Thursday, March 21, 2013

Stray Cat Strut

The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.
Julia Cameron 

Process indeed. I have been in the middle of "my creative process" for some months now. 

I have been floundering in the chaos of big life transitions...job change, location change, studio change...and needless to say, its been difficult to focus and finish work. Mix those last three ingredients in with a host of other "bumps in the road" that I touched on in this past post and you will get quite a murky and unpleasant stew. But I am here to tell you that maybe 2013 may not be my unlucky year, that things are still in transition, but also that things may just be looking up.

So transition...yes, its still very much a part of my life ...and I was never that great with transition. I am learning to roll with it better and like the quote above I am also learning to surrender to it more. Not giving up by any means, just digesting and then continuing to move onward. The biggest and best change I want to share is that of my very new studio move. As of last week, I have shifted studios...again. I used to joke when I was at Little Mahoning Creek Pottery that I was the "squatter potter" I am more like the hobo potter traveling with my new kiln, slab roller, clay and tools all rolled up in a slip covered old towel tied to the end of a stick. But I also think that this is "it" and this is where I will hang my apron for a while.

view from the back to front...
Renee Suhr is the owner and visionary of this studio. She is a great ally for our beat up old mill town and has been actively working to bring about something positive. I met Renee a year or so ago here in Beaver Falls. She wanted to partner up and open a ceramics studio but I was unable to financially be a true business partner. She soldiered on and acquired a great space and persevered the permit police and extended delays over and over to finally be able to open...Stray Cat Studio ... here in the greater metropolitan area of Beaver Falls, Pa. We will be offering classes for hand building and wheel throwing, co-op studio space for the more advanced, and a retail gallery space by the fall.

check out that giant stainless sink!

a view from the front to back kiln area...wheels on the right

This whirlwind studio move for me came about a couple weeks back when she and I met for coffee. After some high-test java and half a blueberry muffin, I was going to be teaching classes there, giving private lessons and making my own work from there. WOOHOO! The following Monday Renee helped me move my new kiln and other stuff to Stray Cat last Thursday I had mopped out the old space and returned the key. And as of the last few days, I have been glazing all my bisque ware in hopes of a glaze firing in the very near future. 

12x12 slab wall hangings...carved, bisqued and underglazed.
large platter made to be hung...carved, bisqued and underglazed
I posted about this idea and well as some pics of the outside of the studio space...way back in July of last is the link. I am excited about all the possibilities with the studio, thrilled to be part of a growing community, and thankful that Renee is happy to have me. I have been enjoying myself while getting my glaze on and am eager to have some finished work. While putting this post together I also found a great comment a friend made on that same post that I just linked to...she said "embrace frustration to affect positive change"  this was a quote from a commencement speech at Stanford by Cory Booker. Thanks Jade...perfect for me these days! Finally I want to leave you with some pics that give you an idea of the size and niceness factor of this studio space. Also check out the and of course search Stray Cat Studio out on facebook for news, pics, and random facebook like stuff! I'm off to do more glazing...stay tuned!
...and there is a whole other side!


carter gillies said...

It looks great, Kyle!

Congratulations and the best of luck!

Marc Zimetbaum said...

I loved the quote from Cory Booker - as you know I am a Newark boy. My struggle goes on as well, still teaching terra cotta figure class & trying to figure out what to do with 50 years worth of sculpture.

cynthia said...

Looks like a terrific space!! I am also transitioning and relate very well with your struggle. In regards to Life of Pi (other post), we just watched the movie - I read the book probably 9 years ago. I loved the book so much and wondered how the movie could possibly be made. It was good, but not as good as the book. I suppose movies never are. I do want to reread it now though. :D

barbaradonovan said...

Congrats on exciting changes. Sometimes a little perseverance really pays off.

I have to confess to a certain amount of sink envy here too.

k.houser said...

Thanks for the great comments folks...I am really looking forward to making a lot of new work from here...and excited about the teaching possibilities...Barbara, I did put that sink picture in to create just that feeling!...I never had a sink this nice in a studio...even in grad school!