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updated thu 25 dec 03


piedpotterhamelin@COMCAST.NET on wed 24 dec 03

As it is many times on this bb, the truth be known that it is perspective learned through distilled, learned experience. It cannot be argued with; no matter if it be the path that you took for your career or it is the printer that you decided to buy, the lesson is unpredicability, chance, luck and informed decisions are how we mold ourselves to be potters.
My career has been a Godsend; it has been pure hell.
I did not expect that the crash of 1993 would close 1/3 of the stores that I sold to, neither did I expect to have so many orders last year that I never got to complete all of them. Neither did I expect to have glaze materials discontinued or for my body to age. (Yeah I did expect the latter, all I had to do was look at my Dad, but I denied the truth).
I don't put my trust in one product line to sell, one supplier to buy from, one poster on ClayArt. If I make a mistake, it is on my way to learning the truth. It sucks, cost money and vaporizes my precious time but it is a fact to accept.
My dear Wife and I have built a brand new studio and along with our new and ever evolving debt, we will change but keep to the wheel our goal of being Potters.
To those of you who expect to be Potters but have no expectations or demands other than income you must listen not to just this board but to the other careers out there. Musicians are now self-producing for a reason. Big Industry wants to homogenize the airwaves and television, not to mention what we eat, drink and spend our time with. Farmers, carpenters, teachers have all patterns that merge with ours.
You are not simply asking us about becoming a Potter. You are asking if you can survive as an individual. While income, marketing, product, credit, the patience of your mate and support of your community are talked about here, it is still about who you are as an individual. My conquests and frustrations are helpful for understanding, but I don't know you.
Hell, I don't know the guy anymore that I was thirty years ago when I started potting. I don't know who I will tomorrow.
But with my wife I will hold hands and we will craft our trade of Pottery.
You are blessed with the confidence of asking the initial question. Take hold with a slackened grip but ready to hold fast or pull when you need to. It is in the moment that you have to decide.
Thirty years from now, write me again and tell me of how different you are.

"If these brains don't help me pot goes Pilgarlick" 1694
"My pot is whole, my water cleane" 1546
"There is death in the pot" c.600 b.c.

Our perspective is all we have.
Thanks for all the help that all of you shared with me this year.
May your life ahead be happy, healthy and beautiful
Happy New Year
Rick Hamelin

"Many a wiser men than I hath
gone to pot." 1649