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Confessions Of A Procrastinating Potter...


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#1 SShirley

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 01:55 PM

I did it again. More pots got too dry to trim because I was goofing off again. I spend long hours searching (and surfing) for inspiration and motivation, but end up wasting far too much time. I have a great place to work, 400 pounds of clay, and no oomph to get things done. I have several shows coming up, and no new finished work, which should get me motivated, but sadly, no. And how do I spend my time? At the computer, (my freelance drafting "real job"), playing with the dogs, watching tv, lunch with my potter friends, running errands, trying out new recipes, talking on the phone, playing computer games, garage saleing, etc. Basically life interferes with my pottery. I'd love to set up a routine and stick to it, but can't seem to get it going. If I start working and get interrupted, then I'm done for the day. I set up regular hours at my studio, and it worked for a while, but my husband is off work for the summer and he keeps me busy, so my regular hours will have to wait till school starts again in the fall. Excuses - I have a million of them!

So, please tell me what you do. How did you establish your routine? What gets you motivated to work? How do you avoid distractions? What do you do to get back in the groove after a distraction?

Thanks,

Sylvia

#2 Mcc2377

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 07:50 PM

I did it again. More pots got too dry to trim because I was goofing off again. I spend long hours searching (and surfing) for inspiration and motivation, but end up wasting far too much time. I have a great place to work, 400 pounds of clay, and no oomph to get things done. I have several shows coming up, and no new finished work, which should get me motivated, but sadly, no. And how do I spend my time? At the computer, (my freelance drafting "real job"), playing with the dogs, watching tv, lunch with my potter friends, running errands, trying out new recipes, talking on the phone, playing computer games, garage saleing, etc. Basically life interferes with my pottery. I'd love to set up a routine and stick to it, but can't seem to get it going. If I start working and get interrupted, then I'm done for the day. I set up regular hours at my studio, and it worked for a while, but my husband is off work for the summer and he keeps me busy, so my regular hours will have to wait till school starts again in the fall. Excuses - I have a million of them!

So, please tell me what you do. How did you establish your routine? What gets you motivated to work? How do you avoid distractions? What do you do to get back in the groove after a distraction?

Thanks,

Sylvia



#3 Mcc2377

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 08:06 PM

My most recent mantra is "True purpose is evidenced in actions not intentions". If you stay with ceramics long enough, you will have both ups and downs, just like any other part of life. I have had to walk away from pottery for sometimes months at a time and focus on other things until that passion rose up again and there was no way to NOT work in clay. But let's be honest, sometimes a mug is just a mug. But if making mugs makes you crazy, take a respite from pottery. I still believe in the power of clay to touch the soul, both yours and mine. Currently I am committed to two days per week, the other days will take care of themselves. And I expect soon it will be three days a week and so on. Relax, it will come. But take some time off, it has done me wonders. I cannot wait to get to my studio every Tues/Thurs. God Bless.

#4 Christine

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 12:16 PM

I did it again. More pots got too dry to trim because I was goofing off again. I spend long hours searching (and surfing) for inspiration and motivation, but end up wasting far too much time. I have a great place to work, 400 pounds of clay, and no oomph to get things done. I have several shows coming up, and no new finished work, which should get me motivated, but sadly, no. And how do I spend my time? At the computer, (my freelance drafting "real job"), playing with the dogs, watching tv, lunch with my potter friends, running errands, trying out new recipes, talking on the phone, playing computer games, garage saleing, etc. Basically life interferes with my pottery. I'd love to set up a routine and stick to it, but can't seem to get it going. If I start working and get interrupted, then I'm done for the day. I set up regular hours at my studio, and it worked for a while, but my husband is off work for the summer and he keeps me busy, so my regular hours will have to wait till school starts again in the fall. Excuses - I have a million of them!

So, please tell me what you do. How did you establish your routine? What gets you motivated to work? How do you avoid distractions? What do you do to get back in the groove after a distraction?

Thanks,

Sylvia


At the risk of sounding like I'm on the payroll .... I subscribe to Pottery Making Illustrated and absolutely Love it! It's not so much the projects which inspire me, it's the whole reading about clay and makers... as soon as the magazine comes, I'm off to the studio, on with my radio/CD player and have a coffee and a good read.

