Wednesday, December 18, 2019

A bit of a surprise.

At the end of November I fired the kiln for the last time this year.  It was a lustre firing and everything turned out well, including this serving bowl, which was an order.

And then ...

I decided to retire.  This was a really big deal for me and a decision I never thought I'd make.  To begin with I didn't think my state pension would bring in as much money as my earnings as an artist but when it arrived in September I was very pleased to find that it does.  So no drop in living standards ...  so I don't need to make a mug ever again if I don't want to?  Or a cereal bowl?  Or promise stock to anywhere?

What's not to like?  I always said I'd never retire because I wouldn't want to.  Finding out I do want to was something of a surprise. 

Let's be clear - you don't retire from being an artist.  An artist is not an occupation, it's who you are.  I'll always be one.  And I suppose I'll still do accounts every year, since I can sell the work I've made and will do.  I can make more things if I feel like it.  I can make different things.  I can work in different materials.  I might write more (or not).  So technically, as far as tax goes, I suppose I won't be retired as long as I'm keeping accounts and selling stuff.

What will I be doing?  I'm surprised to find that the first answer that pops into my head is that I'll  be spending more time on my garden.  Quite traditional. I'll be making sure I have time for my friends and will continue to visit my elderly parents at least once a month.  And after that ...

I don't know!

This makes me happy.