Official holidays for Servant Ceramics!
To say that I’m excited is an understatement! This year has been amazing and I’ve been working my butt off. But I haven’t always had the best time management if I’m honest with you. There have been some very long hours, more than a couple of 14+hr studio days and having actual ‘switched off’ days has been a rare occurrence. As I was saying to my bro-in-law earlier this month, its truly hard to want to switch off when you enjoy what you do and chose to spend your free time doing it as well. The lines get blurred (and no, please ignore Robin Thicke’s slimy song if it starts to play) and at times, my attention has been all consumed by clay. Not healthy for me or those around me.
Then my business name gives me a swift kick!
Oh, the responsibility in naming – thank goodness I haven’t had to exercise it in naming little humans yet… everyone (even Pride and Prejudice lovers, the book from where I found the following name) informs me that Colonel Fitzwilliam is not all appropriate (or legal, given the military title) for a child in this modern day.
In considering what to call my ceramics studio, there was the classic ‘insert name here ceramics’ or ‘insert name here pottery’ as well as the ‘location pottery/ceramics’ to consider. There’s the clay related ie: Mud Ceramics, Spun Mud, Paper & Clay. The name can reference its use or sculptural nature. The world of names opens out and stretches as far as your imagination can create. Until you search the web and see that your name is already taken or that the business registry already has that name locked in with someone else or that the domain name was not available
I felt very fortunate that Servant Ceramics, one of my top three names, was completely available – as an Australian Business name and as an Australian domain name – when I searched online. That absolutely helped in choosing it. I didn’t really want to call it after myself (ie: Rachel Cramer Ceramics) as I have dreams of products, bigger, more diverse and more complex than I can achieve on my own, and with collaborations in mind, I didn’t want to use my personal name. Also, when Andrew and I got married, I chose to take his last name, changing from ‘Devine’ to ‘Cramer.’ After all, he proposed, inviting me to share his life if I wanted to stand alongside him. A lot of my friends thought (and probably still think) that it was silly of me not to incorporate ‘Devine’ into a business name – Devine Ceramics, Devine Pottery – but this venture is DEFINITELY a team effort. It would not be as rewarding, successful or enjoyable if I didn’t have Andrew’s support. He has backed me with encouragement, allowing me to raid our personal bank account to pay for developmental work and start-up costs, woken up early for markets and spending all day there with me, he’s not only listened to my incessant stream of clay-related conversations but has actively problem-solved with me. He deserves a medal and more!
The idea that these vessels I’m creating are for serving – serving others by serving food, creating a space in which to have a breath from daily demands, was very appealing. I was also drawn to the underlying realisation that when I’m making these service items, that they are inherently made to serve, not master. Clay can be a demanding, time-dependent material – too dry = unusable, too wet = also unusable. There’s this sweet spot that holds our attention and as potters, we can hunt that, overlooking food, water, exercise, sleep even our wider social circle to obey the clay overlord.
In choosing Servant Ceramics, the name consistently encourages me to chose a life of service, not slavery.
[oh, that reminds me, I’m doing Dressember this year – raising funds for International Justice Mission, a human rights organization that works to combat human trafficking and end sexual slavery. I’ll be posting about it later this month but haven’t really mentioned it until now… too much has been happening].
Anyway, there’s a little insight into how Servant Ceramics came to be named. I love a good origin story 🙂
As I started out saying, with only two more sleeps until Andrew and I fly down south to catch up with friends and family for Christmas, I have just today and tomorrow to ship and finalise orders so I’ve got a couple of specials on the Etsy store for this, the last day of trade for Servant Ceramics…
I also want to clean up my studio today, give the floor a good mop and tidy up the shelves for production in the New Year.
Hope you have a great day too – whatever you are getting up to!
With a big smile for you, Rachel.