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Good morning and afternoon everybody. How is life? I am finally back in Switzerland, and here I stay for the next..... say 3 weeks, and then it's Christmas time in Italy before a busy 2017 starts.

 

After a (too!) long time away from my studio I was going downstairs yesterday to prepare clay for a throwing session. The very first thing I did is putting on my (at the moment orange colored!) apron. That comes as natural to me as brushing my teeth 2x/day. You can laugh about me now but only in wearing my apron I feel that I am a potter. This is my symbol, so to say. An indication "now I work with clay for a time". It's a sign for others (husband, nieces etc.) that they may not disturb me now until I take off the apron again. I don't know if I can express myself correctly, but I think you get the picture.

 

Do you have a symbol or token too that you "need" to feel as a potter in your studio?

 

I wish everybody a happy week!

 

Evelyne

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Kellykopp    24

In the summer months I wear a one piece bathing suit and a calico skirt with my hair tied back with a headband to keep the hair out of my eyes.  This attire is "me" in my studio.  As far a being a "symbol" I am not so sure, but it works for me and when I am done I just take the garden hose to myself to clean up!!! lol

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

It is funny that you mentioned brushing your teeth as the routine of putting on an apron. When I was a resident potter in upstate NY in 1971, I mixed my clay into a slurry and let it set up in flower pots that were from the estate's green house. I did this every morning and the thought went through my head that it was like a routine of brushing my teeth. It wasn't a big chore, just something that got done quickly everyday before throwing began.

Marcia

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Denice    243

I am with you when it comes to the apron, I think it is like a uniform, makes me feel like a skilled professional potter.  When I am in my studio for just a few minutes to check on something I always feel like something is not right.  It's the missing apron!   Denice

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JohnnyK    86

My studio has a porch light and whenever I enter the studio, I turn on the light to let anyone interested know that I am in the studio. (kinda like the "On The Air" signs above recording studio doors...maybe I'll make one that says "In the MUD" :D 

JohnnyK

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glazenerd    816

My symbol is rather simple: took me awhile to figure out if I even had one. I put my blue sharpie in my pocket when I first walk into the studio. My slab roller table is covered with notes: firing schedules, proposed changes to formulas, or the last few firing logs. I write on clay test bars, on the back of test tiles, or anything else: notes that I do not want to carry around in my head (if that really works).

 

Nerd

 

Off until Monday by the way... Happy Thanksgiving.

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Mark C.    1,796

My apron is old cloths-I wear shop pants shoes and shirts that are beat. Glaze stains them and clay ruins shoes-I keep it all in my house mud room . I change to go to studio and then change to get back into house its a daily thing many times.I do not wear an apron. I do wash all towels and cloths in outside washer next to kiln( a new 500$ front loader low water user) once a week-no hot water no soap-drains to raspberry patch .

I keep clay cloths out of house always .

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

Me, too Mark.

I often don't wear an apron I hose clothes and aprons off on the grass and then wash them in my washing machine. Sometimes after hosing the aprons, I just hang them up to dry.

Shoes are the same. rubber shoes for the studio. Flip flops usually down here in the tropics. I left my work shoes for the far north up there a few weeks ago when I was painting the new house.

Always dress for the occasion.

Marcia

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Denice    243

I wear old clothes underneath my apron, the apron helps keep the clay in the studio,  I don't have a separate clothes washer but the one in the house is near the garage entrance.  If I get really grubby I strip down and throw my clothes in the wash my husband does the same thing except his clothes are always greasy from working on a car.   Denice

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terrim8    79

Just beginning to spend full time at it so I guess we'll see if I develop a symbolic habit or not. Looking at others answers, I tend to do my notes in the evening and I think just heading downstairs to work might be it so far.

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SydneyGee    57

Apron for sure. I don't begin without it. Also I switch to my old pair of non-slip sneakers. I rarely forget (or do not have) them with me. They are only for ceramics. I have my red notebook as well with notes, drawings, and photos for ideas on glazing, tips and tricks.

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ayjay    119

I wear an apron when I'm throwing but rarely for anything else pottery related:  I think my symbol would be a candle burning close by, (also when throwing),  my Zippo doesn't work so well when covered in clay slurry.

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GEP    863

Some people have orange aprons. Some of us have orange crocs.

 

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PRankin    181

Its crocs for me also. Two pairs. One for the home studio and one for the college studio. And shorts all year round.

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terrim8    79

The crocs hit home. A store in Calgary went out of business and sold them cheap! I have bright green and bright blue ones for indoors & out- upstairs & downstairs pairs, clay covered pairs, dirt covered pairs and a clean white pair as slippers next to the bed. They were $5 each!  

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What?    82

I'm not a fulltime potter. But I'm a potter. I dream in clay. I daydream in clay. I am on the search for items to create pottery with. I comb the internet for images and videos on the matter. What I need is a symbol or token to be a normal person in the world. Oh yeah I change into clean clothes before heading out into the real world or at least I sponge off. I'm sure there are far better things to be obsessed about. Best of all I love who I am.

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JohnnyK    86

I wear an apron when I'm throwing but rarely for anything else pottery related:  I think my symbol would be a candle burning close by, (also when throwing),  my Zippo doesn't work so well when covered in clay slurry.

So you're nekkid under that apron? :o 

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RonSa    188

Mechanical pencil in my breast pocket on my polo shirt, readers on my nose, mechanic's red rag hanging off my back jeans pocket and I'm all set to go.

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I can waste a truly appalling amount of time on the Internet in the morning, so I have to turn on my app blocker on my phone. After that, it's apron on, and the sound of the first song on my "Get To Work" playlist on my headphones. (Space Lord by Monster Magnet). It flips a switch, and I'm down to work.

 

I haven't required a hose for my work clothes since the last time I mixed clay, and that's been a day or two.

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LeeU    328

post-63409-0-91402200-1480482006_thumb.jpgIf I may make the case that rituals are often infused with, or generate, or are derivitive of symbolic meanings, than my "symbols" are expressed by an unwavering ritual. Neglect of any element of the ritual might--when my internal balance is off--be taken as a foreboding of failure, a symbol of bad ju-ju that whispers in my ear that I am wasting time and money.

 

Since I have figured that out, I tend to be rigid about my ritual, which is symbolic of being ready and willing to keep on keepin' on. In order to enter the studio and engage in the act of doing something with/to clay, I must: first, put a record on the turntable-chosen to either enhance a mood or change a mood; second, slip on my limited edition Crocs-Jackson Pollack Studio (the print is a direct image of his paint splattered floor); third, yes-the apron; fourth, light up Nag Champa's wonderful Super Hit stick incense, and finally; give myself "the talk"-the one that says "Of course I am not wasting time and money-I am a decent artist and people like my stuff and anything that helps me put one foot in front of the other is valuable, so just whisper 'thank you' get on with it." 

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