Six months ago I gave up my stable, established career in marketing and visual merchandising to become a potter...
'You're crazy!' 'In a recession?' 'You'll be poor!' 'But what if you want to do such and such...'
These are all the things I expected people to say. However, I drastically underestimated my parents, husband, friends, colleagues. No one said these things, although they might have thought them and they're probably true. The reason, I think, is because they could see how unhappy I was in the corporate world.
'Good for you' 'Amazing!' 'Go for it' 'We'll support you all the way' were just some of the supportive things the people around me said. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed aspects of my job; I liked travelling, I loved my colleagues, I enjoyed climbing the ladder and you cant beat a monthly pay check - but it wasn't enough. I yearned to be creative. With every inch of my soul I wanted to make things. Not powerpoint presentations or spreadsheets (although I still have to sometimes!) I wanted to make tangible things that you can touch, feel, keep, give or be given, and maybe even treasure. Even though I believe you make your own fate I still maintain there were big fat 'signs' and many forks in a long road which lead me to this decision. Many, many budgeting spreadsheets were created to check and double check we could afford our mortgage but most of all long chats with my husband, friends and parents were had which convinced me this might just be doable.
Six months on I have learned a lot, an awful lot! I knew it wasn't going to be easy and it hasn't been. I have spent more money than I have earned, mostly on setting up my business; this website, materials, failed kiln batches, dodgy glazes...etc, etc... I have drank a lot of tea, procrastinated more than I can bear to think about and I miss the camaraderie of an office environment but I am loving every second. Would I make the same decision again? In a heartbeat.
A wise potter (cant remember who) once said - when asked - how long does it take you to make a pot?- '15 minutes and 30 years' I have been potting as a hobby for 10 years on and off so I am still 20 years off that. There are 1000's of detailed aspects to pottery, of which I am hoping to master just some- and I know it's going to take a lot of failed firings, smashed pots and ruined glazes but I have my whole career ahead of me which I am enormously excited about.
This blog is going to diarise my pottery exploits, wherever they take me. I am going to be as honest as I can be and hope that it might entertain you whilst you're waiting for a bus and you might even think about buying your next teapot from me. I also hope that it might help others who feel unsatisfied with their current situation and give them another little sign that whatever 'it' is, it is possible. If I can do it, anyone can.
I'd like to thank all of my friends, family and my darling, *patient* husband Thomas for their unwavering support.
I dedicate this blog to my dear friend Alex McClean. His life was far too short. He inspired me to 'just bloody do it'.