Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Along the ride

How are you, dear readers?  I hope well!  

I've been really thinking things through lately.  You know, thinking and planning the next leg of my journey.  It's hard not to get through a massive order, complete a project I didn't think was possible a year ago, and not wonder what will happen next.  I've been thinking about if I could take on more, or if I need to re-think the whole process of my production again.  It's been a good time of soul searching, talking to people and other ceramic artists and mostly, trying to wrestle with some big questions about the how and why I do what I do, and what I want to do next.  

I guess I feel as though there is a little clock ticking in the back of my head.  It seems pretty obvious that for me to keep this pace up would mean eventual burn-out.  To expand my studio and to take on staff would move what I do into manufacturing and managing, and that's not really where my heart is either.  I really like that I have a 'studio practice' that allows me to make work that is affordable for people to own. I also love that I created a method to re-create my designs into collections, however I'm not using traditional manufacturing methods that would speed this process up.  It still takes me about 3-4 days to glaze a kiln-load of work.  Full, long days of many steps and lots of attention to little picky details.   The reality is, that it's costing me a lot more to produce what I make then it used to.  My time has become more valuable and I'm not entirely sure how to reconcile this with what will come next. 

I don't have any deadlines.  Nor do I have a guidebook.  I'm looking at different ceramic artist's careers and thinking about what I like about what they seem to have.  And then I'm shifting that into whether that fits with my work and career path.  Such an interesting and difficult career path to be on, being a maker and designer these days... there really is no 'right' way, is there?

1 comment:

Julie said...

So true, there really is no right way, it's more what works best for you. I just recently took a huge step back from my etsy shop because for me, it's what was best. I know that the time will come and soon I will be able to spend more time focusing on my shop, but for now, I can only do so much. It was tough at first, but I now know that it was absolutely the right decision. Slightly bittersweet because I do want to be sewing and promoting my work, but I can only do so much. You will find the balance, may take some time to figure out what works best, but you will find it!