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studio and babes

updated tue 8 feb 00


judy motzkin on mon 7 feb 00

Okay I'll say it.
I love my kids, truly, madly, deeply.
They enjoy clay all right and like to make things.
But the studio is my sanctuary. Keeping the dust out of
their baby lungs was a good excuse, but I really
treasured the blessed alone time in the studio when they
were little. I felt lucky to have a studio next door, was
able to use a baby monitor... used it til they were
beyond baby, just to keep an ear on them. But I must say
that they are trained out of my space. i am available and
home, but they tend not to bother me when I am "at work".
I am maybe more solitudinous in nature than many. And
mothering and solitude are hard to reconcile, especially
when they are little.
When my first was a baby, without the space and time to
work I went a little nuts, call it postpartum depression,
or art withdrawal. I found that the regularity that
making thrown pots demands was difficult to organize.
Pots made would scream to be trimmed as they dried and
the kid would be screaming for the same attention. I
found myself carving small models and sculpting large
furniture pieces during that time. they were more
forgiving of the irregularity of my timing.
The best thing I did however, was to not stop working. I
did quit my teaching job at MIT when the second was born,
but I never stopped the clay. I was in my thirties and
had been a working potter for over ten years at that
time. Clay Dragon, the cooperative I was working in,
folded as we were evicted at the hands of developers. I
lucked out in getting the barn/studio next to my home, no
mean feat in this dense city, actually proof of miracles
and the wonder of timing.
So, mom to be, don't be afraid to be a little selfish
with your studio time. protect your kids from dust. Take
off your studio shoes in the house. Give the kids some
clay, invite their pals, kindergarten class, but if you
need the space, let it be known.

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