Things are suddenly very stacked up at the studio. Literally. Pots are stacked on top of each other because I ran out of shelf space. I have enough time to do one more round of work for the Clay and Glass Festival. And when I say "enough time" I mean I will be unloading a hot kiln load of work into a bin and throwing it into my car and driving directly to the show. That's how we do it around here.
I've been kind of amazing myself with how much work I have finished in the past few weeks. I always work better under pressure, which is good, because that's where I usually find myself with pottery deadlines.
And there is a very good reason for that. When I have time, and I'm feeling all expansive, I usually use it to fuck around. I'll stare at pieces for 20 minutes, thinking about what to do with it. I'll gather some underglaze colors, then put them away and grab some different ones. I'll make some sketches. I'll gaze at my inspiration board for some... inspiration (almost never works, I don't know why I bother). I'll make some tea. Then lunch. Then more tea.
This is the dreamy artist life I've always wanted, but not a lot gets done during these periods and that doesn't always feel good. More work = more money. Dreamy fun time = no money. But I have to do dreamy fun time to be able to pull off the more work time. All the ideas I've been playing with this year, the new motifs, markings, styles, colors, is now getting fire hosed onto my newest work in a highly efficient way. I don't have time for thinking, for considering, for wondering what this particular bowl really wants to have for decoration and what is its highest expression. It's all stored up in my brain and I'm just doing the work. No blah blah blah, what should I do next.
It doesn't last though. I filled up my well and now I'm draining it, that's how it works. The hard part is not filling it up again, it's remembering to fill it up again. I'll tap it out and then wonder why nothing is coming when I turn on the tap. I start getting frustrated, and then depressed: it's all over for me, I'm all washed up. You have no idea how many times I've had that thought and imagined it was for real. I'll keep riding my little horsey until we both fall into a ditch, and it's only then that I' realize I forgot to feed it.
Dreamy fun time seems like an indulgence, but it's actually a necessity when you make a living off of ideas. This is why my trips to museums are written off as business expenses. Also, acrylic paint and canvas. And coastal hikes. Dreamy fun time is actually a necessity for anyone who works, period. But we don't live in a culture that supports that idea at all. It's seen as a privilege for privileged people only, and we buy that crap, which is why I "forget" and tap myself out. This time, I'm making a plan. What's yours?