Saturday, December 31, 2022

Opportunities & Ruminations

I spent the last post kind of ruminating on whether I want to keep pushing so hard to sell more pots, so I can spend more time in the studio, or whether it would be better to just stand in the place where I am, enjoy having, not lots of money, but enough, & a little time to do other fun things like hiking & kayaking. (Yes, I hike in the winter. In Maine. Yes, it is cold & yes, it is fun!) 

But, as nice as all that sounds, I feel like I want to take one more run at the Big Push. I want 2023 to be a year of grabbing opportunities. I feel like, for, well, reasons, I've spent a couple years just doing what it takes to get through each day, each week, & not really thinking strategically or pursuing any goal beyond that. I'd like to get back to more planning, more willful directing of how my life goes. I've been coasting, not in the sense of not working hard (seriously: LOL) but in the sense of just relying on the efforts I've made in the past, opportunities I have pursued in the past, to hold up my sky. 

And don't get me wrong! Coasting is great! But it's time to get back to steering this boat, finding, pursuing, and creating opportunities. Here are a few that are on my radar:


Maine Made dot com
Art Fairs
Downeast Shop
Center for Maine Craft

  • Gardiner
  • Portland
Patreon - clay videos? 

So, yeah, I guess I am back to what was my New Year's resolution for many years: try harder. 

Friday, December 30, 2022

More, Better, Healthier, Happier

 As I said in my last post, I am making a list of 23 for 2023: a list of guideposts for the New Year. The items on the list- habits, experiences, goals - fall roughly into 4 categories: More, Better, Healthier, Happier. With, of course, a lot of overlap between them. 

New Year's Resolutions are an opportunity to examine assumptions. Like, do you really want the thing you think you want? Or does it just seem like you ought to want it?

Sometimes I think about that with regard to spending more time in the studio. When I was a young potter, I always thought that I would be a full time potter, in the sense that I made my entire living making pots & selling them, maybe with the occasional workshop here & there. That is not, mostly, what happened! I make more than half my living teaching clay classes. This is partly because it's so much easier to make money that way! & right now I am questioning myself: is that really so bad, to do a fun &easy job more than the fun-but-hard job? I've always felt like it makes me less of a professional, but...1st, does it? Does it really? And 2nd, why do I care about that? That's just image, perception. What matters is how it affects my actual life. 

Of course, making pots is satisfying in a way that no other job, however rewarding, could ever be. But does the exact ratio matter all that much? Like, am I right now spending the optimal amount of time in the studio? I always think I wish I spent more time in the studio, but...maybe the reason I don't spend more time in the studio isn't because I don't have time. Maybe it's because this is how much I want to. 

There was time (maybe it's still that time! not sure) when push-push-push was my main mode - and if that doesn't work push harder. Let me tell you, pushing harder works! Business-wise. But does pushing harder make me happier?

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

The Year of Starting Over

For the last few years - since about 2016, honestly, when it felt to me like the world started to go insane - I have posted less, & not just that, I have worked less. Or, no, that's not right, because I have taken on more classes, but I have spent less time in the studio. I want to change that. I have so many ideas of things that I could do or should do, but somehow I never seem to get around to doing them. 

I guess that's what I want to look at for 2023: is it just that there are not enough hours in the day? Or am I spending time doing unproductive things, & I could reclaim that time? Or am I just older & don't have the energy I once had. These are some things I want to use the next few days to think about, as I start setting my intentions for the New Year.

Most of 2023 will be the Year of the Rabbit, a sign of peace & prosperity. I could really use some peace & prosperity! That's what my resolutions are all about this year. 

23 for 2023 is a list of habits I want to change or acquire, experiences I want to incorporate, things I want to accomplish, & maybe some things I want to pare down. I'm still working on my 23 for 2023 list, but I think I can divide it into 4 categories: Better (make better stuff); More (make more & sell more); Happier; & Healthier. 

Maybe you want to play along! If you are creating your own list of 23 for 2023, post the link here! 


Sunday, December 18, 2022

Looking Ahead

Ceramics is a funny medium, from a sales point of view. By now - mid-December - it's way past too late to make things for the holiday shopping season. I've shuttered the online shop for the season - I'm not confident I could get items shipped in time, & anyway most of the pots are in stores or pop-up shops. 

So, for me, I'm in year-end mode already. New Year's Resolution mode. Long time readers know I love New Year's resolutions, although the last few years have made those more challenging to keep. 

I will make them again, of course! My feeling is that even if they don't completely work, a couple of months of improved habits is better than none. And sometimes they do work! I'm not a "stop trying" kind of person. 
Although lately - for months now, actually - I have sorta lost my work mojo. That's been evident in the thin offerings here. Is it because I am teaching more classes? Doing more outdoor recreational activities? Because my mother, almost 90, needs more of my time than she used to? Maybe! There are, after all, only so many hours in the week. But I still spend plenty of time reading books I've already read, streaming mediocre shows, or mindlessly scrolling social media. Maybe I am just older & more easily tired, but I would love to get back the level of energy & enthusiasm I had for all sorts of creative pursuits back in about 2015, before the world went insane. 

So, watch for my 23 for 2023! As you might guess, it will include more posts here & more time in the studio. Start brewing up yours, & share them with me! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Pricing, Sorting, Packing...


After a 2-year hiatus, I am once again preparing for the Portland Pottery Holiday Show! The show runs from December 16th - 23rd, at the studio at 118 Washington Avenue. 

The opening is Thursday night from 6-9, & I am especially looking forward to this, as there are many friends & colleagues I only see at this event. 

In other news, I have deleted my twitter account. I thought I wouldn't care who owns the site, & I wish I didn't have to care, but I really don't want my business showing up next to Nazi tweets. Will it affect traffic to this blog? Maybe! But I can find other avenues. Like Post! 

I think the main thing affecting traffic to this blog is the thin stream of content. In the New Year - you remember how I love New Year's resolutions - I will attempt to post at least once a week. 

Anyway! If you are anywhere near Portland Thursday night, stop in at PP - I'll be tending bar. Merry, happy, holly-jolly, etc.