Mothers & Makers | Tamar

"Thrown by mom, squished by Edwin."

Tamar's work has changed from fine detailed ceramics to expressive abstract shapes.  Mostly due to the 3 year old wielding a paint brush or pulling off pieces of clay to add to the pile he is gathering as she works.  There is also the new addition, Walter, a sweet baby boy who calls to squirm around in his mom's clay covered arms.  While others would consider this a distraction and interruption from the work, Tamar encourages her families presence and participation in her creative world.  Just a few hours photographing in Tamar's front yard and it became so clear.  Her creativity isn't reserved for only the quiet moments she can sneak away from other responsibilities, but simply an integrated part of both her and her families everyday life.  It is part of the fabric of who they are.  


I went to a lecture by Ellen Davis at Luther Seminary yesterday, with the title "Land as Kin".  She so beautifully laid out the relationship between humans and the soil we come from; how we should come to recognize our kinship with the earth, and the understanding of land is our oldest ancestor. 

Earlier that day I had read an expert from the book "The Spirit of Clay".  In it the author discussed how wonderful it is, that only basic techniques need to be acquired before you can start using clay as a creative expression of self.

Its so interesting that I stumbled into both of these messages the day after an afternoon spent photographing Molly at her wheel.  When I photograph an artist at work, they have to choose between giving full attention to their work, or being aware of the camera.  Because a pottery wheel really won't allow you to do both, the person quickly falls into a place of creative concentration.  That is the space I am always striving to photograph from, and the images I can create from that space  feel the most true.  

Also the reason Molly and I connected was because I was drawn to her work (and left my number in one of her mugs!).  So here is how you find it!  

Her page: Molly Horton Pottery

And she lets you know when she has stocked up on inventory or what market her work will be at next on her instagram: @mollyhortonpottery

Mothers & Makers

As a creative, my way of processing my own world, often involves asking questions and then bringing that into my work.  Being in the Midwest and married for a couple years now, the "when are you having children?" question comes up constantly.

Motherhood.  For me, simply when, is not the question.  My questions have way more to do with balance and sacrifice, environmental responsibility, the call to motherhood, the societal frameworks and barriers parenthood brings.  Even just beginning to ask these questions, lead to the realization that for women, being an artist is often considered selfish.  Choosing the selfless act of raising a child,  also feels like a call to trade in the selfish parts of myself.  

I know that my creativity isn't selfish.  It is an extension of who I am, it is what I NEED to do.  It is my living, breathing being at work.  But the truth is, when asking around my creative circles very few of my friends could name examples of mothers they knew working in their creative fields, or even list artists they admired who were also mothers.  

So this project was born. 

I want to fill a space (online or physical) with images of women navigating both these spheres.  

Mothers & Makers.