A hiatus, and a change in status

Over the past 18 months, I’ve taken a much needed hiatus from almost everything involving my personal studio practice. As I was finishing at the Bray in the winter of 2013, I was feeling a serious sense of burnout. Looking back on it, I can safely estimate I averaged 70 hrs/week making work in the studio, for 104 of the 116 weeks I was there. I left with a huge sense of accomplishment about how I had developed and changed my work, but I just didn’t want to keep working that hard and have no financial progress to show for it. I thought for a while being a hard working studio potter was the title and lifestyle I wanted, but after having the privileged opportunity provided by the Bray to test it, I know it’s not the path for me.

Nicole and I moved to Seattle, and I was able to come full circle to complete a dream and teach alongside my college faculty at the University of Washington. I was also coaching rowing (lots of pictures in a prior post here), and that gave me a real sense of satisfaction being involved with athletics again. Athletics has always been a big part of my life, and reintroducing it felt natural. I was making a few pots here and there, and that felt okay for the time being. I greatly enjoyed no longer being financially dependent on my work. The position at UW was always a temporary one, so I knew I needed to come up with a longer term solution.

After much introspection, I concluded I needed the combination of making, teaching, and coaching in my professional life to be truly happy. I also wanted things that a full-time position provides like a livable salary, health insurance, retirement, paid time off, etc, etc. At this time I was coaching high school boys and really loving it, and based on what the boys and their parents were telling me, I was feeling like a successful instructor for that age group. I realized I could possibly teach/coach/make at a private high school. I followed a tip given to me in graduate school, and applied with Carney Sandoe. It worked, and I am now very happily employed at the Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma WA.

I now teach four classes of ceramics and one class of photography. I will also be coaching the golf team in the spring. I am back to making art, and have a few shows coming up that I’m excited about. Life is good.

 

Industrial Consulting

I recently had the pleasure of working with Red Wing Stoneware, in Red Wing MN. They asked me to come in as a consultant to provide some additional training for their employees, specifically to help with the mold making process’s for both slip casting and RAM pressing.

Red Wing Stoneware has been around for a long time. They have a great history in American production, and its all detailed on their site here.

 

Workshop at Appalachian Center for Crafts

I’m happy to announce I’m going to be teaching a 5-day hands-on workshop at the Appalachian Center for Crafts from June 23rd to the 28th. My workshop coincides with Design Week, and “…will examine the relationship between design and craft with artists that infuse contemporary design aesthetics with craft processe”. I will be discussing all aspects of prototyping, mold making, slipcasting, slip formulation, and just about anything else the students can ask me. f you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email, or contact Tennesse Tech.Here is the link:

http://www.tntech.edu/craftcenter/clayworkshops/

Workshops

I’m excited to have the opportunity to be teaching two upcoming workshops.

From June 16th to the 22nd, I’ll be at Arrowmont School of Crafts in Gatlinburg Tennessee, to teach “Prototype to Product”. Here is the link with more info about the hands on workshop on the Arrowmont page.

From September 3rd to the 7th, I’ll be working locally in Seattle at Pottery Northwest. My hands on workshop, “Slip and Slide”, is five days long and will cover all the basics of getting started with slipcasting.

Hope you can make it!