Monday, October 1, 2012

My Own Worst Enemy

I know these pictures would instantly qualify me for an episode of my own on hoarders, but let me at least  try to defend myself.

When I was rearranging everything in the front room of the studio, here and here, everything that wasn't part of that studio re-do was put ( dumped) back here in the pottery rooms until I would have a chance to go through it all.
That chance hasn't arrived yet. 
So pretty much everything I need to use is buried under piles of stuff.
The shot above is what you would see as soon as you enter the back door of the studio.
You have to be very agile as you walk through for fear of falling or breaking a leg!

To the right, behind the section of countertop is my slab roller.

Ray had originally built me a wonderful work island out of 2 rows of base cabinets back to back and covered the top with formica, very easy to work with clay and cleanup.
It too is buried under all you see here, clay, tools, molds, boxes, templates etc.
The rolling carts hold other tools which had to move from their spot in the front studio during the redo.
Looking to the back wall you can see the big commercial stainless steel sinks, one section is filled with a tool caddy and buckets and various other clay paraphenalia.

When I began working in ceramics, I did a lot of slip casting with molds which I taught myself.
I really liked working with the vintage molds and doing assemblage of different pieces to come up with originals.  I viewed clay as my canvas, i was more interested in the decoration end of it than the forming end of it.
I have a wheel but don't use it, preferring slab construction and I couldn't see myself becoming a production potter. Nowadays my shoulder and back wouldn't allow it.
So the biggest obstacle to my being able to reorganize and work in here is my sizable collection of molds, some 3000+  most of which are no longer available as just about every ceramic company has gone out of business and sold the master blocks overseas to companies who now use them to make finished ware.
I would love to get a storage building to house them in, we got a quote for a pole building but having to put a new metal roof on this building this year has shot that idea, too much to afford in one year.
My husband said just get rid of them.    Silly boy.
Over the years I have donated hundreds to the school programs along with various other supplies.
The ones on the shelves lining the walls aren't the problem. The ones all over the floor and countertops that can't fit on the shelves are the problem!
Although, if I had the shelving free i could put slips and glazes on those eliminating my need for other storage shelving and units around, freeing up a lot of space.

The kiln room hasn't been spared either. Originally this shelving unit was for overflow of molds and to dry greenware.
The top of my large Skutt kiln has a big tray of doll arms and legs and the other smaller kiln has one of my containers of candy and ice cream molds ( I used them for clay)

The built in shelving which holds my pug mill is filled to the brim under and over.

So here's why I said I am my own worst enemy.
I have discovered that if I am unable to be doing what I want to do, be it jewelry, pottery, art of any kind, due to work or other obligations, I find that I will order supplies for said venture instead.
I guess it must make me feel like I am doing SOMETHING.
Getting closer in some way.
Collecting everything, hunting and gathering for the day when i can get to do it all.
Surrounding myself with all the supplies.
I will take a class and get excited about a new technique and gather all the new tools and supplies needed for it.  I have such high hopes.
The problem is, it is actually preventing me from actually being able to do what i want to do. A sort of self sabotage if you will.
This realization came to me recently as I looked around at all this STUFF!
Price tags come with all this stuff, which keeps me having to work which keeps me from being in my studio. DUH!

Last year I mentioned having an epiphany that woke me in the middle of the night, it involved getting back to clay. So I ordered new clays to work with, got some new drywall boards, cut them and taped the edges, made some molds, investigated new glazes,  and then winter came and we left for Florida and that was the end of that.

Upon coming home we were catapulted back to the real world and our crazy work schedule.
So here I am a full year after getting those boards taped and supplies bought and I still haven't done a thing with clay. Pathetic isn't it?

This is my work table at the studio. The pieces you see here were the last ones I was working on before my precious grandson was born in June of 2008.
The slab plates and trenchers, blank slates waiting to be given life.
The vintage birds with cutout backs were going to become pincushions complete with a strawberry filled with emery ( which i might add took me a long time to find) hanging from their beaks.
The small tiles pressed from a wonderful collection of springerle molds.
This makes me sad everytime i see them sitting on this table.

So now you can see why in my last post I said this wasn't a simple fix.
I have been living vicariously through other peoples' blogs when they are setting up a new studio or beginning a new venture.
Spending too much time here disappearing down the rabbit hole.
Wishing I had more space, more time, more....
Enough is quite enough, as I imagine Mary Poppins saying.
It's time I got back .
 I'm not quite sure how and where to start, but begin I must.
My creative soul depends on it!


  1. You could always sell some of the things to make more space. With such an amazing work space and the desire to create it is such a shame to not use it...perhaps you could even give classes... get using some of your things and getting paid, too! I hope you can work it out.. that certainly is a big investment and as they say there is no time like the present...the perfect time just doesn't happen..we have to MAKE it happen..god luck!

  2. Laura, gosh what an insightful post. I am so impressed with your studio - the space, the supplies, the molds!!! Wow. I can see how much you loved what you did before you had to take a break from it all...unfortunately quite an extended break. It's like a circle - knowing what you want to do but hard to find where to begin..... I really feel for you in your dilemma. I feel like I am suffering from very similar circumstances on a smaller scale because my studio space is maybe an 1/8 of that size - but PACKED with my vintage finds and beads/tools nonetheless! My space is so disorganized now and I've run out of good storage space that there isn't any room for me in it anymore to I avoid it. It's become such a chore that I don't feel like tackling it, not knowing where to start. So I feel for you, its tough. I like Jenni's advice though, that the perfect time isn't going to happen, we have to MAKE it happen! I hope you are able to chip away at some small section of the space, finding a little time here and there....until there's enough space for you and with a little time, maybe you can ease back in to it. And I really love your unfinished projects, btw. I think they are calling your name!


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