I know we are already 13 days (Happy Friday the 13th) into 2012, but I just started back to work Monday. It’s been a good week organizing, planning, updating my show schedule, working on websites, and getting back into teaching.
I’m teaching again for the first time in two years. I needed it; I was burned out. In retrospect, I realize I didn’t set enough boundaries with my students and tried to do too much. I almost ran into a similar problem Wednesday night. I’m teaching a low fire class that is using red earthenware, but some students wanted to continue to use white earthenware. Last semester students used white earthenware and fired the kiln, but to a different temperature than we are going to do this semester. Can you imagine what that would be like? A fiasco.
I explained why we would only be using one clay and one firing schedule. I apologized for any inconvenience. I may have some students drop my class, but that’s ok. My students will learn more by focusing on one style.
For years I’ve been all over the place. I have been working in porcelain since 2000, but I’m always doing something else on the side. For instance, I used to wood-fire, salt-fire, and low-fire. I was driving myself crazy trying to do to many things at once. Now it’s all porcelain and I’m narrowing down my surface decoration. (Stay tuned.)
I’ve found that when I’m not focused on one style, I can’t grow that style, refine it and master it. By dividing your attention, your work is divided by time, attention, and style.
What are you focused on?
Here is a preview of my new focus: