natalie shelly studio

natalie shelly studio

this next step + a drawing studio

August 19, 2013

Humbled, blessed, and excited

These words so well describe our last four months. It began in May when Ian became the Assistant Professor of Art in Ceramics at Western Illinois University. This job is the type we daydreamed about-- wonderful facilities, warm and welcoming faculty, and a space to cultivate a community and way of life through clay. The day he received the job offer remains one of our happiest moments.

Our new town of Macomb, Illinois boasts a large university, yet things here are simple and I love that the town is surrounded by such a beautiful rural landscape. We've joined a CSA garden share that has allowed us the lucky opportunity to pick the majority of our food-- something we had always wanted. We've also enjoyed exploring the surrounding cities and yes, we have happily found the closest Target. After over a month of living in this new home and setting up our new studios we're happy and ready to dig in.

A transition

This next step has offered and afforded us so many new opportunities, ones that we expected to wait much longer for. We still can't believe it all came so soon. We are so thankful.

The one transition that I'm still growing into is my choice not to teach this semester or possibly this year. Adjunct teaching opportunities in the area are limited and I've decided to take time to fully pursue my work in the studio.This is the first time I have not taught at the college level in five years and I feel a great sense of loss. I love teaching, I love working with students, and I love the enthusiastic heart it inspires in me. I will miss it dearly and the students I've had the happy pleasure to work with. I know I can always come back to it and know I will.

I'm nervous and excited to again become active and alive as a maker. The last two years produced a new direction in my work that I look forward to fully exploring and expanding in these coming months. I want to be worthy of this time-- this gift.

Included are a collection of shots from my drawing studio at home and peeks into the works I'm stepping into.

Thanks for taking a moment with me and have a lovely week, 



  1. This is so exciting!! We are thrilled for both of you! Sending lots of creative juju and well wishes for the upcoming year! Can't wait to see the next blog!!

  2. Thanks so much Jennifer!! Your warm wishes mean so much!

  3. love this new space of yours! excited to see what comes of your time this year! i'll call you this week with some help for my next projects :)

  4. Thanks so much kaytea, your encouragement really pushed me to re-dedicate myself to this space! I look forward to chatting soon!


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