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In A Rut?

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How often do you get get in a rut where you don't feel like or just can't make anything? The past two months I've been taking care of everything else and it just killed my momentum. I'm refiring some raku pieces right now and that's only because I just got a check in the mail for some other stuff that sold about two weeks ago which gave me a little motivation.

 

That ever happen to you guys?

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the bad pieces go into the pile of typing paper that say    "the qwikc borwnb fax jimpde ovre the laazy dogg."  they will still be going there after 50 years.  it is the cost of trying.  

 

but it is really hard to pick yourself up after a string of them.

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It happens to me All. The. Time.

If I loose momentum, it can take me a long time to get going again, and it's painful. I have a million and one ways to avoid doing what I love the most. I tend to wind up in a dirty shame spiral that I either have to ease myself out of, or trick myself into doing some work. Some methods I've used include:

-Having a commission to work on (nothing like a deadline)

-doing studio housekeeping, like reclaim or cleaning, leading into wedging clay

-sitting in my studio, and just listening to the inside of my head, and staring down the discomfort

-blocking social media with an app (it's my favourite avoidance mechanism.)

-turn on a good playlist with headphones and go make mugs

-make mugs! (Edited to add: mugs are a cylinder with a handle. I can do these easily, and they are my comfort zone.)

If I'm balking at a huge list of work to be done, I'll do the smallest, easiest thing because work begets more work.

- I forgive myself for whatever my inner critic is mad at me for.

 

I do not refer to other people's work when I'm feeling like this: it can lead to comparisons, and cripple me further.

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Yeah, what Diesel said.  I do find if I step away, as in leave home for a couple of days, that also seems to help.  But cleaning the studio and reorganizing seems to help.  And then like Diesel said, just make some easy "knock it out quickly" stuff.   What's the quote??

"Inspiration exists but is has to find you working"  Picasso.

 

Another thing that will help me is a collaboration with another maker.  Or even an adult beverage with another maker..... :rolleyes:

Roberta

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The biggest hindrance to creativity is tacking the cost. Make it so that your supplies won't run out.

The next is thinking about how much money will be made when the chickens hatch.

 

And finally there are ideas. I am the sort of person who likes to make each piece different. But there is quite a strain in coming up with good ideas. So learn to recycle the old. Especially if your are selling your work.

Right now I am putting chickadees and leaves on pieces. I can do it to mugs, vases, bowls, wall hangers... each shape will have different limitations and challenges to keep my restless mind happy. The key is I don't have to come up with a new idea to make work that makes me happy and will probably sell just fine when I am ready for that. If I get bored I could go back to making iris flowers. Or move onto ducks and lily pads. Or back to tiny cats.

 

Oh, and a pug mill has really really helped me not care about throwing pieces knowing they will go to reclaim. This makes it possible for me to continue to throw pottery while depressed or unhappy.

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My grandfather thought me to throw when i was 12, but he thought me more of the art side of pottery.

 

When i was 15 my dad was running a production pottery business and i had to go work for him.  I spent 19 years throwing production and did some art type stuff in my basement.

 

When i get in a rut i see something and throw it a hundred times, because i have a block and can not vision something else to throw.  I have a slide show of pots that i like set at about 30 seconds each so every time i look up it's something different.

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All I have to do is go out and clean up my work area. Once I'm handling my supplies the ideas roll in. Same thing with my kitchen - as soon as it's nice and clean I HAVE to go make bread or something! And a little wine to loosen up doesn't hurt.

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I seem to go from rut to rut, with moments of inspiration between them. I do find that cleaning up the studio is a way to get me around the materials and get me kick started. Deadlines always help, not the self-imposed ones but the real ones. I enjoy the process of making things and then go brain dead when it comes to glazing, which explains why I seem to go back to my dependable favorite glazes.

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I'm inspired by so many other potters' work, whether from books, magazines, Internet or museum and gallery pieces and I take a lot of photos of things in daily life that I want to incorporate into my own work. I never feel I'm in a rut because there is always something I want to make or experiment with a new technique. It might help you to research other potters' work for inspiration. Others here have said to step away but you should always be open, aware and looking while away and taking notes and pictures.

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Are you a part or full timer? 

 

 

Depends on what and which part you are referring to. Clay is the only way, however; production isn't my primary function. I managed to get in the studio today and make a project she's been wanting me to do for about 6 months. Our main source is teaching and she wants me to start teaching project classes. I'm down with doing it, I just need to get in the right place. I handle "everything else" and had a lot of that I had to deal with lately. Things are definitely moving in the right direction, just not fast enough for my liking.

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Are you a part or full timer? 

 

 

Depends on what and which part you are referring to. Clay is the only way, however; production isn't my primary function

 

Yeah that's what I was getting at. If you earn your living as a full time production potter then ya might have a bit more urgency to get back on track making pots. Either way if making pots is important to you I would just work your way through it but keep making pots. A week or two away from the clay can turn into an extended break pretty easily I would think. 

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