Sometimes a change of pace can be a good thing, especially for the creative spirit. I had the opportunity to slow things down due to health issues. I had open heart surgery January 21, 2016. The surgery was a success! I had one valve replaced and another repaired. I'm feeling better already and looking forward to starting cardiac rehab. I was forced to set my artwork aside and concentrate on taking it easy. Because this was a planned versus emergency surgery, I had the opportunity to throw some ceramic pieces that I would be able to glaze as I started down the road to recovery. That's helping me now, because I have things to work on during the months that I won't be able to throw on the potters wheel. Luckily for me each phase of the creative process is very therapeutic.
This change of pace has given me the opportunity to think about what I really want to create. Over the past few years I've migrated into being a mug maker. It was an evolution. As I reflect on what pieces bring me the most joy, I have to admit that I like making mugs and its a challenge to try to make the perfect mug, but my real joy comes from the sculptural pieces. My absolute favorites are the fish teapots. Unfortunately, as I made more and more mugs, I had less and less time to create new teapots.
The time is now! Because I have no stacks of order sheets and Christmas is behind us, this is the perfect time for me to turn over a new creative leaf. I have decided to change my business model. To relieve and reduce stress, I am shifting away from made to order and custom made. Anything that I sell in my online Etsy shop will be ready to ship. I'll still make mugs but not in the volume that I used to. Mugs will always be a great warm up exercise on the potters wheel for me.
So, my to do list post-op is to continue to recover and increase my stamina and strength. I have already reopened my Etsy shop and deactivated the made to order listings. I have two teapots drying on the rack that I comstructed before surgery. I have mugs ready to be glazed and a few that are ready to be fired. I'm taking advantage of this time off to get my kiln serviced and new elements installed. I'm excited about the future and having time to create new teapots as well as new sculptures and experimenting with new techniques and glazes.
Sometimes you just have to stop to smell the roses!