Tuesday, December 1, 2009

oh blither.

I'm sitting here in my office waiting for class to start and for the gas kiln to finish. We had a good thanksgiving, got to spend some quality time with the family-that's always nice. Unfortunately I've fallen ill and am still in a somewhat miserable state. What does that mean? Well, it means that I haven't gotten to do any prep for the home sale this weekend(sat. 10-6, sun, 12-6, book it) nor have I been able to fire the kiln...and I won't get to before the sale. That is fine though, we're having some heavy rains so it's probably for the best. My wife says that I work too much and that whenever we take a vacation by body finally catches up and gets sick. It's true, every time we take a vacation I get sick. I do get my 7-8 hours of sleep most nights, I have bouts of insomnia from time to time though. Aside from that I work from the time I get up to the time I go to bed, occasionally I'll take a sunday off but usually it's 7 days a week. Let this be a bit of a reality check for those of you wanting to make a living with art/craft. I've been hesitant to share this on the blog but after reading Michael Kline's the last few weeks I know that I'm not alone. I do have to say that it is a choice most times. Sometimes we put things off to the last minute or schedule or time unrealistically knowing full well we'll be pulling all-nighters. I currently have way more pots than I "need" at the moment, so I can take a little time to do other things in December. I also have no children to take care of, though I do have neglected wife and neglected property. Very little of that time is spent making pots, about 25+/- hours a week are devoted to teaching and related duties, with potting coming second to that. So what's the point of all this? I don't know. Even though I've been sick it has been nice to sit around with my wife and watch a little television and play with the dogs, I don't relax near enough. So perhaps I should pencil that in for the future, we'll see how that goes. I've always said that I'll rest when I'm dead but that may come sooner than I like if I don't rest now.

Cheers!

8 comments:

traceybroome@mindspring.com said...

Well Brandon, misery loves company! I opened my kiln this morning to find that a stilt had exploded and landed in 25 bowls that I needed for a sale this weekend and the rest that didn't get the exploded shards have pinholes. WTF are we doing? I have had to cut back on teaching kid's classes, I got sick every time I had a class, so less income there for Christmas this year but I haven't been sick once this season. Pottery requires so much time and effort and I can't do all I want to because I do have a kid and my husband works all the time, being a photographer for the AP is a 24/7 job, so when he is around I don't feel right about closing myself up in my studio.I know about the neglected wife part and sometimes it isn't fun, but I do understand it. If your wife isn't understanding of that kind of work mentality it can be a problem.Sometimes getting sick does make you slow down, probably the reason you need to slow down in the first place. So just take a breath, enjoy the holidays and come back to your work refreshed. Your pots are beautiful and well worth the effort you put into them, but family is really important!!!! I'm rambling, but my mind is a fog right now from this kiln thing, plus it's pouring rain yet again, so not much to do today outside. Just let the pots sit there until I can give them a good smashing! Best wishes :)

Collin said...

Brandon,

Read this. I've been thinking about the same things for a while. This is the best statement of the problem that I've come across...

http://iggydonnelly.wordpress.com/inverting-the-economic-order/

Ron said...

Hey Brandon, Good that you put this out there for all to see. I know most of us are in the same boat, working our tails off for little monetary return. It's not why we do it. But we cannot let this lifestyle kill us. I certainly have pushed through some pain recently from overwork. It came back quickly yesterday when I spent so much time on the wheel. We have to find balance. I suck at that. I do little to relax and I certainly am not taking care of my body. Why is that so hard? I need to be eating better and exercising. Certainly my own issues there, but it goes right along with over work. So, I hope you rest up and recover and enjoy some time w. Saybra. Good luck with the Home Sale. I do look forward to seeing your glazed pots, at least they are all in the kiln, just waiting for you. It may be a better firing since the pressure will be off. I'll read that Wendall Berry article too.

Michael Kline said...

Hey Brandon, sorry for barking at you this afternoon. I guess I need to catch up on my sleep.

Can't wait to see more of your pots. It's been a while.

Dirt-Kicker Pottery said...

I hope your sale goes well. Feel better.

Linda Starr said...

I really made myself sick taking care of my place and trying to do as much clay as I could for 5 years. For the past month I haven't had energy to do much of anything. Now that we are in our motorhome I find I can only do a few things each day. I am trying to recoup my energies and I have told myself that I must set some written goals for myself for the next place so I don't do this again. I went to a local museum and I realized I have lived here for 5.5 years and hardly gone anywhere except to a couple of clay exhibits and realize that is too limiting and that I am missing out on some good stuff in life besides clay. So I am now making time for day trips, reading books and up next some sewing. I am feeling more relaxed and better about things in general. Long story short though, when I was in the rat race I just couldn't stop myself from trying to do it all. I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that stress is really bad for my health so I am trying my best to mend my ways. Hope you feel better and you have a good sale.

Lori Buff said...

It's been said that one cannot be creative without rest and relaxation; I think that was said by someone who never met a working artist. Feel better.

paul jessop said...

Hey I always get sick when I take time out as well, had a weekend in Prauge 4 years ago and spent one of the days in bed in a dark room, then rough again this year.
Marion say's I'm to focused on my pottery and not giving any time to other things, so i'm trying to level things up a bit.
Keep up the good work but work at a pace that you can last.