Happy New Year! / by Teresa Wooden

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Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!  It never seems to stop here in southwestern Michigan, and each morning I get up and look out the window with a mixture of excitement and dread.  It's so very beautiful.....but I have to go get the shovel.  Again.  Every. Day.  There is consolation when I come back inside, make a lovely cup of tea in a cup from my pottery collection, and curl up with the bulldog to page through the seed catalogs that are arriving each week.  The solstice has passed, and the days are getting longer...I can get back to my garden soon!

The New Year finds me at somewhat of a crossroad.  I am pondering how I will continue to make and market my work.  Arthritis is making it more difficult to carve for any length of time, causing my fingers to swell if I work too long, and my neck to hurt like crazy.  So I may begin drawing and painting on my pots with underglazes.  Or simply using acrylic paint to finish sculptural works, like the barn owl photo included with this post.  Stay tuned for some photos of those experiments in the coming months.

After hauling pots, tent, shelving and walls to several shows this year, Bob and I looked at one another and declared that this was no fun.  Uphill and downhill on grass without walkways, parking several blocks away from setup...and although we did just fine at these shows, the general direction of the art fair market is definitely trending downward.  Many artists are failing to make their expenses, or making very little over that.  So, looking ahead, it is clear that another approach may be desirable, at least in our own opinions.

I will be offering classes, but though they were scheduled for January they have now been pushed back to March for several reasons.  I'm also thinking of offering one-day workshops during the summer months, to make a platter, a set of mugs, serving bowls, garden sculptures, things like that.  And I will definitely have to get my Etsy shop up and running again.

But for now, the next big thing is planning and prepping for the second annual Artz and Gardenz Studio Tour for next Mothers' Day weekend, May 12-13, 2018!  I'm so excited to get together with our little group of talented artists to kick off the plans in a couple weeks.  There is much optimism and excitement to see how our little project grows and succeeds.

I've posted a couple photos of my studio entry garden, all lit up for the holidays.  Thanks to those who dropped by for our open house in November!  Wishing you all a very prosperous, happy and healthy New Year!  See you next year!

All the best,

Teresa

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