Sunday, June 10, 2012

Burnout.

I've spent some time the last few weeks taking it easy.  I've mixed up about 1200 pounds of clay for the summer cycle and it's ready to go.  So I think I'll get back in the studio this coming week, get the wheels turning so to speak.

My last cycle/firing consisted of approximately 250 pots made and fired in 3 weeks.  This came directly on the heels of the ACC shows and 2 hard weeks of working on the new studio. That was hands down the hardest cycle I've ever had, not just because I was cramming 6-8 weeks of work into 3, but I was already on the cusp of burnout and having to do that volume of work just pushed me over the edge.  Keep in mind that at the time I was teaching 3 courses as well as doing some graduate work.  It was a struggle and dare I say a task at times to get my ass in the studio and work.  All but 9 pots in the firing were for wholesale, in fact those remaining 9 should have been wholesale pots but the truth is that I know considering the burnout and my disdain for wholesaling(more on that later) I KNEW that I needed to have some pots in the kiln that I was excited about.  I think I fired the kiln for those 9 pots. When I opened up the kiln I grabbed the pots that needed to go out immediately and the pieces that I was really excited about.  A good portion of the pots stayed in the kiln unpacked for almost a week.  That is some scary stuff.  Something is very wrong when you are not excited to get that kiln unloaded.  So how does one deal with that?  I have no answers.  I know that this next cycle I have 3 different clay bodies and some new surfaces that I'm excited about so a lot of this work may be different from what I've been doing.  But that's as it should be, right?  Go back to the start and try something new.  Adapt and overcome.  I'm sure that once I get going everything will be fine.

A couple weeks ago I was fortunate to go spend some time with my family in Washington DC for my father's 60th birthday.  He has wanted to go to DC to visit the museums for as long as I can remember and it finally worked out that my brother's family and I had a schedule that synced so we could all go together.  Most of you probably don't know that I have an interest in American history and a downright obsession with the space program.  I've been fascinated with it for as long as I can remember and I still spend a lot of time watching documentaries and reading books about it.  So my main interest in DC was going out the the Air and Space museum near Dulles where they just delivered the space shuttle Discovery in April.  I had a good time.  I also got to visit the Freer which has some fantastic old Japanese and Korean pots.  I took some photos but they look awful so I won't post them here.


 Well.  Now it's back to the studio and on to the next cycle of work.  I'm teaching a summer course but only have 3 students so I wouldn't call that too rough. 

Cheers!

2 comments:

TropiClay Studio said...

I have always wanted to vacation for a couple of weeks on the Northeastern coast. All the museums, historic bldgs and cities, etc.
I have summer school as well, but no idea how many students. 3 students?? Have fun with it!

DirtKicker Pottery said...

Sometimes you just have to force yourself to take some time away from life's demands and recharge your batteries.