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Have circumstances, finances, or health issues forced you to change the way you work? How did you respond to the challenge? | 4/15/2012


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#1 JBaymore

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 08:31 PM

There have recently been a few discussions here on the Forums about injuries and illnesses and such. The economic situation in most of the world has impacted many of us. Some of us have experiened catastrophes and disasters like hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes. Some have lost loved ones or gone through divorces. Some have had homes or studios (or both) burn down.

Let's look at how these kinds of things have affected us, and rather than focus on the negatives....... discuss how we have (or how we might have) dealt with the challenges.

Have circumstances, finances, or health issues forced you to change the way you work? How did you respond to the challenge?

John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#2 Pres

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 08:58 PM

There have recently been a few discussions here on the Forums about injuries and illnesses and such. The economic situation in most of the world has impacted many of us. Some of us have experiened catastrophes and disasters like hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes. Some have lost loved ones or gone through divorces. Some have had homes or studios (or both) burn down.

Let's look at how these kinds of things have affected us, and rather than focus on the negatives....... discuss how we have (or how we might have) dealt with the challenges.

Have circumstances, finances, or health issues forced you to change the way you work? How did you respond to the challenge?



Not a major issue for me now, but 2 months before retiring I was diagnosed with T2 diabetes. What have I done different? Diet & exercise more sleep, more exercise. Triple the veggies, hardly any starches, lean protein and no sugars unless in something that like a sauce, or dressing, no sodas. In the end, I am stronger, healthier and more energetic than in years. I am also not testing myself, am not taking medication(Dr. does not believe I will ever have to), and living a normal life except for what I mention above. This means in the shop I can do more like I could 15 years ago, with wedging and throwing in the 15-25# area when I wish. I am not working now, but know that the change would have made life better. Interesting thing for all of the rest of you-I was not overweight, did not have a family history, had a waist of 34 for 5'9".

Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . .                                                                                 http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/


#3 Denice

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 10:20 PM

I was diagnosed with Multilple Sclerosis 4 years ago, I was having trouble throwing I had lost the strength in my right arm and it was sensitive to air or water, I couldn't even center the clay. I ended up at a neurologist who thought I had pinched a nerve in my elbow, but I passed all of the test except for the last one the MIR. MS is a devilish disease you can be riding a bicycle and then suddenly your legs won't go up and down, the neurons in that area are fried and won't send the message to your legs. I have already started working smaller I have always worked large, if I read about a new technique I'm interested in I try it now not someday . I want to experience, learn and work as long as I can. I have started throwing a little but it still difficult, my hands won't do what I tell them to, but I love slab building and coiling also. Being a potter has led to the early detection of my MS and I take the interferon shots to slow down the disease, if your body is telling you something isn't right get it checked out. Don't worry I'm doing fine I just keep on truckin. Denice

#4 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 08:08 AM

I feel with everybody not being able anymore to do things he or she liked so much in the past. I used to be a piano teacher, but had to stop giving lessons because I got rheumatism and arthritis in both my knees, and to be able to use the pedal of a grand piano, one must have healthy and strong legs and knees. I changed my profession 10 years ago and did trainings and schooling to become a ceramist. Now the rheumatism reached my wrists, so throwing big things is out of the question for me. I react in throwing smaller pieces, like Denice, and try to take advantage of "good" days (lesser pain) and read pottery books :D on days working with clay is too painful. I handbuild very often because that's not so hurtful for the wrists. I'am sure I will still make nice things with clay when I'am really old, and I wish that for all of you too! Working with clay is also kind of therapy against pain, so, as Simon would say, keep practicing...

Evelyne

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#5 Idaho Potter

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:54 PM

I had just moved to Boise and remodeled an outbuilding into a studio. Before the paint was dry I had major surgery. Since then I've had four more major surgeries most of which stems from osteoporosis and osteo-arthritis. Finally, in 2010 I got back to work, but found myself lacking endurance and strength. Lots of rehab, exercise, and perserverance got me to 2011. I'm teaching a little. Working more than I had for six years, and feeling pretty good.

Like others, I'm working smaller, have to use a small stepstool to load the kilns(I've lost almost three inches in height), and can no longer reach higher than my head. I'm glad that when I first started having joint troubles I bought a Peter Pugger. Wedging beyond three 5 lb hunks of clay is no longer possible. I do what I can when I can. I ask assistance now, but it's been difficult because I've always considered myself very independent. You learn to adapt because none of us want the alternative.

