For the most part, I create in solitude. Oh sure, there is an occasional "drive by loving" by one of my dogs or my husband, but in general I am left to my own devices. After being introduced to the art of hand building pottery by the Worley Faver, a master potter in Florida, a lot of what I have achieved over the past eight years has been from the "fly by the seat of my pants" school. Honestly, it has been my preferred way of learning. The trail and error, the joy of success, the pain of setbacks, all have mostly been witnessed either alone or by my husband, who never fails to be kind and understanding. I was a little anxious, to say the least, to enter a three week workshop with another instructor and with even more trepidation, a room full of other students of the craft. The noise, the commotion, the randomity........all a backdrop for my concern.
What has transpired over the last 10 days has been quite profound. The one other student who is my age, is not only my roommate but has become a kindred spirit. Along with her friendship and the stellar instruction of Clarence and his assistant Ricki, I have quickly understood the importance of community. In addition to that beautiful band of misfits are a few other instructors and students who have come into the studio at night to touch clay and share space. There is an ease of community that I simply didn't expect. A coming together of ideas, inspiration, trust and openness that I wasn't aware that I even missed.
Being an artist can be a lonely road - lots of hours are spent alone in the studio, sometimes in a vacuum where we tend to ask the question......."Does this suck?" It has been a true blessing to be around these beautiful souls from different walks of life - authors, beaders, poets, potters, storytellers, jokesters, photographers, ranchers and yes, even those damn college kids. What a wacky, wonderful, crazy community that I have walked into.
Below you will find my instructor, Clarence Cruz, master potter and resident funny man who happens to be wearing my very first hand built lid. He keeps us laughing and creating all day and sometimes into the night...........he is a true gift to the craft and to his students. I am one incredibly lucky girl :)