I am slowing getting back to work here. My clay is coming out of the racks. I fired a bisque yesterday. I am planning on firing the salt/soda kiln later in the week unless I decide to just keep making pots and fire twice in early September. I don't know yet.

My friend Tom wrote asking me how I was impacted by my pottery trip and what effect, if any, it will have on my work or way of thinking.

First off, I've never traveled much by myself. Actually this is the first long distance trip I've ever done alone. So just in doing that I feel like I have more confidence in that I am capable of going off by myself. I did have times when I felt like I should have been doing more or spending my time in some 'exciting traveler' way. But I did what I wanted, when I wanted and that's fine. I feel like I got way out of my comfort zone by going alone. I made an effort to talk to strangers and to relax and let things happen. I am one who tends to 'plan, plan, plan', often I try to plan things I have no control over. So going with the flow was fun and scary for me at the same time. And I survived.

As far as pottery goes, I don't know that I am going to do much different in my work. In visiting all the potters I saw that everyone is working very hard to make a living. Some do shows, some sales from home, exhibits and often some form of teaching. No one seems to have all their eggs in one basket. I feel like I am on the right track. Linda's advice was 'keep making'.
I did come away inspired to continue to make simple functional pots. Seeing the work of Mackenzie from the past 50 years was inspiring in that most of those pots were modest pots, many of which had been used in peoples home. There were 'show pots' too. Bigger jars, platters, bottles, vases. Again eggs in different baskets, but none of these were pots that were loud, or complicated in any technical way. They were deep in their simplicity and history. That is inspiring to me.

I would like to pay more attention to my lifestyle. Slowing down is important. Eating well, exercising, reading, listening to music, taking time to play and relax. I'd like to draw more and cook more. I feel like I am pretty involved here in the community, I'd like to get folks out to the pottery to my home sales. I am planning on continuing to teach at Clayworks and I'd like to teach some workshops. The Circle of Eight is going strong, and I think that avenue is going to help all of us with our careers.

So for now that's how I feel. Maybe other things will come up or change. We'll see.