Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Bucket List Item

I don't usually post in this space about my pottery, preferring to leave that to my pottery blog, Forrest Pottery.  However, I just finished a full set of dishes and it's kind of a milestone for me.  You see, when I was 19 I decided I wanted to make a set of dinnerware.  I thought, with all of youth's hubris, that I could do so in a single month.  Life intervened and except for brief classes here and there, I set pottery aside in favor of my family and job.

In 2000, my best friend died from a fall down the stairs of her retirement home.  She had only been there a matter of weeks.  When I visited her family they showed me that she had never even unpacked the boxes of craft materials she had been saving for her retirement.  After much grief and tears, I decided that I would not arrive at my retirement or death without doing the one thing I had always wanted to do: pottery.  I built my studio that same year.

I continued to work until I was laid off just short of retirement age.  What a mixed bag that was for me!  On the one hand, I lost my career, my health insurance, and my retirement pension.  What I gained was the ability to care for my mother in her last few years and the opportunity to finally study and master my craft.  I did both.

Yesterday I took the final load of dishes from my kiln.  These will not be for me, but for my daughter.  I feel like I've come full circle.  I did finish the set in a summer, just 45 years later! I'm mostly pleased with them and I know my daughter will like them.  All the determination and passion of my youth and all the skill I gained since then went into those dishes.

This is what satisfaction looks like.

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