Bring on the Coffee
I have news. I have big news. I have inspiring, exciting, fun, satisfying, goal achieving news. Just as soon as I set my mind to wanting to move my pottery to the next level, the universe answered my thought with a connection. But wait...let me back it all up to set the stage for you, in case you need a recap or this is your first time here...
The last three years I have been honing my skills as a potter. The first year was as a brand new mother with a brand new baby, I had already invested in tools to start doing pottery but I was struggling to do it. (technically I started in 2013 and gave up) Pottery is hard and you need some help figuring it out, trust me - youtube is amazing, but if you can't get your clay centered you may just need some guidance like me. I was pretty depressed after having Carver, I was struggling and needed something for myself and Ben encouraged me to try to get back to pottery. Fortuitously, a friend of mine (sarah camm) posted that her sister (suzanna) opened her pottery studio called Four Sister's Pottery - so I went to them for guidance and help in getting myself and my clay centered. It was the best decision I could have ever made. Seriously. After taking a couple of lessons from them I was all in. I was obsessed. Clay was my medium in college as a sculpture major, but throwing never interested my chaotic artist brain until I needed it. Oh man, I needed it.
Ben moved my wheel to my old office and I made that my studio. I started buying clay like a hoarder. I wanted to try EVERYTHING. I experimented in that studio like a mad scientist. I slipped and scored and slipped and scored and made some really ugly things - it's embarrassing how ugly. Then suddenly last year it all kind of came together. The analogy is so much like the actual process of centering clay. When you first put your clay on the wheel head it pushes you around, reluctant to get into position. Then suddenly it gets easier to hold and starts to allow you to relax and enjoy the feel of it moving against your hands, no longer fighting you but finally resting in it's place at the center of your wheel. It's like a magic moment where it all just comes into place and that's what last year felt like for me. I finally started having a vision for what I wanted to do. I started setting goals and selling my first few pieces, slowly gaining confidence.
In the spring of this past year I went to my first ceramics conference. It was NCECA and it was again, very fortuitously being held in Pittsburgh where I live. My ceramics professor 'greenie' was there and it was so wonderful to see him. I walked around feeling like I found my tribe and I didn't even have to talk to anyone to know it. I was infatuated with the work and the talks and I was so alive in it. I remember coming home and feeling like I found my path. I loved my work and what I'd been doing in the print industry, but this was so different of a feeling. It was like...wow...people do this for a living and it is a lifestyle. I suddenly had visions of selling our house and moving to the country and digging my own clay out of the earth, and throwing in my barn in the back with my goats and cats and donkeys around me...Ok, ok, I'm getting ahead of myself...so I started setting little goals after that and big ones too, but let's focus on the little ones for now.
I have these friends that own a little gift shop in Pittsburgh. Actually, they have a couple of locations now. I met Monica through my friend Amber, whom I met through my dear friend Lindsay. (I posted about her on my instagram account if you are curious about that part of the journey) Anyway, Monica's partner Kelly and I developed the logo for their shop and I've always loved what they were doing. Amber now works for Monica and Kelly at Love, Pittsburgh. (that's the name of the shop) When Amber would come over to play with clay I would tell her about my dream of some day approaching Monica and Kelly with a pottery product for them to sell. Last year my stuff was coming together and I decided I would set that goal for 2019. I wanted to approach them about it but wasn't convinced I was ready to. So I started posting my pieces on Etsy to see if there was interest. I sold quite a few of them instantly and was gaining confidence to reach out to Monica and Kelly. Little did I realize, Kelly was already interested in one of my products I was developing and reached out to me first. Kind of like a whole RomCom plot, but instead of love it's pottery...anyway...
I met with Monica and Kelly this week and they are so awesome that they are going to take a small order to test the product in their store. I'm so over the moon excited for the opportunity and so overwhelmed by this whole journey. It's like the universe knows I was meant to be a potter. Not only did I have a wonderful meeting with them, I'm also scheduled to meet a couple that own a coffee shop in the west end of town to also provide them with product. My buddy and fellow artist Chris Panza and his wife Noelle set that up for me. This whole this is so fascinating to me I have to pinch myself. I probably seem so crazy to some of you that I love mud this much. Seriously though, let's put some good vibes out the universe about that barn and the donkeys and cats. If that's how this works, I'm totally game.
Small Business owner and Artist, committed to growing as a maker as well as sharing her and her husband's experience with owning a small maker studio.
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