This weekend was long, relaxing and wonderful – with one exception. Sunday was my last day as a member of Radius Studio, the ceramics studio I have been a partner at for the last four years. It was in the back of my mind all weekend, the dread of moving my stuff out of the space and saying goodbye.

Trying to balance my day job, growing an edible landscape, volunteering at farmers markets and community workshops, Argentine tango dancing, trying to keep a social life… something had to give. And the commitment of paying a monthly fee and feeling guilty for not being in my studio as often as I wanted to be was too much. If something had to go, this was the thing.

I have been repeating all of this over and over in my head since Sunday. It was a decision a long time coming, so I know it was for the best. But when I handed Mark my studio key, I could feel my eyes starting to water and my throat closing up. I had to practically run for the door, for fear that I would break down in front of him. And that’s just embarrassing. No one wants to give that red, squishy face too much exposure – the one you get when you really cry.

Luckily I made it all the way into the car, engine started, driving off before the water works began. In a way I was surprised at how upset I was leaving that space. In other ways, I am not surprised at all. It was a place all my own. I had no physical distractions there, just simple tools I used to create cherished works of art and my thoughts to keep me company. When a close co-worker was hit by a car a few years ago and suffered horrible brain trauma, I took refuge in my studio and cried into wet clay. I could navigate through tough waters there, alone with just me and my craft.

It’s not the end of my time as a potter. I have a room in our basement just waiting for a wheel. I have another side plan that might allow me full access to an amazing ceramics facility next summer. Either way it’s a break, not an end. But it is an end for me in that space, at least.

Sunday afternoon I photographed some of my better projects – the ones I still own at least, since most were given away as gifts. And I thought I would share them here. Only I know the thoughts that went into each one as they were formed, but out of both good times and tough times came beautiful creations. Enjoy.

Set of dishes we use at home, 10 of each piece

Arts & Crafts style bowl

Serving bowl and personal chopstick bowls

Butter dish

Egg colander

Large vase


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Written by Renee Wilkinson