The month of September blew by here at the pottery. Many events, such as taking down the wood kiln, fairs, and family time, took up much of the month. Also, work at the paper factory was busy due to upgrades. The month was exhausting, but that’s how things go when making pottery after work.
Pottery After Work
Pottery after work is something you have to decide to do and show up for. The pots have become more than a fun hobby with the wood kiln on the way. Having a wood kiln given to you is a big responsibility. Wood kilns are works of art that need to be maintained, and the firing tradition needs to be passed on out of respect for the past and the future. I feel the weight of that responsibility now that I have all the bricks stacked on pallets and almost ready to ship to the studio.
Pottery after work is something you need to concentrate on. It is possible to catch yourself making lazy pots for a show just to have items to sell and fill a space. Much of the time, others may not know any different, as the craft of potting is something only some people do. A baker making lazy cakes would be found out far faster than a potter who makes lazy pots. My buyers and supporters help keep me from making lazy pots by demanding new and exciting things. So, the feedback from supporters is most welcome.
Pottery after work requires a bit of leadership rather than management. Managers are essential, but most of the time, they are there to simply manage. If you are merely managing your small business, you might find yourself in a dip doing the same things, managing rather than moving forward. Leaders lead. At times, being a leader is more challenging than creating the pots and involving ownership. At times, I am just managing to be a leader.
Pottery after work may cause you to make mistakes. But mistakes for an artist are a good thing. As long as they are not fatal. Mistakes are essential because you bravely tried, but it didn’t work out. If you were playing it safe, maybe you were just managing and not leading. Leaders take ownership of their mistakes and learn from them.
Pottery after work means working on your day off and setting up a show in the cold pouring rain. But once you’re through the dip and the problems are worked out, you get to show a group of kids how pots are made on the wheel, and parents take time to pick and choose what mug and handle feels right in their hands or smell the candles you might have. At times, mistakes, hardships, and setbacks are dips you can drive out of. The cliffs and the cul-de-sac are to be avoided as they lead to nowhere.
I am still learning and making mistakes in all of these things. But at least I’m still taking risks that can lead to new and exciting discoveries. Rex and Timmy Rutt were working out a few things around managing, leadership, and trying to avoid making a mistake over at the Clapper farm. They had one small fluffy problem holding them up with the corn blower to the silo.
A Chicken In The Corn Blower
“Leave her alone Rex. She will come out when she is good and ready. Old Mrs. Clapper would be real mad if anything happened to her prized hen,” said Timmy, lighting up a smoke and leaning against the wagon of chopped corn.
“Well, we sure as hell don’t have all day, Timmy. Old Rusty Clapper expects us back to the cornfield with an empty wagon shortly. We can’t wait on no damn chicken.” Said Rex, looking inside the blower.
“Well, we might need to, Rex, because there is no way I will be the one to tell Mrs. Clapper she now has ground chicken way up in the silo when she asks where her little Henny Penny went. She won best of show three years in a row at the fair with that chicken.”
“Well shit Timmy. Not sure what to do. All I know is old man Clapper is going to be real upset about the corn blower being held up by a damn chicken.”
Rex kicked the side of the blower with a loud bang, which only produced a few worried clucks from inside.
Timmy smiled and took a long drag on his cigarette.
“Well, Rex. That’s your problem right there. You are always too impatient with your chicks, and that’s why you can’t get them to do what you want. Just like that girl, Daisy Clark, you were dating.”
“Shut -up, Timmy, and just help me get this damn chicken out of there, please.”
Now, what Timmy Rutt didn’t tell Rex was that he would help old Mrs. Clapper feed the chickens sometime, and Henny Penny had taken a liking to him. Timmy’s singing was quite bad, but when he sang hairband love songs to the chicken while he stroked her feathers after watering and feeding the small flock, Henny Penny got to follow Timmy around a bit. Today, Timmy just needed a small smoke break and left it to Rex to work on the chicken problem while grinning the whole damn time.
Rex banged the side of the old corn blower a little louder; the chicken Henny Penny stood up and changed positions slowly, scratched around a little, and sat back down like she had all the time in the world.
“Alright, let me try.” said Timmy Rutt.
He put out his smoke. Smiling, Timmy walked over past Rex and looked into the blower.
“Here Henny Penny Penny Penny…”
“Here Henny Penny Penny Penny…”
Then, pretending to hold a mic in his hand and to the tune of a classic Bon Jovi love song, Timmy Rutt started singing a bit.
“I guess this time you’re really molting; I saw your feathers float on by, Well, in the coop my heart’s softly sulking, You cluck to say, “It’s just a chicken’s time.” You’ve seen a thousand barnyard mornings, Now you’re heading towards the grain-filled floor, You left me here without your warming, And you won’t roost up high anymore. Hoping you’d give me one more egg, my hen!
“I will care for you. These five words I promise true. When you chirp, I wanna be there with you, I will care for you, I’d feed and I’d be on guard for you, Bring golden grains from fields for you, Words can’t say how much I value you, I will care for you.”
The sound of Timmy’s voice perked up Henny Penny to respond, as the lyrics and Timmy’s singing were both quite bad. She stuck her head out of the corn blower, clucking a little with curiosity, expecting to have her feathers stroked and get some food. Timmy scooped her up in his arms.
“That’s a good girl. Don’t let big, mean, ugly Rex scare you,” said Timmy Rutt, cradling the chicken in his arms.
“Well shit,” said Rex
“That was goddamn amazing. You’re like a damn chicken whisperer or something. Do you mean to tell me you made up that song yourself? I didn’t know you were so poetic. You can nearly read a stop sign, and you go making up shit like that for a damn chicken. I don’t know about you, Timmy. You are one messed-up guy. Let’s get this stupid wagon unloaded, or we are going to hear about it.”
Now there may not have been a Chicken in the corn blower, a Timmy Rutt, or a Rex, but somewhere, someplace, someone was taking responsibility and leadership in creative ways. Do justice and love mercy, and just maybe, things will work out. This is my town and my story. So I get to tell it how I like.
Creek Road Pottery L.L.C.
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