Taratories Blog

Pull Out the Dinner, or Pull out the Pots?

Last week I attended my first meeting of the local artist group that I just joined called Artists of Rubber City.  We met at the Zeber-Martell studio and gallery where the owners treated us with drinks and appetizers and shared with our group about the use of their gallery for the Akron Art Prize show that I was a part of last summer.  My work was displayed in their upstairs gallery and that was a great event that I hope to participate in this year again!  

They also took us behind the scenes for a tour of their studio.  I felt at home there, and the smell of clay in the air paired with gazing at the freshly thrown pots made me yearn to sit at my wheel.  I have set aside ceramics until my little guy gets a little older because my life is too stop and go right now to be committed to ceramics.  Working with clay is so different than other mediums because of the ongoing attention that it needs.  It is like having a baby... instead of feeding and changing diapers, every few hours you are either checking your pots to see if they are drying evenly, or checking the temperature of the kiln, etc.  I have ruined too many loads of pots because I was busy pulling dinner out of the oven and burned too many dinners because I was pulling out the pots!  I know that I sadly do not have enough attention right now to give my pottery what it deserves. 

As I talked with the fellow artists in the group, being the youngest person there, I realized that I will still have plenty of time (Lord willing) to get back on the wheel again and throw pots to my little hearts content.  These artists have gone through my season and are now on the other side, able to focus on their craft and fully commit to what they are doing.  I am so excited to glean wisdom from these group members and learn from them!  I think it is so important to hang with people that have already been where we are for so many reasons.  For now, I am looking forward to our next rendez-vous!


Molly Hatch: Artistically Generous

A couple of years ago I was trying to figure out how to merge my two loves... ceramics and drawing.  I majored in Art Studio with concentrations in ceramics and drawing and after years of exploring both mediums, it dawned on me that I should look for ways to bring them together.  I then got online and typed in "drawing on ceramics" to see what kind of techniques and options were out there for incorporating drawing on my pottery.  

As I was researching, I came across the talented Molly Hatch, who does this very thing.  She too found a way to merge the two together and I was interested in her technique.  I decided to email Molly to find out more about what she does, and It turned out that she was more than just a studio potter, she was a surface designer.  Somehow I went my whole life up to that point never hearing the term "surface designer" so when she began to explain what that was, I was intrigued!  

After years of browsing Anthropologie's isles admiring the beautiful ceramics there, I never knew who the face was behind those pieces and how they were made.  Molly brings prototypes to Anthropologie's production teams and then the product is manufactured.  Their design team also use her paintings on other things like tea towels and drinking glasses, etc.  

Last week I decided to take an online class through a website called www.creativelive.com  ( https://www.creativelive.com/instructor/molly-hatch) where Molly taught a class called Pattern Design: From Hand to Screen to Surface.  It was so great to see her working on her designs as she talked about her process, her story, and answered questions!  

I was talking with a friend the other day and I was telling her how awesome I thought it was that Molly was openly sharing her techniques and was not hoarding her process to herself.  I love to see a generous artist who delights in sharing her story and her process!  Too often artists miss the mark when it comes to generosity.  Usually, anything that we learn as artists comes from some other artist that has paved the path before us, and many forget that truth.  Art is to be shared, and we are to help each other along in these artistic journeys that we are on.   I hope I always remember to be artistically generous.

"Her Shades Flatter Your Lamps"

Today I took my boys to this HUGE antique mall in our area.  I love to stroll around and look at all the random things of the past and my boys love to go in the collectible room in the back to leaf through all the old comics they have for sale.  My little Sawyer found this old Fisher Price house that I once had as a little girl and he wouldn't part with it!  Looking at old things can be interesting in the way that they show us how much life has changed.  Although life changes, I find that people at the heart remain the same.  

I stumbled across this old magazine from 1949 that I thought was so great!  Here it is... the classic woman in her thirties finding an art form that gives her pleasure and trying to make a dime (literally) off of it.  Even though painting china is not a popular art form anymore, we humans still strive to make a living doing something we are passionate about.  I work in ceramics and glaze with my brushes in my apron and ponytail, but I am still that same girl in the picture.

Here's another one... the business woman in her blazer at the kitchen table trying to do it all with her son watching every move.  I feel like I always have an observer at my side as well. Growing up, I remember watching my mom take joy as she sat at her sewing machine making seasonal flags for gifts or to hang outside our house.  It was great to see my mother do things other than the typical mom responsibilities and to see her passionate about something.

I think todays woman, more than ever, is trying to follow her passions and make a career out of them.  Following your passions, whether through a career or not, will always be a healthy thing to do, for yourself, and for the little people in your life observing.