working and sorting

I may have mentioned that I was sorting out my options for the foreseeable future,  what I wanted to do, what I wanted to make more of, what I didn't want to do this year(a holiday home sale) and what I didn't want to make anymore.  This is a process that's been difficult for me, and that I've been wrestling with for the better part of this year.  Difficult because some things have been so so good in the past but don't feel quite right anymore.  Difficult because I'm used to them and changing how I do business or make pottery is scary.  Difficult because I've been in survival mode for so long that I haven't let myself ask big questions since, oh, 2009, when I decided to quit my job, one that I loved but knew I wouldn't want to do forever, and go out on my own.

During this process, I've been off-line from social media sites (that are useful but harmfully addictive for people who need to actually get things done).  The only on-line form I've kept up with has been flickr, and if I weren't committed to taking and posting a photo a day, I would have foresworn that, too.  Surprisingly, I haven't missed it.  Not at all, which leads me to wonder how much of it I'll add back in October, once the heavy part of my current workload is over.  I've also just finished a 30 day vegan course, which was challenging and stretching and good.  There's been a lot of navel-gazing in the midst of a heavy workload, but I'm seeing lots of progress in both the work and clarifying my goals for the future.

These berry bowls, which have happily (but more frequently, frustratingly) paid my mortgage for several months of each year for at least the last four years,  are on the don't want to make anymore list.  Maybe forever, maybe not.  These are the last three berry bowls I made.  Even with new techniques in throwing and piercing the holes, the percentage of breakage (which never shows up until after they've been glazed, leaving me with a functional but non-sellable bowl) is just too too high.  One in every four or five bowls cracks, even when pierced with a sharp tool, a drill, compressed on the edges, etc. etc.  No more.  I have one (not pictured) tucked away in my cupboard in case the one I use most breaks.  Two of these are being sent away.  I haven't decided what to do the last bowl.  It will probably go into my gift closet.  I love to use my berry bowl, but I will not miss making them, nor will I miss explaining that despite its diminutive size, it is a colander.  Not a coffee cup.  Ahem.

Next week I should have lots of pretty pretty work to show you.  I've been throwing and glazing and drawing on pots every day.  There's no more shelf space in my studio.  I have another hour's worth of either glazing or drawing to do tonight (probably glazing, so that I can fire the kiln overnight).  I have conquered the "how to hang it" issues I was having last week, happily.  I'm knocking through long-standing orders.  I'm super-tired, but my goals are clear(er) and I'm moving past the post-stress exhaustion, thank goodness.

Hope your week ends well, friends.