Howdy!! Long time no see. I'm so thrilled you all have chosen to stick around. This year started off with an unexpected turn in events. In January, I began teaching Ceramics at my alma mater, Muskingum University!! The semester is almost over now and it has been a whirlwind trying to balance teaching 4 days a week and running the Hillbippie ship. Production is way down but that's ok. Last year my focus was wholesale, I cranked out mugs and steins and pieces for many stores and businesses around Ohio. I was grindin' like a cup of foldgers. But that type of pace is hard to maintain and that type of work is just what its sounds like, a grind. I threw over 1,400 pots last year!! That is alot for a one woman show, its alot in general. Burn out is real. Through the Christmas season I struggled to want to make anything, lost the flame, the spark of creativity was out and I honestly wondered if it would ever come back. That is scary since my job is to make & create!
Being thrown into the teaching world lit that spark, the students I have are so refreshing and curious and willing! What a joy to see young people get excited about mud! Finding satisfaction in the simple act of making with their hands. Only a handfull of students have ever even touched clay before. They were starting at zero but have come a long way in a short amount of time! It has been very rewarding and I'm excited to have rekindled my creative spark. Hence this new design, Triplicate. I was simply playing around on a late night glazing, I had a few extra mugs with no agenda. It usually happens like that. I don't have time to be playing around but I want to so this time I did! I watered down some Red Iron Oxide and let the brush go. First I tested this design on white clay and then on my brown clay. Clear interior, raw clay, then off white speckled matte. I wanted to see what the red iron oxide would do under these glazes as well as on the raw clay. When they came out of the kiln I was very pleased!! Sometimes things just work out and its like, yesssss! I posted online and got great response, I also showed my sister, who is brutally honest when it comes to my work. She is a painter and has a different eye for composition than myself. Her response, "I like it!! It's like one continuous line in 3 different forms", Triplicate was born.
When things come together like that it's just magic. I don't know where that comes from, the spark, the magic. Is it just in there? Is it coming from elsewhere? I'm blown away by what comes out sometimes, how it all just works. So many moving parts have to work for something to come out, I feel like a composer sometimes, like I'm just leading all the moving parts in the right direction. I often feel like the more I have my antenna up the more real true to heart designs surface. When you are ultra focused it's hard for the stuff to come out, you're focusing and missing the big picture. That's why this design is really important to me. It might not look like much, it might look super simple and basic. But to me it means freedom, creatively. Expression. Luck. Practice. Purpose. It's a rebellion against convention, against something I don't want to make. It is not that, it's what I wanted and I let that happen. Freedom is essential to creation for me, I need to feel free to make so that what wants to come out feels safe to do so. Release the pressure!! Its like coaxing a timid dog over, you put out the back of your hand and talk real gentle. The deeper I get into this craft the more layers I pull back. The more I dig the more I find, a well, so deep and dark and sometimes scary, but filled with treasures just waiting be be found. Thank you Triplicate for trusting me to bring you into reality, welcome and enjoy :)
If you feel inclined to add one of these mugs to your home please have a look here.
I've added a pre-order option for this style. As always I appreciate your support, it keeps me going :)