I also find good books inspire me (again read in the studio) - bought or borrowed from the library - and, although I can be very inspired by the internet (especially this forum), I don't have a connection in my studio so I don't get sucked in for ages at a time.

I love my studio space - it's beautiful, has a relaxing area with an easy chair and is my retreat ..... having said that I try NEVER to feel guilty if I decide to do something else for a while. Don't beat yourself up about it - enjoy the summer with your husband, collect lots and lots of inspiring photos, bits and pieces and have fun planning future projects

Christine

#5 autour de la terre

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 03:21 PM

My most recent mantra is "True purpose is evidenced in actions not intentions". If you stay with ceramics long enough, you will have both ups and downs, just like any other part of life. I have had to walk away from pottery for sometimes months at a time and focus on other things until that passion rose up again and there was no way to NOT work in clay. But let's be honest, sometimes a mug is just a mug. But if making mugs makes you crazy, take a respite from pottery. I still believe in the power of clay to touch the soul, both yours and mine. Currently I am committed to two days per week, the other days will take care of themselves. And I expect soon it will be three days a week and so on. Relax, it will come. But take some time off, it has done me wonders. I cannot wait to get to my studio every Tues/Thurs. God Bless.



#6 autour de la terre

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 03:25 PM

Dear Sylvia,
Are there any wise words ? Do you want to honour your shows ? Maybe your heart will tell you what to do. Go with the flow. As the other colleague said. RElax. it will happen. Take some time off. It sounds you need it. Enjoy life. Joy, love and light to you. Judith

#7 Colonel Potter

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 04:31 PM

I created a coop in my community where we inspire one another. I also made 2 moist boxes (big plastic packing boxes with 2-3 inches of plaster on the bottom. I have pots in there a full year ready for my inspiring moment. I also set a goal to ignore the computer for the month of....August.

#8 hansen

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 11:22 AM

I did it again. More pots got too dry to trim because I was goofing off again. I spend long hours searching (and surfing) for inspiration and motivation, but end up wasting far too much time. I have a great place to work, 400 pounds of clay, and no oomph to get things done. I have several shows coming up, and no new finished work, which should get me motivated, but sadly, no. And how do I spend my time? At the computer, (my freelance drafting "real job"), playing with the dogs, watching tv, lunch with my potter friends, running errands, trying out new recipes, talking on the phone, playing computer games, garage saleing, etc. Basically life interferes with my pottery. I'd love to set up a routine and stick to it, but can't seem to get it going. If I start working and get interrupted, then I'm done for the day. I set up regular hours at my studio, and it worked for a while, but my husband is off work for the summer and he keeps me busy, so my regular hours will have to wait till school starts again in the fall. Excuses - I have a million of them!

So, please tell me what you do. How did you establish your routine? What gets you motivated to work? How do you avoid distractions? What do you do to get back in the groove after a distraction?

Thanks,
Sylvia


Elsewhere on this forum we were talking about the suck factor, the percentage of wasters and reclaim vs. the percentage of finished successful pots. When the percentage of waste goes down, we need more challenges, need to take more risks. This keeps us from getting bored with clay, which we never actually acknowledge to ourselves consciously. If we want those challenges and risk within the clay medium, we have to do things we are not accustomed to doing. So, even though the results were ugly, I started painting black on white on pots. So my advice is mix it up a little, more handle pulling, more lid making, more coil pots, more throwing off the hump, slab work, etc. whatever it is that is different from what you have been doing.
h a n s e n



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#9 oldlady

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 10:09 PM

sshirley, you have started your post with an incorrect assumption. your pots are NEVER too dry to trim. if you will carefully use a reasonably wet, not dripping wet, sponge and place the pot on your wheelhead carefully, you can re-moisten the BOTTOM of the pot and carve off a layer at a time until you have the pot trimmed. this is assuming you have not left several inches of mud attatched to the pot and want to remove all of that excess at the trimming stage. if you have thrown a reasonably consistent thickness you should have no trouble putting a foot ring on anything, even if it is bone dry and has been sitting around for a year or so.

if, however, you have thrown a small bird's nest shape in a ten pound lump of clay, this is the moment to realize that it is not necessary to fire everything you make. some things should just be recycled so you can try again.
"putting you down does not raise me up."

