What a journey it's been and it's only just the beginning.
They say that a journey starts with a single step. I took that first step in January of 2020. I had finally been able to connect my desire to play with some clay on a wheel to a class where I could learn how. At the time I was living in Santa Ynez CA with my little human and had spent the last year in turmoil around work. I needed something for me. Some time for me. It was perfect timing because I came to find that sitting at a wheel elbow deep in mud is pretty darn therapeutic for me.
As with seemingly all things wonderful at the beginning of 2020, it wasn't to last. We all know how this story goes on the global scale. For us, it ultimately meant packing up our lives and all my little dude had known and moving back up to my hometown in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It was the most violently mixed bag of emotions I have ever experienced. Even now, almost a year later and all settled in to a great house and surrounded and supported by my absolutely amazing family, it's still hard for me to reconcile the hard feelings with the good ones. But we are here and we are moving in directions we very likely would not have been moving had we stayed, so I embrace the change and challenges and growth.
In an act of self care, shortly after we made the move I dug around a bit and was able to find a ceramics "class" to join. I was back in a happy place and looked forward to Tuesday mornings every single week. I made some really cool stuff and worked with some really cool people. At the time my little and I were hunkering down with my folks while I took the time to find some employment and wrap my head around the trauma of the move. My folks were super supportive of my finding something for me again. We watched The Great Pottery Throwdown together and I kept them updated on what I was working on. It all felt really good. They saw that.
In a show of support, on Christmas morning, an old, beautiful, worn, loved, wonky kick wheel appeared right under my nose. Turns out my dad had found it over the summer and don't ask me how, had kept it hidden from me while our belongings moved in all around it out in his shop. I was blown away. I mean, I typically am not super surprised by many gifts. We all drop hints around Christmas, make lists to help our loved ones shop for us and as adults, generally have some idea of what might come, especially if it's something big. I can not stress this enough, never did it occur to me that I would be getting a wheel. In hindsight, I feel like I under reacted a bit. I think I was so genuinely dumbfounded.
I'd never used a kick wheel before, but it didn't take long before I was out there covered in muck and having the time of my life making friends with my new wheel. I named him Trevor. (I'm a Harry Potter geek and fully believe Neville Longbottom is the most under-appreciated character I've ever met. Trevor is the name of his toad, so in tribute of Neville, I borrowed his pets name for my wheel.) I took very little time to get used to the kicking part of the wheel and we started making some magic.
To beat the hell out of a cliche', the rest is history. I experiment, learn, have grown my space into a bit more of a proper studio, and here we are. Growing a business out of the whole muddy mess and I couldn't be more excited about where it's going to take us.