The caveats of working at home

The good news is I get to work at home and set my own schedule.

The bad news is I get to work at home and set my own schedule.

I have tried so many times to get my work time in the studio onto a set schedule. Once in a while I've been able to actually walk into the studio at 8 or 9 AM and not break for anything until  4 or 5 PM, a normal workday for most people. When you work at home and your studio is right behind your house, it might seem like an easy task to be able to just walk out of your house and go to work, but it never seems to be just that way.

As I write this, I have my husbands car at Maaco for a repair. It's 10 AM. Prior to this, I had to clean my house and get ready to host our


guests who are arriving this evening. Tomorrow, I have to take my car at 10 AM for an oil change. There always seems to be something, whether it's shopping that needs to be done or errands or doctors appointments or things that just can't happen in the evening, that always seem to cut into my workday.

And then there is the inevitable pile of dirty dishes or the laundry that you tried to ignore to go to the studio and do your work FIRST but it's sitting there staring you in the face every time you come into the house to get a drink of water screeching "WASH ME,  do something about me, sweep the floor for crying out loud!" and inside you're head you're saying, "But I can't, I can't, I'm an artist I have to make pottery and  I have to work, I have to paint!" I try not to succumb until I have made some art but it's a never-ending battle!

 So like today, I probably won't get into the studio and be able to actually get busy with my work until 11 AM or 12 PM. With any luck, I'll get four solid hours of work done before I have to break to make dinner for my husband. I could go back out to the studio after that, but when I don't see him all day we want to spend time together. (Yes, after 24 years of marriage, we still like each other)

I'm not complaining. It's a luxury for me to be able to be an artist and work at home because Lord knows, it doesn't pay the bills. It's just that sometimes I think it's easier to get up get dressed and get in your car to go somewhere else where you have no other distractions but the work that you have to do.

Even though I always feel like I am being pulled in different directions and never have enough hours in the day, I manage to get quite a lot done. One day has passed since I started writing this. I spent my afternoon glazing yesterday and I am firing a full kiln at this moment. I realized that because my studio will be one of the stops on the

Chester County Best Kept Secrets Tour

, there will be 16 days in November when I would normally still be making things for holiday sales when my studio will have to be all spiffed up and clean for the tour and I won't be able to throw mud around. That means that I have to have all of my holiday inventory made in October.

So I am throwing like a mad woman and making plans for some new paintings and would really like to create a "Millicent and the Faraway Moon Coloring Book" to add to my growing collection of books that I have authored and created. So far, the kiln is full of very affordable items in the $20 range, which I plan to have a lot of on hand throughout the holidays like ring bowls and dip spreaders, tea lights, soap dishes and cereal bowls. There are also a lot of yarn bowls firing right now, an item I need a large stock of because it is my biggest holiday seller.

I have been all about butterflies this summer and I am doing a lot of hand painting with butterflies on what will be wall hangings and plates. I am also making really cute hand painted cake plates, flower plates and flower bowls with stems that act as pedestals. Naturally, the hand-painted items will have to be  a little more expensive as they take me more time to produce.

I am also having a lot of fun making miniature ceramic houses. These would make great housewarming gifts or look cute in a terrarium or just on a shelf. While the kiln fires, it is time to do some more painting on bisque and after that it will be time to start taking photos of new pieces  for uploading to my website and then writing the listings for each one.  Blogging and using social media is the only marketing I do right now and is also a huge time suck.

We'll see how far I get today. Always much to do and never enough time to do it -especially when you're a one-woman band like me. :0)

Photo borrowed from

"The Blue Lantern"

Karen O'Lone-Hahn6 Comments