Longtime readers know that the week between Christmas and New Year's Day is my favorite: all the holiday busy-ness is over, but it's not quite business as usual yet. It feels like a little island of calm, when nothing is urgent and there is time to think. I use it for this purpose: the Week of Reflection.
Here at this blog I tend to use it for artistic and business reflections, but I do it on a personal level, also.
I got a jump on this year's Week of Reflection a few weeks ago when I went through a depressive spell - why waste the only thing depression is good for: ruminating? - and in that time I made an important decision: prices are going up. I won't rehash it here, but it was a tough corner to turn, and a very valuable one. Ever since, I have been spending whatever time it took to make each piece as good as it could be, and feeling free to recycle the stinkers - because of course there will be stinkers, there have to be. I feel as good about the work I have made in the past few weeks as any I've ever done.
It will mean, initially, fewer sales. I can live with this; I can squeak by on teaching classes if I am ridiculously frugal. (And I do mean ridiculously. We suspended our $7.99 Netflix subscription, for example.) It will pass, and it will pay off. The Week of Reflection, this year, will be focused on a sales and marketing plan, and a few steps I can take to make production less expensive. More efficient burners? Convert my glazes to Cone 6? Those are two possible steps.
Lori Keenan Watts (aka me) is a potter, gardener, and avid reader from Augusta, Maine. Though I started my university education in surface design for fabric, clay quickly grabbed me by the heart and redirected my creative impulses. I have been a potter for over 25 years -- hard to believe. The most valuable years of my ceramic education were spent in graduate study at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, under the tutalage of Dan Anderson and Paul Dresang.
My aesthetic is guided by my love of the material itself. What fascinates me and makes a pot compelling for me is the clay-ness of clay: the squooshiness that becomes the adamantine solidity. I also like patterns, unexpected proportions, and when the flame comes along and dissolves part of my careful decorating efforts! I am obstinate about this aesthetic, to a point which might be called pig-headed, but hey, if you don't like what you make, why bother?
My happy little family also includes my husband, musician and photographer (and author of the book Alewife) Doug Watts; five cats; and a turtle, all foundlings and rescues of one stripe or another.