Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in the rear view mirror

Looking back on 2008 I feel truly blessed. Not only do I have a wonderful and loving family, but our health is good, we have a roof over our heads and food on our table. Those last two things mean even more than usual given the state of the economy in 2008.

I made many new friends this year. I made a lot of acquaintances too, but I'm talking friends here. These are the people that make a difference in your life. 2008 has been a banner year for making friends. You know who you are.

It has also been an amazing year for keeping in touch with old and new friends. Between this blog (thanks again, Becky!) and facebook (thanks Elaine!) I have kept in touch with many friends and reconnected with several 'lost' ones.

2008 has been a big year for me in clay. I have completed my 100 pots journey (thanks again, Elaine!), which you might have heard about. If you asked me six months ago if I thought I could throw one hundred pots in ten weeks, well you know...

I have worked with stoneware and earthenware. Made terra sigillata from the parking lot at Clayworks, and made yellow spotted shino. I have pinched and thrown pots, decorated pots with slips, glazes, and stains. Worked out a new (for me) type of hollow, flanged lid that is thrown right-side up off the hump. I have fired cone 10 reduction, cone 5 oxidation, raku, saggar, and fired in a barrel. I have thrown some small pots, some large pots, and all the sizes in between. I have attended my first three workshops (Peter Rose, Peter Lenzo, and Tomoo Kitamura) and they were wonderful.

One of the biggest accomplishments I made this year in clay was to get serious about it. After sixteen years I have started really paying attention to what I am doing and why I am doing it. I have looked at more great pottery online and in person in 2008 than I have probably seen in the last decade. The blogosphere has made a huge impact on that. If you'd like to know where I get a lot of my inspiration, check out the blog roll on the right. These folks are for lack of a better, more dramatic term, amazing.

A lot of thanks go to my good friend and teacher, Greg. He has shared some of his wonderful insights on the nature of art and pottery that have kick-started my journey of discovery. I am seeing lines and forms and gestures in a way I never realized was possible. I am thinking about things around me in a whole different light. I'm noticing things.

It has truly been an inspiring year. In 2009 I am looking forward to pushing my pottery to new and different places. I am hoping to do more raku, concentrate on form and decorating more, and even slip a couple of pieces into a salt kiln. I'm hoping that 2009 will take my journey ever onward and upward to new heights I currently don't even know exist.

Here's hoping that 2008 was good to you and 2009 challenges you and takes you to places you never thought possible. May we all continue to live in interesting times.


Elaine Spallone said...

Hats off to a great year, and so glad we are friends, friends!!!

jbf said...

Same here!

Becky said...

What a wonderful & inspirational post! It was a joy to read and you are a joy to know. Here's to more challenges in 2009!

jbf said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it and I'm really glad you're my friend. Bring on those challenges!

Amy said...

Okay, I'm late at reading these due to being away. This gave me an idea for a post too- so thanks for that and for your encouragement as I've learned so much this year. I'm thankful for pottery friends (which includes you, of course), too.