Let me tell ya a story...
I was first introduced to pottery when I was a junior in Girl Scouts by an art teacher named Libby Moore. I pursued ceramics a bit at school, but it wasn't until I was in my mid to late 30s that my passion for clay was truly ignited. I coiled and slabbed and pinched my way through kiln load after kiln load, letting my mistakes teach me. I made masks, fairy houses, bits of jewelry, and other wall hangings. I hauled them around craft markets and folk festivals. I had a wonderful time.
When we moved from Britain back to the US. Somewhere I lost track of my dream of having my own studio. I don't regret those years. I accomplished much—including a published author and a professional astrologer. My dream of having my own studio never disappeared, though. When my daughter graduated from high school, I bought a 2nd hand kiln and dabbled. It was always a pastime, though, never really a passion. Over the years the house filled with boxes of clay and shelves of glaze until the time came when it all needed a home of its own.
Then the most amazing thing happened in August of 2015. I met Jackie, who was and still is one of the most enthusiastic and positive people I've had the pleasure of knowing. She introduced me to Dwain Narragon, the ceramics professor at EIU. I took classes there, and it was wonderful to learn new techniques, improve my existing skills and to be immersed in the company of creative and artistic people once again.
So what happened next?
In December of 2016, the barn that was going to be my work space was delivered on skids, and placed next to the garage. We'd looked at purchasing a second house to convert to a studio and shop here in the village, but the convenience of having it right outside the back door won. We spent 2017 doing the insulation, wiring, paneling, and more.
I never ever could have done this without the dedication of 'Him Indoors' and the help of my 'Girl Tuesday.' In September of 2017 we christened the building as 'The Pottery Yarn,' as officially functional. It wasn't in full production at that time. For one, I was still working full time as a ghost writer for a marketing company. For another, it was too cold to fire the kiln, which was still out in the garage.
Him Indoors and I had been discussing a second, smaller kiln for quite some time. As the winter of 2017 / 2018 dragged on and on, it became obvious that a smaller kiln in the mudroom was practical. I could fire no matter how cold the weather got, plus it was 1/3 the size of the larger kiln, so I could get a faster turn around from idea to finished product.
Live has a way of happening just as it's mean to unfold. Having the studio so close but not having the time to use it was becoming increasingly frustrating. I talked about leaving my job a lot to focus on my art. In March of 2018 that's exactly what happened.
And then? And then?!
Now? Now I'm 'living the dream.' The additional kiln is here and installed and being put through its paces. I've cleaned and organized the studio, and the dog and I are spending many happy hours out there being and creating—"Be Here Now," as Ram Das would say!
Going forward, I only have one wish. It's a simple wish, but one that when I'm stressed or anxious will trip me up. That wish is merely that you'll also find some enjoyment in the items that I delight in creating—after all, it's my name that's on everything!