Like waiting too long to call an old friend, this year the prospect of writing my newsletter became a daunting energetic lift. Where to begin? How much to leave out? How to reflect on what has come to pass while it is still in progress?
I sent the last newsletter in January of this year, a few hours before my paternal grandmother, Dode, unexpectedly passed away. It is my intention to write and share a more reflective year end review this coming January, to explore the way that death and curation of inherited objects, as well as a move to a new home and studio, have impacted my art practice. For the purpose of this missive, suffice it to say there has been a great deal of transition in my physical, emotional, and career direction this year.
Renovating and moving objects into my newly purchased house eclipsed holiday inventory preparation this year. I've been feeling awkward about that, guilty and a bit stressed. It's become an annual holiday tradition, as my friend Stephanie just pointed out, to kvetch about widget making, to wonder aloud whether I'm a sell out for feeding the capitalist gift giving machine, and then be the busiest elf I can be.
It's not my ethics or bravery that slowed the production this year, it was the dismantlement and reconstruction of my studio, being so busy I simply could not produce and hoard boxes of carefully labeled inventory. A solstice blessing, this! It is increasingly clear to me that my 'soul's work', the well researched and social justice driven bodies of work stewing inside of me, are not served by the Christmas rush, or 'inventory' at all, that being well prepared for online or retail sales isn't in alignment with my vision of success.
How I will find a new balance with the need to pay my mortgage while eschewing capitalism has yet to be reveled. Surely I am blessed with a constant stream of commission work for which I am deeply grateful. And then there's the value of the widget as vocabulary component. As craft test and muscle builder. Repetition serves craftsmanship beautifully; decades of production have developed my skills as well as the language with which I communicate (for those of you who have been following, insert here recollections of mirrors you can't see yourself in, an oft repeated list of plant symbolism, etc). The widgets are relics, product of long-term preparation. And they connect me with others, are reasonable to hang in the kitchen window.
Have I sold you on buying what I DO have in stock? I haven't given up on capitalism yet, and tradition dies hard in my family. Many of you have asked what I have available (thank you!)...You can shop what I've uploaded to etsy or follow me on instagram this week as I post new work as it comes out. There are stained glass panels and sculptural mirrors and I have ornaments like the ones shown above (orchid, thyme, rosemary, oregano) that are currently available as well as many with fern, peony, cannabis, lavender, hydrangea, jasmine, and four leaf clover. They are $28 each or four for $100, free shipping for the rest of the month. I also have a handful of mirror clusters available (including those shown here), which are $46 each. Reply to this email for requests.
If you are in New Orleans, come to Potence Collective noon-6pm any day before Christmas Eve (we have so very many nice objects, and always tea for drinking and sitting). A body of pate de verre work I made this summer at Pilchuck Glass School (the first image above is from that series) is on the gallery wall as well. It is evidence of the direction in which I'm headed.
This coming weekend, Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm, I will be at Palmer Park Art Market, which is also a really great place to buy handmade and local, SO many talented makers participate. It's the only market I'm doing this season. After that I'm tucking in to read about plants and re-evaluate how I direct my efforts.
If you are giving gifts this season, I hope at least one is made by your own hands, that you get the chance to slow down and consider your soul's work, that you find the silver lining in not keeping up with your unattainable expectations. May you stay warm and abundant and kind to yourself and find support at every turn.