folk fest and emt practice

today i went up to folk fest with sarah, marianne, brad and jamie.  it was great to get to share my st. pete with them.  folk fest is put on by creative clay, an art center for folks with developmental disabilities.  i’m working there a very short 4 hours per week.  i am so in love with this center though and as soon as time allows i hope to up my hours with them.  i teach in house once a week and we’ve been making cloth bound books.  everyone has really different abilites and talents so it’s always a challenge to see what we’ll come up with.  i’m excited to get this batch of books into the last pressing and to see the finished product.

after walking through folk fest and getting some lunch at chang mai we walked over to my new place.  this was the first time for me to do the walk.  it was great, but i’ll definitely be biking for the most part.  we actually chilled in my apartment for a few minutes.  i’m excited to move in this week.  it’s small but i think it will do the trick.  the only draw back to my place is that it’s furnished.  one the one hand, it’s very useful to have the microwave, tv, etc be there, because i don’t feel the need to own these types of objects, but having all the furniture is rough.  i really miss MY stuff, since i’ve been without it for the past 3 years, and i’d prefer to furnish my place myself.  but the price is right and i’m hoping my landlady will work with me after i’ve been there awhile.

on the way home we ran into traffic twice.  on the side of i75 we passed a family pulled over.  marianne said “should we see if they need any help?”  a young women seemed to be getting sick.  so we stopped and offered them water but they said they were ok.  we probably scared them more than anything.  especially when, just as we were getting back into the car, jenna suddenly pulled over out of no where.  suddenly this poor family was surrounded on all sides by team sarasota.  we talked for awhile, probably totally freaking this family out, since they got themselved together and into their car, and finally headed home.  haha.  marianne is an emt after all.

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low fire earthenware slip

today i got out of work in time to go to general mold to pick up some slip.  this was one of my first times to venture out of my comfort zone in st. pete.  generally i go between the 22nd st. and 5th st. along central ave.  so i’m getting the idea that there is a lot more to st. pete than downtown.

so i dropped off my slip.  my 24 days in residence have consisted of a lot of stopping in and dropping off.  i haven’t accomplished much between my 6 initial training days and today.  working as much as i do, dog sitting and commuting between st. pete and sarasota has not lent itself to productivity.  but i’m not making excuses.  in less than a week i’ll live a 9 block walk from the clay co. with no dependent puppies.

i built a set of coddle boards and  poured one plaster mold.  i need more and then i’ll cast beer glasses which will be embellished with penis’, vaginas and information about curable stds.  there are also 2 interesting events i’d like to submit proposals to.  there is a lot going on right now but so far it is just enough.

one place where i have been able to accomplish quite a bit is creative clay.  i’ve been working with some of the member artists on making books.  we started out with a simple pamphlet stich and cardstock covers with colored tape embellishments, but the other week my dad helped me build a book press and we’ve started making cloth covered books.  we made quite a few quarter sized books and there is a 8 x 12 cover drying right now.  a book press is basically 2 peices of plywood which you can sandwich together and then secure with hardware to sqeeze them tight.  i used 4 inch screws so i can add more boards and therefore make more books at one time.

life is not easy but it’s interesting.

it’s been a long time since i’ve written.  since i last wrote i’ve returned to the u.s. for the foreseeable future, started working again, got a second job teaching art part time, was accepted as an artist in residence at st. pete clay company.  in two weeks i’ll move to a small apartment in st. pete down the street from the studio.  i guess that’s the good stuff, in a nut shell.  it was hard to leave tokyo.  there was a moment where i knew i had to do it but it never felt easy.  it felt like getting torn out.  like a norplant stuck in scar tissue.  it sucked.  the hardest part was leaving masa, my partner of three years.  he understood, i guess.  it sounds cliche, but it would have been easier if he had been angry.  i had gotten so far away from knowing what it was that i wanted and he was the best thing in my life.  but unfortunately for me, having an awesome, kind, good hearted, respectful partner wasn’t enough for me. 

i got to the point in january or february where i thought my head was going to explode.  when i started crying at a saizarya in roppongi, my friend kiyomi wasn’t fazed.  she just told me i needed to stop thinking and just listen to my heart.  and that whatever i decided my friends and partner would support me.  that was exactly what i needed to hear.  i had gone over the facts a million times.  the people, relationships, money.  but at the end of the day, i couldn’t DEDUCE the right answer.  the answer was what it was and the facts were beside the point.   thanks for that kiyomi.

i went into a kind of hibrination when i got back.  i was totally broke, so i didn’t call anyone, didn’t visit the east coast, just concentrated all my efforts on getting back to work and making money.  i also forced myself to keep my nose to the grindstone in creating the best application and support materials i could for st. pete clay and following up on ads i saw online for arty jobs, and checked craigslist everyday. 

in tokyo, i don’t think i ever stopped trying.  but somehow, despite the energy i put in, none of it seemed to come back to me.  my game seemed to be off.  there were good times and good things but i couldn’t seem to get the big picture together. 

suddenly, the energy i’d been putting out in florida all summer came back to me to the extreme.  life is messy and imperfect but right now i have the opportunity to work on many things i am interested in and a chance to follow my passion.  and i am able to make some money doing it. 

 

it’s complicated.  but in my heart, it feels good.