I just finished the very last class of the semester. I’ve beengood, going to it even when I didn’t want to, even though it was just an audit. It was, after all, a good class – the professor, Laura DeMaria, is exceptionally learned and refreshingly human at the same time. But all the same, I’m glad it’s over and that I never have to go to class again. I’m looking forward to Christmas with near the same eagerness that I did as a kid; it’s been about 15 years since I’ve enjoyed a Christmas vacation without homework or projects. We’re going to go get a Christmas tree and everything, and I’m so excited to just relax at home with my family!

Winter has hit hard here; we had the first snow of the season and it accumulated a couple inches. Everything looked beautiful – I’d forgotten how lovely it is to look out a window at a whirling snowstorm. Not quite so beautiful, however, when you know that in just a few minutes you’ll have to ride your bike through it, two miles uphill, to get home… and you forgot your mittens. -grin-

My pottery business has been going well. So far I haven’t really made any profit – just enough to continue to buy supplies for the next month’s fair. My next step is to apply for much bigger, more affluent fairs. Enough with the piddly local stuff that only nets $500 in a weekend. Maybe by next year I’ll do Sugarloaf; but there are so many different potters there that I can’t see that I’d make all that much profit, not for the $600 entry fee that they charge. So maybe i won’t go *quite* that big yet. I’ll stick with the nice middling $300 entry fee fairs. -grin-

I’ve been making some new and exciting stuff lately; some neat butterdishes that have embossed designs on them, as well as large bowls andvases. I’m able to throw much larger, much more reliably. And not onlythat, but I’ve noticed I have much more control over everything in general. I guess that’s what happens when you practice a skill for eight hours a day every day! In any case, I know now that I’m at the same skill level as the potters that I see participating in the fairs that I go to, which is a new level of confidence for me. For me it’s only a question now of getting into those fairs, not to mention producing the quantities that I’d need to, to avoid selling out of something…

Which brings me to another subject. People at the studio lately havebeen muttering about the amount of stuff I fire. I personally don’tthink I fire that much at all; I get maybe 3-5 things out of every kilnload. I think people see any accomplished-looking piece on the shelvesand just assume it’s mine. But anyway, that’s beside the point. My needshave outstripped the community center’s ability to meet them, and I needmy own kiln. Josh agrees, and we’re going to get a small kiln here inthe spring. Yes, it’s going to go right in the living room… We’regoing to have to pull up the carpet in that corner and hem it in withshelves. It will be an obstruction, but I’m hoping with the open plan Ihave in mind that it won’t be too much of an eyesore.

In the past few months I’ve learned I really do love teaching ceramics. Not handbuiding – I’ve never been able to get into that. But I do reallysincerely enjoy helping others figure out what their problem is and howto fix it: from a wobble on the wheel to a glazing question. I’mthinking that might be the way for me to go, because pottery is apassion for me like Spanish never was… A lot of people in the studioseem to have put me in that position already anyway; one friend of minecomes up to me every day with her “Daily Question”. And I just love thefact that I know the answers!

I may not have said it on here yet, but in the spring I hope to applyfor the position of Studio Manager. The current manager, one of my veryvery good friends John Norden, has applied to Alfred College and if hegets in will be starting classes on January 15th. He hasn’t heard backfrom them yet, but I don’t really know what to hope for. On the onehand, I don’t want to lose his presence at the studio. Yet on the otherhand having his job would be a godsend; it’s part time, so I couldcontinue to do pottery, and it’s at the same community center where I doall my own work anyway, and it would be just the perfect amount ofsteady income to supplement the windfalls of my pottery business. I’ll just really miss him, is all. He’s been doing all my training so far, so if he does get in I hope I have a better-than-average chance at snagging the job.

Ah well, time for bed. Must get up early tomorrow to go to the studio! (Funny how things you love to do get less fun when you *have* to do them… also when you have to bike through the snowy cold to get there!) -grin-

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