Saturday, January 30, 2010

Creative Time with a Toddler

It is a nasty, nasty morning outside. Right now it is about 50 degrees and raining cats and dogs. Its a perfect morning to just chill out, drink coffee and sit by the fireplace with your newspaper or laptop. The kiddo is even sleeping in this morning (Is she sick??), and so it's the perfect time to have a quiet, relaxing morning. But I didn't do that. No. I was out in the studio, cranking up the kiln, rolling out some slabs, and picking up around the studio, because I have learned that a mother must work whenever she can. And sometimes that means working when you'd rather sit on the couch and drink coffee. As much as I love my clay, I also love relaxing and having quiet time. It is necessary to my well-being, and therefore, necessary to the well-being of my child! My quiet time resets me, and gives me time to let go of the stresses that have built up inside. So it is always a struggle to find time to work and time for peaceful relaxation. Having a 1 1/2 year old is awesome - she's learning new stuff daily - but I have to keep a close eye on her. She knows how to open bottles, so if she is in the studio, I have to make sure she isn't into all the underglazes, glues, and who knows what else is lurking out there, just waiting for her little hands to find it. She also is very helpful - she loves to help Mommy with her work. I had her in my lap one day, trying to get a coat of underglaze on a sculpture, and she found a pencil and started drawing all over the sculpture! Now it doesn't really matter, as pencil will burn out in the kiln, but it was still a bit stressful for me to have her drawing all over the piece. It makes it a little hard to concentrate! I had to laugh, though, because it was so ridiculous, trying to get any real work done while she was in my lap. Most artist moms get work done either during naptime or after the kiddo has gone to bed. I find it difficult to work at night - I always have - as I am more energetic in the mornings. I can so some mindless stuff, like cleaning, but who wants to do that?? I'd much rather hang out with hubby and have a glass of wine. It's important to me to spend time with the hubby. It's good to have quality time with your significant other! I'm always interested in how other moms (or dads) work their daily schedules so that they can be creative. Please feel free to share if you have any tips! I just read about Erin Furimsky, another clay artist in this month's issue of Ceramics Monthly, and she somehow manages to get 20-25 hours in the clay studio each week. You go girl! It sounds like a lot of her studio time comes at night, after the kids are in bed. Maybe I need to start pushing more at night. But I'm already having trouble with insomnia - my clay projects keep me awake enough as it is! :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Address Pot

So if you have read some previous posts, you may have heard me mention my Address Pot. It's a piece I'm making for the new house- it will be at the end of the driveway with our house numbers on it. I made it, and fired it, then passed it off to a friend of mine. His job is a custom cabinet maker, but this guy is really an artist. His medium is wood, for the most part, but he also does some specialty stuff, like some cool, bronze- like finishes. So I'm having him put a finish on my pot. He called the other day and wanted to show me some samples. I think they look great!
This is just the sprayed on finished, now he gets to play with the patina. I can't wait- I'm so excited- AND I didn't have to glaze that huge piece. It's 6' tall!! - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Free Time on the Computer

I am struggling to get my time on the computer these days. We keep my laptop either in the kitchen or nearby for us to use. I will look up recipes, check email, update Facebook or Twitter, or research different things, etc, etc. The only problem is that my husband likes to use the computer too. It's not too much of a problem, since I don't have that much time (or attention span) these days to sit down and spend hours at the computer. Now, our 1 1/2 year old daughter has become addicted to the computer as well. She loves to watch videos, play games and generally just bang on the keys to see what happens. I just know that one day I will come to use the laptop and all the settings will have been changed by her. She can already make it do things, albeit by accident, that I don't know how to do! And, recently, she has learned the word "Game" and so she tries to climb into the stool, crying "Game! Game!" If she sees me using the computer, then my time is over. She wants to play on the laptop too! So, between hubby and the kiddo, my "real" computer time is just about nil these days. As I'm writing this, it is 3:04 am and it is the only time I've had on the computer in a while. When I woke up a little while ago, I thought "Aha! I can go catch up on the computer - and maybe even post something on my blog!" Pretty sad, I know, but it's true. So when you don't see posts on the blog very often, you know why! Here's the little computer hogs... And this was the beginning of Marley's addiction:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Short Video

So last night, I started playing with a short slideshow of the process of making a sculpture. It turned out okay; mostly I just had fun with the experiment. This sculpture is one of the ones I will be taking to the American Craft Council show coming up in March in Atlanta. I'm really looking forward to the show, as I had such an awesome time at the last ACC show I did (Charlotte, 2008). The slideshow shows me coiling a piece that is part bird-part woman. She's sitting in a birdbath, with a couple of little birdies around her and she is sort of like a mother figure to them. She's watching over them, and trying to teach them about life. Let me know what you think of the piece and of the video! Click here to watch the video!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Thank You Scarf

I just received the most beautiful handmade scarf by a woman who attended one of my clay classes. She works in silk and dyes it herself, then sews the fabric into different things like pillows, baby blankets and scarves. They are just incredible. And I admire her because she is a mom of two gorgeous little girls and she is somehow able to keep her business up. Check out the scarf:
That's not the best photo, but you can tell that is one beautiful scarf! The artist's name is Paige Hathaway Thorn and if you see one of her pieces - buy it! You won't regret it. Thank you so much Paige! - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, January 1, 2010

Passport Demons win

Well, the final blow came on Dec. 30th at just minutes before 5:00 pm. The US Passport department was suddenly requiring that they have my original, long form birth certificate. Why? I don't know. Maybe it was that I married 10 years ago (even though I changed my name and did everything the official way, with documents and all), and had my passport amended with my new name. Or maybe it is due to the new security measures, (thank you, would-be terrorists) that is making them really crack down hard on things. I don't know. But what I do know is that this would have eaten 2 or 3 more days into a 4 day trip and it just wasn't worth it to me. What I FINALLY realized is that something, or somebody, was telling me to keep my arse here! I normally am pretty aware of signs like this, but we just kept pushing and pushing. I can't help but wonder why I am supposed to be here for New Years, but this is where I am. Maybe we would have gotten really sick or something bad would have happened in Costa Rica, but everything is just fine, here at home. I've gotten a chance to put away some Christmas stuff, I went to the gym yesterday, and I even managed to get in the studio for a bit! 2008 and 2009 were such traumatic years for us, that I am wishing for a nice, smooth, easy and relaxed 2010. I'm looking forward to a nice routine, including healthy food, exercise, creativity, and raising our little girl. That sounds just lovely to me right now! One thing I want to look into, is perhaps meditation. I want to learn how to quiet my mind, and restore peace to my center. I'm not sure how I'm going to do this, but that a direction I want to move in. Wish me luck!