Friday, June 3, 2011

A Brief Time Out

I just wanted to take a break from my adventures with glaze to talk about all the exciting things happening here at Raging Bowl Pottery.

If you've been following my blog, you'll know all about my wholesale fiasco this past winter. Things have been tight as I've been trying to stretch out my Christmas earnings to make it to the summer show stretch, and for a while it was looking bleak. But as the saying goes, it won't rain but it pours. Last weekend I had my first official show of the season, the Guelph Potters Market at beautiful Goldie Mill in Guelph, Ontario. It. Was. Amazing.

Utterly amazing.

Extremely talented fellow potters like Andrea Vuletin, Cam Fisher, Iris Dorton, Jessica Steinhauser and April Gates all set up their wares to showcase to an enthusiastic crowd.

 I brought pieces from my Arabesque collection, as well as some from my Classic collection, and my Feltware. I had a very limited number of Feltware pieces at the One of a Kind Christmas Show this past Christmas, but this was really the first time I got to showcase it as more of a collection. I had cups, travel mugs and the large bowl pictured above. I'm always TERRIFIED when showcasing new work. I'm never sure how its going to be received and this was especially true with this particular line. I feel very exposed putting work like this out there. It's kinda like bearing your soul for the world to see, and when you put stuff out there, its going to be judged. I like to think I have a pretty thick skin, having survived art school, but it's still nerve-wracking. I guess I feel incredibly fortunate that my Feltware line was a hit. All the positive feedback from artists and enthusiasts alike was incredibly humbling, and inspiring. I feel like I'm on the right track and look forward to showcasing this work at other shows this summer.

When I got back to my studio after surviving the weekend, I put together my work schedule for the month of June and my jaw nearly fell off my face. Holy crap. I'm going to be busy!

Then came a HUGE wholesale order...
And then came an invitation to sell my work at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery...

It was at this point that I thought I don't want to be turning down opportunities because I'm too busy. And I realized that my only other option was to hire some help. I'm stretched to breaking as it is, and I can't physically do it all. I thought about some of my favorite pottery bloggers, and their experiences in this area. And ironically, one of the people I follow on twitter posted a link to a blog about knowing when to hire help.

So I took the plunge and hired my first summer student on Wednesday. She starts next week for one day a week (for now- that may change). I'm excited to be taking this step with my business but I feel totally unprepared for the shitstorm of work ahead of me. I guess I did this to myself and there's probably several lessons to be learned in all of this. I haven't really had a lot of time for this to sink in, but I'm sure it will hit me like a brick wall when help arrives next week. And I know what you're thinking - get off the computer and get to work!


Feel free to share! 

- I'm curious to know how others deal with things when they get overwhelming. When do you ask for help, or DO you ask for help?

- How do you feel about putting new work out there? Do you get as anxious as I do? What are some ways you help cope with that?