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“If you dislike a man, the way he holds his fork will anger you; but a friend can dump his entire plate in your lap, and you are quick to forgive.”

Someone posted this quote in the kitchen of the Clay Company a number of years ago, and it popped back into my head Monday afternoon after a particularly bad day.  (The quote is paraphrased above, seeing as it has been ages since I read the quote and I cannot find it online.)

Those of you who know me, probably know I work two jobs.  My primary job (and passion) is clay, while at the same time, I hold down a full-time day job to bring in extra income until Lach Arts is fully self-supportive.  Sometimes, it becomes painfully obvious which of the two is the referenced “friend” from the above quote.

Utter destruction all around - except for Jason's completely intact pitchers.

Monday began with a bang – almost literally.  I had done a bisque firing Saturday night into Sunday for the upcoming show at Lakeridge Winery.  While much of the United States has been blanketed by snow for the past few weeks, Florida has been dealing with quite a bit of rain and humid air (it just doesn’t get cold enough to freeze into snow here), and nothing was drying.  So, I attempted a slow bisque firing to help dry out the four pieces that had not dried in two weeks.  You may have guessed by now that none of those four survived.  The force of the explosion of one piece actually sent bits of clay into the roof of the kiln.

Yep; not the best way to start the day.  But, oddly enough, I was not angry or frustrated at it.  I was merely amused that my impatient, inner-Aries had taken over against my better judgment and even attempted such a folly – especially for pieces that I really liked but did not really need for the show.  Oh well, I figured I would just make more.

As I went through the rest of my day at my other job, I was repeatedly irritated by trivial things.  Things that should just roll off my back.  Things that would NEVER bother me in the studio.  It was such a stark contrast that I could not ignore it when the quote from above came roaring into my head on my drive home.

So, as I headed into the studio to meticulously clean the kiln, shelves, posts, and surviving pots; I had only to smile at the thought that my friend may have dumped his plate in my lap but all is quickly forgiven, and I cannot wait until I get a chance to remake those pieces and share them with all of you.

My drawing professor once said to us that we should be childlike when producing our art (not childish, that is something completely different).  By that, he meant we should approach our work from the mind-set we had before there was a right way or wrong way to make art, a time when childlike exuberance drove us to create and before we let a fear of failure cause self-censorship.

As someone who is trying to make a living selling artwork, sometimes this can be a tough proposition.  You start to look at your work more with an eye toward sales and really start to become more and more judgmental with your work, causing frustration and dampening your creative spirit.  But, if you can find a way to look at your work with fresh eyes, sometimes you find that you have become over-critical.  Sometimes, you just need to find your way back to that childlike joy that brought you to becoming an artist in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »

For those of you that know my work, you are probably well aware that I don’t shy away from color.  I love colors.  I love to find new combinations of color that work together.  There are days I think I make pots just to have a 3-dimensional canvas to put color on.  But, lest you think my love of color is completely superficial, I should also mention I am deeply interested in the psychology of color.

Bisqueware chalices. ("Sunny Disposition" White Wine chalices in foreground)

Last week, I was spraying a set of “Sunny Disposition” White Wine Chalices when I realized that my favorite color, right now, is orange.  People that have known me for a little while may be saying to themselves, “but that wasn’t your favorite color last time I talked to you.”  Over the last couple of years, my favorite color was red; before that it was purple.  So, it got me thinking:  since colors can influence feelings and emotions, could it be that our feelings and emotions also influence our choice of favorite color?

Orange combines the strength and passion of red with the joy, energy, and happiness of yellow.  Right now, I feel driven to fully realize Lach Arts as a full time business, and at the same time I am feeling energized and happy about getting into the studio and making work.  My new favorite color certainly suits my current mood and situation.

So, leave me a note in the comments section.  I want to hear from all of you.  Have you ever found that your favorite color has changed?  Did that change seem to coincide with a change in your life or your outlook?  I really want to know…I’m a bit obsessed with color.

Carving a "Spring" votive

There seem to be two types of artists in this world – one that constantly creates because (s)he just feels compelled to and the other that needs a little bit of a kick in the keister to get into the studio.  I fall into the second category.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love going into the studio and making work and (especially) seeing the final project when it comes out of the kiln knowing, “I made that!”  However, it does take a particular project or deadline to keep me from finding house chores to do, bills to pay, my dog to play with, television to watch, etc.  I can be a prime example of Newton’s law of motion – bodies at rest tend to stay at rest until acted upon by a force.

When I was in college and being given assignments and projects to do, I just wished for the day that I could have my own studio and make what I wanted to make when I wanted to make it.  Funny what happens when you get smacked upside the head with the real world, isn’t it?  Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome to the new blog about Lach Arts.  Basically, Jason and Jennifer will periodically write about our work, inspirations, and general musings about life as studio potters.  We hope you will stop by and see what we’re up to, and we hope to amuse you or give you a little something to think about.  Thanks for visiting the blog; we hope you stop in to visit often!

For more information, we invite you to stop by our website at www.lach-arts.com to see our portfolio and lists of upcomming events.

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