My writing has once again made it onto the pages of Ceramics Monthly! My blog post about hang tags was adapted for the Tips and Tools page of the October 2012 issue.
Originally published in Ceramics Monthly, October, 2012, page 16. http://www.ceramicsmonthly.org . Copyright, The American Ceramic Society. Reprinted with permission.
As someone who has been self-employed since 1996, whenever I hear anyone complaining about the policies that govern their paid vacation days, I get really irritated. Getting paid to not work? What a weird idea. Earlier this year I decided to engineer my own paid vacation. Here's how:
1. Find an art festival in a location where you'd like to take a vacation.
2. In the weeks leading up to the show, stay on top of your workload (see next post below). As self-employed people know, it is impossible to take time off and feel relaxed if you think you are behind at work.
3. Book a hotel room that is vacation quality, unlike the how-low-can-you-go hotels that I normally book for work, and stay an extra day or two beyond the show.
4. Spend one day working, but without any of the usual pressure to make a profit, or to accomplish anything meaningful business-wise.
5. Sit on beach, wiggle toes in sand.
So this is how I spent this past weekend, at the Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival. The show day featured just about all the bad weather issues that can possibly upset you at an outdoor show: heavy torrential rain, sideways wind gusts, and thick slobbering heat and humidity. But it didn't matter! I was pleased how well my new steel bar weights held my canopy in place. And I reminded myself how awesome it will be next weekend at Annmarie Garden, where I get to be indoors. And when I wasn't working, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
August was a crazy busy month for production. A bunch of wholesale orders arrived, and several fall shows are coming up (the first one is next week ... ack!). A few times this past month, I reached a state of impasse, and had to stop working in the middle of a day. I ran out of space. Every inch of my tables and shelves were occupied by drying pots. This includes an extra folding table I set out near the laundry machines. And the inside of the kiln, which will be reloaded as soon as it can be unloaded.
The last pot I threw is still on the wheel, because I had nowhere else to put it. Oh all right!! I'll stop. Grrrrr.
Seriously though, lately I've been putting a lot of thought into a studio renovation. I hope to see it through sometime in 2013. More shelving is part of the plan! And it pleases me that my output now exceeds my studio space but not my energy level. I can grow this business even more if I want.
Mea Rhee (mee-uh ree),
American Craft Council Baltimore
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