After completing my first diploma study in ceramics back in 2000, I took a totally different career path as a social health care worker, for which I also studied and specialised in working with people with learning difficulties and Autism. I worked in many different sectors including educational setting, hospitals, community housings and day centres. Once I was working as a team leader of residential college and was even considering the career step. My pottery dream was hidden behind, even though I was working as an occasional assistant to my late mentor David C White on my day offs. Or maybe because of seeing him and experiencing how the studio potter works day in day out, I was not confident enough to start up as a potter myself I guess.
Things slightly changed 8 years ago, when I got a job as a pottery instructor at the local organisation for people with special needs. My pottery vibe has returned and I was so delighted. My focus was to empower those people regardless their disability by finding a way that they can create, develop and achieve through the pottery. I met many wonderful students who gave me inspiration over the years. I have learnt so much too.
Running a workshop is different from making your own work as a potter. I didn’t start that until much later and it was after David passed away (→ read this post). He told me that he didn’t teach me enough, holding his last breath flighting with his cancer. It was a moment that I felt rather guilty. I felt that I haven’t given him back for what he did. Indeed he did teach me so much. That sort of niggly feeling was somewhere back in my mind always, but I still did not have enough courage to become a full-time potter.
It’s been nearly a year since I started one-day-a-week studio work, after three year break due to my family commitment with my daughter’s medical condition (→ read more here), I found myself struggling with getting the timing right, getting tired and stressed, juggling two different jobs as well as looking after my girl. I often questioned myself, what my priority was and what I was pursuing in my life. The answer required a leap of faith. And I finally decided to take the step.
From tomorrow, I will be solely working at my studio. It’s a new start for me and a new start for my family. It will be a big challenge but I am now so happy to have made the decision. (Only took me 17 years, gosh!)
Thank you my family for believing in me. Thank you David for your spirit. Thank YOU for your encouragement. Onward and upward! Watch this space!