It’s been over a month since I’ve sat at my wheel, rolled out a slab or painted my clay. This week back at the wheel, painting and loading a small kiln load feels wonderful but there are many parts to what I do that always give me things to wonder about.
Last month as this time, I was glazing and glazing and firing work for a big show, wishing and hoping it would all come out perfect and many pieces would sell.
Many pieces did come out very well. And pieces did sell. It wasn’t my best sales year or my worst but I did hope for more. Don’t we all? And is that good or bad? My answer to those questions came from a quote I saved for inspiration.
“There’s only the trying. The rest is not our business.” T.S. Eliot
I did try. I do try. I always try to do my very best to produce quality work. I use quality materials from the clay to the glazes. I work the clay in all the correct ways, wedging, centering, rolling, pinching, sealing and trimming to the best of my ability. And I’m always learning, searching out ways to make my work better.
And I try even more. I bring my heart and soul into what I make with my hands because I want to bring more heart, soul, love, light and creativity into not just my life but hopefully, all the lives around me.
“You can’t guarantee the result.”
Robert Redford said about T.S. Eliot’s quote, “It's one of my favorite phrases. Because you can't guarantee where the trying is going to get you. So, you can't guarantee the result. The only thing there is in its place is the trying. That's where the action is."
My Party Animals, I realize came to life to lighten mine. I had lost my sweet dog Jilly, I was lonely and sad. Then these crazy creatures started appearing on my studio shelves. Not only are they silly sculptures, they are rattles, too.
I never planned to make rattles or crazy creatures. But I tried anyway. They make me smile. And they make others smile too. Everyday, I watched as many people picked them up, shook them and laughed. I’ve sold a few of them and I’m grateful.
So I remember those words: “There’s only the trying.” I agree, “That’s where the action is.”