Julie Guyot Studio

renegade craft fair

What's the point?

Emily Wray5 Comments

And by the way, you know, when you're telling these little stories? Here's a good idea - have a POINT. It makes it SO much more interesting for the listener!      

-Steve Martin to John Candy in Planes, Trains and Automobiles


Recently I’ve tried to be a little better about updating my blog.  I’ve written a few things and gotten some good feedback.  A couple of people have even off-handedly said that I should consider being a writer.  Okay, one of those people was my mom, but anyway.  The reason I would never consider being a writer is because of a day like today.

I spent over an hour trying to write a blogpost that ended up going nowhere.  I couldn’t even begin to tell you what it was supposed to convey to the reader.  It was awful.  I suppose it wasn’t any worse than spending an hour making a ceramic tumbler which ends up cracking because I let it dry too quickly.  This happened earlier in the week and I had to throw it away.  It seemed less painful than the writer’s block.  

I was going to write some witty anecdote to get around to telling you that I’ll be traveling up to Chicago for Renegade Craft Fair on September 10 & 11th.  So I guess I’ll just say that. 

The End.

Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes...well, the bear eats you.

Emily Wray9 Comments

I unloaded a kiln this weekend with the anticipation of an addict.  I think working in clay is kind of like having a gambling problem.  When things go well, it’s really exciting.  And when they go bad, it feels like someone just threatened to break your kneecaps. 

I don't like to gamble.  I don't like risk.  Those who know me well know I like to have a plan for everything.  So why ceramics where even if you follow all of the rules and stick to your plan every single time, sometimes, things just go wrong.  I asked myself this question several times after finding that 2/3 of the work in my kiln had the terra sigilatta chipped off and will probably have to be thrown away.

Why ceramics?  It was certainly not the medium that I should've stuck with in undergrad.  I have never had the patience for it.  I wasn’t really that good at it.  I had started out in graphic design because my parents thought at least in that field I could make some money.  It wasn’t a good fit.  Professor’s tearing up your drawings and throwing them in the trash in front of the rest of the class etc.  Way too competitive for an introvert like me.  And then I signed up for my first ceramics class.

I remember graduate students would stop and comment on what I was working on.  They asked questions and gave constructive feedback without belittling.  Undergrads were encouraged to take classes alongside of graduate students and I was even able to work for my own small studio space.  Ceramics had it’s own community!

The truth is, I could be making art out of any medium but I choose ceramics for the people. After several days of mourning my kilnload and asking myself why I work in clay, I received an e-mail from someone that I met a few weeks ago at Renegade Craft Fair in Austin.  Don Madden's lovely blogpost at Fully Flummoxed reminds me why I work in clay.  I do it so that I can keep meeting people like Don and his wife, Susan. There is just something about clay people that makes me get back out there in the studio and start rolling the dice again.