#10 SShirley

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 12:43 PM

I'd rather throw it out and start over than try to rewet it or trim it dry. They just aren't that precious to me anymore.I'm glad to hear some of you recommending taking a break. Maybe after doing this for almost 15 years I'm just a little burned out, so maybe that's just what I need. Thanks everybody for your responses.

Sylvia




#11 Kristen

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Posted 03 August 2010 - 05:40 PM

I did it again. More pots got too dry to trim because I was goofing off again. I spend long hours searching (and surfing) for inspiration and motivation, but end up wasting far too much time. I have a great place to work, 400 pounds of clay, and no oomph to get things done. I have several shows coming up, and no new finished work, which should get me motivated, but sadly, no. And how do I spend my time? At the computer, (my freelance drafting "real job"), playing with the dogs, watching tv, lunch with my potter friends, running errands, trying out new recipes, talking on the phone, playing computer games, garage saleing, etc. Basically life interferes with my pottery. I'd love to set up a routine and stick to it, but can't seem to get it going. If I start working and get interrupted, then I'm done for the day. I set up regular hours at my studio, and it worked for a while, but my husband is off work for the summer and he keeps me busy, so my regular hours will have to wait till school starts again in the fall. Excuses - I have a million of them!

So, please tell me what you do. How did you establish your routine? What gets you motivated to work? How do you avoid distractions? What do you do to get back in the groove after a distraction?

Thanks,

Sylvia


I find that sometimes when you get bored a fun way to inspire yourself is to teach someone new. Their thankfulness, thirst for knowledge, excitement and enthusiasm may rub off on you and rekindle the flames.

#12 JeanB

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 12:19 PM

I did it again. More pots got too dry to trim because I was goofing off again. I spend long hours searching (and surfing) for inspiration and motivation, but end up wasting far too much time. I have a great place to work, 400 pounds of clay, and no oomph to get things done. I have several shows coming up, and no new finished work, which should get me motivated, but sadly, no. And how do I spend my time? At the computer, (my freelance drafting "real job"), playing with the dogs, watching tv, lunch with my potter friends, running errands, trying out new recipes, talking on the phone, playing computer games, garage saleing, etc. Basically life interferes with my pottery. I'd love to set up a routine and stick to it, but can't seem to get it going. If I start working and get interrupted, then I'm done for the day. I set up regular hours at my studio, and it worked for a while, but my husband is off work for the summer and he keeps me busy, so my regular hours will have to wait till school starts again in the fall. Excuses - I have a million of them!

So, please tell me what you do. How did you establish your routine? What gets you motivated to work? How do you avoid distractions? What do you do to get back in the groove after a distraction?

Thanks,

Sylvia



#13 suchecki

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 12:16 PM

Sylvia, Every potter has these times when they work less than they "should" and I agree with those that wrote to give yourself a break. I often try to trick myself into my studio by either leaving something unfinished that I look forward to finishing...carving, handles, textures...or I set myself up before I quit for the day by having wedged balls of clay ready to throw, or slabs rolled out ready for building. That process makes it easier to get to work, or at least to stop procrastinating. That and a really good book on tape!
I consider the lifestyle I lead, going from an errand, job, phone call, laundry, cooking, to my studio in between to be a GIFT! It feels so good when I can move from one thing to another without resentment. It's all good. Ann Suchecki



I did it again. More pots got too dry to trim because I was goofing off again. I spend long hours searching (and surfing) for inspiration and motivation, but end up wasting far too much time. I have a great place to work, 400 pounds of clay, and no oomph to get things done. I have several shows coming up, and no new finished work, which should get me motivated, but sadly, no. And how do I spend my time? At the computer, (my freelance drafting "real job"), playing with the dogs, watching tv, lunch with my potter friends, running errands, trying out new recipes, talking on the phone, playing computer games, garage saleing, etc. Basically life interferes with my pottery. I'd love to set up a routine and stick to it, but can't seem to get it going. If I start working and get interrupted, then I'm done for the day. I set up regular hours at my studio, and it worked for a while, but my husband is off work for the summer and he keeps me busy, so my regular hours will have to wait till school starts again in the fall. Excuses - I have a million of them!

