I'm workin' 9-5 ♪♫
Um, yeah. So here's the truth. I work as a state employee. Full-time, 40 hours a week. My typical day gig starts at 7 am and ends at 4:30 or 5 pm and then two evenings I run off to get my talented seven-year-old kiddo to her extracurriculars. Other evenings I'm dashing into the studio to pack an order or check pots for trimming, or throw a couple of pots before I have to start prepping part of dinner. (In the spirit of full disclosure, my husband is the primary cook, I'm just the prep cook.) We usually sit down to eat about 7 pm, and then we have to do whatever thing the kiddo might need for school and then get ready to go to bed and then go to bed, and maybe in there somewhere my husband and I have exchanged information. I'm crashed by 9 pm.
Fridays I am usually off by 11:30 am, and I dash home to have lunch and have a few completely uninterrupted hours in the studio before I go get my kiddo. Saturday and Sunday are typically spent making, glazing, firing, decal-ing.
Some days, the effort to be a functioning part of the state hive mind is just about more than this creative can bear. Tonight, all I want for dinner is Vodka. I've lost the mascara on one eye and my hair is sideways. No. Really.
I have an order to pack. I have pots to throw. I want desperately to be a full time potter again, and not just working 20-30 hours a week around my day gig. And today I can't spare the energy to get to my studio to do those things. I'm feeling ranty today, however, and what better place to rant than my own blog.
Last October I was lucky enough to have some time to take and the opportunity to go to the Red Lodge Clay Center and participate in the Montana Clay annual meeting and the workshop weekend with a two day demo by Adrian Arleo (if you don't know, you should. Google her, she's amazing). Rarely do I get the opportunity to spend quality time with other clay people. I was telling someone sheepishly that I wasn't full-time in the studio anymore. I couldn't afford to do it. I needed to pay my mortgage and I needed health benefits. A steady paycheck was pretty novel and kind of cool. Her reaction was completely opposite of what I was expecting. Instead of scorn, she said - Of course you have to work outside your studio! Do you know anyone who is actually making a living making pots?! So-and-so is doing it but she's killing herself in the process!
And all at once I felt relieved and exasperated. I'm not going to be judged for doing something outside of ceramics (whew!) but, WTF! why do we have to work so goddamned hard to make a living in this world??
This, of course, leads to a much larger discussion of our current social, economic, and political environment, and frankly, I've started in on "dinner" so I will refrain from THAT rant. Today. Today I just want to ask you, reader, to please give your fave potter/ceramic artist a hug, and maybe a little slack if that order doesn't come in just when you expect it. Please have a little patience for that painter who works in a soul-sucking job to pay the bills and finds it a bit hard to pick up that brush at the end of the day. We create because we must. But we also must make sure that our kid will get orthodontic care, glasses, and dance classes, that the lights will turn on tomorrow. And so we toil. And tonight, dear reader, my friend, I got little to nothin' left to give.