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need some real life advice

updated fri 26 nov 04

 

Mike Gordon on sun 21 nov 04


Hi Elizabeth,
Let me start out by saying I'm a male. But also a divorced father of =20
one daughter and I do remember the "early days" . With that said, my =20
advice is not to worry about your title, so now you'll be a "potter mom =20=

" like a soccer mom, only a whole lot better off. Eventually you will =20=

find the time to get back into your studio, if only in bits and pieces. =20=

Develop work that you can do in bits and pieces, maybe just the brush =20=

painting, I've kept a clay sculpture workable for six months doing a =20
little hear and there, because I was so exhausted from teaching all =20
day. Where there is a will there is a way! After reading your plea I =20
looked at your web site, Man I wish I could paint like you, the slab =20
and brush work is beautiful. I have been thinking of taking a Japanese =20=

brush painting class because I've been unhappy with the direction of =20
decorating my own pots. Your insects are so beautiful I love the wings =20=

and the gesture of your brush work is wonderful. Hang in there it will =20=

all work out, just don't get depressed and stop. Mike Gordon



On Nov 21, 2004, at 4:17 PM, Elizabeth Priddy wrote:
> How do you get through this? I know some of you have. Feel free to =20=

> write offline.
> I need a little help. It is really getting me down.
>
>
>
> Elizabeth Priddy
>
> 252-504-2622
> 1273 Hwy 101
> Beaufort, NC 28516
> http://www.elizabethpriddy.com
>
> ---------------------------------
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Meet the all-new My Yahoo! =96 Try it today!
>
> =
_______________________________________________________________________=20=

> _______
> Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at =20
> melpots@pclink.com.
>

Louis Katz on sun 21 nov 04


Labels Schmabels.
I won't tell you about the nobel profession, I never have been a mother =20=

although some have called me one in a different tone.
i would suggest you drop the labels, although, if you have to chose one =20=

you might try mine, Clayer. So few people have used it the edges are =20=

yet undefined. Take me for instance, these days I am more of a =20
clayart-er than a clayer. The last month I have been a recordplayerist.
Gail Busch, my wife, is about to start again making pots. ( years ago =20=

she stopped when Sammy was born. She started again when he went off to =20=

a preschool three mornings a week. She stopped again when Benny was =20
born. She probably could have made pots some while the kids were young =20=

(they still a re) but chose to make incredible cakes, costumes and be =20=

involved.

But, If you are looking for the best label I would suggest you call =20
yourself, Elizabeth Priddy, and am sure that that is the finest label =20=

you can have.
Sincerely,
Louis

On Nov 21, 2004, at 6:17 PM, Elizabeth Priddy wrote:

> I am currently having a potters identity crisis of sorts. I used to =20=

> identify myselfas a potter by "one who makes his/her living making =20
> pots". I learned through
> discourse on clayart taht that is unnecessarily restrictive. I =20
> modified my
> thinking to define a potter as "one who makes pots" with modifiers to =20=

> indicate level
> of professional expertise. But as "one who made baby and must now =20
> care for it",
> I am no longer one who make pots and cannot believe that the time and =20=

> energy
> problem will get better. And I developed my career first, so I am =20
> used to defining
> myself as a potter. I don't need any lectures about the most noble =20=

> prefession of
> motherhood. I get how lucky I am. I just don't know what you do in =20=

> limbo to define yourself.
>
> Am I on hiatus until he can speak? I feel guilty about the studio and =
=20
> equipment
> and supplies and investment in education just sitting there while I =20=

> don't have the energy
> to get a real bath, much less express anything in clay.
>
> How do you get through this? I know some of you have. Feel free to =20=

> write offline.
> I need a little help. It is really getting me down.
>
>
>
> Elizabeth Priddy
>
> 252-504-2622
> 1273 Hwy 101
> Beaufort, NC 28516
> http://www.elizabethpriddy.com
>
> ---------------------------------
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Meet the all-new My Yahoo! =96 Try it today!
>
> =
_______________________________________________________________________=20=

> _______
> Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at =20
> melpots@pclink.com.
>
>
Louis Katz
http://www.tamucc.edu/~lkatz

Elizabeth Priddy on sun 21 nov 04


I am currently having a potters identity crisis of sorts. I used to identify myselfas a potter by "one who makes his/her living making pots". I learned through
discourse on clayart taht that is unnecessarily restrictive. I modified my
thinking to define a potter as "one who makes pots" with modifiers to indicate level
of professional expertise. But as "one who made baby and must now care for it",
I am no longer one who make pots and cannot believe that the time and energy
problem will get better. And I developed my career first, so I am used to defining
myself as a potter. I don't need any lectures about the most noble prefession of
motherhood. I get how lucky I am. I just don't know what you do in limbo to define yourself.

