I said goodbye to my kick wheel, kiln and electric potter's wheel today. I hadn't worked in clay for a long time, but was still hesitant to get rid of the equipment... thinking I might get back to ceramics "one of these days".
I started ceramics as a hobby when my kids were small. My "hobby" eventually led me back to college to study art. The art then combined with my social work degree and I taught art classes to preschoolers, special needs kids, at a deaf/oral school and also in a community arts center to various parent/child groups. When we moved out east I discovered that I wasn't really that interested in teaching anymore....and I'd definitely had my fill of clay! I also realized though that one of the things I enjoyed the most about ceramics was surface design, so I decided to concentrate my efforts on painting instead. I've been painting and doing mixed media design work ever since. (and I'm not tired of it yet!)
Thinking through my artistic progression to write this blog post really makes me understand, once again, how something as innocent at starting a new hobby can lead to a complete career change. Don't ever underestimate the importance of what you are working on or what you are interested in. And don't let others cast doubt your art or craft work. You never really know where it will take you in your life...or how it can expand your thinking and creativity.
The ceramics equipment found two very good homes. The kick wheel went to a hobbyist (with small kids) and the other equipment to a wonderful clay teacher in town. I gave the equipment to them both, asking only for a charity donation in return. Although I could have used the money, what I really hope is that the equipment will bring them both good luck...and an avenue of new possibilities for their future.