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studio schedules--long

updated tue 30 nov 99


CNW on sun 28 nov 99

I think it must be different for everyone how they deal with schedules. When
I was single I just worked, ate a meal, hiked for an hour or so, worked ,
ate a meal, hiked for an hour or so, etc.....if I couldn't sleep I worked.
Hiking gave me the break I needed without getting me involved in something
that would take up a lot more time than I expected. (except the time I got
lost but that's another story)

When I moved back to civilization things became more complicated, family,
husband, farm, no place to hike. People assume that since you are not
working a 'real' job that you can be more flexible. ..."Would you mind doing
such and such cause I need to be doing something else?" And it's easy to
fall into that yourself.

I have gone back to school and so its hard to find time now, but my plans
when I finish are to have a separate building with no phone, a fridge, and a
chair for whoever wants to make the effort to come see me. And set hours for
myself, I may set hours that have a break in the middle for errands on some
days, but do my best not to vary except in the case of emergancy. At least
until I get the family trained. For me I sometimes have problems with what I
ought to do around the house, farm and with my parents and get overwhelmed
and do nothing at all.

Set reasonable hours and stick to them till everyone involved is trained
then you can be flexible, and remember it IS a real money making activity
just like a job. (but much more creative)


Jennifer Boyer on mon 29 nov 99

The responses to this thread show that each person's work rhythm
must be based on personality, circumstances. When kids were
small my work hours were their childcare/school hours, with
maybe one break a week for an outdoor activity. Never even went
grocery shopping during those hours.

As my pottery sales became more predicitable, I allowed for
more breaks in the rhythm of work. I'm a workaholic and there is
more danger in TOO MUCH work than in too little: the former can
lead to major periods of burn out.

Now that my kids are older(1 15 yr old left at home), I have
more flexibility. School hours are still work hours but I
usually do several workout or yoga classes a week: necessary in
my late 40's so I can keep throwing! I might make up those lost
work hours after dinner during busy sales times. I do some
volunteer stuff that requires a few meetings a month.

I work roughly a 40 hour week and only put in 2-4 hours on
weekends. My work rhythm has settled down to certain number of
glaze firings a month. Right now I do about 1 glaze firing
every 2 weeks(not counting weekends). Throwing/trimming: 8 days.
Bisking/glazing: 4 days. Glaze firing/unloading: 2 days. The
studio gets cleaned on the firing day.

I find that I don't do well in the studio if I start work, leave
for something, and then try to go back to work. Better to leave
the studio in midafternoon and call it a day when I come back,
or do paperwork etc.

I have friends who tried to be potters but couldn't get used to
the self discipline. But for me, I relate to Elca's description
of the rhythm of the studio. It just pulls you along. I'm a
production potter and that rhythm is soothing. Been doing it for
over 25 years, and the soothing part was awhile coming...worth
the wait.

Jennifer off to plunge more frozen glaze tests into boiling
water. They sure are steamy when they come out!

Jennifer Boyer
Thistle Hill Pottery
Vermont USA