I create work all year in preparation for this annual sale, once it’s finished I pack it away in giant Rubbermaid crates and store it. We unpacked 12 crates yesterday and this year for the first time I still have 150 pieces in three kilns that will be unloaded at this evening’s Sale Preview Event. Matthew was wonderful spending hours helping me arrange the work and despite his patience my emotions still overcame me early on. I could feel the tears welling up and knowing I was in safe company I just let the mini meltdown happen. I knew this was just part of my process of letting go.
My pottery students know that our studio mantra is ‘the joy is in the journey’ meaning don’t become attached to any work until it is complete and safely home. I truly don’t become attached to my work until it is complete but to see the quantity of work displayed and truly taking in each piece and recalling when I made it and when I glazed it and sometimes even what was happening in my life at that moment, it’s truly an overwhelming experience. A sweet friend posted this quote to my Facebook page yesterday as if she KNEW what I was already feeling:
“When you buy something from an artist you’re buying more than an object. You’re buying hundreds of hours of errors and experimentation.
You’re buying years of frustration and moments of pure joy. You’re not buying just one thing, you are buying a piece of a heart, a piece of a soul… a small piece of someone else’s life.”
This sums up the vulnerable truth for me. I make functional pottery because I love the idea of my work being used in everyday life in the homes of others and being cherished and loved as objects that add beauty to everyday life. But the work I make represents my own passion, my own struggle and my own vulnerability as a human being. I’m anxious about my sale this weekend, as I always am. I’m excited and a little sad at the same time to see each piece of work find a new home and to truly let the cycle of ‘making’ come full circle.