My birthday is December 28th. It’s always been a pain to have a Holiday Birthday, cheated out of a birthday gift in lieu of a “Holiday Gift,” or simply forgotten. Sucked when I was a child, and I made it very clear to my husband of almost 39 years as soon as we were married that my birthday was DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT from the holidays and, though I couldn’t care less about holiday gifts, my birthday was NOT to be forgotten. He’s only screwed up once in all that time, so I can’t complain.
Well, this year was my 65th birthday. A deluge of Medicare Supplement plans, Senior Living suggestions and even “Planning for your Funeral” postcards. Really uplifting. Not that I feel any differently, but my mom passed at 65 and I have been determined not to be in a similar situation—meaning, working until something happened medically and then not having a chance to “retire” or have the time to do more things for myself, rather than the business.
To make a long story short, I have decided to leave the day-to-day running of the business to Katie, my more-than-capable daughter and my husband. I’ll be in when needed, but I’m going to focus on teaching and being a lapidary and jewelry artist, something I haven’t been able to do for the last 16 years. I have the usual teaching gigs, Tucson, Glass Craft Expo in Vegas, Bead Fest, MCAS in Winston-Salem, but I’ve added 3 separate weeks teaching at William Holland School of Lapidary Arts, in Young Harris, GA. I’ve been wanting to teach Art Clay at William Holland since I took over the Art Clay World, USA distribution rights, but because of circumstances WAY beyond my control, only PMC was taught there. Thankfully, however, changes at William Holland have made that dream a reality, and I’m really looking forward to being an instructor there, rather than the student my husband and I were over 20 years ago.
Katie has her own, definite, long and short-term plans for the business, and I’ll always be there if she asks, and I have no trouble offering my advice even if she DOESN’T ask! But, it’s time to take a step back and be available to pass on whatever knowledge about Art Clay Silver in particular and metal clay in general that I’ve accumulated over the past 17 years. I’m hoping to do more small videos for our channel on Youtube, and turn my attention to getting metal clay taught in Community Colleges, Universities and High Schools. It will be nice to make my own schedule and teach at the Greater Chicago Artisan Center more often, and sneak in wire wrapping, glass fusing, and ceramics instruction when I can.
My e-mail isn’t changing, and neither is my cell phone. Way too many people have that number ( I wasn’t really smart in deciding how public to make it) so my availability is pretty much unchanged in that regard.
I hope to see many of you at MCAS this August, and if anyone’s interested in having me travel to them for private or group instruction, e-mail me and we’ll work something out. Or, better yet, come to Chicago (but not right now; it’s negative 11 degrees F.) and we’ll do a little sumpin’ sumpin’ together!!!
Have a great 2018 and keep metal clay going!