While it's a bit of old news, my residency at the Orendaga is more "official" now, as I am listed on the Artist in Residence page. Go check it out!
The Orendaga Artist in Residence Page
Today marks the end of my seasonal retail run. After a month and a half of sprinting to stock shelves, losing my voice asking for rewards cards and money, and dodging heated spouts of undeserved spite and stress, I can safely say that I want nothing to do with the retail world. The idea of having to meet daily, weekly, monthly quota's kills me. Everyone's complaining about the economy being so bad, yet people don't blink an eye at dropping $200 at once, and that's only at one store...they also have three or four bags that are full from other stores. They're spending all this money on items that were mass-produced in other countries with no thought for the people being treated like machines to make these products.
It is my wish, as it is many others, that a greater emphasis be placed on the handmade. Sure, handmade goods cost a bit more because they are just that-handmade. Think about the quality and meaning behind a handmade bowl or sweater. If we all had more of these sorts of things in our lives, maybe we would be happier and appreciate each other more. I know that while this dream is realistic, people don't care enough to make the effort. Given my distaste for the materialistic world in which we live, I aim to do what I can with what I have in order to live my dream and do what it is I love. Working retail pays the bills for a little while, but I don't want to be caught up in doing something because I have to. I am determined, and with that and a little luck, I will succeed.
One of my really good friends had asked me many months ago if I could make a few mugs for him for Christmas gifts. I was planning on making them at Chautauqua and got completely sidetracked. I was finally able to make them yesterday. While I love making tile and the whole mold process, I still have a sweet spot for throwing. For not having thrown since the end of July, it was just like riding a bike, but maybe easier.
Three applications and a whole lot of patience later, I am proud to say that I have another residency lined up for the spring. I may have set my hopes a little too high in thinking that I would be able to land something this winter/spring and then something for the summer, or something for this whole next year, but I am grateful to have a place to go in June.
I will be the third resident at The Orendaga on Northville Lake. This is a new residency program run by Michele Drozd and Michael Intrabartola. They own a gallery and studio, along with (now) two Inn's in the village of Northville in NY. I am extremely excited as I feel that this small town setting will allow me lots of time in the studio along with wonderful community interaction, the opportunity to teach a few small classes, give an artists lecture and have a closing show. I am also super stoked about living close to a lake for the second summer in a row. I think that was one of my favorite part of Chautauqua, and while I will miss the Chautauqua community greatly this year, I am looking forward to meeting another group of people.
It's going to be a long few months at home waiting for June, unless I am able to find some other opportunity that will allow me time in the studio. Until then, I will continue with my lovely seasonal retail job at Harry and David's, and continue the search for other things to keep me busy.
Check out the website for The Orendaga. It would be lovely to have visitors while I'm there!
Looking back on the past few months, I am thankful for all that I have been able to do.
I successfully created a body of work for my BFA Thesis show.
I had the opportunity to assist in firing Susan Beecher's Naborigama wood kiln for the second time.
I spent seven weeks at the Visual Art School at the Chautauqua Institute in Western New York.
And I just finished a ten week apprenticeship at the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in Doylestown, Pa.
All of this seems to have completely flown by and I haven't really had the chance to sit back and think on all of it. Through building my thesis and having had to put together work for a show at Chautauqua within 4 weeks, I've learned that I am capable of putting together visually coherent work within a sort amount of time. I've also realized that I have a lot of more digging and exploring to do in order to find a concrete ground for my work. Thesis pushed me to constantly be thinking and figuring out on the spot what my work was about. A lot of the critiques I received at Chautauqua somehow lead me to believe that I absolutely need to know right now what my work is about. I became incredibly overwhelmed and didn't know where to go or what to make. In reality, if I knew what I was doing, I wouldn't have anything to learn. I just graduated six months ago. I have a strong foundation, but there's absolutely no reason why I need to know what I am doing.
Being at the Tileworks was so refreshing after stressing over why I was making what I was making. There wasn't a ton of people in and out of my studio space on a daily basis. I could come and go as I pleased, and asked for suggestions or help when I felt I needed it. I set aside the heavy focus of being conceptual and just let myself make. I looked at things around my house that I have grown up with and pulled from historic tiles and architecture. By allowing myself to just work, I am seeing meaning within my work that I probably wouldn't have seen had I forced myself to look for it in the beginning.
Now that I am home for at least two months, I want to delve back into my photography. I have a few ideas and plan to do some experimenting with my pin-hole lens cap for my digital camera.
In the mean time, I am anxiously awaiting word from the residencies I applied to for the New Year. Finger's crossed, as I hear from two of them this week.