Because of surgery recovery and other irons in the fire, we decided this year to not do our usual Labor Day show. Even though recovery went better than I expected, I think it was probably a wise decision. It has allowed me to ease back into throwing, enough time to try out some new forms and designs, and to reorganize my work space.

My eldest daughter started at school four full 4 days a week this year and I am amazed at how much of a difference it makes to my routine and productivity. Believe me, having 2 small (and busy) children and trying to make pots certainly presents its challenges, to say the least! One has to learn 1) how to work smarter, 2) not to leave critical things to the last minute (because inevitably that will be when your child decides to have a meltdown or get sick), and 3) not to beat yourself up if you don’t get everything done. No small task for a skilled procrastinator.

Then doing craft/art shows with small children …that’s another experience. At an outdoor show its a little more doable than an indoor one, but, believe me, having to keep a steady eye on a child while trying to deal with a customer is tough, if not impossible. So last year when a friend of mine offered to watch the girls while we went to a show in Ocean Springs, MS, I jumped at the chance.

The day started out well but Saturday morning, shortly after setting up (in the pouring rain), I started to feel quite ill, with the flu, as it turned out. Lowell kept asking me if he needed to take me home but since we had driven all that way, were already set up, and I was convinced I was going to will myself better, we stayed. By the time I finally got to calling to check on the girls, I learned that they had already been sick since early that afternoon. The choice had been made for me, we had to head home and get the girls. Luckily Lowell was healthy enough the next day to head back finish the show so that saved us.

This fall, with children as a consideration but also the ballooning cost of gas and travel, we had to think hard about our show schedule. Staying closer to home seemed a little more prudent. In hopes to create a niche, we, along with a group of other select local artists, are putting together a special one day show at Mobile’s Botanical Gardens this late this fall. Our group is called the Coastal Artisans. The group has intentionally been kept small, limited this year to 12 to 14 invited artists, to ensure quality and an eclectic variety of mediums. Its an experiment, but if it works out well, we plan to make it an annual event. Look for more about our event in future posts.

In my surfings in the wee morning hours (my period of solitude with noone to bother me), I found 2 valuable websites: 1) Artbizblog – a blog by Allyson Stanfield that covers a plethora of valuable art marketing info and tips for artists; and 2) the Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) – an organization that helps out artists providing “direct financial and educational assistance to craft artists, including emergency relief assistance, business development support, and resources and referrals on topics such as health, safety, and insurance.” ..including artists who have been victims of natural disasters, such as Katrina.

Other news… It was down for longer than I had hoped, but our web site and regular email is back up. (yay!) If you tried to contact us and haven’t had a response, please send your post through again.

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