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Say what you will about Facebook. Some people passionately argue for its ability to more easily connect friends and family in far-flung corners of our vast nation, others argue that it is full of narcissists that merely want to shout to the world, “look at me!” I can see both sides of the argument, but recently I have found it to be a great connection to my past.

In my artist statement, I have written about my time at Church Street Station’s Rosie O’Grady’s as a Can-Can Girl and how that experience left such a profound impression on me, that it became the genesis for my line of barware. As I move further and further away from my time at Church Street and the wonderful people I met during those five years (I left my second stint at Rosie’s in 2000), I have found myself questioning whether or not that experience should continue to inform the course of my work going forward.

Hurricane Chalices (left) influenced by the signature drink of Church Street Station, The Flaming Hurricane (right, on table).

Recently, though, a Facebook group was started connecting the Church Street Station “Goodtime Gang,” as Church Street employees were referred to. Over the course of the last couple weeks, flurries of memories and pictures have been posted from Goodtime Gang members who worked there in the 1970s through later members – like me – that worked there in the mid- to late-90s. What I have found is that the immense nostalgia I have held for those times in that place is not unique to me. From the first day I started, it felt like you were part of a very large family, one you would never stop being a part of. And, it seems, that generations of the Goodtime Gang agree.

Rosie O’Grady’s and Church Street Station may have officially closed in 2001, but those memories are woven into the fabric of who I am, and I live those memories through my pots. There is no denying that all potters inform their work through past experiences of some kind whether it be time with a relative, a relationship with nature, or in my case a very special relationship with an entertainment complex. 

So, I just wanted to say thanks to Facebook and the Goodtime Gang for reminding me not to deny the influence of my past. It is through using our experiences that potters bring a genuine life story into a three-dimensional realm that we can share with others.

 

“Gulf Coast Sunset” Hurricane Chalices by Jennifer Lachtara, are available for purchase on the Lach Arts’ Etsy site.

While at a show this past weekend, I was asked how I come up with my designs and color schemes.  I responded that I get my inspiration just from things around me that I find beautiful.  Not, perhaps, the most enlightening answer.  But how does one explain that I find inspiration in something as simple as the tree in my neighbors’ yard in springtime without a suitable picture to back it up?

So, I thought I would periodically post images of the inspiration for my color combinations or designs alongside of the resulting work.  I begin this series with the inspiration for my Spring Sky color combination as Spring has come to Florida already and the neighbors’ tree has bright green shoots on the branches again.

Inspiration: Bright green spring leaves against a clear turquoise sky.

“Spring Sky” White Wine Chalices

 

Where do you find inspiration?  Let me know in the comments!

 

“Spring Sky” White Wine Chalices by Jennifer Lachtara, are available for purchase on the Lach Arts’ Etsy site.

The Autumnal Equinox came this week.  The first day of fall!  Usually, the Equinox passes with little fanfare in Florida – a place featuring all of 2 seasons, The Hot Season and the Ridiculously Hot Season – but this year it seems that everyone took notice.  Probably because the humidity was low, the highs were only in the low 90s, and the evenings felt comfortable enough to come outside and enjoy the big Harvest Moon in the sky. 

Since so many of my friends were talking about the change of season, I was thinking of people who actually know what the change of seasons are about – how they look, how they feel.  I joke about the Florida seasons, but those who have lived north of the Florida state border feel and see changes in nature throughout the year that Floridians (especially a third-generation native such as me) do not experience.  

Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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