Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Things I Do to Make a Buck

  Self-employment means you have to seek a variety of means to make a living.  Here's how I define those current differing activities that support R Honey Pots:

1) Bees.  We take honey bees, live, from buildings where they're not wanted and put them in our box.  Then we wait over night for them to move in and collect them, at the crack of dawn, before they wake up.   Transport them home, nurse them and check for queen rightness, then move them to the apiary (at the crack of dawn).  If we're lucky, which, thanks to the drought we haven't been for the last 2 years, we harvest honey which is the extremely messy process of transporting heavy boxes, flinging sticky substances, bottling it, then giving the frames back to the bees to clean up.

2) Make Pottery.  I heave a ton of clay from my van down to my studio in 50lb increments where I fling it on a wheel or pancake it in my slab roller.   When it dries, I paint it, fire it, dust it, glaze it, fire it, photograph it, put it in a box and heave it back up the hill to my van.  Then I update the website, post to facebook, instagram, send out postcards.
The Van

3) Sell Pottery. While an increasing amount of my sales are done online, I still fill the van monthly and transport everyone to craft shows, the farthest of which, this year, was to La Jolla- 11 hours one way.  Usually we leave at our favorite hour, crack of dawn, and set up in the 2+ hours before the show starts.  We unload all the boxes, set up the tent, then the display structure, and finally, painstakingly, Joey displays as much pottery as he possibly can in our 10x10 domain.
Some sights have a lot of variation (KMAF)
Levelling the booth at night

Joey arranging the booth

4) Take on New Challenges.  Every year there's someone asking if I can do something I haven't quite done before.  I always say yes.  This year I'm making new tables and meeting with architects and interior decorators to design remodels.  Tile projects I have only completed in my own home are now going to be adapted to someone else's (there will be photographs of this after January).  With Joey's metalworking and carpentry skills, we are hoping to develop and expand this custom installation side of our business.

5) Share the Knowledge.  Around January (details still being ironed), I will be teaching a ceramics class at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts (  In February, I will be giving a presentation to the Rossmoor Ceramics Club (

6) Enjoy life.  Swim in the ocean as much as possible.  Do pilates.  Garden.  Rock climb.  Kayak.  Hunt mushrooms (if it rains!).  Visit friends.  Play music.  Dance...I love being my own boss, even if the common themes are waking up at the crack of dawn, heaving boxes, and being filthy.  The rewards are great!

Doran Beach