The last quarter of 2013 flew by. I was seriously underwater, head down, concentrating on what was on my wheel and glazing table, for these last three months. I finished the restaurant order (opening in January, to my relief, which gave me space to make work for holiday shows), except for the glazing, in late October. Those pieces went to rest while I made mug after mug and cup after cup for my local holiday sales. I was exhausted by the 20th, ready to work again by the 28th.
This year, I am ready to see it out the door. So much trial, loss, hardship, grief for my family and for nearly everyone I know. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye. But some highlights to make the bitter more palatable:
-My personal "word for the year" was streamline. And so I dropped the tedious work that I loved seeing but didn't love making anymore. I'm down to two clay bodies, two main glazes, two underglazes, two oxides. This from six large buckets of different glazes, a rubbermaid box of underglazes (donated to a high school art department), and four clay bodies (also donated).
-While I have yet to finish my pitcher project (the holidays took that over), I feel like I learned so much about throwing larger sizes, which shapes I prefer, and it really helped me to develop new surface design ideas.
-Oh, I do love blue and white. I don't really care who else does or doesn't, I'm sticking with it. Seeing the collection of blue and white pieces intended for the cookbook (I'm not sure where that project is and have let all expectations go), I feel like I've developed a new body of work.
-The restaurant line- OH. My. GOODNESS. I made well over 300 pieces to be interspersed with commercially produced ware and I'm very very proud of it. This project taught me so much about collaboration, timing, expectations. Not all of the lessons were pleasant- some stung- but I feel like I have a much better handle on a realistic production timeline, what percentage to plan for with breakage issues, and dealing with my own expectations.
-My marriage is stronger because we've weathered this year. For better, for worse, here we are, and with out boy, to boot. They anchor me.
-Oh, that DOG! Ajax really has lightened the mood over here.
-Several friendships have deepened this year and I've really come to rely on a handful of women that have enriched my life (and given me support) in ways I never would have imagined upon our first encounters. I am profoundly grateful for them.
I am so exited about the upcoming year. New possibilities for my household and my business, a new show I'm doing in Oxford later this month, opening a storefront in this space. New inventory shelves in my studio that were a huge gift from Gary. A less-cluttered home and life (well, one can hope). Happy 2014, friends.