The purpose of the first episode of this podcast is to provide an overview of the topics and goals in a focused and concise. In the show notes I wanted to offer you some additional background information.
Well, how did I get here?
I first had this idea for a podcast in 2008, after I completed my short movie about three potters in Connecticut and Massachusetts: Handmade in America. The film was the final project I was required to produce to complete the Filmmaking program at the Center for Digital Imaging at Boston University. If I hadn’t been in the program, I’d never have covered this topic.
I chose this topic because of my personal experience as an BFA student majoring in Ceramics during the late 70’s. As I mentioned in this episode I’ve had a lot of different jobs in order to earn a living, but one I’m most proud of is creating a design and manufacturing business with my wife and keeping it going for more than a decade. It was a point of pride to live a life centered about making things that we designed ourselves and earning a living wage. I would have preferred starting a pottery, but fresh out of school I had bills to pay and the start-up costs were too great. While I enjoyed all the various teaching and design jobs that I had, always yearned to reconnect with clay.
So, the idea of film about potters who supported themselves through their work seemed like good way to reacquaint myself with the field. And I liked the film, it accomplished what I set out to do, but I also felt there was so much more to say.
In particular I have always felt that there wasn’t much support for independent artists or craftspeople and I liked the idea of producing stories about the lives and goals of artists and, going a step further, people who don’t make a living making things, but still live to make things.
I was already producing a podcast for over a year at that point, about my experience as a filmmaking student, and I felt that I could be more productive recording and posting audio interviews of creative people at work, instead of videos. The medium changes, but the story remains the same: how they develop creatively, how they make their living and what encouragement they could offer regarding exercising their creative gifts.
So that was a germ of an idea in 2008 and here we are right on the step of 2015 and I’m finally making it happen. Over the years my intentions for this show have shifted. Initially I was just interested in clay only, but I eventually realized that I wanted to know more about all of the arts. Right now I’m limiting myself to the visual arts, but I don’t see why I shouldn’t include other artistic fields as well. I think this change in perspective is due not only to my own unquenchable desire to learn new things, but also because, regardless of your own favorite medium, be it paint, fibre, printing or glass, there is always something valuable to learn from people whose practice lies outside your own experience, such as wood instruments, dance or acting. In the end it all comes down to the same thing: feeding and growing your spirit and then giving it away.