2019

It has been over a year and a half since I last wrote on this blog. Not for lack of having things to say, or adventures to write about, but lack of time maybe? I’m not sure. Regardless, I have missed sitting down and writing at my computer. I don’t believe in new years resolutions, but I’m hoping that I’ll write more this year.

2019 is off to a wonderful, and strange start.

The last three years we have taken January off from the shop and travelled, or spent time with family. Last year we ripped all the flooring out of our little apartment, made new floorboards for the kitchen and planed the hardwood to be relayed and finished. No more squeaky floors. No more horrible vinyl tiles with fluorescent highlighter. Then we went down to visit our Southern friends for two weeks and spent our days shucking oysters on the beach and walking barefoot in the sand. This year we are saving for a trip to the Yukon in the fall, so we decided to stay put. But I still needed some time off. The shop and studio are full blown mayhem from August through to December 24, so a rest is always necessary.

The rest isn’t just to catch up on sleep, which, I needed.
It’s also not just to catch up on personal well-being, which, I needed too.
The rest is to remind myself that I like this life. That I love clay. That I love my house.
The rest reminds me that this life is good, and I have much to be thankful for.

There are days in mid November when I’ve been working 16 hour days for weeks straight, forgetting to eat lunch and surviving on granola and yogurt, that I exasperatedly say “I don’t want to be a potter anymore!” I made this bed, and I’m tired of lying in it.

But you’d be surprised what a four day retreat in the Northern woods, with no lights or water, no people or music, can do for you. It is grounding, and fulfilling, and refreshing.

And after that retreat when I’m spending my weekdays learning about sourdough, and cleaning out my attic, and updating my website, I start to want to make pots again. Life feels empty without the studio.

I’m in week two of my four weeks “off”. The first week, I planned my garden for the spring, ordered seeds and spent hours graphing and charting all our varieties. I updated the music on my computer, sorted through all the files that haphazardly got thrown on the desktop, emptied out my closet and donated half my clothes. I started cooking more elaborate meals, and read through two gardening books. I gave all my houseplants much needed haircuts, and started propogating new jades. I felt like I could live this life for good. I could be a stay at home wife who gets dinner ready on time, keeps the house clean, and always has her hair looking good.

Then enters week two. Still planning the garden. Babying along a sourdough starter for the first time, and finally making two loaves that turned out okay. Still cooking lots, updating my website, sorting through physical photographs and scanning them for digital storage. Watching a lot of online workshops on brand development, photography, and sewing your own clothing. I’ve been keeping busy.

But I’m starting to feel the studio itch, and it only took an extra few days to remind me that I don’t think I can live this life for good. I need the studio. I need my hands immersed in clay. I need to think through doing, to hear the gentle clunk of the treadle wheel, and be welcomed by the smell of rotting earth as I open a fresh bag.

I’m enjoying these quiet days of reading and reflecting. I’m enjoying making and creating in a material that is not clay.

But I miss clay.

And I’m excited to get back to it, in two weeks time.

Retreat breakfast routine - all the good fats, cooked on the woodstove.

Retreat breakfast routine - all the good fats, cooked on the woodstove.

Days of snowshoeing and reading by fireside.

Days of snowshoeing and reading by fireside.