TreeBed Design

I have been wanting to get better at regular blog posts... It looks like today is as good as any to begin!

Maybe you've seen a tumbler or two pop up in my Instagram feed. What is going on? Well, I decided that I needed to do something to get myself posting work consistently, and since the tumblers are what got the clay ball rolling again... it felt like a good fit!

Each Tuesday you will find a unique tumbler (or set) posted in the shop... when it is gone... it is gone! I really like it when people pick up my tumblers and find the one that seems to fit them. There is something tangible about the connection of my hands to theirs. The goal of TBD Tuesday Tumblers is to try and translate that to an online experience (not an easy task). I think that is one of the things that has limited my online productivity... It is hard to get all the senses involved, and to feel that connection. My hope is that these transactions happen off of some spark that occurs when you see a certain tumbler. For that reason I am willing to post experiments, and accidents... things that might not appeal to everyone, but may speak to someone. So far the response has been amazing, and so much fun... Thank you!

Follow along every Tuesday on Facebook, or Instagram... or check in on the site to see if a tumbler sparks YOUR interest!

I am welcoming in 2016 by looking back... way back to my college days (Graceland University). Specifically the days working in the ceramics studio. I created a small body of work that leaned against the idea that as a "potter/ceramicist" I was destined to make mugs and teapots. I didn't see anything wrong with creating this type of work, but I didn't like it to be assumed that this is who I was as an artist. So the worked referenced functional ceramic pieces, and had a metallic/machine fabrication aesthetic. I had big ideas for this work and where I would take it... However, I didn't really understand how to tackle these ideas, in order to make the body of work a reality. I got overwhelmed, and the ideas sat on the shelf.

Tea Pot Jams, made circa 2000

 

Fast forward to about this time last year (yes, fast forward... backwards)... I had been getting my hands back in clay. As I dipped my toes (well, fingers) back in the clay... I found myself leaning towards making simple tumblers. These items were something to use, and compliment my life in coffee. I had never seen my skill set matching up very well with those of a "production" potter, but there was something intriguing about tackling that notion... and turning it on its head.

 

Then, out of the blue... I was asked if I, "could make custom ceramic growlers". I had never thought about such a thing, and had no idea how to go about fulfilling that request... so I said, "yes, I think I can do that". I had also just recently made a challenge to myself to "try and fail" at as many things as possible. This meant, instead of shying away from things that I thought I could not do, or might not be good at... that I would GO FOR IT!!!

So... in the last few hours of 2015... I delivered growlers number: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 (out of 250 to be made). All were sold before the doors to Mare Island Brewing Co. was even open for business (and there was still a line of people who would have to wait for the next batch). The reason I write this post now, is to highlight the fact that these growlers are tied to that work from long ago. The work I was doing then is present now, both in aesthetic and concept. I had to lean into what I bucked against as a young college student... just now am I learning how to be myself. Letting the work flow out of me, and not simply just pushing against the box that others (or myself) might want to put me in. I can now look back at the patterns of my life, and see that the things people now often say that I am "good at"... are all things I was quite sure I could never excel at. What a wonderful thing it is to be proved wrong... and learn something new!

64 oz Growler for Mare Island Brewing Co. (2015)