At the beginning of this year, I bought a notebook. Seems like a funny thing for a papermaker to do, but sometimes you want to use regular old, lined, spiral-bound paper that is totally ordinary and free of any preciousness. I'm about halfway through the notebook now. Flipping through it there are diagrams for building a portable press, seemingly endless calculations for keeping track of the amount of papers made for clients, to-do lists, goal lists, grant proposal ideas, brainstorming, exhibition planning, paper recipes, illustration ideas, supply order lists, fundraising ideas, notes on the Friends of Dard Hunter conference we attended in San Francisco, syllabus planning for a drawing class I taught at PCC, syllabus planning for classes I will teach next year at PCC, PR contact lists, notes and plans for residency artists, education outreach ideas, demo ideas, lists of businesses to contact about selling our papers and/or products, and new class ideas. All of these words and numbers add up to a year I'm pretty proud of. We've had so many experiences, grown, streamlined, questioned and dreamed. Every mark is a step towards where we are right now.
As the calendar changes and I move into the next half of my notebook, I'm wondering how things will look another year from now. This time last year I was unsure of when I'd be able to quit my day job and start working at the studio full-time. Six months later I was taking the plunge and today I'm still working towards making ends meet. It's been pretty tight, but as long as we continue to grow we'll make it work. As I look back there's been so many enthusiastic students, clients, fellow artists, friends and family who have invested their time, energy, and money in our studio. A HUGE THANK YOU to each and every one of you! Without your support we wouldn't be here, looking back.
See you next year!