Friday, January 4, 2008

rambling about: blogging, apprenticeships, artistic practice and music

Prepare yourself for a long and rambly post today. I have had a million things running through my head and I am feeling very chatty.

I have been reflecting about blogging and bloggers a lot lately. I have a few (listed on the sidebar) that I read almost everyday. People that do interesting things, people that write interesting blogs. I find that in my own blogging my environment has a great deal to do with what and how much I write. When I was on the Coast at Christmas, I posted photos with little commentary. Now, after being home with no kids and Matt at work all day I have acres of things to write about. My conclusion is that most of the bloggers I read (myself included) work from home or from their own studio, they have only their own thoughts and voices all day and this leaves them with a lot of things unsaid and blogging fits this nicely. At least that seems to be the way it works for me. When I am around a lot of people I get my talking and communicating fix through them, when I am not, I blog.

My one-year apprenticeship at Canyon Creek Pottery has ended. The year has flown by and I have learned a great deal. I don't think I can sum up the experience and do it justice so I will just say that if you ever have the chance to enter into an apprenticeship situation, you should. I've learned a lot about every aspect of running a pottery and gallery. I think if I could distill it into a few key points it would be this: 1. always fill your orders on time 2. remember clients and have a special event for them at least once a year (new work, kiln opening etc) 3. coffee mugs always, always, always sell 4. pay attention to the smallest details in every aspect 5. absolutely repay the system by taking an apprentice at some point in your career. Thank you Lee!

I have spent a few days revisiting some of my old art journals and books. I don't think I have narrowed down my plans yet and so will have to keep at it today. I just have so many ideas swirling around in my head. Carole Epp is a potter and blogger that I very much admire (her work, her work ethic, her blogging etc). She recently posted about how she sees a lot of merit in following two (or more) distinct lines of practice. She uses herself (figurative and functional ceramics) as well as several other artists as examples. It is a great post and confirmed to me that I should continue my path making both functional pottery as well as the more sculptural feminist-themed art shows that I love to do. Although, lately I have some ideas percolating in my brain that involve a combination of my two loves. I mean who doesn't want to eat off a plate that is also a feminist rant? So colourful, so witty, so informative. My most wonderful boyfriend gave me a colour scanner for Christmas (he knows me so well). I think this will be playing a very large part in my next body of work. I get so excited just thinking about it!

Now that I am not working outside of my own space anymore I feel like I have so much more time. I have decided to work a 6 day week, Monday through Saturday 10-5. I am going to take Sundays off with my kids and I am going to dedicate one of my 6 studio days to explorations of new ideas. I need to spend some time in advance planning as well. I plan to apply for at least 2 grants and 2 juried events this coming year. I will also be participating in a studio tour with several other local artists. We have tentatively called it "New Work", this of course means that we all need to have new work for this tour. Given that the event is roughly planned for the end of April I probably need to be getting going on that new work.

Thankfully orchestra doesn't start up again until May because I have also signed up to be in the musical. We rehearse twice a week and I am very excited and more than a little anxious. I wish I was better at not being self-consious. I always seem to be wishing that I was better at something else. Usually this happens while I am watching someone do something cool. Last night we watched All That Jazz, all I talked about was how much I wished I could dance. Truly, if we could pick from the talent bag one great 'thing' we could do, I would pick dancing. Next, I would pick singing, then probably playing violin, the list goes on and on. Actually, now that I think about it, probably the best skill would be to not really need much sleep. I crave being one of those people like my friend and knitter extraordinaire Dana. She doesn't really need to sleep. She stays up until 2 or 3 am most nights and then gets up all cheery in the morning with her two very small children. She doesn't ever seem to be tired. I am one of those people who think 9:30 is a reasonable bedtime and that 11pm is crazy late. Maybe I need to start drinking a little coffee in the afternoons... I have joined the musical because I like all the people involved (a very fun group) and I think that I need to push myself in the performing arts direction. Artistic practice should be stretched in all directions possible, (I'll keep telling myself that whenever I am feeling shy).


Kirsten said...

I love your rambling, darling. It's shame we aren't closer (locationally) so that we may ramble together more often.

In response to your previous post, I read about the following and thought of you:

I am excited to see what comes out of that creative, enthusiastic brain of yours this year.

(P.S. Heidi and I went to the Winnipeg Art Gallery over the holidays to see a fantastic Warhol exhibit. As a special treat, we also got to see the PostSecret exhibit - the touring community art project where people anonymously mail in their secrets on one side of a homemade postcard (there's a website too - you may have heard about it). It was voyeuristic, reflective, sad, hilarious and utterly fascinating.)

Cheryl Alena Bartram said...

Woman I wish you lived closer to me. Although I guess Edmonton isn't at the end of the world like Winnipeg and Ottawa are. I wish I could condense Canada when I want to see all my friends. I have been thinking a lot about our trip to Berlin lately. I would really like to try to save towards another Wurmann/Bartram/Wurmann European trip. Maybe we could do France, although I do really love Germany so much. At least I do plan on coming to Edmonton in February when my children are so far away for so long. We haven't had a really good sit down talk in a long time. Sometimes I wish I didn't hate the phone so much. Although, we did get a webcam for Christmas so now we can chat with you guys live and with pictures and everything. It reminds me of those old overseas calls when you used to have to wait out the delay for the person to speak.

I used to go to the PostSecret site often but I found it too depressing after a while, maybe my mood is too fragile these days. I would love to see the exhibit, the art is so fantastic and personal. I saw a group pop art retrospective in Las Vegas of all places. It was touring through, Warhol and all of those other guys whose names excape me because my brain is mush right now. I don't love the art, but I do love the ideas and the freedom, and the use of different materials.

Look, I can ramble even in a comment.

Cheryl Alena Bartram said...

Very mushy, I meant to type escape, not excape. How embarrassing.

Heidi said...

Hmmm, what about the Dordogne (sp?)Valley...i haven't been anywhere since berlin so I am itching...although what about our discussions about Hungary?

Remember the t-shirt Cheryl...there is no "x" in espresso. :-)

Kirsten said...

Oooooohhh - yes, Hungary. We could fly to Vienna and then take the train to Budapest and then hang at Eve & Tibor's vineyard!
And then there's Crete...

Cheryl Alena Bartram said...

Hungary totally works for me. Vinyards...

Cheryl Alena Bartram said...

oh, oh, oh, Crete too please!

curiousmatthew said...

I can relate to your post... That's why I spend hours a week typing back and forth with other mibble aged men about carpentry.