WARNING: THIS IS A' longin'!! (translation: this is a long post) I’m making up for the lack of posting the last two months!
Apologies to you all folks. There haven't been many posts this residency simply because my access to the internet is very limited. I hope to make more of a routine to reach out to you all in the coming weeks AND a website shop update with new work!
Star, North Carolina is a very rural community. But then there is STARworks. HERE is an amazing community of artists, dreamers & innovators, which also extends to their neighboring business Wet Dog Glass. They have welcomed me into this world of what could be called nothing other than the STARworks community. Hardworking, multifaceted, multitasking, steady stream of faithful employees here are ever positive and searching for hope beyond the present day. From the development of this organization to present day, much has been accomplished. This points to the staff’s pliability for the common goal of bringing the most they can to the arts and their community.
Not only has this place welcomed me, but my sweet companion and best bud, Grey (my Pitbull pooch). This time last year I was at the Bascom in Highlands, NC working through a residency dog-less. Though it was a wonderful time of learning, I did miss Grey exponentially. Through a few adjustments and a kindhearted landlord, I was able to bring him along for my journey in mid-state North Carolina. And Grey has made himself quite at home amongst the warm reception.
One of the many beauties of STARworks is their clay factory. STARworks, through the eye and hand of many but namely Takuro Shibata produces their own line of wild clays, harvested from various regions of North Carolina. Wild clays are common to the area here near Seagrove, NC which is a historical mecca for traditional and generational potteries. If you want to learn a little bit more about wild clays check out these links:
Another sweet aspect of a residency here is the Noborigama - a wood kiln with three chambers for different affects! Atmospheric firings are MY JAM and it has been about five years since I’ve had an opportunity to participate in a wood firing. Only this time, I’m spearheading organizing the firing. There’s a first time for everything, right? We have a GREAT crew participating in the firing — a mixture of residents, local Seagrove potters & a few Clemson friends! The full firing runs November 8-11. Literally. It’s a 36 hour plus firing process and a wild amount of preparation but it will be worth it! I can taste it! Folks, be braced for plenty of gushy, geeky clay photos of the firing, these amazing artists and results in the next post!
I wanted to take a moment to share a few thoughts that I’ve been walking through the past two months, but I’ll wait to expel the full deluge since this is rather lengthy already. For now, here are a few excerpts from various places that have acted as encouragement — as being here exposes some of my faults of falling lies of comparison, fears of failure & the fight that follows to keep pressing forward.
"Well you know, I’m not into false humility so certain things you don’t try if you don’t think you can do it. So obviously I thought I could do it [pursue musical career] because I went to great effort to do it…you have to put yourself on the line and to put your self on the line you have to at least think you can do it, ya know? If I was going to write anything longer than a song I would write about fear. People get stuck in situations and they want to do something else, but they’re afraid. And there is no way to not to be afraid. But to me, courage is not not being afraid— it’s what do ya do in spite of being afraid. Fear, fear disguises itself as anger and stuff, ya know? Ego will make you call fear something other than what it is. I mean, it’s not very macho to say ‘I’m scared’.”
Bill Withers “How to be a Man with Bill Withers” Death, Sex & Money; July 4, 2018
All my fears are running wild
Dragging me mile after mile
Think its time I take the reigns
Play the hero for a change
Cause I’m stronger, stronger than my fears
Over fields of doubt I march
Fighting hard to frame my heart
Still I hear my old fears call
Who are you to stand so tall?
Well I’m stronger I’m stronger than my fears
Every day we have a choice
Fear has nothing but a voice
It may whisper it may scream
Well I’m no longer listening
Cause I’m stronger, stronger than my fears
- SHEL, stronger than my fears
Below are some in process pieces I've been working on throughout my time here thus far. Most of these will be fired this week in the wood kiln!