Amber Sake Cup (by sibbotery)With work finally starting to steadily move back to a normal (re: crazy) flow, I've found myself having less time to dash off the studio whenever I feel like throwing. One of my potter pals suggested I start learning some basic hand building techniques to at least have some clay projects I can work on when getting to the studio isn't an option. 

Just picked up my first pieces back from the glaze firing and I am in love with the possibilities.

What I love most?

Hand building (specifically "pinch pots") forces me to work on and embrace organic forms. Beginning with the elemental practice of pinching a small ball of clay into a small bowl or cup, pinching has taught me how to do things like compress and shape using just the balls of my fingers. The forms that result are beautiful, but they are not "perfect." Unlike the wheel where I've become almost obsessive about certain forms and lines and surfaces being 'clean and even,' pinched pots force you to embrace your unevenness. I was uneasy about it at first, but I put my first pieces through the fire and was stunned with the outcomes. 

Am I ready to give up the wheel?

HECK no. But this beginners move into hand building is making me even more eager to learn how to use both clay techniques to create finished pieces. 

I'll be sharing some pictures of my work soon as I work to bring home lots of goodies to stock the shelves. It's hot as all hell in Texas, but before you know it, we'll be talking turkey. And this year I'd like to be a little more prepared for that shopping season.

Time to put on my big girl pants with this "hobby." 

Without going into extraneous detail, I'm getting nudges from fellow potters (and the great clay gods in the sky) to start taking my work more seriously. Meaning, starting sending more of my work to local studios, and selling more items at local shows and *insert gasp here* ...start entering my work into competitions.  I'm taking some baby steps in this direction, but as I follow my potter pals in the studio and on twitter...I will admit I still find myself watching them talk and share work as if I am a child in the room with adults. I'm hesitant to weigh in because I still feel like I'm very much in my infancy with all this. I think the only way for me to get past this hesitation is to start diving in. To local shows, local sales, and some of the "as yet unannounced" opportunities coming my way. 

Stay tuned. :)