Getting Settled In

It has been just over six months now since our move home. After three years in England, we moved back to my hometown of Zanesville, Ohio. Eric and I were both born and raised locally. We came home not knowing if we were here to stay or just here till we had to move for a job. Neither one of us had any prospects of jobs. Eric had saved up three months leave through the Air Force so he could get paid to job hunt. We decided to stay with his parents until we figured out where we were going. We arrived home and immediately began hard core job hunting.

I was super lucky. There were no teaching positions at the College or University level available in the area. After contacting a professor at one local colleges, she, Maddy Fraioli filled me in on everything that is ceramics in the area. She also contacted another notable figure in the ceramics community to let him know there was a new ceramics M.F.A. in town. Before I had the chance to contact him, Arthur Kettner contacted me after speaking with Maddy.I was offered studio space at Zanesville Pottery & China, which I share with Arthur.

In the studio I make,sell pottery, teach individual and group classes and make commissioned works. They also gave me a job working a few days a week in the store to get some steady money rolling in. Through our second international move I was only unemployed for two weeks.

As soon as I returned home I filled out an application to volunteer as a Docent and work the Help Desk at the Zanesville Museum of Art.

I included my Resume with my application to volunteer. I received a call a few days later from the acting Director asking if I would be interested in more hands on work. Of course I said yes. They had just lost their Director and need help from qualified and capable hands. They have since decided I am an Intern due to the level of help I provide.

I do a little of everything at the museum. I work with their archive system, entering, editing and looking up information. I recently co-curated and exhibit for them. I help set up and tear down shows, move pieces to and from storage to their installation locations. Basically I am one of the people that wear the white gloves and work with the pieces that no one is allowed to touch. I have worked with pieces like 200 year old pieces of locally made industrial pottery to artifacts that are almost 1400 years old in the Diverse Cultures Gallery. Every day that I spend there is a new and exciting task awaiting me. I really enjoy getting to see, work with and learn about all of the incredible art the museum has to offer. I spend a day a week, most weeks at the museum.

I have also started working with the Muskingum County Community Foundation for the upcoming Ceramics conference to be held this fall in Zanesville. The conference is called “From the Ground Up.”

Finding work quickly in my field and being welcomed with open arms into the local ceramics art community sealed the deal for us. We were able to stay home where our hearts were all along. Eric was able to find a position with a local company before the end of October.

We stayed with Eric’s parents for five months while finding jobs then searching out the perfect house. In January, we bought our first home of our own. We started moving in that night and have settled in nicely.

Yesterday I acquired a transient vendor’s license for the state of Ohio. This is really exciting. I am now legal to set up as a vendor at festivals in the state of Ohio. I have plans for at least one festival later this year.

This past year has been a bit hectic and crazy, yet one of the most rewarding to date. We moved home to be near our families. We bought our first home, and get to stay in one place and pt down roots. After three years of my career being on the side burner due to lack of opportunity, I feel like I am finally getting some where and things are moving quickly. I have goals set for where I want to be by the end of next year and I think they are easily attainable. They say when things are right everything just falls into place. Well everything has just fallen into place since we returned home.

I have a lot of appreciation and thanks due to a number of people. So many people have helped us along the way to getting settled in. We sincerely appreciate everyone’s help.


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