Once November arrives, the stress and work load build. I don’t stress about the celebrations – Thanksgiving, Christmas and in our family several birthdays in-between – I relish those times. However, this is the time of year I’m trying to finish up work that people have ordered for Christmas gifts. This is where the stress digs in.
The reality of the ceramic process is the need to overproduce in order to guarantee enough suitable work. To illustrate, I had an order for ten mugs. So, I made fourteen mugs – a little insurance should something go awry in the process…something always goes awry. One of the fourteen was carelessly chipped in the greenware stage while I was shuffling work around to create more table space. Another of the remaining thirteen mugs was broken while I was glazing…freeing up a piece to run tests on. Yet another of the dozen left came out of the kiln with a blemish, so I eliminated it from the set. So then, left with eleven mugs, my client was able to choose her ten. I’m thankful there was one left to pull out of the set.
Once the Christmas season passes, the commissions slow. But, the requests for donated work seems to increase exponentially with the new year. An artist could stay very busy (and very poor) creating and donating work for fundraising organizations. It’s important to decide early on what sort and how many organizations/events you are willing to donate to.
Two organizations I have donated work to are the Empty Bowls event and the Ceramics Research Center (CRC) at Arizona State University. I’ve served on the CRC’s Artist Advisory Board in the past and continue to participate in the yearly open studio tours hosted by the CRC. (The 2010 tour is scheduled for February 27-28. I’ll post specifics as we approach the date).
Each year the CRC hosts a silent auction in an effort to help fund the museum’s cultural and educational programs. The upcoming auction will be held on Saturday, March 6, 2010. Because publication deadlines are nearing, I was determined to run a bit ahead of the curve so as to avoid a bit of stress and properly celebrate the holidays!