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#PotterOnWheels has Hit the Road!

Updated: Feb 13, 2023

Hi! I’m the #PotterOnWheels, embarking on an RV Life Grand Adventure. I have been a full-time studio potter and ceramics instructor for the past 12 years. My hubby is recently retired, so I’m working out how I can continue to create in clay and teach while living the RV Life.


My other passions in life are my family, my pups (who don’t always get along), cooking, and organic gardening, so I’m also trying to work out how I can fulfill those passions while we all live our best life in 24’ of linear space with the bounty of nature just beyond our door.


My goal is to share my journey of discovery - with clay, with RV Living, and with the wide, wide world - and to inspire others to follow their dreams.

Come along for the ride and see where the journey takes me. You’ll meet Irving (our RV), Bandit and Oakley (our two pups), and my partner in everything, (Steve). Let’s go RVing, and together we will find inspiration in the great outdoors!


Susan


Some First Lessons of the Road for Successful RVing

We hit the road a week ago, and landed in Louisiana two long days later. Two important lessons came in those first two days:

  1. Even with two drivers, twelve hours on the road in one day is about 6 hours too long! (I’ll share more about the 2/2/2, 3/3/3, and 4/4/4 rules for RV Living in a future blog post, once I’ve had time to assess how they relate to our own RV Life experience.)

  2. When sleeping overnight in a Cracker Barrel parking lot, park as far away from the dumpsters as you can because the trucks come to empty them really, really early!


Other RV Living Lessons from Our First Week

Things have gone almost flawlessly thus far. We have one little glitch with some outlets in the RV that I’m sure we’ll figure out. We’ve learned a lot during our first week:

  1. Already, we can agree that you probably don’t need half of what you pack because you “might” need it; but, please, remember to pack the backpack!

  2. Sunshine and 60-70 degree days feel extra sweet in February if you’re from Pennsylvania (or, I imagine, anywhere north of Georgia)!

  3. Give yourself time to build up to 18,000+ steps per day!

  4. Take Oakley hiking and you’ll never get lost; she will happily retrace your steps when you tell her it’s time to go ”home,” even if you’re 2,326 steps from the site!

  5. Nothing in this world beats fresh, wild caught Louisiana shrimp (so far, anyway)!

  6. Louisiana has tornadoes in February! (Who says climate change isn’t real?)

  7. There are an abundance of mosquitoes in the bayou even in February; happily, they don’t seem to like northerner blood!


Inspiration from our first week in Louisiana


Because I’m still decompressing and working out the kinks in our camp routines, I haven’t begun to tackle the numerous work projects I brought along with me. I plan to treat the first two weeks of our journey mostly as a vacation, giving me opportunity to enjoy the scenery and capture beautiful moments that I can share with you in pictures (now) and hopefully some of them in clay down the road. Here are some of the things I’ll remember forever from the past week.

The sunset over Lake Pontchartrain is magnificent! The concept of this photo is something I am eager to try to recreate in colored porcelain.


Photos cannot do a spanish moss covered live oak justice; they are breathtakingly beautiful, massive, charming, romantic and fluid. (Words don’t do them justice, either!) The structure of this tree is something I hope I can articulate in colored clay work down the road.


Saw Palmettos make the most amazing sound when the wind blows through them! I will be photographing some of my colored porcelain jewelry items in a natural setting during our travels, and I think palmettos will be a lovely backdrop for some of them.


This is my Jack Russell Terrier mix, Bandit, on one of many hikes. He may be the happiest four-legged camper that ever lived. Look at that smile! 😃


This is me and my wonderful hubby, Steve. Retirement looks great on him, don’t you think?


Stay tuned for more news from our RV Life!

I’ll post again next week, updating you on how life in the great outdoors is treating us and sharing more about how we’re making the RVLife work for us. And as I delve into carving out a work schedule and feeding my creativity in the coming weeks, I’ll share some work-in-process photos and a few videos on my YouTube channel.


Please comment below to let me know what topics you’d like me to talk about in future blog posts, or how I can help inspire you to follow your dreams. After commenting, scroll down to subscribe to my email list so you'll be notified when I post a new blog entry!


9 Comments


Guest
Mar 02, 2023

Love your blog Sue! Can’t wait to see new pottery. Did Steve take a guitar along so he can sit in at the local cafes? Twelve hours driving must be tough. Chris and I went cross country his first year of college doing two hour shifts behind the wheel. We didn’t have any problems falling asleep when we’d stop for the night.

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Susan O'Hanlon
Susan O'Hanlon
Mar 22, 2023
Replying to

Hi Mike! Thanks! Steve has a guitar and musical recording gear. He’s just playing around for now and enjoying retirement. Glad you enjoy the blog! I try to publish weekly updates, so subscribe to get notifications in your inbox. Hope you and Peg are well! Texas on a future trip, for sure!

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Guest
Feb 19, 2023

Hi Susan, Fellow NJ Pottery Guild member and RVer here! One of our favorite things is staying with Harvest Hosts (LOVE the places we've stayed all over the country). We've had good and bad wine & spirits but it's always fun. I bought a microwave raku kiln (did you know that was a thing???) and I've got a old microwave oven to use with it (don't use the one in the RV) but figured I would try some small raku firings on the road... or maybe campfire-pit firings! I'll share results when it happens. Have fun! DeBorah Goletz

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Susan O'Hanlon
Susan O'Hanlon
Nov 28, 2023
Replying to

Hi DeBorah - I've brought my microwave kiln and a separate microwave along with me on our current trip, and I'll be using it to test my colored porcelain canes as they progress. Wondering if you've done any raku firing while on your travels this year?


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Guest
Feb 19, 2023

Loving this. Several years ago my husband & I took to the road for the summer. I couldn't figure out how to clay so I took an online alcohol ink class and had fun learning a new medium. I look forward to seeing how you get your clay work going.


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Susan O'Hanlon
Susan O'Hanlon
Feb 21, 2023
Replying to

Learning something new is always a great idea! My nerikomi work gives me a bunch of scraps that I’ve started making beads with, and that process I can absolutely do on the road with the help of my microwave kiln. I can also make the jewelry itself, photograph pieces, and create listings for my website and Etsy shop.


For this trip, I also brought along a bit of the new lo-fire porcelain I’ve been experimenting with so I can work on cane design. Between those projects and the website makeover and instructional video editing, I won’t be bored. Going forward, I’ll need to figure out a way to make and fire functional work on the road. Happily, potter peeps are…


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Guest
Feb 14, 2023

Looking Good!! So excited for you on this journey - can't wait to go along with you! Be safe and have fun!

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Susan O'Hanlon
Susan O'Hanlon
Feb 21, 2023
Replying to

Thanks so much for your well wishes! We are having a blast!


Susan

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