Am I on hiatus until he can speak? I feel guilty about the studio and equipment
and supplies and investment in education just sitting there while I don't have the energy
to get a real bath, much less express anything in clay.

How do you get through this? I know some of you have. Feel free to write offline.
I need a little help. It is really getting me down.



Elizabeth Priddy

252-504-2622
1273 Hwy 101
Beaufort, NC 28516
http://www.elizabethpriddy.com

---------------------------------
Do you Yahoo!?
Meet the all-new My Yahoo! Try it today!

Penni on mon 22 nov 04


I am currently a potter on hiatus - for the second time. The first occured
when I was pregnant with my second and could not bend over a wheel and then
could not sit to do hand building. I packed it all up and left my studio
until he was nearly a year then went back to it in drips and drabs.
This time around it is because I am back to school. I am not a full time
potter - never have been and not sure I want to be. It started as a hobby -
now I call it my part time job/obsession. This year I decided to finally get
my teachers degree and am attending school in Amherst New York every weekend
and working full time throughout the week. Needless to say there really is
no time for pottery between work, kids and homework assignments. So I packed
it all up at the end of August, cleaned up my studio, unplugged the wheel
and kiln and have not been near it since.
I am still a potter - so are you. Just taking a leave of absence as it were.
As I will do next September from my job as Education Assistant while I do my
practice teaching.

Penni Stoddart
London, Ontario

Harry Peery on mon 22 nov 04


Dear Elizabeth,

I know so well where you're coming from even though for me it was 31 years
ago! When my two were little, I wasn't a potter - I was a horse nut. Right
up till I had my son I was involved with the horses, either through 4-H, or
just hanging around them, training, ground work, etc. When my boy came
along, I was literally lost. Like you, I felt guilty at not being able to
spend time doing that which had fulfilled me before the baby came along;
spending time with the 4 legged members of the family ("all that "money"
sitting out in the barn, I've worked so hard at the training, who's going to
exercise them now?" etc, etc.) I also felt very guilty at the way I was
feeling, I mean, after all, shouldn't I be basking in the glow of having a
new baby? (LOL) Being a new mother is a hard job. The birth itself is called
labour because it is, and the following months aren't exactly a bed of roses
either. You will be exhausted, but this too, will pass.

What you are feeling is completely normal and you will get through it. As
the little one gets older, you may want to have a sitter come over on a
regular basis to give you some time in the studio. It'll be time for
yourself and will help regenerate you. You will be able to be a potter
again, but your life will have more folds and staples to it, more texture.
You'll probably find that your work in the clay will change and express some
of what you're feeling - it's great catharsis. Just for now, realize that
your own rest is most important - try to sleep when the baby sleeps. You can
look forward to even more vitalized work and some new ways to see things.
(Your work is beautiful, by the way!)

As far as describing yourself - just tell yourself and others that you're a
potter on maternity leave.

Blessings,
Sue

>But as "one who made baby and must now care for it",
> I am no longer one who make pots and cannot believe that the time and
energy
> problem will get better.
>
> How do you get through this? I know some of you have. Feel free to write
offline.
> I need a little help. It is really getting me down.
>
>
>
> Elizabeth Priddy
>
> 252-504-2622
> 1273 Hwy 101
> Beaufort, NC 28516
> http://www.elizabethpriddy.com
>
> ---------------------------------
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Meet the all-new My Yahoo! - Try it today!
>
>
____________________________________________________________________________
__
> Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
melpots@pclink.com.

