Julie and I met at a community art center while taking pottery classes; and, in 2008, we started working together. Working with a partner has been great because I have made more pottery, tried more glazes, attended a lot of workshops, and started selling in stores and shows. By partnering with Julie, I have gone further in ceramics in a shorter time because she pushes me more than I would push myself – if left to my own devices I would lie on the couch for a large portion of my life.
Julie is kind, direct, honest, hard working, high energy, driven, and generous. She is also brave – she will try a lot of things that I wouldn’t give a second thought. She began teaching adult pottery classes before I did; in fact, she encouraged me to teach before I felt confident. Julie isn’t intimidated by colors the way I am – she is bold and will try combinations on pots rather than testing them first and she has a great natural sense of aesthetics.
She is fun but focused. I think I am slack but she says she is the slacker. I guess since we both have that perspective, it works out. She handles a lot of things that I am not good at – marketing, PR, interfacing with clients. And, she humors me as I handle the administrative tasks – things she could do but doesn’t enjoy.
Our pots are collaborative which means that there is a lot of discussion and compromising. Having a partner forces me to articulate what I want to do or why I am doing it – which makes my ideas tangible. Often, this process helps me understand my ideas better and develop new ones.
There may come a time when we need to have some space to develop our individual aesthetics but that isn’t now. For the moment, we have common goals and rely on each other to accomplish those goals. I have a partner but I also have a friend – and I am very thankful that the Lord brought her into my life. So today I will eat cake in her honor – Happy Birthday, Julie!