Twenty-Eleven was the year that went up to Eleven.
It feels like everything got turned up just past the maximum.
When I look back on the year I don’t think of it in terms of months or weeks, I see it in Seasons.
Turned up to 8, sometimes 9.
After my big debut at the 2010 Vancouver One Of A Kind Show I was busy until the end of January with orders and organizing a full teaching schedule. I also added three new colours of Dots! and began experimenting with some new shapes on the wheel.
Mark and I also decided to start renovating our kitchen, ourselves.
I applied for a bunch of shows and got into them all. I worked away in the studio making my stock for the Spring Show Season.
It was a very wet Winter in Vancouver.
Turned up to 9, working it’s way toward 10
At the end of March I started doing Shows every 2-3 weeks until the end of June. I did Portobello West three times, Make It!, Got Craft?, and I was also at the Robson Square Artisan Market for three weeks. I got my table/booth set up down to a science.
I also got to meet a whole bunch of talented, creative, friendly artists at the Shows, I made a lot of great friends, I felt blessed.
Shows took up my most of my weekends, my weekdays were spent making more pots for the Shows and two to three nights a week I was teaching. While in the studio I had come up with a newish line of pots, more of an expansion of The Wobbly Shotglassees but I was having trouble figuring out where this newish line was going.
We still worked away on the kitchen. Our progress was slightly hindered by Mark’s troubles with his feet. He just couldn’t work all day running around the building and then spend the evenings and weekends on his feet in our kitchen. But it was coming together and starting to look quite fantastic.
One evening in April something struck and we started planning a big, big change. Mark said to me, “How about we take our lives on an adventure and move to Ontario?”
I remember it was still raining.
I finished up my Show schedule and finished teaching my classes. We went to Ontario at the end of June to scope things out and ride roller coasters.
Turned up to 11
We came back from Ontario in early July and it was still raining in Vancouver. We had decided to do it, to take our lives on that adventure. Once we made the decision our focus was to finish the kitchen – quick. We started telling some people about our plans, but not everyone. Mark was the Live In Caretaker for our building and telling our neighbours that we were moving also meant Mark having to give his notice. Two big life changes in one decision.
We didn’t know how long the kitchen was going to take to complete, we didn’t know how long it would take to sell the place so Mark didn’t know when his last day of work would be. Oh the domino effect. So we were hush hush about it for a bit. And it’s really hard to keep something that big all to yourself.
Then near the end of July my Uncle Bill passed away and I made my way across the country to be with my family.
While I was in Newfoundland Mark continued to work on the kitchen and a week after I got back we were ready to call a real estate agent. Mark let the Strata know what our plans were and gave his notice, finally we could tell everyone what we were planning.
About 10 days after that the apartment was sold.
That was around the time the rain stopped in Vancouver and the sun came out for a while. I put my wheel on the balcony for one last throwing hurrah outside in the Vancouver Sunshine. While listening to Bjork I made the rest of my stock for the Vancouver OOAK Show* & casseroles dishes for the One Of A Kind Thanksgiving Pop Up Shop.
Still at 11
The month of September was nutty. We tried to visit with as many people as we possibly could as we packed up everything we owned and tied up the loose ends of our lives in Vancouver. The closing date for the sale of our home was at 5:00pm on Thursday, September 29. We drove away from the building in a U-Haul towing our 1984 Honda Civic behind us at 4:59pm, I’m not exaggerating, we literally had one minute to spare.
We took 11 days to drive across the country. It was awesome. We arrived on Thanksgiving Day right in the middle of a sun filled heat wave.
My new kiln arrived by the end of the week and I got to work on making my stock for the Toronto One Of A Kind Christmas Show.
I worked a lot. I made a lot of pottery while Mark helped me figure out my booth.
Both the Toronto and Vancouver One Of A Kind Shows were excellent. I loved them and have so many great memories and lessons learned from both shows – but I’ll write more about that another time.
Right after the Toronto show ended Mark and I went to Vancouver for two weeks in December and it rained. It was a whirlwind of Show prep, the Show, visiting with as many people as we possibly could – oh and I went to the spa, where things were turned back down to a normal level, like an 8 or 9.
Five days after we got back to Ontario it was Christmas.
And then Twenty Eleven was over.
Last year when I looked back on 2010 my memories were very clear and I could see an over arching theme to the year. 2011 was different, it feels like it was a bit more blurred, a bit more chaotic, more adventurous, more active, just more of everything.
So what’s next?
I’ve already gotten back to work in the studio making lots of pottery.
I have so many ideas for new pots to make and I’m excited.
Mark and I have to go exploring and find ourselves a new home.
We’ve planned to do some traveling this year, first up will be New York in February (and I’ve scored tickets to see Bjork in New York!).
And, as soon as I can I’ll be on the Leviathan.
*A lot of people have asked me about how I shipped my pots for the Vancouver OOAK Show, I didn’t. I made everything before we moved to Ontario and left it all in storage in my in-laws’ basement (Thank You Rob, MC & Evan!).