Adam Silverman on mon 22 nov 04


I am a fulltime professional potter, who was a stay at home dad for two
years when I had two daughters a year apart. Due to the girl's needs and my
exhaustion, I was only able to steal small pieces of time to work. So rather
than try to work as I did before children, I decided to use that time for
experimentation. I took on projects that worked in small time slots. Glaze
experiments. Firing experiments, Trying new ideas for forms, reading and
researching history and new places to sell work. I thought about what kind
of potter I was and what kind I might become. So much of being a good potter
happens away from the wheel. I worked on things that were not really
commercially relevant at the time, rather new, open ended investigations.
Throw some forms and then throw them away. No sales. No pressure.
It turned out to be a very valuable and fruitful time, and I am still using
a lot of the research from that period, now, three years later. I am also
very close with my daughters as a result of that time. I would advise to try
and relax and enjoy the baby and let yourself be as free in the studio as
possible. Good luck and enjoy this time if you can.

joan woodward on mon 22 nov 04


Hi Elizabeth,

How nice to see a post from you on Clayart! I used to enjoy, appreciate and learn from you, but then hadn't seen your name in a long time. (I come and go myself, so I may have missed more recent posts.) Anyway, I feel strongly that Americans in particular define themselves too much by what they DO. In my book, the more important sources of identity should be derived from who we ARE. I.e., are we kind, caring, interested, intellectual, spiritual, funny, reserved, creative, patient, etc. Long ago, I dentified myself as a wife, mother, and lawyer. But those represented my roles in life, and said nothing about my character or personal strengths and weaknesses. Defining myself by what I did didn't help a lot when wifedom went by the wayside in the course of divorce; I couldn't have more kids, and was often unhappy doing what lawyers do.

As for your investment in the studio - it's not lost. This is just a time in your life for different priorities. Unfortunately, most of us can't do everything we would like to do at once, though God knows, some of us try!

Hope this helps!

Joan, just returned from sunny Tucson to snowy Colorado.
Elizabeth Priddy wrote:
I am currently having a potters identity crisis of sorts. I used to identify myselfas a potter by "one who makes his/her living making pots". I learned through
discourse on clayart taht that is unnecessarily restrictive. I modified my
thinking to define a potter as "one who makes pots" with modifiers to indicate level
of professional expertise. But as "one who made baby and must now care for it",
I am no longer one who make pots and cannot believe that the time and energy
problem will get better. And I developed my career first, so I am used to defining
myself as a potter. I don't need any lectures about the most noble prefession of
motherhood. I get how lucky I am. I just don't know what you do in limbo to define yourself.

Am I on hiatus until he can speak? I feel guilty about the studio and equipment
and supplies and investment in education just sitting there while I don't have the energy
to get a real bath, much less express anything in clay.

How do you get through this? I know some of you have. Feel free to write offline.
I need a little help. It is really getting me down.



Elizabeth Priddy

252-504-2622
1273 Hwy 101
Beaufort, NC 28516
http://www.elizabethpriddy.com

---------------------------------
Do you Yahoo!?
Meet the all-new My Yahoo! Try it today!

______________________________________________________________________________
Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org

You may look at the archives for the list or change your subscription
settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/

Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at melpots@pclink.com.


---------------------------------
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Astabeth on wed 24 nov 04


Hello, Elizabeth!

One question - where is the pressure to 'define' yourself coming from?
Somewhere else or from you? Has anyone said anything about the
unused studio/ supplies, etc., or are you feeling guilty all on your
own? If you are putting this pressure on yourself, STOP! You have
enough to worry about right now without added pressure and guilt.
Your job right now is to do what you're doing, and try not to worry
about the rest. It took me a while to figure that out - my daughter
is 16 mos.

Now if you're wanting to get in the clay because you WANT to and not
because you feel like you NEED to, I stole a little time to bring a
few things in from the studio - a couple ribs, a board with canvas
stapled over it - and found a place inside where I could handbuild a
little bit when she napped. I also brought in a small tupperware bowl
with clay that I could use to sit and make stamps in odd moments.

I hope everything works out well for you - let us know how it's going.

Beth Bachuss
Decatur, AL

elca branman on wed 24 nov 04


Dear dear Elizabeth,

Firstly, "feeling guilty about"......Big waste of energy, big waste of
time, very enervating and besides , you need your sleep!

Secondly.."define yourself "!!!!

I will define you; you are just like Popeye who said "I yam what I yam."

Do you think at your age with your background you are undefined? Right
now you are an artist,a mother, you are a potter on hold, you will,I
PROMISE YOU, always be Elizabeth Priddy because you have no choice and
having led an "examined" life, you will have no choice but to continue
growing..

I guarantee that you will be back in clay when you are ready and capable
of doing so..

I guarantee that.

Life is not either /or..it is sometimes now and then.. Enjoy the baby
without guilt about unused machinery etc.. Machines can wait, baby cannot
at this moment, but it is just a moment in time in your life.

You are in for some magical moments with your child (as well as guilt
when you ignore her for two minutes while you scratch an idea onto the
back of an envelope.)

