Nothing like the thrill of a contest to light a fire under my feet.
Every year the One of a Kind Christmas Show has a contest. This year the theme was teapots. Each vendor was asked to make a teapot in the medium they work in. How could I resist?
During my last year in school, I focused on sculptural teapots, so this was an opportunity to go back to my roots, so to speak. And while I was excited and up for the challenge, it was terrifying.
Even I was surprised at how much pressure I was feeling over this silly little contest! Having gone to a high-profile art institute, I felt a lot of pressure to produce a spectacular piece. This was an opportunity for me to show my peers that I was capable of more than just production pottery - (though notably, some of my customers may not view my work as 'just production pottery', I can't help but feel that sometimes my potter friends view it as such, but that's a whole other issue, and no doubt mostly in my head, anywaaaays...)
Where was I? Oh yes. Pressure. Yup. Lots of it.
One of the ways I like to work out new pieces, is to throw the idea to my subconscious and let it stew there while my conscious forgets about it. A few days/weeks/months later, it usually spits something out that surprises and delights me and I can get busy manifesting that idea. This time was no exception. I knew I wanted something in feltware and let my subconscious do the rest.
Here's what I came up with:
The teapot is fully functional. And while it may not be the spectacular piece I was hoping for, over all I'm pretty pleased with it. It didn't win any awards at the show, but I did sell it (yay!) and I even had an order for another, smaller version.
And while I was finally getting back to the feltware I had started in the spring, I also made these:
No doubt now that my biggest show of the year is over and I finally have some much needed time to myself, I'll rework these pieces. My subconscious is still spitting out ideas (I can't seem to find that off switch!) so I've got all kinds of ideas I'm anxious to work out.
And all that pressure? It was pretty weird at the show to see people's reaction to the new feltware. Those familiar with my functional work were quite surprised, and those who saw the teapot before the functional stuff were surprised as well. After a few days of digesting people's reactions, the pressure melted away and I became excited about this new creative outlet that I've been looking for.
Now, if only I can manage a balance between the work pots and the play pots...