Oh the story of life isn't it? Finding balance! For me, specific to this post, balance between function and fine art. In a previous life I didn't think I could focus my creative energy on more than one thing in clay. If I made functional work, then I was in it to make functional work. If I was sculpting, then that’s all I could do was sculpt.   Recently, like most of us here in the US are having some feelings. What your feelings are is your business and what I am feeling is mine. So why do I bring it up? Well simply, when I feel the feels I like to release that in clay.   I also, conveniently for my functional designs hit a wall after my Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts residency. I couldn’t make a single sculptural piece that I was happy with. I hated it all. None of it said anything; none of it was any good. I couldn't get past making something that didn't have meaning. SO I began working with molds I created. Making functional pieces that I wanted in my own home and trying to sell those wares online. Since living in Nebraska I have been exposed to a lot of different personalities. People who see the world quite differently than myself and that caused me to get frustrated. I threw myself into some product design over the last couple years and have really found a rhythm with that. It wasn't until the last couple months that I could start seeing the "visions" like I had in college and at Watershed. These visions are images of pieces. Bits and pieces of a statement I want to make.   I am not always the best with words. I generally fail in an argument because I tend to lean on the side of non-confrontation. So, it is best for me to say what I want through images. Through clay.   In the picture attached to this post on the left you see a tumbler. I am working on developing a reusable water tumblers after I have had some success with travel coffee mugs. That image is of prototype, like 6... It takes time to get it the way I want. This is one of the many functional pieces I am working on. On the right hand side you can see some images of the first sculpture I have done in about 7 or 8 years. The sculpture speaks to what is happening right now in our country. The challenges we are facing with the lies that are being told to us citizens. The frustrations a lot of us feel because you can find your "truth" now on the internet. It is hard to know what to believe. And it is frustrating having a Leader that doesn't always speak to facts. This piece is not meant to attack one party or another but to look at both. I think this election cycle brought light so some real problems we have with the way our government does business. The figure is meant to represent the American people. It has a ways yet to evolve and I am excited to see where it goes.   I am thrilled that after 8 years I have found my voice again through sculpture. I am even more thrilled that unlike my fears, it hasn't prevented me from developing functional pieces too.   I think this idea of balance, and getting out of your own way is something that we all experience. I am guilty of being run by fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of not being good enough, fear of doing the wrong thing, saying the wrong thing. The work is never done, and we continue to change and evolve.   Life is a grand and wonderful mystery isn't it!