Over the past few weeks, I’ve sold my work at both the Girdwood Forest Fair and at the Spenard Farmers Market. What a valuable learning experience. From getting to see people’s reactions to my work, to the hassle of setting up and taking down, to the many unforeseen issues that inevitably arise, to getting to spend many, many hours sitting and talking and laughing with my booth partners.
I’m constantly reminded of how wonderful the ceramics community is. I’ve always appreciated that being a genuinely hard worker is a standard among artists (I think it has to be that way). It’s inspiring to be around motivated people, and it’s humbling to get to work with artists who make art their livelihoods.
Making work for these fairs was a much different experience than what I’ve become accustomed to in the studio at UAA. Steve Godfrey’s assignments focus on content and on refining and perfecting each piece – this is a challenging feat to accomplish when trying to make a hundred pots in a short amount of time, as I did this summer. I focused on making only a few different kinds of things – mugs, tumblers, bowls, and a few strainers – and then made a whole lot of them. The repetition of making twenty to thirty of the same form allowed me to focus more on which movements and gestures were important in making the form, and which ones I could do without. Did I really need to those final two pulls on that mug? Would my fingertip work just as well, if not better than, a rib to finish the rim of that bowl?
Working in this way was a valuable learning experience, but I’m really excited to get back into the studio and begin working on new ideas. I enjoy working on pieces that can be time consuming and produce only one or two of a kind at a time – making work for a fair was not the right venue for that mode of production. I’m looking forward to trying out new surfaces and further developing some forms that I’ve been working on.
In the meantime, I’ll be madly cleaning and packing up my apartment while simultaneously trying to get out and enjoy this amazing summer that we’ve been having here in Anchorage!