24 hours in and I'm stunned This is a brave thing to do. To put yourself 'out there' and see if people believe in an idea, believe in you. In twenty four short hours my backers have demonstrated that there is tremendous support out there for such an endeavour as this (and a massive thank you will never really cover it).
More humbling still has been the words people have used to describe me or the project when they have re-posted on my behalf; incredibly touching and supportive things that I will go back to and read again - not in a vain 'aren't I great' kind of way, but when things are perhaps starting to get a little tricky, when the way forward looks to be a little more winding and tortuous than I had hoped.
This has had multiple knock-on effects. First, my self-belief is strutting with a little more confidence. Second, I am starting to think how quickly a viable set of teaching workshops could actually be put in place. Lots of people have spoken about wanting to do a workshop, a desire to work with clay, a vivid anticipation of being in a class run by me in this wonderful studio space. This has reassured me that there is a need, and made me think that even though we wont have more than a single wheel to begin with (and wheel throwing is the thing I really need to spend time on to master enough to teach others) there are still classes and workshops that could be run.
Because yes, a pottery class can involve wheel-throwing. But it really is a difficult skill, judging wheel speed, force, pressure, hydration etc all while trying to make something. A three hour workshop on the wheel might send you home with something that might resemble an ash-tray in a favourable light, but it might also put you off for good. Whereas a three hour session looking at clay, how to work with it safely, the basic rules of engagement, hand building etc could see you leaving with something (once its been fired and glazed) that you would be proud of. All of the pots I currently make and sell on-line are slab pots - they don't have to be a compromise.
These are made from flat slabs of clay. It is a great to learn what you (and the clay) can do, before you even look at a wheel!
And thirdly momentum. There was a moment on Monday, stood in the new workshop space or studio (I am not sure what the difference is and I am not sure I should admit that) when I was discussing power supply and lighting, water and the new flooring, with the estate sparky, plumber and chippy, when I thought all of this was perhaps racing along a little too quickly. Like the child that points at the BIGGEST slice of cake, only to be daunted when they see it heading in their direction. Then it was home to launch the Kickstarter. It was and is barrelling along.
The floor will go down on Thursday (the lovely floorboards will be hidden but the chances of me or anyone else falling through to the ground floor will be much reduced) with plumbing and power to follow. The lighting will be vastly improved when its is moved higher up into the ceiling space too.
And now were 20% of the way there. After one day. There is a lot still to do, but maybe this process will end up not only funding a kiln - but also generate the confidence I need in myself as a potter to make the studio/workshop, business and teaching a success.
Let's see what day two brings....