“Each man’s life is a diary into which he means to write one story, and then writes another.” I remember reading that when I was about 16, and I remember it as attributed to “anonymous”. Recently I “googled” the quote and found out that it really goes : “The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it”. It was written by the great Scottish author and playwright James Matthew Barrie, best known as the creator of Peter Pan. I like my remembered version better, and have found it to be one of the truest things I know.
I received my BFA from Carnegie-Mellon University in ceramics and painting in 1972, and my MFA in ceramics from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago in 1975. The 2001 Great Gulfcoast Art Festival was the first festival I attended, and the first time that I had shown work of any kind since the late 1970s. After graduation I had part-time jobs and maintained various studios working with mixed-media sculpture, wood, or clay. From 1983 to late 2000, I stopped working as an artist or craftsman and was entirely focused on a career in IT, holding jobs as varied as typewriter repairman, computer sales, manager, ComputerLand franchisee, network engineer, and IT executive. In October of 2000, I made the decision to return to clay, and pursue a full time career as a potter.
I have no regrets over the years that I spent in business. Much of that time was exciting and rewarding, and I learned many things which I believe have helped me significantly as a potter/designer craftsman. I learned to appreciate an elegant solution to a complex problem, and how to approach the technical hurdles that are so frequent in ceramics, and I learned patience. While the financial benefits from Corporate America can be significant, this work that I do now provides me with a different set of rewards, which feel more lasting and more meaningful. I am continually delighted when I see my customers and they tell me how much the work means to them, or how much they have enjoyed having it in their lives. It’s not enough to simply make work and put it in a corner, it must be shared.
If you’re unfamiliar with my work, thank you for visiting my website, and allowing me the opportunity to introduce you to my passion. If you are a customer of mine, then I thank you for your support and continued interest. In either case, I hope you enjoy the site, and feel free to contact me if I can be of any assistance.
Timothy Sullivan – February 2009