Thursday, April 14, 2016

I'm Back!

Today marks 12 weeks since open heart surgery and somehow the days passed quickly.  Prior to surgery I was dreading the days that I wouldn't be able to work with clay.  I have to admit the time passed and I was able to stay busy with other projects, mostly glazing, thanks to my foresight in working to have a batch of pieces that were ready to be glazed.  It helped me pass the time and be productive and gave me a load of pieces to take to my favorite two local galleries, Clay and Paper and Florida CraftArt for restocking.

My husband, Mark, helped me clear out and reorganize my workspace in the garage.  Actually he did all the work, I supervised.  Plus I am the proud owner of a Brent Ware Cart, thanks to Mark.  It's a wonderful addition to my small space and gives me so much more drying space for pieces.  I've come to the conclusion that it's a good idea to clean out, clear out and reorganize every ten years, whether you need it or not.

A huge milestone for me, besides hitting 12 weeks post op is that I got back on the potters wheel day before yesterday.  I threw four mugs!  It felt great and pain free.  No after effects either.  I'm excited to get back to creating and luckily I have some ideas.  So all's good.

I'm sharing a photo of my first mug after over 12 weeks.

Now for an update on my last post regarding where my focus would be heading.  As I get back to the potters wheel, I'm starting small at the suggestion of my surgeon.  Small to me means mugs.  So my plans are to keep mugs in my repertoire.  I've always felt that mugs were an important item to include.  I remember times when I would find a potter whose work I loved, but because of their stature in the ceramic community, the price for their larger work was out of my reach financially.  If they also had mugs, I felt like I hit the jackpot because I was able to purchase one of their pieces, have it in my collection and that it was priced at my level, even if it was expensive for a "mug" it was still worth it, in my opinion.  I remember those times and realize that mugs can be a good thing to make.  So, I will continue to make mugs.  I don't anticipate that I will be making as many mugs as I did in 2015.  The year of the catalog.  Looking back now, I realize that the catalog was an experience that I had to get out of my system.  It was great because it helped me to realize what my limit is for throwing in one day and how to work through the process.  But, over 200 mugs is a lot of mugs and that definitely burnt me out on mugs for a while.  Luckily, I had some downtime after surgery.

My mugs will be evolving.  I was able to take a wheel class from a great ceramic artist and potter, Ira Burhans.  I love his mugs.  In Ira's class, I was introduced to the Griffin Grip, of which I am now the proud owner.  It's a great way to easily center pieces for the purpose of trimming.  I was able to try it out for a few weeks before surgery and I'm loving the final look of the mugs that now have a foot rim.  The trimming also lightens the mugs up a bit, which I've been in need of for a while.  And thanks to Ira's instruction, I now can throw a little bit better for thinner walls.  I plan on signing up for Ira's class again in the fall.  As they way it's never too late to teach an old dog new tricks.
Here's a photo of one of the new mugs.

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