It’s Just Clay

My philosophy on making art is that it’s OK to make all kinds of mistakes. I learn best from mistakes. So, I’m constantly reminding myself that “It’s Just Clay,” or fabric, or paper, or whatever medium is in my hands.

It’s easy to get kind of lost in worrying about how things will turn out, or making everything perfect. And while I can be quite the perfectionist, I try to find joy and beauty in the imperfections too.

My friend, Meghan (Brothers and Brushes) made me this great sign. I hung it right in the middle of my studio. So, when I’m feeling like the clay is working against me, I can look up and be reminded that IT’S JUST CLAY. And I can take a breath, move on, and let it go.


Studio Tour

I talked about wanting a potter’s wheel for a while. I think my husband’s eyes got a little wider each time I mentioned it. I knew I could not afford a new wheel, and that even if i got a great deal on a used one, there were some concerns about having a potter’s wheel in our house.

At this point, I was already making ornaments from slabs in the house. It was messy, and i was being very careful with cleanup and disposal of the clay because I was worried about clay getting into our pipes.

One night, I wasn’t sleeping well, and I was laying in bed looking at my phone. I did a quick Craigslist search (which I did often) for a potter’s wheel, and one popped up! It was in Richmond, Indiana. So, my next search was driving distance to Richmond. It was closer than I thought!

So I messaged the seller, and by noon the next day, I was discussing logistics with my husband.

The following day (Sunday), I got up, drove to Richmond, and exchanged a handful of cash for a dirty wheel, a stack of bats, 25 lbs of clay, and a stool. Then I turned around and drove home.

Over the next 6 weeks ago, my home studio came to life.

I got a great deal on some discontinued click-together vinyl floor tiles. I put that down to protect the wood flooring in our finished basement.

My dad came over and helped me hang drywall under the stairs, plumb and install a new sink, build a clay trap to protect our pipes and hang a new light fixture.

A few days later, I found an old used cabinet and installed it next to the sink with a piece of inexpensive countertop.

I also installed a bunch of shelves on the wall to hold my glazes and underglazes, and give me a place to dry my pieces before taking them to be fired at a local ceramic supply shop.

Of course, no creative space is complete without a little creativity on the walls. I hung a watercolor Picasso quote I painted a couple years ago, and this adorable little “It’s Just Clay” sign my good friend Meghan, owner and artist at Brothers & Brushes made for me.

Of course, while my little studio is actually pretty spacious, I had to expand a little outside of my room, just for the sake of efficiency.

For a while, I had all of my shipping supplies tucked in a corner of my studio, and all of my finished pieces wrapped up and in plastic tubs in storage. Every time I received an order, I had to go hunting for a piece and dig out packing materials. I tucked a little packing station in the corner of our basement bar area, and built some shelves to store my finished pieces. (The shelves are pretty bare right now, but I have new things in progress!)

I’m pretty delighted with my little studio and I have some ideas in mind to make it even better very soon.