had hoped to accomplish this year was to make myself a set of Christmas dishes.  I struggled most of the year to develop ideas.  I came up with two designs.  However, I didn’t make a full set.  My new plan is to develop a new Christmas design each year to add to the...

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To Everything Turn, Turn, Turn

Posted by on Nov 7, 2012 in Inspiration | 0 comments

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn) There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn) And a time to every purpose, under Heaven       – The Bryds One of the biggest challenges for me as a potter is getting ready for the  holidays so far in advance.  Although it is just November, I am almost done making pots for the holiday shows.  In fact, most of the pots were made in the late summer and early fall.  If I don’t finish the bulk of the pots for the stores and shows before November, they won’t get made and I have no availability to fill custom orders. But what is especially difficult is motivating myself to work on Christmas-themed pots before Thanksgiving.  I just don’t have a sense of holiday inspiration  when the leaves haven’t even changed colors.  I can work on lists of pots that need to be made for shows and stores but I can’t conjure ideas for Christmas dishes that early.  I wonder how other artists and crafters harness holiday ideas in the...

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For love and pottery

Posted by on Oct 3, 2012 in Inspiration | 0 comments

“When you start creating for and in honor of those that have made a difference to you, your work changes.”  Seth Godin  During class,  a potter was finishing a really cute lidded pot.  The pot shape was adorable and the lid was a balanced complement.  She received a lot of suggestions about how to embellish the pot.  But, most of the suggestions were reflective of the other potters’ preferences.  When I asked her what she wanted to do, she said she wasn’t sure but she thought it would be easier if she knew who she was going to give the pot to. When I am making a pot for a person, I have a deep reservoir of inspiration.  Although I don’t radically change the pots I make, I consider other elements that might be important to the person for whom I am making the particular pot.   The extra level of attentiveness and alternative perspective with which I contemplate the pot often results in a much better...

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