Coffee in the New York skyline mug, no music. I am poised to hear the front door open and my child come in screaming about the way her sleeves feel weird, one shoe is smaller than the other, the socks don't feel right, and she hates her overshirt--basically the same sounds she made as she went out the door with her father on her way to school in the midst of an apocalyptic meltdown. The "I told you so" I got from the spouse as he went out the door didn't help. (He told me I wouldn't be able to solve an irrational problem with rational means. It didn't matter if J tried on all her clothes--old and new--in a calm frame of mind and said they felt fine. She would still melt down out of the blue some mornings with oversensitivity to some perceived bump or tightness or itch or SOMETHING. I hate that he was right.) *sigh*
Shaking off the nerve-shattering start to the morning and moving on... Stacy is heading to Commerce this morning to meet Bill and get my latest load of stands (once a studio assistant, always a studio assistant ;-) as I have to get a kiln load in before a 10:00 meeting in Decatur followed by an 11:30 meeting in Buckhead to help Elaine with her Washi Arts blog. Back in the studio at 1:00 to get the second kiln load in and ship a piece to Asheville. Then of to get J from school at 2:45 and then her friend Grace (also Stacy's daughter) from her school so they can have a playdate this afternoon while I get the third and final kiln load in... It's a full day.
And now, as promised, the scoop on Jessie's Jewels. I previously mentioned that I'm doing the Holiday Craft Fair at J's school in mid-November as a way of cleaning out a bunch of old work and pieces with slight flaws from the studio. Jessie likes to make things in the studio too and is always asking me if she can make "dewdrops" (that's what she calls the ubiquitous glass blobs you can buy anywhere these days). The other day I let her make little fused pieces from shards of scrap and scraps of dichro. They turned out really well and I thought they would make nice children's jewelry. So yesterday I priced some findings for necklaces, bracelets, rings and pins, and found she can make a tidy little sum for college on $3-$5 jewelry pieces and $.25 pieces of fused glass. I ordered the findings, and yesterday after school she and her grandmother whipped up another small kiln load full of little fused pieces. We'll see if she maintains the interest and focus for it. It would be a great way for her to build a savings account without having to work at Burger King or some other more traditional high school job (and as she's starting when she's 6, think how much she could have saved by the time she's 18!).
I close with the tale of the assistant. I am reminded yet again of the scene in "Shakespeare In Love" when the Geoffrey Rush character explains the nature of the theatre business to Mr. Fennyman the apothecary (also the money man for the play and a bit-part actor in it). Some time ago I paraphrased and adopted that monologue as my studio motto:
"Allow me to explain about my business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster. So what do we do? Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well. How? I don't know. It's a mystery."
My continuing tale of assistants is the same way. First I needed help and mentioned to my friend Stacy that I needed to start looking for an assistant. She told me that coincidentally she wanted to pick up some part time work and so began the first assistantship. We fit beautifully and life went on well. But her her business got too busy for her to continue splitting her time so she let me know I needed to find someone else. She and Becky (another old friend who used to own the first gallery I was in in Atlanta) met as they helped me setup for the Decatur festival in May and Stacy reminded me that I really needed to start looking for a new assistant in front of Becky. Becky said she needed something for the summer until her new job started and I was set again. Then last week Becky reminded me in front of Dee as we were preparing for the field trip that I needed to start looking for a new assistant as she starts her new job at the end of the month. And guess what? Dee wants to be my assistant now! Am I lucky or what? It all turned out well and I don't know how. It's a mystery.
Now off to get the first kiln load in before my 10:00.