I've finally begun to use my sprigs (dictionary.com says: small molded decoration applied to a piece of pottery before firing). I'm going to make a dinnerware set with these, decorating the rims of the plates. I'm not too sure yet how the cups and bowls are going to turn out, but I dig the plates so far.
I finally have air conditioning in my studio! I'm so excited. Last night I worked out there, and it was such a weird experience not being attacked by bugs and to actually feel the difference in the summer air as I stepped outside. Josh is supposed to attach insulation to the roof of the building today. I'm hoping that this will cut down on the amount of energy it takes to keep the studio cool, because our power bill for this past month was astronomical.
Also, in other news, I received the nicest rejection letter for my entries into the Strictly Functional Pottery National Show. So nice in fact, that I considered going to Lancaster, PA to see the show and hear a lecture by Mary Barringer. As the juror, she included a second letter explaining her choices. I seriously read these things twice because they were so encouraging! I remember my first rejection from a juried show. My attitude then was quite different from what it is now. I lacked confidence in my work (and probably in myself at this time) and because I did, I got so upset that my work wasn't chosen. It's so funny and ironic how anger and insecurities go hand-in-hand. Now, I feel confident that my work is growing and headed somewhere. I realize that it hasn't reached it's full potential but that's okay, because I am still learning and working hard.
I've been submitting to a lot of shows lately, and it's a lot of money and I haven't gotten accepted into most. But with the rejections, comes logical thinking...what type of theme was the show?...who was the juror?...what did the person see that I didn't? Rejections make me reevaluate how I am creating my work and make me think, "Okay this is a good idea, but how can I make this better?" With my understanding of what is happening in contemporary functional ceramics, rejections/acceptances give me a gauge of where my work falls. Obviously, I have a lot of work to do, but I never expected this to be easy.