When it all comes crashing down!

I was at my home away from home in The Pottery Capital of USA making pots, enjoying friends and teaching my month long dream Intensive Course with a class of 9 awesome students and the help of some fabulous Seagrove potters at Starworks. Starworks complete with a clay company, awesome studio space, kilns, amazing employees, glass facility, kiln building enterprise,  gallery, cafe, pub, music. Energy, energy, energy!!!!!!!!!!!
Then in week #3 it all came crashing down. Believe me potters are the last ones to abandon ship. They are used to working to put a kiln to bed when hurricanes, blizzards, bad wood and all kinds of problems present themselves. So to give up and go home without putting the last cone down was heart breaking.
If a tree falls in the forest does anyone hear?
I've tried to keep busy and up since returning home on March 23rd. Yesterday I  crashed. I have been in and out of bed for 2 days. I realized it will be almost 2 months since I have physically touched someone other than myself and that has always been a bad habit of mine. Today in bed at noon I told myself I need to exercise to help with my mental health. I forced myself to White's Woods to put in 6 kilometres. I'm writing so that is a sign it worked. When I am silent I'm not feeling too shit hot.
Son of a beech
I've been feeling a sense of loss. Pandemic closing of just about everything I had on my dance card this year. I had to say good bye to my dream class.  Ash and Barrel in Toronto- cancelled. Next week I should be rolling down the road to NC to fire Ben Owen's gorgeous anagama/chamber kiln with legendary NC potter Cynthia Bringle and my prof John Neely. The week after presenting at the NC Potters Conference-  "Pots Only a Mudder Could Love " the wood fired pots of my buddy Ronnie the Rat Meyers.
Then home with a car full of gorgeous pots from Ben's 100 hour firing and his incredible expertise.

Following that a 2 week course at Pinecroft- cancelled.

 Then comes July and a week long course at Halliburton School of Fine Arts- cancelled.

Then comes August and the only province in Canada I have never visited- Newfoundland and Fogo Island.-cancelled.

So that is my work schedule- cancelled. Today as I lay in bed like Brian Wilson did they were talking on CBC about the 2nd wave coming and how it is going to be even more of a test. I pulled the covers over my head and tried to block it out. I 've barely survived the first wave. A second wave would be crushing. 
Tomorrow I glaze pots for another firing. The gas firing was awesome. I just don't have the heart to show them. Selling pots during these times just doesn't seem like the right thing to do. I know I need to get over this and sell some pots. I have a bigger conscience than most would know. I want my life back!!!!
Missing doing workshops with other awesome giggers. Jen Allen and Kenyon Hanson 


bbrookrd said…
So Tony if you make work and no one gets to sees it, does it matter? Don’t be so selfish, throw me a bone and at share at least photos of your Virus Work, preferable priced.
Anonymous said…
You are lucky you don't have to sell your pots, some of us are really floundering with shows all cancelled but luckily there are people still working and buying. Hopefully that second wave doesn't come crashing in, there sure needs to be a break.
gz said…
Yes, let's see that work!

I am sure there are things that you have been promising yourself that you will do at home...when you are not so busy travelling... that's what we are doing. No time to be bored, no time to stress..just get on with it and remember you have the time now , not to rush!
Anonymous said…
Everyone is in this, and it sucks. Show us the goods are you on Etsy?
Anonymous said…
Sounds like you need to get your head out from under the covers. I live in the USA, have not received a stimulus check and need people to buy my work. Don't try to shame us that work hard for trying to be able to get by. Art is necessary for people, I make art and I am glad to plant seeds out there for people to buy and enjoy. We are all having a rought time of it, some us have to sell our work because we need to make a living. Don't make us sound like the artists that are doing it just for fun, perpetuating that idea, we are working hard to earn a living
Bonnie said…
HI Tony, this do SUCK, but perhaps think of it as a postponement instead of a cancellation. More pots to fire laaaatttter. Sending a virtual hug and smile that I keep forgetting people can't see when I'm wearing my mask! I'm such a silly, I couldn't figure out why the grape wasn't going g in my mouth, ...til I remembered the mask! This too shall pass! Xxooo
Anonymous said…
- Strategies to Maintain Your Mental Wellness During the COVID-19 Pandemic - A resource from Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH) available at:

We are all in this together!
Anonymous said…
Divinyls - I Touch Myself


You go girl!
Anonymous said…

Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)


Anonymous said…
You can always organized North America's first drive through pottery sale?
Anonymous said…
SHOW US THE POTS!!! Share them if not sell them. I need to see our creative energy manifested in clay.
Helga said…
You could have curb side pick up. Miss you Tony. Thanks for letting me be part of your dream class which I am missing.
Tony Clennell said…
Dear Anonymous: Never my intention to shame you. Over the course of 40 years I have done what I had to do to stay afloat. Cups for people with big noses, heart shaped ash trays, incense burners cut me some slack. I just don't feel all smiley faced and in selling mode. Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face- Iron Mike Tyson. I'll be back in the ring and I hope you are too.
All the best of pots and sales. T

Anonymous said…
Everything has changed, it won't be the same for a couple of years, you have to adapt, you can't go back, and you can't believe what some politicians say about thier non-existant plan to re-open the economy, because they are liars and concerned only with their own greed.

What is your life worth? Plan how to have safe classes, and have safe sales where we all can participate.

Anonymous said…
If you want those gigs back, ya better reach out and Zoom on-line.
Lots of profs have started offering the ceramic courses on-line now.

Anonymous said…
“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.” – Eckhart Tolle
Anonymous said…

Everything involves sacrifice. Everything includes some sort of cost. Nothing is pleasurable or uplifting all of the time. So, the question becomes: what struggle or sacrifice are you willing to tolerate? Ultimately, what determines our ability to stick with something we care about is our ability to handle the rough patches and ride out the inevitable rotten days.

What shit sandwich do you want to eat? Because we all get served one eventually.
So, find your favorite shit sandwich. And you might as well pick one with an olive.

Mark Manson
Anonymous said…
We are the clay that has been slammed onto a hard-spinning wheel, flying around seemingly out of control. Under pressure most times, being squashed and squeezed for the fire which lies ahead.

Anonymous said…
Happy June 14th!

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