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studio baby thank you/thoughts

updated tue 8 feb 00


Jessica Klauzer-Zimmerman on sun 6 feb 00

Dear Clayarters,

First of all, I have to thank all of you that replied
with such wonderful stories and advice regarding
having my child in the studio with me. I truly
enjoyed all of your stories and am taking all of your
suggestions to heart.

One thing that I try to do in all aspects of my life
is to find the middle path and follow it, difficult as
this may be. I understand the concern about exposing
tiny developing lungs to clay dust and other studio
toxins, but I also know that our world is practically
made up of toxins. I, of course, would never want to
harm my baby, and I think common sense is as good a
tool as is needed for deciding what is safe and what
is not. The attitude that having the baby in the
studio is child abuse seems a bit rash. I think
perhaps the doctor who made this comment has seen so
many children that have respiratory problems that he
is particularly sensitive to this topic. We live in
an imperfect and dangerous world, and no amount of
shielding our children from it will keep them from
getting hurt in it. We can do everything we can to
keep them safe, and this I know I will do to the best
of my abilities. My studio is a sort-of shanty town
shack behind my house which has no windows, so it is
just about as well ventilated as you can get. I also
steer away from the more harmful glaze ingredients
because I don't like fooling around with them at all.
I think that keeping the operation simple and
concentrating on the comfort and safety of the baby,
as well as nurturing him/her (we haven't yet found out
the sex) will make me a successful studio mommy. At
least that's what I am going to try for.

I can't say what I will do when my baby arrives, but I
am tremendously better informed than I was due to all
the wonderful responses from you Clayarters. What a
gift to be a part of such a great group of people
sharing thoughts and feelings. And for some reason,
the "impersonal" nature of typing at a keyboard and
reading the text from other people doesn't really seem
that impersonal to me, especially when you all have
shared your personal stories and support the way that
you always seem to do. Some folks even extended an
ear by including their home phone numbers and asking
me to call whenever I needed to talk. What an amazing

Thank you all again and happy potting.

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Jennifer Boyer on mon 7 feb 00

I think this subject its replies show what a diverse group we
are: We range from full time life long potters making our
livings from clay, to those with fledgling skills and a lot of
hopes and frustrations ahead, balancing love of clay with _the
real world_ : fitting clay in where we can. We represent the
gamut every point of view and I hope we all can keep in mind
how diverse are our collective experiences and realities.
Conflict is natural; tolerance and tact are essential.

I tried to get this post through 3 times but it has gotten
bumped, so here's another try:

> Check out this site:
> It has info on the fact that the NEA funding email you saw on
> Clayart is a hoax. My
> daughter emails a lot of email forwards to me, and I'd heard
> that the Bill Gates giveaway one was a hoax, so I went to my
> favorite search engine: and typed in Bill Gates
> Internet Hoax. I got to this Stiller site. When I did the same
> for this NEA thing Jesse sent me, I got to the same site with
> the URL listed above. I think we all have an easy way to nip
> this stuff in the bud. Does anyone know any really good hoax
> busting internet sites they would like to share? This Stiller
> one is new to me, and I hope it's not a hoax!! I did do a search
> of the NPR site using NEA funding as keywords and came up with
> old stuff from 97, when the excrement almost hit the air conditioning.....
> Here's another site that talks about this NEA hoax.
> Weird place this internet!
> Jennifer jumping for joy with 9 new inches of snow to x country
> ski on....

Jennifer Boyer
Thistle Hill Pottery
Vermont USA