Sunday, October 17, 2010

Super-Feel-Good Week Adjusting to New Roles

Incendiary Grenade Sculpture

Small bowls waiting to be trimmed

Spinning coming along

Final bounty of the season

I had a great week. I confess that some (many) days the past couple months have been utlra-challenging. I've tried to focus on the positive and keep moving forward. So, in comparison, this past week felt like things were really starting to flow and make sense again. I am beginning adjust to my new routines and assignments; for a while there, it felt like total upheaval. So, this week I celebrate!

I have, in the past, been someone who would take a project and focus on it for hours on end. I like that intensity. But now, the shake-ups in my life have me moving in several different directions on any one given day, both at work and home. Yesterday I tried the new "way of doing things" in my studio - and to my surprise- it worked!

I began the day with a three-hour wheel-throwing session. Afterward, I spent four hours on a project for a client, then two hours on a tapestry, one hour spinning fibers, and an hour reading a book for a class assignment. I feel like I got quite a bit done and will try that same sort of routine today after I blog.

Other interesting highlights this past week included a technology workshop. My former profession before switching careers to art education was technology-based (both design and a quick stint teaching at college level before moving back to Maine) and I had thought that that part of my life was behind me. But it is funny how those things come back around. I am excited about the possibilities for our local students with the interactive equipment that will allow them to take their education beyond the walls of our school, to far-off places like the Smithsonian or even classrooms in other countries.

Another role that I play at school this year is that I am filling-in for the music position until a permanent teacher is hired. I never thought that I would be teaching music, but here I am. Who'da thunk it. Now that I am moving beyond the stress of being a "first year teacher" again, I am really enjoying it. It might just be hard to give up that position when the time comes!!! My history with music does go way back, from watching my mom's balalaika orchestra performances to my college job in a music store where I was exposed to all types of music and met many performers, to my time playing and performing with an awesome African drum ensemble when I was in my late twenties. This week, supply orders finally arrived at school. It felt like Christmas opening all those boxes. I think my favorite item that arrived was a Steel Drum. The kids love it too. I can imagine a steel drum band starting at our school. We'll see.

Spinning fibers is not as easy as it looks, but I think I just might be starting to get the hang of it. This week I will ply my first batch of yarn. Hopefully it will be usable for a tapestry, albeit a bit unruly, funky, and inconsistent. I have been working on two different tapestry projects; one for a client and one for a class assignment. I have come up with a an idea for a tapestry series and can't wait to see it unfold. It has sculptural elements and is definitely in the beginning experimental stage. I think that if I can structurally make it work, that this will only be the beginning of what is possible with that medium for me. I worked out the structural element while on a walk last summer. Crossing my fingers it all comes together!!!

Another awesome event this past week is that I finally finished the wet work for the "incendiary grenade". It is part of a clay sculpture series that I am working on and it draws in elements of both new work and a series that I began in 2007. Right now the sculpture is in two pieces but will eventually be permanently attached. I enjoyed the process with this piece, working large scale, combining wheel and slab work, and making those little faux bolts. Ultimately, the piece will incorporate light.

And just when this week couldn't get any better....Northern Tides launched their new website! It's a beautiful, professional site and I am pleased to be a part of their list of artists. Check it out. Deb and Jerry have been instrumental in changing the face of Lubec - or maybe better stated - in the "facelift" of Lubec. The downtown is starting to perk-up and is looking great!

Let's see, have I left anything out? Yes, lots of things, but I will blog about those later on. Today I am itching to get back into the studio. On a final note, I will share with you a video clip of the song "Steal My Kisses from You" by Ben Harper. When I hear this song, I can't help but smile. The toes start tapping, then the legs moving, the volume knob gets just puts me in such a good mood. Enjoy!

source: youtube


Owl Who Laughs said...

This is a jamming bubbling rocking blog entry. A lively dance of creativity in words and image. It makes me want to shout and twist!

Unknown said...

Wow! the challenge of fewer staff at school is really stretching you (and probably others). Hope it is more fun than stressful. Janet