So, please tell me what you do. How did you establish your routine? What gets you motivated to work? How do you avoid distractions? What do you do to get back in the groove after a distraction?

Thanks,

Sylvia



#14 suchecki

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 12:17 PM


I did it again. More pots got too dry to trim because I was goofing off again. I spend long hours searching (and surfing) for inspiration and motivation, but end up wasting far too much time. I have a great place to work, 400 pounds of clay, and no oomph to get things done. I have several shows coming up, and no new finished work, which should get me motivated, but sadly, no. And how do I spend my time? At the computer, (my freelance drafting "real job"), playing with the dogs, watching tv, lunch with my potter friends, running errands, trying out new recipes, talking on the phone, playing computer games, garage saleing, etc. Basically life interferes with my pottery. I'd love to set up a routine and stick to it, but can't seem to get it going. If I start working and get interrupted, then I'm done for the day. I set up regular hours at my studio, and it worked for a while, but my husband is off work for the summer and he keeps me busy, so my regular hours will have to wait till school starts again in the fall. Excuses - I have a million of them!

So, please tell me what you do. How did you establish your routine? What gets you motivated to work? How do you avoid distractions? What do you do to get back in the groove after a distraction?

Thanks,

Sylvia



#15 ~janie

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 05:49 PM

I did it again. More pots got too dry to trim because I was goofing off again. I spend long hours searching (and surfing) for inspiration and motivation, but end up wasting far too much time. I have a great place to work, 400 pounds of clay, and no oomph to get things done. I have several shows coming up, and no new finished work, which should get me motivated, but sadly, no. And how do I spend my time? At the computer, (my freelance drafting "real job"), playing with the dogs, watching tv, lunch with my potter friends, running errands, trying out new recipes, talking on the phone, playing computer games, garage saleing, etc. Basically life interferes with my pottery. I'd love to set up a routine and stick to it, but can't seem to get it going. If I start working and get interrupted, then I'm done for the day. I set up regular hours at my studio, and it worked for a while, but my husband is off work for the summer and he keeps me busy, so my regular hours will have to wait till school starts again in the fall. Excuses - I have a million of them!

So, please tell me what you do. How did you establish your routine? What gets you motivated to work? How do you avoid distractions? What do you do to get back in the groove after a distraction?

Thanks,

Sylvia


You can set a bucket over your work to keep it from drying out also. I have found that it will stay nicely moist for weeks if it is protected by a bucket. A child's sand bucket will do, or an ice cream container...big bowls work very well too. I would be terribly discouraged if my work was always dried out when I got back to it, too. We all need a break sometimes, but it is nice to know that your efforts have not ruined while you were away.

#16 bellonart

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Posted 06 September 2010 - 08:37 PM

I have the same problems... and I'm just a student! I can't imagine how tough it's going to be when I get into the real world and I'm all on my own... so kudo's to you for 15 years of work.

Whenever I get really lazy and the pile of things to do start stacking up, I push my focus to the most important tasks and just force myself to get them done. Then I REWARD myself. Small rewards are okay, like an icecream or some indulgence that you don't get often. Then I do it again. Work hard - reward. When the pile of things go away and I am done, I feel so much better and so accomplished.

I also think a lot about what other people will think of me... I know that's not supposed to matter, but I take it in a positive way and use it to motivate me to get work done.

In the end it's all about what makes YOU happy. That's really the most important thing in life. If you need some time to just watch some TV, chat with friends... then DO IT! But if you have a show coming up, and you need to get some things done... then just tell yourself, "I can only watch one show today, then I need to get these tasks done. If I can do that, then I'll reward myself by going out with some friends later..." Or something like that.

Don't forget to take some "you" time.

Another thing that I find helps me a LOT... if I have a few things to do today, but I also want to play a game... even though I have enough time to get my stuff done AND play my game, it's always better to get your stuff done first. I don't know how many times I've pushed off a project to play games when I knew I had enough time... but then I had something go wrong and had to stay up all night to fix it... and had I not played my stupid game first, I would have been fine... but that's college life for ya! lol

Anyway, if nothing else... you're not alone. Everyone has their problems to stay motivated. Smile, be happy!




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