Category Archives: Art business

Tammy

June 14, 2020

I have taken a long break from working with clay. When I started working a full-time day job a few years ago, it was more challenging to make time to be in my pottery studio. I would still do a little bit of sculpture here and there, but nothing very consistently.

Being an artist who loves to dabble in all manner of arts and creative expressions, I’ve been focused more often lately on art journaling and painting rather than making with clay.

Since February this year I’ve been working through Whitney Freya’s Creatively Fit Coaching Certification program. I’m still in the learning process, and excited of the possibilities ahead for inspiring and helping others to explore their own creativity. I’ll be sharing more about this in the near future. I will likely be offering classes or workshops online.

In addition to going through my training, I’ve recently started watching online ceramics demonstrations/workshops offered by artist Deborah Schwartzkopf. She attended the same undergraduate school that I did in Anchorage, Alaska, although she was there a couple years after I graduated.

She lives and works in Seattle now and I have admired how she continued learning and working with clay continuously over the last 20 or so years. She has a studio and offers mentoring and workshops there during normal times. With the stay-at-home protocols around COVID-19, she had moved her workshops to online instead. While I’m sorry for the reason she needed to do so, I’m so glad she did that!

I’ve been enjoying watching her recent demonstrations, and they are inspiring me to spend a little more time in my clay studio. I’m aso excited about her new book (included below is an Amazon affiliate link) as the projects will be fun to explore.

Deb uses a lot of bisque molds, so this is a picture of my attempt to create a mold for making spoons. It felt good to get my hands in clay again.

Wet clay to be bisque fired and used to shape slabs of clay into spoons

Up until now, I’ve been an infrequent blogger. I hope to do more writing here. For the rest of June, I’m minimizing time spend on social media, so I thought instead I’d post a little bit here on my blog. I may cross-post to my other pages from here.

May all who read this be healthy, may a glimmer of peace shine on you, and may you find so much joy in your hearts.

Tammy

 

(The above link is an Amazon affiliate link, which means if you use this link to purchase the book, I’ll get a small financial kickback)

Transmuting Whispers into Meaning

Lumps of wet clay

I’d unloaded my kiln in which there were a few bisque stamps among other items. I decided I wanted to test them out. I quickly rolled out a few slabs of wet clay and happily tested each of my new stamps. Success, they worked fine!

As I bundled up the leftover clay to put it back into my clay mixer, I “heard” a soft whisper. It was just a small lump of clay in my hand. I paused. It whispered, “I want to be a goddess.”

Oh! It wants to be a goddess! I surrendered. I began to form the clay into the goddess shape that comes to me again and again. These forms are based roughly on an ancient goddess, the Venus of Willendorf.

Freshly sculpted goddess

As she begins to take shape, she tells me she’d like a crown and a braid, please. Of course. And so she is given a crown and a braid, of sorts, they are pressed into the clay to suggest that they are there. She seems content with that.

She tells me about her purpose of healing and helping someone to connect with their own inner divinity. Or is that only my imagination hoping to energetically infuse the best intentions into her? 

A braid is suggested

Newly formed goddess with bisque goddesses.

As I complete her form, I place her between two of her goddess sisters, freshly out of the bisque firing. They are not yet colored and glazed, just farther along in the creation process.

I find it fascinating how each one of these seems to have her own story, personality and even shape. Just like how people do. Same but different. 

A few weeks later she is glazed along with a handful of other goddesses. I am at a holiday artisan’s market and decide to put out four of my completed goddesses. Before I do, I hold each sculpture in my hand, get very quiet and listen. This one, I “hear” the word “tranquility.” I add her word to a watercolored display card which will accompany her when she goes to her right owner.

Glazed goddess

Although some of this may sound a bit kooky, I trust my intuition and inner knowings. And, my “hearing” in that regard is getting better and better as I practice listening to the whispers of my muses, guides, or angels.

What whispers have you tuned in to lately?

In Joy,

Tammy

This goddess is available on this page or in my Etsy shop. She is 3-3/4″ tall and about 1″ wide and thick. Cost: $52




 

 

 

 

Being an artist and getting down to business

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Handmade ceramic plate. About 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ SOLD.

I started a new schedule this week, designating specific times as my work hours. Besides wanting to clarify my work hours, I wanted to be sure I was making space for personal “me” hours, husband time, and just play hours, too.

This schedule idea is part of my strategy to make sense of this business of being a full-time artist. Previously I’ve done my art around day jobs, fitting the art-making in whenever I could but often feeling frustrated that I didn’t have time to put greater focus on it. Oddly, it feels like I have still been just fitting creative time around other things, even though now this is my job.

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Handmade ceramic plate. About 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ $24.

Proclaiming work hours seems like a good way to reset my mindset. I asked for support from my husband in honoring my work hours. I’ve marked my calendar so I know what time to go to work in my office, when to show up in my studio, and what time to come home from work. On the personal side of it, I’ve allocated times for exercise, dinner and evening relaxation with my sweet husband. I’m kind of free wheeling on Saturdays, but I plan to use that day for household chores, laundry, and have fun family time too. For awhile now I’ve kept Sundays as my day to rest and restore and often experiment with different art materials.

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Handmade ceramic plate. About 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ $24.

Before this week, I sometimes felt scattered. I could easily spend the entire day going from one thing to the next but not sure if I was getting anywhere. Now I plan to use morning hours in my office working on finances, business planning, research and development, marketing, and I’ve set aside an hour for online art classes or listening to positive content. Afternoons will be studio time, used for making beautiful art.

How is it working so far? Well, honestly not perfectly quite yet. On Tuesday, I was ill so I  “called in sick.” Luckily I have an awesome and understanding boss! Today, here I am writing a blog at 4:30 in the afternoon instead of sitting in my studio making pottery.

I needed to be flexible and follow the flow today, but setting up a structure for my days is a gift I am giving to myself to help me. It is a nod to myself saying, yes, this is a business. You are an artist, and you are in business. I’m making space for both sides of this, with a little wiggle room for inspirational flow.

What do you do to keep your work and play in balance?

Tammy

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These fun ceramic plates will be in my online Etsy shop or they can be purchased here using button below.

Handmade ceramic plates. Approximately 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ $24 each. Top plate has sold.

Click triangle below to choose which plate