Trust yourself, do whatever feels okay and know ,like the rest of us,
that there literally is no way that you could stop yourself from making
art.. The eyes and creative head are always there, even within periods
of dormancy. Elca

PS..also, no point in trying to be a perfect mother..you can only be
yourself in whatever role you are working on..!
On Sun, 21 Nov 2004 16:17:50 -0800 Elizabeth Priddy
writes:
> I just don't know what you do in
> limbo to define yourself.
>
> Am I on hiatus until he can speak? I feel guilty about the studio
> and equipment
> and supplies >
>
> Elizabeth Priddy
>
> 252-504-2622
> 1273 Hwy 101
> Beaufort, NC 28516
> http://www.elizabethpriddy.com
>
> ---------------------------------
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Meet the all-new My Yahoo! Try it today!
>
>
_________________________________________________________________________
_____
> Send postings to clayart@lsv.ceramics.org
>
> You may look at the archives for the list or change your
> subscription
> settings from http://www.ceramics.org/clayart/
>
> Moderator of the list is Mel Jacobson who may be reached at
> melpots@pclink.com.
>
>


Elca Branman

http://www.elcabranman.com

________________________________________________________________
Juno Platinum $9.95. Juno SpeedBand $14.95.
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Jennifer Boyer on thu 25 nov 04


Hi Elizabeth. Being a Mom is one of the most intense, amazing
experiences you can have, but there are no rules here: you can make up
your own. I started my motherhood journey when my pottery business was
growing. I was 25 when I had my first child. Neither my husband or I
were making much money and we needed my business to grow asap. I had
the luxury of a supportive circle of friends who were new mothers too.
We handled it in a myriad of ways. All were accepted.

For me, part time day care was the answer. I didn't have the
temperament to handle fitting pot making into nap time. I couldn't
handle straddling two worlds like that. It made me grumpy! So I had my
two worlds, but divided from each other. I was a happier Mom when I had
some time to focus solely on my pottery business. I had 2 kids using
this same set up: they went to small day cares run by wonderful
experienced child care providers who helped me hone my mothering
skills. I didn't live near any family members who could help me figure
it all out, so these women gave me advice and perspective about my kids
personalities and quirks. Also my kids benefited from the little
community of 5 or 6 kids at the day care, since they didn't have
siblings close to their age.

The schedule went like this: starting at 3 months they went 3 days a
week for 3 hours at a time. This gradually increased as they got older
until it was 5 days a week for 6 hours. I had a flexible schedule so
could take over when they were sick, as well as participate in their
school activities. You have the best of both worlds using day care and
having a home business, since you can make the call on altering your
schedule to meet your kid's needs.

My first kid went to a coop nursery school when she was 2 to 4. Parents
took turns working there. Nice set up. There are a bunch of young
adults in our area whose diapers I changed!

I had my share of guilt, feeling like I was failing somehow. I couldn't
be a full time Mom, and frankly didn't want to. I had an amazing
conversation with a friend's grandmother: she was in her 80's, a
classic 5th generation Vermont matriarch of a farm family. I was
apologizing for being a working Mom: she said "who told you that
mothers are the only ones good enough to care for their kids? When I
was a young mother I was needed for the farm work, so my mother and
aunt took care of my kids when they were little. They are fine as long
as they are with people who you have judged to be competent and
caring...."

Of course there are people who do best as full time Moms but that's not
all of us....
My kids are 20 and 28 now. Recently my daughter(28) told me that she is
holding off agreeing to marry her long time boy friend since he's not
sure about having kids. She said she wants a family because of her
strong feelings of bonding to us and her good memories of her
childhood. So I guess I didn't screw up, y'know?

Jennifer

On Nov 24, 2004, at 12:21 PM, elca branman wrote:

> Dear dear Elizabeth,
>
> Firstly, "feeling guilty about"......Big waste of energy, big waste of
> time, very enervating and besides , you need your sleep!
>
> Secondly.."define yourself "!!!!
>
> I will define you; you are just like Popeye who said "I yam what I
> yam."
>
> Do you think at your age with your background you are undefined? Right
> now you are an artist,a mother, you are a potter on hold, you will,I
> PROMISE YOU, always be Elizabeth Priddy because you have no choice and
> having led an "examined" life, you will have no choice but to continue
> growing..
>
************************
Jennifer Boyer
Thistle Hill Pottery
Montpelier, VT

http://thistlehillpottery.com