A confession...

I have to confess that I was dreading opening up my doors for the Austin Studio Tour. I’ve been working alone in my studio since April 2020 and so much has changed in here since I last had anyone in this space. I have opened up things in my personal life a lot more than I had here in the studio and was worried what finally opening my doors would mean. I was in a groove of making work, letting you all know about it, and sending it off to it’s new home with you. I didn't know quite how to open those doors and have it make sense with what I've been doing in here. The Studio Tour was a great deadline to have and I did get those doors open the past two weekends, I was not ready for how much nourishment I would receive out of hosting and sharing my space with you all again.

Like most things in my studio, I completely changed how I did things during the Studio Tour. Gone are the days of my samples and seconds sale during the tour. I stopped doing that in 2017. I didn’t host a large party as I had done since first moving into Canopy in 2013. The showroom was set with all my newest, large-scale work and I was finally opening the doors to the new version of my studio life for the first time. It was a bit intimidating to do this. 

Waking up this morning, I realized that the most satisfying part of the last two weekends is knowing that I opened my studio as it is in real time. I may have billed them as demonstrations, but what I really did was slowly and consistently do my job while the doors were open. I was in the studio throwing, trimming, finishing, and cleaning up all of my work for my upcoming Holiday Porcelain Drop. At various times, crowds formed because honestly, who can resist the magic that happens when a pottery wheel is spinning and pieces grow from a lump of clay into a bowl or a vase? And when you all were in my space watching me work, I was able to share not only how I do my work, but also talk with you about why I do what I do. 

One thing that working alone has given me is the full ownership of my work again. I’ve been making pots professionally for about twenty-five years now, but until now, it had been a long time since I’ve done all of that work on my own. With the responsibility of working alone has been the gift of the time I spend with my work. Working like this has also helped me with one of the things I struggle most with as an artist– The ability to speak about my work confidently, directly and honestly. It was a pleasure to share that with you all in-person. Thank you so much for coming through my studio doors.

I also hope that the Austin Studio Tour reinforces how important it is to make sure we have space inside these city limits for the creative folks to do their work of building the culture that make this city special. The doors of around 500 artists didn't open their doors by happenstance. Big Medium is the non-profit that produces the Austin Studio Tour. Like this city, the tour has grown since its first one twenty years ago. Please check out their website if you'd like to see how you can get involved and support their work.

You likely already know that I don't join the Black Friday / Cyber Monday onslaught. You can read why that is in my journal post from 2019. Even though that post was written in my studio’s previous life, the basics of that hold true today. Instead, I'm going to finish the last of my new pieces today and tomorrow before taking a break for the holiday.

You’ll hear from me next in early December with the details of my upcoming Porcelain Drop, happening on December 7th at Noon central. As always, my newsletter subscribers get pre-sale access to my new work the day before it’s available online to the rest of the world.

Thanks again for your support– in real life and through these online platforms. I look forward to our next conversation.

All the best,
Keith


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