In this age of online shopping where everything is just a click away, it's easy to take for granted the ease of getting supplies...until it's not. I will admit, I am not the most organized when it comes to keeping track of my inventory of supplies and last week this bit me in the butt.
I was working on some cake stands and finished the bag of open clay. I bent down to pull a new bag out from under the wedging table, but wait...where's my porcelain? I went into the garage and pulled out a new box. The clay was stiff....not frozen, just too hard to use for hand-building. I had one more box...opened it up and the same deal. Damn! The last of my porcelain clay was unusable.
First thing I did was call my supplier to order more. I would have to move some things around in my schedule, but getting a new batch of clay was the priority. "Sorry, we are out of stock and don't know when we will be getting in the new shipment." Panic started to set in as I thought about upcoming market commitments.
A quick google search gave me some pointers on softening the hard bags of clay over a couple days. After I filled 5 gallon buckets with water and submerged the bags of clay, I got on the phone and started calling other suppliers. In my frantic state, I ordered clay for pickup in another state....once I realized the length of the drive, cancelled and started searching for more. I found a supply, but it couldn't be delivered because of understaffing, but with some more rescheduling, I'll be taking a road trip soon to get the clay I need. Crisis possibly averted.
Have I learned my lesson? Probably not. There are a lot of moving parts to being a working artist, and when you do it all yourself, things get overlooked. It's important to stay calm and focused. I'm now working on a supply inventory list, and maybe that will help in the future....but for now all I can hear are Tim Gunn's famous words running through my head. "Make it work."