Greetings Ceramic Arts Daily readers! Today, I thought I would send another shout-out about our Studio Tour Video Contest. In case you missed the first announcement, there’s a brand new pottery wheel up for grabs, thanks to Skutt Potters Wheels, for the potter/sculptor/amateur filmmaker who submits the most creative, fun, and informative video tour of his or her space. Think of it as the ceramics world’s version of MTV Cribs. See the complete details on the contest here!
And to get you thinking about what sorts of things you might focus on in your cinematic masterpiece, I am presenting an excerpt from the Ceramics Monthly (in-print) Studio Visit series. Today, ceramic sculptor Erin Furimsky tells us a little about her ceramic crib. Look for the complete article in an upcoming issue of Ceramics Monthly. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
Adequate studio space was a huge priority when making the decision to purchase our home six years ago. The house is a single story bungalow with a large footprint providing for a substantial basement studio.Because my studio is in my home it allows me to work in the studio as much as I possibly can. Between teaching and having a three-year old son, it would be very hard to find large blocks of time needed to drive or bike to a studio at another location. Not to mention the motivation. It is much easier to simply walk downstairs during my son’s naptime to get some work done.My other favorite aspect is my studiomate/husband Tyler Lotz. It’s great to have him there to bounce ideas off of, but often we just work in the quiet company of each other.
Oddly enough my least favorite aspect of my studio is also the accessibility. Because my time in the studio is so precious and it is in such close proximity, I constantly feel that I should be working every chance I get. Therefore I have problems just relaxing, getting other necessary things done and sometimes feeling a real balance in daily life. However, I feel the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. Ultimately, I would prefer my studio space to be above ground in a separate building, but on my property. More natural light would be lovely.
I am surprisingly simple with what I need in the studio. I do find that my banding wheel allows for me to see my work well and have good posture when working. Of course, my test kiln is used frequently and is an essential tool in my studio practice.
Body and Mind
I am an incredibly active and physical person and that is one of the elements that attracted me to working with clay in the first place. I love running marathons and also do some weight training and yoga. Those things keep my body strong enough so I rarely get fatigued in the studio. While working, I focus on good posture and I periodically stretch out my hands and wrists.I am working my way through Breaking the Mould: New Approaches to Ceramics, by Rob Barnard, Natasha Daintry, and Clare Twomey. The book is nice, because it is broken up into short sections profiling different artists from around the world. Also, I just started For Her Own Good: Two Centuries of the Experts’ Advice to Women, by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English Right. The book breaks down the constraints placed on women in the name of science from a medical, psychological, and social perspective. Coincidentally, some of the information nicely parallels the reading I have been doing about natural childbirth.
I prefer to sell my work through galleries and not-for-profit venues. I have exhibited work at SOFA Chicago, the Dubhe Carreno Gallery in Chicago, Santa Fe Clay, and other venues. I have an upcoming exhibition at Plinth Gallery in Denver, Colorado.
I find it very difficult to keep up with a website. I am not very interested in computers and do not enjoy spending long hours working on them. A friend graciously created a site for me about five years ago. Unfortunately, it was too complicated for me to update on my own. I will soon have a new site that hopefully solves that problem, will be straightforward, and easy to navigate.
Most Valuable Lesson
I have learned to be dedicated and hard working because being an artist is not easy. Emotionally, it can be incredibly exhilarating and crushing at other times. It has taught me to be in the present, because if I am not, the work suffers. I know I am often in the present and simply enjoy making, because I will leave the studio after a good day and feel complete. An exciting day in my studio can be more rewarding than getting a successful piece out of the kiln or a professional opportunity. In the end, it has taught me how important it is that I love what I do. If you do not, it is not worth doing.
To see more images of Erin Furimsky’s work, please visit www.erinfurimsky.com.