The economy has not been good to people in any of the art fields. Money is tight so you look around to see what can ease the pain and take help where available. Lack of money meant clay supplies ended up at the bottom of my list. All family members who remember my birthday and Christmas were requested to give me gift certificates at The Potter's Center. All those wonderful people obliged--so for the time being, everything is cool.

I throw on the wheel, hand build anything large, and continue to develope sculptural themes. Still working and figure in another 20 years or so I might be able to make 25 lbs of clay last a lot longer than today, but I intend to be working.

#6 macdoodle

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:57 PM



Have circumstances, finances, or health issues forced you to change the way you work? How did you respond to the challenge?

[/quote]

I'm living below poverty level have many unmet med needs/agency battles almost lost housing -again - and as a student, wanting to do a lot more , but trying to afford what most people think are cheap basics is hard. Trying to keep up with what I want to try and what the course requires is hard physically and financially. With the 3 p's PTSD and Pain and Poverty. It's all a challenge.
I love working with clay and glazes, but sometimes it stresses me out because I spasm and ruin something or drop things or don't have the strength, or the money to just go out and get a couple things. Some days I walk into class in bad pain and come home to do nothing else for a couple days. My apt full of broken stuff and half started things and can't afford simple shelves and a work area and other items would help me keep things in order better. I used to be made fun of for being over organized , now I can never find a thing!
It's always a juggling act with the 3 p's.
I wish my car wasn't in the same shape as me and the ever more precious gas wasn't so costly so I could just run up to LA and get the things I need/want not available local but i can't. I wish I could afford more workshops and visiting galleries!
So -lots of time I get an idea in my head, but the creativity is stifled by what I feel is second best , but doable and that often ends up looking , well, like crap instead of what the original intent was.

Now that I got that all out - I'm off to class {:>)] Thanks for the free therapy session.

#7 Denice

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 05:34 PM

[quote name='macdoodle' date='19 April 2012 - 01:57 PM' timestamp='1334861846' post='16181']


Have circumstances, finances, or health issues forced you to change the way you work? How did you respond to the challenge?

[/quote]

I'm living below poverty level have many unmet med needs/agency battles almost lost housing -again - and as a student, wanting to do a lot more , but trying to afford what most people think are cheap basics is hard. Trying to keep up with what I want to try and what the course requires is hard physically and financially. With the 3 p's PTSD and Pain and Poverty. It's all a challenge.
I love working with clay and glazes, but sometimes it stresses me out because I spasm and ruin something or drop things or don't have the strength, or the money to just go out and get a couple things. Some days I walk into class in bad pain and come home to do nothing else for a couple days. My apt full of broken stuff and half started things and can't afford simple shelves and a work area and other items would help me keep things in order better. I used to be made fun of for being over organized , now I can never find a thing!
It's always a juggling act with the 3 p's.
I wish my car wasn't in the same shape as me and the ever more precious gas wasn't so costly so I could just run up to LA and get the things I need/want not available local but i can't. I wish I could afford more workshops and visiting galleries!
So -lots of time I get an idea in my head, but the creativity is stifled by what I feel is second best , but doable and that often ends up looking , well, like crap instead of what the original intent was.

Now that I got that all out - I'm off to class {:>)] Thanks for the free therapy session.
[/quote]

Macdoodle Just try to remember that you will make it through this trying time, I went through the same thing except I was working a full time time job training as a dental lab technician and was paid very little. One thing that helped me was telling my boyfriend that I was going to get a second job because I was having trouble paying rent. He volunteered to buy groceries because he and his friends were always eating at my apartment. That made a huge difference, he didn't know that I lived on such a tight budget, that I had to save for 6 months to buy a new pair a jeans. I couldn't work with clay but I found cheaper creative outlets to keep me going until things got better. Hang in there. Denice

#8 Mamalynx

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 07:01 PM

I started pottery about a year and a half ago and already had several serious med issues going on. One is osteoporosis and another is neuropathy . Working the clay is actually helping my strength some. The neuropathy however has made it hard for me to do things the way the teachers normally suggest. Since my neuropathy is worse on the right side I operate the peddle with my left. Even then I am never sure how my pressure is fluctuating so I usually set it to a speed i find workable and then take my foot off it , leaving it spinning and proceed to throw.
Also I can not use a rib tool with my right hand and so have to do contortions to work it with my left. Still it all works out, I just have to put up with a lot of weird looks which don't bother me much anymore. Once my teachers figured out that this weird method really worked for me they mostly leave me alone unless I ask.




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