Wednesday, June 12, 2002
You're very Welcome and Why I do this
"Where do you find the
time..to do the clay and all these tuts. You
must have your own personal production crew. Thanks for all the stuff
Denise in Austin"
I realize that most folks are busy with other stuff. I have an
opportunity to focus on clay and doing tutes right now. I don't know
for how long, maybe a matter of months and then I'm faced with either
make money selling on Ebay and such all or go out and get a "real
job". So I'm really putting the pedal to the metal at this point in my
The reason why I create the Easy Breezy methods, cutting down time and
effort on existing techniques is we don't have time and energy to
waste for no good reason other than to be anal retentive. I mean if we
can get a blend with 6 passed through the pasta press by rolling the
sheet and mashing it before pressing it again, instead of folding it
in half and having to pass the clay through the rollers 25 times, then
let's keep things easy for us. 6 is a lot less than 25 and time is
You know.... I don't do a lot of other things that most folks do. Like
work a full time job, run after little ones, have a husband who isn't
absorbed and obsessed with something himself. I don't have to play the
ornamental Oriental here at home. I'm one of the guys, just the guy
who is also chief cook and bottle washer. I don't have pets and only
have plants that can take being neglected while I'm on Tour. That
leaves a lot of time to do tutes and clay production. But just because
I might have more time during the day doesn't mean I want to waste my
time and short out my shoulder for no good purpose.
All the tips and tricks I share about saving time are methods I found
for myself. I'm so glad I figured out that C clamp thing with the
beads. I was about to give up doing beads at all because my hands
hurt, my wrists hurt, I sanded off my finger tips more than once. I
was about to pull out what little hair I have left. When I found that
I could keep the beads on the skewer, sand and Future finish and drip
dry, not having to deal with the beads one by fricking one, I couldn't
help but share that with you busy mommies and daily commute workers.
You need these time and energy saving tricks. You got less time to
futz about with a technique that has more steps than necessary.
There's times where folks who don't really realize how serious this
clay art teaching thing is to me, they ask me, "So when are you going
to get another job?" LOL, like I don't have a more than full time job
here with the list? I do put in no less than an eight hour day, 7 days
a week. I don't know other folks who put in the time I do other than
folks who own their own business. So I backed into a teaching gig by
accident and I found I like it a lot. I feel lucky. But when folks
don't realize that this is not just a casual volunteer thing I can
just walk away from without a thought, I have to hip them up.
This explains why I'm a "hard ass" when a list member wants to
negativity. That's why I'm fiercely protective of the list members. My
clay work, the "ploduct" is a by-product of teaching. Just like I
on my site. The things there are one of a kind that were made in the
process of teaching. My clay and miniatures were never an end in
themselves, but a means to the end and that is sharing information
about something neglected and sorely lacking in the mini world, a
polymer clay presence. When it was for Doll Makers that polymer clay
got invented back in the day anyhow. There's nothing better for mini
food than polymer clay. There was so little available online for
miniaturists and polymer clay was just so perfect.
This list, doing the tutes, nurturing new artists is more than a
volunteer gig for me. It's more than a hobby. It's more than something
to do with my empty nest time. All this, the list, the tutes, and all
that is first and foremost in my life, it's not a career, it's a life
style choice. Selling is secondary, only an evil necessity to support
the art and teaching. I've never had the urge to do more than give my
stuff away until it looked as if this art thing has got to get to a
point of at least supporting itself.
The time that is put in things that you don't see, not like a tute or
a ramble, finding and woo'ing new volunteers, grooming new moderators
and helpmates, sorting out the list admin, cleaning up the shared
spaces. This is not onerous to me, it's more a labor of love.
Also I'm at a point in my life where if anyone complains about the
dishes in the sink, well they can wash them. Folks are grown enough to
feed themselves. I don't have to get up or go to bed at any particular
time. James and I are both "house mouse" type people and prefer to
stay at home. I get all my visiting energy played out when I go on the
road for weeks or months at a time, seeing my mini mavens and
claymates. My social life is here on the list. Folks ask, "Don't you
get lonely being at home all the time." I just have to laugh I have so
many good friends right here, what more do I need, someone in my face
who is not doing minis or clay? Not hardly.
Just a little dust has to settle and I'm hitting the road again. I
don't know if I'll make it out to Halifax for the LEXX UnConvention.
If I can't then I'm definately heading up North. There's a NAME
convention at the same time as the LEXX UnCon and the Pacific
NorthWest is closer. But it's getting time for another Tour.
There's a ramble on the index about why I don't do clay retreats. Why
my focus is to keep the clay experience cheap, quick and easy, why I
focus on folks who don't have time or resources to go to retreats and
instead I come to them. It's part of the teaching mission is all. I
often feel that missionary zeal in getting a new clay convert. LOL
shhh, don't tell folks. LOL
So that's what I do and why I do it. Beings that a teacher can't do
anything without students that are receptive I am nothing without all
of you. Just a crazy ex beatnic ex hippy grandmother playing with her
dolls and minis, muttering and chorteling to herself.
"Don't mind grandma, she's short a few sandwiches for a full pick
nick, if you know what I mean."