This sculpture sits on the back deck near the door to my pottery studio.
We renovated an old store starting from the ground up, literally, having the building jacked up and having a new foundation built under it, back in the late 90's.
Then we had the siding, windows, doors and roof done.
Then for one Christmas I asked for a set of stairs to reach the second floor as we had torn down the outside stairs which used to lead to the upstairs apartment when doing the siding.
Then we completely finished the inside and I moved my studio in late 2001-into early 2002.
Standing on the front sidewalk of my house looking towards the corner where my studio sits.
I used to head down there in the early morning, coffee cup in hand, full of excitement over what I would accomplish that day.
I miss those days terribly.
In 2007, after we found broken headlight glass on the corner by the deck, we decided to build a substantial raised bed flower garden to slow anyone who might get into an accident on the corner and go careening into the building. It worked , as a fews years ago that very thing happened, busting the end off the raised bed and doing some damage to the deck.
(Had we known at the time that the state was going to come in and take so much road frontage for a turn lane, we would have had the building moved back a ways when we had it up on the house moving jacks.)
When I would go down in the mornings, I would water the planters and admire all the flowers and plants taking hold.
It was my happy place. A place of peace and contentment.
Sadly, this is how my garden looked this year. Neglected.
We boarded up the huge front windows late last year when hurricane Irene was barreling towards us and since I haven't been in there to work anyway, we just left it up this year.
Last year I did plant a row of hibiscus along the west side where the red tipped photinias all succumbed to some disease and died off. Funny thing, the ones on the east side all survived and are about 10-12 feet tall!
This year we also had to replace the roof, the one seen here was damaged in Irene and when we went to replace the missing shingles, found they were not in good shape overall and we had a metal roof put on.
Believe it or not, those hibiscus are 3+ feet tall !
This year, the oak leaf hydrangea that I planted a few years ago outdid itself in full bloom!
As you can see, the planters never got replanted this year.
I miss stacking the kiln with the annual patriotic Fire-Works pieces and firing them on the 4th of July
I miss rushing the kiln opening to just sneak a peek inside.
Every potter I know likens a kiln opening to Christmas morning and that feeling never fades!
I miss designing and drawing and carving the clay
All of this work was done totally freehand.
Sitting here it's hard for me to even remember how I did it all.
I miss the knowledge and honed skills I had then.
I miss the feeling of the clay in my hands.
Taking the slab from the roller and draping it over a mold I made from plaster or one my father turned on the lathe for me, smoothing it with my hands to conform to the shape, trimming and finishing and waiting until it was leatherhard to remove from the mold, then covering it in slip and quickly carving the design through ( sgraffito) before coloring with oxides and glazing.
The reason I haven't been back is complicated.
Back in 2008, when my daughter was about to have her second child, our grandson, we knew we couldn't handle 2 young ones in the office at the restaurant. Our granddaughter was just 19 months old and used to come and stay up there with my daughter while she worked in the office full time. Ray and I wouldn't have to be up there all the time. I usually would go in early when I had to and then head to the studio. Many days I wouldn't have to go in until the evening and I would just head to the studio for the day to work.
So when she left to stay home with the 2 babies, Ray and I divided her responsibilites between us instead of putting someone else up there in case she wanted to return one day. This now meant we were putting in full days and nights there.
My world changed entirely.
Now pottery is not something you can start and walk away from for days on end before finishing, so I switched gears and started down the path of jewelry making instead.
I had a good start already, I began with a fused glass class in 2004 which quickly led to an earrings class to learn the basics of wire wrapping and fabrication and I was on my way.
But a couple of years ago I started to feel like I was losing my way. I wasn't sure what I was doing anymore or even why. I was losing my authentic self.
I started this blog as a way to work through it all and hopefully find my muse again and with it my direction and passion.
Don't get me wrong, I love making jewelry, working with metals, seeing an idea come to fruition, but something is missing.
The blogosphere has been speaking to me in bits and pieces of posts from many artists talking of passion and following it.
Remember your childhood and what you loved spending your time doing?
What wakes you in the middle of the night with a new idea?
Gets you going first thing in the morning running to the studio to work out the idea?
What medium could you not give up or do without?
The answers kept bringing me back to clay.
I am missing clay.
In my next post I'll address why this isn't a simple fix.