Monday, February 21, 2011

Steal This Idea

When people are seen leaving my studio toting old pillowcases stuffed with who-knows-what, I have to wonder: Do the neighbors think we're being robbed.

This dangerous-looking crew, cleverly disguised as schoolteachers, recently came for a studio workshop on Constructed Vessels. Because students produce so many models (plus two or three vessels) in this one-day class, I give them each an old pillowcase for stashing stuff. It helps keep the work space clear-ish.

Having teachers as students is always a special treat for me. This group stayed on task, but when the task left room for conversation the topics were fascinating. I'm mulling many ideas they inspired, but there's one I want to share with you.

One of that group is an elementary art teacher. She told me she read about Artsonia in a blog post I wrote last year, and fell in love with their concept. A surprising number of her students say their parents don't display or save their children's artwork. An online gallery like Artsonia gives other family members a chance to see and admire the kids' work, and even to order products printed with it.

But how to find the time to photograph and upload all that artwork? She said she called Artsonia and asked them. One of their suggestions: Ask for a parent volunteer to come in once a week to take digital pictures. I'm assuming a grandparent volunteer would work as well.

So here's the idea I suggest we all steal: Ask for help. Yes, it's sometimes harder than just doing the job yourself. And the job may not get done exactly the way you would have done it. But how important is that if the job gets done?

When we reach out to help someone else, we get so much in return. When help is asked for, that's a gift, as well, because it opens the door and invites someone else to have the satisfaction or learning experience that comes with helping.

The pep talk I give myself when I balk at asking for help goes like this: "You've done much harder things in your life. Just ask."

Now I'm asking you: What's your experience with asking for help?


  1. Again you have spoken the very words I need right now: Ask for help. I am going to work on doing just that in the next couple of days. Why do I resist this?

  2. I totally agree with your own blog post, Sherri: Every patient needs an advocate. Good luck -- I'll be thinking about you!


This blog has moved to I hope you'll join the conversation there!