That being said...
We are getting back to work after a long holiday from the studio. Cheyenne is remarkable...She can just sit down and start making the most wonderful things. My hands take forever to catch back up after a longer stint away from making. My potters-block seems to have ended today and I was actually able to make something other than a cup. Even that was a struggle...but I'm firing at the end of next month so I hope I don't hit a wall again. Metaphorically speaking of course! My days of hitting walls are long gone after the last busted finger.
So today we took a break from the studio and went down to the little "artists community" we have here in Bradenton. The Village of the Arts. It's this neighborhood of mostly 1920's - 1930's houses painted in crazy loud pastel colors, because I guess that's how artist's houses look. Cheyenne and I have been wrestling with the idea of getting involved in some capacity with The Village of the Arts, so we went down to check out a couple of the galleries and get a better idea of the quality of the work. Now, there is no jury process to getting in the Village; you just have to buy a house, paint it funky, and you're in. That's fine with me. When you look at other artist's communities throughout the country it's the same thing. Maybe without the funky paint jobs.... The clay work that we saw today really was not that strong. Granted, we didn't go to all the galleries (I don't want to shoot myself in the foot here). We really don't want to sound like pottery snobs. I think we make competent work, could be a lot better of course, but it's well crafted and conceptually grounded.
My question is one of the glass being half full or half empty kind of deal, in a way. Do we put work in the galleries in hopes that having some more competent work might bring in other competent work? Or do we look at the situation from the other end and be concerned about our prices being high and work not selling, or us being pushed to lower our prices to even have a stab at it? Or do we put our work in for the exposure in hopes of building name recognition within the community and not be concerned with sales? Those are the questions!!! and we would certainly love to get feedback on that.
On another note...
Have folks seen the HBO series from a couple of years ago, Deadwood? Well it's this show about this illegal gold mining camp up in the Black Hills of South Dakota in the late 1800's. It's a great series and for the most part historically accurate. So this all relates to clay a couple of ways. Aside from the handmade pottery everywhere throughout the show, there is this particular vessel that repeatedly catches my eye. At the back of the bar in the Gem Theater, the brothel/saloon owned by Al Swearengen, there is this wooden keg. Looks to hold about 5 gallons, sits on this little wooden stand, has this wooden spigot. Well I think it's great! I want to make it out of clay. But but but but....making that out of clay would essentially put me in the realm of making sculpture, would it not? Those forms, the items related to food and beverage from working class folks from back then are such an inspiration to me. So I'm going to make that wooden keg out of clay and it's going to be bad ass!
See you can find inspiration everywhere...even at the back of a bar, in a brothel, in Deadwood.