From Flame to Fire

For the past several years I feel like I’ve been fanning the flame of my own inner creativity. Managing, so to speak, maintaining, you might say. Just trying to keep the damn thing from going out! Recently with the help of my father and my boyfriend, we completed an addition to the art studio building that included a private pottery workspace for me. I’ve been running the pottery studio for 13 yrs blog 3 heartsand I’ve always had a small part of the main studio relegated as my workspace. While it was practical it never allowed me the freedom to spread out, or to leave works in progress to continue the next day, because there was always a class to prepare for that needed the work tables and shelves for their own creations. I figured I had made my choice when I started the business that my main focus would be to ‘teach others’ the craft of wheel thrown pottery and so when talk of adding on to the building began with my father, I hesitantly proposed my own workspace. He immediately embraced the idea, despite the fact that it basically doubled the size of the project he had originally agreed to undertake.

Scalloped Bowls in ProgressMy Dad understands the importance of a space to explore your craft and medium because he spent nearly 40 years as a craftsman of fine furniture. We speak the language of artists in this regard but almost immediately, I began having second thoughts about building out my own space to work. I was plagued with questions like “ did I deserve to take up valuable studio space? Was I being selfish in wanting my own space when I already had a space in the main studio? Would I even find time to actually create more pots when I’m often too wrapped up in running the business? “ It’s amazing the roller coaster we put ourselves on as human beings. We are often in a state of questioning our own worth rather than simply BEING. My man says it best “ We are called human beings, not human doings.” This simple statement has become an invaluable reminder for me and has changed the way I look at life.

blog 3 fern bowlIt has been five months since I’ve had my own workspace. I have been able to manage my studio schedule to spend a minimum of about 6 hours a week (Max so far being around 12) in the purple room (yes I painted it purple, floor and walls! It’s not only a favorite color but it’s the color of the energy center that reflects our connection with a higher purpose). The space has nurtured me back to the state of mind I was in when I initially opened the doors to Meiklem Kiln Works back in 2002. Not only have I been able to spread out and leave my work out for the next day, but the quality of my work has improved and the level of creativity has increased exponentially.

My work has filled up our small studio Gift Shop and I’m excited to have found a blog 3 oil bottlesfew places near my home to display/sell these new creations. (see a list below of where you can find my pots) I’m looking forward to getting back to my roots as a potter, using clay to stimulate my creativity, producing work that I’m proud of and wanting to share it with the world! I’ve found my excitement for my work as a potter again. I feel engaged as a teacher and revel in the joy the craft of pottery brings to my students.. I’m forever grateful that I allowed myself to feel worthy of carving out my own space and blessed to be able to practice BEING and DOING what I love. What was a decade of fanning the flame has suddenly morphed into a steady stoking of the fire.

blog 3 blue patternThe Gift Shop at Meiklem Kiln Works :   46 Lebanon Rd, Bozrah, CT     860-886-8562

Mckennas’ Florist: 520 Boswell Ave, Norwich, CT     860-887-2479

The Slater Museum Gift Shop: 305 Broadway, Norwich, CT    860-887-2505

The Yellow House Coffee Shop: 149 Water Street, Stonington, CT     860-535-4986

Cheese Boro Whey: The Velvet Mill 22 Bayview Ave, Suite 47 Stonington, CT (401)486-4591

Curried Cashewsblog 3 cashews

These have become a favorite grab-n-go snack. Great for sharing with friends or hording to yourself while you’re making pots!

1 cup Raw Cashews (you could probably use any nuts here, I’m just a fan of cashews)

1 Tbl Safflower Oil (I chose this oil because I know it has a high burn temp and I didn’t want the flavor of scorched oil with my nuts!)

1Tbl Curry Powder (There are a ton of curry powders out there, hot, sweet, spicy etc. My favorite always has a blend of sweet spices as well)

1 tsp Salt (I use garlic salt here)

In a small bowl, mix oil, curry and salt until well blended. Add cashews and toss until well coated. Sprinkle the coated cashews in a frying pan and roast (tossing often) over low heat until they dry out and appear a nice golden brown. ( my man and I love things with a bit of burnt flavor…so go ahead and nearly burn a few of those suckers, they are SO good that way!)

Remove from heat and place cashews in an even layer on a plate to let them cool completely before eating or jarring! YUM!

 If you try this recipe I would love know what you think! Let me know in the comments section of this post! If you're looking to gain a better understanding of eating vegan, join me for an Intro to Vegan Eating on Tuesday June 16 or my full 30 days to Vegan Eating Program beginning June 30.