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day 21: skill sets, ceramics, and brain exercise

September 25, 2010

When I first emailed Wendy and Eric about coming to stay and work with them, I let them know from the get-go that I was far from an expert carpenter or artist, since they were looking for help with a few construction projects or with their ceramics business. But I did tell them that I’d be happy to take some pictures and put my English degree to work if it’d be at all helpful. As I’ve now come to expect, they were more than gracious and told me to come on out to their island paradise with any and every skill in hand, they’d put me to work in one way or another. So come I did.

And they put me to work in the best way possible, giving me a project that’s half word nerd and half shutter bug. For the past few days I’ve been working on a promotional book for Gingell Ceramics (be sure to check them out here!). I had a hardcore workstation, composed of both of our computers, a timeline on a scroll, and a lot of coffee.

It was beyond wonderful to feel challenged and invigorated and a little intimidated by a project. It’s been awhile since I’ve tapped into the side of my brain that functions as a relentless productivity workhorse. It felt great to give it some exercise. Here’s a little sample of what I’ve been working on.

First, some pictures of lovely Wendy and her beautiful creations:

and a few of Atlas, too…

And to help you get to know Gingell Ceramics a bit better, here’s the timeline compiled for the book via interviews, websites, and Eric’s scroll:

A 33 Step Guide to GINGELL CERAMICS

1. Little Wendy grows up in Canada and wants to be an artist
2. High school Wendy wants to play sports
3. College Wendy remembers that she wants to be an artist
4. Which is why Wendy has Bachelor’s degrees in sculpture, photography, and art history
5. And a certificate in computer animation
6. Post-College Wendy travels here, there, and everywhere
7. Wendy helps people here, there, and everywhere at various social services jobs
8. Wendy meets the dashing Eric and gets hitched. Wendy and Eric move to the charming Island of Guemes.
9. Wendy emails Sue, local ceramics artist extraordinaire, to see what this ceramics deal is all about
10. Wendy works. A lot.
11. During her 8pm – 8am shifts on Fridays, she hones the skills she’s learning from Sue
12. Using a nail as her only carving tool. That’s right: a nail.
13. Wendy thinks maybe someday she’ll take this show on the road apply to an art show
14. Wendy and Eric drive to the Alki Beach Show in Seattle
15. The name Gingell Ceramics is born out of frustration for business name indecision
16. The newly coined Gingell Ceramics makes it’s first sale at the Alki Beach Show
17. And sells out completely at said show
18. Gingell Ceramics joins the Etsy community
19. Wendy applies to ACC shows, not expecting to get accepted
20. Wendy gets accepted to ACC shows and travels to Baltimore, San Francisco, and St. Paul
21. Items fly off of shelves in Baltimore, San Francisco, and St. Paul
22. And in galleries nationwide
23. Wendy is doing all of this without a kiln
24. Eric decides it’s time to get a kiln
25. Wendy, Eric, Atlas, Taupin, and the Kiln all live in the kitchen
26. Eric decides it’s time to build a shed for the kiln
27. GingellCeramics.com is launched
28. Wendy, at Eric’s urging (and pleading) hires help to keep up with multitudes of orders
29. Gingell Ceramics is featured on Etsy Finds
30. Wendy works during the day and makes ceramics on nights and weekends
31. Eric works during the day and keeps the business afloat on nights and weekends
32. Atlas and Taupin keep things interesting at all times
33. Everyone sleeps very well at night

It’s been a great experience all around, and I’ll be sad to leave tomorrow!

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