Sunday, October 14, 2012

Creative Pass: 3 Months to Noodle

Learning curves.  Trying things out.  Making mistakes.  And more mistakes, and okay, pile a couple more on top there.  (Try the left-hand side of pile.  There's a little space left...just chuck it on up there - it can handle it.  Uh oh, it's wobbling...)

This has been a busy fall.  I've never churned out more work.  My hair has never looked worse.  I can just hear my poor son's thoughts as I trudge over to school to pick him up: "Oh geez, there's dusty Mom in her dirty clogs again.  Hope my friends are already on their buses. Sigh...."  I have not gone on the fall school trips, or baked any cakes.  The kids have to go to the dryer and pray there are clean jeans in there.  There has been a lot of pizza for dinner.  I have missed my book club once, a fundraiser twice, and the mighty Toni Morrison reading at Princeton University.  (It was free, too.  Free!)

I get it: though new experiences are not exactly warm and fuzzy, they are necessary to keeping the blood flowing, the synapses firing and business moving.  New this fall: three shows I've never done before, a trunk show, working with brand-new clay, (though to disastrous results.)  And I said yes to a small collaboration with an interior designer, though that terrifies me to no end. 

All good things, but I find myself pretty tired, truth be told.  These days I'm feeling more like a factory than an artist.  I'm not having any, dare I say it, fun?  Something's got to change.  There is not a lot of balance in my current state of being.   

So I am making myself a promise: 2013 will be the "Year of Working Smarter, Not Harder".  I have some new ideas and new sketches to work on after December.  I'm giving myself a pass.  A three-month pass to noodle.  I'm giving myself three months to re-evaluate my business and my path.  To decide where I want things to go.  To find a way to create balance.  To have time to brew, to sketch, to write.  To let the new ideas rise to the top, like cream.

To tide me over, I am going to see Margaret Atwood read this Tuesday at McCosh Hall.  8 p.m.  Come hell or high water or homework implosions or kiln explosions, come lack of milk in the fridge or clean laundry in drawers, come one bag of clay left or an unfortunate, though well-intended ceramic bead exploration. 

Dear Margaret, 

I will be the one with the bad hair in the third row, snoring on her neighbor's shoulder.  Love your work. Seminal to my early love of writing. I'm reaaalllyyy pooped.  



But  I. AM. GOING.


  1. You. Are. Beautiful. I don't care about the messy hair and how tired you are - you are a brave, brave woman - facing what isn't working and heading off to find what it is you DO need - dusty clogs, slow pace and all!
    Happy path finding! xo

  2. Hi Rae. I am also taking part in Creative Courage...and I am also a clay artist! This is a lovely post! It is at once lightheartedly breezy and deeply thoughtful. I love that you are making this promise to yourself...and I am wicked jealous that you get to go to a Margaret Atwood reading!

  3. What a lovely post. "more factory than artist" is never a good sign, so well done you for bringing on this change. Hope you find you way back to having fun, laughing and smiling through playing with clay. Love that "Creative Pass - Admit One" :)

  4. hahahh...LOVE the post Rae! Glad to know I'm not the only one who is neglecting her housework, etc. Crazy time of year for sure...and why oh why does all the good stuff happen now? Like all these workshops. On pricing and photographing your work and a paper clay one (that is one I HAD to register for). I hate to say that I'm looking forward to January, but I am!....Then, like you, I can have some fun! Good luck with everything...know that I'm totally sympathetic to the dusty hair and clogs (god forbid someone should show up at my house unexpected!)

  5. ok...we've GOT to get together!!!!