Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spotlights and the Un-Comfortable

So I've been having some fun trying lots of new stuff and whatnot. Playin' around. My latest exploration with intaglio glazing led to this little gem which I decided to submit to the Hamilton Potters' Guild's biennial juried exhibition "Glazed Over".
 It was kind of a 'just fucking do it' decision. I don't normally do this sort of thing - it's a little outside of my comfort zone. I dropped my piece off and hoped to forget about it. I even bailed on the jurors comments and had asked someone to pick up my piece should it not be accepted into the show.

Two days later I got a phone message.
"Please attend the opening, your piece has won an award".

My first reaction was an uncomfortable laugh. Followed by confusion, and then sheer panic. This meant I was going to have to get up in front of people. No easy task when one deals with anxiety issues. As my anxiety welled, I tried to figure out what was going on. I won an award! I should be thrilled! And yet I was anxious. Did I even LIKE the piece I submitted? I've been playing and trying new things, but was this piece MINE? Was that MY voice emanating from that plate? Then my thoughts swung to my Bachelor of Arts Degree. I have always been uncomfortable with the institution that my degree was granted from. It has a reputation. And really, given my background, its a wonder I was even accepted into the school in the first place. The entire time I was there, I dealt with feeling like a fraud. I had never taken a high school art class. No workshops outside of school. Nothing. And yet there I was attending one of the most prestigious art schools in the country. No pressure. Ugh.

My husband and I made arrangements to go to the opening. My parents decided to come along, and take us out to dinner beforehand to celebrate. The show itself is wonderful - all kinds of amazing works. And there was my plate (displayed sideways, but hey, what can you do). With my anxiety welling, I hunkered down until award time. And there it was. The Ontario Crafts Council Design Award. In a fog with my heart in my throat I made my way to the front. OK. Smile. Shake hand. Take award. Smile. Race back to the safety of the corner. Ugh. By this time the gallery was packed. Mom took my picture by my plate and I was outta there. Fresh air. Breathe......

A Design award. One of my profs voices kept ringing in my head: "You shouldn't make work. You should just design it." I should have been thrilled but I couldn't shake the uncomfortable knot in my belly.

It's been a few days and I've had a chance to digest everything that has just happened. I tried something new. It was well received. I won a design award! The work that I want to make definitely leans towards design. The kind of work that I am most drawn to leans more towards design. And honestly, I just want to make pretty pots. I want to make pots that people want to use. Every day.

I've been playing. Pushing my work forward. And I won a fucking award, y'all!!! That's pretty fucking cool:)

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