My mudder was a mudder. You know the episode right? (Huge Seinfeld fan) Anyway, Me and my Dad have always been pals. We are enough alike and just a tad different that we rarely disagree. Growing up in my parent's pottery biz everyone had a job. When setting up at an art show me (nicknamed buffalo back) and Dad would carry the booth components and boxes of pottery to our booth space. After we constructed the booth my Mom and little sister were in charge or setting up the pots and making it look nice. Meanwhile me and Dad would sneak off to find donuts and coffee. It was like this every time, we were the set up/tear down crew. Through this I learned how to use tools, how to pack a vehicle with more stuff than it should carry, how to be useful and get out of the way when necessary. I went to art shows with my parents from age 6 mos to 18, we went pretty much most weekends and more in the summer months. Often times traveling into other states, MD, PA, NJ and all around our state of Ohio. We would go places we had family as well like CO and FL (I'm good at long road trips lol). As a child it seemed normal because it was all I knew, now I realize it was fairly unique and a wonderful gift of perspective.
Dad, aka Pappy Jax, has come on to help me with Hillbippie Clay (he's where my hippie comes from). He definitely has a different style than me in the studio and things have to be just so, I have to remind him, "You can overthink these things" (My hubs famous line, the hillbilly side). When it comes to glazes he is a mad chemist, which is great because it isn't my strong suite. I did not go to school for pottery, I learned backwards really and in a vacuum, I know what I was taught from my mentor and how to use those specific things. She did not mix her own glazes so this is something that is intriguing and an area to improve upon for me. I'm learning so much from him!! It is extremely unique to be able to have a walking, talking encyclopedia of glaze/pottery knowledge at the ready. We just recently developed a glossy black that is amazing!! I will have it available during my next update (find out more about that here). I'll be testing a new batch of Jade green that he mixed up this week as well, always testing! The Jade green that he developed is such a lovely satin glaze, he says its one of the most complicated mixes he has done. I use it on my Coastal mugs and on my Dark Side of Oz tallies (both available during my next update).
As an artist I'm always searching for what sets me apart, what makes me unique in the midst of others. Because lets be real, there are plenty of potters out there. I feel it is just this, I grew up with clay and know it well. Since day one clay has been in my life, that's a strong bond. I have a dual perspective of pottery as well, once through the eyes of a child and one that is my present. Sometimes I wonder how I know certain things and it seems that it seeped in from my experiences when I was young. When I'm packing my tiny car for a weekend long show, it just comes natural that I would be able to fit everything. How a glaze will fit over a certain texture or how long it will be until my mugs are dry enough to handle, its just in there. I am continually surprised with this knowledge that is coming to the surface. Like a book placed high on a shelf, covered with dust, waiting to be pulled down. That book is finally being read and nurtured into a beautiful artistry through my hands and heart. I can't wait to see where it goes but I feel like I'm on the right path. Thankful to still be able to share a coffee with my Dad and discuss the planning, packing and problem solving that is owning/running your own pottery business. We'll always be linked in clay :) #mudinmyblood