Today I threw out almost all of my plaster slipcasting molds from the studio.
Why did I do that? They’ve helped me make hundreds of pieces like my Gramercy Vases, specialty pieces for a few clients, and small bowls. They’re also pieces that I haven’t been making since I’ve been working in the studio solo. These were the objects I’d start making again when I turned things back on to full blast and got back to the speed in the studio like before. The thing is– I’m kind of digging the speed that I’m moving at.
I’ve known for a while that what and how I’m making my work right now is the only plan I have. You probably knew that as well, but I hadn’t said it clearly until now. I keep trying to define what I’m doing and where I’m going, but I’ve already been doing it. I’m still not sure about where this path ends up and that also sounds good to me.
The old path for this studio was amazing and I could not be on this new trajectory without having built my studio into the place that it was. This space was full of people doing amazing work, equipment for a production line, old glazes, and an infinite number of spreadsheets and notes for a future that no longer exists.
All of that is ok. This studio...this current one is beautiful. It’s a mix of new ideas and one-of-a-kind wares– all balanced with the right amount of made-to-order dinnerware that speaks to me as an artist. It’s a place where all of the things I learned by its past growth is now allowing me to explore things that I never quite found the time to do on my old path.
My old version of growth in the studio was never meant to be big. There are plenty of my contemporaries with studio pottery backgrounds exploring dinnerware production in wonderful ways. For a long time, I thought that I was competing with them. The truth is, I was never comfortable going all-in and scaling up to go huge– even in the before times.
Most of this stems from a conversation I had long ago with my good friend, Ryan. While my old team and I were working on an extremely large restaurant order he said, “don’t go big...stay medium, because big can fuck you up.” I still take this phrase as some of the best advice I’ve ever received.
My new version of growth is small, even miniscule when I think about the plans I had. Again, that doesn’t matter. I’m making each and every piece that comes out of this studio and that feels amazing. I have a notebook full of ideas and the only goal I have is to make sure that I create the time and space to bring those ideas to life. It’s a small thing, but with these molds gone, there’s both physical and mental space to keep moving forward.